The Honorable Steve Baldwin
November 5, 2010
[As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the Right Hand Lady, I am pleased to present this column from Steve Baldwin, a former member of the California State Legislature (comment: former because the California State Legislature is intolerant and bigoted toward any opposing views. Having been a life-long resident of California for 50 years, it grieves me to see what has happened to my beautiful former home state.)
Many pundits are trying to explain what happened in California. After all, Republicans lost every state-wide race, didn’t pick up any Congressional seats and actually lost a seat in the State Assembly. Moreover, California voters elected dozens of hard left wackos and removed the 2/3 vote in the Legislature that had protected us from out of control budgets. Unfortunately, California will pay a heavy price for such stupidity at the polls. Hundreds of our largest businesses have already fled and many more are now planning to do so. There is little hope at this point that California can escape a long-term – perhaps permanent – recession.
Here are my theories as to why the voter revolt had little impact on California:
- The unions totally control this state unlike any other state. The Assembly Democrat Caucus outspent the Republican Assembly Caucus 8-1 this election cycle and 80% of the Democrat money came from unions, which illegally and unconstitutionally coerces this money from workers. The union lobby virtually controls the legislative process and no bill passes without their consent. No other special interest group has this level of power and money. Republicans have to raise their money from voluntary sources, the Dems don’t.
- The business world supports the Democrats. Most people don’t realize this, but every single business PAC in California except three gave more money this election cycle to the Democrats than to the Reps. Why? Because they feel the Democrats are in power indefinitely and want access in order to protect their industry from bad legislation. Unfortunately, the alligators will eventually eat them as well. If all business PACs were to start putting their principles first and support pro-business candidates, they might be able to turn California around.
- The State GOP Leadership is incompetent and should all resign. If we are losing seats in the biggest election year for Republicans in 100 years, there’s a problem here Houston.
- The Tea Party movement is not yet an effective movement in California. Many Tea Party groups are 501 C3 tax exempt educational groups and cannot support candidates or be politically active. This is ridiculous. They need to learn how to form PACs and 527 committees. They need to master campaign techniques and learn the ins and outs of independent expenditure committees. They need to learn how to draft solid candidates and run the candidates through campaign schools. Aside from the Tea Party Express, none of the major Tea Party groups in California actually engaged in any serious fundraising for the purpose of assisting candidates. It’s not enough to hold rallies and listen to speakers; we’re at war for the soul of America and the Tea Party movement needs to become politically sophisticated or it will be short-lived.
- When I hear stories of Tea Party groups purging from their boards those who’ve been active in the Republican Party, I cringe. The conservative/constitution wing of the GOP has been fighting RINOs for generations. This war has been going on within the Party since Robert Taft. The mantle was then handed to Goldwater and then to Reagan. All over California there are veterans from the Reagan years who have years of experience in polling, fundraising, organizing volunteers, direct mail, media relations, etc., but I see little evidence that Tea Party groups have reached out to form alliances with these veterans or with conservative groups such as the California Republican Assembly. The Reaganites were the original Tea Party activists in modern times; if the Tea Party movement doesn’t understand this and integrate them into their movement, they will burn their members out with ineffective strategies and simply fade away. It is far easier to work with conservatives to ensure that the local Republican Party is a conservative entity than to start a third party, which, if history is instructive, could very well be a dead end street.
- Voter fraud is alive and well. ACORN has reconstituted itself with new names. They are active all over California and seem to have no fear of the authorities. After all, ACORN chapters engaged in massive fraud here in San Diego and elsewhere and no one even investigated their activities. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis didn’t even bat an eye despite pleas from local officials. I estimate that there may be as many of 50,000 fraudulent voters registered to vote in San Diego County and probably ten times that state-wide. Many of these voters are illegal aliens but without voter identification laws and lackadaisical officials, they have no fear.
- Obama has screwed our military voters. The Obama Administration refused to enforce federal law that requires states to develop a plan to get ballots out to military veterans in a timely fashion. As a result, hundreds of thousands of military personnel based here in California were unable to vote. Got it? Illegal aliens can vote here but those who put their lives on the line are denied this sacred right.
- California public schools teach progressive values. Logic hasn’t been taught in our schools in decades. How else to explain the hundreds of thousands of voters complaining about high taxes and bloated governments but then voting for leftist politicians? Nor do our schools teach the fundamentals of free enterprise or even basic Constitutional values. Due to this censorship by omission, our schools have become propaganda factories and are largely responsible for dumbing down our population. Remember, our schools are last or near last in the country in both Math and English so it naturally follows that our California voters would be the most ignorant.
- California’s Culture is dumbing our voters down. More than any other state, California is saturated with the Hollywood entertainment culture. The average Californian knows more about Snooky and other reality show bimbos than they do their own government. Our obsession with Hollywood has created a generation that is shallow and does not seem to care about anything but the next reality show plot.
- The Left has targeted Hispanics for indoctrination. There are scores of leftist groups in California that target Hispanics for indoctrination. They perpetrate myths about the Republican Party that have little to do with reality – the GOP hates Hispanics, the GOP is only for the rich, etc, etc. This propaganda now dominates the Hispanic media and there’s no one out there telling them anything different. The left loves to exploit immigrants for their own political gain.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger harmed the Republican brand name and Whitman’s views didn’t help either. Gov. Schwarzenegger embraced many tenants of the left, thereby undermining the reputation of the Republican Party in California. Whitman’s support of Schwarzenegger’s liberal views on global warming, abortion funding, gay rights, etc. confirmed for many voters that the Republican Party was no longer a conservative party.
Steve Baldwin is a former member of the California legislature where he served as Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.