Delegates to the California Republican Party convention voted on Sunday to oppose initiatives on the November ballot on health insurance and sentencing while supporting a water bond and a measure on the state’s “rainy day fund.”
Proposition 45 would require the insurance commissioner to approve any increases in health insurance rates. Proposition 47 would require misdemeanor sentences for certain theft and drug possession crimes.
Proposition 1 is a $7.545 billion bond measure placed on the ballot by the Legislature that would fund state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration and drinking water protection.
Proposition 2, also placed on the ballot by the Legislature, would make changes to the state’s reserve accounts, popularly known as the “rainy day fund.”
The party did not take a position on Proposition 48, a referendum that would overturn the compacts allowing for two gambling casinos.
The party voted at its spring convention to oppose Proposition 46, a wide-ranging initiative that would raise the limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, require drug testing of doctors and require health care practitioners to consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.
Both of California’s major political parties support Propositions 1 and 2. The California Democratic party also backs Propositions 45, 47 and 48 and is neutral on Proposition 46.
The final day of the three-day convention at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott also included gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari telling delegates, “We are the party of civil rights, we are the party fighting for minorities, we are the party fighting for working families and we should be damn proud of who we are.”
Dan Newman, an adviser to the re-election campaign of Kashkari’s Democratic opponent, Gov. Jerry Brown, said, “Voters are smart enough to find those claims absurd.”
“They’ll look at records and reality, not rhetoric. And the reality is the GOP is the party of Proposition 8 and 187, the party that opposes the minimum wage the party that repeatedly nominates Wall Street bankers and as a result, the party that holds no statewide offices,” he said.
Proposition 8 was the measure on the November 2008 ballot providing that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Proposition 187 was the measure on the November 1994 ballot that would have banned people in the state without legal authority from receiving non-emergency government services. Both were later overturned by the courts.
“We realize Mr. Kashkari is engaged in a desperate campaign to remake the image of the Republican Party and for good reason,” said Tenoch Flores, Communications Director of the California Democratic Party. “However, the facts aren’t on his side.
“For the last five decades, the Democratic Party’s history and ongoing commitment to issues of civil and voting rights, to fighting for equality regardless of race or sexual orientation is without equal. In contrast, over the same time period, Republicans have been fighting tooth and nail to not only stop forward progress on these issues, but to actually roll back progress,” Flores said.
Kashkari said he based his comments on the Republican Party’s opposition to slavery and support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when a higher percentage of Republican senators voted in favor of the bill than Democratic senators.
Following his speech, Kashkari told reporters his candidacy was “a transformational moment” for the Republican Party, describing himself as a “social libertarian, focused on economic issues.”