01.05.2017

DeMaio Announces Initiative to Create California Reform Agenda

California is a deep blue state and many consider the California GOP all but dead. 

Not so fast.  There are 5 issues that the California GOP should tackle in 2017 to make itself relevant again to voters in the Golden State.

Carl DeMaio has devised an initial list of 5 possible outside-the-box issues for the GOP to champion in 2017 and beyond. 

The list is an initial starting point.  YOU are invited to share your thoughts for any issue that may not be on the list. 

After all submissions are received, Carl will work with Reform California on a state-wide issues poll to gauge voter support for the ideas.  Once that polling research is done, the results will be shared with California GOP leaders, grassroots activists, and the general public. 

1.       The Freedom Agenda: Everyone likes freedom, particularly the millennials. Unfortunately, the GOP in California has a brand associated with MORE government control of our lives not less.  It is time for a makeover.  In 2017 and 2018, the GOP should utilize strategic lawsuits, ceremonial resolutions, and ballot initiatives to protect personal freedoms. The first three topics should be: Privacy Initiative (barring government agencies from spying on you), Free Speech Initiative (protecting diverse political views on college campuses) and Right To Trial Initiative (eliminating the abuses of civil asset forfeiture by local law enforcement). At every turn, the GOP should stand next to Freedom on an issue and just smile. 

2.       Pension Reform: The crisis caused by overly-generous pension payouts to state and local government employees will reach a boiling point in 2017 and 2018 as Cal-PERS contributions spike and more government employees retire making more in pension payouts than they actually made while working for taxpayers. The GOP should lead the way to a solution by placing a pension reform measure on the 2018 ballot.+

3.       Lawsuit Abuse: A lot has to be done to fix California’s economy, but a good start would be tort reform.  No one likes lawyers – except Democratic politicians who take their campaign contributions and in return pass laws that allow virtually everyone to get sued for any reason.  The GOP should back a tort reform package similar to the system used in Texas.  In the meantime, get creative and pursue a ballot measure that would require unscrupulous lawyers who lose more than 20 cases to repay the legal and court fees for any additional cases they lose. Think of it like traffic tickets for bad lawyers – and the result would be far less frivolous lawsuits as people like Cory Briggs are put out of work. (By the way, this is a great way to reform CEQA without having to change a single word in the CEQA statute!)

4.       Education Choice: The GOP needs to make Education the one government program they love.  Education is the great equalizer – no matter your starting point, if you work hard and are given the chance, you can be anything.  But are our children really getting a “chance” in public schools that are dominated by social agendas of liberal politicians and wasteful spending outlined in the union boss’ contract?  The GOP should propose an “Education Bill of Rights” for all children that emphasize choice, accountability, and parental empowerment. 
5.       Illegal Immigration: Yes, you read that issue correctly.  Contrary to what liberal pundits in the media think, California voters do not support the “open border” and Sanctuary City philosophy of the Democrats.  The GOP should proactively pursue a two-track approach on immigration – one to help legal immigrants pursue the American Dream while another track that combats illegal immigration. 

The GOP can be relevant again in California – but it will take outside-the-box thinking to develop a bold agenda that resonates with California voters.  It’s current approach of milk-toast Democrat-lite thinking has been a failure.  The GOP has nothing to lose by going big and bold.

What other bold ideas should California Republicans pursue in 2017? Have an issue that is missing from this list?  Email carl@carldemaio.com to share the issue and idea with him and we may include it in the Reform California 2017 issues poll of voters.