A (forward-looking) California Republican Party Platform
A Draft Meant To Start a Conversation And Find Consensus
Table of Contents
Equal Opportunity For All 1
One Nation, One Language 2
Governance, Taxes & Government Spending 2
Crime, Justice & Safety 3
Family & Marriage 5
Science & Religion 6
Freedom Of Religion In The Public Square 6
The Right To Life/Abortion 7
Health Care 7
Aging Californians 8
The Economy/Jobs 8
Right-To-Work/Collective Bargaining 8
Corporate Welfare 9
Public Assistance/Welfare 9
The Environment 10
Private Property Rights 10
The Right To Bear Arms 11
National Defense & Veteran’s Affairs 11
Conclusion—Principled California Leadership 11
Prepared by David Naggar
The California Republican Party Platform
The purpose of the California Republican Party is to better the lives of Californians, and to advance the principles of personal freedom and limited government that lead to a stronger and happier society. We adhere to the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence: All of us are created equal, and, each of us is endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights—including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are committed to the idea that each of us has the right to pursue happiness in our own way. The California Republican Party steadfastly holds that freedom is not created by government, nor is it a grant from anyone in political power. History has shown that freedom—your right to speak your mind and pursue happiness in your own way—is secured, more than anything else, by the limitations that are placed on those in government.
To all Californians we send a clear message: This is the Party of personal freedom. This is the Party of progress toward a more perfect Union. This is your home.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
We embrace the dignity and worth of every individual. Equality of individuals before the law has always been a cornerstone of our Party. We are the Party that ended slavery, granted homesteads and built land grant colleges. We support using government to help achieve equality of opportunity. Yet we believe that living in a land of liberty means having both the freedom to achieve and the freedom to fail. Therefore, we do not support using government to impose equality of results.
Our country’s diversity is unique in the world. We benefit from our differences, but we must also strengthen the ties that bind us to one another. Unlike many other countries, the people of the United States do not possess one common ethnic origin. The glue that binds us as a nation and as Californians is our ideals. As a people we share a common belief in the ideals of freedom, justice, opportunity, democracy, self-governance, and civic participation.
We oppose discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin. We specifically denounce all who practice or promote racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, gay-bashing, ethnic prejudice and religious intolerance. We reject the forces of hatred and bigotry.
The California Republican Party shares the view of Dr. Martin Luther King when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” His dream is our dream. Yet we recognize that sixty years after Dr. King spoke these words, Americans continue to live in a society that is all too often racially segregated by neighborhood.
To further our founders’ dream of becoming out of many, One—E Pluribus Unum, we want to defeat color consciousness in America. We do not wish our children and grandchildren to live in a California in which groups are entrenched in diverse identities and are differentiated by their ancestries.
We believe that people who promote ethnic distinctions—even if their intentions are noble—thwart us from becoming one people. Viewing Americans as a collection of groups of different people, rather than individuals, has the counter productive result of increasing racial tensions and self-imposed ghettoization. As historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. eloquently expressed: “The cult of ethnicity exaggerates differences, intensifies resentment and antagonisms, [and] drives ever deeper the awful wedges between races and nationalities…In the end, the cult of ethnicity defines the republic not as a [form of government comprised] of individuals but as a [collection] of distinct and inviolable cultures.”
We believe rights inhere in individuals, not in groups. No one should be granted or denied a job, promotion, contract, or chance at higher education because of his or her race, gender, or sexual orientation. Equal access, energetically offered, should guarantee every person a fair shot based on that person’s potential and merit.
African Americans and other ethnic and racial groups did not always get a fair shot in this country. This shameful truth of group prejudice was the rationale for affirmative action programs. After more than two generations of balancing the institutional discrimination of the generations before, this race-based practice has achieved what it can to level the playing field. Though we recognize that race-based discrimination still endures, albeit in a more subtle form, continued affirmative action programs interfere with progress and promote exactly what we are trying to stop—the judgment of a person based on his or her race. It stands in the way of creating a more perfect Union of one people—Americans. It stands in the way of each of us more fully trusting that the system itself is not corrupt, and is not playing favorites.
The California Republican Party stands for the proposition that we must as a nation decide that race is not a morally admissible reason for treating one person differently than another. Any government program that fragments people into groups based on race is wrong, backward thinking and destructive to the fabric our country. It does not bring us together. It pulls us apart.
ONE NATION, ONE LANGUAGE
To achieve our founder’s dream of uniting people of different backgrounds requires common sense to triumph over transient political correctness. Over time, what brings people of different backgrounds together is a common language. English has enabled people from every corner of the world to come together and build this nation. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to the mainstream of American life. That is why fluency in English must be the goal of California’s bilingual education programs. No matter a person’s native tongue, all citizens of the United States must be afforded equal opportunity. English both binds the nation and empowers individuals of all backgrounds to fully participate in the American experience. For this reason we support the recognition of English as the nation’s common language—the official language of government. At the same time, we also applaud the mastery of other languages and advocate other language training in our schools. The ability of citizens to speak more than one language not only benefits the individual, it also benefits America as a whole.
GOVERNANCE, TAXES & GOVERNMENT SPENDING
We are the Party of limited government, balanced budgets, and fiscal responsibility.
Government does have an important role to play in our lives—promoting a climate of job creation, protecting our safety and our environment, fostering the education of our children, and furthering our basic standards of fair play. Californians pay for a state government that works—not a dysfunctional one.
Today, California’s government is our state’s largest employer. It should not be. Government is too large and spends too much. Our government also lacks accountability and transparency. Under Democratic leadership, California has huge budget problems and has incurred a dangerous amount of bonded indebtedness to obscure from voters the amount of money being spent. Added indebtedness imperils our state’s financial stability. We believe California should spend only what it brings in. Burdening our children with paying-off ever-increasing levels of debt is fundamentally unfair and wrong.
In recent years, Democratic leadership has burdened Californians with additional new taxes. The Republican Party wants to reduce the tax burden on all Californians. California’s fiscal woes cannot be eliminated by continually increasing taxes. From time to time, the California Republican Party publicly reminds elected officials from the Democratic Party that California cannot be taxed into prosperity. As Winston Churchill said, “for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” California already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Excessive taxation undermines the strength of California’s economy and prevents job creation. That is why we support a two-thirds vote requirement for the passage of tax increases. We want it more difficult for those in government to take additional money from people who earn it.
To streamline government, we support a comprehensive review of government programs and public employee salaries and benefits. Our intent is to ensure that government is run more efficiently—not by powerful public unions or special interest groups—and that public employee salaries and benefits are not excessive in light of comparable opportunities for employment in the private sector. The government treasury does not exist for the benefit of public unions, special interest groups or government employees. State government exists for the benefit of all Californians.
We are committed to ending business as usual in Sacramento. We believe that government is instituted to serve the people, not to be anyone’s master. We believe that public service must be understood as public service. We therefore expect government officials who are members of our Party to act with the highest standards of morality and honesty, and to refrain from ever using their offices for personal gain. If they can’t do that, we can’t support them.
CRIME, JUSTICE & SAFETY
Californians have empowered government to enhance public safety and our general welfare by crafting and enforcing laws in a fair, just and efficient manner. Yet today, it costs more to process and care for a criminal in California ($47,000 per year) than it does to send a child to college. This level of spending is a colossal waste of California’s resources.
The California Republican Party believes that the primary purpose of incarceration is punishment, yet we recognize the plain reality that most crime is an outgrowth of drug abuse, poverty or family disintegration. A lack of education and employment opportunities, or a lack of discipline and love at home are leading indicators of trouble. By far the most effective way to lower crime in the future is to spend California’s energies and resources on preventing the precursors that may lead to a life of crime. However, to minimize current criminal activity, the California Republican Party favors tough laws that keep the most dangerous and recidivist criminals off of our streets. A person who has been convicted of three violent crimes does not belong on our streets. We expect the state and the judiciary to protect us from criminals who impugn our core freedoms and prey on our ability to live safe and secure lives. We favor California’s retention of the option to impose the death penalty in capital murder cases.
In reforming the current penal system, we believe that prison and parole reform must reflect and prioritize Californians’ safety as well as protecting our pocketbooks. We do not support the early release of violent prisoners who have been sentenced under the law, nor do we favor spending taxpayer money on life-style perks inside prisons. We do support prisoner work programs that help prisons and prisoners become self-
supporting. We also support the rights of crime victims to collect restitution from the perpetrator of the
crime, and to be given notification upon the perpetrator’s release from prison. Ultimately, we want prisoners to turn their lives around and become productive members of society.
Every child in California ought to have a first-class education. The California Republican Party believes that to live in a free society, an educated populace is a must. As James Madison said, “A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
The self-sufficiency necessary for liberty to thrive begins with education. It is the great leveler in American society, and the hallmark of any plan to help individuals escape poverty and climb the ladder of success.
Today, our educational system continues to suffer a decline in excellence. Yet this decline is not from a lack of money. More than half of California’s State General Fund Budget is spent on K-12 and Higher Education. In 2012-13, California’s K-12 spending was $10,634 per student, roughly $320,000 per year for a classroom of thirty children. In inflation-adjusted dollars, California spends 30% more per student than we did in the late 1970’s. But rather than focusing on children, our education system is entangled in politics, and focuses on adult centered issues—how a teacher earns tenure, the process by which a bad teacher gets fired, the rules regarding classroom time for the teacher. Time and energy is spent arguing about the proper treatment of issues rather than spending time improving our children’s ability to think. The goal of an education system must be to produce good minds that are disciplined in the ability to inquire, judge and understand. Yet today, our students are victims of watered-down textbooks that are not written to be interesting or provocative.
California spends an ample amount of money to pay for world-class schools. Yet we do not have world-class schools. The success of our economic system is driven by competition and market consumer choice in nearly every industry. Yet competition and consumer choice—the drivers of a successful system—are not used in the system that matter most: our education system. We want to change this. We want to improve the education of California’s children—to make every school a place of learning and achievement for every child—by promoting the following:
1. Competition/School choice. As in other industries, competition in education will spur the adoption of new methods and technologies that foster improved results—better minds. We believe in encouraging competition by providing parents with information on their child’s school. Schools exist to help parents educate their children. Schools do not exist to take the responsibility for education away from parents. We want parents of all income levels, not just the wealthy, to have real choices regarding their children’s education. We want to empower parents. We therefore support school choice programs, school voucher programs, magnet schools, charter schools, and homeschooling options.
California ought not run an anti-democratic school system that keeps so many students down. In most cases, parents know more about choosing a teacher who will be a good match for their child than does the State Board of Education. Of course, the California Republican Party acknowledges that even after reforming our education system to allow parental choice, we will still have an imperfect system. Undoubtedly, a few parents will choose not to participate, or will be incapable of participating. Yet for the vast majority of parents, and more importantly, the vast majority of students, the system will be much improved.
2. Empowerment to Discipline. Teaching, like doctoring people recuperating from a medical illness, is a cooperative art. No matter the teaching method or curriculum, in order for schools to be effective, teachers and administrators must be empowered with the ability to discipline elder children who disrupt classrooms. It is not acceptable for a few children to disrupt the learning experience of the majority who wish to learn. Students who continuously disrupt the learning of others should be removed from school.
3. Only earned student grade level promotions. Promotion into a higher grade must be regarded as a privilege to be earned, not a right based on a student’s age.
4. More education dollars in the classroom. We spend a great deal of money on primary and secondary education, but dollars aren’t flowing into classrooms. Education dollars are misspent in many areas, including, administrative salaries, bloated pensions, building costs and special education bureaucracy. We must put education dollars and personnel back in the classroom, where children are being taught.
5. Teach character and values. Along with teaching methods that encourage thinking, we must teach good character to young Californians. It is important to teach our common values of individual freedom and responsibility. We must not shy away from teaching humanity’s highest values, such as the golden rule, just because they may be found in a religious text. Moral virtue is a necessary ingredient for individual happiness and a necessary ingredient for sustained democracy. Values such as integrity and honesty should be reinforced. They have a place in the curriculum.
6. Reform at the teacher level. There are great teachers, yet not all people are good at teaching. And not all people can sustain good teaching habits over the course of many years. We agree with Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who said, “tenure should be earned through demonstrated effectiveness.” Ineffective teachers should not be a protected class of people (by a teachers’ union) at the expense of our children. We also believe California should adopt a pay scale that emphasizes performance in the classroom rather than seniority. By doing so, better teachers will be hired from a larger pool of applicants, and the best teachers will be recognized and properly rewarded.
FAMILY & MARRIAGE
A good and civil society originates in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and in the private institutions that bring us together.
Studies suggest that a healthy family life is at the center of a healthy society. The family is a natural and indispensable institution for human development. A strong and healthy family unit is the heart of the home—a safe surrounding where family decisions are made, children are raised, and morality is taught. Teachers and social service providers may come in and out of a child’s life, but parents and family are the constant. If a child does not have at least one loving and responsible role model, that child may not become a productive member of our society as an adult. An unloved child is a society’s problem waiting to happen.
The reasons above are why societies encourage the institution of marriage and the formation of families in various ways. Through our government, we afford benefits and privileges to married people—such as the right to receive social security benefits and the right to make certain health-care decisions.
The word marriage has both legal and religious meanings. For instance, two people can be married civilly by the state, but not by a religious institution. As a couple, they would be entitled to the legal benefits and obligations associated with a state marriage license. Yet this civil marriage might be considered both invalid and sinful by a religious institution. Conversely, two people can be married by a religious institution but not by the state. This couple would have undertaken a sacred act of union, but not be entitled to the legal benefits and obligations associated with a state marriage license. Most often, a couple weds both civilly and religiously in front of family and friends,. Yet should the marriage fail, the religious institution may consider the couple still married notwithstanding the grant of a civil divorce by the state.
For many of our members, marriage is a sacred act and can only exist between one man and one woman. The California Republican Party respects each person’s individual conscience and is a strong proponent of religious liberty for all. In other words, we believe the Constitution is wise to guard us against the establishment of a state-sponsored religion, while simultaneously honoring the free exercise of religion. This is why the California Republican Party recognizes the right of religious organizations in California to refrain from recognizing or condoning same-sex or other marriages they do not choose to recognize. We support the right of every faith to remain free to set its own rules regarding who can marry and on what terms. Government ought not penalize any religious organization because of its faith and conviction.
At the same time, the California Republican Party recognizes the right of same-sex couples in California to enter into a State sanctioned marriage that affords them all the civil legal protections the State offers to heterosexual couples. Depriving gay and lesbian citizens the right to enter into a state sanctioned union that affirms their commitment deprives them of their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. As Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Freedom means freedom for everyone.”
The California Republican Party welcomes, as Republicans, citizens who are religious and non-religious, whether they are married or single, and whether they are straight, gay, lesbian or transgender.
SCIENCE & RELIGION
The California Republican Party respects science and honors the free exercise of religion. We believe scientific discovery and religion do not conflict. They complement each other. Yet we recognize that future advances in medical science will trigger ethical dilemmas for us all. We support ethical stem cell research. We do not support human cloning.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE
Our country was founded on an article of faith that an educated populace could self-govern. Our founders did not share a common religion. Indeed, the Constitution wisely guards us from the establishment of state-sponsored religion, while simultaneously honoring the free exercise of religion. With this in mind, we support the rights of religious organization to temporarily display religious symbols in the public square—be it displays of Christmas nativity scenes, Hanukkah menorahs or other religious holiday symbols—as long as none of the cost of doing so is born from the public treasury.
Our history is a story of immigrants. The California Republican Party welcomes and values each and every legal immigrant.
America continues to symbolize hope and promise to people from around the world. We believe new immigrants help make our great nation greater still. The Republican Party is pro-immigrant. Yet we take issue with political advocacy groups that blur the line between lawful and unlawful immigration in public discourse. The result of this blurring is an uncontrolled border and an immigration mess—millions of undocumented illegal immigrants.
We support our country’s absolute right to protect our borders and we support devoting more resources to border control. We support the establishment of a sound immigration policy—one that offers more people legal entry into the United States, yet stops the free flow of people coming into this country illegally. No person here illegally should be granted the right to process an immigration application ahead of anyone playing by the rules and seeking legal immigration. We support giving humanitarian medical care to all people already in the country. But we do not support giving other benefits to illegal immigrants until a sound immigration policy is in place, and the path forward is clear.
To meet immediate needs of employers and consumers, we support increasing the number of H-1B visas to ensure that there are high-tech workers in specialized positions. We also support expanding the H-2A program for temporary agricultural workers. With the border controlled and an expanded guest worker program in place, we will we support heavy fines on businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
THE RIGHT TO LIFE/ABORTION
Like most Americans, we believe that human life is sacred. For women who face an unwanted pregnancy we feel deep compassion.
Yet there are over one million abortions performed in the United States each year. We believe abortions should be safe, but rare, and therefore we support the reduction of abortions through pro-active means. We endorse the proposal from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to allow adult women to purchase birth control pills over the counter. We support adoption as an alternative to abortion, and support efforts by lawmakers to reduce the bureaucratic burden placed on adoptive couples. We support laws that protect from abortion unborn fetuses capable of feeling pain. We also support laws that require notification to a minor’s parents before an abortion can be performed (with exceptions), and we support the rights of individuals and institutions to refuse to provide abortions if they object on moral grounds.
Though many Republicans personally support the passage of laws that ban abortion, as a Party we do not support such a ban. Most Republicans, pro-life and pro-choice, believe that the difficult and painful decision to have an abortion in the first months of pregnancy is best left as a private personal and family matter.
People who can afford great health care come from all over the world to be treated in the United States rather than seeking care in their own countries. This is because the United States offers the finest care in the world. But the California Republican Party recognizes that great health care does not reach everyone in this country. We would like it to.
As the State with the largest population, California must take the lead in fashioning solutions that bring better and more affordable quality health care to all Americans. We do not favor a return to the broken-system that was in place before the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), but we do wish to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Government mandated plans that restrict freedom of choice, and centralize decision-making will not deliver better health care to Californians. Such plans increase costs (except for people specifically subsidized), and they slow medical innovations best spurred by a free market.
While we support guaranteed insurability, health insurance portability and small business insurance pools and we believe there is a great deal of of wasteful spending within any healthcare system that is insurance-centered, rather than patient-centered. Misfocused insurance-centered systems lead to higher operating costs for doctors and hospitals and larger medical bills for patients.
The California Republican Party stands for the proposition that lower cost access to quality health care is best achieved through a transparent and competitive private market. We support the traditional patient-doctor relationship because we believe that better medical decision-making occurs when in the hands of physicians and their patients. We also support medical savings accounts because we believe this puts more control over medical spending in the hands of individuals.
Additionally, we believe that overall medical costs would be greatly reduced if there were a limit on the dollar amounts awarded in cases of medical malpractice. We support reasonable limits on amounts awarded for general damages, and we favor limits on amounts awarded as punitive damages. Awards for punitive damages should only be available in cases of egregious or intentional misconduct.
We are committed to protecting the lives and resources of aging Californians.
Californians who have retired, or are close to retirement, should be free from worry that their life savings will be ravaged by inflation or government action.
A healthy economic system increases people’s standard of living. It is the engine of job creation and it promotes personal freedom.
Every person who wants to start or expand a business in California should be encouraged to do so. Yet many legislators from the Democratic Party do not, in practice, share this view. Rather than promoting an environment that naturally fosters the creation of additional jobs and prosperity, Democratic leaders focus instead on regulating free enterprise and redistributing wealth. As economist Thomas Sowell points out, “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.” A political-economic system whose paramount priority is the division of wealth will enjoy neither robust job creation nor the greater levels of prosperity that growth brings.
The California Republican Party wants to end the harassment of businesses by California’s government agencies. Government ought not burden businesses with undue regulation. The guiding force of our economic system ought to be free enterprise, not government regulation. However, we are also mindful of the fact that free enterprise left completely unchecked leads almost inevitably to oligopolies and monopolies—the destruction of free and fair markets, higher prices, and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. To promote both prosperity and liberty, California’s government ought to work to ensure that markets are free and that there is genuine competition. Government’s role is to function as a referee who keeps the playing field level for everyone.
The California Republican Party believes in liberty for employers and employees alike. We affirm the right of every individual to voluntarily participate in labor organizations and bargain collectively—or to refrain from doing so. We therefore support enactment in California of Right-to-Work laws.
Like President Franklin Roosevelt, we do not support collective bargaining by public sector unions. As he said, “The process of collective bargaining as usually understood cannot be transplanted to public service… A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct or prevent the operations of government until their demands are satisfied.” This, Roosevelt said, was “unthinkable and intolerable.” Collective bargaining by public sector unions has led to higher taxes and has driven California to the edge of insolvency. It is easy to see why. A fair bargain is hard to come by when public-employee unions negotiate with government employees. The public-employee representatives are naturally beholden to their unions. But the politicians across the table are also beholden to the same unions for campaign contributions or for votes.
We oppose corporate welfare of any kind. We applaud people whose wealth comes from hard work, creativity and innovation. But we do not condone the behavior of people who secure wealth through the manipulation of government and politicians. We oppose subsidies and regulatory protections that lawmakers confer on favored businesses and industries for political gain.
People enter poverty for many reasons. The California Republican Party believes all of us have a moral obligation to help each other get out of poverty. We are our brother’s keeper. Yet we must face the fact that having unsuccessfully spent fifteen trillion dollars on the war on poverty since 1964, our programs are not working. As George Mason University professor Walter Williams has pointed out, the money spent on poverty programs since the 1960’s “could have bought the entire assets of the Fortune 500 companies and virtually all the U.S. farm land.”
The Republican Party applauds the Democratic Party for having shown love, compassion and concern for the less fortunate among us. Yet embracing every well-intended government program, and then continuously seeking to increase the funding level of each, hasn’t reduced the level of poverty. Despite fifty years of disappointing results, leaders in the Democratic Party continue to pursue more government spending on these programs. They tell us if government only spent more on poverty programs, poverty would be defeated. This is nonsense. Rather than ending poverty, their approach has created a vast bureaucratic entitlement machine and wasted a great deal of money. More sadly, their approach has had the unintended consequence of shattering the pride, dignity and self-esteem of millions of Americans—one at a time.
We believe the better way to help fellow citizens in need is to assist them in moving themselves from dependency to self-sufficiency—to teach a person to fish is always a better idea than handing out free fish. Fostering independence is compassionate and loving—much more so than giving handouts that simply serve to keep people dependent. Nearly thirty years before the war on poverty was launched, President Roosevelt recognized that with the implementation of any welfare system, care must be taken to prevent a safety net from becoming either a hammock or a spider’s web. In his State of the Union address on January 4, 1935 he said, “Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”
We echo his words. For too long, well-intended politicians have been destroying the human spirit. Promoting welfare programs that make it rational for anyone to behave in ways that will destroy their possibilities for a successful future is counter-productive. Public assistance ought to leave the recipient with a safe place to sleep, enough food to eat, basic clothing to wear, the ability to obtain health care, and where applicable, a stipend for retraining. Transfer beyond this level of material well-being hurts the recipient’s ability to escape dependency. It also unfairly imposes a burden on people expected to work longer hours and pay more taxes to accommodate a larger transfer.
The California Republican Party supports reasonable work requirements for public assistance recipients who can work, and we support ending public assistance benefits for those who can work but refuse to do so. Our approach is to provide assistance in a way that encourages out-of-luck Californians to get back on their own feet as quickly as possible. We want government that offers a helping hand, not one that ruins the lives of recipients by promoting unending handouts and dependency. We wish for all Californians the freedom and dignity that only comes from being financially self-supporting.
The California Republican Party is firmly committed to protecting California’s natural beauty and to prudently managing California’s bountiful natural resources.
California can have both a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Economic prosperity gives a society the wherewithal to advance environmental protection. A thriving natural environment enhances the quality of life that makes prosperity worthwhile.
One of the early members of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, has derided environmentalist groups for “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism.” These groups’ scare tactics and scapegoating of legitimate economic interests cripple job creation in California, undermine support for environmental causes, and can actually discredit real threats to health and safety.
The California Republican Party recognizes that environmental stress—caused, in part, by the production of a greater number of products for growing populations—is a global issue that does not stop at human-made national boundaries. We must all be good stewards of the environment but never forget that nature unguided is not benign to humans. A well-tended garden is better than one left alone.
Environmental regulations should be based on the best science, peer-reviewed, and available for public consideration. Environmental policy ought to be balanced and tempered by the effect it will have on workers and on the economy. Policy should focus on achieving results—cleaner air, water, and lands—not on appeasing special interest group demands that lack scientific basis.
PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
The right to own private property secures liberty. A U.S. Supreme Court decision (Kelo v. New London) allows local governments to seize a person’s home or land, not for vital public use, but for transfer to private developers. While government’s ability to condemn private property in California is more restricted, we do not believe it is restricted enough. We believe that governmental seizure of private property for the purpose of transfer to a developer ought never occur. We also believe that even for vital public use, government ought not be allowed to condemn or restrict the use of a person’s private property without full compensation.
Our current dependence on foreign oil threatens both our national security and economic prosperity by making us vulnerable to dangerous despots. Through private initiative and enterprise, we stand for the development of energy that is independent from foreign sources. We support efforts to explore and exploit the Monterey shale field.
The California Republican Party supports efforts to increase the amount of water available for agriculture, a source of California’s economic strength. We support the construction of water delivery systems to bring water to the Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California in an environmentally responsible manner, while protecting the water rights of agricultural communities in Northern California and the Delta.
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
Self-defense is a natural human instinct, and an important reason that people ought to have the right to keep and bear arms. Yet as Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” History bears this out. The California Republican Party supports the Constitutional right of Californians to keep and bear arms, and we affirm the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We support background checks to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of criminals or people who are dangerously mentally ill. We support prosecuting dangerous offenders identified as felons in instant background checks. We oppose the licensing of law-abiding gun owners, and support legislation in California to end firearm registration. Firearm registration is an invasion of privacy of honest citizens.
NATIONAL DEFENSE & VETERAN’S AFFAIRS
The California Republican Party stands for a strong national defense. As President Reagan said, “The United States of America remains the greatest force for human freedom on the planet, and we’re darn proud of it.”
Election districts that are gerrymandered to serve the interests of a political incumbent or a political party—Republican or Democrat—are an affront to democracy and an insult to voters. We favor all attempts to unrig the election process.
CONCLUSION—PRINCIPLED CALIFORNIA LEADERSHIP
The California Republican Party has a strategy to improve the lives of Californians. We believe that government is meant to serve the people. A Republican administration will use power wisely on behalf of all Californians. A Republican Governor, along with a Republican controlled Legislature, would restore fiscal discipline to government and lower the tax burden on Californians. A Republican Governor and Legislature would bring about better education for our children, more jobs for able-bodied adults, and lessen the intrusion of government into Californians’ daily lives.
We are the Party of personal freedom and progress toward a more perfect Union. We hope you will join us.
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