revealed diverging views of conservative and more middle-of-the-road
The forum, hosted by the Republican Women of La Crescenta,
included speeches by Sonny Sardo, a local businessman vying to unseat
Rep. David Dreier (R-La Crescenta) for the 26th Congressional
District; Dreier's district representative Mark Harmsen; Pasadena
optometrist Lynn Gabriel and aerospace engineer Dave Wilcox, who are
competing for the nomination to take on Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-La
Canada Flintridge) in the fall for the 44th Assembly District; and
Harry Scolinos and William Bodell, two attorneys trying to unseat
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) for the 29th Congressional District.
Gabriel, a longtime Pasadena Republican activist and fundraiser,
criticized Wilcox for adhering to Libertarian views and being a
member of that party. Wilcox, who said he has been a Republican his
entire adult life, said it was only true to the extent that he joined
the party to receive Libertarian literature because he thought it was
"In a primary election, electability, electability, electability,
is the key," Gabriel said. "I can beat Carol Liu."
Wilcox, like Sardo and Bodell, has staked part of his campaign
message on controlling the borders to stop illegal immigration and
eliminating bureaucratic waste in government.
Sardo, the owner of Sardo's Interiors in La Canada Flintridge,
said Dreier has steered the country in the wrong direction through
his advocacy of free trade, which is contributing to job losses in
But Harmsen shot back that barriers to trade, such as tariffs,
"are nothing but taxes" and that free-trade pacts such as the North
American Free Trade Agreement promote job growth and markets for U.S.
Scolinos chimed in with his disagreement with President Bush on
what he called Bush's recent "amnesty" proposal, which would initiate
a guest worker program in the states.
Though common pro-business and anti-tax themes were expressed, the
tension in the views of the party did not go unnoticed, and that was
OK for some.
"I'm glad the Republican Party just doesn't follow lock-and-step
on everything its leaders say," said Bill Ferril, a member of local