Wednesday, October 1, 2014

California GOP v. Rhode Island GOP

Jerry Brown v. Neel Kashkari
I am dismayed with the choices facing me this November.

The two gubernatorial candidates are too similar on the issues, and their stances are antithetical to the Republican Party platform.

Need I remind anyone reading: one of the candidates is a Republican (in name only).

There is no nice way to avoid stating the obvious: Neel Kashkari is too liberal, and on too many issues.

He supports gay marriage, when he should support getting the government out of marriage.

He is pro-abortion (that is not a pro-choice position, especially for the unborn child).

He believes that climate change is an existential threat, despite the scientific consensus rising against the hyperbolic fears surrounding this issue.

He is pro-Common Core, which is a massive federalization of public education, plus a source of desperate frustration among students and parents. Where's the argument for school choice, for vouchers, for reforming tenure, aside from support for Vergara v. California?

I have heard very little regarding Kashkari's defense of the Second Amendment.

He favors sending the illegal immigrant youth home, yet at the same time he supports allowing illegal immigrants to drive legally in the state of California.


I cannot vote for this man. I like many of the powerful statements he made during his one debate with Governor Brown. Despite my initial concerns, Kashkari differed on a great deal with Brown.

Still, Kashkari is Democrat-lite. He voted for Obama twice, and never ran from those endorsements, either. He is a RINO.

Even Democrats recognize that Kashkari is not a Republican, when it comes to the platform and the values.

However, not only are the candidates a disappointment, so too are the party leaders and the financial wing of the party.

CA GOP Chairman Jim Brulte took union money, and he has neither secured nor enforced the key platform of the party. Granted, the GOP is stuck at 29% registration in California, but how does watering down the bold colors of a political party ensure that future voters will register GOP? New stats suggest that Californians are fed up with both parties, and the ranks of Independent (or decline-to-state) are rising considerably.

Statewide campaigns are ignoring  their fellow candidates, and local races are competing with the statewide one for campaign cash. A wealthy physicist, Charlie Munger, funds attack ads against other Republicans in 100% GOP districts. This disunity is discouraging.

Mark Smiley
In contrast to the largest state in the union, the Republican Party in Rhode Island (the smallest per geography) could teach the CA GOP by example.

The new Chairman, Mark Smiley, won the chairmanship by one vote last year. The bitterness which erupted among Republicans was devastating, at first. Despite suggests for a co-chairmanship with the second-place winner, Dr. Dan Harrop, elected Republican officials told the convention to stop the fighting and settle on Mark Smiley as the winner.

Mark Smiley, a member of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, articulated the societal concerns related to gay marriage, including sex education instruction to minors. Those cultural currents disturbed him and they should awaken concern from all conservatives on the gay marriage issue.

Fundraising has proceeded apace in Rhode Island, and Chairman Smiley did not sell out by taking union money to do it. There is no campaign debt, and the RI GOP has established a new headquarters in Warwick.

In the gubernatorial primary, Moderate Party candidate Ken Block switched parties to run as a Republican. Like Neel Kashkari in California, he voted for Obama, was pro-choice, pro-gay marriage etc. His challenger, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, is also pro-choice, but solidified his opposition to abortion on demand and partial birth abortion. He received the endorsement of the Rhode Island Right to Life movement.

He also opposes drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, unlike Kashkari.

Allan Fung
In many ways, Fung is more of a Republican than his California counterpart.

Strangely enough, though, Rhode Island is the most liberal state in the union, and Republicans account for only 9% of registered voters, with Democrats at 40% and Independents at 50%.
Despite the number disadvantage, Rhode Island Republicans are standing their ground on the issues. They have not watered down their party's platform, and the two cities which boast a high quality of life, Warwick and Cranston, have Republican mayors.

Plus campaign donations are unifying the party rather than dividing them.

Instead of running from issues, instead of giving into popular pressure and abandoning their values, the Rhode Island GOP has reestablished its ground game, and with a strong gubernatorial candidate running for an open seat, the state party may pick up seats in the state legislature this year, too.

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