Dreier Targeted on Immigration; Fights Back against Radio Show

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 31, 2004 | Go to article overview

Dreier Targeted on Immigration; Fights Back against Radio Show


Byline: Valerie Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier is waging a furious re-election battle after he was targeted by a Los Angeles radio talk show as a "political human sacrifice" for his record on illegal immigration.

In the past month, Mr. Dreier and Republicans have spent an estimated $1 million to blanket his district with fliers and radio ads aimed at countering the massive "Fire Dreier" campaign led by "The John and Ken Show" on KFI-AM in Los Angeles.

Last week, Mr. Dreier, California Republican, and the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) filed a Federal Elections Commission complaint against Clear Channel Inc., which owns KFI-AM.

"He's basically complaining that we're picking on him and supporting his opponent," said John Kobylt, who hosts the show with Ken Champiou.

Mr. Dreier, who received a D+ from the Americans for Better Immigration, was targeted for defeat by listeners of the show in August. By taking down a Republican congressman, Mr. Kobylt and Mr. Champiou say they hope to jolt the party into cracking down on the flood of illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico.

Since then, the show has devoted hours of airtime urging listeners to vote for Mr. Dreier's challenger, Democrat Cynthia Matthews. A first-time candidate, Ms. Matthews has defied her party by adopting a tough stance on illegal immigration and thus becoming the only Democrat to win the endorsement of Americans for Legal Immigration.

"What you have is a U.S. representative who's taking his salary from the taxpayers and legal immigrants and then representing people who are here illegally," Ms. Matthews said.

Most of her volunteers are Republicans, drawn to her campaign by the radio show. Her campaign also has benefited from two spin-off blogs, FireDreier and Disciples of John and Ken, which are promoting her candidacy.

Ms. Matthews plans to join Mr. Kobylt and Mr. Champiou for a live broadcast tomorrow outside Mr. Dreier's Glendora, Calif., office. A September rally drew hundreds of listeners waving anti-Dreier signs and chanting, "Fire Dreier!"

A 24-year House veteran who hasn't faced a formidable foe in two decades, Mr. Dreier appeared to be ignoring the hoopla until he received the results of an internal poll Oct. 6, said his opponents.

"I'm guessing he got some ugly numbers," Mr.

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Dreier Targeted on Immigration; Fights Back against Radio Show
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