What Happened to California Republicans?

When you do not run candidates for 41 legislative seats out of 153 in 2018, how do you expect the Republican Party to be taken seriously?  How do you take a Party seriously when, as a State Party, they do not register voters for the past 6.5 years?  How do you take seriously a Party that has a Minority Leaders that gets others Republicans in the Assembly to vote for a massive Democrat tax increase—with lots of the new taxes going to the choo choo to nowhere?

“After three decades of radical progressivism, California residents are tiring of one-party straitjacket rule. The hard-liberal order normalized massive power blackouts, the nation’s highest array of taxes, the forest mismanagement that fuels deadly fires, an epidemic of homelessness in major cities, eroding schools, ossified infrastructure, and soaring energy costs.

The final irony?

Those most hurt—and growing the most angry—are the immigrants who once fled to a different California that now no longer exists.

For most of the past six years, the Party did no talk radio, few interviews, no major pronouncements about policy.  To be viable the leadership has to be articulate and credible.  The Legislative Leaders, Sen. Grove and Assemblywoman Waldron fit the bill—but it takes more.  It is possible that the 2020 election will be the last one where the GOP is relevant—only by the volunteers doing the job can it continue as an important part of the political landscape.  Happily, the counties have formed an Alliance to do the work of the Party.  Volunteers in numerous groups are doing the ground work.  Folks supporting President Trump, over 100 leaders, are forming a statewide network to help the President.

Volunteers, without support or direction from others are doing the job.  California will be saved—by the volunteers.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

What Happened to California Republicans?

Victor Davis Hanson, Daily Signal,  11/14/19 

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and author of the book “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.” You can reach him by e-mailing [email protected]

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 congressional seats are held by Republicans.

In 1994, then-Gov. Pete Wilson backed Proposition 187, which denied state social services to undocumented immigrants. The spin goes that it backfired, alienated the Hispanic community, and thus marked the road to Republican perdition.

Not quite.

Prop 187 passed with 59% support. Wilson’s endorsement of the bill helped its passage, and his support of it aided his landslide 1994 reelection. Among minority voters, 52% of Asian and African American voters supported Proposition 187. Some 27% of Latinos voted for it.

Liberal groups immediately sued in federal court. Just three days after the measure passed, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing Proposition 187 from going into effect. A month later, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer issued a permanent injunction. Prop 187 never became law.

In effect, two judges nullified the wishes of more than 5 million California voters.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had supported Prop 187. Yet in 2003 he was elected governor. So what caused the Republican demise?

Ironically, radical changes in California demography may have been brought about by Prop 187—but not in the way many people think.

The state’s population has increased by nearly 10 million in the last quarter century. Yet the growth has been marked by the exodus of some and larger influxes of others.

When Prop 187 passed, there were an estimated 1.5 million undocumented immigrants statewide. In the 25 years since, millions of others have entered the state, and the current number of those still undocumented exceeds 3 million.

Some 27% of current California residents were not born in the U.S. Traditionally, first-generation immigrants favor larger, not smaller, government.

A cynic might argue that once a federal judge allowed undocumented immigrants to enjoy the full array of state services and entitlements, there were incentives for millions of other immigrants to enter the U.S. illegally, and California in particular.

Statistics suggest they did just that—often to the chagrin of Democratic politicians, the United Farm Workers, and other liberal groups who worried about the negative effects of illegal immigration on entry-level wages, unionization, and poor citizens’ access to overtaxed social services.

Oddly, conservative businesspeople were likely to favor permissive immigration policies in hopes of finding an ample supply of low-cost laborers while simultaneously diminishing the power of unions.

A technological revolution sparked a lucrative Silicon Valley renaissance. Suddenly, coastal California became one of the wealthiest corridors in the history of the planet. Big Tech drew in hundreds of thousands of hip young workers eager to come to California and join what was thought to be a global revolution.

Silicon Valley was seen as a uniquely progressive corporate paradise where one could get rich and stay woke all at once. Most techies supported big government, higher taxes, and open borders, and had the money and wherewithal to not worry much about the ensuing costs and the catastrophic results for others.

By the turn of the century, the California treasury was relying on the tech industry for an enormous share of the taxes to fund its massive expansion of state services—and politicians often bowed to Big Tech’s political wishes.

As taxes climbed, schools eroded and funds for infrastructure were diverted elsewhere, millions of middle-class Californians fled. The total numbers of this continuing exodus are still in dispute. Many left in despair over climbing gas, sales, and income taxes that seemed to worsen rather than improve state infrastructure and services.

This tripartite demographic revolution proved disastrous for the Republican Party. The GOP lost much of its base to other states. Many conservative voters left for small-government, low-tax alternatives. Republican efforts to reduce taxes, limit some abortions, and fund additional roads and dams had little appeal to the new gentry classes on the coast.

Will there ever again be a viable California Republican Party?

After three decades of radical progressivism, California residents are tiring of one-party straitjacket rule. The hard-liberal order normalized massive power blackouts, the nation’s highest array of taxes, the forest mismanagement that fuels deadly fires, an epidemic of homelessness in major cities, eroding schools, ossified infrastructure, and soaring energy costs.

The final irony?

Those most hurt—and growing the most angry—are the immigrants who once fled to a different California that now no longer exists.

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.


  1. When well heeled Republicans who have the ability to take time to run for City councils do not do so what does that say about people and backbone.

    When businessmen who state they are conservative will not donate minimal amounts to fund a county party after being told what is at statke if they do not, what does that say about backbone.

    When wealthy trust fund types that call themselves Conservatives refuse to fund NGO 501.c.3’s that they can write off but watch as their counter parts on the Socialist left give millions to anti car the global warming crowd what does that say about backbone.

    Get it?

    A $1,000 a year to a non-profit speaking the truth to the Socialist lies by 100 businesses that are being hurt by the Left allows an ongoing PR campaign against them…. When they walk away what does that say about backbone?

    Getting the idea yet? We have the ability to fight but our side has decided the social side of not being invited to events is more important then backbone.

  2. John Steele says

    Look at the people who are running the party.. They are ALL RINO’s and when they had the opportunity to elect Steven Frank.. a REAL conservative, they balked and went RINO with identity politics and elected a Spanish woman to counter the demorats. They havn’t run a voter outreach in years, they don’t spend any money on the main candidates, the LA GOP didn’t spend any money on LA candidates but gave the money to other state candidates.. They don’t fight on obviously easy issues etc.. Why would I support them. It’s flushing money down a hole. I will not support them until they elect solid candidates like Mr. Frank to run the party. They roll over and play dead at the slightest hint of criticism.

  3. Terry L Gherardi says

    Thank you Steve, for your effort. Every Republican in every county must look to themselves to register & educate voters. This week, El Dorado County Republican Central Committee has a drive-thru recall petition & voter registration drive, thanks to a local businessman. Reach out to businesses & talk to them about the effort underway to repeal their property tax protection. Let people know that if you are a Trump supporter that unless you are a registered Republican, you will not be able to vote for President Trump or Vice President Pence in the 2020 March Primary. We not only have to Recall Newsom, we have to find and vote for good Republicans or No Party Preference, other American Independent, etc., to run for State Assembly & Senate. We have to vote out the Super Majority Democrats that occupy the 120 seats of the State Legislature.

    Official website of true petition. (There is a second one which is to take singature power from the initial petition.)
    Consider becoming a volunteer to forward this effort.

  5. CRP can not come back. People are just not motivated to support the party enough any longer. I believe it will be easier for conservative candidates to win by running with the new America First Party.

    Chad Mayes has started his own party while still being tolerated by Republican Party. So, should be an easy path for America First candidates.

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