Emily Duruy at The San Jose Mercury News:
Citing the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant families, two San Jose City Council members announced Monday they have left the Republican Party.
District 6 Councilwoman Dev Davis and District 10 Councilman Johnny Khamis, joined by former Assemblyman Jim Cunneen, called out national GOP leadership for failing to stand up to what they see as President Trump’s “unethical” policies at a news conference outside City Hall, saying they no longer recognize the party they joined years ago.
The announcement leaves just one Republican — District 4 Councilman Lan Diep — on the council, and could have repercussions with local Republican leadership come election time. While San Jose’s city elections are considered non-partisan, local GOP leaders have helped both Davis and Khamis get elected in the past, and would likely support them in future elections if they stayed in the party.
Khamis acknowledged the risks, but said his “conscience” is more important.
An immigrant who fled war-torn Lebanon as a young boy, Khamis said he “cannot imagine being separated from my mom and dad after losing our home in a war and entering a strange country.”
The Trump administration separated more than 2,000 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border before reversing course amid public outcry this month.Former California Assemblyman Jim Cunneen:
“I am not leaving the party,” Khamis said in a reference to his flight from the GOP. “I feel that the party has left me.”
I want to start by expressing my gratitude to the Republican Party for all it has done for me spanning four decades and share that I will never regret the many contributions that I have made to the Party over that time as a campaign volunteer, President of the Young Republicans, a top aide to Republican officeholders, a State Assemblyman, and a Delegate to a national Republican Nominating Convention. I still applaud the wonderful and good people who volunteer for our Party at the state and local level. My actions today are aimed at what has become of a once great national political party. In May, former House Speaker John Boehner captured it perfectly, saying “There is no Republican Party, only a Trump Party”. A cult of personality has infected the Party we joined and loved. Many Republican friends now defend every criticism of President Trump. And many seem to cheer upon every exit from the once great Republican Party. They say Supreme Court appointments, tough border policies and tax cuts show that Trump is the right President for our times. I say, and I want to make myself clear, no perceived policy “victory” is worth the bigotry, the lies, the near idolatry of world dictators, the mocking of the disabled, or the way he speaks of women. And President Trump pursues so many policies, contrary to the tenets of a once great Party. The forced separation of families at our borders is not conservative. It is indecent. Protectionism is a great lie that hurts consumers. Undermining law enforcement agencies is misguided. Enacting deep tax cuts, less aimed at economic growth and more to punish political enemies, only limits stimulus options in a future recession. A foreign policy embracing enemies and shunning allies is reckless. This is Trumpism. And it is a great affliction to the national Republican Party and our country. But speaking out and standing up — and I have loudly since the day his candidacy was announced— only go so far. Sometimes, all you really have left...well, are the things only YOU can change. Today, after 39 years and one month as a registered Republican, after supporting every GOP nominee for President up to 2016 and Governor up to 2018 — every one of them — I am no longer a registered Republican.