*Former California Governor Calls for Defeat of Armenian Caucus Member Cal Dooley FALLS CHURCH–VA–In a move which has confused many of his Armenian American supporters–Former California Governor George Duekmejian has called on political contributors to finance a campaign to unseat Congressman Cal Dooley from Central California–a long-time friend and advocate for Armenia and Karabakh–reported the Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council.
In a June 2–letter sent to households throughout California–Governor Deukmejian claims that there is "widespread dissatisfaction with Cal Dooley," and calls for "contributions of $1,000–$500–$250 or any other amount" for the campaign by television newscaster Richard Rodriguez to unseat Dooley. In a postscript at the end of his letter–Governor Deukmejian asks contributors to go beyond their financial support to tell their "family and friends and help generate as much support for Rich as possible."
"Why would Governor Deukmejian target for defeat one of Armenia’s best friends in Congress?" asked AADLC spokesman Alex Sardar. "The governor surely knows of Congressman Dooley’s exceptional record on Armenian American issues and–as a former elected official–can appreciate the critical importance of our Congressional supporters to our efforts to strengthen Armenia and defend Nagorno Karabakh."
"I would respectfully suggest to Governor Deukmejian that he might spend a little less time attacking Armenia’s friends in Congress–like Cal Dooley – and more time talking to the thirteen California Republicans who have refused to cosponsor the Armenian Genocide resolution," noted Fresno resident Berge Bulbulian.
Of the twenty-four Republican Representatives from California–the thirteen who have not cosponsored H.Res.398 are Mary Bono–Ken Calvert–Randy Cunningham–John Doolittle–Wally Herger–Duncan Hunter–Jerry Lewis–Gary Miller–Doug Ose–Ron Packard–Richard Pombo–Dana Rohrabacher–and Bill Thomas. Of these–three – Lewis–Packard–and Rohrabacher – also recently signed a letter to President Clinton calling for closer US-Turkish relations.
Congressman Dooley is a member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus and has consistently supported Armenian American issues–sought to strengthen US-Armenia relations–and worked for increased aid to Armenia and Karabakh.
He is a cosponsor of the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.398)–has advocated for Armenian Genocide commemoration–and voted to sanction Turkey for its continued denial of this crime against humanity. He has strongly supported Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination and consistently voted to maintain Section 907 restrictions on US assistance to the government of Azerbaijan In response to Turkey’s blockade of Armenia–he has supported the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act–advocated its strict enforcement–and voted for direct cuts in US aid to Turkey.
Former Governor Deukmejian works in Los Angeles as an attorney for the prestigious law firm of Sidley & Austin.
The AADLC works with the Democratic National Committee to foster support within the Armenian American community for the Democratic Party and national Democratic office holders–while promoting the election of Armenian American Democrats to political office and encouraging participation by Armenian American Democrats at all levels of the public policy process.