Friday, October 27, 2017

Will 2018 Mark The End Of The Road For The California GOP? Age of The Knuckleheads


The California GOP is in big trouble-- even in the corners of the state they still dominate. All 4 Republican congressmembers in what was once the Republican Party heartland-- Orange County-- are holding on by a thread. Hillary won all 4 districts and independent voters have had it with the GOP and are teaming up with Democrats to replace Darrell Issa, Ed Royce, Mimi Walters-- who never even bothered to move away from the beach and into her own district after being elected in 2014-- and Putin puppet Dana Rohrabacher. On top of that, Steve Knight (Santa Clarita, Antelope and Simi valleys) looks like a goner and if the Democrats find plausible candidates to run against Jeff Denham and David Valadao... well, they both represent blue districts and the only reason they are still there is because of DCCC incompetence. Even long shot red districts like CA-50 (Duncan Hunter) and CA-22 (Devin Nunes) are offering unexpected opportunities, the former because of an unexpected but likely indictment and the latter because of Putin-Gate. And if that weren't enough, nationally, more than 30 incumbent Republicans raised less money than their Democratic challengers in the quarter that just ended-- something that rarely happens-- and that includes vulnerable California incumbents like Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher and Steve Knight.

Goal ThermometerAngela Hart, writing for the Sacramento Bee helped explain why the Republicans in the California congressional delegation are all stuck between a rock and a hard place and why so many of them are expected to go extinct in 2018.
When Republican Rep. Ed Royce signed onto a bipartisan bill in Congress to ban bump stocks following the Oct. 1 shooting massacre in Las Vegas, it bothered Ryan Hoskins, a 27-year-old Yorba Linda resident and events director for Cal State Fullerton College Republicans.

Hoskins, a constituent of Royce, saw it as counterproductive to advancing the Republican agenda in Washington, and a snub to President Donald Trump, who declined to discuss stronger gun control measures in the wake of the Vegas shooting.

“We need to pressure all Republicans in Congress to start working with President Trump to pass his legislative reforms...that includes Ed Royce,” Hoskins said. “We don’t want to lose our majority.”

Hoskins’ comments reflect an attitude among Republicans that is growing more widespread as the GOP fights to retain control of Congress. Party representatives should fall in line with the president, even if they don’t agree on every policy detail, he said. Right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and young conservatives conveyed a similar message-- that achieving Republican Party wins is critical heading into the 2018 midterms-- to California Republicans at their fall convention in Anaheim.

“I think everybody is in agreement that Republicans in Congress need to deliver on something for the middle class,” said Dave Gilliard, a Republican political consultant whose clients include four House Republicans being targeted by national Democrats to flip their seats blue in 2018. “Getting tax reform done is extremely important ... it’s a pocketbook issue that affects middle-class voters. It’s the most important issue as far as delivering for the base.”

But Republicans are in a tough spot.

Major policy proposals Trump and congressional leaders have unveiled this year could deal a major blow to California’s economy and hurt constituents of Republican strongholds in the Central Valley and Orange County, where Democrats are focusing their campaign efforts.

Trump’s plan to slash corporate and income taxes could hit Californians who benefit from major tax breaks hard. The state and local tax deduction is on the chopping block under Trump’s proposal.
That kind of calculus is endangering California Republicans. Preserving the state and local tax deduction is more important for middle class California taxpayers in places like Orange County than almost anyplace in the country. But instead of joining Republicans from New Jersey, Illinois and New York who are fighting to preserve it, California Republicans are mum-- or worse. Mimi Walters, the ultimate rubber stamp for both Ryan and Trump, said "It is very important that Republicans back the president... He’s the president of our party. He stands for what we stand for." Sounds terrible, especially while other Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to preserve a deduction that, if eliminated, will cost the average Mimi Walters constituent nearly $20,000 annually.

The budget resolution yesterday nearly lost because of the state and local tax deduction situation. 20 Republicans voted against it, many to to protect their constituents, but NOT ONE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN DID! NOT ONE! Total party over people-- over their own people. When it comes to kitchen table issues, there is no one in Congress fighting more ardently for working families than Ro Khanna (D-CA). He's very interested in making sure Congress becomes bluer and more progressive. He told us last night that "California Republicans are being forced to cast votes again and against against their constituents. They are having to choose between the people they represent and the Trump/Ryan agenda. As long as we run bold progressives who are rooted in the community and offer a positive vision, we should win many seats in California!"

On Wednesday, CNN reported that "so many House Republicans are frustrated with plans to nix a popular deduction, they could block the budget this week"-- but not Mimi... nor the other California Republicans.
The Republican tax reform framework proposes eliminating the State and Local Tax deduction (SALT), a popular tax break that affects nearly one-third of filers, letting them deduct levies like state income taxes and property taxes. It's been in place since the birth of the federal income tax in 1913.

About 30 GOP members represent districts that heavily rely on the deduction, and if they stick together they could derail the resolution.

 ...[Tom MacArthur] from New Jersey, which has the highest property tax in the country, is taking issue with language added to the Senate budget that targets deductions like SALT in order to help raise money for tax cuts.

"If the deductibility of SALT is just wholesale gone, I don't think it can pass the House," he said.

In a sign of the concern about the group continuing to use their leverage, top leaders have scheduled another meeting for 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, the eve of the expected House vote Thursday.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, who has been leading negotiations on the issue, said, "I feel confident that we'll have the votes to pass this because everyone knows that no budget, no tax reform, no middle class relief, no relief for our local businesses, and US jobs will continue to move overseas."

But Brady acknowledged that they still don't have support from many of the members, saying, "We're making progress, we're not there yet."
And then there's Michael Grimm's queer way of looking at the budget vote. The average dummy on Staten Island who voted for Trump won't know 'til it's too late, but if the GOP eliminates the state and local tax deduction, those voters will be paying about $20,000 more per year in taxes. And Mafia thug "Mikey Suits" is never going to tell them. He played politics against primary opponent Dan Donovan for his principled vote standing up for his constituents. This was the statement the mobster put out-- presumably after Bannon signed off on it:
Today's House of Representatives vote to move the Senate-approved budget forward was a critical milestone in the President's fight to deliver historic tax cuts and common-sense tax reform for the middle class.

With a final tally of 216-212, every single vote counted. And with a razor-thin majority in the Senate, failure in the House would have been a fatal blow to the President's push for tax cuts. It comes as no surprise, then, that Rep. Dan Donovan once again betrayed both his voters and his President by siding with Nancy Pelosi and voting against the budget.

With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, now is the time for bold leadership, not posturing and indecisiveness. A true leader works boldly with his conference to improve policy from a seat at the table. Instead, Dan Donovan voted against our President yet again. Going forward, he won't be at the table-- he just guaranteed he won't even be in the room.

With this vote on the books, Donovan is now 0-5 on supporting the President when it has mattered most. He led the charge against repealing Obamacare, rallied opposition to the President on DACA, voted to protect sanctuary cities, and helped fuel bogus "Russia collusion" conspiracy theories. The people of NY11 know Donovan's opposition to the President is the reason he can't get anything done.

Today, Dan Donovan voted to hurt the working-class families of Staten Island and Brooklyn by derailing the most comprehensive tax reform plan in modern history. Thankfully, he failed again.
Nor is that tax deduction conundrum the only one of Trump's legislative proposals making reelection for the California delegation look more and more like a long-shot. The GOP ultimate bête noire, ObamaCare is not a bête noire for millions of California voters-- including in GOP-held districts-- who need it for their families. "Efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare would lead millions of Californians to lose health coverage," continued Hart's report, "and premiums would skyrocket, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Low-income people that depend on Medi-Cal for their health care, many of whom live in the Central Valley, would be disproportionately affected." Three Republicans represent Central Valley districts that would suffer disproportionately: Denham, Valadao and Nunes. And there are more issues that find California Republicans on the wrong side of the fence.
A nationwide immigration crackdown, and construction of a southern border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, would have a ripple effect across the agricultural heart of California. The state’s $47 billion farm economy relies heavily on a robust immigrant workforce, as does tourism and the state’s booming service industry. 
California also has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.

Members being targeted by Democrats-- nine of the 14 House Republicans from California are on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee target list-- must decide when to embrace the president on those issues, and when to distance themselves from him.

“The one overarching theme is going to be the Trump factor-- that’s the unavoidable elephant in the room,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican political strategist.

Another complicating factor: Donald Trump is deeply unpopular in California.

Statewide, Hillary Clinton defeated him by a 2-to-1 margin, winning 61.7 of the vote to Trump’s 31.6 percent. Many voters who didn’t like him simply didn’t vote for him-- even in deep-red districts.

Take, for example, the vote difference between Trump and four targeted Republicans.

Reps. Royce of Fullerton, Darrell Issa of Vista, Jeff Denham of Turlock and Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel all amassed more votes than Trump in 2016. Royce got 33,995 more votes than Trump in his district, Issa got 20,372 more, Denham got 15,525 more votes and Walters coasted through with 37,905 more.

“It’s all about how they represent their district,” said Gilliard, whose consulting firm represents all four.

Trump’s polarizing effect on California’s electorate underscores the balancing act for Republicans headed into 2018.

Kia Hamadanchy is one of the candidates running in the Orange County district that makes up CA-45 (Villa Park, the Anaheim Hills, Tustin, Irvine, Woodbury, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita). He worked for Sherrod Brown in Washington and knows what needs to be cleaned up back there. "It’s remarkable to me," he told us, "how out of touch Mimi Walters remains with the residents of our district. I am out everyday at events, community meetings, and rallies and the support for Trump is abysmal-- and I’m hearing that from Republicans and Independents, too. Yet just this week, Mimi told a reporter that, 'It is very important that Republicans back the President… He stands for what we stand for.' As far as I’m concerned, that means she stands with white supremacists and xenophobes and not the incredibly diverse and vibrant people of the district she is supposed to represent in Washington. If Mimi continues to be Trump’s rubber stamp, I don’t see any way she gets re-elected. She better start looking for her lobbying gig already."

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At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember 2009.

similar dynamic in 2008 to today. But refusal of the D caucus in 2009 to honor any of the voter mandate led to dozens of lost seats in 2010.

It's possible that many R seats will flip in '18.

But the democraps will NOT honor this mandate any more than they did in 2009. Their donors will pay YOOOOOGE to forbid all of it. And the democraps will take the money.

So enjoy your NEXT potential 2-year majority and hope the 10 million who stay home in 2020 don't stay home forever.

The goal should not be simply to temporarily win seats. It should be to fucking FIX SHIT. Winning seats only to never, ever, ever, EVER fix shit is NOT a viable strategery.

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE don't get my hopes up! The reality is more like what 6:22 says.

The GOP remains alive only because they are provided a great deal of support from the corporate sector. Should there not be enough Republicans available to accept corporate largesse, it's clear that there are many DINO Democruds ready, willing, and able to step up in their stead. Remember what happened to the California proposal to establish a single payer medical system? It sure wasn't a Republican who killed that effort!

The real problem is corporate money free to dominate our politics to the detriment of the people. It isn't going to matter what party label is claimed by the politician on the take. Money talks, and everything else walks. It will remain this way until greed isn't seen as a positive individual attribute called ambition and is instead seen as a mental illness which requires treatment.


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