CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
The California Republican Party envisions a vibrant, prosperous and safe California defined by a robust and growing world-class economy, strong and healthy families, and reformed and responsive state and local governments that serve all people while protecting individual liberty. We are boldly confident about California’s future and hold dearly all that is good about California’s people.
We are committed to protecting the lives and resources of aging Californians.
Californians who have retired, or are close to retirement, should be free from worry that the resources they have built through their own work will be siphoned off by inflation or government action. We support laws that would prevent state or local governments from increasing property taxes on personal residences after owners reach 65. We oppose state taxes on Social Security income.
The California Republican Party is committed to promoting the opportunity for aging citizens to enjoy their retirement with the means they have accumulated throughout their working lives.
Agriculture, California’s leading industry, exemplifies the free market at work.
The California Republican Party recognizes that agriculture is one of California’s leading industries and is essential to the future of California’s economy and the health and well-being of its citizens.
Government should create a favorable policy environment that supports California’s farmers and ranchers, maximizing their ability to receive the reward for the risks they take year after year, while strengthening their ability to provide quality products at reasonable costs to consumers. California’s approach, rather, has been beset by over-regulation, environmental extremism, and restricted access to water, the agricultural sector’s lifeblood.
CRIME AND JUSTICE
The California Republican Party believes one of the most fundamental duties of government is to enhance public safety and welfare by crafting and enforcing laws in a fair, just, and efficient manner.
We believe the state, not the federal government, should govern, and so should set the criminal statutes and protect Californians’ quality of life.
The California Republican Party believes that the rights of crime victims are essential in a just criminal process. We support the rights of crime victims to give statements and be heard by the court and in parole proceedings, to collect restitution from defendants as enumerated by law, and to be given notification upon release of prisoners.
The California Republican Party has backed legislation such as “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” “One Strike and You’re Out,” “10-20-Life,” “Jessica’s Law,” “Sexually Violent Predators Law,” and “Juvenile (Gang) Crime Initiative.” These laws have kept the most dangerous and recidivist criminals off our streets and in prisons where they belong.
The California Republican Party decries both the gross overcrowding in California prisons and the early release of prisoners who have been sentenced under the law. Citizens have the right to expect the state and the judiciary to protect them from criminals during their sentences. We therefore support the immediate construction of new prisons and sufficient utilization of private prisons in order to eliminate prison overcrowding and avoid early release. We support prisoner work programs that help prisons become self supporting.
We support the death penalty as the only just punishment and effective deterrent for “special circumstances” murders. Special circumstances include murdering for financial gain; multiple murders; murder with the use of a bomb; murdering a peace officer, witness, judge, prosecutor, or juror; murder while lying in wait; murder during kidnapping, torture, or sexual assault; and murder to enhance gang activity. We support the death penalty for anyone convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack on the United States.
In the larger War on Terror, the California Republican Party supports the criminalization of activities that advocate acts of terrorism, violent conduct, or the killing of innocent people.
THE ECONOMY AND JOBS
We believe that people make better decisions than does government. Free enterprise, not subsidies and government regulation, is the key to creating jobs for all Californians.
Freedom and free enterprise are fundamental to the American way of life; indeed, they are the backbone of our nation. Economic freedom leads to opportunity, opportunity leads to growth, and growth leads to progress. This is the story of America.
Economic growth depends on individual liberty, and it enables all citizens to maximize the opportunity to retain the rewards of their labor. Californians are some of the hardest-working and most entrepreneurial people in the world. We have seen disruptive technologies and business models such as ride sharing, short-term rentals, and intra-city mass transit improve the lives of California citizens. These path-breaking companies have made many California communities better places to live and visit. We believe that the government must support an environment in which jobs can be created, even as new technologies challenge the status quo and alter the way people live and work.
We believe that people make better decisions than does government, and the free market embodies this principle. The government’s role is to ensure that markets are free and that there is genuine competition. Government should protect our citizens from international cartels and piracy of their intellectual property. We support right-to-work laws and reject mandatory closed union shops where workers are forced to join unions against their will. We also reject union workers being forced to make political contributions to candidates or causes that they oppose.
For California’s businesses to grow, thrive, and create wealth, a first-class physical infrastructure is necessary. We support investment in California’s transportation infrastructure through “pay as you go” financing that utilizes existing revenue sources for their intended purpose. We oppose bonded indebtedness or the use of other revenues to fund high-speed rail.
Every child in California is entitled to a first-class education.
Education is the great leveler in American society. It provides the opportunity for any child to rise based on hard work and achievement.
Unfortunately, this leveling effect is lost as California’s schools deteriorate due to domination by union bosses, which contribute to the degradation of the curriculum and the marginalization of involvement by parents. While opposing the Common Core national standards, we support all reasonable measures to strengthen academic standards and maximize the influence and involvement of parents in the schools. We support an education system that ensures access and opportunity for all children, blind to the color of their skin, the circumstances of their neighborhood, or the socio-economic background of their home.
We believe that parents will make better choices than government in almost every case. Consequently, we support school choice programs, voucher and tax-credit scholarships, magnet schools, charter schools, homeschooling, educational savings accounts, and the right of parents to choose to have their child taught in academic English. We support the abolition of all regulatory barriers that prevent parents from exercising these options.
The top priority of our schools should be learning basic competencies, not social engineering. We support metrics such as exit exams to evaluate basic competency. We call for local schools to be controlled by parents and local school boards. We oppose the current domination of schools by the union bosses to the detriment of parents, students, and teachers. We support the Superior Court decision in Vergara v. California.
Schools cannot function unless they are safe. Besides providing a rigorous course of study, safety in schools at all grade levels should be the highest priority.
Admission to all public colleges and universities should be based solely on merit.
When it is hard for a legitimate vote to be cast, freedom suffers.
We support efforts to ensure that all registered citizens may easily vote, including the elderly, the handicapped and military personnel. Every time a fraudulent vote is cast, it disenfranchises another voter who casts a legitimate vote. We therefore support requiring photo identification for voting in person, robust signature verification for voting by mail, and proof of citizenship for voter registration.
The California Republican Party believes in long-term responsible stewardship of California’s bountiful natural resources for future generations.
Protection and stewardship of the environment began under a Republican President and our conservative values align with the goal of conservation: safeguarding the natural resources to which our health and economy depend.
Recognizing that environmental protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive, we will hold our State government accountable for common sense and sustainable environmental regulations that both protect and allow for prosperity. We support environmental policies based upon sound science that encourage innovation and application of new technologies through market based incentives whenever possible instead of regulation, taxation and litigation. Environmental regulations must be considered in light of the effects that they will have on workers and on the economy.
We believe that the United Nations approach has been fundamentally flawed because it enables increasing emissions from the largest sources of greenhouse gasses in the world. To be truly fair and effective, we believe that any solution to greenhouse gas emissions should involve equal incentives applied worldwide and should contain provisions to protect our farms and businesses from unfair competition by countries that do not follow suit.
We believe California industry should lead the world in developing and manufacturing safe, renewable and sustainable energy. We encourage the development of these new technologies and systems for use in the domestic market, as well as for export. We believe that entrepreneurs – using technology, innovation and incentives – are more likely to solve environmental problems than bureaucrats. We support the creation of tax credits for homeowners and builders who incorporate alternative energy systems into their homes.
Dependence on foreign energy threatens both our national security and economic prosperity. Through private initiative and enterprise, we stand for the development of energy that is independent from foreign sources.
We favor clear environmental laws with consistent, straightforward interpretation and the elimination of third party lawsuits by claimants without direct legal standing.
The Republican Party is the historic party of equal opportunity.
The Republican Party championed racial and gender equality against strong opposition.
The Republican Party is the party of equal opportunity. It is the Republican Party that abolished slavery and stands for the right of all persons to succeed based on merit. We oppose quotas, special rights, set asides, or guaranteed equality of results. We support laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing based on race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or religion.
ETHICS BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
We believe that public service is a trust—one of the highest callings to which any man or woman may aspire.
Ethics in service to one’s fellow citizens goes beyond the letter of the law. The California Republican Party calls on its elected and appointed officials always to serve others, always to 5
demonstrate the highest standards of morality and honesty, and never to use their offices for personal gain. Republican officeholders should give their utmost effort to improve our society and to inspire others to serve.
The California Republican Party affirms the family as the natural and indispensable institution for human development.
A strong and healthy family unit is the heart of the home—a safe surrounding where family decisions are made, children are raised, and morality is taught. The family is a foundation on which American society has grown and prospered for over 200 years. We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children, and therefore believe that it is important to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court’s ruling cannot and must not be used to coerce a church or religious institution into performing marriages that their faith does not recognize. We believe public policy and education should not be exploited to advocate or teach any social or political agenda.
We believe that local or state governments should resolve political matters unless the United States Constitution expressly reserves such matters for the federal government.
The federal government has repeatedly violated the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution by encroaching on rights that are reserved and delegated to the states and to the people. The California Republican Party firmly believes that the best governments are those most accountable to the people. We heed Thomas Jefferson’s warning: “When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another.”
Non-essential federal functions should be returned to the states and localities wherever possible. It is the governments closest to the people that have the capability, knowledge, and sensitivity to local needs to effectively administer and deliver public services. Local jurisdictions’ diverse problems require local understanding. We must recognize the unique abilities of local government and the inherent limitations of a distant federal government; accordingly, we support the transfer of rights, responsibilities, and revenues to local jurisdictions.
We support an open and transparent government that is accessible to all people that it represents.
Federal, state and local government bodies should make available all legislative, budget & spending documents in an easily searchable online database. We believe that all government bodies should publicly broadcast their meetings by means of television or internet streaming and provide ample time for public input in their decision making process. We support a transparent legislative process that would require legislation to be in print and available for public review at least 72 hours prior to any action being taken on the item. 6
The California Republican Party believes that the United States health care system delivers the finest medical care in the world. We support the concept of freedom of choice in health care.
we oppose government-mandated health care plans that restrict freedom of choice, and we oppose the bureaucratic restrictions of single-payer plans. We support restructuring Medicaid to restrict elective, medically-unnecessary surgeries while increasing the compensation to doctors and hospitals for necessary surgeries and other treatments. We also oppose any universal healthcare plan for California that involves taxes on doctors or hospitals, coverage for illegal aliens, or tax subsides. Finally, we support private sector solutions such as small business insurance pools, employment pricing reductions, guaranteed insurability, and medical savings accounts.
Our history is a story of immigrants. The California Republican Party welcomes and values each and every legal immigrant.
America continues to symbolize hope and promise to people from around the world. We believe new immigrants help make our great nation greater still. The Republican Party is pro-immigrant. Yet we take issue with political advocacy groups that blur the line between lawful and unlawful immigration in public discourse. The result of this blurring is a poorly enforced immigration policy and an uncontrolled border – millions of people here illegally, undocumented, and living in the shadows. This isn’t good for anyone.
The current problem is exacerbated by the failure of elected Democrats to negotiate in good faith to fix our broken immigration system. This failure leaves in place a government bureaucracy that produces wait times to immigrate legally into the United States that can exceed 15 years. The truth is, the United States cannot accommodate the hundreds of millions of people in the world who long to live here permanently. The United States government has an obligation to all Americans to control our borders. As Ronald Reagan said, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”
Our current immigration policy is out of step with the modern world, and does not work for California or America. We want to fix it. A sound immigration policy would affirm our country’s absolute right to protect our borders. At the same time, a sound immigration policy would permit legal entry to the workers California and America must have. We support visa and guest worker programs that allow people to legally enter the United States, and leave and return if needed, through a flexible and well-managed system. It is indefensible that the Federal government puts California’s high-tech dominance at risk, and also stifles the ability of our farmers to procure the labor needed to timely harvest the fruits and vegetables that feed our country.
To ensure our immigration laws are adhered to, we support devoting more resources to border control, and increasing penalties for overstaying visas. We will support implementing a nationwide e-verify employment system once the necessary visa and guest worker programs are in place.
We also support the expedited repatriation of all violent criminals who are undocumented, and when repatriation is not possible, a full prosecution under U.S. law. Further, we believe that federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration officials. These cities are undermining Federal law, and putting our citizens at risk.
We believe that only after the border is secured and the legal immigration system modernized, can we as a nation address the complicated issue of what to do with the millions of people who are currently here illegally. Like all Americans, Republicans hold diverse views on the issue.
There is however consensus in the Republican Party that any solution must adhere to the following guiding principle. We will not support a policy that grants amnesty. Amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking.
Finally, we believe that once one enters the United States as a legal immigrant and desires to become a citizen, one should endeavor to become an American. Learning English is a vital part of life in the United States. Therefore, fluency in English must be the goal of California’s education programs. No matter a person’s native tongue, all citizens of the United States must be afforded equal opportunity. English both binds the nation and empowers individuals of all backgrounds to fully participate in the American experience. For this reason we support the recognition of English, and English only, as the nation’s common language – the official language of government.
THE LITIGATION CRISIS
Justice is an American virtue. To make justice available to every person, we support legal innovations such as arbitration, mediation, and reasonable limitations on unnecessary discovery and motion practice.
Individuals and businesses alike are besieged by baseless and overly burdensome litigation. To ensure the availability of quality health care, we support reasonable limitations on general damages awards (e.g., as contained in the bipartisan “Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act”). We favor reasonable and consistent standards for punitive damages awards, which should only be available for intentional, egregious misconduct.
The California Republican Party stands for a strong national defense.
The first duty of government is to provide for the common defense. The California Republican Party asserts that it is imperative that we retain our military superiority in order to deter any potential adversary. Yet, we affirm that our military forces exist to deter our enemies and not to initiate war.
We should never allow our troops to be put under foreign command nor committed to a foreign conflict unless U.S. national interests are directly at stake and there is a clear military goal and a firm exit strategy.
We recognize the rise in international terrorism against western democracies and understand that no country can successfully combat it alone. We believe in supporting our allies and in defeating international terrorists and those who support them, wherever they hide. We object to a “surrender first” policy or unilateral withdrawal.
We believe that compensation for our troops should be fair, and we support a state income tax exemption while our troops are on active duty.
OUR HISTORIC AND ONGOING SUPPORT FOR PROPOSITION 13
We acknowledge that Proposition 13 has saved residential and commercial property owners hundreds of billions of dollars since it was approved.
It provides a uniform one percent property tax rate that provides stability for homeowners and small business owners alike. Proposition 13 remains popular today because it allows citizens to exercise control over a government that should be limited and responsible with the people’s money. Its two-thirds vote for tax increases ensures fiscal responsibility on all levels of governments. All citizens, including homeowners, business owners, renters, as well as local governments, benefit from Proposition 13’s tax stability.
PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
We stand for the principle that condemnation and government restriction on private property must only occur for public use.
One of the purest forms of tyranny is government confiscation of its citizens’ private property. We reject condemnation or government restrictions on property without full compensation for such condemnations or restrictions. We reject government condemnation of private property for non-public use.
We further support local land use decision making, with as much opportunity for public input and comment as possible, instead of regional planning efforts, such as United Nations’ Agenda 21 and Plan Bay Area, that impose state and regional mandates on local government and private property owners.
The California Republican Party respects each person’s individual conscience and is a strong proponent of religious liberty for all.
We support the California Constitution’s guarantee of the free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference. We strongly support the United States Constitution’s safeguard against the establishment of a state-sponsored religion, while simultaneously protecting the free exercise of religion.
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
The United States Constitution guarantees the right of its citizenry to keep and bear arms.
One of the first acts of a totalitarian regime is to disarm its people. California’s gun control laws only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals. We oppose any further gun control legislation and support the right of all California citizens to own and bear guns and ammunition for any lawful purpose. We call for statewide legislation setting reasonable criteria allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. We support an individual’s right to use deadly force to protect lives and property. We also propose amending California’s constitution to reflect all of these rights.
Finally, we call for the elimination of waiting periods to purchase firearms and instead support complete implementation of instant background checks.
THE RIGHT TO LIFE
The California Republican Party is the party that protects innocent life because we believe life begins at conception and ends at natural death.
We support laws that protect unborn children from partial birth, sex selection, and tax-payer funded abortions, and abortions performed as a form of birth control or on minor girls without their parents’ notification and consent.
We believe that the question of abortion is a matter that should be left to the people through their elected representatives, not usurped by the United States Supreme Court. Accordingly, we encourage the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision.
We support adoption as an alternative to abortion and call on lawmakers to reduce the bureaucratic burden placed on adoptive couples.
As a part of respecting the sanctity of life for disabled persons, we oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide or euthanasia.
We support a comprehensive ban on all human cloning.
The California Republican Party supports ethical stem cell research that focuses on cures and does not destroy innocent human life.
TAXES AND GOVERNMENT SPENDING
The California Republican Party is the party of balanced budgets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.
We believe that taxes in California are too high, and that our state government spends too much. We stand for the wise stewardship and responsible use of the people’s money. We support without exception and without apology a two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases, tax increases labeled as fees, bonds, and the state budget. We call for a constitutional ban on any bonded indebtedness to cover general operating deficits, and we oppose unfunded federal and state mandates. We support our Republican legislators’ efforts to require California’s government live within its means.
We call upon our government officials to join a pledge to stand together against any new taxes. Through expanding population and economic strength, there already exists a mechanism to automatically raise all of the revenue needed to properly meet California’s needs. California’s budget problems stem from a lack of fiscal accountability and control. The California Republican Party believes that the answer will never be to increase the tax burden on Californians. We believe that Democrats have not prioritized infrastructure investment with general operating funds, which leads to a dangerous amount of bonded indebtedness, further imperils our state’s financial situation, and needlessly passes financial responsibility for current needs over to our children.
We acknowledge a responsibility to those California citizens who cannot take care of themselves. We support reasonable work requirements for welfare recipients who can work, and ending welfare benefits for those who can work but refuse to do so. We do not support giving any welfare or social benefits to people who have no legal right to be in California.
We recognize that unfunded public employee pension liabilities are currently the greatest threat to the financial security of our economy and government. We support the conversion of all public employee pension plans to 401(k)-style plans that provide only the benefits that have been funded by the actual contributions received.
We support the adoption of an optional single-rate system to give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with a one-page form. We also support the abolition of the death tax.
Government is not equipped to participate, and should not compete, in the free market. Wherever the public’s money can be saved and the level of service increased, we call for the privatizing services now delivered by government.
We reject the unjustified use of rhetoric like “shared responsibility” as justification for an increase of state government spending and wrongful expansion of the role of government, at the expense of individual responsibility.
We are free because of those who have answered the call to serve.
The California Republican Party salutes all California veterans and we commit to continued support for them through efforts such as, but not limited to, transition assistance, jobs programs, housing assistance, retirement benefits and health care. We support fair efforts to privatize the operations of the Veteran’s Administration in order to increase efficiencies and quality of care.
The California Republican Party believes that water is California’s lifeline and additional efforts must be made to protect and increase water supply to support a thriving economy.
While California’s population is expected to grow by more than 600,000 each year, reaching between 44 and 48 million by 2025, the state’s water infrastructure was built 3 ½ decades ago to serve roughly 1/3rd as many people.
Amid an extensive drought, dwindling snowpack, shrinking reservoirs, deteriorating water quality, rising water rates, restricted water use, and devastating economic impact, the voters approved Proposition 1(2014), a $7.12 billion water bond to fund water supply infrastructure projects.
The California Republican Party is committed to supporting the construction of new, above-ground water storage facilities and desalinization plants as critical components in the plan to meet California’s long-term water needs.
We encourage the comprehensive and efficient management of California’s precious water resources in order to accommodate growth in California; to ensure that California’s communities have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water; and to guarantee that our farms and businesses get the water they need even in dry years.
We oppose additional bonded indebtedness.
The California Republican Party recognizes the truth: Government is meant to serve the people. As such, government is solemnly charged with the responsibility to craft long-term solutions rather than short-term fixes. We pledge to hold our government responsible for securing the safety of our families, for expanding our world-class economy, and for promoting fairness and justice for every Californian.
Platform adopted on September 20, 2015