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Category: Republican in California

The Few, the Lonely, the fooling themselves

California GOP Death Spiral: What Are You Selling?

California GOP Death Spiral: What Are You Selling?

Steven Greenhut offers an insightful analysis of the current state of the California Republican Party following the 2016 general election. An election that saw the California GOP slide further into irrelevance, giving California Democrats Super Majorities in both the State Assembly and the State Senate.

Greenhut observes:

In swing districts, the GOP can grab the occasional seat, but can rarely hold on to them for long. Recruiting attractive minority candidates doesn’t work. Having candidates who constantly sell out to the other side doesn’t work. Neither does picking candidates tailor-made for the district. All the outreach programs in the world don’t help.

So engineering your pitch to the electorate doesn’t work. Hyper-targeting and matching a candidate ethnically to district demographics doesn’t work. And selling out doesn’t work, because the Democrats already have that covered (why would you buy a Buick when you could get the Cadillac for the same price? – heck, we’re givin’  ’em away!).

My own opinion is that California Republicans don’t offer any solutions – only opposition, and rote adherence to principle when campaigning. Unified messaging is great when you actually have a message voters want to listen to. The problem for the Republican Party in California comes down not to candidates, or positioning, or message: it comes down to solutions and the voter. And to complicate that a bit more, the only solutions California voters want seem to be more spending, more bond measures, and more services. Until California reaches a tipping point, and the inevitable crash comes, it seems that California voters aren’t open to solutions to government, they only want more government, specifically, more from government, always at the expense of someone else.

With the 63% voter approved Proposition 55 (extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase) it is clear that the California State motto has changed from “Eureka! (I have found it!)” to “Eureka! (I have found someone to pay for it!).

Eureka! I have found someone to pay for it!

We’re Gonna Have a Surplus, And It’s Burnin’ A Hole In My Pocket

We’re Gonna Have a Surplus, And It’s Burnin’ A Hole In My Pocket

The California  Legislative Analyst’s Office’s Chief Analyst Mac Taylor is forecasting a budget surplus that could reach $2.4 billion by June 2014 and $5.6 billion by June 2015. The actual projection made by the LAO has the state at a $10 billion surplus in six years, provided that revenue and spending patterns continue at the same pace in that time span. Ignored in this reporting is the $70 billion unfunded  hole the California Public Employees Pension System has, or the unfunded mandate at the California State Teachers Retirement System.

With Governor Brown telling the Legislature that the surplus should be banked for a rainy day, and Legislative Republicans largely agreeing with the Governor, we’ve also seen numerous media opinion pages asking the Legislature to follow Brown’s suggestion to bank the surpluses and to start paying down debt before considering restoring funding to programs cut  during the recession that fully engulfed the state in 2007/2008.

Also missed in this economic euphoria is the fact that the surpluses are due in large part to the tax increases implemented by Proposition 30 – which, strangely enough, has projected increases in tax revenue collected that follow the expected surpluses through 2018. So, why did we need to increase taxes?

The question for now is, since California  is filthy rich with a  $10BILLION budget surplus through 2018, how much of that $10 billion surplus will the Legislature spend in 2014?

(*- The correct answer is $90 billion. 2014 is, after all, an election year -*)
California big fat money

Fundraising With The Smear Of Guilt

Fundraising With The Smear Of Guilt

Received a delightful letter from the Republican National Committee. Seems that they are concerned that, well, I’ve gone loco.

GOP_Fundy

 

 

I’ve got… a problem with  this.

First, I’ve never contributed directly to the RNC. I’ve never been a member of the RNC. I have contributed to individual candidates. But I’ve never contributed to the RNC, the NRCC, the NRSC, the California GOP, or any other party committee or organization.

Second, Mr. Parker starts his correspondence with a direct attempt at shaming me into a contribution:

I don’t want to believe you’ve abandoned the Republican Party, but I have to ask… Have you given up?

Well, with an approach like this, perhaps I have given up. Besides, I put conservative principals before party, so pushing my nose in my party allegiance sin is no way to get my wallet open.

Do you recall what Ronald Reagan, noted former Democrat, said of his party switch?

I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The party left me.

Here’s the thing  – what has the party done for me? In 2012, we had a 20 year incumbent 79 year old US Senator running for reelection, sitting at a 49% approval rating. Not that the party made any real effort in fielding quality candidates. The candidate that they had shown some preference to, lost in the new California “Top 2” open primary system. Instead of embracing a young, eager female Republican Candidate who did place second, and who might have made some inroads against a stale, aging incumbent with middling approval ratings, the answer was “it won’t make a difference, she can’t win.”

– So who, exactly, has given up?

I refuse to be complicit with a party that treats me, and my state, as an ATM  to fund elections elsewhere, while abandoning our state. As long as there is cash in California, we will continue to hear from the National GOP – what we don’t hear are solutions. Solutions for our state and our nation. We don’t see candidates that are running for something, but candidates that are running against something. Or candidates that are simply running to win an election. Term-limited party retreads, jumping from  seat to seat between legislative houses, and then back down to County Boards, because they’ve exhausted the available supply of State-house seats.

Further, from RNC Treasurer Anthony Parker:

As the Treasure of the RNC, I know our Party’s success depends on grassroots supporters like you. So I am surprised and concerned we’ve not heard from you this year.

That’s a funny way of leveraging the grassroots – by accusing them of abandoning the Party. Besides, doesn’t a real grassroots effort drive the movement, and not the other way around?

And you have heard from me, Mr. Parker, you shouldn’t be surprised, but you should be concerned- every fund raising call or email I receive, I indicate that the Party system has failed me, failed my state, and has failed the nation. That I will support candidates, but not the party. What more do I have to explain to the Party so that everyone understands? Further, shouldn’t the Party be explaining to me where it has failed, and how it plans to improve?

–I hope you have not deserted the Party.

Who has deserted who now?

So to address the statement in your correspondence:

… the only things standing in the way of Barrack Obama fulfilling his radical “fundamental transformation” of America are you and the RNC.

I would respond, as the RNC did to our US Senatorial Candidate and the state GOP’s request for electoral assistance:

It won’t make a difference, you can’t win.

Grassroots enough for you?

National GOP and the California ATM: Or, how I learned to stop worrying, and love losing elections

National GOP and the California ATM: Or, how I learned to stop worrying, and love losing elections

bank-of-californiaI received a charming call from a national GOP fundraiser on Saturday asking me to ‘renew‘ my commitment to the National Party. I demurred, making certain that she understood that while I had contributed to the Presidential campaign in the general election, I was dissatisfied with the national party’s efforts across all fronts: Congressional, Senatorial, and the Presidential races. We lost seats in the House, didn’t gain any ground in the Senate, and of course lost the Presidential campaign.

Further, what was the national party doing for Republicans in California? Once again, we lost both Assembly and Senate seats, in fact falling so far as to gift wrap a Super Majority in both California Houses for Democrats. The national party did nothing – nothing – for Republican US Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken – with incumbent Dianne Feinstein sitting at below 50% in the polls, a modicum of effort *might* have narrowed the gap. The majority of Mrs. Emken’s electoral deficiencies were due to name recognition. Some state-wide TV spots could have gone a long way to making the race competitive.

Where was the national GOP?

Where was the National Republican Senatorial Committee? (well – they walked away, because the primary candidate they endorsed lost. They’ve got a stellar quite a track record!)

The knock on the GOP in California is that it is a party incapable of winning. An organization that is completely lost. And that’s a fair assessment. It might even be considerably worse than that. But why not try to fix it? Aw, it’s just too hard. Just give us your money, and we’ll make it work nationally!

And this is the tact that the fundraiser took with me. “We need your help to make sure that we take the gavel away from Harry Reid, and to protect the country from Nancy Pelosi!”

Well, certainly. But there are a lot of congressional seats in California that the party just lost. You want to stop Nancy Pelosi? Why don’t we try to run a candidate against her, and support that candidate?

But really what happens is that candidates breeze in, raise an obscene amount of money and then go enrich campaign professionals and advertising brokers. That’s where our money goes – not to change policy, but to make the careers of campaign staff and ad-men. And what changes for Californians? Nothing. Things get worse.

Then at the national level, the party is almost as ineffective. Why support that? Why not try to fix our state first, then go after the national level?

So my new policy is to support California candidates. I might be persuaded to support a national candidate, but not a national party or group.

Clearly the national party thinks California is lost – if they don’t want to help us in California, then let’s keep our money here, and at least try to fix it ourselves. You don’t help us, we don’t help you. We’re done being your ATM. Go get your money somewhere else.

Proclamation of the Bear Flag Revolt

Proclamation of the Bear Flag Revolt

800px-flag_of_californiasvg

How soon we forget:

To all persons, citizens of Sonoma, requesting them to remain at peace, and to follow their rightful occupations without fear of molestation.

The Commander in Chief of the Troops assembled at the Fortress of Sonoma gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California not found under arms that they shall not be disturbed in their persons, their property or social relations one to another by men under his command.

He also solemnly declares his object to be First, to defend himself and companions in arms who were invited to this country by a promise of Lands on which to settle themselves and families who were also promised a “republican government,” who, when having arrived in California were denied even the privilege of buying or renting Lands of their friends, who instead of being allowed to participate in or being protected by a “Republican Government” were oppressed by a “Military Despotism,” who were even threatened, by “Proclamation” from the Chief Officer of the aforesaid Despotism, with extermination if they would not depart our of the Country, leaving all of their property, their arms and beasts of burden, and thus deprived of the means of flight or defense. We were to be driven through deserts, inhabited by hostile Indians to certain destruction. To overthrow a Government which has seized upon the property of the Missions for its individual aggrandizement; which has ruined and shamefully oppressed the laboring people of California, by their enormous exactions on goods imported into this country; is the determined purpose of the brave men who are associated under his command.

He also solemnly declares his object in the Second place to be to invite all peaceable and good Citizens of California who are friendly to the maintenance of good order and equal rights (and I do hereby invite them to repair to my camp at Sonoma without delay) to assist us in establishing and perpetuating a “Republican Government” which shall secure to all: civil and religious liberty; which shall detect and punish crime; which shall encourage industry, virtue and literature; which shall leave unshackled by Fetters, Commerce, Agriculture, and Mechanism.

He further declares that he relies upon the rectitude of our intentions; the favor of Heaven and the bravery of those who are bound to and associated with him, by the principle of self preservation; by the love of truth; and by the hatred of tyranny for his hopes of success.

He further declares that he believes that a Government to be prosperous and happyfying in its tendency must originate with its people who are friendly to its existence. That its Citizens are its Guardians, its officers are its Servants, and its Glory their reward.

William B. Ide, Head Quarters Sonoma, June 15, 1846

firstbearflag

Are YOU ready for the fallout?

Are YOU ready for the fallout?

I’ve had this old song by Fastball clanging inside my head for a few weeks, because I had heard it for the first time in a good long while on blip.fm

And now it occurs to me that perhaps it might be an appropriate theme song for my home state of California, following the results of the May 19th Special Election.

Media folks everywhere are calling it a TAX REVOLT.

Er, sorry, a Tax Revolt took place when Prop 13 passed back in the 7os.

This was simply people fed up with Legislators and the Governor subjugating their sworn obligation to run the state, and asking us to bless their crackpot ideas of increasing taxes in a recession. The Spending limits so breathlessly praised in 1A were weak at best, and easily sidestepped at the whim of the Legislators who would just declare an ’emergency’ and spend what they wanted to spend anyway. It’s what they always do.

So, while not a tax revolt, the voters have asked that this crisis be fixed without increasing taxes.

A reckoning is at hand.

So here’s the song Are You Ready For The Fallout:

I was wondering how you’re feeling
I thought I saw you kneeling
And holding your gut last night
It looked like you were praying
But I heard someone saying
You had been in an awful fight
You get the worst of it everytime
Lashing out with no reason or rhyme
To lose all this rage, at so tender an age
Little baby growing up in a rat cage

Are you ready for the fallout?
Who you gonna call out?
When does it finally come to blows?
I think that you’re forgetting
The blood that you’ll be letting
Has a price on it, no one knows
You may be suffering in your sleep
You may be getting in way too deep
And you may not care for advice that I share
If you want it then I’ll be there

Soon you will learn how to swallow a tear
So when you’re old you can cry in your beer
Do you spit at the face staring back in the mirror?
Do you have any self respect?
Are you ready for the fallout?
Who you gonna call out?
When does it finally come to blows?
I think that you’re forgetting
The blood that you’ll be letting
Has a price on it, no one knows
You may be suffering in your sleep
You may be getting in way too deep
And you may not care for advice that I share
If you want it then I’ll be there

Soon you will learn how to swallow a tear
So when you’re old you can cry in your beer
Do you spit at the face staring back in the mirror?
Do you have any self respect?
Well what the hell did you expect?

Are you ready for the fallout?
Who you gonna call out?
When does it finally come to blows?
I think that you’re forgetting
The blood that you’ll be letting
Has a price on it, no one knows
You may be suffering in your sleep
You may be getting in way too deep
And you may not care for advice that I share
If you want it then I’ll be there

Are you ready for the fallout?
Who you gonna call out?