Our loss is Kern County’s Gain
Former Assemblywoman Connie Conway has decided to pull out of the race for State Senate District 16 to run for the Board of Equalization (BOE) District 1. The district serves nine million taxpayers and spreads over 30 counties, from the Oregon and Nevada border to parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
Her main competition is Republican State Senator Ted Gaines, who seems to be in the race in order to avoid being termed out of his senate seat.
State Senator Tom Berryhill was also considered a candidate for the BOE but recently announced he is going to run instead for Stanislaus County Supervisor.
While Ms. Conway will represent her constituents well in whatever capacity she chooses to serve, it’s unfortunate that Tulare County will not be represented in the California Senate.
That post will most likely go to termed-out Assembly Member Shannon Grove, who represented the 34th District, formerly the 32nd District.
Her former assembly seat has been heir apparent to the 16th District State Senate seat for years, including former Assembly Members Roy Ashburn and current senator, Jean Fuller.
At first it seemed the logical step for Ms. Conway, the former assembly minority leader, to take a seat in the senate. Both Ms. Conway and Ms. Fuller took leadership roles in their respective houses and worked effectively with the Democratic governor to win concessions for the Republican Party and the South Valley.
But geographically, the numbers don’t work to Ms. Conway’s advantage. The 16th Senate District includes half of Tulare County, 65% of Kern and a small section of San Bernardino County. About 65% of all the registered voters in the 16th Senate District live in Kern County, Ms. Grove’s home turf.
So while Ms. Grove is a household name in Kern County, Ms. Conway is not. Political pundits have said Ms. Grove has the election in the bag.
Ms. Grove’s imminent election isn’t just a loss for Tulare County but the California Republican Party and the entire 16th district. She was swept into power during the Tea Party wave of 2010, and we know how well that group plays in the sand box.
During her time in the assembly Ms. Grove was opposed to Aid in Dying, Prevailing Wage, Marriage Equality, Log Cabin Republicans, High-Speed Rail, regulating the fossil fuel industry, separation of church and state, and the Endangered Species Act and more. She gives a new meaning to the Party of No.
Ms. Grove spoke at a pro-life meeting, stood at the podium with a bible, and said that the drought in Texas ended because they passed a bill restricting abortion.
Ms. Conway and Ms. Fuller may very well share the same beliefs as Ms. Grove, but they possess a sense of diplomacy that Ms. Grove lacks and the self awareness that this is California and not Texas.
When and if Ms. Grove takes her seat in the California Senate, the South Valley can say goodbye to holding any leadership role for the foreseeable future or being heard.
How far exactly can President Trump push rank and file Republicans before all of them jump ship? And who isn’t waiting on pins and needles for the alleged photos and videos to surface that will prove everything in the Russian dossier as true?
It will be no coincidence when this evidence surfaces.
The Russian dossier was compiled by former British spy, Christopher Steele, and alleges shady financial ties between Russia and Mr. Trump and sordid sexual exploits between Mr. Trump and several prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. The dossier was first commissioned last year during the primary by the Republicans and then taken over by the Democrats during the general election.
One of the few examples of Washington working together.
So it was with great interest that I read that two United States Congressional staffers traveled to London in July and tried to contact the former British spy through his lawyers.
Why? Nobody knows.
Not even the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee or Congressman Adam Schiff, the lead Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, knew they were in London. Even more interesting was the fact that the staffers were sent by a longstanding aide to Congressman Devin Nunes.
Mr. Nunes has recused himself from the Russian investigation because of his close relationship with the president. But he is still the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and with that comes specific privileges and the power to investigate.
Mr. Nunes doesn’t share one fiber with Mr. Trump in terms of moral character, but he does share many political beliefs. So did he send those staffers over to help the president, or build a case against him when it becomes painfully clear Mr. Trump cannot move the Republican agenda forward?
The official story is that the staffers were in London anyway, and while they were there, just wanted to open a line of communication with Christopher Steele’s lawyer.
Heard of a phone or email?
For now most Republicans have remained loyal to Mr. Trump. But what is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? That straw, as of yet, has not arrived. But it’s coming.
Republicans need one of their own in the White House to get their tax reform signed into law. But there is a problem. Tax reform was dependent on Obamacare being repealed. That would have reduced the country’s deficit by about a trillion dollars, freeing up the Republicans to reduce taxes.
Without that trillion dollars savings their tax reform will not be deficit neutral. When a tax bill is not deficit neutral Congress needs a two thirds vote, meaning they will have to work with the Democrats. The Democrats are not going to vote for tax breaks for the wealthy and the Republicans’ tax reform will fail.
So what is going to happen when President Trump can’t deliver on his two biggest campaign promises, tax reform and repealing Obamacare? Or special counsel Robert Mueller links Mr. Trump’s finances to Russian money laundering?
Wouldn’t it be convenient for the rank and file Republicans to have something in their back pocket?
Is President Trump’s time running out?
The New American Political Party
It finally gelled why the Tea Party has endured.
You might remember that Occupy Wall Street happened about a year after the emergence of the Tea Party. So just about everyone in America was angry in 2010. Pundits would opine that the Tea Party and the Occupy movement were two sides of the same coin.
Call that coin anger and you’d be correct. But that’s where the similarities end.
The Occupy Movement petered out but the Tea Party endured and became its own force. But the two groups’ larger differences revolve around their values versus the political party in which they belong.
Occupy and now Resist, Indivisible and Our Revolution, started by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, share the same values as the rank and file Democrats. These groups have some hellatious fights, but they are all fighting for the same achievable goals.
The Tea Party and rank and file Republicans also share the same values. But the Establishment didn’t let the Tea Party in on their little secret – that their campaign promises are impossible to fulfill.
For example, Republicans campaign on reducing the federal deficit and vow to never raise the debt ceiling again. But when the time comes, they all vote to raise the debt ceiling.
During the last debt crisis, in 2012, Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senator, said “the Republicans’ problem is we made a big deal about this, meaning the debt ceiling, for three months. How many Republicans have been on TV saying I’m not going to raise the debt limit?”
He included himself in that group saying, “we shouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it. We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves.”
On the other hand, when the Tea Party swept into Washington in 2010 they kept their word and shut down the government by not voting to raise the debt ceiling, and refused to do so until Obamacare was repealed.
The irony is that, in so doing, they cost the government millions of dollars and increased the deficit.
It ends up that all those Republican campaign promises that the Tea Party wants fulfilled will destroy everything which they hold near and dear to their heart.
Such as, if the government decreases taxes they cannot build up the military or build The Wall. If you repeal Obamacare many Tea Partiers will lose their health insurance. If you abruptly get rid of the deficit the American economy will crash, meaning no jobs – especially blue collar jobs.
Occupy or Our Revolution will never create a separate party from the Democrats because they are fighting for the same attainable goals, universal health care, affordable college, closing the income gap, among many others.
On the other hand, the Tea Party realized the Republicans were only giving lip service to the causes near and dear to their heart. And now they are angry and here to stay.
The Los Angeles Times quoted former Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate, Tim Donnelly as calling the California’s GOP leadership “establishment hacks” and urged Tea Party members to go their own way. He said trying to change the party from within is not working.
“We don’t have a Republican Party anymore. We didn’t win the first revolution by standing on the battlefield with the red coats,” he was reported as saying by the Times.
But the Tea Partiers are purists and self described as stubborn in their beliefs, even if it means that the entire country crashes and burns. In fact just the thought of it excites them.
When the Tea Party gets everything it wants and in return loses everything they love, they can be the newest political party in America.
The Bite Your Nose Off Despite Your Face Party.