Saturday, February 28, 2015

Walker and Gay Marriage

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued the following statement after the federal courts struck down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban:

"For us, it's over in Wisconsin," Walker said, according to the Associated Press. "The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land and we will be upholding it."

Notice that it's over in the Dairy State, but not necessarily in the United States. Governor Walker's statewide options are limited, but as President, there will be so much he (and his supporters) can do.

During his third campaign for governor, Walker remained silent on the issue, too. Talking Points Memo reported:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) seemed to bend over backward during a Thursday news conference to avoid articulating a position on same-sex marriage.
"It really doesn't matter what I think now," Walker said, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It's in the Constitution."

In a sense, that is the best answer a governor can give at this time. Marriage is not defined by a politician, and most reporters are not interested in a genuine appraisal of this or other Republican lawmakers' take on gay marriage, but rather seek to incite controversy and discomfort. If anything, Walker's non-answer was the best one. Why are we even discussing the definition of marriage? Surviving and thriving civilizations have already settled this discussion: marriage is between one man and one woman.

To all concerned partisans upset with Walker's non-stance on the gay marriage concern, what would they like him to do right now?

The deeper problem with the redefinition of marriage is not the militancy of gay rights groups, or the ideological questions about homosexuality, its etiology and its biological origins, but the arrogant usurpation of state and federal courts imposing the redefinition of marriage on the American public.
Even in liberal California, a clear majority of voters defined marriage as between one man and one woman, to be enshrined in the state constitution, which the Supreme Court summarily overturned on legal technicalities.

The first fight must focus on the illiberal, uncivil, and illegal federal judiciary. President Walker would be in the perfect position to nominate strong conservative judges who would respect the integrity of the Constitution and the supremacy of the states and the people vs. the federal government.

Right now, Walker the governor has just won reelection a third time in this blue state, and he must deal with budget battles and ideological conflicts of a number of sorts, like union entitlements and academic abuse of tax dollars. School choice, welfare reform, and tax cuts are not just preeminent but fully within his and his Republican legislature's power to work on effectively.

Walker after 2014 victory (

One battle at a time.

Furthermore, conservative partisans worried about the state of marriage should ask more probing questions about the role of the government and the family. Perhaps pro-family forces need to make the case for marriage in a way that even the most unaware can understand. Too many Republicans have argued for marriage as a matter of tradition. That line of reasoning has no value in a court of law, and jurists have rebuked such briefs by reminding pro-marriage advocates that slavery and segregation where traditional legal frameworks for decades.

The appeal to history, biology, sociology, and scientific research must become the norm in future cases. Pro-family forces in Massachusetts, particularly MassResistance, have proceeded effectively in other countries to push back against the unsightly juggernaut of homosexual marriage. Marriage proponents need to make their case locally, based on facts and legacies. Why is marriage important?

The answers are plentiful and well-documented: strong families united with a father and a mother; the properly development of children into strong adults. A lower cost on social services; no expansive welfare state to make up for the lack of parenting; the diminution of venereal disease; the long-term stability of the rule of law, including public safety, etc.

In the meantime, marriage activists must inform the governor of the dire need to protect businesses, churches, and charities from unwarranted lawsuits. Live and let live may have to be the standard for now, but with a freedom-loving governor appealing to the truth and dignity of a free America, founded on Judeo-Christian values, there is no reason to suspect that Walker has given up on defining and thus defending marriage.

Last of all, Presidential contenders may want to embrace the Balanced Budget convention proposal and include the definition of marriage within it. Perhaps removing the institution from government purview altogether and restoring its civil sanctity away from state sanction would be the best approach.

Whatever measures one pursues, conservative partisans and Republicans in general should not fault Walker for not taking up the fight on gay marriage at this time. His record and rhetoric affirm that Walker is a committed conservative Christian (he even tweeted Philippians 4: 19 on his official Twitter account and openly discusses his prayer life), and his belief in true marriage has not waivered.

Boxer's Distorted Remarks on DHS and Immigration

US Senator Barbara Boxer

"A baby's a baby when the baby is born."

"I thank God these people were not in charge of Congress when I was growing up or else they might have deported my mother" --   US Senator Barbara Boxer

An inconsequential senator for the lack of legislation or insight, US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has uttered an undue number of distorted, inappropriate, and outright offensive remarks on camera and on the US Senate floor.

From shaming a military official to call her "Senator" instead of "Ma'am", to open race-baiting against the CEO of the Black Chamber of Commerce, and even disputing the viability of life within the womb, Boxer has had a reputable share of disreputable comments.

In her latest jab at Republicans, during the final hours before a potential Department of Homeland Security shutdown, Boxer pulled all the stops.

First, she had to acknowledge some dispiriting realities:

We all know Republicans won in huge numbers in the 2014 election and they took over the Senate and they run it. They run it--or at least they are trying to run it.

Yes, Ma'am, the Republican party made huge gains in Washington, taking back the US Senate and unseating five incumbent Democrats in the process, and not just in the conservative South. They also took over 70% of the state legislative seats, and command more trifectas in the country than in  nearly a century. Even when the Republicans lost a governor in Pennsylvania, Republicans expanded their numbers in the Harrisburg legislature, and the newly-elected Democrat Tom Wolf will find himself governing with incremental success and successful conservative opposition for the next two years.

Even in liberal New England, Republicans swept Maine, and Massachusetts has a Republican governor one again. Two Republican House seats and a embattled Democratic governor in Vermont have put the liberal elements in the country on the alert.

Boxer still attempted to paint the newly-elected Republican majority as incompetent, irresponsible, and ineffective. The reality remains, however, that for the first time in nearly three decades, Washington politicians are fighting about whether to fund and how much, instead of ongoing resolutions to spend money which the country simply does not have. Tea Party cohorts brokered spending cuts and a sequester, too, and despite media hounding and Democratic bewailing, the American people did not notice.

Let's be clear. Less than 8 weeks after they took over the Senate we are facing a shutdown, a shutdown of the very agency that protects the health, the safety, the lives of the American people--the Department of Homeland Security.

The Republicans have taken over, in large part from American voters fed up with Democratic policies not only ruinous for their fiscal profligacy, but also on account of the moral crisis of President Obama's unconstitutional executive actions.

For the past three weeks, as the funding for DHS was running out, Democrats deliberately blocked discussion o the bill, not even permitting amendments to the House legislation. The pandering silence of the media on Democratic complicity in government gridlock is astounding. As House Speaker John Boehner indicated to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the House did its job, passing  a full funding bill with necessary amendments to prevent wasteful, unconstitutional appropriations of taxpayers funds to unlawful executive actions.

As credible sources have repeated, including the Associated Press, the essential security functions tied to Homeland Security will not close up until funding renews. These operations, including border security, must continue to serve and protect even if their paychecks do not arrive on time. Boxer has memorized the same hollow narrative of blaming Congressional last-minute spending-shutdowns o Republicans, even though she and her minority caucus are fully to blame for this crisis.

We are 4 days away, and even if they come up with a continuing resolution, a small little patch, they are shutting down the programs that fund our firefighters and our first responders back home. So any way we look at it, this is a national disgrace.

No Republican is guilty of shutting down any programs. Democrats are closing the doors and the funding for our serving men and women with the ongoing filibuster. When will Boxer and her liberal cohorts start acting like responsible adults and legislate? For the record, the disgrace at the time of this speech was the harmful, unfeeling rhetoric of Senator Boxer.

The next set of remarks were deeply offensive. First, she mischaracterized the 2013 US Senate immigration bill:

We had a bill that garnered 68 votes in the last Congress.

No, just in the US Senate. The House never voted on it, and the American People resoundingly rejected the ObamaCare of immigration reform. House members were willing to work on piecemeal efforts, but found the President untrustworthy on the issues.

All they have to do is bring it up, pass it here, and then pass it in the House. It will pass with overwhelming majorities. The President will sign it, and that would make his Executive order unnecessary. The only reason he issued an Executive order is that we are facing a crisis in this country. There are 11 million undocumented folks.

There is a crisis because of the overwhelming number of illegal aliens in the country, which President Obama's actions have only made worse. President Obama was facing a crisis of his own making, and his executive order is not justified with that fact in mind.

Some of those undocumented folks are DREAMers. To me, that is the most important category.

Republicans are doing a poor job of punching back at this emotionally charged yet factually supported argument. The real Dream should be for American citizens, born and naturalized. American kids come first, not the illegal alien parents who exploited their children. Even US Senator Jeff Sessions has spent more time talking about the plight of the American worker, but what about American college students who attend colleges outside of their native state? How come they have to pay higher tuition than enrollees who do not even live in the country legally? Where's the fairness and equity in that?

They are young people who were brought here when they were children. They know no other home. All they want to do is stay here and give back to America. Republicans want to deport them and their parents. They want to deport the parents of American citizens. I thank God these people were not in charge of Congress when I was growing up or else they might have deported my mother. It took her awhile to get through her naturalization. What if they passed something such as what the Republicans are proposing?

This remark about deporting Boxer's mother is outrageous at its core, and more. The fact that Boxer's mother sought naturalization through legal means affirms that the legal framework is both necessary and proper. Inadvertently, the junior Senator from California justifies the stance of Republicans in the House and conservatives throughout the country. This petty personal appeal should not go unchallenged in subsequent Senate sessions on the floor.

Californians were thinking: "Can we deport you, Ma'am?!"

Without reading the minds of concerned conservative Californians, any half-wit could guess that a growing majority of Boxer's constituents were thinking: "If your mother had been deported, we wouldn't have to deal with your lawless folly!" or "Forget your mother. Can we deport you, Ma'am?!"

Senator Boxer's latest tired against Republicans, responsive legislative, and good, constitutional governance should not go unheeded. The majority faltered somewhat with the first round of fighting, and the House has (barely) passed a one-week funding extension. Yet in the next week, House and Senate Republicans must listen to the American People and provide a unified strategy which will put such heated, immoral baiting from liberal partisans like Boxer in their place.

American youth deserve to have their dreams come true, and the American people in general want a limited government which upholds the immigration process without releasing a floodgate of unhinged invasion. The American taxpayer should not have to witness their hard-earned dollars wasted on public benefits for illegal aliens while citizens barely get by. The security and military personnel stationed throughout the country deserve to be paid and respected, engaged and enabled to do their job without the amnesty pandering of Democratic lawmakers who make a mockery of the rule of law.

Snowball Fight in the US Senate

In his latest floor speech against climate alarmism, US Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) bagged a snowball from outside the capital, then threw it to the presiding officer Senator Ben Saase (R-Nebraska) during the Feb. 26 Senate session.

The freezing weather assaulting New England is hitting Washington DC, and despite the claims of record heat last year, Inhofe placed those statistics in context, pointing out that the information registered within the margin of error, by tenths of a degree, nothing serious.

US Senator James Inhofe

Inhofe's remarks included:

Mr. President, I am reminiscent with the snow on the ground of about five years ago. The occupier of the chair at this time, Mr. President, was not here, and you don't have the advantage of knowing the story tthat is behind this.

Inhofe motioned to a large photo with a snow pile, featuring his daughter and her children. The record snow fall five year ago was so great then, and yet this year, the inclement weather exceeds that snowfall.

At the time, it got a lot of attention. It [the snowstorm] got national attention. We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I ask the chair. You know what this is? It's a snowball, just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out.

What was this snowball for? A lead-in to another speech decrying climate alarmism:

We hear the perpetual headline that 2014 was the warmest year on record but now the script has flipped. And I think it's important, since we hear over and over again on the floor of this senate. Some outlets are referring to the recent cold temperatures as "The Siberian Express". As we can see, with the snowball out there. This is today. This is reality.

Evidence in his hand and on record, Inhofe exposes that the heightened concerns about climate change have little heat behind them.

Others are printing pictures of a frozen Niagara Falls, 4,700 square miles of ice formed on the Great Lakes in one night. Never happened before. So, let's talk more about the warmest year claim. On January 16th, NASA's Goddard Institute on Space Studies and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, concluded that 2014  was the warmest year in modern record, which starts in 1880. NASA relied on over 3,000 measuring sessions worldwide, and found an increase of only two one hundredths of a degree over the previous record.

Inhofe appealed not just to experts, but to their data, and their data was based on an accumulation of information. He also presented live examples, with the snowball, and his humorous jab at the climate change movement hit the Twitterverse briefly.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)

How did Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) respond? With the Leftist tactics of mockery and appeal to conforming experts and authorities, at the expense of hard evidence or comparable data:

I wanted to complete my remarks in reference to the Senator from Oklahoma and his snowball. I would like to ask for unanimous consent that I show the Earth Now website on the I-pad device that I have.

And if you go to Earth Now, it is actually quite easy to load, and you can see how that polar vortex measurably brings the cold air down to New England where we are right now.

Senator Whitehouse fails meteorology and geography in one sentence. A polar vortex does not support the severe claims of climate alarmists. The US Senate is not in New England, but in Washington D.C., nestled between two mid-Atlantic/Southern states. If the Senator from Rhode Island cannot accurately identify the location of the national capital, perhaps he should retire and return to Rhode Island.

And this is produced by NASA. These are pretty serious people. So, you can believe NASA, and you can believe what their people measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.

Whitehouse conveniently neglected that Senator Snowball Inhofe referenced NASA and other organizations. At the very least, there is a conflict of opinion, and hardly any consensus, on the causes and consequences of climate change, or global warming.

The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, head of the Pacific command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat we face in the Pacific

Takes what seriously, Senator? An Admiral is not the final say on scientific matters, either. The appeal to authority carries no factual appeal.

He's a career military officer, and he is deadly serious. You can either believe that United States Navy, or the Senator with the snowball.

People can be deadly serious, and still be wrong. "Deadly serious" does not even make sense.

The religious and faith groups are very clear on this, by and large. I would particularly salute the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has made very clear, strong statements. We are going to hear from Pope Francis about this when he releases his encyclical, and when he speaks to the joint session of Congress on September 24th.

You can either believe that US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis, or you can believe the Senator with the Snowball.

In the Early Renaissance, the Catholic Church taught that the sun revolved around the earth. They also taught as church dogma that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. Scientists rigorously tested then disproved this assertions, and were branded heretics. The consensus of church authorities does not determine the error of truth of any matter.

By the way, for a politician who appeals to faith on the matter of climate change, he also argued that "God is not going to help us with climate change." Perhaps Whitehouse should consult with Bishop Tobin and confess his other sins, too.

In corporate America, there is an immense array of significant, intelligent, responsible corporations who are very clear that climate change is real.

The US Senate voted 98-1 agreeing with that perception, which Senator Inhofe deftly explained.

Companies like Coke and Pepsi. Companies like Ford and GM.

Whitehouse recited a litany of companies, the whole cohort of which cannot establish the truth or error of anything.

A first-year English major could take Sheldon to task for this argument based on ethos, or authority.

But for all of the Rhode Island's talk about the different high-ranking and influential political and corporation officials who believe in climate change, there was neither demonstration nor appeal to hard evidence disputing Inhofe's arguments against climate alarmism.

Based on the evidence, factual, personal, and empirical, I believe "Senator Snowball". As for Whitehouse, perhaps his ardent fans (and hardened critics) should call him "Senator Airhead".

Art Kaskanian, and the Drawbacks of Modesty

Art Kaskanian (right), Gardena City Council candidate

When politicians run for office, they take great pains to monitor their messaging. They don't make bold statements for fear of upsetting prospective supporters, or promising something which they cannot deliver once elected.

To avoid making bold promises which they cannot keep, that is wise.

To neglect sharing with voters your accomplishments, that is unacceptable. There is nothing arrogant or amiss about a politician telling voters the good that he is done.

That is not arrogance, that is truth, that is revelation.

With this point in mind, I turn to Gardena City Council candidate and Gardena Planning Commission Chairman Art Kaskanian.

As a guest on my radio show "The State of the Union", I asked him about his family, background, and activities in Gardena. He mentioned repeatedly how much he loved his city, and wanted to make sure that businesses continued to invest, maintain, and thrive in the area. He also championed the public safety officers, and pledged to work with them and improve their capacities in the city.

During the radio broadcast, I also focused on Kaskanian's efforts to correct the black water problem for Gardena residents. The sludge and soot in the water has disconcerted a number of residents, and Kaskanian connected with the voters and the water company to figure out the problem and the solution, since a number of residents are finding that their water is polluted.

While I was interviewing the city council candidate, Gardena Mayor Pro Tem Tasha Cerda asked to step in and share with listeners a number of Kaskanian's accomplishments.

"Art is so modest, and he is not sharing the number of things that he has done for the city of Gardena."

As Chairman of the Planning Commission, Art not only signed off on bringing more businesses to Gardena, including In-and-Out, but his approval with fellow planning commission members brought in two hundred fifty-five more homes and a senior center. Building a home is a well-established means of strengthening ties in a community as well as increase revenues. Senior centers are an important fixture in cities, as well, particularly because of an increasing elderly population in many parts of the country.

I did not know about these developments.

Art is also a member of the Gardena Kiwanis and Gardena Elks organizations, charity groups which raise money for a number of causes. These associations matter, and Kaskanian attended a number of them as part of his campaign for city council. People need to know that he is not some businessman who preaches love for his city, yet does little for the city beyond speech.

Art is also the Chairman of the Gardena Police Foundation. Everyone loves the police when they protect the streets and make the city safe. No one will invest let alone live in a city where crime is rampant, and criminals reign supreme. Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka, the retired undersheriff for the LA County sheriff's department, pledged to his residents and all LA County residents his priority of providing a safe community for all residents, that they could go out for a walk at night and not worry about being victimized.

Kaskanian affirmed the sense of security in Gardena, but during our interview he neglected to share with me that through his leadership on the Gardena Police Foundation he helped raise one million dollars for new equipment, resources, and training for the police. Moreover, he personally purchased three-wheel segues for the department.

Voters deserve to know about a politician's accomplishments for the city. There is nothing arrogant or unseemly about promoting one's accomplishments in order to get hired. His other donations include to the Gardena Fire Department and Toys for Tots, as well as the Gardena Jazz Festival, and all of these donations came about before Kaskanian declared his candidacy.

There are drawbacks to modesty, because voters in Gardena, and radio hosts like me, want to have the most information on all candidates, including the good things that they have accomplished, which merit their election to higher office.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Right-To-Work on the Rise

Workplace Fairness and Equity is advancing in the United States.

That's Right-To-Work, more colloquially, but the fairness and equity touch comes from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who emphasized that the reforms would give individual employees the choice whether to join a union or not, and how the union dues are spent.

US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) offered a National Right-To-Work bill in the US Senate, which died.

In the states, however, the march toward giving individual employees the choice whether to join a union or not has advanced.

Indiana went right-to-work in 2011, and then Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed off on the legislation in 2012, and the union violence which ensued during and after the debate revealed the partisan desperation of union to hold onto political power and game the system in their advantage.

Now, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is forging ahead to make the Dairy State the twenty-fifth RTW state. The New Mexico state assembly also passed a RTW bill, with a wage increase. The Missouri Legislature, with supermajority Republican numbers in both chambers, is looking into the legislation. West Virginia and perhaps Maine (all the way in liberal New England) is exploring the reform, as well.

Why has RTW become mainstream in this country, and at this time?

Sixty years ago, after World War II, the only industrialized country still standing was the United States, and labor unions could have their way with industry, demanding lavish salaries, pensions, and benefits, and the corporate owners could provide them because they were a thriving industry with no competition.

Forty years later, and labor unions were stifling innovation, and corporate investors had the time and resources, and opportunity to invest n other countries with low operation costs, including a minimal union presence. Detroit, the Auto Industry Capital of the World, waned then dilapidated. Right-to-work states attracted American businesses away from union strongholds, and the employees fared well, too.

Not just private sector unions, but the public sector unions have become a deep menace to the fiscal and moral solvency of cities and states. Public sector union pensions and benefits are pushing cities to the brink of bankruptcy, enough that four California cities filed Chapter Nine, and are slowly negotiating their way out of the fiscal mess. Detroit had to declare bankruptcy and cut pensions, public services, and even water because of the onerous demands on a fleeing middle class tax base. Entire states have to restructure the pension demands, and the reforms are still being fought in court (Rhode Island) or in the court of public opinion (Illinois).

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker institute necessary reforms to prevent unions from coercing members to join and pay dues, which in turn elected officials who perpetuated the lavish benefits at taxpayer expense. The collective bargaining entitlements of public sector unions has brought the institutions into such disfavor, that even deep blue California has a rising cohort of pro-reform Democrats push against the Sacramento political machine.

Unions are getting a bad rap not just for the costly demands negotiated on their behalf, without the input of taxpayers or consumers affected by their policies, but also the offensive, obstructive, and violent tactics they resort to in order to make their case. Unions tied up the Port of Los Angeles for a few weeks earlier this year, as well as in 2012. Teachers unions have frequently resisted reforms and safeguards which would protect good teachers, and all students.

Right-to-work is on the rise not just because of the moral shame of forcing people to join a group and use their money to fund candidates and causes contrary to individual workers' sympathies, but also because of the undue, unjust political influence of public sector unions.

Walker vs. Congress (on Act Ten Reforms)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
In the last two months, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has gone from marginal to mainstream, faded to fascinating in the eyes of prospective voters, and inconsequential to intriguing to the the ears and mouths of talking heads looking for another Republican Presidential contender to dissect then disintegrate.

Critics are faulting him for his non-answers to dubious questions from reporters. They also quibble about his lack of foreign policy experience as well as his long-term plans on immigration. Some of them still hanker for the right-wing version of President Obama, full of hope and change, charisma in place of principle.

Before judging Walker's skills as a media jouster, or executive disciplinarian, voters should weigh in on how he handles himself in federal Congressional hearings. Presidents execute law, and voters should start paying attention to how the next US President respects and responds to Congress. President Obama's diffident lack of rapport with Congress is one of his greatest liabilities, culminating in illegal, extrajudicial, and unconstitutional executive actions contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the law.

While many Walker fans know that he stood up to public sector unions in Wisconsin, they may not know that he defended his actions, and the municipal pension reforms which followed, to the House Oversight Committee, which conducted hearings on State and Municipal Government Debt, which then and more so now threatens the safety, solvency and security of governments, local and federal.

Oversight Hearings are rife with political posturing, yet Walker took the attacks in stride, and demurred from petty squabbles to establish sincere arguments based on clear results. Iowa Congressman (and failed US Senate candidate) Bruce Braley tried to define public workers as the victims of Scott Walker's Act 10 Collective Bargaining Reforms. Launching into a self-serving tirade about his own tenure as a public worker, Braley tried to squeeze Walker about his 2010 campaign "secret donors."

Walker balked in due fashion: "I though the purpose of today was to talk about debt." Braley kept trying to shame Walker about his campaign, and the governor would bring the discussion back to fighting debt through reforms. At one point, Walker called Braley out for the obvious: "If you want to do a political stunt, go ahead." Inadvertently, the wandering Iowa Congressman complimented the Wisconsin Governor: "I think it's time we got some straight answers from people who are radically reforming state governments."

Braley labeled Walker a radical reformer? Bam!

Then there was Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who later became an Oak State US Senator o in 2012. His questions tried to paint Walker as anti-labor and anti-family. He attempted to tease out Wisconsin Republican plans to break unions' "bullying power" as a political force and stop President Obama's reelection in 2012. Ironically enough, Murphy uploaded the video precisely to promote his Senate run. Murphy wanted to talk about the Koch Brothers. Walker talked about his reforms:

There's a lot of money coming from all kinds of sources. . . .I can't answer for Scott Fitzgerald [Wisconsin senate majority leader] but I can answer for Scott Walker. For me, it's about the budget. It's also about making government work better. When I talk about the middle class, it's not just about the paying middle class. It's about middle class individuals who work for state and local governments.

Walker explained that either the state pursued collective bargaining reforms to cut costs, or issue massive layoffs, which other states had to do. About education reformers, Walker addressed: "I'd like to have a system like we do elsewhere in society where we pay people based on performance, not just reward people based on seniority."

Murphy wanted to frame Walker as anti-Middle Class, and Walker punched back, protecting middle class workers, both public and private. "It's all about balancing the budget now and for the future." Looking forward and in the present, Walker ably defended his reforms.

Kucinich tried to demean Walker

Progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who would lose his seat in a bitter primary fight in 2012, pressed Walker on the real purpose behind his Act 10 reforms. Refusing to let the governor answer the question, he fired up the diminishing number of progressive partisans, but impressed few others. Kucinich first related that state unions had agreed to funding concessions, but then grilled Walker to explain the reforms.

You refused to drop your demand to strip workers of the collective bargaining rights. It had nothing to do with the budget. . .I don't understand how repealing collective bargaining rights for public workers shows us anything about state debt.

Walker pushed back

Walker answered:

That and a number of provisions we put in because if you are going to ask, if you're going to put in place a change like that, we wanted to make sure that we protected the workers of our state so that they could know what kind of value that they got out of it. We gave workers the right to choose. It's a fundamental American right, whether a worker wants to be a part of a union.

The savings all shored up for the long-term for the state. Workers would fund more money toward pensions and health care costs, but this discussion ran contrary to the Democratic narrative that Walker was an anti-union bully trying to protect. Of course, no one would ever know, since Kucinich refused to let Walker answer the questions.

Never running away from a tough question, yet refusing to be pushed around by posturing Democratic politicians looking not just to advance their careers, but maintain the easy funding from Big Labor, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker impressed upon Congress that he took their concerns seriously, saw through ulterior motives, and never backed away from explaining and defending the collective bargaining reforms which took Wisconsin from the red to the black.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Conservatives Have (Green) Hearts

If there is one movement where there is little agreement or overlap with conservatives and libertarians, look no further than the Green Movement, or environmentalism, green energy, conservation etc.

Yet a group of conservatives dedicated to protecting the environment does exist. Like US Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, they call themselves "Crunchy Cons". They recycle, they avoid using carbon, they dedicate their personal efforts to alternative forms of energy. They love Uncle Sam, and Mother Nature. The believe in George Washington, but loved watching Captain Planet as kids.

 They hug trees, but they won't shame you for burning a few in your fireplace on a winter evening.

What makes them tolerable, if not entirely respected, among fellow conservatives is that they do not try to force their views on others through government fiat.

When it comes to the environmentalist movement, though, the pressure from green activists to expand government in order to pursue a non-carbon agenda is more disturbing.

However, if limited government proponents  respond to all environmental activists as krypto-marxists dedicated to shackling everyone in bark and forcing them to live like caveman free from technology, they should not be surprised if the Republican message boils down to "Chill out!" or "Shut up, Eco Freak!" doesn't get a lot of reception.

In the midst of environmentalist groups, there are those who are driven by power, who seek to demonize their opponents a la Saul Alinksy. And there are those with genuine concern about the potential ill-effects of fracking, oil-drilling, and the inevitable scarcity of fossil fuels.

In 2014, I had a very engaging and respectful conversation with one Hermosa Beach, California resident. He was vocally opposed to Measure O, the city initiative which would permit E and B Natural Resources to set up an underground drill for oil exploration below the ocean floor of the coast of the easy-going, very wealthy beach city. He explained his clear concerns about oil spills, and the negative impacts of gas and underground infiltration.

"The 1988 oil spill of the Exxon Valdez still has not be cleaned up," he told me.

I then asked: "Would you support the drilling if the safeguards against a spill were safe and adequate?"

Absolutely, he answered.

I realized then that there are people in environmental causes who really care about their communities. They are not self-centered partisans looking for a cause to promote. They just want to live in a safe city, and they do not want to see the well-being of the coastline or the environment harmed in the pure pursuit of profit (even if at the expense of everything else). I imagine that homeowners in the region also fear that oil drilling would hurt property values and diminish their costly investment. Arguments for oil drilling should not rest on "nothing will happen", but demonstrate the crisis prevention and intervention in the case of spills have improved dramatically. Compare the global response to the 2010 BP spill, for example, and just a few weeks ago (mid February, 2015), an explosion at ExxonMobil did not poison the air, although the uncertainty of the event alarmed Torrance residents.

Later this week, I was talking to a coworker about California's statewide plastic bag ban, and how dedicated and attentive voters gathered enough signatures to force a popular initiative to overturn or affirm the ban. For my coworker, he did not like that plastic bags take years to biodegrade. The impact on landfills, and the waste in the oceans and along beaches bothered him, too. While I recognize that plastic bags create waste, clog up sewers, and litter the flora and fauna of our shores, the fault is not with the bags themselves, but with the individuals who litter. Furthermore, the ban turns out to be a tax worked out by lobbyist efforts from corporations and labor unions, both of which operate with large budgets and overwhelming influence in Sacramento, at the expense of small businesses and individual consumers who will then have to pay extra for brown bags.

After this extended dialogue on the issue, he agreed that the ban was an extreme measure, and if someone could invent a biodegradable plastic bag, it would resolve many of his concerns. In a way, I was able to convince him that a ban was not the best way to deal with litter along the beaches and in the oceans. If conservatives are willing to listen to the "green side" then explain their own views, they have a better change of making their case and changing people's minds.

Perhaps some conservatives, limited government advocates in general, and Republicans in particular need to meet with Sierra Club members, hear their concerns, understand their points of view, hear the issues which weigh on their green hearts, then respond with warm facts.  There is nothing with going to a meeting and listening to one side share their concerns on the issues. I attended a Town Hall in 2013, and simply asked concerned Democrats about the evidence which prompted them to believe that climate change was a serious threat requiring global, government intervention. Some of them conceded to me that they knew very little about the issue.

At least I was listening, and they were willing to let me share my research on the issue.

Conservatives have green hearts, too, if we consider it long enough, and no one should be surprised. No one wants to live in a community where the Commons is desecrated or polluted. Everyone likes clean water and clean air, but conservatives advance the well-researched argument that energy exploration and carbon investment do not necessarily conflict with beautiful coastlines and well-protected flora and fauna.

Conservatives Have Green Hearts, too.

Conservatives have a green heart, and conservationists, environmentalists, and Sierra Club/South Bay 350 enthusiasts should know about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Boxer and Feinstein: Stop Blocking DHS Funding

US Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

In previous weeks, I hammered Rhode Island's US Senators for blocking full funding of the Department of Homeland Security, including the necessary amendments which prevent appropriations for the illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty issues by President Obama in November of last year.

Today, I am demanding that my US Senators stop playing politics, respect the Constitution and the will of the American People, and support the House's full DHS funding bill, including riders to prevent President Obama's wasteful and unlawful executive amnesty.

Senator Barbara Boxer, who will finally be retiring next year after four too-long terms in the US Senate, engaged in a brief Twitter fight with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani because the former Presidential candidate had the courage to disclose that President Obama does not love America.

How could a President claim to love a country which he seeks to fundamentally transform?

Boxer then tweeted a number of supposed accomplishments under this President, including the unsubstantiated claim that there is more job growth under President Obama. These statistics never take into account that millions of people have dropped out of the work force altogether, plus the fact that the growing number of jobs are part-time, low-wages jobs. While Boxer wanted to champion the death of Osama bin Landen as proof of Obama's love for America, I recall Allen West's backhanded compliment: "Killing Bin Laden is not a foreign policy.
The same President shows a great deal of love for Muslim extremists and their leaders, yet he disregards the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform while snubbing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Boxer wants to claim that President Obama does love America, Boxer could start demonstrating the same love by respecting the Constitution, and stop blocking the DHS funding bill passed by the House of Representatives.

The following press releases from her office are insulting as well as duplicitous:

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) spoke on the Senate floor today to call on Republicans to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instead of trying to rip apart millions of immigrant families. Funding for the DHS will run out in four days – February 27th – unless Republicans agree to pass a clean DHS funding bill rather than pushing an ideological agenda to split apart millions of immigrant families.

Boxer should take a lesson from Republican Gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari: "American kids come first. California kids come first. The answer to the world's problems is not an open border."

President Obama's illegal action to defer deportation for millions of illegal aliens, despite the pleadings of the American people and the leading of Congress, cannot be ignored. The Congress is merely engaging in its proper authority to control the funding for all federal operations.

For the record, if Democrats insist on blocking the funding and shutting down the funding for the DHS, the service of Homeland Security personnel will continue, as by law they are required to continue protecting the country. The DHS bill from the House is a full-funding bill, anyway. All the fraud which suggests that the Republicans are not providing funding is simply untrue.

Show that you love America, Senator Boxer, and support the House DHS funding bill!

I contacted Senator Feinstein's Office, and the staffer provided me examples were Presidential discretion had permitted illegal aliens to remain in the country for extended periods of time. First of all, discretion is not a blank check to ignore the law and announce a clear intent not to enforce it. Second, as many Democrats attempt to paint President Eisenhower as an amnesty panderer, they neglect that

President Reagan provided relief because the Simpson-Mizzolli legislation gave him the authority to do so. President George W. Bush did not issue an en masse executive order to shield illegal aliens form deportation. He had enough respect for the Constitution and its federally-defined institutions to wait for Congress to pass immigration reform. Because the vast majority of Americans do not support amnesty, Congress never moved on a bill. Enforcement of the borders and the current immigration laws are in order.

Now, the theme from the these two Senators stresses the continual irrationale that there should be discussions about dealing with President Obama's executive amnesty, but not through the legislative/appropriations process. In other words, the newly-installed Republican majority in both chambers of Congress must abdicate its authority in order to discuss what authority it has to block President Obama's unlawful actions.

Once again, the stance of the Democratic minority in the US Senate as well as the House of Representatives is insulting as well as duplicitous.

Tell Feinstein and Boxer: Stop blocking DHS funding

Call your Senators, California, and tell them to stop blocking the DHS funding bill, and stop putting American lives at risk.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matthew Munson's Take on Prop 14

California Republican Matthew Munson

There will be a potential resolution during the upcoming California Republican Party convention in Sacramento on March 1st. Conservative activists are fed up of Proposition 14 shutting us out in the ballot box. In districts such as Congressional District 35 and Assembly District 47 we have had Republicans shut out for two elections in a row.
There is a need for more moderate candidates being able to compete in some districts. I do agree, however, that shutting out Democrats entirely in some districts is not helping the GOP cause. In fact, the initial assumption behind Prop 14 was that partisan politicians would move toward the center to scoop up more votes.

The fact is that party affiliation runs deeper than a superficial appraisal of voter rationale will permit. I refused to vote for either state senate candidate in District 26, precisely because of them were extremely liberal and offensive in their views. I wrote in the one Independent Seth Stodder.

One reform I would promote: allow for write-in candidates during the general election. All for a full and free franchise for all voters.

Proposition 14 proponent Charles Munger Jr. does not want his investment in the ballot measure to go down in flames and he got a dozen former legislators to write a letter to party delegates. Proposition 14 may have some good points such as promoting costly fratricide between Democrats, but we are here to build a party not just to cheer lead the less progressive Democratic Party candidate. It seems Munger would rather fight Republicans in Republican versus Republican races as what happened in Congressional District 8 in 2012 and Senate District 28 in 2014. 

The whole Republican v. Republican mantra against Charles Munger is fading away. In the 2014 cycle, Munger invested in Republican candidates who carried their districts, in spite of the fact that state partisans did not believe that they could win. Mario Guerra was a close second in the general election in one LA County district, and still has a strong future in LA politics. We have to keep in mind that this Top Two primary process allows Republicans the certainty of keeping some seats, especially in Northern California, and most recently Northern Los Angeles County, where state senator Steve Knight defeated former Assemblyman Tony Strickland.

When there is no reason for people to vote, they will leave their ballots blank or not vote at all. We need to give a voice to all political parties not just the dominant ones in a district. A place on the ballot should be given to all ballot qualified parties who have candidates in the primary election not just the Top 2 finalists.
I agree. The best reform would be to allow write-in candidates for partisan as well as non-partisan races. No one should be disenfranchised and unlike the political science wonks who dreamed up this jungle primary process, voters are still committed to their values and do not readily sacrifice their views to vote for someone of another party, especially when they feel that they did not have a choice in the first place.

We have party leaders who say we need to have Republicans contest all the races, but when we do not support our candidates in marginal races then it can explain why we have Democrat on Democrat snore fests. If party leaders want us to run in these districts then we need to be fully supported. I am not expecting these candidates to have glossy mailers paid for, but the filing fees to get on the ballot should be the minimum expectation.
I have a better idea. The state of California should lower the filing fee, or balance it with a set number of signatures. If a candidate does not have the money, then the candidate must seek out the signatures of residential voters, but regardless of party affiliation. If I want to run as a Republican in a district, then I should have the opportunity to get the signature of any voter, regardless of party. It's up to me to put the effort into the filing process to show that I am a serious candidate, because there should be some metric in place to discourage unserious people throwing their hat into the ring and wasting city and state resources.

When Proposition 14 is repealed we will have more people willing to donate to our primary candidates because they know that there will be a place for them on the November ballot. No more pale shades of grey running against each other where they will be debating if the minimum wage will be 16 or 50 dollars a hour, but we can have real Republicans on the ballot for a change.
Our former party leaders who sent the letter to the delegates for the upcoming convention are wrong. And I hope delegates vote to support the resolution to repeal Proposition 14.

The supposition that X reform will lead to Y result is precisely the kind of thinking which brought the state of California Prop 14. Term limits are not enough to keep career politicians out of power, and their attending corruption out of Sacramento. Changing the structure of the voting process alone cannot make up for apathetic, uninterested, and uninformed voters and partisan activists.

One thing that I can agree on with critics of Prop 14: rather than moderating the process and bringing centrist candidates with a bipartisan edge, this "reform" has actually made winning politicians more partisan and diminished the impact of two-party campaigning in the state of California.

Hertle Mailer: Bill Wong Speaks, CA GOP Responds

After receiving reports about a Michaela Hertle mailer in the East Bays State Senate race, I fired off a question to the Asian-American Small Business PAC Political Director Bill Wong:

What is going on? Why are you promoting a candidate who is not running actively for the seat?

Bill Wong
Bill Wong

Mr. Wong  responded to my email with four points:

1st, I've never been a supporter of Top Two.  Even though I am a Democrat, I don't think top two elections allow voters to have a discussion about the issues in the manner that multipartisan elections provides.

Well, even Democrats are no longer sold on the Top-Two Jungle Primary instituted by Prop 14. At least Wong was honest enough to come forward and acknowledge his affiliation as well as his frustration with the 2011 electoral "reforms" which aren't.

Still, why is a Democratic operative and his PAC helping out a Republican candidate?
2nd, Hertle's name is still on the ballot and she is electable.  She said she didn't think she had the funds to be should ask her if she'd decline the seat if she won...there are still more Republicans and Independents combined in this seat than there are a low turnout special election like this, a Republican can make it.
A Democrat admits what I had believed from the outset: a Republican is electable in SD-7. Once again, my frustration with former candidate Meuser knows no bounds. It is a sad commentary that Democrats have more faith in Republican chances than some Republican partisans in the region. Note that I write "some" for there are many like me who were gung-ho supporters of one or two Republicans contesting the special election, even engendering another Miller Effect of GOP v. GOP in the general election run-off.

3rd, there are over 40,000 Asian Pacific Islander voters in this district.  The Asian American Small Business PAC is trying to make API voters relevant in political discussions...ICYMI, most press coverage talks about politics in white, black and brown terms.  Our effort in this district forces candidates to spend more time on API voters...and brings API voters/politics into the forefront...would you have written a story about the Asian American Small Business PAC otherwise?  If not for this effort, would Glazer have otherwise trotted out his embarrassingly anemic support from APIs in defense of his candidacy?
Republicans have been noticing, and they have been reaching out and respecting the Asian vote, while Democratic partisans have pandering to unions are their expense. Shawn Steel worked closed with his wife Michelle, who was elected to the OC Board of Supervisors. Ling Ling Chang and Young Kim have also joined the state Assembly as Republicans.
There would be an Asian-American Republican governor in Rhode Island, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, if not for a perennial third-party spoiler who had no chance of winning, yet stole votes away from conservative leaning, anti-Big Government politicos in the state. In 2014, Republicans nationwide won 50% of the Asian vote. Earlier last year, Sacramento lawmakers' attempting to reintroduce racial discrimination into college education with SB 5 last year, and Asian threats to break away from the Democratic Party, Asian-American voters are starting to realize that the Democratic Party simply does not have their best interests at heart anymore.
George Yang
George Yang, a Menlo Park Republican who did remarkably well in the Bay Area during his primary run for Lieutenant Governor, issued the following statement:
Asian American Small Business PAC abandons the Democratic Party in California. Asian American Small Business PAC, based in Sacramento, has just come out in support of the lone Republican in the Race for State Senate District 7 over 3 other Democratic contenders, including a sitting Assemblymember. AASBPAC had previously only supported Democratic candidates for Office. In their mail supporting Ms. Hertle, AASBPAC blame the Democratic Party for the Gridlock in Sacramento and fault them for being too close to special interest groups.

The Democratic Party thought that the SD-7 special election was going to be a walk in Candlestick Park. That certainty has turned into an impossibility, and with three weeks to go, and more confusion and distortion abounding, plus this deceptive  mailer, Democratic elements in the East Bay may find this election a pyrrhic victory at best, or another embarrassing defeat at worst.
Sue Caro
Sue Caro, former Alameda County Party chairman tweeted the following to me about this mailer and the race:
Sue Caro@SueCaro1 14 hours ago
- Arthur this union backed front group opposes Glazer
So, unions are infusing millions into a small PAC to drive away conservative-leaning votes from Glazer? A local partisan also informed me that this special election will bring out only high-information voters who are well-aware of the dynamics at play in this district. Independents are still a large, gray section of SD-7, but more likely than not they will not vote at all.
This race has become anyone's fight at this point, and I still have lingering hopes, despite my lack of intimate knowledge of the district, that Ms. Hertle may find herself in a Top-Two run-off despite her decision not to run.
Democrat Bill Wong then shared with me one more point in his email:

 4th, AASB PAC has supported Republicans in the past...Alan Nakanishi, Michelle Park Steel, Young Kim, Janet Nguyen, and Ling Ling Chang.  One of my board members served as deputy mayor to Richard Riordon - a Republican.
Is this true? I have found no information to confirm this allegation at all. California Republican National Committee member Shawn Steel, who worked closely with Asian-American candidates in Southern California, had heard no information about this PAC helping Republican candidates in the past. Steel confirms that the AASBPAC is very likely a front group, with no legitimacy.
California Republican Party Vice Chairman Harmeet Dhillon is asking for information about the Hertle Mailer, including copies of the piece, since the AASBPAC is using the Republican Elephant logo without permission.
Whatever is going on, Democratic operatives are lingering in the background, and the explanations from local partisans as well as state party leaders indicate that a one-party Democratic party machine is falling apart under its own chicanery.


Precursor of the South Bay 100: Nixon v. Voorhis

While reading up on California, particularly South Bay Congressional politics, I stumbled upon the 1946 Congressional race for the 12th District, which pitted Republican Richard Nixon against Democratic incumbent Jerry Voorhis.

Nixon while in US Congress.jpg
Richard Nixon v. Jerry Voorhis

What does this Congressional contest have to do with the South Bay, since the district covered huge sections of Eastern Los Angeles County, along with sections of San Bernardino and Orange Counties?

The process they engaged in then helped Republicans to elect a challenger to an incumbent Democrat in a swing district, and a similar process ensued from 2013-2014 to help elect a non-politician to elected office, throwing out a well-funded and well-known Democratic incumbent in the moderate South Bay.

I take key portions from the article in Wikipedia, and then comment at length:

First elected to Congress in 1936, Voorhis had defeated lackluster Republican opposition four times in the then-rural Los Angeles County district to win re-election. For the 1946 election, Republicans sought a candidate who could unite the party and run a strong race against Voorhis in the Republican-leaning district. After failing to secure the candidacy of General George Patton, in November 1945 they settled on Lieutenant Commander Richard Nixon, who had lived in the district prior to his World War II service.

Republicans have a tendency to advance lackluster candidates, either because as individuals they do not connect well with others or because they do not understand the necessary dimensions of retail politics. It is not enough to be the smartest kid in the room in order to get elected to city council. You have to be the most popular kid, too. Popularity (or relatablility) and principle do not necessarily conflict.

Nixon spent most of 1946 campaigning in the district, while Voorhis did not return from Washington D.C. until the end of August. Nixon's campaign worked hard to generate publicity in the district, while Voorhis, dealing with congressional business in the capital, received little newspaper coverage. Voorhis received the most votes in the June primary elections, but his percentage of the vote decreased from his share in the 1944 primaries. At five debates held across the district in September and October, Nixon was able to paint the incumbent as ineffectual and to suggest that Voorhis was connected to communist-linked organizations. Voorhis and his campaign were constantly on the defensive and were ineffective in rebutting Nixon's contentions. The challenger defeated Voorhis in the November general election.

Nixon went on the offense, not trying to defend his positions only, but defining his enemy and the issues before the incumbent could. This lack of offense-as-best-defense hurts Republicans, as some of them insist on running as policy wonks. Working from the outset to win over voters and make his case, Nixon had a head start on the incumbent Voorhis.

A little background about the district also explains why Republicans moved against Voorhis:

The 12th district leaned Republican, the more so after 1941 when the Republican-dominated California State Legislature attempted to gerrymander Congressman Voorhis out of office by removing strong Democratic precincts in East Los Angeles from the district during the decennial redistricting.[5] The revamped 12th district had little industry and almost no union influence.[6] Voorhis was left with such Republican strongholds as San Marino, where he did not campaign, concluding that he would receive the same number of votes whether he visited there or not.[6] Despite the maneuvers of the Republicans in the legislature, Voorhis was re-elected in 1942, receiving 57% of the vote, and won with a similar percentage two years later.[5] Voorhis had not faced strong opposition prior to 1946. In his initial election, Voorhis benefited from the Roosevelt landslide of 1936. His 1938 opponent was so shy that Voorhis had to introduce him to the crowd at a joint appearance.[7] In 1940, he faced Captain Irwin Minger, a little-known commandant of a military school,[8] and his 1942 opponent, radio preacher and former Prohibition Party gubernatorial candidate Robert P. Shuler, "embarrassed GOP regulars".[7] In 1944, the 12th district Republicans were bitterly divided, and Voorhis easily triumphed.[7]

A bitterly divided GOP, and bad candidates, trying to win in a GOP-leaning district against a savvy incumbent who knew where best to spend time and resources for the win? All of this sounds too familiar not to learn from. But more on that later. Democrats take advantage of these divisions all too well in California. When will Golden State Republicans stop having to relearn this lesson?

As Voorhis served his fifth term in the House, Republicans searched for a candidate capable of defeating him.[9] Local Republicans formed what became known as the "Committee of One Hundred" (officially, the "Candidate and Fact-Finding Committee") to select a candidate with broad support in advance of the June 1946 primary election.[10] This move caused some editorial concern in the district: The Alhambra Tribune and News, fearing the choice of a candidate was being taken away from voters in favor of a small group, editorialized that the committee formation was "a step in the wrong direction" and an attempt to "shove Tammany Hall tactics down our throats".[11]

Comparing a voluntary committee to Tammany Hall is unfair. The New York City Democratic Machine, headed by William "Boss" Tweed was corrupt to the core, relying on taxpayer dollars to bribe people with votes. The theft and rugged immorality of the NYC "association" would lead to the imprisonment then death off "Boss" Tweed.

The Committee of One Hundred was a focused group of focused individuals looking for the best candidate to carry the Republican banner in a Congressional district which leaned Republican in the first place. There was no legal thievery or plundering of public funds in the process, either.

Now, the "Committee of One Hundred" would reappear as "The South Bay One Hundred", coupled with the local 66th Central Committee, in order to find the best candidate to defeat the incumbent Democrat in the Palos Verdes to  Manhattan Beach district. In 2013, Assemblyman David Hadley assembled a group of local Republican leaders, elected officials, and activists into a countervailing force called the "South Bay One Hundred". For decades, the public sector unions have relied on their intertwined connections and forced donations to fund Democratic political candidates and causes. Republicans and conservatives have failed to unite their ideas, influence, and funding to take on Democratic challengers or remove incumbents.

The committee got so frustrated with trying to find a candidate, they conducted interviews with prospective politicians. The most notable was a race-baiter who still campaigned on reintroducing prohibition. Then well connected friends reached out to a Duke University Law School graduate, who was born in Yorba Linda and still connected to Whittier, California:

Richard Milhous Nixon.

Taking off from the Committee of One Hundred, we find the perfect political format and machine which became the South Bay One Hundred in the 2014 assembly race.

By coalescing these otherwise disparate interests into one body, Hadley and his associates were able to remove Republican primary challenges, and channel much-needed funding, outreach, and endorsements into one candidate.

Before offering to run for the 66th state assembly seat in 2014, Hadley interviewed with other potential candidates, and working through the Assembly District's local central committee, he strengthened connections and harnessed individual support and funding prospects into a corporate body. This strong unity removed costly primary challenges through voluntary pressure and focused all otherwise divided partisans to work together.

I found it fascinating that this idea worked so well in the 1940s and helped propel a relative unknown along a political career which would culminate in the White House. Who knows what faces David Hadley or any other California Republican if he or she chooses to follow the "Council of One Hundred" approach to build farm teams, finding the right candidate, presenting and promoting the accurate message, and thus bringing in adequate funding to win swing districts and knock out Democratic incumbents.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Michaela Hertle Mailer Released in Special Election Race

I have written at length about my hopes for the East Bay State Senate District Seven, which encompasses Livermore and Walnut Creek all the way . Just when a number of interested politicos have given up on the special election race, a mailer promoting a now inactive candidate for the race surfaced in East Bay neighborhoods, prompting concerns of malfeasance and distortion, particularly from members of the East Bay Asian Community.
Mark DeSaulnier
First, a little background.
During the 2014 general elections, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier cruised to victory in the East Bay Eleventh Congressional District one represented by George Miller.
DeSaulnier then announced his resignation from Sacramento, and his senate seat came up for grabs. Two entrenched liberals with their diverse machines in the Northern (Susan Bonilla) and Southern (Joan Buchanan) parts of the district will be duking it out for a significant share of Democratic votes.
Special elections as a rule receive a low-turn out, and with the November elections behind us, followed by a special election in South Los Angeles (where barely 2% of the electorate turned out), the March 17 election to replace DeSaulnier won't gather a great deal of attention.
Mark Meuser
Following months of interest and preparation from one Republican Mark Meuser, the prior state senate  Republican candidate who had challenged DeSaulnier in 2012, he was gearing up for the special election, raising money, contacting supporters, and going to campaign stops.
At the last minute, he chose not to file papers, and Mayor Steve Glazer of Orinda, along with three other Democrats (including current Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla and retired member Joan Buchanan) entered the race.
One Republican ultimately did file, Michaela Hertle, but after talking with former and current party leaders in the region, I learned that Hertle had little experience in electoral politics, having never run for office before. Some partisans even feared that she would not get on the ballot because her signatures would not qualify.
Michaela Hertle
The Secretary of State did declare Hertle an official candidate for the special election, yet within days she announced that she would not actively campaign for the seat. Instead of running, she endorsed Steve Glazer, the reform Democrat who cut off ties with Establishment Democrats after endorsing Republican Catharine Baker for the 16th Assembly District (which she won). Glazer has already listed Hertle's endorsement for his centrist, pro-union reform platform. Nevertheless, Herlte did file, and her name will appear on the ballot for the March 17th special election primary.
Local Republican activists sent to me a picture of the following flyer:
Asian American Small Business PAC Mailer
Michaele Hertle is promote as the best candidate for the race, a real Republican (true) who can stand up for votes in State Senate District Seven.

The other side of the mailer lists: "Real Values. Real Reform. Real Republican."

Critics might add: "Real Fraud".

The post then lists Hertle as fiscally conservative, with an emphasis on government reform, and an end to gridlock. The last part is interesting, since Sacramento is dysfunctional, not because of partisan frustration, but one-party tyranny with Democrats pushing an aggressive agenda, halted by the slightly more conservative Democratic governor Jerry Brown. The recent election of Republican freshmen to Sacramento has provided some protections for small business and individual taxpayers, but Democrats are still firmly in control.

Now, either the political hopes of Republicans are renewed, or Democratic partisans are playing divide and conquer in order to force out conservative votes.
The political organization responsible for this flyer, The Asian American Small Business PAC (AASBPAC), hosts a website listing its dedication to electing and maintain Asian/Pacific Islanders lawmakers/politicians in Sacramento. Bill Wong, the political director for the group, has his own strategy/political consulting firm. Specifically, he lists prior accomplishments getting Asian-American Democratic lawmakers elected.

 Why is a Democratic strategist and his affiliated PAC promoting a Republican candidate for a special election, and a Republican who has announced her disengagement from the race?

Senate District Seven
One element is clear: this mailer is deeply misinformed or greatly misleading. Judging by the robust portfolio of Bill Wong and the professionalism of the AASBPAC, the strain of deception is prevalent. This ruse will cause what few Republicans do vote in the election to cast their votes for a non-competing partisan, while Democratic voters will get behind Buchanan or Bonilla and guarantee the seat to a liberal-union connected partisan.
Whatever the outcomes, Asian-American residents are deeply offended by this tactic.

George Yang, a Menlo Park Republican who ran for Lieutenant Governor last year, shared the following about this misleading mailer:
The Asian American voters in this district are pretty angry about these dirty tricks in their name. You can quote me on that.
Another resident shared the following with George Yang and me:

Get a mailer from "Asian American Small Business PAC", try to fool voters to vote the GOP candidate who  already quitted the race. I never heard of this organization. Who is behind this PAC? Not nice using "Asian American name to get down this tactic.

Whatever the political machinations behind this deceptive pro-Michaela mailer, East Bay politics are getting rousing and dirty, and even though Republicans in the region do not have an active candidate in the SD-7 special election race, they may find a way to take advantage of these deepening rifts among liberal partisans, plus expose the unethical (and perhaps illegal) political campaign tactics of Democratic-affiliated PACS.