24 April 2019 – Pundits supporting the Democratic Party would have you believe that a vote for anyone other than whomever their party nominates for President in 2020 will be a vote for a second term for Donald Trump. I have been arguing that this is an extremely short sighted view that only serves the Democratic National Committee’s long-term purpose of maintaining the status quo.
Americans need a third party to break the political polarization gripping our national government under the two-party system and, at minimum, keep the existing parties focused on what matters to the American People right now instead of on partisan bickering.
The following is an invited guest post by Honor (Mimi) Robson, chair of the Libertarian Party of California that makes the case that the Libertarian Party is poised to provide that third alternative. Nearly all she says with reference to her home state of California can be said verbatim about politics in the rest of our country.
In April 2019 Robson was re-elected as chair of the Libertarian Party of California, and in the November 2018 election, she was the Libertarian candidate in the top-two run-off for California state assembly, District 70. This is reprinted with permission from a version published on March 24, 2019 in the Sunday edition of Inland Valley Daily Bulletin under the title “California needs a strong alternative to the Democratic establishment. Look to the Libertarians.” It appeared also in the 10 other newspapers of the Southern California News Group.
The Republican Party is finally realizing what the Libertarian Party has known for decades: California is best when the voters have options. Jessica Millan Patterson, Chair of the California Republican Party, recently wrote, “Republicans have both an opportunity and a responsibility to stand up and offer a viable alternative to the Democrats and give voters a real choice.”
However, other Republican leaders feel that the GOP isn’t the option Californians are looking for.
Soon after last year’s general election, Kristin Olsen, former Assembly Republican leader and current Stanislaus County Supervisor, wrote “the California Republican Party isn’t salvageable at this time. The Grand Old Party is dead.” So which is it?
What has been the cause of the Republican Party’s apparent demise in the state?
Perhaps it is because they concentrate on issues that are either irrelevant for or antithetical to Californians.
Perhaps it is because the party seems to have abandoned its former regard for limited government in order to appease a president that is wildly unpopular in this state.
Perhaps it is because they also seem to be doing a good job of identifying problems in the state but aren’t coming up with solutions.
The middle class is struggling in the state as they are burdened with the highest taxes and most stringent regulations in the country.
As a result businesses are fleeing the state and taking with them high paying jobs that could benefit many Californians.
In addition to jobs leaving the state, living here has become more expensive; we have a huge shortage of affordable housing.
And last, but certainly not least, we have an out of control public employee pension system; these pension liabilities are unsustainable and will ultimately bankrupt local municipalities and the state itself.
To solve the problems of California, we need to stop the unsustainable spending.
California legislators need to learn to spend within the state’s means rather than raising taxes on the top income earners who will continue to leave the state and take with them their tax dollars.
The Libertarian Party believes the first step is to reduce the many regulations that have forced so many businesses to find a more business-friendly environment.
The housing crisis could be alleviated by reducing the hurdles in place to build affordable housing.
A few simple steps we can take could help millions of people in the state.
And finally, the first step to handling the state’s pension debt is to renegotiate the contracts with the public employee unions.
As an example, when Jeff Hewitt was mayor of Calimesa, his city withdrew from their contract with CalFire and instead created their own fire department whose employees are enrolled in a traditional 401(k) retirement system; this simple step will keep the city from ultimate bankruptcy. This approach needs to be taken throughout the state.
In the last election season California Republicans lost seats in both state houses as well as representation in Washington. Between January 2018 and February 2019 the number of registered Republicans decreased by 2.5 percent while registered Libertarians increased 9.5 percent. Libertarians had a huge win in Riverside County when Jeff Hewitt was elected 5th District Supervisor over the Republican candidate, Russ Bogh, a former state assembly person with the deep pockets of the public employee unions behind him.
The Libertarian Party also ran candidates for state assembly seats in districts where Republicans didn’t even field a candidate. I was one of those candidates; in the 70th Assembly District I was the first Libertarian candidate to progress to the general election in a contested primary coming in ahead of Democratic and Green Party candidates to face off against the Democratic incumbent.
All of the Libertarian candidates running against incumbents in those seats were able to garner a significant percentage of the vote, with one of our candidates receiving approximately 40 percent of the vote in some of the counties in his district.
What does this mean? It means that Californians are looking for real change in the state. I think that the Libertarian Party offers much of this change, but I also believe in working with others when there’s common ground.
When I ran for office I said the beauty of electing a Libertarian is there are often times we can work with people on both sides of the traditional “aisle,” and I believe this more now than ever.
Honor (Mimi) Robson Bio
Honor (Mimi) Robson has been a registered Libertarian for over 3 decades and ran as the Libertarian Candidate for the 33rd District California State Senate in the 2016 General Election. In that election, with very little time or campaign funds she was able to attract support from her community, ultimately garnering almost 50,000 votes (22%). During the election cycle she became more involved in the California Libertarian Party, becoming Secretary for the party in February 2017 when the previous Secretary Resigned. She was unanimously elected secretary at the 2017 state convention; was elected chair at the 2018 state convention; and re-elected chair in April 2019. Honor ran as the Libertarian State Assembly candidate (70th District) in the top-two run-off election in November 2018.
Honor grew up in Southern California and has been a resident of Long Beach for the past 28 years. She is a Licensed Professional Civil Engineer and has worked at a small Structural Engineering Consulting firm since 1994 until recently resigning that position to become an independent engineering consultant, which will afford her more time to devote to the Libertarian Party of California. She has been involved with many charitable organizations such as AIDS Walk LA, The Alzheimer’s Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation however Honor’s main passion is animal rescue and has been involved at every level for many years.