My last Sunday San Diego column at the FlashReport…
As Jon Fleischman hi-lited on the main FR page Saturday, the Union-Trib editorialized on the selection of Martin Garrick as the new Assembly minority leader, praising the decision, while asking a question in the headline:
Will he be the latest GOP leader to cave on taxes?
Clearly, the UT gets it, or the editorial board wouldn’t be asking the question. They get the power of the GOP to hold the line on increased taxes and bad budgets, as long as Republicans stick together. They get the travesty of past budget votes, in which just enough Republicans were somehow enticed into a “compromise,” thus leaving insignificant and meaningless the unifying clout of the rest of their fellow Senate and Assembly caucus members.
Even more clearly, the UT question is not meant as a question. It is meant as a challenge … to Garrick, hoping the result will be that the 74th District Assemblyman will always remember the headline, so he will dig in his heels and prove that the question never even needed to be asked.
Just as clearly, Martin Garrick knows this. And, as someone who knows him, I strongly believe that Garrick knows now — without a doubt — that the question didn’t need to be asked. He is a strong conservative leader that will hold the line.
Further, the Assemby GOP Caucus knows it too (likewise in the Senate), remembering well what happens when assumptions without assurances are made of its leaders. The last two respective caucus chiefs that compromised on the essential matter of taxes, lest we forget, didn’t last very long, one of them spiked right in the midst of the budget battle. No question the members in both houses remember this. No one wants a recurrunce … of any of it.
All that said, the advice to any Republican leader is quite simple, if needed. So simple, that it’s almost embarrassing to even note, but it is this: Always remember that you don’t represent the “Big 5” or whatever other entity or process is in place to lead to budget compromise. Obviously, you represent your constituents and the citizens of the State of California, but as a leader you represent your caucus members. It’s what they think and their wishes, not those of the Governor and the Democratic leadership.
A few comments posted on the Flash piece. What do our readers think?…
I agree with holding the line against tax increases. The only proven way to increase revenue apart from cutting spending is massive tax cuts. That is a must. Republicans will have to go one step further to restore our economy, holding the line is not enough. – Posted by Anthony Porrell0 at January 24, 2010 12:05pm
Thanks, Anthony, and of course I agree. The reality of the situation is that Republicans don’t have the votes to lower taxes, but they do have the votes to block tax increases. Yet, the sad history is they they have not always held the ranks to do that. To successfully advocate for a roll back in spending and lower taxes, the GOP must first prove themselves – all of them – to have the consistent ability to be a unified force on the first matter. – Posted by Barry Jantz at January 24, 2010 12:23pm
The damage done by the six republicans who sold out on the Feb 09 budget has been horrific. This sets back republicans and the taxpayer and voters’ demand for both reduced spending and taxes. What further damage they will bring through the end of this year? California sufferes because half a dozen boneheads surrender at the most critical time. Not good.
Those who remain must get a hold of those who threw in the towel an actively remind them on a daily basis who they are ultimately responsible to. The voters will be sending stronger representatives until the will of the people is restored. – Posted by Ken Hunter at January 24, 2010 3:20pm
I want to see the Dems and Governor raise taxes with simple majority. – Posted by Payton Nander at January 25, 2010 10:42am
Thanks, Payton, yes, we do understand that is the intent of many. Which, perhaps even more succinctly than my simple advice points out the core reason GOP legislators must be unified. A simple majority would in essence make Republican legislators completely irrelevant, as they would be powerless to do anything. So, it’s no surprise that Democrats would ultimately like to achieve it. – Posted by Barry Jantz at January 25, 2010 11:06am
Sorry Barry, but the question DOES have to be asked of Martin Garrick.
In the Special election last May, the voters decisively rejected Prop 1B, widely acknowledged as a bribe to the California Teachers Assoc. (CTA) to get it to support the other five props.on the ballot.
Amazingly, two months later, the CTA won an even bigger bribe — a promised payoff of $11.2 billion (as a non-negotiable requirement for the budget deal).
Asm. MARTIN GARRICK (and 9 other Republicans) provided the necessary votes so the payoff could get 2/3 support and be classified as an “urgency” measure taking immediate effect (Nathan Fletcher skipped the vote).
When I asked Martin’s District Director, Sherry Hodges, at the September Escondido Republican Meeting; she said she did not know the details and that she would have him call or email me.
I am his constituent and I am still waiting for his explanation.
Does he think this does not matter to his constituents? Or does he think he does not have to answer to us? Either way it is very troubling especially now that he was voted in as the new Minority Assembly Leader. – Posted by Dr. MaryRose Consiglio at January 25, 2010 3:24pm
Yes, the UT editorial did note that CTA vote. My guess is that Barry is posting this “question that doesn’t need to be asked” column for the same reason that he notes the UT did – as a challenge to Garrick to live up to what Republicans and conservatives expect of him. – Posted by Greg Larkin at January 27, 2010 8:16am
There is no tougher conservative vote rating group than
the long-established, and volunteer-driven, California
Republican Assembly (CRA).
Here is the “correct” vote score the CRA gave to Martin
Garrick during his first 3 years as a state legislator:
……………. 2007………………….. 84 %
……………..2008………………….. 100 %
……………..2009…………………… 83 %
Not enough? Let’s examine the “Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
Association” rating from the group Jon Coupal heads:
……………2007……………………… 97 %
……………2008……………………… 94 %
……………2009…………………….. .95 %
The HJTA awarded a letter grade of “A” to Martin Garrick
for all 3 years he has represented us in Sacramento.
And here are the links for the CRA and HJTA websites:
We now have a San Diego county GOP legislator as
leader of the Republican Assembly Caucus. That is
a good thing ! He will be among the Big 5 in budget
debates this year, and that is a good thing too.