Poll: Half of CA Republican Voters Unlikely to Vote in Dem-on-Dem Senate Race

Dianne FeinsteinWith no Republican candidates to choose from, 47 percent of Republican likely voters and 24 percent of independents “say they would not vote in [the Senate] race.”
New poll from Public Policy Institute of California has Gavin Newsom with 24 point lead for governor:

How the California Republican Party Can Win Elections Again

CA GOPThe California Republican Party (CRP) has been a disaster since Gov. Pete Wilson’s re-election campaign and Gov. Schwarzenegger accelerated its demise when in 2006 to save his failed governorship he passed Assembly Bill 32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which has done nothing to lessen emissions in California. The fault lies with the leadership of the CRP and the big-money donors who pushed for the top two primary now called “the jungle primary.” Republicans are also losing in the state because stalwart conservatives (#NeverTrumpers, Evangelicals and older-white voters) long for the day of Ronald Reagan or some pure conservative candidate that doesn’t exist. Democrats though only care about winning and will do anything possible to achieve power.

As a former candidate for the 43rd California State Assembly district in 2014 where I made the top two against the Democratic incumbent there were valuable lessons that I took away from my election. Subsequently, my election into the top two allowed me CRP voting rights at the county and state level, and I was also elected to the CRP presidential nominating committee that assisted drafting the party platform. That platform is now being followed by Trump to incredible economic success. In other words, Republicans can win, but here’s what needs to happen.

FIGHT

The days of the congenial white male of George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and most of all, Ronald Reagan are over. Fight or don’t run. California isn’t working and Joel Kotkin, Michael Shellenberger, Ed Ring, and Heather MacDonald give detailed reason on issues ranging from unsustainable environmental laws to racism emanating from the Democratic party. Ed Ring also gives policy recommendations for any candidate struggling to find his or her voice on the campaign trail in California.

As an example here’s how John Cox can defeat Gavin Newsom on global warming by asking this questions backed by facts. Gavin, if global warming is really happening and your party has the answers by overtaxing energy and relying on green energy that doesn’t work then answer me this from Dr. Walter Williams:

“Today’s CO2 concentration levels worldwide average about 380 parts per million. This level is trivial compared to earlier geological periods. For example, 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, CO2 concentrations were 4,400 ppm, and temperatures were about the same as they are today.”

And other periods of history like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) are warmer than today with average global temperatures as high as 73 F.

Then explain to me Gavin how exactly are humans causing global warming when the earth was significantly hotter when humans or dinosaurs hadn’t evolved on the global scene yet and more significantly the industrial revolution or fossil fuels weren’t yet in existence? Ask this simple question and watch him and the entire Democratic Party stumble at the polls.

This can also be done with abortion. Make it a geopolitical issue instead of a social one by asking: It’s been proven here that countries that allow abortion are more hegemonic in nature (the United States, Russia and China); therefore Mr. or Ms. Democrat do you believe in war more than you believe in peace by allowing abortion?

Democrats have been trapping Republicans for decades with false canard-like statements; reverse the narrative on them and fight back otherwise California will continue cratering into the abysmal dustbin of failed leftist states. These are just two examples of how this can be done but if you aren’t ready to know your facts, have the ability to build a narrative that improves people’s lives and answer your critics then don’t run in California.

THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

Highlight how Republican policies are always better economically than Democratic ones. From single-payer health care that would cost over $400 billion a year in California to the highest taxes in the nation the CRP has dropped the ball for decades on economic issues. Here are the facts candidates can use on the trail to help Republicans in California keep control of Congress and possibly win the governorship.

The Republican-killer – President Bill Clinton – used Republican polices to Democratic gains and left office with unusually high approval ratings understood Americans and I’d add Californians by advocating, “it’s the economy, stupid.” President Donald Trump seems to have figured that axiom out with May’s U.S. jobs growth forecast that blows past expectation according to the Wall Street Journal. Over 223,000 jobs were added in May and the unemployment rate went down to 3.8% and is the lowest level since 1969. Black unemployment is at record lows and the number of Americans employed set its ninth record under Trump.

Somehow the CPR hasn’t figured out what Trump, Clinton and other Americans have always known: in America people vote with their wallets, first and foremost. The CPR and California Republican candidates can win in California by also hammering home this fact from the Los Angeles Times, “There now are more job openings in the U.S. than unemployed workers to fill them.” Use Clinton tactics and call it the Republican economy and go into minority neighborhoods and ask if Gavin Newsom and the Democrats provided this type of economic progress under President Obama? The answer is no and you will pull percentages of votes away from Democrats you never thought possible.

WALK PRECINCTS

The biggest mistake candidates make is not walking precincts. What voters want is to know you care enough to speak to them and can explain complex issues in an understandable fashion that doesn’t have them spending hours reading The Economist or need a master’s in public policy to understand what you are saying. By walking precincts it allows you to connect and I know from experience that every precinct I walked or in particular this one volunteer named Marv walked, I won. I was a no-name candidate who only raised $26,000 but beat the former Democratic incumbent Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee everywhere I walked the precinct.

President Obama said this in a recent interview for BBC’s Today program about meeting hostile, biased people and voters:

“When you meet people face to face, it turns out they’re complicated, there may be somebody who you think is diametrically opposed to you when it comes to their political views, but you root for the same sports team. You find areas of common ground. It’s hard to be obnoxious and cruel in person.”

And that’s exactly what I encountered on the campaign trail – people who told me they were openly hostile to Republicans listened to me – and ultimately they voted for me as well. Party insiders told me I would receive roughly 8-14% of the vote and I got over 35% by walking the district. Republicans can win the 43rd district again and can also win a majority of California; there is no reason to split the state into three different parts.

Democrats have been going into Red states and Christian churches – supposedly hostile places for decades – it’s time for Republicans to use these three tactics and start winning in California again. It will take multiple election cycles but California can once again be a Republican stronghold that includes every race, color and creed in the state. America needs for California to once again be an incubator of dreams and upward mobility if the CRP will stop longing for Reagan and candidates begin following the three simple steps that I know are a proven template to electoral success.

Gavin Newsom Embodies California Liberalism

Gavin newsomGavin Newsom — the former San Francisco mayor, current lieutenant governor, and likely next governor of California — embodies Golden State liberalism: the perfect appearance, the bear-hug embrace of identity politics, the celebration of Silicon Valley moguls tempered by hand-wringing about income inequality, the grandiose, fanciful plans for building the state into a modern utopia.

This is no accident. For better or for worse, Newsom has already done a lot to shape modern California. As San Francisco’s mayor from 2004 to 2011, he pushed the outer boundary of Democratic party politics leftward. His first gubernatorial-campaign ad reminded viewers that he issued same-sex marriage licenses way back in 2004, in calculated defiance of state law. As mayor, he banned plastic bags, the use of Styrofoam in restaurants’ takeout containers, and sales of cigarettes in convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stories, and big-box stores. He signed laws mandating composting and requiring retailers to display the radiation levels of the cellphones they sold. He gave 400 city employees the authority to write citations for littering. He proposed, but never succeeded in passing, a surcharge on all drinks with high-fructose corn syrup.

Since taking over as lieutenant governor in 2011, Newsom hasn’t had a ton of governing responsibility. In 2012 and 2013, he found the time to host a weekly show on Al Gore’s old Current TV. The Los Angeles Times’ limp endorsement of Newsom in 2014 is unintentionally hilarious: “Being lieutenant governor mostly serves as a perch for gubernatorial candidates-in-waiting. Nevertheless, voters are asked every four years to choose among the aspirants, so here goes . . .”

With little to do in his day job, for the past few years Newsom put his energies into promoting state initiatives. In 2016, he supported and the state adopted Proposition 47, which made just about any crime involving less than $950 — shoplifting, grand theft, forgery, fraud, receiving stolen property or writing bad checks — a misdemeanor for sentencing instead of a felony. Also that year he proposed Proposition 63, prohibiting the possession of large-capacity gun magazines and requiring certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition. The measure passed, but in June 2017, a federal judge issued an injunction, saying that it probably violates the U.S. Constitution. (California’s attorney general is appealing the injunction.)

Yet as Newsom and his like-minded allies unleashed a cornucopia of bans and restrictions and mandates from San Francisco and Sacramento, quite a few Californians started falling out of love with the state. More Americans are leaving California than joining it, concluding that the cost of living, taxes, regulation, traffic, and other problems are just too unbearable, despite the gorgeous coastlines and weather and everything else that once made the Golden State so golden. The state has the highest poverty rate in the country after accounting for its stratospheric cost of living, and the second-highest housing costs, behind only Hawaii.

All of this is probably something of an abstraction to Newsom. His has been a life of privilege that would get a typical Republican office-seeker torn to shreds. His grandfather, William Newsom, was close friends with Pat Brown, the governor of California from 1959 to 1967 and the father of current governor Jerry Brown. His father, also named William, attended St. Ignatius prep school with oil heir Gordon Getty. In 1975, Jerry Brown picked the younger William Newsom to be a state judge. He remained a close, trusted friend to the Getty family, and when young Gavin Newsom had entrepreneurial dreams, the Gettys were happy to invest. In 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle found that “Getty, or trusts and firms he controls, is lead investor on 10 of Newsom’s 11 businesses.”

Newsom likes to describe himself as a small-business owner with “a strong bias for entrepreneurs, a strong bias for those putting themselves on the line and taking risks.” One wonders just how risky a business venture can be when the Getty family and their fortune is so consistently ready to help out. …

Click here to read the full article from the National Review

In California, the “Jungle” Is Predictable

Gavin NewsomOne doesn’t expect the unexpected in California elections. A progressive Democrat will become governor; Dianne Feinstein will return to the Senate yet again; and so on. Nuances still matter, particularly at the congressional level, in part due to the “jungle primary” system, but nothing much has changed. Statewide, the ideological die, at least for now, is cast.

Perhaps the best news for Republicans, with the surprisingly strong showing of businessman John Cox, is that they will actually have a candidate on the November ballot for governor. Businessman Cox easily beat out the Democratic challengers to the front-running Democrat, former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. Some conservatives, like Newt Gingrich, think that Cox has a serious shot at victory in November, but all GOP candidates combined pulled in barely 35 percent of the vote.

Here’s the reality: California Republicans, constituting barely a quarter of the electorate, now make up a smaller cohort than Independents. Combined with Independents who lean to the GOP, they perhaps could win 40 to 45 percent of the vote in November—still not good enough. The big money that once filled the coffers of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon now goes overwhelmingly to the other side: the top three Democratic gubernatorial candidates raised over $70 million, more than ten times what the GOP’s top candidate, the largely self-funded Cox, had drummed up by the end of last month.

Even more than money, the problem for Republicans is demographics, which suggest a continued decline of the state party. In the last decade, the state gained 2 million Hispanics and 1 million Asians—both groups now trending overwhelmingly Democratic—while losing almost 800,000 whites, the GOP’s vanishing base. Migration patterns show middle-aged, middle- and working-class families exiting a state increasingly dominated by the unmarried childless and older, affluent white voters, including many who have profited from the rise in housing prices and are the most bullish on the state’s future.

The Republican brand’s weakness was dramatized in the success of former state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, a onetime Republican now running as an Independent for his old job. Poizner, who sold his GPS company to Qualcomm for $1 billion in 2000, came in first, with 43 percent of the vote. Another promising result was the first-place finish in the state superintendent’s race of school-reform advocate Marshall Tuck, also an Independent, against teachers’ union-backed Tony Thurmond. Poizner and Tuck will face the progressive money machine’s full fury in November, but each has resources with which to fight back. Such non-party candidates, suggests former GOP congressman Tom Campbell, could draw some moderate Democrats and help reestablish a modicum of policy debate.

At the top of the ballot, Newsom’s large plurality suggests that he will become the next governor. Given his strong financial support from the state’s public employees, the tech oligarchy, inner-city real estate developers, and Bay Area progressives, he represents the apotheosis of California gentry progressivism. Newsom’s showing displays how dominant the Bay Area machine, with its media, union, and tech support, has become. He swamped former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a charter school advocate, even beating him easily in L.A. (Villaraigosa’s handlers may have erred in promoting him primarily as an anti-Donald Trump candidate rather than as an independent reformer. All Democrats compete to show their hatred for the president.)

In the manner of the old Miller Lite commercial, Newsom is much like departing Governor Jerry Brown, but less filling. Brown may sometimes sound hysterical about climate change, recently suggesting that it would kill “billions,” but he has also been willing, sometimes, to speak hard truths, notably on fiscal issues. His stature allowed him to go off the progressive reservation—for example, shooting down egregious Title IX abuse—and get away with it. Newsom, a good-looking, callow opportunist, lacks this kind of uncalculated independence. When California’s economy was on the rocks, he seemed concerned about the state’s business climate, even visiting arch-rival Texas in search of inspiration. He expressed doubts about Brown’s out-of-control bullet train project. But as the economy improved, particularly for state workers and oligarchs, Newsom learned how to stop worrying and love the bullet train, though it is increasingly unpopular with voters. He has reinvented himself as a “futuristic” prospective governor, a kind of digital moonbeam who sees tech as the solution to all problems.

California’s economy is slowing some amid the national surge, but as long as it seems healthy, Newsom will feel little urgency to address the state’s serious long-term issues: pension-driven fiscal realities, a dearth of high-wage growthoutside the Bay Area, poorly performing schools, a huge homeless problem, and decaying infrastructure.

From a national perspective, the big California story is in Congress. Senator Feinstein’s reelection, based on her four-to-one margin over progressive Latino climatista Kevin de Leon, seems assured. Any Republicans who show up in November will likely back her. She will remain the most moderate, reasoned voice in the party, until she fades from the scene.

The real competition is at the House level. GOP seats are in play in seven districts that went for Hillary Clinton, mostly in suburban Southern California or the Central Valley. In many of these, an increasingly minority population spells trouble for Republicans. And with President Trump’s approval rating at roughly one-third among California voters, House Democrats have no reasonable fear of losing seats. In places like Orange County, Trump gets somewhat more support (37 percent), according to a recent Chapman University poll. Voters in this former GOP stronghold are evenly divided on whether the country would be better off under Democratic or Republican governance. Expect at least two to three California seats to flip, given the big Democratic edge in money and organization. GOP stalwarts like Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy won their primaries by sizable margins, though, and will be back to battle the Democrats in D.C.

With Republicans an afterthought, California’s Democrats seem poised to exert greater influence on the national stage. However wrongheaded the Golden State may seem to outsiders, it remains easily our most economically and culturally dominant state—and its massive influence likely will continue to push Democrats further left. The anti-Trump Resistance, consisting of media, oligarch-funded activists, academia, and government unions, regards the state as a role model. In the past, California Democrats have failed to win the presidential nomination, with the party choosing more pragmatic figures such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, candidates who could campaign effectively in what is now considered Trump country. But with many national Democrats increasingly contemptuous of red states, the door might open for a California presidential candidate. In 2020, that could mean three contenders—Senator Kamala Harris, presumptive-Governor Newsom, and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti—crowding the stage. Of the three, Harris is clearly the front-runner. Part Asian, part black, and all San Francisco, she is an intersectional dream.

Yet as they consolidate control, California Democrats must face some profound contradictions, as the Marxists would say. The gentry—tech oligarchs, real estate speculators, and venture capitalists—stand comfortably with the left on symbolic race, gender, and environmental issues. But these party bankrollers could be hard-pressed if they face the prospect of higher taxes to pay for a state single-payer health-care system, massive housing subsidies, and Governor Brown’s choo-choo, not to mention the state’s ever-soaring pension costs. As Amazon is learning in Seattle, progressive politicos have figured out where to find the biggest piles of cash. Aggressive taxation of tech companies is already becoming a trend in Silicon Valley.

A stronger, motivated grass-roots Left could constitute the greatest immediate challenge to Governor Newsom. Many Californians, particularly millennials and minorities, face a lack of high-wage jobs, soaring rents, and essentially insurmountable barriers to homeownership. A majority of Californians, according to some surveys, express dissatisfaction with the state’s bifurcated economy. The disappearance of upward mobility makes these voters susceptible to embracing such things as rent control, higher minimum wages, free college, and free health care. They will support ever higher taxes on businesses and on generally white, affluent Californians. The call for new spending will become more problematic once the state comes back to earth from its Silicon Valley and real-estate inflation highs, which for now keep the operating budget in the black.

At some point, Newsom and the Democratic nomenklatura will have to deal with pervasive conditions of diminished opportunity, racial polarization, and fiscal weakness. When these realities eventually impinge, the state’s progressive rulers may find themselves on the defensive, and—if confronted with a plausible opposition—vulnerable, at long last.

California Primary: Big Night for Republicans as John Cox Qualifies for November Ballot

John Cox 1Republican businessman John Cox has been projected as the second-place finisher in the California primary for governor, securing a slot at the top of the ticket on the November ballot and lifting GOP hopes to retain Congress.

The major news networks made the call with just a small percentage of the vote counted, thanks to a surprisingly strong result from Cox, who far out-performed his poll numbers.

With just 17.2% of precincts partially reporting as of 10:04 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Cox had 26.0% of the vote, behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 35.1% and far ahead of former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s 11.1%, as well as conservative Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who had 10.9%.

The final RealClearPolitics average of polls had Cox at just 17.5%.

Cox appears to have benefited from an endorsement from President Donald Trump. He also spent heavily in the early months of the race, boosting his name recognition and convincing observers he was the GOP’s only hope. Newsom’s campaign also boosted Cox, fearing an expensive battle against Villaraigosa in the general election.

The gubernatorial race was once thought to be a guaranteed all-Democrat fight between Newsom and Villaraigosa. Under California’s “top two” or “jungle” primary system, the top vote-winners in the primary advance, regardless of party. The conventional wisdom was that Villaraigosa would turn out the Latino vote and surpass any GOP rivals. Special interests began placing multimillion-dollar bets on that outcome, using the Newsom-Villaraigosa race as a proxy for a battle over school reform, for example. Democrats hoped that race would boost down-ticket candidates.

But Republicans, led by Allen and others, began organizing a statewide effort to put a repeal of California’s new gas tax on the November ballot. Then Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived in Sacramento in early March, armed with a federal lawsuit against California’s new “sanctuary state” laws. That inspired conservative activists to mount a revolt against those laws in local governments throughout Southern California. Cox and Allen saw their polls rise.

With a Republican now competing in the most important statewide election, the GOP believes it can turn out its vote in November and protect vulnerable members of Congress in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. That, in turn, will make it much more difficult for Democrats to pick up the 23 seats they need nationwide to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives and to put former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) back in power.

Villaraigosa struggled to gain traction in the polls. He was also hurt by errors in the voter rolls in L.A. County, which accidentally excluded nearly 120,000 people, many of whom had to cast provisional ballots, and some of whom may not have been able to vote at all. Villaraigosa called on officials to extend voting through Friday.

Republicans appeared to qualify for the general election in several other statewide races, but not for insurance commissioner, where former Republican Steve Poizner won the primary as a “no party preference” candidate. The race for second in the primary for U.S. Senate was neck-and-neck between Republican James Bradley and State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles); incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) came in first place easily.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Only 31% of Californians Want to Keep Paying for High-Speed Rail Project

Gov. Jerry Brown, Anne GustA new poll suggests that only 31% of registered voters in California want to keep paying for the California High-Speed Rail project, the “bullet train” that Gov. Jerry Brown sees as a major legacy project to fight climate change.

The USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times poll asked 835 respondents whether they supported or opposed the project, and found Californians were evenly divided — until they were told about the cost, at which point support crashed, according to the Times:

About 48% of the poll’s 835 respondents said that in general they strongly or somewhat support the project, while 43% oppose it. USC poll director Jill Darling said those are not strong numbers of support or opposition, given the poll’s margin of error of 4 percentage points.

But when asked in a second question whether they would stop the project, given that the cost has doubled to $77 billion and the schedule has stretched to 2033, just 31% said they would keep going and 49% said they would halt construction. A sizable 19% did not know what to do about the problems.

As with many issues, the project’s strongest proponents are residents of the liberal San Francisco Bay area.

As Breitbart News has reported, the cost of the project has skyrocketed even as construction has bogged down. Gov. Brown has dismissed criticisms of high-speed rail as “bullshit,” but the fact is that the project, which was supposed to take passengers from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay area in less than three hours, cannot guarantee that travel time and will require heavy subsidies to remain competitive with air fares or driving costs.

Voters approved the project in a 2008 referendum, in the same election that brought Barack Obama to power. The new administration’s stimulus project emphasized high-speed rail projects — and sought to punish states that did not want to build them. But only California has persisted with its high-speed rail plans, and has done so despite facing opposition even from environmental groups.

Voters, too, are now souring on the project and its future seems dim — though gubernatorial frontrunner Gavin Newsom has reversed his former opposition and now supports the project.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California 

Campaigns Try to Fool California Voters

Gavin newsomPolitics – the means by which we govern ourselves – can be a positive, even uplifting human enterprise.

Too often, however, political tactics are based on the cynical assumption that voters can be easily fooled and the current election season is, unfortunately, rife.

Take, for example, the television ads that Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the leading candidate for governor, has been airing about John Cox, a San Diego businessman and the leading Republican.

Superficially, it’s logical that a Democratic candidate for governor would attack a Republican candidate. But these ads, alleging that Cox is closely allied with the National Rifle Association, have another, less obvious motive.

Newsom and his advisors know that if a Republican places second in the June 5 primary voting and thus wins a place on the November ballot, it would make Newsom’s election a near-certainty.

Conversely, were Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa to finish second on June 5, Newsom would have a real fight on his hands.

Therefore, the anti-Cox ad is not truly aimed at dragging him down, but rather to build him up among Republican primary voters, who are likely to be more pro-NRA and also likely to resent attacks on Cox by Democrat Newsom.

Clever? Yes, but also quite cynical, when you think about it.

In another example, Southern California’s 49th Congressional District is a prime battleground this year, thanks to Republican Congressman Darrell Issa’s decision to retire and the fact that the district favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.

Democratic hopes of picking up a seat are complicated by having a bumper crop of Democratic candidates on the June 5 ballot, along with two well known Republican figures, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey.

Chavez and Harkey could finish 1-2 on June 5 and freeze Democrats out.

Therefore, the national Democratic congressional apparatus is hitting Chavez with allegations – aimed at GOP voters – that he is an untrustworthy Republican because he voted for Gov. Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases and the state budget.

Finally, California voters are seeing the usual quota of “slate mailers” that purport to advise them to vote for particular candidates.

While some do genuinely reflect the interests of the sponsoring organizations, many are nothing more than commercial enterprises.

Take, for example, mailers from a Torrance-based outfit called “Budget Watchdogs” that purports to favor candidates who are tight with the public’s money.

Uber-conservative Republican Travis Allen gets its nod for governor, but the rest of the mailer’s favored candidates are Democrats. They include arguably the Legislature’s most liberal member, state Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, who is running for insurance commissioner and wants to double the state budget by adopting single-payer health coverage.

Budget Watchdogs was created by Rex Hime, a one-time Republican political aide who for years headed the California Business Properties Association.

Budget Watchdogs is a non-profit corporation and, Hime told me a few years ago, “I don’t get squat” from the money it collects for its various projects, including the mailer. “It’s not a commercial enterprise.”

Nonetheless, we know that all Budget Watchdog’s recommendations reflect money paid by endorsees because state law requires them to be marked by asterisks.

There’s an even darker side to the slate mailer business – a kind of extortion. Some slate mail operators tell campaigns that if they don’t pay to have their candidates or ballot measure positions “recommended,” their opponents will be promoted for free.

Regardless of underlying motives, it’s a grubby trade based on assumptions about the gullibility of voters.

olumnist for CALmatters

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Poll: Republican Travis Allen Won California Gubernatorial Debate

The debate is likely the last one before the June fifth primary. “Travis Allen wins #CAGovDebate!!!” Allen posted to his Twitter and Facebook pages along with a public opinion poll from NBC News.

The first poll had him at 43% and a second one had him at 72%

 

 

The media largely reported the debate as five-against-one with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, the clear target as the race’s frontrunner.

“If you can’t trust Gavin with his best friend’s wife, how can you trust him with your state?” Allen reportedly asked, referring to an affair that came to light during Newsom’s time as Mayor of San Francisco.

Newsom responded that he had apologized for the relationship, saying, “I admitted it. I was wrong,” before suggesting that the attack was strange coming from a supporter of Donald Trump. “It’s hard, with respect, to hear from Mr. Allen, who is a devout supporter of Donald Trump, talk about the issue of sexual harassment,” Newsom said.

The event was moderated by NBC’s Chuck Todd and other issues covered included the gas tax and immigration.

Allen and John Cox were the sole Republicans on the Democrat-dominated debate. In addition to Newsom, the other Democrats included former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Treasurer John Chiang, and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

Allen said he would repeal Gov. Jerry Brown’s gas tax. “I am the original author of the repeal the gas tax,” he said, adding, “Jerry Brown lied to the California people in 2010 when he was elected on a simple promise of no new taxes without voter approval. He bribed four legislators a billion dollars of your tax money to pass the largest gas tax increase and car registration fee increase ever in California.”

Cox insisted, “I’m the chairman of the real gas tax repeal” and then went on to accuse Allen of stealing $300,000 of a contribution he received for his own campaign. Allen said, “I’d just like to respond to my angry opponent from Chicago. Let me be clear: I was the original author of the gas tax repeal.”

Allen and Cox stated they are against sanctuary cities and Newsom said he will fight and “push back against Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions and all of the others here who are trying to divide us through these games of political theater,” referring to Allen and Cox. Eastin also said she supports sanctuary cities and believes they are constitutional.

At one point, Cox said Trump’s border wall must be built because he does not “want to live next door to MS-13” gang members.

Newsom shot back saying, “This is the kind of rhetoric that has no place… we don’t tolerate diversity, we celebrate it.”

Villaraigosa noted that the “Dreamers didn’t come here on their own, They came here because their parents brought them here, and we’ve got to say that they have a right to have a legalized status.”

Todd concluded the debate by asking the candidates to weigh in on California’s top-two or “jungle” primary system which allows for the top two vote-getters to proceed to the General Election on November 7, regardless of political party.

“A Republican would be ideal in the general election,” Newsom reportedly said with a grin before looking over at Cox and Allen and adding, “Either one of these would do.”

“Be careful what you wish for, Gavin,” Cox shot back.

However, in his response to Todd, Allen said, “There’s only one Republican in the race anyway,” referring to Cox’s acknowledgment that he did not vote for Trump in 2016 and instead voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson; a decision he reportedly says he now regrets.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

The privileged candidate: Why do we let Gavin Newsom get away with this?

Gavin newsomIf Gavin Newsom is elected governor of California without so much as a speed bump on his political journey of entitlement, it may take future social scientists to explain why current California voters were so willing to give this guy a pass on all the things we know about him.

Can’t you see this picture for what it really is?

The 50-year-old lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco is the living embodiment of privilege, and people seem to be OK with that. He has white male privilege. Class privilege. Wealth privilege. The privilege of good looks.

All creates a Teflon exterior, protecting Newsom’s horrendous lapses of judgment and character, excusing his questionable background. It is simply accepted without eliciting the negative scrutiny that would dog or even derail lesser mortals.

If one of Newsom’s opponents – say, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or State Treasurer John Chiang – were bankrolled by one of the richest men in California for most of their lives, as Newsom has been by oil heir Gordon Getty, they would be answering for it every day on the campaign trail. A Mexican American guy or an Asian guy having a rich, white sugar daddy greasing the skids for them at every critical turn of their adult lives would be viewed with suspicion. But that is what Newsom had with Getty. …

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New Bullet Train Woes Cause Fresh Headaches for Democrat Gubernatorial Candidates

High speed rail constructionThe March 9 release of the first updated business plan in two years for the state’s high-speed rail project could sharply intensify the pressure on Democratic gubernatorial candidates who back the project to explain their support.

The Republican candidates – Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox – reflect the GOP consensus that the project is a boondoggle that’s unlikely to ever be completed. But the major Democratic hopefuls – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin – have all indicated they would continue with rail project, albeit with little of the enthusiasm shown by present Gov. Jerry Brown.

While the new business plan was depicted by the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s new CEO, Brian Kelly, as a constructive step toward salvaging the project, the plan’s key details were daunting:

The estimated cost of the project, which has yo-yoed from $34 billion to $98 billion to $64 billion, changed once again. The business plan abandoned the previous $64 billion estimate for an estimate of $77 billion – accompanied by a warning that the cost could go as high as $98 billion.

Even at the lower price tag, the state didn’t have adequate funds to complete a first $20 billion-plus bullet-train segment linking populated areas. The present plan for a Central Valley route has an eastern terminus in a remote agricultural fieldnorth of Shafter. That’s because the $9.95 billion in bond seed money that state voters provided in 2008 has only been buttressed to a relatively slight degree by additional public dollars from cap-and-trade pollution permits.

The business plan cites the possibility of additional federal funds beyond the $3.3 billion allocated by Washington early in the Obama administration. It doesn’t note, however, that domestic discretionary spending has plunged in recent years amid congressional concern about the national debt blowing past $20 trillion.

The business plan also promotes the possibility of outside investors. It doesn’t mention that such investors have passed on the project for years because state law bars the California High-Speed Rail Authority from offering them a revenue or ridership guarantee.

From 5 years behind schedule to 10 years behind

The initial operation of a bullet-train link serving California residents went from five years behind schedule, in the estimate of the Los Angeles Times, to 10 years behind schedule. The business plan said the project would begin operations no sooner than 2029.

The potential immense cost overrun of the bullet train segment in the mountains north of Los Angeles was fully acknowledged for the first time. A 2015 Times story laid out the “monumental” challenge.

Democratic candidates to succeed Brown have chosen to focus on housing, single-payer health care, immigration and criticism of President Donald Trump in most early forums and campaign appearances. But front-runners Newsom and Villaraigosa in particular seem likely to be pressed on how they can square their claims to be experienced, tough-minded managers with support for a project which seems less likely to be completed with every passing year.

Proposition 70 on the June primary ballot also will keep the bullet train on the campaign’s front burner, to some extent. It was placed on the ballot as part of a 2017 deal cut by the governor to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program until 2030. If Proposition 70 passed, it would require a one-off vote in 2024 in which cap-and-trade proceeds could only be used for specific needs with two-thirds support of each house of the Legislature. Republicans may be able to use these votes to shut off the last ongoing source of new revenue for the high-speed rail project.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com