California GOP Never Learns

John Seiler:

California desperately needs a competitive second party to challenge the mega-majority Democrats. Too bad the main alternative is the Republicans.

The GOP’s inbred attitude was shown yesterday when state Senate Republicans — the handful of them — elected Bob Huff of Diamond Bar their leader.

Republicans always say they favor free markets and property rights. But last year he led GOP attempts to keep anti-property rights redevelopment alive. Under redevelopment, the government uses eminent domain to grab private property and give it to wealthy developers. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature killed it last year to grab the $1.7 billion the state was spending on it for other purposes, such as schools and public safety.

My colleague Steven Greenhut wrote of Huff, “In fact, one of the GOP’s leaders, Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar, received the League of California Cities’ Legislator of the Year award for his efforts to save redevelopment agencies. His wife, by the way, works for a developer who is one of the state’s biggest redevelopment beneficiaries. This is the type of thing that makes me want to join the unbathed wretches occupying city parks.”

The GOP’s attitude on redevelopment, and Huff’s selection as Senate leader, also torpedoes their efforts to recruit Latinos, who generally vote 70 percent Democrat. Republicans obviously should be targeting Latino small-business owners who suffer from high taxes and over-regulation imposed by the Democratic majority.

But it’s Jose’s Muffler Shop and Maria’s Taco Stand that are most likely to be seized by eminent domain, with inadequate compensation paid to Jose and Maria, and given to wealthy Anglo developers. As with all waves of immigrants who have come to this country, commonly Latinos start out with small businesses. Then the more successful of them expand and they become more wealthy.

A good example for Latinos is Arte Moreno, who started out small in advertising, but now owns the Anaheim Angels. His crucial days were when he started out.

Arnold Schwarzenegger set back the California Republican Party by a decade. Meg Whitman set it back a second decade.

Choosing Huff as Senate leader sets the party back a third decade.

Republicans again should become a competitive force in Golden State politics ’round about 2042.

— Jan. 5, 2012


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