Why the GOP Has Nothing to Offer Californians Now

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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