My good friend, Jim Brulte, the chairman of the California Republican Party, in a recent opinion piece stated that previous generations of political leadership accomplished great things, but now a lot of things are wrong in our state, due to Democrats, and that’s why California needs to elect a Republican governor next year (“The case for a Republican governor in 2018” (Viewpoints, April 16).
Jim applauded a previous governor for creating the UC system and building our freeways and the aqueduct, but it was Democrat Gov. Pat Brown (Gov. Jerry Brown’s father) who did all that.
Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan was sworn in January 1967. Republicans have held the governorship for 32 years, that’s two-thirds of the last 50 years.
Let’s review Jim’s complaints: Our water and road infrastructure has fallen behind. It took 50 years for bridges, roads and dams to deteriorate, not the last few. Why didn’t Republican governors do the needed upgrades, like with the Oroville Dam spillways? And the Republicans didn’t build the Sites Reservoir, in Colusa County, which will hold 1.8 million acre-feet of water. If Republican Gov. George Deukmejian or Pete Wilson or Arnold Schwarzenegger had built Sites, this year would have filled it and all Californians, especially farmers, would have benefited for years. Gov. Jerry Brown is moving the Sites Reservoir process forward.
Jim failed to mention that the reason California had budget deficits was the Great Recession, caused by President George W. Bush’s economic policies that created big deficits at the national level and across America. And the new taxes at the state level – they were passed by the voters, not the Democrats in the Legislature.
Yes, California has people below the poverty level and that’s why Democrats have increased the minimum wage, while Republicans voted against the increases and then claimed that CEOs getting millions of dollars in bonuses are good for the economy.
Democrats will continue helping the middle class with job protections, expanding health care, and educational opportunities and new jobs, which are being created at record levels under Brown.
Bob Mulholland worked as the campaign adviser for the California Democratic Party for 19 years and is a member of the Democratic National Committee. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.