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What’s it Like to be a Republican in Benicia?

A new Republican group wants to change the face of the party, recruiting moderate Republicans who are focused on traditional Republican issues. These are not your Karl Rove Republicans.

There is a new political action committee in California committed to electing moderate Republicans and rebuilding the face of the Republican Party in the Golden State.

The Republican Leadership Council of California helps fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican candidates with money, campaign planning and GOTV (get out the vote) efforts.

The recent election saw President Obama win both the popular vote and the electoral college in the national election and Democrats winning two-thirds majorities in both houses of the California legislature.

In a release sent out one week after the election the group said, “Through internal strife, a platform most Californians disagree with, and short-sighted politicking, the California Republican Party’s state leadership has brought decades of declining influence to a deadly finality—handing a two-thirds supermajority to the Democrats and rendering any Republican ideas in Sacramento’s “debate” meaningless.”

The Solano County Registrar of Voters showed Democrats hold a significant registration edge in Benicia outnumbering Republicans 8,294 to 4,593 as of May 24, 2012.

The release goes on to say, “Like a majority of Republicans, many of whom no longer feel represented by their party, RLCC and its candidates and supporters are fiscally responsible and socially moderate-to-liberal.  They believe in responsible economic taxation and regulation, balanced budgets, a strong national defense and public safety, environmental stewardship, and individual freedoms—including in issues of personal freedom such as abortion and marriage.”

If you are a member of the Grand Old Party, tell us what it’s it like being in a town with so many Democrats.  If you’re a Democrat, would you vote for a Republican who is socially liberal and fiscally conservative?

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

JB Davis (Editor) November 16, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Bob, You are starting to sound like a moderate. Here is a little story you might like. I was talking to a blue dog democrat house member recently who told me his voting record on fiscal issues was more conservative than Paul Ryan's. Maybe you should change your registration to Democrat (blue dog). You might fit right in.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" November 16, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Abraham Lincoln was really and truly a Whig and not a Republican like the Historians would like for us to believe!!! "in stubborn historical reality, Lincoln was a Whig for more years than he was a Republican, and a loyal Whig too. He joined the party as a young man, as soon as it was formed, and became one of a faithful band of Whig members in the Illinois state legislature from 1834 to 1841. He campaigned hard for Harrison in 1840, headed the Illinois campaigns of Henry Clay in 1844 and Zachary Taylor in 1848, and would have been a presidential elector in 1852 had Winfield Scott carried Illinois. In the light of Lincoln's later career, it is particularly noteworthy that in 1848, faced with the challenge of the Free Soil party, Lincoln went on a campaign tour of Massachusetts, working hard to keep New England's antislavery Whigs from defecting to the ticket of Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams". http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.2629860.0016.105
JB Davis (Editor) November 16, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Thanks for the history lesson. Now to the question at hand-Would you vote for a moderate Republican if they were a better fit for your belief system?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" November 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I would never ever ever ever vote Republilcan, again I switched parties once and only once and that was back when Ross Perot ran. I was impressed by this diminutive wealthy guy who said who could fix our problems AND who ran under an Independent platform. And I voted out of my party for the first and last time for Ross Perot!!!
Robert Livesay November 16, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Marnix science has to be proved. Filibustering is on both sides. Both sides must compromise. Do you think it is only Republicans? Or do you just want it your way and your way only?
Robert Livesay November 16, 2012 at 10:11 PM
JB you know very well I am a Conservative and very much a Conservative. Far too many personal issues have made their way into political debate. They have nothing to do with solving our issues. Just get in the way. Remember what someone thinks personally has nothing to do with what someone legally wants to do. I would not want someone to have an abortion in most cases but at the same time it is their decision not mine. That does not make me a Liberal.. That just says that I do not make your decisions. Personal, financial or morally. You make those decisions. So I do not consider myself socially liberal and financially conservative. I say everyone makes their own decisions and lives by them. I am a Conservative so do not try to say other than that I am a Conservative. All this identity crap is just what it is in most cases Liberal crap.
Old Dog November 16, 2012 at 10:54 PM
A moderate Repub? Lipstick on a pig.
Robert Livesay November 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM
You Liberals have no clue what a Conservative is. If I think we should still invest in renewable enery while at the same time invest in making oil, coal and natural gas burn cleaner. Which all I am saying is use our natural resources to their fullest. Now you Liberals does that make me a Moderate Republican. No! Just a very smart Conservative.
Benician November 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Livesay...you just don't get it. Republicans lost BIG last week. The best candidate they could put up is a spineless, soulless plutocrat far out of touch with the American people. I would say a better candidate could have won, but a better candidate would have been shot down by the tea party. Past the presidency, there were 33 Senate contests. The Republicans lost TWENTY-FIVE of them...losing in red states like Missouri, Indiana, Montana and North Dakota. In the House, the Republicans only retained their majority due to redistricting. Dems got 1 million more votes in house races than Repubs. The evidence makes things clear. The GOP is dying. There's a civil war looming between the Wall Streeters and the evangelicals while, at the same time, neither can survive without the other.
Marnix A. van Ammers November 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM
@Rober Livesay, every Republican primary candidate was willing to reject a proposal to trade $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases. That shows a serious unwillingness to compromise. As for filibusters, Republicans have taken it into record territory. In the 110th Congress of 2007-2008, with Republicans in the minority, there were a record 112 cloture votes. Prior to that the most the filibuster had been used when Democrats were in the minority was 58 times in the 106th Congress of 1999-2000. As for science, 3 candidates at the Republican primary debates did not believe in evolution, something that has been well proven as fact. And I know many Republicans, yourself included, believe that the cause of climate change has yet to be proven. Never mind that 97% of climate scientists agree it's caused by excess CO2. May you have a nice day.
Benician November 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM
You're not a smart conservative. If you were smart, you would believe in climate science. If you were smart, you would not believe in supply side economics (or, 'voodoo' economics, as GHW Bush called it). If you were smart, you would believe in polling data. If you were smart, you would know Fox News is the last place to go to for accurate information.
Lighthouse November 17, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I'm new to town (about 5 months now). Earlier this summer, I recall one gentleman writing here on the patch that he was not going to cut his hair until Obama was voted out of office. He went on and on about how Mr. Obama would be long gone and his hair would be shorn. I guess I'll have to take more walks and see if I can spot his ponytail...
"The Black Panther of Poetry" November 17, 2012 at 03:37 AM
I will show you him. I am on the watch dog commission of Republican "FlipFloppers" in this community. I will watch him like a Benicia Panther "A Black Panther"!!
Gary W Smith November 17, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Gentlemen, we eed a Conservative, not "Republican". The "Republican" party vacated its roots, is unrepresentative of fiscally conservative, constitutionally aligned and free-market operations. Government must be the 17 Constitutionally enumerated powers in Art 1, seciton 8, period. The real Tea Party, not 501C4-Republican Hack Group, but the 501C3 non-aligned group, espouses fiscal responsibility, constitutional observance and free-market operations. Most of the previous Democrat 'taking points' about the Tea Party are bogus at best. I would invite you to dialogue when we meet in Benicia on the 2nd Wed of the Month, starting in January. We no doubt have common values. A realistic look at our economic condition and historical precedence ; no nation has ever escaped debt levels by pursuing tax hikes. If President Clinton's DNC comment- 'even he could not fix this economy' is acknowledged, the current and previous processes are not helping. Austerity is being applied to the citizens; not to Government - Government is effectively making all citizens a slave to the economic disaster. One can legislate high tax rates; one can not expect reasonable people to stay and pay them, as exhibited by the numbers of people vacating California.
JB Davis (Editor) November 17, 2012 at 01:54 PM
According to the Census Bureau, California grew by 3.3 million people between 2000 and 2010. http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf I don't see people leaving. I do see Californians willing to raise taxes on themselves and I see huge majorities willing to raise local taxes but because Prop 13 allows one-third of voters to block the will of the majority those taxes rarely pass. Is there a new trend of people leaving California? I haven't seen the data. Could you point me in the right direction?
Robert Livesay November 17, 2012 at 04:11 PM
"What's it like to be a Republican in Benicia" ? I believe that was the question. Most of the folks that are commenting are not Republicans. So just how would they know. They do not. Same old Liberal/Socialist talking points. Max/Benician/Lighthouse those 1 mil votes in house races must have been in California only. We all know that states like Illinois, Ca., Ma., NY all vote big time for Liberals. That inflates the numbers. Bottom line nothing has change and President Obama is in a compromise situation. He will not be able to avoid that. Republicans still have the house and enough seats in the Senate to stop any goofy stuff the Liberals try to do. The reason you had so many filibusters was because the Liberals policy. Now when Liberals were a minority they sure must have agreed with the Republican ideals or they would have filibustered more. I love all the hate that I bring out from the Liberal attack dogs. I use the word smart and they go nuts. Now you have the Black Panther on guard duty and Lighthouse taking walks looking for me. I love the attention. Thank you. I am so smart you folks fall for all my lines. None of you ever suited up for home games.
Sonny Flores November 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Robert, answer this "do you truly believe in Romney, as a "good republican representative of what you believe in?" Even after speaking of the 47% and now this past week about how he lost due to handouts.. He and Ryan both lost their home states, hello that is a clue. And for Romney to verbally say "college educated woman gained Obama's vote because he provided free contraceptives". So out of touch. The Governor of Louisiana and many other republicans have begun to denounce his views. So , be honest would you have still voted for Romney if you had this information? Really think about it Robert before you answer.
Robert Livesay November 17, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I have no problem with the Liberals gloating. But remember 2012 was not the big win you say it was. In 2008 Liberals had for a short time 60 then 59 Senate seats. Now 55. Loss of 4/5 seats. Where is the big win there. 2008 had control of the House of Rep. Since 2010 and even after the 2012 election Republicans now control the House. Control state Govs and also state upper and lower houses. Now please tell me more about your big win. You did not lose the House because of redistricting. You lost six seats in the north east because of population shifts. So you had to combine and shift districts to meet the new number of seats. In reality redistricting was in the Liberals favor in some states. Take a look at California. You should have won eight seats and did not. So not so fast on the demise of the Republican Party. Still strong and very much in the game. Remember Republicans suit of for not only home games but also away games. Benician the Republicans did not lose BIG as you say.
Sonny Flores November 17, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Although, I do believe that Romney was an intelligent business person, which he is, and I thought he would of had more support from his peers, turned out to not be the case. his common sense and view of the everyday Joe is a bit lacking and true conservatives saw him for what he is. I was a republican for years, yet after Bush Senior the party took a turn, I lost faith in what a small group of individuals were trying to present as the face of a conservative republican.
Bruce Rockwell November 17, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I agree that in electoral terms, the win for the Democrats was not as great. But in underlying, structural/demographic terms, and especially in ideological terms, this election was a huge turning point in our history. For starters, it was the Tea Party's Waterloo. What has been called "the Nixon southern strategy," i.e., policies and messages that appeal primarily to whites, which the Republican party has employed successfully for nearly half a decade, is now officially more of a liability than an asset. Nobody can deny it anymore. The Tea Party still gives the GOP regional strength in the backwater states, but it is bludgeoning it everywhere else. More red states are turning blue, because the hard right policies of the modern GOP do not appeal to women, minorities, the highly educated, or young people. Now, you can keep turning those people away in red states, but that's just too much of the national electorate to make up with angry whites. Obama won EVERY BATTLEGROUND STATE! In a few years Texas will be a state with a Hispanic majority. How do you think the Minutemen and "self-deportation" are going to play out then? So no, you're probably right that Republicans didn't necessarily lose big. It depends on what they do from here - if they learn a lesson and take a hard lurch towards the American center, they will continue to be a force. But staunchly conservative Republicanism sure did lose big.
Robert Livesay November 17, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Sonny I never vote for the Republican party nominee. I vote for the Republican ideals. When Republicans lose they lose to a stronger candidate. Like Clinton, JFK, Johnson and in fact President Obama. Obama may have been the weakest Democrat since Mondale. But he was up against two very weak Republican candidates. Both ran bad campaigns. When good campaigns are run Conservatives can and do win. Remember the only reason Romney lost was because of a very good campaign by Presidenht Obama. They painted Romney as a rich elitist that did not care for the middle class. Romney did not help himself and it was too much to overcome. The Republican party is going to have a very difficult time with single women. Reduce the hispanic gap will be tough but it can and will be reduced. As far as red or blue states we are not talking about a lot of vote difference.. Florida, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada will be back. Ohio will swing back and forth. Michigan, Penn have been Democratic for many years now. . Remember since 1928 there have been twelve Democrat and ten Republican presidents. . Also the Dems held the house for forty years and did lose it. So the doom and gloom is far from what they say it is. This always happens when a party candidate loses Remember 1952, 1956, 1968, 1972 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, 2004 I do not believe the Liberals just gave up. No they just went about their business as usual. So all this talk about changing is premature.
Sonny Flores November 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM
But Robert you were so sure Romney would win. Go back and look at your editorials, "Big November upset, etc" Still in denial? And now you are using the same old reasons for the loss "They painted Romney as a rich elitist that did not care for the middle class. Romney did not help himself and it was too much to overcome" come on, stop the excuses. You are more intelligent than that. I do believe that the Middle Class as well as many of my friends and colleagues, and even yourself thought Obama had seen his last term. But the majority of the American People spoke. Bruce Rockwell did a good job in summing it up. The ideal of the Republican needs a little soul searching. And you never did answer my question, which is fine. After everything you witnessed as we all did, "Do you still believe Romney represented the Republican party?" Robert you don't have to answer, just something to ponder. Time to move forward and hope for the reach across the table.
T. Gunter November 18, 2012 at 02:06 AM
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."
Robert Livesay November 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Bruce no Conservative lost.
Riley Willerson November 19, 2012 at 02:47 PM
And the point of your rambling? Very Deep "Lorem ipsum" Except official Candidate of the official......
Dan Trimble November 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Bruce, good morning. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and the like do not speak for the Republican Party. Or, frankly, for traditional Republican ideals. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that there have been people inside the party trying to change it to be more representative of mainstream Republicans from the inside for a long time. By trying to elect more practical Republicans. By pushing for a more inclusive platform. By working with party delegates to strengthen a moderate coalition. Those efforts have yielded some results, but as we can see, the party has completely failed. More importantly, public policy is suffering. I for one am no longer convinced it can be changed from the inside. This PAC is an outside effort to restore traditional Republican principles and focus in the areas that will have the best long-term impact. Be encouraged! Cheers, Dan
Dan Trimble November 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Apologies, I forgot to note one other point. Each of the issues you're talking about most of us inside the party have been pushing for a very long time, but have come to realize the best path for change is from the outside and from local races that can build a long-term bench of qualified, experienced legislators, some of whom may later move into higher offices. This includes an immigration policy that is inclusive and supportive rather than marginalizing, among many other issues we've fought for in the platform for a long time. Cheers, Dan Dan Trimble President & CEO Republican Leadership Council of California dtrimble@rlccalifornia.com
Dan Trimble November 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Robert, Great points! At the core of our philosophy at RLCC is that individual liberty/personal freedom do not stop at the home. These are traditional Republican values that go straight to the core of our founding as an anti-slavery movement. Cheers, Dan Dan Trimble President & CEO Republican Leadership Council of California dtrimble@rlccalifornia.com
T. Gunter November 19, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I'm glad you liked it RW.
Bruce Rockwell November 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Dan, thanks for your reply. I do wish you the best of luck in your efforts. When the Republican party platform becomes so extreme that its most important planks can no longer even be mentioned from the national convention podium, and when Ronald Reagan becomes a symbol of moderation among the Left, it seems to me that you are facing a real, multi-decade, uphill battle. For any Republican presidential candidate to have a shot at nomination, they have to break so far to the right that they become virtually unelectable, even if they previously enjoyed a measure of bipartisan credibility (this was almost as true of Romney as it was for McCain). Placating the staunch conservatives forces them to take inauthentic positions (i.e., McCain's flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts) and to make bizarre statements (i.e., abolish FEMA?!), so that they cannot turn around a month later to reach out to swing voters with any credibility. Moderate Republicans in California politics is one thing. How do we break the stranglehold that the far right has over national party politics? Or rather, how do we break the stranglehold before the voters do it for us?

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