GOP might never again hold power in California – latimes.com
The Republican slice of registered voters in California slipped below 30%. Only eight years ago it was nearly 35%. Democrats are 44%.
And about that loud anti-tax mantra, the Republicans’ favorite rallying cry: Most voters aren’t listening.
Two tax-increase measures were approved by Californians. Brown’s Prop. 30 won by a surprising 8 points. Prop. 39, ending a tax break mainly for out-of-state corporations, was approved by 20 points.
The shame for Republicans is that they could have helped Democrats pass similar tax measures in the Legislature and, in turn, won major concessions. Most important for their allies in business, they probably could have gained relief from a thicket of stifling environmental regulations. They also could have owned public pension reform and, perhaps, passed a meaningful state spending cap.
Republicans claim Brown wouldn’t buck labor opposition to reforms. The governor counters that skittish Republicans never would pinpoint a concession they’d accept in trade for their tax votes.
Whatever, it’s opportunity lost. Those days of GOP bargaining leverage are history.
And when business interests and conservatives complain about liberal domination of the Legislature and labor buying votes, they should blame Republicans. They’re supposed to provide the opposition. But they’ve allowed themselves to become so weak they’re helpless.
But are they hopeless? Can they recover?
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” predicts Matt David, a Republican consultant who managed moderate Jon Huntsman’s campaign for the presidential nomination and was communications director for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.