California Republicans out of step with State’s Residents

Figures doesn’t it? It looks as if California Republicans are attempting to make immigration the wedge issue for the 2008 election year. Rather than make tough choices, Republicans have introduced twenty plus new laws to reign in immigration and perpetuate the idea that all our budget woes can be squarely blamed on illegal immigrants.  And of course they had to use the term “loopholes”, which I guess excludes yacht owners and large oil companies.

“Both Republicans and Democrats are getting pressure on the budget issue, and there are a lot of programs that have to be cut,” said Assemblyman Jim Silva, who organized the plan and news conference. “What we’re trying to do here is take out the loopholes in the budget process where we’re losing money and make sure it goes to the citizens of California.”“The state is in a financial life raft that is sinking,” he added. “The California Assembly Republicans have now offered a number of solutions.”

Silva hopes that his bill, which would add “illegal immigration” to the list of situations in which the governor may declare a state of emergency, would provide additional funding for the state’s Border Patrol operations.

Daily Pilot

But according to the Public Policy Institute of California most Californians “positive about immigration”.

Californians are basically positive on immigration with a majority of state residents (59 percent) saying immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, compared to 34 percent who say they are a burden because they use public services.

The results are from a survey this month by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Belief that immigrants benefit the state has increased substantially over the past decade: In 1998, only 46 percent of Californians held this view.

“Conventional wisdom would predict that attitudes about immigrants would deteriorate as economic conditions worsen, but that hasn’t happened recently,” says PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare.

What about attitudes toward illegal immigrants? Here again, state residents take a positive view.

Two-thirds (66 percent) think illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits that would let them stay and work in the United States, about the same percentage as one year ago (64 percent).

Strong majorities of Democrats (73 percent), independents (62 percent), and likely voters (60 percent) believe that illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits, while Republicans are divided (48 percent should be allowed, 50 percent should not).

Taking it a step further, seven in 10 Californians (72 percent) think most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status; only one-quarter (25 percent) believe these immigrants should be deported.

This attitude is shared by majorities across all political parties (Democrats 80 percent, independents 72 percent, Republicans 52 percent) and among likely voters (65 percent) and is unchanged since December (72 percent).

Anyone else surprised? Obviously more Democrats view immigrants in a positive light according to this survey but shockingly, 52% of Republicans also have a positive attitude. Why then are Republicans proposing new laws that could potentially overlap with existing laws and not talking about enforcing the laws we already have to deal with illegal immigration in the State of California? enacting these 22 new laws will also add more levels of red tape and bureaucracy for many services that are already over taxed by paperwork. And I haven’t been able to track down any estimated savings these new proposed laws will result in.

Republicans also refuse to budge when it comes to tax hikes as a means to balance the State’s budget. As many know, Education is set to take the brunt of the sacrifice in order to balance the budget at the cost of our Children’s best interests. Of course, Republicans believe that pandering to the idea that taxes are bad, all taxes and they should be avoided at all costs is just one way they are out of step with the majority of Californians.

More Californians are willing to consider tax increases as part of a strategy to trim the budget deficit in the nation’s most populous state, according to a poll released late on Wednesday.

In a survey of 2,002 Californians between March 11 and 18, the Public Policy Institute of California found 68 percent describing the state’s budget situation as a big problem, and 42 percent saying they favored a mix of more taxes and spending cuts to address the issue.

Reuters

So, where is the disconnect? Is it just easier for Republicans to go back to the old standby of immigration as ultimate evil rather than attempting to approach the issue in a different manner? It’s obvious that most Californians are prepared to make those tough choices, why can’t our elected officials do the same?

Heather Pritchard

I'm new to political blogging but have been writing most of my life about different things. I campaigned for President Clinton when he was just Governor Clinton in Orange County. I graduated from Smith College with a BA in English and a minor in Film. I work full time, have a lovely four year old daughter named Charlotte, my husband teaches full time at Cerritos College in Norwalk in the Music Department. Gary has a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from UCI. I hope to go back to school in some form or another, maybe sociology or economics. I've even thought of Law school. Our newest edition to the household is our Weimaraner Sophie. 

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  12 comments for “California Republicans out of step with State’s Residents

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    March 29, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Republicans closing loopholes for illegal immigrants but not luxury boatowners?I guess it depends on which interest group is better positioned to write them a check for a campaign contribution

  2. Jubal
    March 29, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Dan, I tend to fall within those majorities cited in the PPIC poll.

    But what’s with the obsession with boat owners, and this apples and orange comparison?

    For starters, the boat owners are U.S. citizens. Illegal immigrants are here, you know, illegally.

    Kind of a basic distinction.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    March 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Matt – undocumented workers are here by invitation of US companies who also break the law by paying cash and below minimum wage. My point goes to the notion of closing loopholes. If its closing a tax loophole that favors rich Republicans, a la the sloop-hole tax on luxury yachts. Your party’s legislators defending this loophole while supporting severe cuts in state programs that help considerably more people.

  4. Jubal
    March 29, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    “Matt – undocumented workers are here by invitation of US companies who also break the law by paying cash and below minimum wage.”

    Dan, they come here looking for work — companies aren’t “inviting” them.

    “My point goes to the notion of closing loopholes. If its closing a tax loophole that favors rich Republicans, a la the sloop-hole tax on luxury yachts.”

    I didn’t know only Republicans owned yachts.

    Your party’s legislators defending this loophole while supporting severe cuts in state programs that help considerably more people.

    “My” legislators opposing the government taking more money from the private sector — even it is from the evil rich — is completely different from opposing the expenditure of tax dollars on people who are living in the country illegally.

  5. March 30, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Matt and the other Republicans can try all they want to convince Californians that innocent Americans (i.e. undocumented immigrants) are responsible for their economic plight but the PPIC poll proves this is just not going to happen. Instead they’re getting angry that their kids’ teachers are getting fired so that Republicans can vote a tax loophole for a few wealthy friends in Newport Beach.

    Republicans like Matt just don’t get it. And they have no desire to get it. Which is fine by me – gives us a better chance at a 2/3 majority this fall.

  6. March 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    But what’s with the obsession with boat owners, and this apples and orange comparison?

    Jubal, I beg to differ. They all impact the budget, that is how it’s related. The State’s budget shows what our priorities are from how we raise revenue to how we spend the money. It’s not that complicated.

  7. March 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Dan,

    Matt will never get it. Never. BTW, Dick Ackerman has a yacht. I am sure Matt will be backing Dick for Norby’s supervisorial seat. Unless Pringle jumps in. Then Matt will be in quite a bind.

    I would love to see our legislators cutting back the way the rest of us are having to. Why do we pay for their cars? Let them buy their own cars! Why do they get per diems? Screw that! Cancel the per diems! They know what they are getting into when they run for office. In fact I would love to see our state go with a part time legislature. We don’t need these guys all year. Let them work the rest of the year like we all have to.

    As for immigrants, they pay a lot of taxes. And many pay into Social Security but will never see a dime of it. The fact is, they contribute tons to our economy. A lot more than they take away.

    The Reeps love the Vietnamese voters. Well, the fact is the Vietnamese people use a lot of government services. But somehow that is OK with the Reeps. They just go after the Mexicans. Well, it is a fact that many Mexicans go without any health care at all. We only see them in the hospitals when they have absolutely no choice. These poor people do the hardest and dirtiest work, many times for Reep owned companies. But the GOP just cannot stop bashing them. It is an outrage.

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    March 31, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Art – if the Vietnamese voters use so many services, then why do they seem to favor Republicans so much?

    Matt — the use of the phrase “invited” quite simply means that businesses in Southern California do hire these undocumented workers, pay less than minimum wage and in cash, thereby fueling this flow of undocumented workers across the border. Very little enforcement of undocumented labor practices directed at the employers themselves. Construction, agriculture, landscaping, food service are all industries can could be investigated but often are not.

  9. Jubal from Orange (originally from Santa Ana)
    March 31, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Robert:

    I get that you and other Dems are trying to link two unrelated issues together to gin up voter emotions. Par for the course.

    Perhaps I should go find some liberal budget sacred cow and yelp about “teachers are getting fired so liberal special interests can blah, blah, blah.”

    As long as the Democrat approach to public education is simply to shovel in more money while bending knee to the teachers unions, it renders this rhetoric about teachers being sacrificed to yacht owners just plain empty.

  10. Jubal
    March 31, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Matt will never get it.Well if Art thinks that, then I must be right.

  11. March 31, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Jubal – It’s really easy to say that Dems just want to throw more money at the school system, which is not the case at all. I’d love to see less red tape for teachers and more time for teaching. I would love to see less teachers having to dig deep into their own pockets to provide supplies for their students. I would love to see less bubble filling time and more mind filling time. It’s not about the money only it’s about how education is not working and the last thing we need to do is CUT the budget. It doesn’t excuse both Republicans and Democrats from spending the money where it belongs, in the classroom.

  12. Dan Chmielewski
    March 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Matt -
    “As long as the Democrat approach to public education is simply to shovel in more money while bending knee to the teachers unions, it renders this rhetoric about teachers being sacrificed to yacht owners just plain empty.”

    We want the best teachers for our children yet teacher salaries in IUSD at least max out in the high $80K range with most teachers earning significantly less than this. The state demands they regularly augment their education and training which they most pay for. Teachers are severely underpaid in my book. Name another profession requiring advanced degrees that limited upward income potential while providing a greater public good.

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