GOPers who backed ‘cap and trade’ likely to face more fallout

Brian DahleChad Mayes of Yucca Valley is out as Assembly Republican leader, replaced last week by Assemblyman Brian Dahle of Bieber. But the fallout may continue over the decision of Mayes and six other GOP Assembly members to provide Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, with the votes necessary to save the state’s cap-and-trade program on July 17.

Mayes touted the GOP support as helpful in rebranding the party with young voters worried about climate change and emphasized the concession he won from Brown and Rendon, which could make it possible for the Legislature to effectively scrap the state’s troubled high-speed rail project in 2024. But the votes infuriated many Republicans for betraying the party’s core anti-tax, anti-regulation beliefs and for allowing a handful of Assembly Democrats in swing seats to avoid having to vote to extend cap and trade until 2030.

Under the program, businesses buy permits for emission rights. Because of fears that courts would find the permit fees were tantamount to taxes, Brown wanted two-thirds votes in the Legislature to ensure cap and trade’s extension would be on solid legal ground under Proposition 13. Thanks to the votes of Assembly Republicans Mayes, Catharine Baker of San Ramon, Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, Jordan Cunningham of San Luis Obispo, Heath Flora of Ripon, Devin Mathis of Visalia and Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga, Brown got 55 votes for the extension, one more than he needed.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, a San Francisco lawyer who is one of the state’s members on the Republican National Committee, told the Los Angeles Times that Mayes shouldn’t be the only one held accountable for preserving cap and trade.

“Now, given the fact that six of these [Republican lawmakers] did vote for a massive tax increase, Republicans are going to be very vigilant about these issues,” she said. The state GOP voted earlier this month to ask Mayes to step down at Dhillon’s behest.

Another RNC state delegate – former state GOP chair Shawn Steel – also blasted Republicans who sided with Brown on cap-and-trade.

Mayes, Baker, Chavez, Cunningham, Flora, Mathis, Steinorth and state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto – the only GOP Senate vote to extend cap and trade – are likely to face heat from conservatives in their re-election bids or in seeking other elective posts. Conversely, they could also attract support from moderate and independent voters, given the popularity of environmental causes among state voters.

New GOP leader wants no more cap-and-trade recriminations

But new Assembly GOP leader Dahle – a 51-year-old seed business owner and farmer and former Lassen County supervisor – wants to the put the cap-and-trade flap behind.

“There are 24 other members of this caucus and they all have different views,” he told reporters Thursday after Mayes stepped down. “There are people in our caucus who voted their conscience for their district, and I support those who did that. In my case it didn’t work in my district, so I was opposed to that.”

Mayes, 40, was first elected to the Assembly in 2014 and began as GOP leader in January 2016. While now under fire from conservatives, he could someday be remembered as the man who killed the bullet train – the state project that’s as unpopular among California Republicans as cap and trade.

As part of the cap-and-trade deal, Mayes got Democrats to agree to put a constitutional amendment he wrote before state voters in June 2018. Under the unusual measure, if voters gave the go-ahead, there would be a vote in 2024 by the Legislature on whether to continue to allow cap-and-trade revenue to fund the $68 billion project – with two-thirds support necessary to continue funding.

Brown and bullet-train backers are counting on cap-and-trade fees to increase in coming years and to keep the project viable. So far, the California High-Speed Rail Agency has been unable to attract outside investors to help pay for a statewide system, and federal funding dried up after Republicans took control of the House in 2010.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

San Diego mayor hopes to lead state GOP out of its morass

Kevin Faulconer 2SACRAMENTO – Even Republicans admit the state GOP is something of a rudderless ship these days. The party doesn’t control any constitutional offices. Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley, is the target of a grassroots effort to force him from his leadership post after he backed a Democratic bill to expand the cap-and-trade system for 10 years.

Meanwhile, the national Republican Party has become anathema to ethnically diverse California, especially after President Donald Trump doubled down on his initial comments about Saturday’s white-supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Tuesday, the president assured the media that there were some “very fine people on both sides” at the protests. Yes, the California party’s predicament is dismal, especially from a recruitment standpoint.

Yet Tuesday night, one prominent GOP official detailed a positive direction for the party. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says he isn’t running for governor, but gave a major speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco regarding the future of the California Republican Party. He wasn’t there “to offer suggestions about what we ought to do,” he said. “I’m here to tell Republicans what we’ve already done in San Diego.”

He described it as a call to action – an opportunity to rebuild the party centered on the theme of “fixing California.” Faulconer detailed five themes on which the party should unite as a way to win over new generations of voters. The first of them involves freedom. “Not only is individual liberty part of California’s heritage, it’s a classic conservative principle – one that Republicans have watered down to our own detriment,” he said. “People have stopped seeing the GOP as the party of freedom. They see it as the party of ‘no.’”

He even singled out a freedom theme that could be controversial in a socially conservative party: freedom of sexual orientation. But he contrasted his vision with that of the Democratic Party, “which has organized itself around the proposition that an individual’s most defining qualities are gender, sexuality and race.” He calls that a party based on differences, whereas he envisions a “New Republican Party” built around a set of common ideas.

“One of our biggest failures is that Republicans do not communicate our shared values to underrepresented communities,” Faulconer said. He pointed to his successful San Diego mayoral race: “Facing a Hispanic candidate in a city where just 25 percent of voters are registered Republican, I won more than 57 percent of the total vote – and close to 40 percent of the Latino vote. … Why? Because I campaigned in communities Republicans wrote off as lost – and Democrats took for granted.”

His second theme involved immigration. Faulconer said that Republicans are doing a poor job inviting new Americans to join the party of freedom and limited government. In fact, he said he wouldn’t even need to give such a speech if the GOP weren’t failing at that message. He called for welcoming immigrants, while acknowledging that the party can’t ignore the issue of illegal immigration. “We must push for efficient ports of entry and get smarter about border security,” the mayor said, while emphasizing the importance of treating nearby Mexico as “neighbors and economic partners.”

Faulconer’s third theme involved the environment, about engaging responsibly on conservation and climate-change issues with “plans that don’t plunder the middle class.” He again used his city as an example. “San Diego is now on a path to slash greenhouse gases in half and shift to 100 percent renewable energy – without a tax increase,” he said.

His fourth theme is for California leaders to focus on California issues, rather than “chasing the latest soundbite out of Washington, D.C.” He chided Sacramento Democrats, who he says “are suffering from what I like to call ‘outrage FOMO’ – a Fear Of Missing Out on the latest controversy that will allow them to score political points on social media and TV.” By contrast, Faulconer said the “New Republicans” need to focus on “the fundamentals of government service.”

That includes infrastructure. “The fact that 50 percent of California’s roadways are in poor condition is an absolute failure,” he said. “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.” But, for his fifth and final point, he focused on the overall need for “reform.” This theme involved the role of the state’s powerful unions in resisting reform.

“Too often Sacramento politicians are unwilling to say ‘no’ to entrenched special interests – at our expense,” he said. “California ranks in the bottom 20 percent of K-12 schools nationwide. Yet Democrats continue to side with unions against meaningful changes to improve student achievement.” He noted that “California falls dead-last in housing affordability in the continental United States” but “Democrats are blocking revisions to housing rules that were designed to protect the environment but that labor has hijacked for its own gain.”

He noted that California was “rated the worst state for business” because “lawmakers keep layering regulation on top of regulation until budding entrepreneurs are crushed, and only the biggest businesses survive.” He also pointed to the state’s massive pension debt and, again, used San Diego as an example, given that city’s successful voter-approved pension reform.

These reform themes echo talking points Republican leaders have traditionally made. And he was predictably pointed in his critique of Democrats, noting that their policies have resulted in “economic inequality; troubled schools; sky-high housing costs; failing infrastructure; and crippling pension debt.” Those problems have festered, he added, while Sacramento “pursues the kind of political fantasies that grip a party when it gains complete and total control.” But his approach signified a break from typical Republican efforts.

To break that one-party control, Mayor Faulconer’s blueprint focuses heavily on repackaging the party’s long-held ideas and reaching out to communities that the party hasn’t successfully appealed to in the past. He envisions a day “when San Francisco’s Republican mayor is standing before you, she isn’t talking about how California Republicans are endangered, but rather how we are ushering in a government that is uniting our people and looking out for the middle class.” It’s a bold challenge for a party that seems to be collapsing, but his ideas received a warm reception.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

California Democrats outspend GOP in primary races

VotingWhile maintaining a marked edge in legislative representation across the state, California Democrats notched a different but familiar distinction against Republicans in the 2016 election cycle, new data showed. Consistent with the results of previous races since the implementation of the so-called “jungle primary” law, Democrats spent far more in intra-party primary races than did GOP candidates. The pattern also held in contests for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

High-cost competition

Under the current primary system, all registered voters can participate in a single “open” primary including all candidates regardless of party identification. The top two vote winners then square off in a general run-off election. Last year, according to tabulations made by Forward Observer, Democrats spent a total of $91,518,355 on 23 same-party races – 11 in the state Assembly, five in the state Senate and seven in the House, for an average of $3,979,059 per race. That compared starkly to the $2,784,596 spent by Republicans over four same-party races for state Assembly seats, an average of just $696,149.

Fundraising among the two parties reflected the lopsided totals. Altogether, the Democrat candidates contending for the 11 Assembly seats “raised $49.4 million including independent expenditures, for an average of approximately $4.5 million per race,” Forward Observer noted.

Among Democrats vying for one of the five same-party state Senate seats up for grabs last year, “candidates raised $23.3 million including independent expenditures, for an average of approximately $4.6 million per race,” while those pursuing one of the seven same-party races for seats in the House of Representatives “raised $33.9 million including independent expenditures, for an average of $2.7 million per race.”

Unexpected consequences

For Democrats, therefore, the cost of winning seats has climbed steadily under the nonpartisan blanket primary system passed as Proposition 14 by California voters in 2010 – increasing by about $3 million from 2012 to 2014, then by more than $37 million from 2014 to 2016.

“Since the first implementation of Prop. 14 in the 2012 election cycle, there have been a total of 80 same-party races in California for seats in the state Senate, Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives – 60 races between Democrats and 20 between Republicans,” the Forward Observer report summarized. “In total, Democrats have spent a total of $197.4 million on same-party races since Prop. 14 first went into effect in 2012, compared to $34.5 million spent by Republicans. Democrats have thus spent $5.72 on same-party races for every dollar spent or raised by Republicans.”

Prop. 14 was billed as a way to help ensure greater quality and competition among candidates without regard to party affiliation and, implicitly, with a mitigating effect on large campaign war chests. But for Democrats, the new system has had the more pronounced effect on pitting party members against one another at cost – neither clearing the field for dominant candidates who can win clean or uncontested victories on the cheap, nor giving upstart or insurgent candidates a clear opportunity to shift power away from established or establishment-backed contenders. “In nine of the 28 same-party races in 2012 election cycle, the second-place primary finisher won in the general election,” the report noted. “In six of the 25 races same-party races in the 2014 election cycle, the second primary finisher won.” Showing a similarly disproportionate ratio, second-placers scored general election victories in just six of the 2016 cycle’s 27 same-party races.

In fact, over the past three election cycles, primary winners have fared better and better on the whole against their second-place rivals, whether despite their increased campaign fundraising and spending or because of it. The ratio of victorious second-placers decreased from nearly a third to about a fourth to just over a fifth.

GOP Gains in California May Not Be as Implausible as Commonly Believed

CA GOP

Chairman Jim Brulte leads a meeting at the California Republican Party convention.

It almost qualifies as one of the more unexpected headlines in recent memory. “CAN THE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY BOUNCE BACK IN 2018?” asked the Los Angeles Times in late February. Who would expect the GOP ever to re-emerge in California? Yet that such a question was even asked by a member of the state’s single-party media is meaningful. Maybe something is stirring within this seemingly permanent minority.

A mere stir won’t be enough, though: the political equivalent of a Home Depot paint mixer will be required. The Golden State is the deepest blue of the 20 states that Hillary Clinton won: 62 percent of California voters cast their ballots for her, the highest percentage of any state. Using data from the IBD/TIPP poll, Investor’s Business Daily’s John Merline wrote in December that “if you take California out of the popular vote equation, then (Donald) Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5 percent wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie.”

Not that this outcome was any great surprise. California has been a one-party state for what seems like a geologic era. The only chamber of the state Legislature that hasn’t been under Democratic Party control in the last four decades is the Senate. The GOP held it by a slim two seats in 1995–1996. The last time the Republicans held at least one chamber before that was in 1969–1970, when Ronald Reagan was governor and the GOP had two-seat majorities in both the Assembly and Senate. Since Reagan’s stint in Sacramento, there have been three Republican governors (and was Arnold Schwarzenegger truly a Republican?) and three Democratic governors (including Jerry Brown twice). Only six Republicans, one of them Schwarzenegger, have held statewide seats since 1998. Democrats have held 23.

It’s a similar story with California’s representation in Congress. The House of Representatives has been prime Democratic property since the late 1950s, with a 26-26 tie in the state’s congressional delegation in 1995–1996 being the only exception. Since then, the spread has increased steadily to reach 38 Democrats, 14 Republicans, and one vacant seat — that of Xavier Becerra, now the state’s attorney general — though some might say that the real attorney general is Eric Holder, the former Obama AG hired by the Legislature to lead the state’s Trump resistance. California has not sent a Republican to the Senate since Pete Wilson, having won the governorship, appointed John Seymour to serve the final two years (1991-1992) of his term in Washington.

Only 27.3 percent of California voters are registered as Republicans. That’s the smallest sliver for the GOP since 1980, the year of the Reagan revolution. Republicans have even lost San Bernardino County, a longtime GOP stronghold in California’s flyover country, with registered Democrats there now outnumbering Republicans.

Republicans deserve a healthy portion of the blame for their marginalization. In the early 2000s, they colluded with Democrats to redraw districts in a scheme that ensures that few seats are competitive and for the most part gives both parties perpetual possession of the seats they hold. This makes it nigh-on impossible for Republicans to unseat Democratic politicians.

And too often, Republicans are hard to distinguish from Democrats anyway. Stephen Frank, an editor for the California Political Review, complained a few years ago that the GOP establishment has “run candidates without serious ideology — except the desire to win election,” and recalled a 2013 legislative surrender in which Democrats got the votes they needed in Sacramento from the GOP to extend $2.3 billion a year in vehicle taxes. More recently, Frank said that if “you stand for nothing” as a party, “you’ll cease to exist.”

Democrats have the state sewn up not only through their safe districts but also through a constituent bloc that will vote them back into office again and again. Those on the lower end of the economic ladder tend to support Democrats and their redistributionist agenda. In 2014, Pew Research showed that 51 percent of Californians earning less than $30,000 a year are Democrats or lean toward the party (22 percent are Republicans/leans); 53 percent earning between $30,000 and $49,999 a year are Democrats/leans (30 percent are Republicans/leans). In return for their party loyalty, the poor Californians who vote Democratic are robbed of economic opportunities by Blue State public policy.

Those at the top also have a role in perpetuating Democratic power. Pew says that 49 percent of Californians earning more than $100,000 annually are Democrats or lean that way, while only 39 percent identify with the GOP. According to Political Data Inc., the gap closes somewhat for those earning more than $500,000 a year. But Democrats still hold a 38-33 edge there.

Given these facts, it’s baffling why anyone, even the most optimistic Republican operative, could imagine that the party might “bounce back” in California. The reason for many is simple: Donald Trump. These Republicans believe that they can emulate on the state level what Trump achieved nationally. One key to the GOP’s resurgence lies in between the economic extremes that support the Democrats and is primarily inland from the posh coastal districts. It’s a shrinking middle class at odds with the ruling party over water, climate, energy production, immigration, infrastructure priorities, housing, economic policies and the environment. Enough polarization exists to lead some to believe that the state needs to be split — not in two parts but in six.

Frank believes that the state’s minorities can also play a role if the Republican Party has the courage to show them how Democrats have “destroyed their hopes” and condemned them to “poverty and dependence.”

Some Democrats are considering the possibility that the Trump phenomena could carry over to California. “If we didn’t get a wake-up call from what happened in the rest of the country, then shame on us,” David Townsend, a Democratic strategist, told Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton after the election. Skelton, no Republican apologist, acknowledged that Democrats have been “paying little attention to the middle class.”

So maybe there is an opening. As GOP consultant Ray McNally told Skelton, “power really does corrupt,” which could mean that the Democrats, with all their raw political muscle in California, are vulnerable to making the fatal mistakes that can happen when politicians believe they’ve become too powerful to pay for the consequences of their actions.

California GOP moves to align with Donald Trump policies

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

The California Republican Party moved Sunday into greater alignment with President Donald Trump, approving resolutions opposing sanctuary cities, advocating robust vetting of citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations and supporting a swift repeal of the federal healthcare overhaul.

Delegates to the state party, meeting in Sacramento for their annual spring convention, also voted to reaffirm their aversion for tax and fee increases proposed as part of the state’s 2017-18 budget.

The resolutions, drafted with the help of longtime conservative activist Steve Frank, come as Republicans labor to identify common ground with Trump as some of their officials continue to distance themselves from his more controversial stances and statements.

All four proposals were adopted with no discussion.

The move represents a departure of sorts for a party that has tried to grow its shrinking ranks by adopting a more inclusive tone. …

Click here to read the full article

 

The GOP Needs to Improve Its Marketing Skills

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

California is now a one-party state, with Democrats having a supermajority in both the state Assembly and Senate.

How is it that the GOP can’t adequately explain to California residents that our ideas are better? Why is it that Republicans can’t convince Californians that our solutions will bring prosperity and a better life for everyone, Democrats included? The fact is that Republicans in California are poor marketers. We have a great product but don’t know how to sell it.

We need to learn how to market it. You can manufacture a great widget that will do incredible things, including saving people tons of money. But if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t make any sales, even if it is better than sliced bread.

The blame is not completely with the Republican Party. Selling our ideas is only one of the ways we can improve our standing with California voters. We have many obstacles in California. The populous cities of the state are predominantly filled with secular progressives who aren’t interested in limited government, lower taxes and a better business environment. The unions run the Democrat Party and they and multi-millionaire Democrats provide funding to Democrats and their candidates that Republicans can only dream about. It isn’t easy to overcome the Democrat funding, no matter how well we sell our ideas.

Also, the Democrats have been very successful over the past several decades in convincing voters that Republicans are heartless, racist, misogynist and white supremacists, without compassion, and who are essentially evil. We have let them get away with that and have done very little to counter those false charges.

We also need to get active in the inner cities and show the African American community that we care about them. We do, but saying so means nothing compared to getting into the communities and actually doing something to help their community.

We have been active in the Latino community, and have several Latino-American elected officials and party leaders. Programs like the Grow Elect program are doing great things in the Latino community, and state and local leaders like Mario Guerra, Jack Guerrero, Ignacio Velazquez, Alex Vargas and others are making a big difference in the Latino community. We need to do more to show Latinos that their future and the prosperity for their families lies with the Republican Party.

With the supermajority now in the Legislature, one way we can make a public relations difference is to propose legislation that will benefit Californians. Go the the extremes. Eliminate the carbon tax, reduce stifling regulations on business, propose lowering taxes. Of course, none of these bills will pass, but we can then issue press releases that Republicans are trying to make life better for Californians by submitting important bills that are being voted down by Democrats. Let’s learn how to use the press and public relations. In the next two years let’s see if we can convince Californians to try voting for Republicans. Let’s convince the voters that they have nothing to lose, and might have everything to gain.

I know we can do it.

By Gary Aminoff, Treasurer, The Republican Party of Los Angeles County

Trump Reality Sets in for California Republicans

As reported by the L.A. Daily News:

Even though it was presumptive and even though the result appeared to be a foregone conclusion for some time, it became unofficially official for Republicans Thursday — Donald Trump reached the delegate total needed to become the Republican presidential nominee.

Jim Lacy missed being able to congratulate Trump in person by just one day.

The at-large California delegate from Orange County met him backstage at the candidate’s Anaheim rally Wednesday, got to shake his hand and told him “You’re the man” before posing for a photo.

“I was hoping I could’ve been the delegate that put him over the top when winning California,” Lacy said. “But I was still delighted with the news.”

Trump, the man who built his …

Click here to read the full story

GOP Convention: Presidential Candidates Talk Jobs, Economy

Donald TrumpEconomy and jobs are the top issues for Americans and Californians in most polls so how did the Republican presidential candidates address those issues when speaking at the California GOP convention over the weekend?

TRUMP

Successful businessman Donald Trump probably spent the least time during his speech talking about jobs and the economy.

He recalled when he announced for the presidency last June his motivation was driven by bad trade deals. He said the United States made the worst deals of any country. He railed against NAFTA, telling the audience that the trade deal “emptied out your state.”

Trump responding to critics who say he is not conservative when it comes to trade policy declared, “Who cares, we have to strengthen our country. I’m conservative on trade, free trade, I love it, but our leaders don’t make good deals.”

He even put a business example to use in keeping up a drumbeat against his GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Referring to a reported deal the two made to concentrate their efforts in states where each might fare better in an attempt to stall Trump’s march to the nomination, Trump called the pact “collusion.” In the business world the two would go to jail for collusion, he said, in politics they can do whatever they want.

Poking at the stop Trump strategy, the New Yorker said of Cruz and Kasich’s pact, ‘How are they going to deal with China when they put together unworkable deals like this?’

But, Trump was a boon for some entrepreneurs–setting up parking away from the hotel. Notice the sign says: Trump Parking. Not GOP Convention parking. No other candidates mentioned. Trump Parking. That worked for all sides–both supporters and protestors could find a place to park in the nearby lot.

KASICH

Governor John Kasich revealed big news for his campaign, especially in California, when he announced he received the endorsement of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He said that was the organization’s first presidential endorsement in 36 years.

Kasich said America’s greatest crisis is lack of economic growth citing the recent announcement of weak Gross Domestic Product growth of .5% in the first quarter of the year. Kasich said he worried about people climbing out of poverty or strengthening the middle class with such slow economic growth.

Economic growth, he said, gives an opportunity to those who live in the shadows. Turning the economy around means less national debt, which leads to more job opportunity. Debt goes up, job opportunity goes down, he said. Debt goes down, job opportunity goes up.

Kasich spent time relating to middle class workers, speaking of his grandfather who worked in the mines, his mailman father, and thinking of the people in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania who worked in the mills and lost jobs.

CRUZ

Senator Ted Cruz probably spent the greatest portion of his speech on jobs and the economy than any of the presidential contenders—not surprising since his campaign handed out campaign placards with jobs listed first under Cruz’s name.

Cruz said jobs and economic growth were his “number one priority.”

The Texas senator even allowed a Democratic icon into his address to support his approach—as long as a larger-than-life Republican icon accompanied that Democrat.

Cruz hailed presidents Ronald Reagan and John F Kennedy for cutting taxes to promote new jobs and economic growth.

Cruz said federal regulations are like locusts for farmers, ranchers and small businesses killing jobs. He promised to lift government off the back of small business.

He also put a California spin on his approach to jobs and the economy complaining about the loss of water to farmers because of environmental concerns over the delta smelt fish. He noted that 17,000 farm jobs were lost with Hispanic workers thrown out of work because of misguided regulations.

Hailing his choice for vice-president, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, particularly on economic issues, Cruz said she understands the domestic economy and she understands where jobs come from.

CONTRADICTIONS AND CONVENTION NOTES

There is always some head scratching and seeming contradictions in these types of gatherings. Some comments might just need further explanations but a few worthy of note:

Since we are speaking of the economy, Senator Ted Cruz, promoting Republican ideas to boost the economy, said that California survived and thrived in face of Democratic mismanagement year in and year out.

Trump preached party unity during his speech while also tearing down his opponents and by extension, those candidates’ supporters in the room.

The hate demonstrated by Stop Hate protestors in front of the hotel.

Trump, of course, talked about the wall he hopes to build along the Mexican border. Little did he know he would have to maneuver around a (much shorter) wall to get into the hotel. CalBuzz was on the trail of Trump’s wall adventure. Check out their investigation here.

LOUDEST APPLAUSE

No decibel meter in the conference hall so completely subjective, but listening to the cheering the loudest applause did not go for Trump, Kasich or Cruz (Cruz probably had the loudest of the three presidential candidates.) Remember the ballroom crowds were not identical for each candidate. However, the loudest applause of all came when GOP state chairman Jim Brulte thanked the California Highway Patrol and Burlingame Police for doing their job dealing with the protestors.

Originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Why conservatives should favor assisted suicide

assisted suicideGov. Jerry Brown recently signed the “assisted suicide” law, which came with significant criticism from those on the right. Many say life is sacred, from conception to natural death. What do these conservatives fail to realize? They should be in favor of this legislation.
As conservatives, we’re always talking about how the government needs to step out of our lives. This a prime example of when government intervention is unacceptable. If an adult wishes to end his or her life, they should have the ability to do so. It’s their life and therefore their decision. Isn’t is better for them to consult their family and physician before making that decision?
Because my mom is a chemotherapy nurse, I’ve seen her patients who are struggling to fight cancer. I’ve heard their stories and watched some of them struggle with such a difficult battle. There are a handful of them who get tired of fighting for their lives. They’re constantly in pain and can’t do what they love because they’re going through chemotherapy and radiation. When they’re not undergoing treatment, they’re feeling sick. It’s a continuous, never ending cycle.
Who are we – the healthy – to tell these people that they should continue being miserable because it’s not the end of their natural life?
If a family member were wanting to end their life, I would rather have them go to the doctor and end their life that way. That would prepare me for the real likelihood of losing them. I would rather know beforehand than to find them dead because they overdosed on pain killers or shot themselves in the head.
“Suicide goes against everything God teaches us.”
While this maybe true, remember, every person’s afterlife is determined by God, not us. What happens between a person and God is between them and no one else.

Excitement Surrounds CA GOP Prospects

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

When California Republican activists converged on the Anaheim Marriott in mid-September, they experienced something they hadn’t felt in years.

Excitement.

“It’s an exciting time for the delegates as we embark on a journey in 2016 by selling principles of limited government and holding the line on taxes,” said Allen Wilson, a delegate to the state party and member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee. “That resonates with millions of Californians.”

Since former State Senator Jim Brulte took over the helm in 2013, the state party has made steady progress in picking up legislative seats and rebuilt its party operations. Last November, California Republicans defeated two Democratic incumbents — the first time in two decades that a Democratic incumbent has lost re-election to the Legislature.

Brulte also put Democrats on the defensive in the Central Valley, forcing the state party to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to rescue Assemblyman Adam Gray in his re-election campaign.

CA GOP will be tested in 2016

Although Brulte deserves credit for a shrewd campaign strategy and effective fundraising, Republicans’ legislative gains in 2014 were aided, in part, by a record low turnout. The 2014 electorate also skewed heavily toward older, more conservative voters.

According to an analysis by Political Data, Inc., less than 10 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted last November.

“In California, an 18- or 19-year-old was more likely to be arrested this year than actually vote in one of the statewide elections,” Paul Mitchell of Political Data, Inc., told KQED earlier this year.

Next year, Republicans won’t be so lucky, when the presidential election is expected to draw more young people to the polls.

But, this time around, state GOP activists say that the party is doing a better job of reaching the younger generation as demonstrated by the turnout at the state party convention.

“The most exciting thing is to see the numbers of young people in attendance,” said Dr. Alexandria Coronado, a longtime Republican activist and former president of the Orange County Board of Education. “They are energized and ready to work for the conservative cause.”

CA GOP: “No Longer in Hospice Care”

Republicans have reason to be optimistic, but state political observers say the party still has a long way to go.

“The California Republican Party used to exist in the hospice care of American politics, but now they’re undergoing plastic surgery,” said John Phillips, an Orange County Register columnist and co-host of “The Drive Home with Jillian Barberie and John Phillips” on KABC AM 790. “Unfortunately, it’s the doctor that did Kanye West’s mom.”

Phillips believes that Republicans’ best chance is to embrace “tough on crime,” fiscal conservatives.

“If they want to expand the base, they need to run fiscal conservatives who are hard on criminals and are social libertarians,” Phillips said. “Otherwise, have fun handing over control of the state to the SEIU.”

That approach has worked in San Diego, where Mayor Kevin Faulconer has achieved sky-high popularity. There’s even talk that Faulconer won’t draw a major Democratic opponent in 2016.

Nearly one hundred delegates and guests made the short journey up from San Diego County and shared their optimism with their fellow GOP activists from around the Golden State.

“I’d say the convention was a success as we re-adopted a solid, conservative platform and adopted a common sense rule to skip two conventions in the ‘on’ year,” said San Diego County Republican Chairman Tony Krvaric. “A lot will depend on how the presidential race develops, but I’m very optimistic about our chances to have a ‘Republican wave’ in 2016 which will have reverberations all the way down the ticket.”

That positive attitude was echoed throughout the convention halls.

“This working weekend made me realize how far we have come,” former Downey city councilman Mario A. Guerra, who ran a strong but unsuccessful State Senate campaign in 2014, wrote on Facebook, “and how much more we need to do here in California.”

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com