Goodbye, California GOP.
At the conclusion of the 2016 GOP Presidential primary crapfest, I decided I was done with the party on a national level. And while not a fan of the state party for numerous reasons, I stayed a member, hoping I could help effect change here. After all, I’m one of the few Californians whose elected officials – from city council to congress – are almost exclusively Republican.
Then last night I watched in disbelief as party leaders joined forces with the Democrats to extend the state’s cap and trade program, which has a lot of partially-related items contained within, and that was the last straw.
Leaders of a political party based on individual freedom, free markets, and small government just championed legislation that continues a huge bureaucracy, minimum pricing (for the pollution permits), and increased taxes – while tearfully claiming they’re doing the right thing for the planet.
Thanks, but there are thousands of Democrats I could vote for who would do the same thing.
In a post-vote press conference, GOP Assembly Caucus leader Chad Mayes, who was instrumental in getting 7 Assembly Republicans to vote for the measure (giving it a supermajority), appeared with his handlers, and it looks like a hostage video. I mean, really. Watch Kevin de Leon’s face, and listen to the inflections in Mayes’ voice.
— John Myers (@johnmyers) July 18, 2017
When he says “Soviet style” you could have put a thought bubble with “Oops, will I get in trouble for that?” above his head. Assemblyman, “Soviet style” aptly describes most of the policies coming out of Sacramento.
In comments before the vote, Mayes summed it up.
“California Republicans are different than national Republicans,” said Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), who pushed members of his caucus to work with Democrats on the issue.
You’re different all right. Have you noticed there are fewer of you here than basically anywhere else and that you lose members – even extremely conservative members – with alarming regularity?
“Many of us believe that climate change is real, and that it’s a responsibility we have to work to address it.”
Sure, “climate change” is real. The climate’s been changing for millions of years and will continue to do so. Even if you believe human action plays a definitive role in this, why is it the government’s place to provide economic incentives? If you’re any type of Republican you realize that’s not in the party platform.
Still, Mayes tried to invoke Ronald Reagan, and such strong-willed Republicans as George Schultz and Arnold Schwarzenegger lent their praise.
“Passing this bill on a bipartisan basis…is something Ronald Reagan…would be proud”
— Asm. Chad Mayes (@ChadMayesCA) July 17, 2017
All I have to say for that justification is:
Why would Republicans do such a thing? They claim that the Democrats were going to pass something anyway, and they negotiated some concessions. Let’s review the concessions.
First, they secured legislative approval for a constitutional amendment ballot proposal that would require supermajority approval for any funds disbursed through the program.
What? All they got was permission to place an amendment on the ballot? If you think the Dems won’t do everything they can to ensure that amendment fails, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
Next, a controversial rural fire tax that the state was already being sued over was eliminated. Hmm. Not exactly a huge victory.
Then, some business-friendly tax breaks were added – but those won’t go into effect immediately.
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, prices at the pump could go up 24 to 73 cents a gallon by 2031. That’s in addition to the huge gas tax hike lawmakers ALREADY approved this session.
Under the current plan, Jerry Brown’s high speed rail
project boondoggle receives 25 percent of the funds – and that will continue.
The current plan wasn’t bringing in the revenue that was expected and was facing court challenges because businesses argued that the plan was a de facto tax and, as such, should have been passed with a 2/3 majority. Because of our feckless “conservatives,” this bill passed with a 2/3 majority.
They could have – and should have – just stood firm and let the chips fall. There were a few Republicans who stood firm against the propaganda (Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez comes to mind), and for that I’m grateful. But there’s too much Chad Mayes in the CA GOP and not enough Melissa Melendez. So, good luck, CA GOP. You’re gonna need it.