Yucca Valley, Ca,- At today’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Republican Women Federated, the guest speakers were California State Senator Jean Fuller and Assemblyman Paul Cook, who is also running for congress. The members brought their sample ballots to discuss the ballot propositions and various measures.
After Senator Fuller introduced herself to the members, she was quick to say she was not campaigning as her term runs to 2014 and gave a brief overview of the redistricting. She spoke of Cook’s determination and hinted they did not know the other was appearing at this meeting.
Vice President Donna Munoz then gave a glowing introduction of her friend, Paul Cook, that seemed to last close to ten minutes. The first thing Cook said was,”This campaign is ugly.” He then began to list all of his endorsements but stopped after tossing out a few names saying, “There are just too many to name.”
Cook jumped right into several issues that seemed to bother him as he explained his reasons for not attending Candidate Forums, his passage of 38 bills, his refusal to sign the “No Tax Pledge,” and other tax issues. He said he supported the passage of Measure I and the Morongo Basin Pipeline but did not comment on Measure U. He said it was a local issue and he did not like the fact it only required 50% +1 vote to pass. He appeared physically upset and his face started to turn red as he went over this list. Cook’s voice became very loud, possibly forgetting about the microphone, as he spoke to the members in a small room. I have never been addressed by a Retired Colonel, or even a Drill Sargent, but it was easy to place myself as the enlisted sap taking orders as he fired away on the points he wanted to drive home.
I was stunned to hear Cook say, “Yes, I have Leukemia.” It was the first time I heard him admit to dealing with this cancer. Cook said he was “just like any other cancer survivor” and would make his blood tests available if anyone asked. He jokingly added his wife has not increased his life insurance policy that he was aware of. Cook went on to explain he was diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia and it was possibly caused due to exposure to benzene or agent orange.
I think Paul Cook did the right thing to bring his health problems out in the open. At his advanced age, it is a concern the voters have on their mind as they decide whom to send to Washington as their Congressman. Cook appeared confident his medical records will clear the air regarding his ability to serve and is a step in the right direction.