CRP Blog

Monday, March 31, 2008

Assembly Campaign Watch: Gary Jeandron in Riverside/Imperial

The 80th Assembly District is a plurality Democrat district that our team has held with Republicans Bonnie Garcia, and Dave Kelley before her. This year, former Palm Springs Police Chief Gary Jeandron will carry the party's banner in this key district that encompasses eastern Riverside County and all of Imperial County.

Gary is one sharp candidate - bright, articulate, quick on his feet, and committed to doing the hard work necessary to fight and win in a tough district. Incumbent Assemblymember Bonnie Garcia, and Senator Jim Battin, who represents the corresponding Senate district, have shown the way with serious investments of time, attention to each voter and group in the district, and lots of time on the road in this sprawling region. Gary shows the very same qualities and we're looking forward to working with him, and the Republican committees in Riverside and Imperial Counties, for victory.

Visit Gary's website to get involved in the campaign.

Primary Reform on the Agenda for RNC State Chairs Meeting

The RNC's Rules Committee will meet for two days beginning tomorrow in conjunction with the RNC state chairmen's meeting in New Mexico. The top item on the agenda is a review of proposals for reforming the primary election system for the 2012 election.

We fully expect to be working for the re-election of President McCain in 2012, so the reforms put in place for 2012 will be an important set-up for 2016. The fact that we're talking about elections so far in advance is the result of the fact that national party rules adopted at convention tee up the process for four years later.

Several proposals are on the table, with most featuring some variation of rotating regional primaries. Some plans would carve out exceptions for states like Maine and New Hampshire, while others would not.

The ultimate decision will rest with the Republican National CONVENTION's Rules Committee and then the full convention, which is separate and distinct from the Republican National COMMITTEE's Rules committee. [The convention's rules committee is elected by the each state's delegation to the national convention. The RNC's Rules Committee consists of one RNC member from each state, and can only make a recommendation to the full RNC and the convention.]

The National Association of Secretaries of State has a reform proposal that was developed with the leadership of our own Bill Jones when he was California's Secretary of State. The NASS plan consists of regional primaries, with the scheduling on a rotating basis so each state has the opportunity to be among the first every fourth presidential election.

It's not an easy system to reform, since participation ultimately hinges on each state legislature cooperating with the schedule set by the national party rules, which they can honor or disregard. Then there are the Democrats, and whatever they choose to do. It's unlikely any reform plan will ultimately win the support of the state legislatures unless both of the major parties adopt the same reform plan.

Like most systemic reforms, the sides here don't break down by ideology. There's no "moderate" or "conservative" or "liberal" way to set up a primary election schedule.

Another twist is the fact that the Democrats will hold their national convention first, so our convention can take into account what they do. Yet, Democrat rules allow for the DNC to change national party rules between conventions, while our rules do not allow for changes between conventions. Very interesting indeed.

We're at the early stages of what will be an intensifying issue in the months ahead.

Reaganites Turn Out for Senator McCain

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to sit down at length with a true icon of the Republican Party: former Secretary of State George Schultz. As Ronald Reagan's chief foreign policy strategist for most of his two terms, Secretary Schultz played a critical role in implementing Reagan's strategy for the downfall of the Soviet Empire.

Secretary Schultz, who is the author of a forthcoming book outlining solutions in the healthcare and Social Security sectors, was on the campaign trail with and for Senator McCain in Pebble Beach and San Francisco.

Another Reaganite campaigning with Senator McCain in California this week was former Senator Phil Gramm. Elected to the House in the 80's, Gramm was a *true* conservative Democrat (not one of these phonies we see in the House nowadays) who supported Ronald Reagan's agenda of cutting taxes, limiting regulation, and controlling spending. Elected as a Democrat, he switched parties, resigned from Congress, and won his seat back as a Republican before later moving on to the Senate to carry on the Reagan Revolution there.

On taxes, Senator McCain is determined to make the President's tax cuts permanent, abolish the awful Alternative Minimum Tax (another brilliant Democrat invention), and slash the top corporate tax rate to make our economy more competitive.

On the Democrat side, CNBC reported today that Barack Obama may want to double the job-killing capital gains tax. Now there's a real shocker.

Protesters Meet Local Resistance at McCain Event

I'll bet the handful of protestors who showed up at Senator McCain's event in San Francisco Wednesday didn't expect the local resistance they received from one San Francisco couple who happen to live across the street from the hotel where the event took place.

Shortly after the left wing protestors showed up chanting about somethingorother, the couple living across the street decided to take things into their own hands, quickly posting a home made "We love McCain" sign in their window. They then opened one window, put their stereo speakers pointed outward, and started blasting "God Bless the USA" down below.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Senator McCain Begins California Swing

San Diego proved to be the perfect venue for the start of Senator McCain's swing through California this week as an enthusiastic crowd of supporters greeted the Senator at a packed event in La Jolla.

The entire Republican Party in San Diego is coming together behind Senator McCain, as demonstrated by the sheer number and diversity of Republican elected officials and supporters who came out for the Senator, including many who had supported a variety of candidates in the primary. Without a doubt this party is uniting squarely begind Senator McCain.

And it should be. On the stump the Senator is demostrating his straight-talking style, forthright responses to questions, and solutions for the issues facing Americans today. He's stressed his support for cutting taxes, making the President's tax cuts permanent, and winning in Iraq. At the same time, Senator McCain's ability to reach beyond the ranks of our party is clear.

In fact, a Wall Street Journal column today by Gerald Seib points out that Senator McCain's candidacy could prove to be a tremendous boost for Republican Congressional candidates -- a ticket led by a candidate with a proven ability to reach out to independents and independent-minded Democrats greatly benefits our downticket candidates.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Governor Meets with Local Officials, Promotes Budget Reform

Governor Schwarzenegger continues to promote critically needed reforms of the budget process. The state would not be facing its current massive budget deficit if his proposals had been enacted earlier -- clearly, controls on state spending are needed.

The Governor and Republican legislators recognize the need for stability in state spending, in contrast to the wild "feast or famine" approach that has led to big increases in government programs when a strong economy drives tax revenues up, and deficits when the business cycle brings those revenues either down, or just stable.

The Governor's proposal would stabilize state spending so drastic budget cuts will not be necessary in future years. It accomplishes this through a cap on increases in state spending, and diverting a portion of revenues in prosperous times into a reserve fund that can help sustain critical state programs when revenues decline below projections.

For more information on the Governor's plan to stabilize California's budget visit:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

National Journal Magazine Focuses on McCarthy's Role

National Journal magazine is arguably the definitive weekly publication covering the federal government, including Congress. Last week, the magazine covered the role of several freshman Republican House members in working to rebuild a Republican majority in the Chamber.

Here's what they had to say about our own Kevin McCarthy:

Since 1913, when the House of Representatives expanded to 435 members, no Republican freshman class has been smaller than the one that began to serve after the 2006 election. Just 13 new House GOP members were sworn into office in January 2007, fewer even than were elected after the Watergate scandal decimated Republican ranks in 1974. But those GOP newcomers who survived the 2006 Democratic wave have bonded better than most freshman classes, and several are already playing a role in trying to help their party win back the majority.


McCarthy, Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are taking the lead in trying to build a larger freshman GOP class next year through a new program called the "Young Guns Team." The initiative, which held a kickoff dinner on February 7, will encourage this Congress's freshmen to mentor a Republican candidate or two heading into the 2008 election. McCarthy said that the effort will target 16 candidates initially.

The goals, McCarthy and others involved in the program said, are to recruit the right kind of candidate, one who can persevere, as this group of freshmen has, despite inhospitable political conditions; and to provide first-time office-seekers with a base of support. "We want to attract fighters," said Jordan, who is also involved in the Young Guns. "Who's the guy or the lady out there who's going to come in here and bring the energy, bring the intensity?"

McCarthy thinks that the political climate will be more favorable this year for anyone challenging a sitting member in November, particularly as the economy worsens. "When you're running, you're running against what's happening in Washington, D.C., today, with both parties," he said. "When the economy gets tighter, people get more frustrated. When you're frustrated, you want to fire somebody."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Activist Judiciary Targets Kids

"An activist judiciary powerful enough to take away one family's choice in education is powerful enough to negatively impact any of us, with little recourse against those making the decision."

Republicans have long warned of the risks of activist judges who choose to make law rather than interpret it.

The latest victims of this judicial activism are California's more than 166,000 children who are receiving their education at home rather than in traditional public and private schools. That's because an appeals court in Los Angeles last week decreed that parents cannot home school their children without a government-issued teaching credential.

It's an outrageous decision that threatens to wipe out an important education option that hundreds of thousands of families have chosen to exercise.

Predictably, teachers union officials are thrilled. United Teachers of Los Angeles president A. J. Duffy told the Los Angeles Times he agreed with the court's ruling. Of course he does: Parents don't pay union dues.

If the ruling stands, Californians will be stuck with "the most regressive law in the nation" when it comes to home schooling, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.

When I was a high school board member, my district helped parents who home schooled their children through a program called Home Choice, which "allows students who would not attend the regular program at the local site to acquire a high quality education validated through attendance records and transcripts, and monitored and assessed by certificated instructors. The student, parent, Home Choice Coordinator and supervising teachers contract as a team to facilitate this process."

The HomeChoice program demonstrates that public schools and home schoolers can work together toward the shared goal of ensuring kids are well educated. By contrast, the Los Angeles court ruling would deny families an important option when selecting how best to educate their kids.

Unfortunately, when it comes to education, choices are anathema to many of our friends on the left, and the appeals court ruling fits right into their "one size fits all" worldview. These are the same people who've consistently opposed school choice, resisted charter schools, and now cheer when the judiciary tries to pull a fast one and take home schooling off the table.

Governor Schwarzenegger, Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman and Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines were right in immediately responding to the decision with outrage, promising to support legislation to protect the rights of parents if the decision is not reversed by the California State Supreme Court.

Critics have long tried to dismiss Republican warnings of judicial activism by claiming we're acting purely out of narrow ideological interests. Yet, the truth is Republicans have been concerned for the victims when the least democratic branch of our government chooses to override the will of the people as expressed through lawmakers and instead imposes its own vision. This time, the victims are hundreds of thousands of California kids whose educational future is now threatened.

What if you don't home school your kids? Should you still be concerned? Yes, because an activist judiciary powerful enough to take away one family's choice in education is powerful enough to negatively impact any of us, with little recourse against those making the decision.

Our nation's founders understood the threat government poses to liberty, and erected checks and balances in our system of government to limit that threat. Yet, no system is perfect, and in California, our state has repeatedly demonstrated the threat that an unchecked judiciary can pose. Now we have a fresh example.

I'm confident Republican elected officials will continue to stand with parents to protect and expand their choices in education, while maintaining vigilance that laws should be written by the elected representatives of the people, not decreed by an insulated, activist judiciary.

This article first appeared on the Flashreport.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stop Judicial Activism, Support the Home Schoolers

In a decision Governor Schwarzenegger described as "outrageous," an appeals court in Los Angeles has decreed that home schooling in California must essentially come to an end, making California the only state to deny the vast majority of home schooling parents the option to educate their kids at home.

The technical mechianism this activist court used was to claim children can only be taught by "professionals" with a government-issued teaching credential.

You can help support our state's more than 166,000 home schoolers by signing the Home School Legal Defense Association's petition asking the state Supreme Court to de-publish the decision. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Democrats Divide While Republicans Unite Behind Sen. McCain

While Republicans are rapidly coming together behind Senator McCain, Democrats will continue to tear each other up as the contest between Barack Obama and Senator Clinton continues for a few more weeks, or months.

As their primary campaign grinds on, both Obama and Clinton continue to move further to the left in the hopes of capturing a few more votes here and there. Their latest rhetoric focused on abrogating trade agreements with countries that constitute our largest export markets. Talk about pandering.

Meanwhile, Senator McCain, like Governor Schwarzenegger, has a proven ability to reach out to the independents and independent-minded Democrats needed to build a national winning coalition.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Republican Jewish Coalition Takes Obama to Task

Rookie Barack Obama continues to send confusing messages concerning his foreign policy ideas. The Republican Jewish Coalition took Obama to task today for his latest statements. Here's their release:

RJC: Sen. Obama's Middle East Policies Confusing and Inconsistent

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2008) -- Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks today called Sen. Barack Obama's most recent Middle East policy pronouncement confusing and inconsistent.

While campaigning in Texas yesterday for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama said his willingness to meet with foes like Iran and Syria "does not include Hamas," reported Reuters.

"This most recent declaration by Senator Barack Obama demonstrates his fundamental lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East. Iran and Syria have been designated by the United States as state-sponsors of terrorism; Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization. None recognize Israel's right to exist or its basic need for safe and secure borders," said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks. "To declare that he would meet with Iran and Syria, but not Hamas, is another clear example of Senator Obama's shaky grasp of Middle East realities. His proposed policies are not only confusing and inconsistent, but above all, they are naïve and dangerous."

Newt on CRP and the New Platform

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich this week praised the CRP for its new platform highlighting Republican principles and issues that are supported not only by Republicans, but by a majority of Democrats and independents as well. American Solutions, Gingrich's group, has performed extensive issue and public opinion research that has been shared with state parties across the country.

Here's the excerpt from Newt's newsletter:

March 4, 2008

The Doers, Not the Talkers: The Real Change Movement Surges Ahead of Campaign '08

Full article


The California GOP Adopts Key Provisions of the Platform of the American People

The next group of real change agents I want to tell you about is the California Republican Party.

I've talked to you in the past about the Platform of the American People, an agenda of solutions for America's challenges that have the majority support of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

Last week was a very successful week for the Platform. At their convention last month, the California Republican Party adopted key parts of the Platform of the American People into their state party platform.

On Energy and the Environment and Promoting and Protecting English, California Republicans Embrace 'Tripartisan' Solutions

You can read the Platform of the American People here and compare it to the language adopted by the California GOP.

Energy and the Environment: The California Republicans embraced the Platform's belief that "entrepreneurs using technology, innovation and incentives are more likely to solve environmental problems than are bureaucrats."

Oil and National Security: The California GOP platform adopted the Platform of the American People's recognition that "our current dependence on foreign oil threatens both our national security and economic prosperity by making us vulnerable to the will of dangerous foreign dictators. Through private initiative and enterprise, we support the development of energy independent from foreign sources."

Promoting and Protecting English: The California platform also took up the Platform of the American's People's call for English as the official language of government and the need for new immigrants to be offered intensive English language instruction.

Supporting an Optional One-Page Flat Tax: The California GOP embraced tax simplification by supporting "the adoption of an optional single-rate system to give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with a one-page form."

The Platform of the American People is not just catching on in California.

In Pennsylvania, Congressman Tim Murphy (R.) has pledged to help incorporate various planks of the Platform into his state party platform.

And Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis says simply, "The Platform clearly reflects the values across America that we all share."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Republicans Effective in Stopping Democrat Tax Hikes

The last time the federal government raised taxes on us was the big Clinton tax hike of 1993.

In response to that tax increase, Americans rebelled against Bill Clinton and the Democrats, and gave Republicans control of Congress. Since 1994, Republicans have held either one chamber in Congress, or the Presidency, or both. As a result, we have seen no net federal tax increases since 1993.

Instead, President Bush has cut taxes 15 times in eight years. Here are each of the President's tax cuts, and the year they were enacted:


What: H.R. 1836, The "Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2001" When: Signed into law June 7, 2001

Effects: Cut marginal income tax rates, created a new 10% bracket, provided marriage penalty relief, put death tax on path to extinction, repealed pease and pep, increased the child tax credit, increased contribution and deferral limits on IRAs, and created the saver’s credit.


What: H.R. 3090 The "Job Creation And Worker Assistance Act Of 2002" When: Signed into law March 9, 2002.

Effects: Bonus depreciation; temporary extension of net operating loss carry-back period; created NY Liberty Zone tax provisions.

What: H.R. 3009 The "Trade Act Of 2002" When: Signed into law August 6, 2002.

Effects: 65% refundable tax credit for purchase of health insurance coverage by certain taxpayers eligible for Trade adjustment assistance.


What: H.R. 2, The "Jobs And Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003" When: Signed into law May 28, 2003.

Effects: Accelerated 2001 rate cuts, reduced rate applied to dividend income and capital gains, extended and expanded bonus depreciation, increased 179 small business expensing.

What: H.R. 1, The "Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, And Modernization Act Of 2003"

When: December 8, 2003

Effects: Created tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts.


What: H.R. 1308, The "Working Families Tax Relief Act Of 2004" When: Signed into law October 4, 2004

Effects: Extended research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit, $1,000 child credit, marriage tax relief, the 10% bracket to 12/31/2010 and AMT relief through 12/31/2005.

What: H.R. 4520, The "American Jobs Creation Act Of 2004" When: Signed into law October 22, 2004

Effects: Extended 179 small business expensing, created an itemized deduction for

State and local sales taxes in lieu of State and local income taxes.


What: H.R. 6, The "Energy Tax Incentives Act Of 2005" When: Signed into law August 8, 2005

Effects: Reduced taxes on consumers who purchase certain energy-efficient cars, on producers of energy from renewable energy sources and on investment in new energy infrastructure."

What: H.R. 4440, The "Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005" When: Signed into law December 21, 2005

Effects: Provided 50 percent bonus depreciation, doubled small business expensing, and extended net operating loss carry-back period for businesses in the Katrina- affected region.


What: H.R. 4297, The "Tax Increase Prevention And Reconciliation Act Of 2005" When: Signed into law May 17, 2006

Effects: Extended reduction in rate applied to dividend income and capital gains, extended 179 small business expensing, extended AMT relief through 12/31/2006.

What: Treasury Announces End to Long-Distance Telephone Excise Tax When: May 25, 2006

Effects: Beginning in 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will issue refunds of tax on long-distance service for the past three years.

What: H.R. 4, The "Pension Protection Act Of 2006" When: August 17, 2006

Effects: Made IRA provisions from the 2001 Act permanent, indexed IRA contribution limits to inflation, permanently extended the saver’s credit, permanently extended 529 college savings provisions.

What: H.R. 6111, The "Tax Relief And Health Care Act Of 2006" When: Signed into law December 20, 2006

Effects: Extended the R&E tax credit, extended state and local tax deduction, and enhanced HSAs by raising contribution limits, allowing one-time transfers, and making the accounts more flexible by allowing people to contribute to the annual limit irrespective of their plan’s deductible.


What: H.R. 3996, The "Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007" When: Signed into law December 26, 2007

Effects: Extended AMT relief through 12/31/2007.


What: H.R. 5140, The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 When: Signed into law December 26, 2007

Effects: Provides over $115 billion in rebate checks to over 128 million households, 50% bonus depreciation for 2008, and temporarily increases Section 179 to $250,000. (Okay, only the 50% expensing part of this was really tax cut.)

CRP Opposes Denham Recall

The CRP Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose the mean-spirited recall campaign against Republican State Senator Jeff Denham that is being orchestrated by outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and a host of radical left wing groups.

Senator Denham is being targeted for his leadership in standing up for a fiscally responsible state budget. The recall campaign tells us a lot about where the Democrats have their priorities. Even at a time of a massive state budget deficit, their attentions are focused on playing partisan games by targeting an elected official who has been a strong voice for fiscsal responsibility.

We stand with Senator Denham. You can too! Just visit his website here.

CRP Adopts New State Party Platform

With input from Republican leaders from throughout the state, the California Republican Party adopted a new state party platform at our recent convention. The platform stresses core Republican principles including lower taxes, limited government, promoting personal responsibility, and a strong national defense.

The platform was the result of what many have described as the most open platform development process the state party has seen in many years. Hearings were held, and several working groups produced drafts for consideration by a platform committee with members from all segments of our party.

Special thanks go to all CRP members who contributed to this successful platform development process. Click the link below to view the platform.

CRP Platform

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