After last month’s Republican setbacks at the polls, I was asked if I was going to continue in politics.
It was a fair question.
When I was chairman of the California Republican Party (2003-2007), the registration differential between Democrats and Republicans was the narrowest it had been since the 1930s. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected to a second gubernatorial term in 2006, the GOP set modern California records for support among women and minorities. Since then, the bottom has fallen out.
I would spend my energies elsewhere if: (1) the current leaders had California on the right path, or (2) California was unsalvageable. Neither is the case.
California clearly is on the wrong path. Our education system is a disgrace. We’re looking up at Louisiana and Alabama. Teacher unions force districts to turn down millions of federal dollars because they do not like the reforms the Obama administration requires. Many of our major cities are insolvent, if not bankrupt. Anyone who tells you that Gov. Brown’s Proposition 30 solved our budget problems and/or ensured our schools will have enough money is lying to you (even the San Francisco Chronicle, hardly anyone’s idea of a conservative voice, labeled the ballot measure “a gimmick”). The truth is the forecast of the state’s budget moving into the black is built on a flimsy house of cards. A more sober assessment comes from the California Budget Crisis Task Force, which has determined the Golden State’s debt and obligations to run anywhere from $167 billion to $335 billion.