"I'm seeing more and more of an exodus of printers and trade binders relocating to Phoenix or Las Vegas to escape California's high costs of doing business," Beard observes. "Worker's comp rates there alone are 60 to 70 percent less than here." And, as an example of state government gone awry, Beard notes recent legislation that allows illegal immigrants to receive driver's licenses.
A recent cartoon in a local paper, from his view, sums up Gray Davis' approach to balancing California's $38 billion budget deficit. It shows Davis on the back of the sinking Titanic with the caption, "I've got the answer—let's just charge more for the tickets."
Beard has been stumping on the campaign trail, time permitting, after paying the $3,500 fee and getting the required signatures among registered voters to be certified as a candidate. He took part in a local debate and spoke to a Republican group recently.
He also made it on ABC World News Tonight. But don't assume that he's running just to get noticed by his clients. The entertainment industry largely votes Democratic, he says. And—with five children and another one on the way—when asked if his wife supports his candidacy, Beard quips, "Well, she's pregnant."
Mark T. Michelson