Both talk radio and the Internet have emerged as powerful forces in a pitched battle over two illegal-alien public policy issues in California.

A recent radio interview with state Sen. Gill Cedillo, the sponsor of legislation to grants driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, revealed the senator’s concern about “radio hosts on the AM dial” who oppose the bill.

Cedillo, a Democrat from Los Angeles, is a former member of MeCha, the radical Latino student movement demanding annexation of all southwestern states to Mexico.

The Spanish-language radio host asked if the senator was referring to L.A. station KFI’s John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who host a popular afternoon show on the station. The following dialogue between the host and senator was published on the website:

Cedillo: Yes, exactly. Juan y Ken, Juanito y Ken, who attack our community daily.

Radio host: They say they are ready to pressure Arnold Schwarzenegger so he won’t approve your plans and thereby spoil both of your [efforts] to give licenses. Do you think they will be able to do that, senator?

Cedillo: There are more than 70 percent of voters who today don’t want to give any rights, privileges or responsibilities –

Radio host: How are we going to convince them? How are we going to convince the voters that they need to do it?

Cedillo: I think that, I believe that with this new proposal, [which includes] verification, insurance, Schwarzenegger’s strong support [and], possibly, the White House’s support, we will be able to present a new law that will be acceptable for all Californians.

Radio host: And like you say, we have to hurry, otherwise John and Ken and other people who are against the licenses will win.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned against giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, signing a repeal of an earlier version of Cedillo’s bill in December.

But, as WorldNetDaily reported, the new governor has been working with Cedillo to craft an updated bill that would have an insurance requirement, a provision the earlier bill did not include.

Cedillo suggested in the radio interview that the taxpayers “give” insurance coverage to illegals.

“Schwarzenegger and I and our teams are looking into a new computer that will create a new database [for ID verification],” Cedillo said. “We are also talking to the insurance [industry] to figure out what we can do to give insurance to all the new undocumented drivers. We are working on these points daily. We are looking at the system that the Mexican Consulate has in place, the verification system they [rely on] to furnish the Consular IDs.”

In the interview, Cedillo emphasized that the new licenses would be no different from the licenses issued to legal residents and citizens of the United States.

Cedillo: We want to give the same license that everyone has.

Radio host: So, no marks? It won’t be marked?

Cedillo: That’s right. It won’t have a different color, no different numbers or letters.

Radio host: So, the governor’s office is in agreement with not marking the licenses?

Cedillo: Yes, because he says, ”Gil, I am an immigrant.”

Radio host: Oh, that’s great. He should not forget that.

Cedillo’s radio interviewer made sure the lawmaker knew of the station’s support for his efforts:

Cedillo: I will work for this all my life … until I die.

Radio host: Yes, we know. We are your cheerleaders.

Cedillo: I have an understanding with my wife and with my community.

Radio host: Thank you, senator, for working so hard.

Meanwhile, the sponsor of a proposed state constitutional amendment to deny public benefits, except education, to illegal aliens is hailing the Internet as a critical tool in getting his message out.

Ron Prince, who sponsored Proposition 187 in the 1990s, is hoping to use the Net to help collect signatures to qualify the new initiative for the ballot.

Prop 187 was struck down in the courts due to the provision denying public education to illegal aliens.

“We have an advantage with this measure that we did not have with 187. Today, we have the Internet,” Prince told a group of Republican women in Orange County, Calif., reported the Sacramento Bee.

Prince has until April 16 to collect 598,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure.

The activist referred to Schwarzenegger’s backing of a new driver’s license bill, saying broad support for his initiative could sway the governor.

“If we have our signatures, Governor Schwarzenegger will not sign this bill,” Prince said. “He cannot claim, as he has, to represent the people of this state and so clearly go against their wishes.”

Largely through the Internet, the Bee reported, Prince’s volunteers have collected more than 200,000 of the 800,000 signatures they are seeking to ensure enough valid signatures to qualify a constitutional amendment for the ballot. Such an amendment would supersede any deal hatched by Cedillo and Schwarzenegger.

It remains to be seen how many Internet users will download the petition from and turn it in to the campaign.

Prince said talk radio also was helping him get the word out on his latest amendment.

“This is like the Iraq war,” Prince said, according to the report. “We’re testing the technology. Will it work? I don’t know.”

The activist pointed out the California Republican Party was not backing his effort, as it had with Prop 187. It is thought the party’s support of the earlier initiative cost votes within the Hispanic community.

Related stories:

Initiative would deny benefits to illegals

Schwarzenegger ready to license illegal aliens

Driver’s licenses for illegals challenged

Davis to ‘legalize’ illegal aliens today

Illegals to be legal behind the wheel

15 states license illegals to drive

Local governments harboring illegals?

Illegals 1 step closer to driver’s licenses

Congress takes up ID cards for illegals

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