For political reporters, writing hypothetical stories about which prospective candidate might run for what office is a break from more challenging hard news assignments. And the biggest speculative story is which Democrat will emerge from the pack to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. On the list are three Californians – U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.
Take it from this native Californian, the chance of anyone from my home state winning the White House any time soon is zero. On the national stage, Harris, Garcetti and Newsom can’t hide from their endless sanctuary city advocacy, and their indefensible spending on legislation that provides billions in entitlements to illegal immigrants while the state’s infrastructure crumbles.
In her post-election speech that criticized President Trump for his commitment to immigration enforcement, Harris said that “how we are treating our immigrants, and in particular our undocumented immigrants, is one of the most critical issues facing our country.” Really? More important than 12 million unemployed or under-employed Americans or the 50 million who live in poverty?
Newsom said, “Trump’s immigration plan is a loser.” Really? President Trump won on tighter immigration, and Hillary Clinton lost on open borders. During Trump’s campaign, Garcetti called the candidate the “ultimate caricature.” But Garcetti must have a different opinion now that President Trump controls the purse strings. Garcetti recently leaned on the administration for a $1.3 billion handout to help fast-track subway funding for Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympic bid.
The California Assembly is considering SB 54, a bill that would make the entire state a sanctuary. A sanctuary California candidate won’t play well nationally where 80 percent of likely voters say that local law enforcement should cooperate with federal immigration officials to remove convicted criminal aliens.
Away from the West Coast, voters look at California with horror and wonder how Ronald Reagan’s great state veered so far off course. Try to imagine how California’s shtick would play out in the heartland or in crucial, moderate swing states. If an establishment Democrat like Clinton couldn’t make the sale for a more liberal agenda, then lesser lights from unhinged California won’t be able to close the deal either.
Few outside of California doubt that the state needs to immediately come to its senses. But holdouts who still may consider California in the mainstream got a rude awakening when Governor Jerry Brown called state taxpayers “free loaders.” That must come as a surprise to California’s hard-working millions who fork over a huge chunk of their paychecks to subsidize sanctuary cities, illegal immigrants’ driver’s licenses, their children’s K-12 education, and their minor children’s medical care. Sacramento Democrats recently rammed through a $52 billion tax hike, allegedly to restore roads to drivability. But critics note that for years the state has raided the road tax fund to appease the illegal immigrant lobby and to subsidize the high speed rail fiasco.
California’s biggest municipalities – Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento – are overcrowded, urban nightmares, growing at rates equal to or greater than Third World countries, exactly the kind of cities Americans don’t want their home towns to become. Outside of providing generously for illegal immigrants, a tough platform to stump on, California’s presidential aspirants have little to hang their hats on. Americans want less immigration, enforcement and slower population growth, the opposite of what California’s leadership has delivered for the last 30 years.
A Californian in the White House isn’t in the cards, at least not until the state rearranges its priorities to provide first for its beleaguered citizens and taxpayers.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter, @joeguzzardi19.