How to Influence the Republican Party's National Platform
Republican activists, volunteers, candidates, elected officials, and donors have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the shaping of the Republican Party's national platform using the Republican Platform committee's innovative new website. For those with an interest in what our party stands for, taking advantage of this site is a must.
So far, more than 10,000 submissions have been received from across the nation. Republicans are encouraged to send in video or text submissions, with suggestions for the “policies and principles upon which we should stand for the next four years.”
Start influencing the Republican Party’s platform today by visiting http://www.gopplatform2008.com/
CRP Conference Organizes African-American Republican Leaders
African American Republican leaders from around California gathered in Burbank last Thursday for an intensive day long leadership conference focused on growing the number and effectiveness of African American Republican activists throughout our state. It was one of the most extraordinary events I've seen in my 20 years in Republican politics.
Lynn Swann, the former NFL player and former Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor participated, along with California African American Republican leaders like Covina Mayor Pro Tem Walt Allen, Assembly candidate and San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, Fontana Councilmember (and CRP regional Vice Chair) Acquanetta Warren, PUC Commissioner Timothy Simon, Southern California Edison's Tommy Ross, Bobby McDonald of Orange County's Black Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Reeves of the RNC (and former CRP Secretary) and many others. The room was packed.
Several TV crews covered the event, with the program focused on leadership and political training, networking, and mapping out the next steps for building our party in California's African American communities.
We know that our Republican ideas of entrepreneurship, strong families, promoting personal responsibility work wherever they're implemented, and many African-Americans in our state share our values.
The winner of a political contest, over time, is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists on each side. The conference serves as our organizational focal point for a sustained effort to maximize the number and the effectiveness of our African American Republican activists so we can bring the benefits of Republican leadership and principles to even more California communities.
With the number and quality of the participants, we're off to a great start.
Bay Area's Rising Tide
On Saturday afternoon I was excited to join hundreds of Bay Area Republican activists and leaders at the outstanding annual Rising Tide
event in Atherton. What a great
showcase of Republican energy, leadership and activism right in the heart of the Bay Area.
When I spoke at least year’s event, I thought the organizers would have a hard time outdoing themselves this year, but they did
. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner served as the keynote speaker, with a long list of Republican elected and appointed officials, plus candidates, present.
Particularly innovative, yet appropriate for the Bay Area, was a technology tent highlighting websites and video from our candidates, plus video cameras set up to take testimonials in support of our Republican candidates. First class.
This year’s event was sponsored by the Republican committees of Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties, the CWLA, Lead 21, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Lincoln Club of Northern California, and SPARC. I haven’t received the report on total attendance, but it must have easily cruised past 300.
From our CRP Board of Directors, I was joined at the event by Vice Chairman Tom DelBeccaro, CCA President Keen Butcher, and Regional Vice Chair Luis Buhler.
Assemblyman Adams' Bill Restricting Hallucinogen Becomes Law
Congratulations to our friend Assemblyman Anthony Adams, whose leadership in fighting the sale of the dangerous hallucinogen salvia divinorum
to minors resulted in his AB 259 being signed by Governor Schwarzenegger yesterday.
The Assemblyman and I discussed the bill a few months ago, and I was since pleased to see his legislation make it to the Governor's desk for signature.
Salvia divinorum is commonly sold in tobacco shops, and is dervied from a Mexican plant, producing out-of-body sensations and frightening hallucinations. Thanks to Assemblyman Adams' leadership, the sale of products containing salvia divinorum will be prohibited to minors beginning January 1 when the law goes into effect.
To visit Assemblyman Adams' website, click here.
Don't Just Hope for More Energy, Vote for It
Senator McCain's latest ad highlights the fact that Barack Obama isn't all that clear on how increases in supply produces lower costs for consumers.
In the ad, which you can watch by clicking here
, the campaign draws the distinct contrast between Senator McCain, who supports increased drilling and energy production here in America, and Barack Obama, who does not.
We have repeatedly pointed out on this blog the basic economic principle that the market is an anticipatory
mechanism, and that today's prices take into account future
supply and demand for a particular product, whether it be iPods, or gasoline. A bold move to increase domestic energy supplies -- oil drilling, nuclear power, etc. -- would have an immediate impact on energy prices.
Senator McCain's ad does a great job conveying this powerful concept in straightforward terms. Take a look.
Dem Polling Firm: McCain Energy Message Stronger than Obama's
Americans understand the need to increase energy supplies as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce prices for gasoline, electricity, and other sources of energy.
Democrat Polling Firm Democracy Corps: "McCain's message adding domestic oil production to a policy of alternative energy investment and conservation is favored over Obama's message that blames oil companies, calls for investments in alternative energy, and rejects limited offshore drilling..." (John Harwood, "Rising Value Of A Vote In A Struggling Economy," The New York Times, 7/21/08)Thanks to the RNC's Research Department for sending this along. In California, Democrats are especially resistant to any strategy that does not primarily consist of a lot of hot air aimed at energy producers who are working to do their jobs despite every effort of the government's tax and regulatory schemes in this state to stop them.
Regardless of state deficit, Dems would push to raise taxes anyway
The current state budget deficit provides the Democrats with an excuse to raise taxes, but even if the state were running a surplus, their team would be pushing for increases anyway. Here's why.
Even in good economic times, hardly a month goes by when some group on the left whines about the need to "reform" (read: "eliminate") the property tax protections of Proposition 13, or scrap the two-thirds majority required to raise taxes, or find some other way to make it easier to transfer more money from taxpayers to those who benefit from a growing government.
With state government spending way up, and tax revenue even, the state budget deficit becomes the convenient excuse to raise taxes. Fearing a taxpayer backlash, their team argues that they are only targeting "the wealthy" or "big corporations." This is class warfare at its finest (or worst) – "don't worry, we're raising taxes, but it's on somebody else."
I wrote about this more extensively in my Flashreport commentary
Ultimately, the state budget will be balanced through some mechanism that has yet to be worked out. And then, once again, the Democrats will be back for another tax increase. If it's not to plug some future deficit, it will be for the sake of "fairness" or some other excuse. The reality is the other team will continue to push for tax increases for as long as their coalition is made up of the various groups that depend on government largesse.
Republicans in Sacramento need your support as they continue to resist the various pressure groups pushing for higher taxes. Let them know you support them.
Obama Takes Change To New Levels as he Changes His Positions
At a time when he still needs to define himself in the eyes of voters, Barack Obama is making his own task more difficult as he changes positions on key issues.
Morton Kondracke put it this way:Maybe the biggest question of the 2008 presidential campaign is "Who is Sen. Barack Obama really?" Of late, the mystery is deepening. It’s customary for presidential candidates to move to the center for the general election after they’ve pandered to their party’s base in the primaries - but the Illinois Democrat has claimed not to be your customary candidate, but someone who was going to usher in a new politics. He has eloquently promised "change we can believe in," but lately he’s changing his tune on so many issues it’s becoming a legitimate question: Can voters really believe in him?
Obama’s promise to meet with various thug dictators from rogue states without preconditions was widely panned as a sign of either naivete or profound weakness, and he has since tried to distance himself from that position.
At first he tried to defend it, claiming that America should not be "afraid" to meet with the guys running North Korea, Iran, or other troublemakers. That's little more than political spin. President Bush, President Clinton, the elder President Bush, President Reagan, etc. were not "afraid" to meet with leaders of rogue states, but rather they understood that to meet with them without any preconditions is to strengthen their position by conferring upon them the additional prestige and influence that comes from just being in the same room with the President of the United States (and photographers, of course), an effect clearly not in the interest of the United States, or those people back home who are oppressed by the regimes these leaders represent.
Obama's verbiage when it comes to his changing position on Iraq is interesting to follow too. Having successfully outmaneuvered his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton (who voted to authorize the offensive action against Saddam Hussein) in appealing to his party's rabidly anti-war far left, Obama’s demand for a 16 month timetable for surrender (oh, sorry, timetable for withdrawal before victory) proved useful. Now, of course, he's faced with trying to make that pie-in-the-sky position work, which he can't.
So now it's time to change his position. Yet, the candidate of "change" won’t use that word when it comes to his position on Iraq. Instead, he uses the synonym "refine." Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it? "Refine we can believe in?" No. And that’s the point -he's attempting to nuance a change in his position without calling it as much. Good luck with that one.
Republican Leadership Critical in Local Government
If your taxes are going to be raised, your property rights threatened, your public schools impacted, or your day to day quality of life affected, chances are those decisions are being made by local government. That's why it's especially important we elect Republicans to local government offices throughout California this year.
There's no such thing as a "non-partisan" election in California. That's a quaint idea invented about a century ago when local government decisions were seen by some as so mundane and mechanical that partisan distinctions were seen as irrelevant.
Yet today, local government has become so omnipresent and has such an impact on our day to day lives that distinctions between liberals and conservatives in local government can be as obvious as what we see in Sacramento.
Who should make the decisions concerning where our local schools put their resources, someone who shares our Republican philosophy, or some Democrat more interested in serving the needs of an institution than those that institution is supposed to serve? How about transportation? Law enforcement? Local property taxes?
There are literally thousands of local government offices throughout California, and to maximize our opportunities to put good, solid Republican ideas into action, we should see good, quality Republican candidates supported for each of these offices.
This isn’t a process that can be driven out of CRP headquarters - local county Republican committees are the best place for decisions to be made concerning these important local government offices. With candidate filing periods fast approaching, it’s an important mission for each county committee to undertake right now.
Political Wisdom From Chris Rock
It’s not often we cite Chris Rock on these pages, but this one bit of wisdom is worth sharing."You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes."
There’s a good reason Republicans stand up to defend the protections that are in place raising the threshold to hike taxes – two thirds supermajority, etc.
In the marketplace, competitive forces keep a lid on price increases. If Ford raises prices on a Focus, consumers in a free market can buy a Volkswagen instead. Government doesn’t face this kind of competition - it's a monopoly. And just as monopolies in the private sector (like utilities) face special restrictions, so should government. Taxes are the price we pay for government services, and they are not voluntary, but mandatory. As a result, a higher threshold is warranted before one group decides to vote to impose additional burdens on another, backed up by the power of the state.
Iran Proves Again We Need Sen. McCain
World events prove this week how important it is we have a President like John McCain who is ready to serve as Commander in Chief on day one. At the same time Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in the Czech Republic signing an agreement for the building of an anti-missile facility in that country, Iran decides now would be a good time to test some ballistic missiles that can easily reach America's allies. This is the same Iran that continues to move ahead with a nuclear program that could have it producing warheads by the end of the next President's first term.
Barack Obama has already illistrated how out of his league he is on security policy. He's pledged to sit down with the leaders of rogue states and confer upon them the prestige and influence that comes with sitting down with the President of the United States (a pledge he has since "modified"), without preconditions. He is in the process of doing away with his irresponsible pledge to unilaterally withdraw our troops from Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground. And the list goes on.
Precisely how weak Barack Obama is on security policy can be found by paying careful attention to his words. For example, on Iraq he repeatedly pledges, "I will end this war." Notice he doesn't pledge to win
it, only "end" it. As the surge in Iraq continues to bring us closer to final victory over Al Queda in that country, Obama is intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime is looking for weakness in American resolve. Moving ahead with defensive anti-missle systems to protect America and her allies is not only sound in a military sense, but also sends the right signal of strength to the Iranians. Senator McCain understands this, while his opponent does not.
Independence Day Video Reminds Us of Principles
Our friends at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation have prepared a subtle yet powerful two minute video reminding us of the principles at the heart of the American Revolution.Watch "Fourth of July" (2:00)
Democrats Turn Protectionist, Risking Jobs
When Bill Clinton campaigned for President as a "New Democrat," it was widely seen as part of a broad strategy to shed the party's far-left image that was only reinforced by the party's nominees of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Yet, when our political opponents adopt our ideas, that's a victory, not a defeat. The 1990's shift in the Democrat Party to supporting trade was a victory for our team.It's also over,
as the Democrats under Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi have reverted back to the protectionist impulses and union demands that were kept in check during the Clinton years. Their new protectionism threatens American jobs, particualrly in trade-heavy states like California.
President Bush has aggressively pushed for the opening of foreign markets to American goods throughout his terms. As a relatively low tax country, American taxes on imports (tariffs) were already
low, or nonexistent. A tax on imports is, after all, just a hidden tax on American consumers. The President's free trade agenda has resulted in one foreign country after another reducing their barriers to importing American goods.
The benefits are clear: while some sectors of the American economy have slowed, American exports are way up, helping to keep total economic growth positive despite the pressures of the housing, finance and energy sectors.
While Senator McCain would continue to promote American exports through free trade, Barack Obama and the Democrats would take us back to the pre-WWII era of trade protectionism, risking American exports and triggering retaliation by nations that import American goods. Such retaliation would only make more difficult the work of Governor Schwarzenegger and other California leaders working to promote Golden State products around the world.
County Moves from Democrat to Republican
Republicans have regained the majority in a Northern California county thanks in part to the diligent work of the members of the Republican committee there.
Del Norte County is not just in Northern California, but it's in Way Up There in Northern California, so to speak.
The latest voter registration report for the county reveals that the work of the Republican Party of Del Norte County and Chairman Ron Sandler has paid off as our team is now back in the majority among those voters affiliating with a political party.
Drilling Now Can Lower Oil Prices Today
Several days ago I posted on the topic of the market as an anticipatory mechanism that takes into account future
supply and demand conditions. Today's Heritage Foundation blog
references Reagan chief economic adviser Martin Feldstein's Wall Street Journal column making the same point with even greater detail:The relationship between future and current oil prices implies that an expected change in the future price of oil will have an immediate impact on the current price of oil.Thus, when oil producers concluded that the demand for oil in China and some other countries will grow more rapidly in future years than they had previously expected, they inferred that the future price of oil would be higher than they had previously believed. They responded by reducing supply and raising the spot price enough to bring the expected price rise back to its initial rate.Hence, with no change in the current demand for oil, the expectation of a greater future demand and a higher future price caused the current price to rise. Similarly, credible reports about the future decline of oil production in Russia and in Mexico implied a higher future global price of oil – and that also required an increase in the current oil price to maintain the initial expected rate of increase in the price of oil.Once this relation is understood, it is easy to see how news stories, rumors and industry reports can cause substantial fluctuations in current prices – all without anything happening to current demand or supply.…Now here is the good news. Any policy that causes the expected future oil price to fall can cause the current price to fall, or to rise less than it would otherwise do. In other words, it is possible to bring down today’s price of oil with policies that will have their physical impact on oil demand or supply only in the future.For example, increases in government subsidies to develop technology that will make future cars more efficient, or tighter standards that gradually improve the gas mileage of the stock of cars, would lower the future demand for oil and therefore the price of oil today.Similarly, increasing the expected future supply of oil would also reduce today’s price. That fall in the current price would induce an immediate rise in oil consumption that would be matched by an increase in supply from the OPEC producers and others with some current excess capacity or available inventories.Any steps that can be taken now to increase the future supply of oil, or reduce the future demand for oil in the U.S. or elsewhere, can therefore lead both to lower prices and increased consumption today.