Pre-Labor Day Snapshots Offer a Glimpse of California’s Future

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Summer in California is usually quiet with no real interest in politics.  This year is different – and it’s not just the summer heat that’s making people delirious.  They want change – and it’s not in the form of Barak Obama.

I was part of an incredible team that helped Sam Blakeslee prevail in not just one election, but two in two months.  When I started, few were aware of the Special Primary Election on June 22nd where Blakeslee nearly won the race outright in an 8 point Democrat district.  Sam had help from Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Governor Schwarzenegger. 

In fact, nearly every notable Republican offered some form of assistance.  They backed him wholeheartedly not just because he’s a Republican.  Sam represents a new California – he’s an innovator and researcher with a deep understanding of budgets and how to rally people towards a common cause.  His impressive record of bi-partisan legislative accomplishments gave voters confidence.

Blakeslee’s victory is the first Republican General Election victory in 2010.  What he brings to the state senate represents the beginning of a sea change for California.

In early August, Abram Wilson hosted former baseball all-stars Bip Roberts and Royce Clayton for a fundraiser in Danville.  Roberts is the San Francisco Giants Post-Game Commentator and Clayton is featured in "Moneyball", being filmed in Oakland with Brad Pitt.  More than 100 people showed up to hear baseball nostalgia and listen to why these former MLB All Stars want to reinvigorate their state.  They want the innovative California back – a place where their children can grow and thrive.  They didn’t know Wilson that well before.  They chose him because his vision for common sense budgeting represents a better way to govern in California.

This past weekend, the California Republican Party Convention, destined for the usual food fight, beat back efforts that would have divided our party in this critical election year.  Delegates chose to focus on winning rather than bickering – a new concept if you’ve ever been to one of our Conventions.  Whitman and Fiorina were electric – fired up and ready to lead.

Meanwhile, in other parts of California, Barbara Boxer was doing jobs tours with public employees and union construction workers.  I don’t recall if she visited that $600 million school in Los Angeles – but imagine if that money was used for the betterment of all California school facilities projects rather than just this one?  Jerry Brown was apparently wining and dining with Code Pink Founder Jodie Evans in Venice, CA.  I recognized the name from when Code Pink, a paid partisan group of female protestors, caused havoc during a 2003 recall rally, sending a young boy to the hospital that was trampled during a Pleasanton rally.  Is this the kind of company Jerry keeps?

Today, I’m going to help a friend refer a friend for a job.  I don’t know the job seeker or his circumstances but I do know that he has been looking for a while.  He is accomplished and well respected and got sucked up in the layoffs and plant closings that seem to define the last two year’s economy.

Change is not about Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.  It’s a about people of all parties, colors, and ethnicities yearning for that thing that brought them to California in the first place – achievement, innovation, entrepreneurship – that dream that once was California.  They have it in their power to make California better, restore confidence, spur technological and medical advances, and create jobs.  Nostalgia for a better life as it once was will define California’s future. 

Look at the future through the eyes of a job seeker.  Will he choose leaders who are younger, faster, and smarter or wish to be represented by career politicians, surrounded by special interests, old, tired, and devoid of ideas?  Californians want change.  The Republican team led by Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina presents our best opportunity to restore confidence in California.

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