BY JIM BRULTE – Special to The Bee – APRIL 14, 2017 8:00 AM
One-party rule has ruined California.
California was once held up as the gold standard of progress and achievement. Previous generations built a great highway system connecting the coast to the Valley and the mountains beyond. Previous generations designed and built the State Water Project. This water infrastructure made cities in the desert flourish. Previous generations built a public education system that was the envy of the world.
When the political tide turned almost two decades ago and Democrats began their upward swing to the legislative supermajority they now enjoy, they were handed a California in great shape. The middle class was growing, student test scores were rising, and the welfare rate and crime rate were declining. But with each new election victory the Democrats claimed at the polls came a little less accountability and a little less transparency. California’s Capitol became an echo chamber filled with liberal elites who lost touch with the people and the many vital needs of our state.
Transportation funds got diverted away from roads, and water infrastructure was ignored regardless of our state’s growth. Felons were released from prisons, and we are now seeing the effects with a higher crime rate. Our educational system has become more focused on political correctness than student academic achievement.
We have 2.5 million children living in poverty while the Democrats have managed to take a balanced state budget and turn it into a deficit, even as they continue to raise taxes on all Californians. And this deficit exists in spite of the fact that we have taken most of the unfunded public pension and health care liability off budget!
The last two years have fully exposed the Democratic Party’s failures across California. Mother Nature ended a five-year drought, which California was completely unprepared for, with the rainiest year on record. This inundation of water brought about failed roads, buckled bridges and a crater in the Lake Oroville spillway. In addition to the failures in our transportation and water infrastructure, California state testing showed that not even half of our kids are ready for college.
The Democrats’ answer to these problems isn’t to assess and make changes; it’s to pickpocket the people of California for an even larger share of their paycheck. Rather than bringing much-needed reform to the state’s systematic problems, Democrats are just throwing money at the problems guaranteeing us much of the same. We need reform, we need changes, and we need accountability – none of which we are going to get with more of the same.
The Democrats broke it; they own it. Now is the time to shake up California’s downward decline, and the best way to do that is to elect a Republican governor in 2018.
Jim Brulte is the California Republican Party chairman. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org