Tag Archives: revolt

The Voter Revolt Begins

The primary reason Republicans continue to hold the state hostage and deny us a budget is they are afraid that if they vote for a necessary tax increase, they will face a primary challenge from within their party, either for their current seat or for another office in the future. All such a challenger would have to do is say “Joe Blow voted for a tax increase” and the challenger, flush with money from the Club for Growth, the Howard Jarvis Association, and the other usual suspects will take out the incumbent.

The only way to challenge that calculus is to suggest that these Republicans will face a greater backlash from voters than from other wingnuts. California voters, especially those in districts represented by Republicans, hold the most leverage in the current budget stalemate. And as the Conta Costa Times notes (h/t to Donald Lathbury), voters are starting to use that leverage as California turns on the Republicans:

Republican and Democratic members of the “Al-Costa Budget Coalition” — self-described as a group of more than 40 schools and nonprofits serving the elderly, people with disabilities, families with health problems and other residents of Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley area — met this morning with Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-Livermore, to urge a resolution to the state budget impasse….

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District board member Bill Morrison: “I’m a fiscally conservative Republican, but I cannot see any way out of this big hole we are in without some reasonable tax increases.”…

Mt. Diablo Education Association President Mike Noce: “Assemblymember Houston has to represent his constitutents, and polls show that the majority of the people in this district support new revenues.”

Houston is running for Contra Costa County Supervisor, a run that is being jeopardized by his participation in the Republicans’ hostage crisis. CoCo voters are certainly going to think twice about entrusting their local government services to such a reckless individual. Correction: Houston already LOST that race in the June election, and isn’t running for any other office. Which of course makes his adherence to the GOP hostage plan even more ridiculous.

California is ripe for this sort of thing across the state, especially in red districts. Voters in Fresno, south Orange County, and the exurbs all want good schools, hospitals, and roads. They understand that tax increases are necessary not just to balance the budget, but to maintain the middle-class, keep families afloat, and keep our economy alive. And they’re no longer going to take this destruction of their state lying down.

Republican extremism has finally separated them not just from reality, but from their voters. Protests are the necessary first wave. Democrats need to be out in front and actively building support and backing candidates in these red districts, like Gary Pritchard.

Lathbury’s parting shot is worth quoting:

If this thing has to be settled by the voters of California, expect Houston, along with Republican Assemblymember Greg Aghazarian, who’s running to replace outgoing Democratic Senator Mike Machado, and possibly Senator Tom McClintock, who’s running to replace disgraced Rep. John Doolittle, to be among the first casualties. Grover Norquist might not give two hoots about schools and health care, but many Republicans in our state are far less ideological. Indeed, the better question is, ‘How much longer will they remain Republicans?’