Why the GOP Has Nothing to Offer Californians Now

Vince Lanci's picture

By introduction

Brian Brady is an ideological libertarian and a registered Republican for 33 years.  He has been active in conservative politics in three different states.  He's  volunteered and donated to his county Republican party (which is well run and effective), organized the largest tax day tea party protest in the country (Oceanside, CA in 2011), was elected to serve on my County Republican Committee, and is a delegate to the California Republican Party.  He is a a veteran of the real estate market and specializes in  working with military personnel in the Ca community. 

Brian is a committed and mature political actor.  This is based on 20+ years of knowing the man

-Vince Lanci

On The Lessons of Being a Conservative in a Liberal State: 

While Barry Goldwater is my political North Star, the CA GOP needs to recognize we live in a moderate county in a very liberal state.  We must understand the value of moving the ball down the field through small victories.


Why Would Anyone Vote For A California Republican ?

Written by Brian Brady for Marketslant

Understanding Reality

California is the epicenter of the #resistance movement to President Trump.  The California Democratic Party celebrated its #resistance recently with a "F*** Trump" cheer, led by the Chairman of the California Dems while a State Senator (the immediate past Speaker of the Assembly), the US House Minority Leader, and the senior US Senator participated.  Democrats hold not just a majority but a super majority in the Assembly and State Senate.  This is important because Governor Moonbeam Brown can't raise taxes without a super majority vote.  When Gov. Brown wanted to raise gas taxes (three months ago) to fix our crumbling roads, the Democratic super majority delivered the tax increase to him.

The gas tax hike is very unpopular. California already had the highest gas taxes in the country and, while it was supposed to be earmarked to repair roads, California Democrats have been diverting that money to pet train projects for two decades-- thus, the highway "trust fund" is broke.  This gas tax hike was a continuation of the ongoing swindle.  Dems wouldn't "lock box" the money for roads but rather divert 25% of it to Gov. Brown's "crazy train" project.  They passed it anyway,

My friend, former San Diego Councilman and current talk radio host Carl DeMaio, saw this as an opportunity to break the California Democrats' super majority by organizing a recall of State Senator Josh Newman.   The California Republican Party followed DeMaio's lead and started raising and contributing funds to the Newman recall. While The California Democrats were fighting labor unions about how far left to take this state before it files bankruptcy, the California Republicans saw an opportunity to build its brand around the "no new taxes" strategy.  

This is a very good idea.  California is a large and diverse state.  While some Republicans hew to the conservative line of "More God, More Guns, Less Government", some Republicans rally around the fiscal responsibility cry.  A pro-Life, Pro Second Amendment rural Republican Assemblyman and a pro-choice, gun grabbing, Bay Area Republican Senator agree on one basic theme-- California Republicans will never raise your taxes.  This gas tax hike offered the "tidal turn" so many of us saw coming and we were poised to pounce.

Cap and Trade Extension

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, he signed the controversial "Cap and Trade" legislation into law (AB 32).  The negative effects of AB 32 were almost immediate:  higher energy prices, higher food prices, and higher gasoline prices.  The average Californian might teasingly post a "F*** Trump" video on his Facebook and might pay lip service to the notion that human beings are destroying the planet but AB32 drove up the costs of food, energy, and gasoline.   The average Californian HATES that. Polling showed Republican consultants that higher taxes, Brown's Crazy Train, and AB 32 were giving Republican candidates legitimate shots at victory in many moderate and a few center-left districts-- the super majority would be pierced and a Republican majority might be 1-2 election cycles away.  The overriding theme was to stay off of the social issues and stay united on taxes and fiscal issues.  

AB 32 sunsets in 2020 and Governor Brown was resolute that he would renew it for another ten years.  He put a lot of pressure on the Democratic legislative leadership to follow up the gas tax hike with a renewal of AB 32.  He went so far as to make a rare appearance on the Assembly floor to make a hysterical impassioned plea to vote for the extension. With a Democratic super majority, renewal seems like a shoe-in but Democratic Assembly members, in swing districts, knew a renewal vote would cost them re-election--they wanted to run and hide when the roll call came.

Republicans could smell the opportunity.  The unpopular gas tax hike would result in a likely recall breaking the super majority.  The infighting about single-payer health care was making the California Democrats look like some socialist European party.  All they had to do was to unite behind the opposition to the Cap and Trade extension and the Democrats would OWN the issues of higher taxes, reckless spending, and the price inflating Cap and Trade legislation.  Housing affordability was next on the legislative agenda and Republicans were offering supply side solutions to a supply starved state.  The Democrats were offering the same old tax and spend subsidies and voters started paying attention to our side.

Governor Brown is a crafty old pol from the good old days of buying off votes.  Cap and Trade is basically a regressive tax-- it drives up the cost of gasoline, food, and energy for poor people so that rich people can buy Teslas and put solar panels on their houses.  Legislators in poorer inland districts know this. Brown saw an opportunity to target coastal Republican legislators and offer goodies for them--more funding for their pet projects, promises of Commission appointments when they term out, and the unearned moral superiority of saving the planet from poor people so that rich elitists can feel good about themselves.

Eight Republicans defected, offering political cover for four Democrats.  The Republican Minority Assembly Leader, who three days earlier, announced that there was "no Republican support for Cap and Trade", whipped up enough votes to give the Governor and his party a victory.  A story hit the newswires about that Republican Leader's marital infidelity within an hour of the vote so I guess he shouldn't have trusted Governor Brown.

Why Does This Defection Matter?
 Firstly, Cap and Trade is horrible public policy.   It presupposes that the only solution, to a political problem, is the economic deprivation of "deplorables".  Secondly, Cap and trade is a tax, a wholesale tax which businesses pass on to its consumers in the form of higher prices.  The California Republican Party, with all of its division on social issues, branded itself as the "no new taxes" party.  Voting for the Cap and Trade Tax destroys that branding at a time when the branding was starting to pay off.  Supporting the Cap and Trade Extension tells the voters that Republicans can be bribed, bought off, or blackmailed.  Why in the HELL would voters trust THAT ?

So Why Would Anyone Vote For A California Republican?
Some California voters agree that abortion is murder (I do).  Some California voters agree that Americans have a natural right to defend their lives with the weapons the Second Amendment guarantees they can own and carry (I do).  Some California voters agree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman (Meh).  But all of those "somes" don't add up to a governing coalition in California.  A growing majority of California voters think that the Democratic Party is the party of public sector unions, reckless spending, and higher taxes and they are getting frustrated with them.  The Republican platform was reduced to one simple thing-- Republicans will never, ever, ever, raise your taxes.  Period.  End of paragraph.

What in the heck do we have to offer California now?

Brian Brady's Blog

Brian J. Brady
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F: (858) 605-4230

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Centerist's picture

"Some California voters agree that abortion is murder (I do).  Some California voters agree that Americans have a natural right to defend their lives with the weapons the Second Amendment guarantees they can own and carry (I do).  Some California voters agree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman (Meh)."

This paragraph sums up what the Republican party did to shoot itself in the foot when Bush II was president and then when they tried to run against Obama in 2008.  They based their entire platform on abortion and gay marriage, two issues that have absolutely no impact on the long-term fiscal viability of our country and which are guaranteed to repel any potential converts.

California Republicans can talk about not raising taxes until they're blue in the face, but as long as they focus on gay marriage and abortion, they will lose ground.  As long as they continue to be traitors and aid the effort to disarm American citizens in their state, they will offer nothing that the average Californian will care about.

Taxes, regulatory reform and gun rights are where the Republican Party needs to build its agenda.  If they don't represent individual liberty and small government, then they will atrophy further.  Party members will stay home on election days, and they may decide to register Independent or Libertarian.  Good luck getting Republican into general elections when that happens.

Vichey-style collaboration with the enemy has been the problem with California's Republican Party.  

DeaconPews's picture

I pray for the day we can call the left coast Arizona Bay.

williamibarra's picture

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Bubbette's picture

The problem is voters changed the election laws so the top two vote getters go onto the primary regardless of Party.  It is now mostly which Lefty Democrat can crap over the other.  Truly disgusting.  The California Legislature voted to recall three Legislatures over their vote to pass the increase in gasoline tax, and the Democrats voted to change the law on recalls.  Fascism is a slippery slope.

PitBullsRule's picture

House prices went up in CA last year, about 5%.  What are you guys talking about?

Haitian Snackout's picture

Cali went downhill between 91 and 93. Any voter could not have missed the flip flop. I'll leave it to the readers to figure out what had changed.


MagicalUnicornFarts's picture

California was lost when Reagan agreed to amnesty. 

Synoia's picture

California was lost to Republicans when Wilson targetd the majority here, the Hispanics.

silverer's picture

Republicans. Same as Democrats. Standard liars and thieves that care about only one thing: Reelection.

rockstone's picture

Anyone who's lived in CA that long is just too nuts to trust. Sorry.
(Yes.....I know RR was from CA. It was a much different place. Much, much different.)

thebigunit's picture

There are four money engines in California:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Energy
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Hollywood

Silicon Valley and Hollywood can be anywhere.  The don't have to be in California.  Politicians in California don't seem to grasp that money is mobile.

In both cases, only the "brainpower" and "money" for Silicon Valley and Hollywood are in Californai.  Most of the work is done elsewhere. What keeps the "leaders" of those industries in California is basically the climate and the "ambience".  But if the lifestyle deteriorates seriously, they're outta here.

Agriculture and energy are big, big opportunities for California.  If California started bulldozing the enviro wackos out of the way, and built some mammoth water projects to irrigate the central valley, California would be the food basket of the world AND the next Persian Gulf oil patch.

PitBullsRule's picture

...except that if they had oil wells and refinaries all over, it wouldn't be CA, it would be Houston, and nobody would want to live there would they?  You dumb shits always miss the point.

thebigunit's picture

What makes you think Californians want YOU to live here.

t wouldn't be CA, it would be Houston, and nobody would want to live there would they?

Californians would much rather have oil, water, and prosperity than have you.

Centerist's picture

Houston has been growing for some years, now.  If there is money to be made, people go where they can make it.

Synoia's picture

Where would the water come from? A divine miracle?

We had a serious drought in CA for the last few years.



thebigunit's picture

Aqueducts.  The  Romans figured this out two thousand years ago.

Where would the water come from? A divine miracle?

You haven't been doing a good job of keeping up.  

Oregon and Washington are "rain forests".  There's glaciers in the Sierra Nevada and Canada.

We give Yankee dollars to people who have water, and they give us water.

It's called "trade".  

roddy6667's picture

Hollywood doesn't realize how serious China is about taking over the movie business. More and nmore movies have a screen of Chinese writing at the beginning showing who is producing and funding the film. In the Huangdao district of Qingdao, they are building a mega-complex to compete with Hollywood. A lot of 'Hollywood" movies are made here now. Hollywood could wake up one morning to find all the work is on the other side of the planet.

Centerist's picture

Everyone loves movies with Kung Fu cops and their female nunchuck-ninja side-kicks.

PitBullsRule's picture

Yeah right, thats going to happen.  Everybody loves a good Chinese movie.

roddy6667's picture

These are not those silly Hong Kong Kung Fu movies. They have big name American and European actors and are in English, with none of the traits of the "Chinese movies" They control the financing, distribution, sets, filming, animation and more. You are already watching Chinese movies and you don't know it.

silverer's picture

Hell, I went on YouTube and searched for Chinese action movies. They're great. More sense of humor. Babes are pretty and serious, guys are kind of silly, happy go lucky and less serious. Special effects are not top notch, but some look pretty good.

barysenter's picture

Now everything shipped into, around and out of California is going to cost 20% more. Millennials there will be riding the bus and Uber for the rest of their lives.
This is Jerry Brown’s death send off gift. He can be declared insane and removed. He can be deported and his assets frozen. On the other hand by so incompetently and obviously attempting to crash the US economy on Trump’s watch he’s made it impossible for congressional criminals to present a phony excuse to remove Trump.
The California senate should apply for refugee status in Israel. They are finished.

dchang0's picture

It's already started.

Other states have enjoyed much cheaper gasoline while California is still at around $3/gallon plus or minus 50 cents.

Try buying a brand new handgun in Calif. It will cost more than for the rest of the country, sometimes by as much as 20% or more (such as for STI 2011s).

Housing is too obvious and often much more than a 100% increase.

And now they want to make the price differential even worse...

John_Coltrane's picture

Its pretty simple: an economic system must reward the productive and punish the unproductive. Otherwise parasites will overrun the system (e.g. public sector labor unions, alien invaders on welfare). What would happen if the most unfit in a species were selected for in evolution? Extinction. This is what the "people's republic of Kalifornia" faces. They better hope the big one hits first! They need to rebuild from the ground up.

DEMIZEN's picture

elite agrees to darwinistic economic systems only if they can stay at the top of or control the food chain. Do not fool yourself and consider any other outcomes.It is a matter of the survival for them and everything else is subordinated to it. They will use all the tools at disposal to protect their assests and privileges.

Everything else is empty words peddled by paid liers.

Reaper's picture

Nature's plan: Repubs in CA become extinct, allowing a new party to sprout.

DEMIZEN's picture

california is run by fascist strong center with its taxpayers as the only opposition. kinda hard to predict at what angle will shit hit the fan, the best way to handle this is to take your beach chairs out and watch the fireworks. maybe a war between china and india can turn the capital flow around?

it is a farfecthed fix but probably the only way out of this third way shitshow.

Mr. Universe's picture

Once again California leads the nation. They have shown beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no two party system, just .gov and the proles, useful tax slaves until they are not. Social engineering all along the way to ensure future generations will have no chance at ever changing anything.

caconhma's picture

Soviet Union indoctrinated their citizens for over 70 years but at some point people recognized that they need a change and killed communism since it does not work even when more that 50 M non-believers were killed and slaughter in GULAG. At some point, .gov does not have money/goods to bribe people anymore and then changes take place.

"There is only one real God. His name is hunger. This God is merciless, brutal, and nothing can stop him." Nekrasov 

dchang0's picture

I trust Calif. Republican Travis Allen (so far). He's stood firm on some unpopular (in ultra-left California) issues, including pro-gun stances against the swarm of gun control bills/laws that have battered gun owners in the past few years.

He was one of the most vocal opponents of the cap and trade extension.

Lost in translation's picture


Burn it down, all of it. Burn it to the foundation, then jackhammer the concrete into pieces, and salt the earth beneath.

California is a state sponsor of terror, and is an existential threat to the United States of America.

It must be put down like a rabid dog.


Synoia's picture

Oh fuck off, and stay east of the Sierras.

BetterRalph's picture

Cal Fire says, You forgot the /Sarc tag.

shovelhead's picture

"Republicans will never, ever, ever, raise your taxes.  Period.  End of paragraph.

What in the heck do we have to offer California now?"


A pithy and succinct observation of the Repub Party at large. Why vote Dem lite with a Party of backsliders and do-nothings without a conservative backbone?

The "Go with us and take the scenic route to Hell" attitude is why there are going to be major defections to a third Party from conservative and centrists from both Parties.

roddy6667's picture

George Bush SR was running for president on the "Read my lips. No new taxes" platform. I voted for him thinking he could extend the Eighties that Reagan had ruled. My mistake. The first thing Bush did was to raise taxes. He also went along with everything the Democratic candidate had proposed. I might as well have voted for Dukakis.

I did learn how the American political system works, or does not. I never voted again in any election.

Matteo S.'s picture

Sure. But Bush did it because Reagan dramatically increased the public deficit and the debt.

The dollar has led the US to believe there is free lunch, the truth being the lunch is being paid by the fall in the actual value of the dollar.

truthalwayswinsout's picture

The vast majority of republicans in California do not vote because the state is gerrymanded for Dems and it is impossible for a Republican to win.

Synoia's picture

Nonsense, CA has a non partisna boundaries commission. The R killed themselves when the went after the Mojority in the state, the Hispanics.


The Rs got Rs got the Racism prize.

BetterRalph's picture

My music teacher always told me CAN'T means WON'T

RagaMuffin's picture

"Brian Brady is an ideological libertarian and a registered Republican for 33 years. " An absolute bullshit statement. Libertarians have zero tolerance for Republicans You are either in the closet or out   ;-)

truthseeker47's picture

Ron Paul ran as the Libertarian candidate for president, and he was a republican representitive from Texas for decades.  Libertarians like some things from both sides, but more from the repub side; at least what the repub side is supposed to be, which excludes RINOS.

truthseeker47's picture

Conservative Californians are still actively trying to separate the northern counties from the rest of the liberal state:


If they could do it I would move there in a heartbeat.

Farmerz's picture

Here in NE Calif its beautiful country. Well, except for the Oroville dam thing, they're workin on it.



chosen's picture

The problem with the state of Jefferson is that there is nothing going on there, other than farming.  The economy, which used to be based on timber, is pretty much dead.  I guess they can hope marijuana would save them.  Without the Bay Area and LA, California would be pretty much Alabama or Mississippi, maybe Oklahoma.

Synoia's picture

Yea, only 30 Million people in the Bay area and LA. All working hard.  And what's more we try not to screw over minorities.

It's clo "do unto others as you would be done by." But that's probably over your head.

Xena fobe's picture

They would control the water to so cal.

runnymede's picture

You say that like it's a bad thing--

BetterRalph's picture

If you liked the your rights the way they were before they were stolen behind your back, then you shouldn't like the stuff coming from the Bay Area and So Cal. You probably don't even waste time writing Pelosi, Feinstein since you KNOW it's a waste of time, and talking with the enemy who wants Communism legalized, the borders open and everyone disarmed.

So in that respect if that all stopped, California would be Great, and you might want to come here.

bigkahuna's picture

If Jefferson breaks off - we are on our way.