California Democrats Target Conservative College Students

College Republicans face reactionary rule changes, abusive lawsuit.

California state senator Josh Newman, Fullerton Democrat, was the key vote to approve Jerry Brown’s recent $5.2 billion tax hike that jacks up what Californians will pay for gasoline, diesel fuel, and vehicle fees. At the California State University in Fullerton, College Republicans Amanda McGuire, Ryan Hoskins and Brooke Paz led efforts to recall Newman. The state Democratic Party responded by changing the rules on recall elections and targeting the three students with a lawsuit.

“This lawsuit intends to stop the petition from circulating and halt the recall process, falsely citing deceptive messaging as grounds for suing,” explains a press release from the College Republicans.

According to the Republicans’ secretary Ryan Hoskins. “This lawsuit is the definition of frivolous and more than an obstruction of the very processes that every Californian should hold dear.”

Brooke Paz, told the Daily Wire, “This lawsuit is a baseless attack on the character of hardworking and passionate activists, as well as a shameful intrusion on the democratic processes that are my right as an American citizen.”

Amanda McGuire decried the “intimidation tactics espoused by the California Democrats.”  For the vice president of the College Republicans, “It’s gone too far when college students are being dragged into court for becoming involved with the issues faced by their local cities. I’m proud to be part of the party that fights to fix our government on every level.”

California government budgets money to keep roads, highways and bridges in good repair, but state Democrats have been raiding the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and shifting the money to other concerns. For example, state Democrats used $1.5 billion in transportation infrastructure taxes to subsidize California’s General Fund bond payments, and that has left roads in terrible condition.

Recurring governor Jerry Brown responded with the $5.2 billion tax hike, and just before the Memorial Day weekend Brown ranted that those who complain about this tax hike are “freeloaders.” He thus targets those who already pay the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, for which Brown evangelized in 2012, citing the Gospel According to Luke 12: 48: “To those whom much is given, much will be required.”

The $5.2 billion gas tax hike was a hard sell even among Democrats, so party bosses had good reason to be alarmed by the students’ recall effort, which gathered signatures at a rapid clip. Democrats do not turn out strong in special elections, so the party changed the rules, adding provisions that would likely delay the vote on Newman to the next general election. That was not the only affront to the tax resistors.

The Democrats slipped the changes into a bill on a veterans’ cemetery, which disturbed assemblyman Dante Acosta. The Santa Clarita Republican, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, told reporters it was “heartbreaking” that the legislature would use a veterans’ cemetery as a reason to vote for the measure. 

A few Democrats opposed the bill but it passed 49-26 and governor Jerry Brown called the new process “eminently reasonable.” The only opponents, he said, are “people who wanted to fool people and don’t want to test it in court or in the light of day.” That gave tacit approval to the lawsuit against the Cal State Fullerton students, who are not backing down.

“California Democrats are attempting to scare us into backing down from this signature gathering effort,” said Ryan Hoskins. “They will not succeed in breaking our spirit and, with the support of the California Republican Party, we will fight it in the court of law.”

Whatever the result, the lawsuit and legislation were signs that, even with a two-thirds supermajority in both the Assembly and Senate, California Democrats still fear the people.

Brown and his politburo have ample experience on that front.

Brown opposed the 1978 Proposition 13, which limited property taxes. Voters passed it in a landslide. Brown’s pick for Chief Justice was his former campaign chauffer Rose Bird, an arrogant ideologue with no judicial experience.  On November 4, 1986, California voters ousted Bird by a margin of 67 to 33 percent and also tossed his high court appointees Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin.

Brown opposed the 1996 Proposition 209, which ended racial, ethnic, and gender preferences in state-college admissions, state employment, and state contracting. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of that measure, and the 30th anniversary of Proposition 63, approved by 73 percent of voters to make English the state’s official language.

Even so, 2016 passed with little if any recollection of those measures, and the Bird rejection, in the state’s establishment media. Best not to remind the governor, a three-time loser in his quest to become President of the United States, that he has often been at odds with the people. So no surprise that Jerry Brown supports the two-pronged attack on the Cal State Fullerton students.

College Republicans vice president Amanda McGuire described the lawsuit as “a shameful and frantic attempt to silence voters of the district.” She’s right about that, and so is Fred Whitaker, chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County.

“Democrats are desperate to hold on to absolute power,” he told the Daily Wire, “whether it is changing the rules ex post facto on signature verification, or contribution limits, or a lawsuit challenging the validity of signatures – they will stop at nothing to keep absolute power.”