SACRAMENTO – The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor said he no longer will use a fundraising letter sent on his behalf by Mel Gibson, whose reputation has been severely damaged by an anti-Semitic rant during a drunken driving arrest .
The three-page letter written by Gibson and sent to potential donors by Tom McClintock's campaign says the conservative state senator from Thousand Oaks could use the lieutenant governor's office as a "powerful engine for governmental reform."
The actor-director has admitted to making an anti-Semitic tirade after he was pulled over for speeding in Malibu shortly after 2:30 a.m. on July 28. He has since been charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and having an open container of alcohol in his car. He also has apologized for his comments about Jews.
McClintock decided to pull the letter after the incident, his campaign spokesman, Stan Devereaux, said Tuesday.
"Tom saw the news and the situation as it was unfolding with Mel Gibson and made a conscious decision to direct people not to use the letter any further. He was disillusioned by the situation with Mr. Gibson," Devereaux said.
He said the campaign sent Gibson's letter to would-be donors four times, twice this year and twice last year, but had not planned to use it again, even before Gibson's arrest and comments made headlines.
In the letter, Gibson said he was impressed by McClintock's stances during his bid for governor in the 2003 recall election, eventually won by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gibson said he does not usually support political candidates.
"He stood solidly for principles that might not be politically correct — but were right and true," Gibson wrote.
"A government that was founded to protect our fundamental God-given rights is now becoming destructive of those rights," he wrote. "So when someone like Senator Tom McClintock steps forward and is willing to fight for basic American principles for all Californians, I intend to stand with him."
McClintock, a law-and-order fiscal conservative, faces Democratic candidate, state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, in November.