Last Updated:November 30 @ 05:13 pm

Reagan: Destroying the California Dream

By Michael Reagan

Cuba is a one-party state. North Korea is a one-party state. California is a one-party state.

I'm not trying to draw any false parallels.

But I've noticed bad things happen when one political party has complete control of a government for too long, whether it's the Communist Party that's wrecked Cuba for 50 years or the Democrat Party that's wrecked California for 40.

So far, the Democrat monopoly in Sacramento has done nothing to cause Californians who seek greater freedom, lower taxes and a better business climate to begin taking rafts to Oregon or Mexico. But give the Democrats time.

They've already bankrupted the state and strangled its economy with high taxes, expensive green-energy policies and "progressive" regulations that scare off businesses, jack up housing prices or inhibit growth.

The other day the California Assembly proved once more that there is no bill too crazy or trivial for it to pass.

By a vote of 47-24, the Assembly passed AB 1960. The bill, almost certain to be approved by the state Senate, would allow owners of businesses that contract with the state to voluntarily identify themselves as gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual.

The Democrat who sponsored the bill says it'll let state officials and gay or lesbian groups pin down how much LGBT-owned businesses are helping the state's economy. Republicans said it digs too far into private lives and is the first step in a quota system that would benefit the LGBT business community, which, the way things are going, probably already accounts for half of the state's GDP.

Assembly Bill 1960 is likely inconsequential -- just another government joke no one thinks is funny. But its passage is also a sign of a larger and very important long-term problem -- there are too many Democrats in power in Sacramento and too few Republicans there to stop them.

Forget which party has held the governor's office. It's the Assembly and the Senate -- Democrat-controlled playpens since my father was governor — that have turned the Golden State into the Great Train Wreck State.

Joel Kotkin probably knows more than anyone about the paradise California once was and the dysfunctional place it has become. Kotkin, one of the country's top demographers, pointed out the other day that almost 4 million people have left California in the last 20 years. That's 4 million above and beyond the people who have moved in from other states.

He says most of those fleeing are young, middle-class families seeking lower taxes and affordable living costs. Apparently, the chance to ride a bazillion-dollar bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco with their grandchildren is not worth 20 years of pain and suffering.

Kotkin, who calls himself a "Truman Democrat," says the regime in Sacramento and its "progressive war on the middle-class lifestyle" is responsible for the destruction of the California dream. It'll only get worse, he says, what with Gov. Brown proposing new taxes this year that are ostensibly aimed at "millionaires" but will hurt small businesses and young families.

I'm no demographer. But as far as I can tell, there's only one sure way to reverse California's death spiral -- vote the Democrats out of power in Sacramento.

That means Republicans -- conservative Republicans allied with sensible Truman Democrats -- need to stand up and take back their state from the crazies.

The trouble is, the Republican Party of California is almost as much of a mess as the state. It has no leadership, no heroes, little money and no clear message. The state GOP has another big problem -- Republicans have run out of courage. While the Democrats have been going nuts, Republicans have lost theirs.


Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at

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  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    May 3, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    The insanity of the gay Liberal mindset has corrupted Hollywood and state government to the point of dysfunction and has added new meaning to the “Peter Principle” which used to state that people rise to their level of incompetency in both government and private enterprise then stop, eventually leaving the entire State or private enterprise being run by nothing but incompetents. If they could just get their minds off their “Peters” and get some working principles maybe the state would have an opportunity to turn itself around. I’m almost of the idea that God has designed California to be a gay magnet for the next bullet train wreck to the head of his next example of a Sodom and Gomorrah. Can an earthquake or pocket nuke be far behind?

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  2. ClarkCComment by ClarkC
    May 3, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Once again, Michael Reagan writes about how the Democrats are ruining California without mentioning immigration, which is how California became a one-party state. Keep up the current pace of immigration, and Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas will become one-party states over time. At that point, no conservative GOP presidential candidate will be able to gain an electoral college majority. But the “mainstream” “conservative” columnists lack the courage to discuss this. Ironically, Michael Reagan is bold enough to accuse the California GOP of lacking courage.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      May 3, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

      Texas is also an immigration state but we make them work for their supper, allow them to make a living without having to dumpster dive as pets for their food. Californians take note.

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    • ClarkCComment by ClarkC
      May 3, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

      Between 60% and 67% of Texas Hispanics vote for the Democratic Party candidate for President every four years. If the immigration continues, Texas will be a reliable Democratic state. It will happen more slowly than it did in California, and the tipping point will arrive later than it did in California, but it is a simple mathematical fact that it will happen unless we shut down immigration. Texas Republicans are oblivious to what is coming their way.

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    • joeycComment by joeyc
      May 3, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      I’m slightly confused by some of the language here. Certainly immigration isn’t the problem but illegal immigration is. Which isn’t immigration but in most cases a criminal act if once deported or working here illegally. Plus in order to work the criminals need a fake or stolen ID.
      It doesn’t matter if it’s your ID or your child’s ID, the criminals don’t care whose life they damage.
      Their quest outweighs our civil rights and our laws, at least in their minds, and or those that support them.

      In LA County alone welfare costs for illegal aliens anchor babies is $1.6 billion dollars yearly and that’s not including schooling.

      The issue isn’t immigration but criminals or invaders that have no concern about our laws, only their interest. Many with an ethnic supremacy agenda and most holding a loyalty to Mexico not to the U.S.
      It is also ignorant to believe these criminals are not voting illegally. After all one of the biggest organized crime operations supporting illegal aliens is the fake or stolen ID rings that are as dangerous as the drug cartels. Once you have that ID how easy is to vote.
      We have a fairly liberal immigration system but we have illegal immigration and a visa system that is way out of control with zero checks and balances.

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    • ClarkCComment by ClarkC
      May 3, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      joeyc: The problem is immigration, not just illegal immigration. The one-party state in California arose because of people who can vote. Aside from some degree of election fraud in which illegal immigrants vote, the illegal immigrants are not a prime cause of the problems discussed here. If you import huge numbers of Latin American LEGAL immigrants, and provide them a path to citizenship, the majority of them will vote for the Democrats, and you will end up with a Democratic Party monopoly as in California.

      The instinct in America is to be oh-so-polite and make it sound like illegal immigration is the only problem. This makes the writer or speaker acceptable to the liberal mainstream of our country. Another few decades of respectable triangulation and our country will be gone forever. The electoral votes of California are not being given to the Democrats by illegal immigrants, and the electoral votes of the Southwest will not be given to the Democrats by illegal immigrants. As unpleasant as this topic is, we had better face reality.

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    • joeycComment by joeyc
      May 3, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      @ ClarkC
      I am in agreement with to a point and by far I’m not a liberal, although I don’t consider myself a conservative, possibly more in common with Dennis Miller.
      Plus I don’t think anyone on this issue has ever considered me polite.
      I also would like to see legal immigration slowed or at least diversified more fairly. Since most or some people believe Mexican or Latin America’s have been slighted by our immigration system in favor of European or white immigrants. Some actually are unaware that Mexico and Latin America represent the biggest percentage of legal immigrants to our country for thirty years or more now.
      I’d truly like to see our work visa system ended with the exception of agriculture work. Unfortunately both parties favor more visa workers in every industry, at a time of great unemployment, I find this unbelievable.

      I truly resent having one ethnic group threaten our voting process with voting blocks every time they claim an issue as theirs, all rather bigoted.
      Really how can one group claim an issue that affects every U.S. citizen? They have some right to this issue over others based on the fact their group represents most of those breaking our laws and illegally entering.

      I’ve never have felt the complex issue of immigration legal or illegal as unpleasant since debate and facts about this issue or any issues are good things.
      It’s those that wish to bully their agendas that make the issue deliberately unpleasant and usually using accusations to distract and trying to bully silence.
      I could have made this shorter, since we do agree that legal immigration needs changes too.

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    • enolagayComment by enolagay
      May 6, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

      Thank you Clark for your realism. The story of the calamity in Texas is easily told by the births at Parkland Hospital. I am a fifth generation Texan whose great great grandfather was a Dallas pioneer. I finally left Dallas 20 years ago for the South Plains of Texas but now will soon have to leave this once great state altogether. No one can know the profound sadness this brings me. Michael Reagan is yet another willfully blind neocon aiding the fall of this nation.

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  3. JDZComment by JDZ
    May 3, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    I have lived in California since 1985 and it is a sad thing to watch as the state legislature has slowly taken away any chance of the few Republicans in the legislature to have ANY effect on how the government operates even to the point of recently passing a bill that requires only a simple majority to approve the state annual budget.

    The state of California has the 7th largest GNP in the world and was once THE place for business, entrepreneurs, the high tech industries, and the aerospace industries. It set the standards for education, infrastructure development, housing, agriculture, the energy development, and entertainment. The history of California was colorful and exciting. The whole world envied America and especially California with its natural resources, beautiful scenery, climate, etc. and the state was always on an extreme growth rate. It was exciting…magnificent…we all wanted to live in California.

    That was during the early period of California when the state was run by capitalists and pioneers who came to California to become wealthy. To take advantage of everything from the gold rush to the numerous opportunities for every conceivable business opportunity as the state was growing like gangbusters and needed people to fill the millions of jobs being created everywhere.

    What happened?

    What happened is exactly what Michael Reagan described in this article. The onslaught of large levels of lower paid immigrants, the rise of the public service unions all supporting the liberal agenda, the conversion of the entertainment industry into a wealthy liberal enclave, and the takeover little by little of government from the local level from city, county, to the state level by Democrats backed by the public service unions has converted California into a one party liberal example of where the country is headed if Obama is re-elected.

    California is a mess. Nothing works well out here anymore. The liberals are out of control as they have instituted more and more unaffordable social programs, have given the public service unions unaffordable and lavish salaries and benefits, and have put in place the highest tax and fee structure in the country in an attempt to pay for all of these expenditures.

    The state educational system has gone from one of the best to one of the worst. The famous California freeway system is falling part and is totally inadequate to cope with the population growth. The extreme environmental activists driving the government have created, through their regulation and environmental policies, a costly and incoherent business environment to the point where companies are moving their businesses out of state. These environmentalists have hamstrung the energy industries and basically shutdown oil and natural gas exploration. These same activists have detrimentally affected the agriculture businesses as well.

    The state is going bankrupt as we speak and the only options the liberals ever consider in dealing with this fiscal crises is to raise taxes and fees. They never…NEVER..will cut government spending. Sound familiar?

    The conservative base in California has methodically been disenfranchised by the progressive/liberal/communist/socialist activist and politicians and have run amok to the point of now having to deal with the problems their policies created.

    It is not a pretty picture. It is a national shame that is heading toward the national level.

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    • blemeComment by bleme
      May 3, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

      One minor correction:
      At one point California was the 5th largest economy in the world.
      In 2009 we fell to 8th.
      In 2011 we fell to 9th.

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  4. realistComment by realist
    May 6, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    An article which outlines the problems of low skill migration and its role in the educational and economic decline in California.

    “A recent study by UC Santa Barbara’s California Dropout Research Project estimates that high-school dropouts in 2007 alone will cost the state $24.2 billion in future economic losses….

    Perhaps even more important than the collapse of educational achievement among the lower strata is a deterioration of the higher education that was for decades the basis of California’s preeminence in science and technology. California currently ranks 40th among the 50 states in college-attendance rates, and it already faces a significant shortage of college graduates. Studies have shown that the economy will need 40 percent of its workers to be college-educated by 2020, compared with today’s 32 percent. Given the aging white population (average age, 42), many of these new graduates will have to come from the burgeoning Latino immigrant population (average age, 26). By one estimate, this would require tripling of the number of college-educated immigrants, an impossibility if current trends hold. The state’s inability to improve the educational attainment of its residents will result in a “substantial decline in per capita income” and “place California last among the 50 states” by 2020, according to a study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems…

    Research has shown that even after 20 years in the country, most illegal aliens (the overwhelming majority of whom are Hispanic) and their children remain poor, unskilled, and culturally isolated they constitute a new permanent underclass…”

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