Cruz win in Texas blazes victory path for CA GOP

Cruz win in Texas blazes victory path for CA GOP

Aug. 6, 2012

By John Seiler

California Republicans are gathering this weekend for their convention in Burbank. For inspiration, they should look to what is happening in neighboring states.

Two years ago, Republicans nominated for governor Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in New Mexico. Both favored cutting government and reducing taxes. Both won.

Last week, Texas Republicans nominated Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate. He also favors cutting government and reducing taxes. He’s a favorite to beat the Democratic nominee, Paul Sadler, in November.

Contrast that with the two Republican Latinos on the California statewide ballot in 2010. Abel Maldonado, the sitting lieutenant governor, was wiped out by Democrat Gavin Newsom. And Mike Villines was defeated for insurance commissioner by an outright socialist, Dave Jones (who’s sending the California insurance industry to his locker).

Both Maldonado and Villines started out with promising careers. Then they sold out to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the record $13 billion tax increase of 2009. Maldonado’s reward from Arnold was an appointment as lieutenant governor, then the passage of the Top Two system for elections, which supposedly favored “moderates” like him. Thanks to Top Two, Maldo now is facing incumbent Democrat Lois Capps in the 25th U.S. Congressional District. He likely will lose. So all the selling out to Arnold will have meant nothing.

Of course, the pundits and Arnold keep saying “moderates” like Maldo and Villines are the key to attracting Latinos to vote Republican. Then why is the opposite tactic — running conservatives — working in neighboring states?

Cruz control

Cruz’s case is instructive. The typically clueless GOP establishment opposed him. Reported FoxNews, “Gov. Rick Perry and much of the rest of the Republican establishment lined up to endorse [primary opponent David] Dewhurst for their party’s nomination….”

According to Lubbock Online, Dewhurst, the sitting lieutenant governor, “also had a $200 million personal fortune he could dip into and did, loaning his Senate campaign at least $24.5 million.” Dewhurst outspent Cruz by three-to-one. So Dewhurst was a typical moneybags moderate the Republican establishment adores, like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in California, or Mitt Romney for president.

But Cruz was strongly supported by the Lone Star State’s Tea Party activists. Lubbock Online wrote, “Cruz has a fiery stage presence that made Tea Party supporters across the state swoon, and received millions from national, conservative organizations which targeted Dewhurst as too moderate.”

Cruz also was backed by my favorite, Sarah Palin. On this video of her post-election comments, Palin points out that Dewhurst spent his money on the usual losing Republican consultants. But Cruz listened to the people.

According to critics, the Tea Party is supposed to be a bunch of cracker racists who hate Latinos and blacks. But in Texas, the Tea Partiers provide the electricity that put the candidate on Cruz control.

In other words, Cruz is an anti-Maldonado and anti-Villines. Of course, if Cruz gets elected, we’ll have to wait to see what he actually does in office. But his political stances certainly are what’s needed, and what voters crave to endorse.

Even the liberal Atlantic magazine has noticed how Cruz exemplifies how Tea Party candidates are winning:

“Time and again, the Tea Party has been declared moribund, splintered, and ineffective. And time and again, it has pulled off surprising upsets. The insurgent conservative moment won a significant victory Tuesday in Texas, where attorney Ted Cruz scored a stunning 13-point win over David Dewhurst in a Republican primary for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. The margin of victory exceeded even recent polls that showed Cruz leading by around 10 points.”


Yet in California, “moderation” still is supposed to sell. George Skelton, the Los Angeles Times columnist celebrated for his 50 years of reporting on the state, recently attacked state Republicans for not supporting moderates, but instead continuing to support such things as the “no tax” pledge. Basically, Skelton and others think Republicans in California would win more offices if they just embraced Democratic policies. The opposite is true.

If Republicans in California have any sense, they’ll cultivate young Latinos who are conservative or libertarian — favoring cuts in budgets and taxes. They’ll get candidates who can give a good speech, fire up a crowd. And they’ll run these candidates for local offices to get some experience, and to see which is best. Then run them statewide.

By the way, did you know that, although Latinos are a majority of the Democratic Party in California, in 2010 not a single Latino was nominated for a statewide office by the Donkey Party? Same thing this year, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein running for re-election. The Democratic Party still is ruled by three septuagenarian Anglos, Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Feinstein.

With the Democrats running everything in the state, they’re going to get blamed as the state crashes into the Pacific Ocean. So…get ready.

There’s opportunity there for Republicans — if they can seize it.

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