Thursday, November 27, 2014

Common-Sense Consensus Reforms for CA GOP



California Republican Party
While there are diverse factions on the subject of life, marriage, gun ownership, and the environment the truth is that Republicans in California can facilitate free markets, free enterprise, free people, limited government, and local control focusing on key common sense reforms.

Abortion

This subject is a heated topic, and there are concerns that party leaders want to water down the platform. Now more than ever we should stand up for every life, and send the message to all Californians. Pro-choice elements within the GOP have their reasons for believing that abortion should remain a decision between the mother and the doctor.

No matter where one defines the beginning of life, and the proper domains of viability in the womb, Republicans, conservatives, libertarians all agree that abortions should not be tax-payer funded. Furthermore, the growing consensus among young voters and throughout the country, among men and women, is to forbid partial birth abortions. Loosening regulations to ease charities

Marriage

The advent of gay marriage had divided Democrats and Republicans across the country. Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich could not believe how quickly consensus on the issue had taken place. The consequences of gay marriage by legislation or court order, however, carry weighty implications which states, charities, and local businesses have had to take into account. Men and women of conscience who do not recognize gay marriage feel that their First Amendment rights are violated if forced to provide a service to a gay couple. Discussion in protecting proprietary rights of individual businesses, churches, and charities is essential. If live and let live are the order of the day, then this expectation falls on advocates of gay marriage as well as those who recognize the true status of marriage between one man and one woman.

Second Amendment

Gun control is bad policy. Statistics, historical accounts, and current research bear out the long-term societal consequences of restricting gun ownership to competent, law-abiding citizens. The latest court ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should force liberal state lawmakers to accept that the right to concealed-carry should not be abridged simply because an applicant does not indicate a compelling reason.

Environment

Cap and Trade is a broken reform which environmental activists have rejected. The evidence simply does not exist to justify comprehensive government intervention into carbon reduction. Instead of accommodating the argument, Republicans need to stand their ground on the facts. Republican candidates should expose the hypocrisy of liberals who demand that everyone else reduce their carbon footprint, yet they drive large cars and waste tons of otherwise recyclable materials.

Water

This issue connects with environmental concerns. Instead of investing in water storage tanks outside of the Bay Area, local authority in conjunction with private investment can bring down the costs of infrastructure and resources.

Transportation

The roads in California are terrible, whether the freeways or the paved roads. The bureaucratic entanglements which increase costs without improving the pavement of our roads must be investigate and reduced.


Education

School choice should be on the lips of every Republican candidate running for office, whether locally or statewide. Africa-American voters care about a good education, and they demand the opportunity for their kids to go to the best school without waiting for the creeping reforms which never change anything.

Unions

40% of California Republicans are members of a union, and they support worker associations for their peers. Republicans do not have to promote right-to-work, but paycheck protection is a must. It is immoral as well as dysfunction to compel individuals to join a union, then force them to sit and watch their union leaders spend the money on candidates and causes without the individual employee's permission. Paycheck protection and recertification should be a top priority for Republicans, whether through the legislative process or through the court system. Strikes among public sector workers must be outlawed, as well.

Immigration

This topic has divided Republican voters from party leaders nationally as well as locally. There is no free society without a clearly defended border. Anyone who has been a victim of a crime should demand law enforcement along the Southern Border. Hispanic-Americans do not favor amnesty, no matter what the Democratic Party may claim. A secure border, welfare reform, and citizenship as a requirement to enroll in a public school must be top priorities for the California GOP.

Pensions

Regardless of Governor Jerry Brown's affirmations that they have balanced the budget and provided more funding for pension liabilities, the wall of debt is standing tall, and is eating up city, county, and state resources which could go toward paying down long-term debt, fixing our roads, and paying our teachers a better wage. Rules on the number of pensions (one) which employees can earn, coupled with higher required investments, are a must. No Republican would disagree on these concerns.

Conclusion

Despite the lack of agreement on key issues, fiscal discipline and legislative scrutiny can assure that the guiding principles which unite Republicans can enable them to work together on commonsense reforms to create consensus and ensure long-standing recovery in the Golden State.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mark Meuser Runs for State Senate District 7

Mark Meuser
Now that Mark DeSaulnier has replaced George Miller, the Seventh State Senate District in Easy Bay, Northern California is open. A special election will be held next year, and a strong Republican candidate will have a good chance of a pick-up to stop the tax-and-spend Democratic juggernaut in Sacramento.

This one Republican, Mark Meuser (Moy-zer), won the 2012 primary to challenge DeSaulnier on his lock-step support for every Democratic cause in Sacramento, which have impoverished education and business opportunities for East Bay Californians. Born in Huntington Beach, but raised in states all over the country, Meuser has diverse business, legal, and political experience. From serving as chief of staff for a Republican lawmaker in Missouri, to representing small businesses as a lawyer today, Meuser shared with me his goals for his district, and his plans to help his prospective constituents.

You ran against DeSaulnier in 2012. What did you learn from that race to help with your special election?

 I know the district and what people are thinking in the district.

What are the issues most important to these East Bay voters?

Education. When it comes to education, there is a big portion of the district which is for charter schools, because they are tired of failing schools. There is a portion of the district which is really well off, and want the best schools for their kids. There are also regional issues within the district. Far east Contra Costa is a dead end district in transportation, and it's huge for them. They have to commute an hour and a half to get to work, two hours a day, one way. And that's just one way.

What about the BART transit strikes?

I am against BART strikes, I am against any government employee being allowed to strike. It's just not right. There are some city workers ready to strike in Concord. I said "this is not right,"" Any public employee who is a civil servant should not be allowed to strike.

When will the election take  place?

DeSaulnier has not resigned yet, but we anticipate it will happen sometime in December. The election will take place next year, sometime in March.


Who are the candidates running for the race?


Susan Bonilla

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord). She supported the bullet train. Whatever you want to call it, train to nowhere.

The other candidate?

Joan Buchanan
Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), it's not a city, but a town.

Are you the only Republican?

I am the only Republican in the race. The Alameda and Contra Costa Central Committees are supporting me. They have not yet endorsed, but individuals have donated to my campaign.

Those two assembly candidates are your biggest challengers?

Those are the two names, and the reason is that both have opened up state senate candidate. Both were intending to run in 2016, when Desaulnier was termed out. Nobody else has opened up a 2016 account, besides myself, There are only three people serious about the race at this point.

Susan and I are actively fundraising.

What other issues are you concerned about?

Jobs.

What are your views on the Second Amendment? What did you think of the recent Ninth Circuit Court decision expanding concealed carry permits to California residents?

I think the 9th Circuit hit the nail on the head. They are following the case law established in DC, by the Heller decision. The Second Amendment protects the rights of the people, which the Bill of the Rights is designed to protect.

What is your stance on abortion?

Issue of abortion is a very toxic issues which everyone has an opinion about, but has not been an issue that the legislature has taken up in years. It is an issue which the media uses to divide the people. What my position is on the abortion issue will not change the problem with our underperforming schools, the disrepair of our roads, or fix the broken pension system that could soon bankrupt our state.

What are your thoughts about a law recently passed which would permit non-physicians to conduct abortions?

I found it humorous that the same people who say we need safe access to abortions now promote a concept that we need to allow nurses to be allowed to do abortions, Nurses who have not gone through all the years of medial training and residency requirements that a doctor has had to go through.You would not go to a nurse and expect the nurse to do brain surgery on you. Nurses should not be doing surgery procedures on patients. It just does not make any sense at all.

Same-sex marriage:

My issue on same-sex marriage is that this problem has been created by the government. For centuries upon centuries, the intuition of marriage was a religious one. When our country began, it was fully religious institution. With the advent of the IRS and income taxes, and the government, using taxes to promote families, it created a problem that we are facing today, in that government has co-opted something that really was in the religious scheme of things. It has created a problem that never had to be created.


Mark Meuser



What did you learn from your experience as a chief of staff for a legislator in Missouri?

My legislator had been carrying workers' comp reform for years. My job was to draft and usher through that workers' comp bill to passage. Rather than going right to the business community, I talked to all the concerned partners, I figure that rather than just write a bill that was one sided, I wanted to understand everybody's concern. I demonstrated my ability to listen to all sides, and think outside the box, that all sides could, to take care of as many problems as were there.

This issue will raise its ugly head again in California. We have the highest workers comp rates in the nation. I just saw an article in the Sacramento Bee about this.



What specific red tape are you interested in cutting?

Schools don't have enough money to educate our kids. We need to really take a serious look how much we  spend on middle management government bureaucratic administration. The more we reduce Sacramento’s bureaucratic influence over our school districts the more money goes to the teacher and offers the student the same world-class education that we gave back in the 1960s and 1970s.

Do unions play a role in the poor education our kids are receiving?

I complete support the Vergara decision. Teachers unions are completely against it. I understand why they're against it. I  think the laws that were challenged were unreasonable.I agree with the judge that these laws  were unconstitutional, especially as they were applied, and how they have affected lower income neighborhoods.

Under the old system before the Vergara decision, a  school district couldn't fire the bad teacher, without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Recently, there was a bad teacher in Los Angeles who the school decided not to terminate because of the cost. Now they are forced to pay 139 million in a settlement. Where is the money coming out of? Our student's education. That is money we cannot spend on our kids.


Campaign donors?

In the first week, we raised $20,000 from a hundred donors. Right now, it' the support of We the People. That's who we need representing us in Sacramento. We the People have very few representatives who are interested in the best of the people.

What would be the first law, bill that you would propose? What would be a priority?

 A Bill in regards to education reform would be my focus -- eliminate bureaucracy coming out of Sacramento. We already are spending a lot of money getting into mid-level management.

What about Prop 13?

 I support Prop 13 in its entirety. Government needs to learn to start cutting its program that it can no longer afford. Prop 13 forces government to leave within its means, the way that you and I do. We have only so much money coming our way. Government has been getting greedy. Pension problems.

Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?

The only thing we did not talk about is pensions. My only point in pensions is that we keep going down the path we are going, we are going to reach a point where we can't fulfill the promises we made to people. We have to do serious pension reforms, not just say were going to do but actually do some. There's some tough decisions that will have to be made.




State Senate District 7 (Contra Costa and Alameda Counties)



McCormick in Torrance: Rizzo Speaks

Geoff Rizzo


After the controversial four-three vote in favor of the McCormick ambulance contract, I contacted Geoff Rizzo, one of the council members who voted in favor of replacing Gerber Ambulance with a new emergency medical provider.

He offered to sit down with me a discuss the matter. We ended up talking for three hours, and his take on the issue was enlightening on many levels. I was really impressed that he took the time to explain the ins and outs of his decision, and the complications -- legal, financial, and political -- behind the decision.

Why did you vote for the McCormack Contract?

Based on the evidence I had at hand, what was on the agenda, were we voting for a new ambulance contract. Yes, the campaign and politics muddied the waters, clouded the issue. What we had was a business decision. What was in the best interests of the citizens of this community?

We had a situation where Gerber Ambulance Service served two notices of default on under the contract. There was a default in 2013.  The council has nothing to do with the administration of the contract. My understanding was based on the evidence in front of me.

In  the2013 letter of default sent to Gerber, some of those issues under the letter were faulty equipment, failure to have interface computer-aided dispatch system. The City has its own for the fire department. Under the terms of contract, Gerber was suppose to have established an interface between the two systems, so that the two cad systems could talk to each other, so that every one would know what was going on. The purpose was got get real time stamps.

 Real time stamps would allow the city to determine if the ambulance service was answering calls in an efficient and timely manner, and improving on their times.

The equipment issues included units not available, bald tires, paramedics had determined that defective brakes on one of the ambulance units. I can't give you specifics. These deficiencies were reported by the Torrance Fire Department, since Torrance Fire evaluates contractor on their performance.

I mentioned concerns from Torrance community members that the Torrance Fire Department was trying to make emergency medical response services an in-house department. Rizzo pointed out that there has been discussions about this change, but there are many service models which the city of Torrance is looking into.

Is the McCormick contract going to cost the city or save the city money?

This switch is revenue neutral. We are not making or losing money.

How did the city council end up with McCormick?

Rizzo detailed a lengthy bidding process, which Councilwoman Ashcraft confirmed for me.

The city released requests for proposal to thirty-two ambulance companies, drawing from a list provided by the LA County Health department. Of the thirty-two contacted, only four responded.


Heidi Ashcraft

Councilwoman Ashcraft asked "why only four?" at the meeting, Rizzo pointed out in our conversation.

Most of the ambulance providers contacted did not have emergency services. Of the four, Gerber was disqualified because they did not provide audited financial statements. This part of the proposal was crucial to the council's final decision, Rizzo told me, because they needed to know that Torrance would be working with a solvent company, and would not have to scurry around for another provider if the company suddenly went out of business.

The three companies which remained candidates for the city contract were:

AmeriCare: has 18 years of experience, corporation founded in 1996, still owns 100%  serves(Carson)

Care -- 45 years of experience, in 2010 acquired and became subsidiary (Orange)

McCormack (WestMed) -- 50 years, CEO is Near Torrance,


Rizzo then explained to me the rating process for the three remaining companies

We were not on the evaluation committee. They are from city staff: representatives from the city financial, communications (CIT), and two reps from the fire department: EMS Coordinator, Senior Admin analyst. 


I was skeptical of the rating process, since two of the individuals involved were connected to the Fire Department. Rizzo explained to me that the EMS coordinator and the senior analyst are part of two different bargaining units, as well as the finance and communications representative on the evaluation committee. He was not convinced that Mayor Furey was involved in any improprieties or influence on this contract.

Mayor Pat Furey
Documents provided are reviewed and scored independently on various categories. I would have to go back and look at the record to give you details. In the council items, it will show some of the scoring, the various aspects of the proposal. Each of the raters will give an independent score, then take the average of the four scores. McCormack had the best score.

Regarding the political controversies surrounding the McCormick bid, Rizzo reminded me that he had received no campaign contributions from Gerber or McCormick, while other members on the city council had received donations from Gerber. If campaign donations had served as the final arbiter for who could vote, Rizzo would have been the only member voting on the contract.

I go no money from Gerber or McCormack. Did I have conservations with Gerber and McCormack prior to the hearing? Yes.

He then explained what would have happened if the council voted down McCormick:

Let's say we vote no, and we extend the Gerber contract for six months. What if because of the deficiencies listed in the default letters, someone is injured or killed? What is the exposure of the city of Torrance for a lawsuit, knowing full well that there were performance issues with contractor?

For Rizzo, liability concerns were a major factor in choosing McCormick.

It's a twelve month contract. We don't want to get stuck with the same issues. We need this vital service. Gerber had issues, was deficient in its contract. To have Gerber continue to provide would have opened us to huge liability. I had agonized over the decision. We got the packages on Friday, November the 15th for reviewing, We received supplemental info on Monday. Much of the supplemental to solidify questions.

Even when the city sent advanced notice to Gerber that Torrance was not extending their contract, the company did nothing to changer their operations. They had at least three months before the November vote to get their financials audit in order, too. The fact that Gerber has a recorded history of default, whether valid or not, would have opened the city of Torrance to greater liability, too.

Our extended discussion about the contract change revealed to me the conflicts inherent in the decision-making process for city council members. Gerber was a city agency, well-known to the community, had served Torrance for nearly thirty years. It was an emotional night when the city council chose a different emergency provider, and by a slim vote.

Then the local press reports allegations of pay-for-play, indicating the independent expenditures on behalf of Pat Furey. Insinuations from the latest editorial suggest a personal rivalry between the Daily Breeze and the mayor. Other reports have informed me that the  mayor will sue the newspaper for defamation very soon.

Having discussed the matter with Rizzo, I understand why he wanted to take the time to explain at length his decision-making process. From all the paperwork he had to read, to the discussions with other council members and city leaders, to the potential consequences of continuing with Gerber, Rizzo confided that there were a number of issues to factor in when voting for McCormick for a twelve-month contract.

As a constituent, I told Rizzo that the city needs to invest in a different evaluation process for current emergency providers, to ensure that city councils receive an independent review for current and future providers. He agreed with me, and affirmed that the council would be looking into that matter later on.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jonathan Gruber: Liberal Racketeer

In the latest edition of The McLaughlin Group, the guest speakers commented on the growing revelations of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber's damning comments about the secrecy, deception, and outright fraud from the Democratic Congress and President Obama to pass the Affordable Care Act.

Architect (Confidence Man) Jonathan Gruber

The episode featured the first of many revelatory quotes from Gruber:

This bill was written in a tortured way so that the CBO wouldn't score the individual mandate as taxes. If the CBO scored the mandate  as taxes, the bill dies. So, it was written to do that. In terms of subsidies, if you wrote  a law that said: "Healthy people are going to pay in, and sick people get money", it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really critical to getting the bill to pass.


What Gruber said very simply is: "We put one over on the stupid Americans."

And that's what a lot of Americans believe. They didn't understand it. Pelosi said: "We gotta pass it to see what's in it." And this is extraordinarily damaging both to the Obama program and to the President himself.

Then Buchanan declared:

This guy Gruber is an extract of pure liberalism, a liberal racketeer. One of these guys is brought in with a great moral compass, then he enriches himself.

Buchanan has summed up the Democratic elite program with wit and aplomb.

While politicians on the Left claim to care about the poor and and disenfranchises, they are really interested in enriching themselves. This tacit knowledge is fully public, evident, inescapable.

Gruber has not only brought down President Obama's fraudulence further, but has added strength to the new Supreme Court case challenging Obamacare subsidies for federal health exchanges.

Will Charlie Munger Jr. Help James Spencer?

Charlie Munger, Jr. is heavily invested in Republican assembly, state senate, and sometimes Congressional races. California Watch rates the Silicon Valley political activist #3 in terms of influence and financing in Golden State politics. According to their report, up to 2011, he has enjoyed a 99% success rate with his funding: better than the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker.

Charlie Munger, Jr.


When candidates get Munger money, then know that someone important is fighting for them.

I have read negative concerns regarding his overindulgence in Republican vs. Republican contests. He also took heat from the left for opposing Governor Brown's Prop 30 and promoting union restrictions in Prop 32. Other voices have suggested that he has the right idea, his heart is in the right place, but he is taking bad advice, which includes supporting candidates and causes to moderate, or water down the party platform.

In the next two weeks, Munger can dispel these rumors. On December 9th, the Secretary of State has called for a special election to replace convicted felon Roderick Wright in the 35th State Senate District.

Of the four candidates running for office, including incumbent Democrat Isadore Hall (D-Compton), there is only one Republican: James Spencer.

A candidate who ran for office in 2004, Spencer threw his hat in the rang this time, standing on a platform of good schools through choice, and economic growth through opportunities and private investment. He defends the United States Constitution, conservative on social and fiscal issues.

The Republican Party needs rebranding, outreach, and stronger ground game in otherwise heavily Democratic regions, like South Los Angeles and the Harbor region, two major sections of the 3th State Senate District.

While the likelihood of a Republican upset seems quite unlikely in this district (Democratic registration 61% vs. 19% GOP), the shifting ideological demographics may afford a Republican candidate the opportunity to capitalize on the Democratic Party's routine failures to deliver more jobs, better schools, and safer streets to black communities in the region. Spencer shared all these points with me an interview, and will take this message to the senate district with the little time remaining.

James Spencer

Another website, CalWatchDog.org, was less optimistic about Spencer's chances:

And on Dec. 9, an election will be held to replace Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright in Senate District 35. He resigned after being convicted in a corruption scandal. If necessary, a Feb. 10, 2015 runoff will be held. According to Ballotpedia, “Louis L. Dominguez (D), Isadore Hall, III (D), Hector Serrano (D) and James Spencer (R) will face off.” As Wright got 76.5 percent of the vote to 23.5 percent for Republican Charlotte A. Svolos in the 2012 election, one of the Democrats is almost assured of victory, meaning this race also won’t change the party makeup of the Senate.

However, there is nothing wrong with vetting the area with a strong candidate. The President's executive amnesty is provoking outrage with black South LA residents, and the Democratic Party's descent into social illiberalism (gay marriage, abortion on demand, resistance to school choice) has only alienated black voters, giving the otherwise loyal voting bloc more reasons to feel taken for granted, and thus being taken.

Charlie Munger, Jr. along and the California Republican Party has a chance to make stronger inroads into otherwise distanced communities. Munger's infusion of independent expenditure cash could help lingering Republican operations in the region gain strength and step off into future contests local as well as district-wide.

Will Munger take advantage of this opportunity? At the very least, he should.

State Senate District 35

Eleanor Clift's Third Grade Constitutionalism

Eleanor Clift is the token unapologetic liberal contributor on The McLaughlin Group.

Eleanor Clift

How she can stand by he assessment of President Obama's extralegal lawlessness renders not just a marginal voice on the program, but regrettable if not laughable.

On the November 21, 2014 edition of the program, Clift bent over backwards justifying President Obama's executive disregard of federal immigration laws:

The well was already poisoned. Republicans made a decision early on to oppose virtually everything this President did.

First of all, the Constitution is very clear about the President's role in the federal framework:

Article. 2 // Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

The Constitution is inconspicuously silent, or rather brief on the powers of the President. Execution of the law means nothing more (and nothing less) than enforcement of the law. Those laws come from Congress, and the enumerated powers of Congress are provided in Article 1. Congress is designated power, and the President responds to their direction.

There is a role of persuasion of recommendation granted to the President:

Article. 2 // Section. 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;

Yet Clift disparages the Republicans in Congress because they oppose everything that the President has done. Frankly, the President should not be doing anything unless the Congress empowers him to. Clift has reversed the proper constitutional order. Congress, whether Democrat or Republican controlled, does not respond to the President, but rather establishes what the President may do. In effect, they should be opposing everything the President does which steps outside of the bounds of federal law.

Now, if they disagree with him on that, they might [say]: "We might not confirm an attorney general, we're not going to confirm any of your appointments. We're not going to do anything on these other issues. It's like a third grader's response: stamping your feet, and holding your breath. You think the country's going to reward that? I hope not.

From the founding of the country and the Constitutions, the Framers instituted a government designed precisely to stall, to delay, and to invite deliberate (slow and well-conceived) government action.

From "third grader" James Madison:


James Madison
An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
 
Thomas Jefferson
One third grader writing to another third grader, Thomas Jefferson:
 
 
The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution, and it ought to be so commented and acted on by every friend of free government.
 
Alexander Hamilton
 
Yet another third grader, Alexander Hamilton,  describing the benefit of the President's veto:
 
The injury which may possibly be done by defeating a few good laws, will be amply compensated by the advantage of preventing a number of bad ones. 
 
The Framers were not interested in an activist federal government, but a restrained one. The argument which shames Congress for blocking the President ignores the fact that the government was never in the business of expansion, but rather retention of our rights and liberties, followed by diffusion of responsibilities to the states and the people (Article 10 of the Bill of Rights).
 
Clift then echoed the sentiment of conservatives George Will and Tom Rogan:
 
They only will argue with him [The President] on procedure. They won't argue with him on the substance of what he has done. What he has done is correct. It will stand up in the courts.
 
The Congress have every right and necessity to dispute President Obama's actions on the grounds of procedure, for his role is enacting, enforcing, executing the laws of the land. There is nothing for him to do, since Congress did not pass legislation. Despite the US Senate's bipartisan legislation in 2013, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, responding to the heart-beat of the American people, have continued to reject amnesty. 
 
That is the federal system of government laid out in the Constitution. Like many progressives, Clift has an apparent, yet unannounced disdain for the United States' uniting charter, yet her disregard does not mitigate the final authority, the supremacy of the charter over laws state and federal, as well as the aberrant will of the current chief executive.
 
For all her condescension toward the Republicans' obstruction, Clift herself sounds like a third grader, because of her impoverished, unjustified ignorance of the United States Constitution as a restriction on power, both the President and the Congress. While she characterizes Congressional resistance as immature power plays, Congress is in fact manifesting its mature responsibilities as guardians of the rights and powers of the states and the people.
 
 

Obamnesty: Wrong Idea, Wrong Implementation

First, Washington Post syndicated columnist George Will offered the following about Obama's executive amnesty, otherwise known as "Obamnesty":

George Will

The policies are defensible, the process is execrable.

President Obama wants to extend citizenship to illegal immigrants, individuals who broke the law entering the country, while ignoring the integrity and effort of millions of legal residents who played by the rules? No, such a move is indefensible, but the process of ignoring Congress and discriminating federal law is execrable. In prior episodes of Fox News Sunday, Will characterized the thousands of illegal immigrant minors as benign migrants with teddy bears. Why he defies recognizing the long-term consequences of unprotected borders and unenforced federal statutes remains disconcerting. Still, he offered an opinion, one which reflects poor fundamental principles.

Tom Rogan

Then National Review Editor Tom Rogan contributed on the McLaughlin Group the following:

It's executive overreach to a huge degree. Whether the President's policy is right, it's not right in procedure. I think it's a great disservice, not just to the executive branch and the Presidency, and this president himself, but also to the notion of American law. We have to remember, this is a Harvard Law graduate who has done this in such a disdainful way. It has poisoned the well, and that is a deep shame.

President Obama has extended executive amnesty not just to a significant cohort of young illegal immigrants, brought to this country by their parents, but he has also extended provisional permission (with permits) to the illegal parents, as well as the illegal parents whose children are living here legally.

He has no authority to do this.

Where one can take greater offense, however, is that the very idea of extending permits, green cards, and Social Security cards to illegal immigrants is a good idea.

No, the proper course would begin with securing the border. Security does not require a fence, but the requisite number of troops and resources, along with buildings to house then remove illegal immigrants. Pat Buchanan made a point about the frustration not just of conservatives, but with Middle America because their own President will not enforce the laws on the books, and secure the border. This executive fiat moves Middle America from frustration to outrage. Three of the panelists, including the more liberal Mort Zuckerman concluded that this executive measures is a big mistake which will hurt President Obama and the Democratic Party in the future.

The McLaughlin assessment is sound and certain. When the President defies popular opinion on reasonable policies, like border security and energy expansion, he has done himself and his party a grave disservice. While the discussion on the McLaughlin group submitted that this measure will divide the Republican Party, the manifest displeasure of this measure will more likely unify their cause. Even the Chamber of Commerce branch of the GOP would rather see the President marginalized, even though they pursued a similar outcome for cheap labor.

Obamnesty is a bad idea, and no implementation could justify it, or make it any worse.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Good News in the Midst of Bad: Pennsylvania

Republicans did remarkably well in 2014. They took back the US Senate, by wider than expected margins. They also expanded their majority in the House. They also won a net three governor's races: Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

I said a net of three of course, because Republicans lost one governor's seat: Pennsylvania.
Former Governor Tom Corbett

In a prior post, I outlined all the failures of Governor Tom Corbett, including his pandering to unions, his inaction on right-to-work, his openness to raising taxes, and his incapacity to work with commanding majorities in the state legislature.

While Pennsylvania voters rejected Corbett, they did not reject Republican policies. The federal Congressional delegation still retains thirteen seats to five Democrats, as well.

What about the Harrisburg state legislature?

Samuel Smith, Speaker of the PA House

On November 3rd, Republicans held the state house 111-91, with one vacancy: a decent majority. After the election, even though Democrat Tom Wolf defeated Corbett, Republicans gained eight seats, 119-84. Wolf does not have a mandate to govern like a liberal. Pennsylvanians signaled a drive for reforms, not more of the same.

Joseph B. Scarnati III
Joseph Scarnati, President Pro Tem

Dominic  Pileggi
Dominic Pileggi, Senate Floor Leader
In the state senate, Republicans held the majority before election day 27-22, with one vacancy. After voting, Republicans expanded their majority 30-20, including the vacancy.

So, Republican operatives should learn from Corbett's mistake: stay true to your party's platform, enact the reforms which you and your party have pledged to enforce, and work with your partisan peers to accomplish as much as possible.


US Senator Pat Toomey

These election results portend better outcomes for incumbent Republican US Senator Pat Toomey, who may not face a primary challenge, but will find a strong Democratic push in 2016 for them get back a seat which they had lost in 2010. Early polling suggests that Toomey can do well against any potential Democratic challenger, but national currents make as much a difference as anything else. 

Of course, a strong statewide Pennsylvania Republican offensive which can get things done in Harrisburg, even with a liberal Democratic governor, will help seal Toomey's win (or determine his loss).

What do Pennsylvanians have in store with the next legislature? PennLive comments:

But winning may have been the easy part. Ahead of the York County Democrat is the task of pushing an ambitious platform through a Republican-controlled legislature, while inheriting a major deficit and ballooning public pension system costs.

Then

Like Corbett, the challenges facing Wolf are significant: He will face a newly strengthened Republican majorities in both the House and Senate that don't share many aspects of his agenda. 

Severe financial problems have not been resolved, and a wider Republican legislature will push back against tax increases. Marijuana legalization may find some support, and a shale tax may be up for discussion. A fractured legislative session may hurt Toomey's chances, or help. Governor-elect Wolf's political accomplishments in conservative York County may lean him toward right-leaning compromise, as well.

So, even though Republicans lost one governor seat in 2014, their policies were not rejected, and the reform-minded agenda of Tea Party conservatives remains a strong feature of Pennsylvania politics.

Munger's Plans: Buying Delegates?

Charlie Munger Jr. likes to spend his money. He likes to spread it around for Republican candidates in the state of California. Lately, I have been reading about his interesting, if not quixotic financial exploits on "The Munger Games".

The man is apparently wasting his patrimony on acrimonious Republican vs. Republican contests. Why invest in a race where Republicans are certain to win, only to ignore close contests where a GOP needed that extra boost to carry over? Here is a list of five close Assembly races. Here's a list of close Congressional races where the Bow-Tied One gave. . .not enough (if anything at all).



munger no help janet
This picture says it all (Munger Games)
Why is he trying to get rid of incumbents in seats which Republicans are guaranteed to win? Why won't he help his party gain seats in Congress?

Here's a thought. . .

The way the California Republican Party works, every candidate who runs for office and survives the primary becomes a delegate to the next  CA GOP convention. The higher one's voter percentage, the more delegates a candidate can appoint to attend and vote at the convention.

Perhaps the Bow-Tied One is influencing these races so that he can pull strings with the candidate and his or her potential delegate appointees.

"I helped you out, now you help me out."

Consider openly gay Carl DeMaio. Yes, he lost to Scott Peters, and he took down millions of dollars with him. The San Diego Republican Party backed this horse, even though he was controversial due to his diverse stance on a number of issues.

Yet as a Munger-backed candidate, and coming within a few thousand votes of winning, he can bring with him five to eight delegates to the next California Republican Party convention. Now the left-leaning Republican can vote on watering down the state party platform.

Border security? Now let's root for amnesty.

Life begins at conception, deserves our protection? With Munger-influenced delegates, they will say pro-choice is a principled stance (except for the baby, but who cares what he or she thinks, right?)

Marriage? Gays can marry, too. One view of MassResistance.org documentary, and anyone with sense can see where state-imposed gay marriage can take a state, or this country. With Munger money on their minds, delegates won't care, and will have no problem with societal redefinition of marriage.

Guns? Who needs the Second Amendment! Munger delegates will also say: "Go with gun-control from now on."

When viewing Munger's eerie investments in certain campaigns in 2014, one sees an interesting pattern. The heir-physicist isn't handing out all this money to central committees, state county party leaders, and moderate candidates out of the goodness of is heart, now, is he?

Munger the Moderate, watering down the California Republican Party platform, is he trying to pay for then placate candidates, their potential delegates, and thus steer the party platform to the left? Makes perfect sense in a sinister sort of way. . .


Time will tell.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Schaper's Agenda for Assm. David Hadley

Assemblyman David Hadley:

I am taking a (very) small risk at this point preparing a blog post about your election to the 66th Assembly District. The latest tally from the LA Registrar and the Secretary of State claim that your lead over Assemblyman Muratsuchi has diminished to 1,069 votes. I do not believe that former Assemblyman Muratsuchi's tally will surpass yours.

Not a chance. Welcome to the state assembly, David!

Now, I have a list of goals which I hope that you pursue as soon as possible. The legislative calendar tends to be all too brief in the state capital (January to April), and Democrats are looking for as many poison bills as they can to divide Republicans and gain back seats which they lost in 2014, including yours.

1. Education: Assist Gardena and Lomita to have their own school districts, apart from Los Angeles Unified. I do not need to remind you or itemize the benefits of this legislation all around, yet they are worth repeating: local control, community accountable, high property values. Consider reaching out to the 35th State Senate District special election candidates. Roderick Wright did wrong, and now he is long gone. Whoever wins that seat, you will need their help to pass any legislation aiding Gardena and Lomita's break away from LAUSD. You can also contact Senate Minority leader Bob Huff, who tried to pass a statewide school choice reform. Also connecting with education, please renegotiate the Local Control Funding Formula with your new GOP peers as well as Democratic/Republican incumbents. Why should South Bay schools receive such impoverished funding just because the surrounding areas are wealthier and the students excel at their studies?

2. Pension reform is a necessity, and union dominance overwhelms Sacramento. Pursue/introduce lobbyist reforms, like term-limits for union advocates in the state legislature. Why not at least introduce a right-to-work bill, even if it has no chance of passage out of committee?

3. Introduce legislation which will permit the voters of the state of California to affirm or reject drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Oregon voters rejected this measure two-to-one this year, even though they reelected the same Democratic delegation to the US Senate, Congress, and the governor's mansion.

4. Sponsor a meet-and-greet with the South Bay law enforcement chiefs. While Muratsuchi just took the word of LAPD chief Charlie Beck about crime, safety, immigration, why not invite the opinion of police chiefs in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gardena, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula to share their concerns with you?

5. We need welfare reform in the state of California, in Los Angeles county. Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office informed me that all welfare issues are handled at the state level. A good photo op/partnership on welfare reform would include LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, the only renowned countywide (if not statewide) opponent of expanded taxpayer-funded subsidies in the Los Angeles area.

6. One of your campaign pledges was to introduce a measure to require parental notification before a pregnant minor seeks an abortion. Life matters, so let the legislature know it.

7.  Gay marriage is currently recognized by judicial fiat in the state of California. At this time, individual businesses and churches are at risk for legal reprisal if proprietors do not cater to requests from gay/lesbian couples. Push whatever measures are necessary to protect the proprietary rights of business owners, charities, and religious establishments who do not approve nor wish to recognize gay marriage.

8. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal just approved an expedited process for California residents to apply and obtain concealed-carry handgun licenses. Support the enforcement and submission of all counties, especially Los Angeles County, to abide by this ruling and permit all law-abiding citizens who seek permits to be able to apply for them.

9. What  measures can the current legislature take to stall or limit the negative effects of Cap and Trade taxation? Investigate these possibilities and implement them with you conservative colleagues.

10. Press for increased funding for security along the California/Mexico border. Every legislator possesses the bully pulpit, and demanding enforcement as opposed to accommodation on our nation's immigration laws is essential for preserving the South Bay quality of life.

I am certain that the demands are already flooding your office and your soon-to-be established capitol delegation. Nevertheless, these concerns cannot be overlooked, and I hope that you stump for these issues as soon as possible.