Reprint from the Redlands Daily Facts / Opinion Section posted 12/01/2014 By George Alfano, Guest columnist to the Redlands Daily Facts What was an unhappy Election Night for Democrats nationally turned out to be a reasonably successful evening for California Democrats. For the Redlands Area Democratic Club, the evening was extra special as a result …View full post
Reprint from the Redlands Daily Facts / Opinion Section posted 12/01/2014
By George Alfano, Guest columnist to the Redlands Daily Facts
What was an unhappy Election Night for Democrats nationally turned out to be a reasonably successful evening for California Democrats.
For the Redlands Area Democratic Club, the evening was extra special as a result of Mayor Pete Aguilar’s election to Congress. RADC members worked many hours to make Aguilar’s election successful.
The Democrats even took a step forward in the Inland Empire while national Democrats were sustaining losses in the House of Representatives. In the six Congressional districts where San Bernardino and Riverside counties compose a significant section of the district, Democrats won four seats.
Think about that for a moment and compare it to Jan. 3, 2011. There was only one Democratic member of the House of Representatives, Joe Baca.
It can be questioned how much of a Democrat Baca was, considering his high voting ratings from the National Rifle Association and his involvement with high-interest payday loan companies. He has lost three elections since that time, not coming close in any of them.
As usual, the issue is turnout. Only 34 percent of San Bernardino’s eligible voters turned out to vote. The lower turnout certainly had an effect nationally, and made it somewhat harder for local Democrats.
The effect of this turnout is that there are two different electorates which turnout. In 2008 and 2012, the turnout was larger and President Obama won both times. In the mid-year elections of 2010 and 2014, the lower turnout was a result of fewer young people voting, among other factors.
The easy thing for Democrats to say is that a higher turnout would result in more Democrats being elected.
My problem with that is there is a slippery slope to saying the voters are “stupid.” Democrats say that about people who don’t vote, and supporters of Paul Chabot said voters aren’t informed.
The idea of politics is to identify your supporters and see that they vote. Pete Aguilar had an outstanding staff and hard-working volunteers who made it happen.
Fixing immigration — finally
If President Obama’s order concerning immigration is unconstitutional, you would have to include Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush with Obama. Both former presidents issued executive orders dealing with deportations.
It would be much better if both houses of Congress had acted. The Senate did their job, voting for a bill that got bi-partisan support. On June 27, 2013, the Senate voted 68-32 for an immigration bill that would increase border security and create a path to citizenship.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives show their only action is inaction. If, as Republicans have suggested recently, this goes against what the American people want, it would be a simple matter to bring the bill up and vote against it.
Why do Republicans lack the courage to bring it up for a vote?
One reason is because they will have to go on record to show where they stand. Simple politics shows that this might have drawn more people to the polls to vote against Republican candidates.
The second reason is that nationally, the anti-immigrant stand is something not all Republicans agree upon. Chamber of Commerce national political leaders and the wealthy Republicans whose large campaign contributions actually run the party want the immigration system to be fixed.
The argument that nothing should be done until the borders are secure is a poor excuse for not doing anything. Virtually every serious elected official believes the current immigration system is broken, and action is needed for fixing the immigration system and securing the borders. It’s not an either-or decision. Successful enterprises don’t work that way.
A new board of officers for 2015 was elected at the RADC November meeting.
Our new president is Kristin Washington, who had been the vice-president. Roger Bell replaces her as vice-president, while Carole Coley remains on the board as treasurer. Christine Roque is the new secretary. Two more members were added to the board. Les Greenberg is the assistant secretary and Richard Tully is the assistant treasurer.
The new board will lead the premiere Democratic club in San Bernardino County, and expects another successful year..
George Alfano is a member of the Redlands Area Democratic Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.