Questions for the California Electorate

democrat party liberalCalifornia is about to overwhelmingly elect, and sustain for decades, one-party rule. There’s more money going to the Democratic Party and Republicans don’t seem to have any hope making a dent in L.A. County outside of Steve Fazio and Mike Antonovich possibly winning state Senate seats. But there are a number of public policy questions to be raised, as to what is causing this transition.

Here are a number of questions for voters who only want one-party rule, and aren’t considering other options either out of views on social stances (abortion, gay marriage, transgender bathroom options), belief in higher taxes on the rich – with no qualifying indicator ever given to determine what rich is – and a progressive stance on society. The irony is that progressive views began with bible-believing Christian women who wanted alcohol outlawed in an attempt to control alcohol-related domestic violence against women and children.

But I digress; here are the questions for all of us in California:

Why do California voters believe higher taxes mean better public services, higher quality schools for all schoolchildren, and an overall higher quality of life? California has the highest taxes (income, gas and sales) in the nation per capita and generally has the worst roads, no idea how to pay for hundreds of billions, even trillions worth of infrastructure improvements, and a pension system that is insolvent by all accepted accounting standards.

California also has some of the lowest test scores in the nation while having exploding taxes for education. Please explain to me why Californians continue one-party rule based on these above facts?

Why does the electorate continue to let California be two separate societies consisting of the coastal rich and the Los Angeles west side while the rest of California ekes out existences among high-tax coastal elites who never have to worry about their decisions affecting the remainder of California?

Meanwhile, California’s middle-class residents are being driven out of the state and we now overwhelmingly have the highest poverty rates and welfare recipients in the nation. Do voters consider the millions of Californians that fall into these categories when voting for one-party rule? On top of that, about one-quarter of California residents weren’t born in the U.S. This isn’t some Trumpian diatribe, but real questions have to be asked on how to educate, feed, employ and house them.

Does climate change and/or global warming do away with building what once was the greatest transportation system in the world? California formerly had quality highways, dams, canals, bridge, airports and other infrastructure but maintaining it wasn’t as important as saving endangered fish and making sure Tesla had generous tax credits for cars that very few could ever afford. Why has this been allowed to happen especially since electric vehicles, as an example, have more questions than answers to overtaking the combustible engine?

Finally, what about housing? Why do voters continue one-party rule that stops single-family houses from being built? If it’s to stop global warming and climate change, with the belief that high-rise density accomplishes that goal, McKinsey and Company has debunked this California theory imposed through regulatory fiat by California planning agencies. As Joel Kotkin notes, there are other ways to accomplish climate reduction such as “working at home to keep vehicles off the road, dispersed employment from urban centers and tougher fuel standards.”

Most people want to live in single-family homes. It is now being proven that millennials entering their 30s want single-family homes in neighborhoods instead of dense, traffic-clogged, noise-tsunami ridden urban centers. Why do Californians continue to put up with one-party rule – including millennials who overwhelmingly vote for only one party – instead of rising up and voting for another party?

Our society is rotting before our very eyes, yet we don’t consider a moderate Republican, sensible Independent, or business-friendly Democrat that doesn’t tow the California rhetoric about social, environmental and tax issues. Declining groups from history have always pulled the cover over their eyes, instead of sensibly addressing what raises the tide for all boats. California is witnessing post-modern, progressive policies to the fullest. Will we ever change our ways? We shall see what the future holds.

Todd Royal is a political and policy consultant in Southern California specializing in energy and geopolitics. He is the recipient of a Masters degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University.

Chad Mayes Selected as Next Assembly Republican Leader

Come January, Assembly Republicans will have a new leader.

On Tuesday, the 28 Republican members of the lower house selected Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley as their next leader. The caucus did not release the specific tally for the caucus vote nor indicate any other candidates for the leadership post.

“I am fortunate to inherit a Caucus that is united in its commitment to fiscal responsibility and meeting the needs of a 21st Century economy,” Mayes said in a press release following the announcement. “For California to thrive, legislative leaders must provide solutions that offer a pathway to prosperity. Too often politicians take actions that limit opportunity in the very communities they claim to serve.”

He added, “I look forward to working with our Caucus to make California a better place to call home.”

Mayes, who was elected to the state Assembly in 2014, will take over for current GOP leader Kristin Olsen when the Legislature reconvenes on January 4, 2016.

Second consecutive GOP leader to reject anti-tax pledge

Mayes said that he intends to carry on Olsen’s philosophy and approach to the post.

Dollar Puzzle 02

“I am humbled by my colleagues’ confidence in my ability to lead the Caucus,” Mayes said. “I plan to build upon Kristin’s vision of bringing the Caucus and its supporting operations into the 21st Century. She has worked tirelessly to position our Caucus and its members for maximum success.”

Since taking over as minority leader, Olsen has embraced a more moderate approach and rejected the anti-tax rhetoric that is considered orthodoxy to traditional conservative Republicans. In 2012, Olsen publicly criticized the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise by elected officials to oppose higher taxes.

“The problem with the no-tax pledge is that entrenched special interests interpret what is or is not a violation of the pledge in order to serve their own agendas – and sometimes their interpretations defy logic,” Olsen wrote in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece before taking over as leader. “To grow the Republican Party, we have to get away from relying solely on ‘No’ messages. We are better than that, and Californians deserve and desire solution-focused leadership that will help bring legislative Democrats over to our side on the need for lower taxes and substantive reforms.”

As a candidate for state Assembly, Mayes similarly rejected the anti-tax pledge. Mayes told the Desert Sun last year that “he’s not the kind of Republican who is out to blow up government … and said he declined to sign the taxpayer protection pledge.”

Mayes brings experience from more than a decade serving at the local government level. He was first elected to the Yucca Valley Town Council in 2002 and was twice re-elected. During his time on the town council, Mayes served as president of the Desert Mountain Division of the League of California Cities.

He also worked as a political staff member at the county-level, serving as chief of staff to San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

Olsen’s tenure as leader

Olsen earned praise from her colleagues for her tenure as leader.

“Kristin may have been a transitional leader in terms of time, but she has been transformative in her impact on Caucus operations,” said Assembly Republican Caucus Chair Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita. “Her changes set a pathway to Republican relevancy and she worked to lay the foundation for a Republican majority in the near future. Thanks to Kristin, our Caucus is united, focused, and motivated.”

Olsen, who is termed out of the state Assembly next year, welcomed the leadership transition and said she’s proud of her accomplishments, which included a major staff shake-up as part of an effort of “modernizing caucus operations.”

Kristin_Olsen_Picture“My goal as Assembly Republican leader has been to unite our caucus and advance core principles that resonate with Californians and will revitalize our state: good jobs, great schools, and a more transparent, effective, and citizen-driven government,” Olsen said. “I am pleased that we have been able to accomplish this while modernizing our Caucus operations, hiring top-notch staff, and becoming pro-active and solution-focused.”

Mayes will have company learning the ropes as a new Republican leader. Last week, the Senate Republican Caucus announced that Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield had unseated Sen. Bob Huff as Republican Senate leader.

Huff is running for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to replace longtime Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Other candidates for that seat include gang prosecutor Elan Carr, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander and Kathryn Barger, Antonovich’s chief of staff.

Originally published by