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 …

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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

CARTOON: New Pro-Immigration GOP

CA GOP cartoon

Huckabee Defends History of Raising Taxes to CA GOP

mike_huckabeeRepublican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee defended his record of raising taxes at a Friday morning press conference at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, renewing his long-running feud with the country’s leading free-enterprise advocacy group.

“My policies have never changed,” Huckabee said when asked whether he had changed his position on taxes. “I balanced the budget. You do what you have to do to balance the budget. I came in with a deficit of about $400 million; I left with a surplus of almost a billion dollars.”

An independent analysis by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in 2007 found that Huckabee’s governorship resulted in “a net tax increase of $505 million, a figure adjusted for inflation and economic growth, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.”

The newspaper’s analysis also concluded that the average Arkansan’s annual tax burden was $2,902 the year Huckabee left office — nearly $1,000 more than his first year as governor.

Huckabee Tax Flip-Flop on Production Taxes

TaxesDuring Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, the former Baptist pastor said that he supported a Fair Tax plan that would eliminate all taxes on production in favor of more taxes on consumption.

“I think we ought to get rid of all the taxes on people who produce,” he said during this week’s GOP debate held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “Why should we penalize productivity? And it’s why I’m an unabashed supporter of the “fair tax,” which would be a tax on our consumption, rather than a tax on our productivity.”

Yet, that view contradicts Huckabee’s past statements critical of Republican support for regressive taxes.

“One of my complaints with Republicans in my own party is that, true or not, we’re perceived as the people whose tax policies do tilt toward the people at the top end of the economic scale, with disregard to the people who are barely making it,” Huckabee said in 2006, according to the Washington Examiner. “And I think it’s in many ways a legitimate criticism.”

Most economists believe that consumption taxes, such as a sales tax, disproportionately affect the poor and working classes. The left-leaning blog Think Progress has pointed out that “Huckabee signed a 1996 sales tax hike, opposed efforts to reduce grocery taxes, and allowed a sales tax increase to become law in 2004.”

Huckabee renews feud with Club for Growth

Club for GrowthWhen asked about his record of raising taxes, Huckabee also took the opportunity to levy a fresh round of attacks on the Club for Growth, who he dubbed “the people who hate my guts.” In 2007, the national network of limited government and free market advocates published a detailed white paper on Huckabee’s tax record.

“Club for Growth, there’s an organization that loves me,” Huckabee said sarcastically. “If you hear everything they have to say, you’ll have the most absolutely nuanced and inaccurate depiction of my record that you’ll ever be able to find.”

A spokesman for the Club for Growth disputed Huckabee’s characterization that the feud is “personal.”

“He often tries to portray his conflict with the Club for Growth as personal, when in fact, it’s only ever been about his terrible record on taxes and spending,” Club for Growth spokesman Doug Sachtleben told CalWatchdog.com. “While Tax Hike Mike was governor of Arkansas, the overall tax burden in the state rose by 47 percent and the net tax hike was $505 million.”

Huckabee: I Cut Taxes 94 Times

Huckabee’s record as governor of Arkansas has been heavily criticized by fiscal conservatives.

“During his two-term tenure, spending increased by more than 65 percent — at three times the rate of inflation,” Michael D. Tanner, the director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute, wrote in December 2007. “The number of government workers increased by 20 percent, and the state’s debt services increased by nearly $1 billion. Huckabee financed his spending binge with higher taxes.”

Although he refused to acknowledge his support for tax increases, Huckabee quickly pointed to taxes he’s cut.

“Ninety-four times we cut taxes,” Huckabee said at the CA GOP convention in Anaheim. “We rebuilt our roads. We did many things like cutting the marriage penalty, reducing capital gains taxes. I did that in the headwinds of the most Democratic legislature in America – more Democratic than even California, more Democratic than Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Oregon, New Jersey.”

The Club for Growth points out that those tax cuts don’t offset his tax increases.

“Huckabee’s substantial tax hikes far surpassed his modest tax cuts, and he has consistently and vigorously defended that record,” Sachtleben said.

Chad Mayes Selected as Next Assembly Republican Leader

Come January, Assembly Republicans will have a new leader.

On Tuesday, the 28 Republican members of the lower house selected Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley as their next leader. The caucus did not release the specific tally for the caucus vote nor indicate any other candidates for the leadership post.

“I am fortunate to inherit a Caucus that is united in its commitment to fiscal responsibility and meeting the needs of a 21st Century economy,” Mayes said in a press release following the announcement. “For California to thrive, legislative leaders must provide solutions that offer a pathway to prosperity. Too often politicians take actions that limit opportunity in the very communities they claim to serve.”

He added, “I look forward to working with our Caucus to make California a better place to call home.”

Mayes, who was elected to the state Assembly in 2014, will take over for current GOP leader Kristin Olsen when the Legislature reconvenes on January 4, 2016.

Second consecutive GOP leader to reject anti-tax pledge

Mayes said that he intends to carry on Olsen’s philosophy and approach to the post.

Dollar Puzzle 02

“I am humbled by my colleagues’ confidence in my ability to lead the Caucus,” Mayes said. “I plan to build upon Kristin’s vision of bringing the Caucus and its supporting operations into the 21st Century. She has worked tirelessly to position our Caucus and its members for maximum success.”

Since taking over as minority leader, Olsen has embraced a more moderate approach and rejected the anti-tax rhetoric that is considered orthodoxy to traditional conservative Republicans. In 2012, Olsen publicly criticized the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise by elected officials to oppose higher taxes.

“The problem with the no-tax pledge is that entrenched special interests interpret what is or is not a violation of the pledge in order to serve their own agendas – and sometimes their interpretations defy logic,” Olsen wrote in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece before taking over as leader. “To grow the Republican Party, we have to get away from relying solely on ‘No’ messages. We are better than that, and Californians deserve and desire solution-focused leadership that will help bring legislative Democrats over to our side on the need for lower taxes and substantive reforms.”

As a candidate for state Assembly, Mayes similarly rejected the anti-tax pledge. Mayes told the Desert Sun last year that “he’s not the kind of Republican who is out to blow up government … and said he declined to sign the taxpayer protection pledge.”

Mayes brings experience from more than a decade serving at the local government level. He was first elected to the Yucca Valley Town Council in 2002 and was twice re-elected. During his time on the town council, Mayes served as president of the Desert Mountain Division of the League of California Cities.

He also worked as a political staff member at the county-level, serving as chief of staff to San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

Olsen’s tenure as leader

Olsen earned praise from her colleagues for her tenure as leader.

“Kristin may have been a transitional leader in terms of time, but she has been transformative in her impact on Caucus operations,” said Assembly Republican Caucus Chair Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita. “Her changes set a pathway to Republican relevancy and she worked to lay the foundation for a Republican majority in the near future. Thanks to Kristin, our Caucus is united, focused, and motivated.”

Olsen, who is termed out of the state Assembly next year, welcomed the leadership transition and said she’s proud of her accomplishments, which included a major staff shake-up as part of an effort of “modernizing caucus operations.”

Kristin_Olsen_Picture“My goal as Assembly Republican leader has been to unite our caucus and advance core principles that resonate with Californians and will revitalize our state: good jobs, great schools, and a more transparent, effective, and citizen-driven government,” Olsen said. “I am pleased that we have been able to accomplish this while modernizing our Caucus operations, hiring top-notch staff, and becoming pro-active and solution-focused.”

Mayes will have company learning the ropes as a new Republican leader. Last week, the Senate Republican Caucus announced that Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield had unseated Sen. Bob Huff as Republican Senate leader.

Huff is running for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to replace longtime Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Other candidates for that seat include gang prosecutor Elan Carr, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander and Kathryn Barger, Antonovich’s chief of staff.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com