Skip to comments.To California GOP, Tampa a Far-Away and Hostile Planet
Posted on 08/26/2012 5:52:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
Like teenagers on vacation with their parents, Republicans from blue states and Democrats from red states don't want to be seen with party elders.
"I don't spend a lot of time thinking about Mitt Romney," Elizabeth Emken, the Republican who will face off against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in November, recently told me. "That's the truth. I've never met him."
Emken thinks she has a shot at winning the election precisely because she is not the pick of the GOP establishment. "We've had millionaires and billionaires and CEOs and movie stars," said Emken in a not-so-subtle swipe at former top-of-the ticket Republicans Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Arnold Schwarzenegger. "We need folks running."
Emken won't attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this week. "I don't think there's any concrete reason I should go," she said.
When you're running as a Republican in a one-party (not yours) state, it's every candidate for herself. And make no mistake: California is home to more liberals than conservatives. Democrats represent about 43 percent of voters, compared with the GOP's 30 percent; they hold every statewide office and control both houses of the Legislature.
Undaunted by the challenge of winning congressional seats in California, GOP House Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield took a break from fundraising in San Francisco last month to tell political reporters of his plan. McCarthy showed up with three "young guns" -- candidates who can raise money and build an organization and he says, have a solid shot at winning in November. He is working to rebuild the Republican bench one seat at a time. The "young guns":
1. Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann is challenging Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove (Sacramento County). "It's no secret I kept off the social issues in the primary," said Vann, who describes herself as "personally pro-life" but "I don't believe that I should be making that choice for other women."
Vann also departs from the GOP base in her refusal to sign Americans for Tax Reform's infamous no-new-taxes pledge. She doesn't plan to vote for tax increases, she said, but also, "I don't think it's good government to tie your hands."
2. Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado is challenging Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, although Capps might not be his most serious problem. "The people are mad," said Maldonado, that after years of persistent state budget shortfalls, Sacramento somehow found the money for a high-speed rail. He thinks voters are ready for change. Maldonado's biggest headache could be the GOP. Despite his high profile, the state Republican Party would not endorse him in the June primary.
Still, he won.
Now he is at odds with GOP stalwarts who have issues not only with his support for abortion rights and refusal to sign the no-new-taxes pledge but also with his sponsorship of the state's new "top two" primary law that pits the top two vote getters against each other in November, regardless of party.
When I asked Jon Fleischman, founder and publisher of the conservative website FlashReport, if he wanted Maldonado to win, Fleischman answered, "I have no comment."
3. State Sen. Tony Strickland doesn't face an incumbent in his bid to represent Ventura County in Congress. Strickland did sign the no-new-taxes pledge and opposes abortion rights, but like Vann and Maldonado, he is happy to stand with Republicans with different views. That's the McCarthy formula: Pick young candidates who want to get things done.
All three of McCarthy's proteges like to emphasize their pragmatic side and their ties to their district. They're not parachute-in politicians. Fleischman rejects the suggestion (mine) that base Republicans should spend less time enforcing party purity and more time reaching out to moderates. Whitman backed public funding of abortions and gun control, Fleischman argued, so don't say the GOP excludes moderates. And moderate Republicans don't necessarily win.
Good point, but to woo voters, Republicans have to show a willingness to work with others, even cut deals. They've got to appeal to middle-of-the-road types. They can't come across like the GOP hopefuls who, at a Fox News presidential primary debate last year, all agreed that they would reject a deficit-reduction deal, even if Democrats offered $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.
On the other hand, Californians have reason to be angry. The Golden State has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, and Sacramento has been running in the red for most of the last decade. Gov. Jerry Brown is asking voters to approve a tax hike because state government is broke while he's pushing a $68 billion high-speed rail project. Voters look to Sacramento and Washington and see rampant dysfunction.
Voters "want someone new," McCarthy told me. "They just don't want someone who looks crazy."
“...they would reject a deficit-reduction deal, even if Democrats offered $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.”
It would have been good to hear at least one of those candidates explain that the lying POS Dems offered Pres. Reagan $3 of cuts for $1 of increased taxes. He agreed to raise taxes, and lthey didn’t cut anything. They offered Pres. G. H. W. Bush $2 of cuts for $1 of tax increases. He raised taxes, which they crucified him for as he ran for re-election, and they didn’t cut anything.
With that past history of deception, only a fool would believe a Democrat’s promises to cut the budget. They won’t even do it now that we are $16 TRILLION in the hole. Someone on that stage should have made the point that you can’t trust Democrats because they lie to win votes.
The rats are choosing to go down with the ship
And California will only keep on getting more liberal as those who hate liberal policies flee to other states. Unfortunately, some of the original liberal voters/troublemakers flee the results of their voting pattern and set up the same scenario in the states they flee to. Stupid is as stupid does.
Wow, you're gonna get crushed like a bug by a vampiress, in what will turn out to be a GOP year everywhere else. But you'll have your quotes about Mittney to keep you warm. Nice job!
There seems to be NO indication at all that CA wants “change” of any kind. CA people are just looking for more government largesse and more “social freedom”.
Elizabeth Emken, the Republican who will face off against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in November
lol. Like she has a chance. I think Romney is lucky not to have this woman near him. Dianne Feinstein will have the seat until she either passes away or leaves on her own accord.
California will only keep on getting more liberal as those who hate liberal policies flee to other states.
The oddity of this is that those who leave CA seem to import more liberalism to their new states too. Look how CA migrants have moved AZ, NV, and CO to the left.
Funny, many of we Floridians feel the same way about California.
The oddity of this is that those who leave CA seem to import more liberalism to their new states too. Look how CA migrants have moved AZ, NV, and CO to the left.The very definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
"Those silly townhall hacks. They conveniently forget to mention that its due to my immigration policies California is electoral no man's land for the GOP."
Hey Kaslin - does that website give you a gratuity to continually post their dreck on FR? Can the rest of us get a cut for the unfortunate circumstance of reading it?
You know it. I fled last year, couldn’t take it anymore. The California majority of voters deserve their pain.
Maldonado is in my MIL’s district. He is a RINO. I wouldn’t be surprised if he changes parties. Bummer. He comes from a successful farming family who started with nothing. It’s a nice American success story. And that’s where it ends.
Not to mention Bush's role in the appointment of Gerry Parsky to control CAGOP disbursements to candidates. Conservative nominees haven't seen a dime from the Republican Party ever since.
That doesn't mean bending to moderate voters; it means educating them as to why conservative principles work.
“Emken thinks she has a shot at winning the election precisely because she is not the pick of the GOP establishment.”
Emken is as delusional as Akin.
What they don’t understand is that people appreciate people with a backbone! All the weak kneed crap they are spouting only proves they are pandering posers.