Getting 'important' things done the best route to a 'New Way California'
"looking to revitalize the California Republican Party"
By: Al Franco, The Desert Sun
Assemblyman Chad Mayes and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are looking to revitalize the California Republican Party. Based on the secretary of state’s most recent voter registration figures — which show only 26 percent of California voters last year were registered as Republicans — the party could use some help.
Mayes — who stepped down from his position as Assembly Republican Leader under fire after working with Democrats to help assure renewal of the controversial Cap-and-Trade environmental legislation — likely could use any support he can drum up with his “New Way California” effort to promote his views of “conservative Republican values.”
Both of these leaders seem to be facing some strong headwinds when it comes to getting GOP lawmakers and voters to follow their lead, at least based on the barrage of Twitter and story comments lambasting the two as “RINOs” — Republicans in Name Only — after Mayes spoke of the new effort on Tuesday.
Mayes didn’t offer much in the way of specifics as to the new effort’s goals, other than to draw others to the GOP, which he and the former governor see as increasingly sliding into irrelevance in deep blue California’s actual governance.
The Yucca Valley lawmaker might well need some new blood — read more independent voters — to help him win what could be a tough re-election battle in the fall, thanks to his high-profile fall from one of the “Big Five” leadership posts in Sacramento.
However this all might affect Mayes’ prospects — or the potential aspirations of Schwarzenegger — I’d like to suggest a couple of things for this new group to focus on that would be worthwhile to all who live in the Coachella Valley.
Not that they asked, but here goes:
Put your weight behind getting the Salton Sea problem solved.
At The Desert Sun Editorial Board’s endorsement session in 2016, Mayes spoke forcefully of the state’s responsibility under the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement to ensure the lake does not become a crisis.
California voters will vote this year on a massive $4 billion bond measure that includes $200 million for restoration work the Salton Sea. All of us who live in this region are relying on officials to keep the sea from spiraling into a vortex of toxic dust clouds that won’t distinguish between “Democrat” or “Republican” lungs.
Even if this bond issue fails, environmental efforts so directly linked to our own health shouldn’t be beholden to partisan politics, and I’d like to believe that those who manage to push through solutions will be rewarded by voters. Keep Sacramento accountable on this vital local commitment regardless of the outcome of the statewide bond vote.
Idea no. 2: Fix our roads. The California Legislature last year approved SB1, a massive transportation funding bill expected to bring in more than $50 billion over the next decade.
The smart politician is going to make sure voters of all stripes see exactly how some of those funds are being used to repair and improve the roads they travel here at home every day.
Bonus points to the leader who manages to help wrestle for Interstate 10 in our area some of the relatively tiny sliver of the total annual billions SB1 will raise that will be dedicated to highway expansion. No one alive relishes the idea of being stuck between Washington Street and Cook Street or Bob Hope Drive and Date Palm Drive at an eternal standstill simply because a couple of semis tangled down the road. Excuse my dramatic emphasis, but there are few worse “rock and hard places” to be stuck between that I can imagine.
Bad traffic for a short time is one thing, but imagine our dilemma if a catastrophe like an earthquake seriously damages that route?
Clearly, the above basic suggestions really aren’t partisan in nature at all. (See what I did there?) I imagine others have ideas they favor to add to the list.
In that vein, I offer all of these freely to any elected official or would-be leader out there who wants to run with them.
Show us some headway on them and you’ll be well on your way to winning my support. I’d be willing to bet other voters out there feel likewise.