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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
April 15, 2009
[This Saturday the 100-member Executive Committee of the California Republican Party will meet at the convention center in Sacramento for the purpose of considering whether the party should take official positions on any or all of the six ballot measures that are on the May 19 Special Election ballot. Below, as a FlashReport exclusive, is an open letter to CRP Executive Committee Members from GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman... Flash]
April 15, 2009Mr. Ron NehringChairman, California Republican Party1903 W. Magnolia BoulevardBurbank, CA 91506
Dear Chairman Nehring:
I am writing today to urge the California Republican Party to declare its opposition to Propositions 1A, 1B and 1C at its Executive Committee meeting in Sacramento on Saturday, April 18.
In 1978, politicians attacked Howard Jarvis for suggesting that California needed to protect taxpayers. But Jarvis believed in his ideals and in the people of California. Proposition 13 passed by a landslide, and Californians sent a powerful message about their tolerance for taxes and the role of government.
It is time to send another powerful message.
During the past decade, government spending in California has grown 80 percent while the bureaucracy has increased 28 percent. Now, with the state on the brink of insolvency, our political leaders are defending this spending and are asking for more. This is unacceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to anyone who has ever run a business or balanced the family checkbook.
Our fundamental problem is that Californians can no longer afford the government they have. California’s government spends too much and saves too little. In Sacramento it is assumed that every government program is forever and that every bureaucrat’s job is permanent. Those assumptions are destroying our future. They are saddling us with debt and taxes that threaten the happiness and prosperity of every Californian.
On February 21, just hours after the state passed the budget and announced the special election measures, I declared my opposition to Proposition 1A. Prop 1A, and its working partner, Prop 1B, represent the kind of public policy we should all reject.
Prop 1A is a sustained tax increase masquerading as reform in the hope that you will not notice the taxes. It extends $16 billion in sales, car and income tax increases for two years, making Californians among the highest taxed people in America.
Moreover, Prop 1A ties spending to revenues in a way that could actually prevent the state from saving money. It works against the ideal that government should only spend what it needs to provide important public services. Extra money should be saved or returned to taxpayers.
I oppose Prop 1C because it too is an ill-conceived piece of public policy. Prop 1C is a scheme to borrow against future lottery revenues. In business, borrowing against projected revenues – revenues you have not yet earned – is considered reckless. It is not the way we should fund our government.
I do support Propositions 1D, 1E, and 1F. Props 1D and 1E would take surplus money from early childhood development and mental health funds and use them for similar general fund purposes. Elected leaders should have the flexibility to reallocate resources, especially during a crisis.
I also support Prop 1F because it speaks to accountability. State politicians should not be allowed to get a raise when they tolerate a budget deficit.
A Historic Beginning
In recent months it has become fashionable in Washington and Sacramento to declare that taxes and spending are the only way. When Republicans have stood up to question those assumptions, we have been shouted down. We have been accused of wanting to sabotage progress. We have been told that fiscal prudence is dead and we should accept our fate.
I simply refuse to accept those arguments, and I believe the Special Election provides California Republicans with a historic opportunity to guide our state back to reality and set an example for the rest of the country.
If we continue to raise taxes to reward inefficiency and satisfy the appetite of the bureaucracy, then taxes will increase indefinitely. That will doom Californians to a declining quality of life and a future none of us should accept.
Now is the time for Republicans to take a stand. Our party must lead the way in defeating Props 1A, 1B and 1C. But just as importantly, once those propositions are defeated, Republicans must put forward courageous, innovative policies to make government work for taxpayers while creating jobs and expanding opportunity. And Republicans must then deliver the results.
Ultimately, I believe the Special Election is less about the six ballot measures and more about the fundamental direction of our state and the kind of government we want.
Republicans believe in small, efficient, and accountable government. We believe in fiscal responsibility. And we believe that personal liberty, and not government programs and mandates, produce sustainable prosperity. I hope the California Republican Party will boldly declare that those principles are as relevant today as they have ever been.
Thank you for considering my positions on these important issues. I look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead.
[You can download a formatted .pdf version of this letter here.]