It has been an interesting week for the California State Legislature. Close to 11% of the Senate Democratic Caucus was suspended by a vote of their colleagues for multiple reasons. All of them criminal. And if signing an affidavit that you actually live in the district you have pulled papers to run in might send you to jail, there are a number of Republican Legislators that should not be pointing fingers too quickly.
At the recent OCTax candidate forum for the 74th Assembly District we asked the three Republicans running why the heck they actually wanted to go to Sacramento and how were they planning on making a difference for their constituents. We received varied answers from Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper, Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry and Emanuel Patrascu, District Director for Assemblyman Travis Allen. All are conservative Republican candidates with a range of experience and backgrounds. They all support the mission of the Orange County Taxpayers Association and pledged to vote against increasing taxes for Californians. Each stated support for Orange County’s self-help transportation tax Measure M, desalination, and the concept of toll roads. Non-would have cast a vote to end redevelopment the way it went down. No one had a solution for finding increased funding for California infrastructure and of course the fire pit policy discussion was heated. Each would do a fine job of representing the residents of the 74th.
But candidly, I am hearing more and more dissatisfaction with partisan politics. No Party Preference is the fastest growing voter registration status in California. The Republican Party needs candidates who will not just vote to hold back the tide of increased taxes and anti-business regulation, but will also be able to intelligently articulate to Californians the alternative. They need to be able to explain why the policies that are driving companies and taxpayers out of our state are bad for all of us. The messages of smaller government and less taxes and regulations are ones that would be welcomed by most taxpayers. The Democratic Party needs candidates who don’t go to Sacramento to only fall in line with what their party leadership demands. We all wonder if there is something in the Sacramento water or perhaps the air in Northern California that turns respectable local leaders into legislators petrified to go against their caucus leaders demands. They all need to remember that the money they are spending isn’t theirs. It belongs to the taxpayers.
With California State Legislators falling fast, this election year is the perfect opportunity to ask for a little more from our candidates. They need to represent what is in our best interests as California taxpayers. I am hoping we might be able to find at least one or two that understand this unique concept.
By Carolyn Cavecche, President & CEO of Orange County Taxpayers Association