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Despite the pervasive anti-Trump animus, I hope to elect a governor that actually governs California, not a show-boat Democrat posturing for the Presidency in 2020

The California Governor's Race: Right-wing Dreams and Left-wing Nightmares


By —— Bio and Archives--January 30, 2018

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The California Governor's Race: Right-wing Dreams and Left-wing Nightmares
Jerry Brown is retiring—for good this time. Governor Moonbeam has been an unmitigated disaster for California, and God forbid that his children run for statewide office. Californians have an open governor’s seat again. Well, sort of. Gavin Newsom, former Mayor of San Francisco, won the Lieutenant Governor’s seat in 2010, defeating a moderate Republican incumbent.

Much like a pampered Vice President running for President, Newsom is campaigning like the heir apparent: a reckless, lawless social justice warrior politician —always with a flawless smile and slicked-back hairline. As mayor, he signed off on gay marriage licenses, even when it was illegal to do so. He champions sanctuary cities and state policies, and pledges to go all the way for the progressive vision of California’s hardened left-wing base.

.

The horror! The horror!

The other major candidates are:

2. Antonio Villaraigosa, former Assemblyman, Speaker of the Assembly, and two-term failed mayor of Los Angeles. Also a dubious lobbyist for Herbalife, and now working hard (with establishment GOP consultant support) to flash some blue-collar, Latino credibility with the state’s growing Latino voting bloc

3. John Chiang, State Treasurer (and fellow Torrance resident). He wants to position himself as a saner Democratic-lite alternative centrist. He won’t go for single-payer because the state can’t afford it, but wants a public option, like what Obama had promised in 2009.

4. Delaine Eastin: The only woman, a former city councilmember, assemblywoman and state official (Superintendent of Schools). She is striving to position herself to the left of Newsom, with lots of talk about more money for healthcare, schools, and protection for all residents, especially illegals.

5. John Cox: a wealthy businessman, accountant, and thrice-failed candidate from Chicago. He has invested his considerable fortune to repeal the hated gas tax increase and sponsor a New Hampshire style neighborhood legislature initiative. He also voted for Gary Johnson for President.

6. Travis Allen: a financier and wealth manager, small businessman, Assemblyman from Huntington Beach elected in 2012. Allen has openly touted his support for President Trump and his populist, pro-enforcement agenda. (Full disclosure: he is my preferred candidate.)

There have been three gubernatorial debates so far. The first hosted Cox and Allen alone, the second and third with all six candidates at USC and UCLA, respectively. The UCLA forum focused on Latinos and their take on issues.

What topics have dominated the debates among these candidates?

1.  Trump:  The first question at the USC debate referred to President Trump’s unsubstantiated “sh*thole” comments. “Is the President a racist?” asked the moderator, a stunningly biased, offensive question. The three more left-wing Democrats predictably affirmed “Yes!” to wild applause from the mostly college-age audience. Chiang ignored the question, as did Allen and Cox. Last time I checked, Trump is not running for governor, but it’s a great left-wing talking point to avoid the issues and increase their polling.

Support for Trump divided Allen and Cox at the Redlands Tea Party debate, too. Allen was engaging, lively, prepared to answer all questions. Humped over in his seat, Cox appeared uncomfortable, unable to shake off his vote for Gary Johnson, an open borders, pro-pot, pro-cap and trade statist. The audience overwhelmingly supported Allen.

2.Immigration: How will candidates stand up to the “Trump Deportation Machine”? What about DACA recipients? The sanctuary city and state issues have featured prominently, with Democrats strutting their anti-Trump, pro-illegal bonafides. In deft contrast, Allen and Cox have championed enforcement of all federal immigration laws. Allen has been particularly adamant about a commitment to repeal the Sanctuary State law through special legislative session within his first 100 days in office. Cox has sought for a more nuanced view, recognizing the need for immigrant labor while upholding the rule of law.

3. Single-payer healthcare: To what extent will candidates expand government intervention into the state healthcare system? It’s laughable yet amazing to see the four Democrats contort themselves to the extreme-left or the moderate left on this issue. Villaraigosa says he agrees with single-payer “philosophically”—whatever that means. The money isn’t there, but Democratic candidates don’t calculate cost when counting votes, right?

The Republican candidates have sharply distinguished themselves from their Democratic counterparts. They both denounce single-payer healthcare without hesitation: “Why not guaranteed housing and food?” Cox asked one crowd. Allen pointed out the insurmountable cost of the program, $400 billion and counting.

4. Marijuana: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is cracking down on states which have legalized recreational pot use. This issue and California’s pro-illegal alien policies highlight the constitutional crisis between California and the US Government. Whom will the governor side with?

5. Transportation: California’s roads, bridges, and byways are crumbling. Republicans attacked the failed Democratic leadership and their misplaced priorities. The Democrats by and large talk up big promises to fix everything and to find the money to do it.

6. Homelessness: A state with so much plenty and promise is now overrun with homeless on the streets and tent cities in the suburbs. Onerous regulations and high taxes have pushed up rents. Republicans have fingered the Democrats’ one party rule for this disaster. The Democratic candidates roll out their compassionate rhetoric and promise more money. From where? Who knows.

Despite California’s dispiriting jungle primary, which means the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party, this primary season has been engaging and encouraging. At the UCLA debate, the moderators, two Spanish-language journalists, expected each candidate to pander to the heavily Latino, pro-illegal audience. Cox fumbled at the end, derisively trying to form a pro-Latino connection with the audience. Allen affirmed his commitment to repeal sanctuary state and ensure that single-payer never happens in California. In spite of booing from the crowds, he maintained his incredible calm and composure. That’s what leadership is about.

Despite the pervasive anti-Trump animus, I hope to elect a governor that actually governs California, not a show-boat Democrat posturing for the Presidency in 2020. At this point, one can only hope for the best.


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Arthur Christopher Schaper -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.

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