End the Democrat Monopoly By Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer

I started in politics in 1960, walking precincts for Richard Nixon for President.  I have seen lots of changes in the attitude and values of Americans and Californians.  Who would have suspected in 1966 when Reagan ran for Governor (I worked on his campaign) that UCLA and other California UC schools would have segregated dorms—like the old South?

Why am I a Republican?  Because since 1960 the Democrat Party stood for special interests, the bullying of workers (unions) and Jim Crow laws in the South and today we have affirmative action, quotas’ and study halls in schools just for one color of student—just like the old South.

Republicans in California and nationwide are in the middle of a debate for the heart, soul and future of the Republican Party.  We see that in the lack of action in D.C. on the repeal of Obamacare and tax reform.  In California we see it when the GOP Assembly Leader and six others of his Caucus vote for a 63 cent tax increase on gas.

We are told by some, stick to your principles and values.  Others say we have to modernize out thoughts and votes.  San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave a speech last night to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.  I had asked his staff for an editorial by the Mayor to explain how he sees the future of the Republican Party based on his speech.

What do you think?  Agree, disagree?  Let the debate begin.  Please add your views to the comment section of this article on the website—go to www.capoliticalreview, then click on California Political News and the banner—go to the bottom of the article and give your comments.

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End the Democrat Monopoly By Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer

Editorial by San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  8/15/17

As a big city Republican mayor in a deep blue state, I am certainly an anomaly in U.S. politics today. Folks visiting America’s Finest City can go to the San Diego Zoo to see the endangered pandas and then visit San Diego City Hall to see one of the last elected California Republicans. But our shrinking population only highlights the fact that California needs a vibrant, competitive Republican Party now more than ever. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or an independent, it’s clear that we need new ideas in Sacramento.

It’s time for California Republicans to return our focus to the people of this state. If we become the party that moves beyond the echo chambers of Sacramento and works for the average Californian, we will be in step with the residents we want to serve.

This isn’t going to be easy with Washington shaking up the political world on a daily basis. But the California GOP doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the national GOP. Each state is a unique laboratory of democracy, and California Republicans need to create a party tailored to the people of California.

With only 38 representatives in the 120-seat state Legislature and no statewide officeholders, it’s clear that the California GOP is in dire need of change. The timing couldn’t be better, because the people of our state need a changing of the guard.

California is divided. We are split between the few who are wealthy, and the majority who are either struggling to stay in the middle class or working their tails off to move into it. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation when you factor in the high cost of living. Extreme financial hardship is nearly twice as likely for minority households. Two out of three Californians cannot afford a median-priced home.

How did it get this way? Because Sacramento is gripped by a partisan monopoly that has eliminated competition, accountability and new ideas.

Without any real challenge from California Republicans, Democratic politicians have developed a stranglehold on our state that is choking the very people that they claim to protect. Sacramento has become a mini-D.C. where serving the special interests of Big Labor and Big Business matters more than serving Californians.

This represents an opportunity for the California GOP to get back in the game. I’m calling on my fellow Republicans to join together to forge a California Republican Party that is focused first and foremost on fixing California. A party that is representative, realistic and responsible:

We must be representative of the people of California – by building a party connected not by identity politics, but by common ideas. We must be realistic about the challenges facing the middle class and our state – like school reform, housing, climate change and infrastructure repair. And in contrast to the current culture in Sacramento, we must lead responsibly – by standing up to entrenched special interests and bringing honest reform to Sacramento.

This is a new vision for a New California Republican Party. Here are five ways we can get there – and move our state forward.

First, New California Republicans must stand for freedom – freedom of thought, of religion, of sexual orientation. New California Republicans must return to being the leaders who let you find your calling, run your business, live your life, and speak your mind – even on college campuses.

Not only is individual liberty part of California’s heritage, it’s a classic conservative principle. Today’s Democratic Party often treats people as symbols. We must treat people as fellow Californians.  When we speak with voters in their language – and on their turf – we will win.  Second, New California Republicans must stand with American immigrants – and offer new Americans a welcoming home in the party. We cannot ignore the issue of illegal immigration. Doing so would mean ignoring those immigrants who follow our nation’s laws. We must push for efficient ports of entry and get smarter about border security. At the same time, we must be more vocal about the economic and cultural contributions immigrants make to California.

Third, New California Republicans must stand for a healthy environment. Republicans are the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the father of American conservation, who recognized our obligation to protect our natural resources. In the words of our 26th President, “Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the nation.” We should be proud to offer our own plans to preserve our environment – plans that don’t plunder the middle class.

Fourth, New California Republicans must be brilliant at the basics. Our state’s roads, waterways and public amenities are in rough shape – and being ignored by Democrats. It’s time to demand our state leaders focus on running California rather than chasing the latest soundbite out of Washington, D.C. It seems that each day Democrats serve up a new pie-in-the-sky ideological pronouncement – not to solve the everyday problems facing Californians, but to offer their base a partisan sugar high.

We have the nation’s second highest gas tax but some of the worst roads, with no guarantees that the taxes we pay at the pump will actually go toward fixing the problem. Republicans must get back to the fundamentals of government services by focusing on fixing our crumbling infrastructure and rebuilding California for the next century – without raising taxes.

Lastly, New California Republicans must always fight for reform. Our state desperately needs it. California ranks in the bottom 20 percent of K-12 schools nationwide; dead last in housing affordability in the continental U.S.; and rates as the worst state for business – 50th out of 50.

This is what you get when elected officials spend more time with lobbyists than with their own constituents. The middle class doesn’t have lobbyists who grant them exclusive access to power. But special interests do, and they have the profits to prove it – while our small businesses, housing and schools suffer.

But the biggest problem comes from Big Labor, which has devised a pension crisis that is silently looming over California. We’re also looking down the barrel of $175 billion dollars in statewide pension debt. Unsustainable pensions are crowding out the budget, leaving our schools, streets and social services gasping for air. The toxic alliance between Democrats, union bosses and their lobbyists must be broken.

But the Democrats in charge have rejected reform and chosen to embrace the broken status quo. This provides California Republicans the opportunity to be the party of change. But we have to earn that label. Republicans must take on all special interests, including Big Labor but also Big Business, when they put their interests ahead of the public good.

I want a Republican Party that can win across the state again. And I want a Sacramento that works for California again. When California is no longer gripped by a partisan monopoly, Californians will reap the benefits of new ideas to solve our biggest challenges.

Let’s proudly build on the conservative principles that once led our state to prosperity. If we unify the factions within our ranks, we can – and will – break up the Democratic empire presiding over Sacramento.

It’s a long road ahead, and laying out this new vision is a first step. Mine is just one voice of a mayor who loves this state; we will need more voices in 2018 and beyond. But if California Republicans stand for these ideals, California’s voters will stand with them.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.