Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RLCCA Autumn 2010 Newsletter

The RLCCA is pleased to announce the publication of our Autumn 2010 Newsletter. The newsletter includes a list of our endorsements and recommendations for the November election.

Please remember to vote on November 2nd.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The RLCCA Supports Proposition 19, Opposes Taxing Cannabis


California, July 19, 2010 - The Republican Liberty Caucus of California today announced both its support of California's Proposition 19, and its opposition to any regulation or taxation of marijuana. Prop. 19, on the ballot in November, changes California law to partially legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed by local governments. Prop. 19 also prevents children and those under 21 years of age from gaining access to marijuana.

“Clearly the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle free men and women living on free soil to grow and smoke marijuana,” said RLCCA Secretary Parke Bostrom. “Prop. 19 respects this right, while at the same time highlighting that under our Constitution, the federal government does not have authority to control the sale and possession of marijuana.”

“While some Prop. 19 advocates are calling for taxes on marijuana (cannabis) as a means of managing the pain of California's chronic budget crisis, Prop. 19 itself creates no such taxes or regulations. The RLCCA recommends voting “YES” on Prop. 19, while at the same time strongly opposing any taxes and regulations that local governments may try to impose,” said RLCCA Chairman Matt Heath. “It is important that voters and politicians alike remember that even after Prop. 19 passes, Article 13C of the California constitution grants voters the opportunity to block each and every new tax proposed by local governments.”

“Prop. 19 helps restore freedom to adults over what they choose to consume. In addition, it will help reduce violence between rival drug gangs and law enforcement along the U.S./Mexico border,” said John Dennis, the Republican nominee in San Francisco's 8th Congressional District. “While not perfect, Prop. 19 is a big step in the right direction.”

The RLCCA is the state chapter of the national Republican Liberty Caucus which was founded in 1991 as a 527 political organization. The RLCCA works to advance the ideals of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise within the State of California and the Republican Party. The RLCCA supports candidates and policies that uphold these principles in order to secure a free and prosperous future for all Californians and their children. Learn more at www.rlcca.org.

RLCCA Resolution Recommending YES on Proposition 19
(Legalize Marijuana)

Whereas controlling the sale and possession of marijuana is not a Constitutionally enumerated power of the federal government, but is instead a power reserved to the states; and

Whereas states that prohibit the sale of marijuana do infringe on personal freedom, and any efforts to enforce such prohibition erode civil liberties and waste taxpayer dollars; and

Whereas prohibition also concedes a monopoly to organized crime; and

Whereas taxation and regulation constitute an infringement on property rights and other vital liberties; and

Whereas Proposition 19 would legalize limited personal cultivation and possession of marijuana and empower local governments to legalize commercial production and limited retail sales; and

Whereas Proposition 19 does not directly impose any new taxes or regulations, but rather leaves those questions to local governments, subject to the taxpayer protections in Article 13C of the California Constitution; and

Whereas Proposition 19 is the only measure available this election that takes a positive step towards complete legalization;

Therefore be it Resolved that the Republican Liberty Caucus of California recommends voting YES on Proposition 19; and

Furthermore be it Resolved that the RLCCA rejects the implication of portions of Proposition 19 that special taxation and regulation of marijuana is appropriate, and once Proposition 19 is passed by the voters in November, the RLCCA urges local governments to fully allow the production of marijuana and its sale to adults without imposing special taxes or other limitations.

(Download the press release and resolution, PDF 61KB.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interview: Matt Heath, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of California

[Note from RLCCA Secretary Parke Bostrom: The below interview was originally published on BlogCritics.com and is republished here with the permission of the author.]

The "conscience of the Republican Party": advancing the ideals of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise.




[Photo: Matt Heath with Ron Paul, September 2008 at the Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis]


It all started as a "typo" on one of my political blogs, which quickly stirred up my inquisitive nature and led to an interaction that brought about a pondering of my own personal beliefs and stance as it relates to “liberty”. This past month, I had the privilege of interviewing the folks from the Republican Liberty Caucus of California (RLCCA), exclusively for Blogcritics Magazine.

Because of our very own Blogcritics writer and editor, Dave Nalle, I am somewhat familiar with the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC), but I wanted to get acquainted with the pulse of the RLC in my home state of California. And no better way than from those leading this grassroots organization –– Chairman of the RLCCA, Matt Heath with the assistance of RLC Secretary Parke Bostrom. My thanks!

In summary, the RLCCA is the officially chartered California chapter of the RLC (founded in 1991). They work to advance the ideals of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise within the State of California and the Republican Party.

Considering the 2010 elections are a hot topic in the political arena these days, let’s first talk about the California primary coming up next month. So far the RLCCA has endorsed three Congressional candidates: Gary Clift, Clayton Thibodeau, and John Dennis, who is in the high-profile race against Nancy Pelosi. Do you have any inside information on how this race is going and what are your predictions for the outcome?

Heath: Given the size of the Bay Area media market and the fact that Nancy Pelosi is a polarizing figure nationally, a tough, hard-hitting campaign by John Dennis will help every Republican candidate in our region. John is already generating interest and enthusiasm in San Francisco with his small government, pro-liberty message. His race will likely be a key factor in boosting Republican campaigns throughout Northern California. His campaign is going very well, and I predict that John Dennis will do better than any Republican congressional candidate has done in San Francisco in recent memory.

Additionally, for us in the RLC it is very exciting to see Dennis receive the pre-primary endorsement of many establishment Republicans in San Francisco. It shows us that we should be trying to find and recruit strong candidates rather than engaging in political debates with other Republican activists.

As you know, I had mistakenly reported that the RLC had endorsed one of the three California Senate candidates and your very astute Secretary Parke Bostrom corrected my blog. Is there a reason that the RLCCA has not endorsed Chuck DeVore, Carly Fiorina, or Tom Campbell? And do you have a personal favorite?

Heath: We work to recruit and support candidates who will reduce the size of the federal government, and also the size of state and local governments. Specifically, we try to recruit and support candidates who are fundamentally motivated by a sincere and profound respect and appreciation for the concept of human liberty –– the idea that if you are an adult, so long as you are not harming someone else, you should be able to do whatever you want. We focus on this one core issue of liberty because we believe that candidates motivated by respect for liberty will be the most effective at reducing the size and scope of government interference in our private and economic lives.

Granted, that is a somewhat subjective criterion, and each member of our board of directors has to make her or his own subjective determination as to whether a given candidate meets that standard. We do not try to endorse candidates in every contested primary. With respect to the Senate race, it appears that the RLCCA board has yet to be convinced that any of three candidates you mentioned shares our appreciation for human liberty.

Are there candidates on your radar, that others may not be aware of, who the RLCCA thinks have a lot of promise?

Heath: The RLCCA has endorsed Gary Clift (CD10), Clayton Thibodeau (CD45), Linda "Ellie" Black (AD27), and Bill Hunt for Orange County Sheriff, as well as John Dennis in San Francisco.
I feel it would be inappropriate for me to mention specific candidates that have not yet been endorsed.

Seemingly, the “Boxer match” is receiving a lot of attention –– even from President Obama, who lent his support for her last month. Do you expect that Obama will help or hinder Boxer’s campaign?

Heath: President Obama is a popular politician in California and with many Democrats. I suspect he will bring his "bully pulpit" to California in support of Barbara Boxer as often as needed in her reelection bid.

Boxer has held the California Senate seat for three terms, and California is primarily a liberal state. What are the odds that California could pull off another “Scott Brown” type victory –– marking us “red?” Or is that just hopeful thinking for us conservatives?

Heath: Boxer can be beaten, but the race will be much more clearly defined after the Republican primary election in June. And as I mentioned earlier, it appears that the RLCCA's board has yet to be convinced that any of the three Republican candidates shares our appreciation for human liberty.

So Matt, on a personal note, what drew you to the RLC and how did you become Chairman of the California chapter?

Heath: After becoming actively involved locally in the Sonoma County Republican Party, I looked for a larger Republican organization that promotes libertarian philosophy. I discovered the RLC and was inspired by their Statement of Principles and Positions.

Several other Sonoma Republicans joined me and we organized under the banner of the Republican Liberty Caucus to do political activism in our neighborhoods, on the street, and within the county Republican Party. Subsequently, in February 2009, I attended the state convention of the California Republican Party. I connected with RLC'ers from other parts of California, and was elected chairman. It has been an exciting year!




I noticed that the RLC welcomes constitutionalists, libertarians, classical liberals, and free market advocates. Will you expand on that?

Heath: All of the groups you mentioned agree that the government, and specifically the federal government, is too big. Constitutionalists believe the federal government is too big because it is doing more than is authorized by the Constitution. Classical liberals believe that people can best improve their lives without government "help" (or interference) and without the temptation and danger of becoming dependent on government welfare programs. Free market advocates believe that the government should not try to regulate, "stimulate", "bail-out" or otherwise interfere our economy. (Yet strangely some self-proclaimed "free market advocates" support macro-level government interference in the economy via the Federal Reserve and the banking cartels controlling national lending policies and the supply of fiat currency.)

So all of the above groups believe that the federal government should be significantly smaller than it is today. That is a huge piece of common ground. The RLC comes into the picture because we take that common ground and work to turn it into a specific political strategy: we work as a caucus within the Republican Party to promote candidates that support these ideals.

Since I consider myself a conservative, what caught my attention was that the RLC welcomes "tolerant conservatives". How would you describe a “tolerant conservative”?

Heath: We welcome all who support the RLC Statement of Principles and Positions. And, to answer your question, I would describe a “tolerant conservative” as a fiscal conservative who believes the government should not attempt to regulate the private lives of citizens. By “regulate” I mean things like: restricting freedom of speech, compelling military service, interfering in relationships between consenting adults, outlawing adult consumption of recreational drugs, and requiring the use of a national ID card.

I’m glad you brought up the topic of “government regulation” –– two areas in particular. I have heard that the RLC gets a certain amount of flak in the GOP in other states as being against the war on drugs and relatively pro-gay. Do you have less of a problem with that in California?

Heath: Perhaps California is more tolerant on those issues. I am not aware of our positions on those issues causing any official strife with the California Republican Party (CRP). However, there may be individuals or other caucuses within the CRP that disagree with some of our positions. This is only to be expected and is not unusual in any way.

Related to the specific issues you mentioned:
I suspect most RLC'ers believe the federal war on drugs is unconstitutional. Back in the 1930's we as a country understood the Constitution well enough to know that attempted federal regulation of alcohol required a Constitutional amendment. Unfortunately, it seems that America today does not understand her Constitution as well as she used to.

As for the claim that the RLC is "relatively pro-gay", I suspect most RLC'ers believe that the purpose of government is to secure the natural rights of each individual in these 50 states, so that we as individuals may enjoy Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We take our inspiration from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."

Expanding on the RLC and the GOP’s rapport, I hear that the RLC in some states, most notably Florida, has had conflicts with the state GOP. How is your relationship with the state GOP?

Heath: Here in California the RLCCA has a growing relationship with the California Republican Party. Many RLCCA members work closely with their respective county Republican parties; so it is only natural that the RLCCA works closely within the California Republican Party.

At the September 2009 convention of the California Republican Party, a resolution supporting Ron Paul's "Audit the Fed" bill (HR 1207) and the companion bill in the Senate (SB 604) passed with overwhelming support. Many RLCCA members worked hard to bring that resolution to the CRP and to get it passed. (I should again thank Assemblyman Chuck DeVore for his support in that effort.) It was very gratifying to work with the CRP to call for an audit of the Federal Reserve, as an audit is the first step towards developing an honest currency and restoring economic confidence in America.

Speaking of “parties,” what are you thoughts about the Tea Party movement, its relevance and impact on the political scene?

Heath: It is exciting to see so many new people jumping into the political process through the Tea Party movement. There is a common theme with the individuals who attend Tea Party events: they believe government, especially at the federal level, is too big and encroaches too much on our private lives. While the Tea Party has a lot of new and exciting energy, it will be interesting to see how the many diverse groups of the Tea Party movement organize over the next few years, and what long term strategies they will rally around to achieve their goals.

What are the RLC and/or your personal thoughts about our current administration and its direction –– what many deem to be an intrusive expansion of government on many fronts?

Heath: The RLC is, of course, no fan of the Obama administration as they continue down a course of greater federal government power over individual American lives.

Personally, I believe the Obama administration is just a continuation of the Bush administration with regards to the scope of the federal government: continuing interventionist foreign policy, expanding executive powers, ongoing manipulation of the free market, continuing growth of federal health care programs (after all, it was President Bush who created Medicare Part D), to mention just a few examples of the similarities.

In closing, what can we expect from the RLCCA in the near future?

Heath: You can expect the RLCCA to continue to grow in numbers and influence among Californian Republicans. If any activists reading this are inspired by our work thus far, they should contact us via our website to become active in the RLC in their local counties. You can also join the RLCCA on Facebook and Twitter.

Exclusive Interview for Blogcritics Magazine: Matt Heath, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of California
Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: May 07, 2010 at 10:10 pm
Also, on National Broadside

Thanks to Matt and Parke (and the RLC; including my friend, Dave Nalle) for all they do to advance individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise: something us, conservatives embrace as well. And a special thanks for taking the time out of their busy schedules to do this interview.

(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RLCCA June Ballot Proposition Endorsements

Below are the RLCCA endorsements for the statewide propositions that will be on the June 8, 2010 ballot.

Proposition Recommendation Title Type
13 Vote YES LIMITS ON PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT. SEISMIC RETROFITTING OF EXISTING BUILDINGS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
14 Vote NO ELECTIONS. INCREASES RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
15 Vote NO CALIFORNIA FAIR ELECTIONS ACT. LEGISLATIVE STATUTE
16 Vote NO IMPOSES NEW TWO-THIRDS VOTER APPROVAL REQUIREMENT FOR LOCAL PUBLIC ELECTRICITY PROVIDERS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
17 Vote YES ALLOWS AUTO INSURANCE COMPANIES TO BASE THEIR PRICES IN PART ON A DRIVER'S HISTORY OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE

We have also endorsed candidates in certain districts in the June 8 election.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

RLCCA Convention on March 13 in Santa Clara

Dear RLCCA Members,

The 2010 Regular Convention of the Republican Liberty Caucus of California will be held in 60 days, on the evening of Saturday March 13 in Santa Clara, California. The exact time and place of the Convention will be announced later. The convention will be held at or near the location of the simultaneous convention of the California Republican Party.

As per Article 4, Section 5 of our recently amended Bylaws, at the convention elections will be held for 7 of the 11 seats on the RLCCA Board of Directors: 2 At-Large and 5 Regional Directors will be elected. (Elections for the 4 Officer seats will be in 2011.)

Any Regular RLCCA Member whose dues are paid may run for any of the 7 seats. Any Regular RLCCA Member whose dues are paid 30 days prior to the convention may vote in the elections.

Nominations are now open. Nominations, which must be seconded, should be submitted via email or mail to the Secretary at:

secretary@rlcca.org, or

Parke Bostrom
PO Box 800
Eureka, CA 95502

Nominations will close at 11:59pm, Saturday February 27th, 14 days prior to convention. This will allow for absentee voting in contested races.

Please see our Bylaws for details:

http://www.rlcca.org/dw/doku.php/public:bylaws#article_ivboard_of_directors

Please contact secretary@rlcca.org if you have any questions.

----

Besides running for one of the seven Director seats, there are at least two other ways you may actively become involved and support the work of the RLCCA.

The first way is to become an Alternate member of the Board. Alternate members can make motions and participate in debate during our regular monthly Board meetings. If a voting Board Member is absent from the meeting, the Chairman can designate an Alternate Member to vote in place of the absent Board Member. Our bylaws require that we have at least 3 Alternate Board Members, and at present we have only 1, so we have 2 vacancies. If you are interested in learning more, please contact secretary@rlcca.org.

The second way to become more involved is to become a member of one of the RLCCA Standing Committees. The committees are:

Membership
Candidate Review
Local Chapter
Convention
Communications and Public Relations
Finance and Fund Raising

Please see the descriptions of the Standing Committees for more
information:

http://www.rlcca.org/dw/doku.php/public:bylaws#rule_1._standing_committees

In my opinion, our Board meetings are amicably conducted and the current board will be very friendly towards any RLCCA Members who want to become more actively involved, either as Alternate Members of the Board or on one of the Standing Committees.

As always, please contact me at secretary@rlcca.org if you have any questions or wish to be removed from this mailing list.

In Liberty,

Parke Bostrom
Secretary, RLCCA