Mimi Robson: California needs a strong alternative to the Democratic establishment. Look to the Libertarians.

The Republican Party is finally realizing what the Libertarian Party has known for decades: California is best when the voters have options. Jessica Millan Patterson, Chair of the California Republican Party, recently wrote, “Republicans have both an opportunity and a responsibility to stand up and offer a viable alternative to the Democrats and give voters a real choice.”

However, other Republican leaders feel that the GOP isn’t the option Californians are looking for.

Soon after last year’s general election, Kristin Olsen, former Assembly Republican leader and current Stanislaus County Supervisor, wrote “the California Republican Party isn’t salvageable at this time. The Grand Old Party is dead.” So which is it?

What has been the cause of the Republican Party’s apparent demise in the state?

Perhaps it is because they concentrate on issues that are either irrelevant for or antithetical to Californians.

Perhaps it is because the party seems to have abandoned its former regard for limited government in order to appease a president that is wildly unpopular in this state.

Perhaps it is because they also seem to be doing a good job of identifying problems in the state but aren’t coming up with solutions.

The middle class is struggling in the state as they are burdened with the highest taxes and most stringent regulations in the country.

As a result businesses are fleeing the state and taking with them high paying jobs that could benefit many Californians.

In addition to jobs leaving the state, living here has become more expensive; we have a huge shortage of affordable housing.

And last, but certainly not least, we have an out of control public employee pension system; these pension liabilities are unsustainable and will ultimately bankrupt local municipalities and the state itself.

To solve the problems of California, we need to stop the unsustainable spending.

California legislators need to learn to spend within the state’s means rather than raising taxes on the top income earners who will continue to leave the state and take with them their tax dollars.

The Libertarian Party believes the first step is to reduce the many regulations that have forced so many businesses to find a more business friendly environment.

The housing crisis could be alleviated by reducing the hurdles in place to build affordable housing.

A few simple steps we can take could help millions of people in the state.

And finally, the first step to handling the state’s pension debt is to renegotiate the contracts with the public employee unions.

The rest of the article can be read here.

Mimi Robson is currently the chairman of the LP CA. Their 2019 convention will be held the weekend of April 5 thu 7 in Concord.

2019 Convention

31 thoughts on “Mimi Robson: California needs a strong alternative to the Democratic establishment. Look to the Libertarians.

  1. SocraticGadfly

    Strange. Unlike Jill and Mimi, I don’t spell the alternative to Cal Dems the way they do.

    “G-r-e-e-n P-a-r-t-y” doesn’t start with an “L.”

  2. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Libertarians are deluding themselves. California voters reject the GOP because the GOP is too libertarian. In which case, California voters are not about to seek an even more libertarian alternative.

    Most Californians want more environmental regulation and entitlement spending. Those who don’t, vote GOP.

    They’re frustrated when the GOP doesn’t deliver, but the reason is mostly because the GOP is small and weak. Not enough votes for a major “small government” party. And if most voters won’t even support a moderate GOP, they’re not about to support a more extreme LP.

    Most Californians prefer “free stuff” over principles. You can’t educate them out of it. This state will have to collapse before voters consider a free market alternative.

  3. dL

    Libertarians are deluding themselves. California voters reject the GOP because the GOP is too libertarian.

    lol

  4. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I didn’t say the GOP was libertarian. Only that it was too libertarian for California voters.

    The LPC is wrong. Californians do not reject the GOP because of its statism, but because the GOP doesn’t offer enough statism to satisfy Californians.

    Californians are not seeking a libertarian alternative. The Democrats have already given them marijuana legalization and gay marriage. There’s nothing the LPC has left to offer California’s left-leaning majority.

  5. paulie

    The biggest reason for the decline of the California NSGOP is their idiotic, racist position on immigration (I say that with apologies to the mentally challenged). Many Latinos and others in CA voted Republican until Pete Wilson decided to use immigrants as a scapegoat and alienated a large and growing portion of the state’s population. It’s true that many Californians also hold big government economic views, and that includes many corporatist Republicans.

    But there are plenty of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs, as well as those who believe social justice should include those who would like to start or continue to operate a business or otherwise not work for government or big corporations, in CA. They just don’t want the extreme baggage of the theocratic, neocon, socially reactionary, racist and other vomit inducing elements of the NSGOP. I certainly can’t fault them for that and hope the LP learns how to mobilize the many unorganized libertarians in CA and other states a lot better than it has thus far.

  6. dL

    I didn’t say the GOP was libertarian. Only that it was too libertarian for California voters.

    um, no. More like it is too East German communist for Cali voters.

  7. dL

    “G-r-e-e-n P-a-r-t-y” doesn’t start with an “L.”

    SocraticGadfly:

    I hugely doubt small-l, let alone capital-:L libertarians could cooperate on anything related to climate change.

    Yeah, you’re right. it is unclear to me whether climate change wouldn’t actually be a net redistribution mechanism from the rich to the poor(er), whereas I have no doubt that climate protectionism would serve as more redistribution from the poorer to the rich. I’m not a Marxist, but I do concur with Marx that the bureaucracy serves the ruling class.

  8. paulie

    I hugely doubt small-l, let alone capital-:L libertarians could cooperate on anything related to climate change.

    Odd, I do not see the original of this comment.

  9. Consti Lib

    The bolshevik-menshevik feud within the California Dems is the only drama remaining!

  10. paulie

    I’m not a Marxist, but I do concur with Marx that the bureaucracy serves the ruling class.

    It also serves the polluting class. Governments themselves are in fact the biggest polluter, bigger than all corporations combined, even in mixed economy nations like the US – and the full extent is not public information since much of it is shielded by military secrecy and the fact that government doesn’t require the same pollution control hoop jumping of itself as it does of businesses.

    Pervasive government red tape prevents entrepreneurial solutions to environmental problems. Government granted non-consensual limited liability shields polluters from legal consequences of their actions. The combined weight of government red tape makes us all poorer over time, and poor people are too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads and feeding their families to put a high priority on environmental quality. In impoverished areas all over the world and poor parts of rich countries garbage is dumped openly, and in poor countries sewage flows openly as well. Marxist nations were and still are an environmental disaster of massive proportions.

    If there’s going to be a real solution to anthropogenic climate destabilization it will not come from central planning.

  11. paulie

    The bolshevik-menshevik feud within the California Dems is the only drama remaining!

    There’s also the question of which will come first, California seceding from the USA or Trump turning it into our equivalent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There may be a wall on the US-California border before there is one on the US-Mexico border, or at about the same time.

  12. dL

    Odd, I do not see the original of this comment.

    SG bumped an old Roderick Long post with a recent comment.

  13. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    1. I don’t see how the California GOP is “theocratic.” The Moral Majority peaked in the 1980s. Those days are long gone. And the California GOP was always more socially liberal than was the national party.

    2. Pete Wilson didn’t try to close the borders. He only wanted to cut off entitlements to illegal immigrants (Prop 187). Cutting back entitlements — that’s libertarian incrementalism, no? The idea that if you can’t eliminate all entitlements, it’s still good to begin cutting back somewhere, anywhere.

    3. Prop 187 passed in the 1990s, so it wasn’t all that unpopular with California voters. That can’t be the reason for the GOP’s decline.

    4. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most recent GOP governor, not Wilson. So Schwarzenegger sets the current GOP tone, which is more socially liberal than was Wilson. So you can’t blame Wilson for the GOP’s current poor state.

    5. The California GOP’s signature issue these past 20 years has been less taxes, less regulation (not immigration), same as the LPC. And it hasn’t enticed enough California voters to support them.

    6. The LPC’s open borders policy won’t (and hasn’t) entice all the many new immigrants, not if the Dems are offering open borders (and sanctuary cities), plus tons of free stuff. Immigrants want free stuff same as everyone else.

    7. Neither the GOP or the LPC can outbid the Dems in redistributing free stuff. Maybe the Greens can outbid the Dems, but the only the Dems have the power to deliver. Hence, California will remain a one party state for the foreseeable future, irrespective of LPC press releases or platform changes.

  14. Gene Berkman

    Actually, California voters rejected the Republican Party because the Republicans took pro-government positions on major social issues – abortion, Marijuana, and acceptance of Gay marriage – and the California Republican Party supported George W Bush’s war in Iraq. On all these issues, California voters want less government.

    And it is a fact that until Proposition 187, as many as 35% to 40% of Hispanic voters supported Republican candidates. Now they vote Democrat in some cases because they agree with Democrats on the welfare state, in other cases because they want to reject the Republicans that they see as opposed to their communities.

    It is also true that Libertarians need to adopt less extreme rhetoric with which to explain our principles, but we don’t have the negative associations with war and reactionary social positions that the Republicans have.

    I posted an article on my blog on this issue: https://calibertarianreport.com/2018/11/22/california-republican-collapse-a-generation-in-the-making/

  15. paulie

    Actually, California voters rejected the Republican Party because the Republicans took pro-government positions on major social issues – abortion, Marijuana, and acceptance of Gay marriage – and the California Republican Party supported George W Bush’s war in Iraq. On all these issues, California voters want less government.

    And it is a fact that until Proposition 187, as many as 35% to 40% of Hispanic voters supported Republican candidates. Now they vote Democrat in some cases because they agree with Democrats on the welfare state, in other cases because they want to reject the Republicans that they see as opposed to their communities.

    Thank you, my point exactly.

  16. paulie

    I don’t see how the California GOP is “theocratic.”

    That’s the root of their reactionary big government positions on social issues. Even if the state party is slightly less bad on those they are still tarred by their national brand.

    Cutting back entitlements — that’s libertarian incrementalism, no?

    Not when it’s done in a discriminatory fashion. Immigrants are only “illegal” because of illegitimate border controls in the first place. It’s rightly perceived by many as a cover for a more far reaching agenda driven by racism at its root.

    Prop 187 passed in the 1990s, so it wasn’t all that unpopular with California voters.

    Yes, Wilson demagogued it for short term gain at the expense of long term damage to his party. If he cared about the Republicans coming after him he would have realized it would damage them due to demographic shifts that are happening whether they like it or not. Proposition H8 also damaged California Republicans in the long run regardless of its popularity at the time.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most recent GOP governor, not Wilson.

    Yes, as a celebrity and on the heels of the Grey recall. And he may be the last one for a long time, or ever.

    The California GOP’s signature issue these past 20 years has been less taxes, less regulation

    At best they pay lip service and don’t deliver. Like the national Republicans it’s cover for borrow and spend and corporate bailouts and their poisonous big government agenda on the military-industrial, police-prison-industrial, espionage state, and social reactionary agenda.

    The LPC’s open borders policy won’t (and hasn’t) entice all the many new immigrants

    They might have to know about it first, and it doesn’t help that a noisy minority of LP members are as bad or worse on the issue as the worst of the NSGOP.

  17. dL

    Actually, California voters rejected the Republican Party because the Republicans took pro-government positions on major social issues – abortion, Marijuana, and acceptance of Gay marriage – and the California Republican Party supported George W Bush’s war in Iraq. On all these issues, California voters want less government.

    yes, I have difficult time believing anyone would claim with a straight face that the Cali GOP has dwindled to irrelevance b/c it was too libertarian. Even the state GOP party leadership admits its white identity politics rhetoric–in lieu of focusing on bread and butter economic issues– is a loser in a majority minority state.

  18. dL

    The LPC’s open borders policy won’t (and hasn’t) entice all the many new immigrants

    I bet an open borders policy would be pretty popular with these folks. Free them and sign them up!

  19. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    That’s the root of their reactionary big government positions on social issues. Even if the state party is slightly less bad on those they are still tarred by their national brand.

    You bypass my point that the Moral Majority peaked in the 1980s. There is no “Christian right” of any meaningful force.

    Us gray hairs might remember the MM. But I doubt that most Millennials (apart from a few hyper-political ones) are even aware that the GOP once had a “Christian right” image.

    At best they pay lip service and don’t deliver.

    Yes, the GOP pays lip service to small government. But even if they wanted to deliver (and I’m sure some of their elected reps do want to deliver) how can they, with the GOP being so small and weak?

    Let’s say half of all GOP voters switched to the LPC. Then the LPC would still be much smaller and weaker than the GOP is now. Do you think the LPC would be able to deliver?

  20. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    the California Republican Party supported George W Bush’s war in Iraq. On all these issues, California voters want less government.

    Actually, most Americans — Democrats and Republicans — supported the Iraq War. Even much of the LP was fiercely pro-war. I remember.

    Only after the war was a done deal, did many Democrats and Libertarians become “born again peaceniks,” quickly burying their pro-war past. Not admitting they were wrong, but pretending (lying) that they’d never been pro-war in the first place.

    It was never Bush’s war. It was everyone’s war. (Apart from a relatively small, vocal minority). But afterwards, almost everyone who previously supported the war was like, “Who me? I’m antiwar!”

    I know of several libertarians who were pro-war before it started (quietly muttering their support when confronted, citing the “libertarian self-defense principle,” etc.), but after the war, were loudly antiwar, as if they’d been opposed all along.

    I saw mush hypocrisy over 2004-07, when formerly pro-war libertarians tried to memory hole their past support.

    It only Bush, if only the Republicans, had supported the war, there would have been no war. The media, academia, Democrats, and many Libertarians were all beating the war drums. I recall reading essays in the L.A. Weekly in which antiwar progressives lamented their pro-war progressive friends. I personally knew a very left-wing Jewish TV writer who was terrified that Bush would not attack Iraq. She was certain that Saddam was weeks away from nuking Israel.

    After the war, almost everyone blamed Bush, as though they were wholly innocent. Hypocrites.

  21. dL

    You bypass my point that the Moral Majority peaked in the 1980s. There is no “Christian right” of any meaningful force.

    Us gray hairs might remember the MM. But I doubt that most Millennials (apart from a few hyper-political ones) are even aware that the GOP once had a “Christian right” image.

    memo to Root’s gray hair and teeth: The GOP still has a Christian Right image. In fact, today, the Christian Right IS the GOP, whereas in the 1980s, the Christian right was merely part of the so-called tripartite conservative axis. And the notion that the Christian Right lost the culture war was always a premature sentiment. All that “morality and decency in media” stuff got rebranded as “Human Trafficking”,
    e.g.
    https://endsexualexploitation.org/morality-in-media/

    and the extent that stuff is promoted without question in the common media, and the extent that a Moral Majority social policy has a friend in the department of fartherland security, and ironically enough, the extent that it has a friend in sex negative feminism that animates much of mainstream progressivism, I have to say the Moral Majority has managed defeat quite nicely.

  22. dL

    Actually, most Americans — Democrats and Republicans — supported the Iraq War. Even much of the LP was fiercely pro-war. I remember.

    I don’t recall the LP supporting the Iraq war; however, that was before I paid any attention to the LP. I’m sure Gene Berkman, Tom Knapp or Pauli could inform us as to the state of LP circa 2002 regarding the Iraq War. What I do recall is that many Beltway libertarians tagged along on the caboose of the war train, which is a bit different than claiming libertarians were fierce supporters. That all being said, I don’t think the Iraq War had much to do with the fortunes of the Cali GOP, and it mostly falls into the category of red herring retrospection.

  23. paulie

    The LP officially opposed it, but it’s true there were many individual libertarians who supported, especially early on in the war. The national office did put out the BS “Iraq Exit Strategy” which lead to the re-establishment of the Advertising and Public Relations Committee to prevent such platform-violating materials from being put out in the name of the party again.

  24. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Harry Browne, to his credit, opposed intervention in Afghanistan within weeks of 9/11. That took courage.

    But throughout 2002, much of the LP leadership was silent, or waffling, on the war issue. Waiting to see which way the wind blew. Not wanting to appear unpatriotic. And many Libertarians were vocally pro-war.

    Only as the public turned against the war did many Libertarian “leaders” find their courage and principles.

    What’s ironic today is that the neoliberal/neocon establishment attacks Trump for being a fascist — but always goes soft on him whenever he bombs Syria.

    It’s truly a bizarro world in which, when you attack a foreign country, you lessen your fascist reputation.

  25. paulie

    Agreed!

    It didn’t help that many self styled small l libertarians were/are very pro-war. The general public doesn’t distinguish between small l and big L. Almost everyone at antiwar rallies I have attended was surprised that I am LP and/or that most LP members and libertarians are antiwar. Almost never any libertarian signage, handouts or organized presence at any of them – Dems, marxist parties, Greens, even antiwar Republicans were flying their flags but we were not. Shameful.

  26. Jill Pyeatt

    Gene’s analysis of CA is very good. Sadly, I don’t think the state has hit rock bottom yet. It’s going to get much worse, I fear, with the awful problem of homelessness and the poor education system. I’m committed to the state at least another 4 or 5 years, but after that, I may also be forced to flee. also, if I ever hope to retire.

    All three of the parties we’ve been talking about here, The Democrats, GOP and also the LP, have failed to foresee how quickly things would go downhill in this state. People are waking up that drastic changes need to be made, but too few and too late are willing to speak out. THE LP CA is rife with problem personalities, and I hope we can make progress with that at the convention next weekend. I still love my state and my state party, but there’s only so much one person can do, and I’ve been distracted with some national horrors, also.

  27. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    THE LP CA is rife with problem personalities, and I hope we can make progress with that at the convention next weekend.

    Because of Top Two, I think that ever fewer voters are even aware that third parties exist.

    In the June primaries, LP and Green candidates are buried amid many Democrats running for the same office. And much of the news media only begins election coverage in November, by which time few, if any, LP or Greens are on the ballot.

  28. paulie

    Not only that but the parties have no control over who runs with their ballot label so it becomes completely meaningless. Very insidious system and there are active attempts to spread it to more states.

  29. paul planting

    I have been a registered voter since 1982 and I am dissatisfied with both parties on the national level but in the state of California I view both of them with complete contempt. I first registered as a Democrat and switched to the Republican in 2003 because I felt the party abandoned me. I have decided to run for Governor of California in 2022 as a Libertarian because I am convinced that there isn’t a single Republican politician in the state who could manage to break the 45% threshold needed to ensure party competitiveness at the state level. The last two Republican candidates in 2014 and 2018 were weak carpetbaggers who spent less than half of their lives in California and received less than 40% of the vote on election day. I have lived here since 1985, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not just going to break the 45% barrier, I’m going to win.

    My primary concerns would be dealing with illegal immigration, homelessness, taxation, the failure of the legal system, capital punishment, union influence, state regulations, pension reform, transportation, education, and infrastructure. I’m not just unhappy with how the state government has dealt with these issues, or failed to deal with these issues because my local and county governments have failed too.

    It would be wise for the California State Republican Party and the California Libertarian Party to form a temporary alliance because both of you has something the other party needs. If I am unable to obtain the endorsement of the state Libertarian Party I will choose another party, but running as a Libertarian is most certainly my best chance for victory.

    I don’t just want to reduce the size and influence of the state government of California, I want every government employee in the state who has taken an oath to protect or defend the U.S. Constitution be required to take a test to demonstrate their constitutional knowledge.

    The barbarians aren’t at the gate, they’re already in the state capitol and in the governor’s mansion.

    Paul Planting

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