I’m sure that’s what many think of when reading about politics in Orange County but it seems that Republicans in the State of California have not given in to the idea that the State is “Hopelessly Blue”. I hate to inform them, but I think they are in for a rude awakening.
Hoping to find a successor to popular Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and end the decadelong shellacking that most other Republicans have suffered when running for statewide office, a group of GOP leaders and well-heeled donors Wednesday announced plans to stock a “farm team” of candidates they hope will put their party back in power.
The organization includes former Gov. Pete Wilson and a crew of moderate Republican donors from Orange County.
Although they insist that potential candidates will be judged by their quality and electability — not their ideology — some conservatives are already critcizing the move as an attempt to undermine their leadership in the party.
“We are seeking winners, and winners come in different shapes. There is not a total template that they have to fit,” Wilson said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
“As governor I supported candidates, whether they were pro-choice or pro-life, if they were strong Republicans and strong candidates. You want people who are attractive [candidates], you want people of principle.”
Now granted, this new group is hoping to edge the current crop of Republicans away from the social issues that have supposedly hobbled them in Statewide races (probably why the Governor is turning away from the gay marriage ban amendment) but as we know in Orange County, the State may seem hopelessly blue but it feels hopelessly red closest to home. And many Republicans who are from our neck of the woods are sticking to the party line with no new taxes, get rid of the damn illegals and make sure to put “In God we Trust” in all our City Council Chambers. It’s worked before and it looks as if Republicans are betting it will work again, but will it?
Hudson noted that a number of the Republican group’s board members also belong to the New Majority, which was founded primarily by Orange County executives who for years have tried to nudge the party away from social conservatives and their emphasis on issues such as abortion and gun rights. Also, many members of the new group have close ties to Schwarzenegger, who has complained that the state Republican party is “dying at the box office” because it remains too ideologically conservative on issues including healthcare and global warming.But do they seem blind to one of the real issues here?
The current State budget crisis has much to do with the fiscally conservative policies of our Governor and the small minority of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (Our dog is the only Howard Jarvis member in our household, she pays ZERO taxes) Republicans that hold the rest of the State legislature hostage. I understand that in rough times that budget cuts are important but at what cost? Where do you stop and what do you call expendable? Our public school system, which is depended upon by not just Democratic parents has to be the fire line for me. There is a reason why we have Prop 98, the schools were promised that they would never receive LESS money than the prior fiscal year.
California Proposition 98 requires a minimum percentage of the state budget to be spent on K-14 education. Prop 98 guarantees an annual increase in education in the California budget. Prop 98, also called the “Classroom Instructional Improvement and Accountability Act,” amended the California Constitution to mandate a minimum level of education spending based on three tests. Test one, used only for 1988 to 1989, requires spending on education to make up 39% of the state budget. Test 2, used in years of strong economic growth, requires spending on education to equal the previous years spending plus per capita growth and student enrollment adjustment. Test 3, used in years of weak economic growth guarantees prior years spending plus adjustment for enrollment growth, increases for any changes in per capital general fund revenues, and an increase by 0.5 percent in state general funds.
There is a reason why this was passed 20 years ago, education should never be touched no matter how hard the economic times may be. It’s at this time that education must be kept at it’s strongest. Education is what will allow people during these tough times to still send their children to school, doesn’t that make sense? Isn’t this the most important thing that we can fund as a society? There should be no reason to cut the schools budgets to the point of harming public education when it is needed the most.
Republicans are sure that their “fiscal” conservative stances can weather such times but not at the cost of education. They need to realize that not just Democrats send their kids to public schools and this could be the very reason why Orange County may not be “hopelessly red”.