Mike Madrid at The Fresno Bee:
Unlike the wealthy and racially segregated suburbs in Orange County, north San Diego and the outskirts of Los Angeles, the Central Valley has neighborhoods with middle- and lower-income households with both Anglo and Latino surnames.
Because the Central Valley continues to suffer while its coastal neighbors thrive, it’s here that poses the greatest prospect for a Republican resurgence if the party could focus on its core message of jobs, opportunity and economic mobility.
...Laurel Rosenhall at CALMatters:
The Fresno County Republican Party invited the controversial and inflammatory Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio to keynote an event just months before the midterm elections. This is the same person who was found by the U.S. Department of Justice to have engaged in the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history and it filed suit against him for unlawful discriminatory police conduct. And then in 2016 Arpaio was summarily removed from office by his constituents.
In other words, Arapaio was found to be unfit for office by the people who knew him best, but was found to be just right to keynote a Republican Party event in Fresno — a county that is only 30 percent white.
If Republicans in California are looking for a way back to relevance, dropping the focus on race-based politics is a good place to start. If that change can’t happen in the Central Valley, it’s not likely to happen anywhere.
Not that anyone need more evidence of the Republican Party’s collapse in California. Democrats, in the last election, flipped seven GOP seats in the U.S. House and eight more in the state Legislature. They’ve swept every statewide office since 2010.
But more evidence emerged anyway today, when Republican Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego announced that he had switched parties and is now a Democrat. A reliably moderate Republican during his six years in the Legislature, Maienschein said his own views had moved to the left as his party veers hard right.
“Donald Trump has led the Republican party to the extreme on issues that divide our country. But its leadership is not the only reason for changing my party affiliation,” Maienschein said, citing his support for gay rights, abortion access, organized labor, gun control and immigration.
The assemblyman’s switch is the latest sign that the style of Republican politics emanating from the White House does not play well on the left coast. Last month, California saw another high-profile GOP defection when Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, said she had re-registered without party affiliation following the tumultuous confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brian Maienschein is a good man with a principled heart. He’s a great legislator that represents his district well. I’m sure this decision did not come easy for him. He didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Party left him. @BMaienschein @CAGOP— Chad Mayes (@ChadMayes) January 24, 2019
Mark my words: If Travis Allen becomes Chairman of the California Republican Party, more sitting legislators will leave @CAGOP. Winning in politics requires addition. Demagoguery and division proves to be a losing strategy. https://t.co/26sd4J8pIl— Chad Mayes (@ChadMayes) January 24, 2019