New Majority calls for Real Budget Reform at Media Roundtable

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Individuals from the New Majority, the powerful and well-heeled business executives’ organization dedicated to electing mainstream Republicans, could support revenue increases but only if accompanied by real budget reform.

While not an official position of the organization, some of the Orange County chapter’s leaders said at a media roundtable in Costa Mesa yesterday that if a revenue increase were the price for true reform to solve the continuing budget crisis, then the organization would consider such a package.

Membership Chairman Paul Folino compared fixing the state budget mess with turning around a floundering company. He said one has to be mindful of both the short-term fixes as well as making things work in the long term and getting away from the circumstances that plagued the company.

While the organization doesn’t take positions on legislation, Orange County New Majority Chairman Tom McKernan said his sense from talking to other New Majority members is that many could agree to new revenues for the state if they were tied to long-term budget reforms, such as a spending cap.

But, in considering any revenue package, McKernan said, the group would not accept any proposal that would harm business or cause more middle class Californians to move out of the state.

McKernan emphasized that the group would have to be certain that the reform was real. He said the group had no intention of being double-crossed by the Legislature again.

He was referring to New Majority’s effort to help fashion and then support a package of redistricting and term limit reform to be placed on last February’s presidential primary ballot.

In the end, Legislative leaders only put a term limit initiative forward, Proposition 93. The New Majority refused to back a stand-alone term limit measure and the group and its members ended up donating about $500,000 to help defeat it.

The New Majority members are now backing the redistricting initiative that just qualified for November’s ballot. The group helped to jump-start the signature drive on the initiative petitions with a hefty donation.

Indicating frustration with dealing with the Legislature, Political Affairs Chairman Dwight Decker said while not giving up its efforts with the Legislature, the group planned to increase its focus on policy changes to be made through the initiative process.

The New Majority now has four chapters in Los Angeles County, San Diego County and the Inland Empire as well as Orange County. The group hopes to expand in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Silicon Valley soon.

The New Majority PAC is focusing on a handful of California general election races with the goal of making sure that the Democrats do not achieve a two-thirds majority in either house.

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