Tim Donnelly for California governor? How he'll waste everyone's time

California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is running to replace Jerry Brown as California governor in 2014. In its current form, his campaign is not at all a good fit for the state and thus he'll be yet another Republican who ends up wasting time and money in a pointless campaign. Unless he changes his campaign (not likely) I urge everyone to support someone else instead.

I heard him on today's John and Ken show and before I knew who it I thought they were interviewing yet another Koch family-linked hack. Donnelly talked about "job creators" (does even Sarah Palin still use that phrase?), promoted fracking, and used the potential shibboleth "prosperity". Nothing against prosperity, but using that term is frequently a tip-off that someone buys into the fiscally-obsessed Koch sphere (e.g., their Americans for Prosperity).

On his site [1], many of the issues Donnelly concentrates on are very corporate-friendly: lowering taxes, reducing regulations, opposing Obamacare, tort reform, and opposition to "zealot environmentalists [who prohibited] oil exploration in many areas". He also takes a strong pro-gun stance.

This is California, not Texas or Alabama. There are very few in the Tea Parties sphere in the state, and Donnelly can't win with just Teapartiers and conservative-leaners in wealthy suburbs: the numbers just aren't there. Even if Donnelly never gets a dime from those linked to the Koch brothers, he'll still be correctly portrayed as someone in the Teaparties/Koch sphere. And, that just isn't going to fly in California.

In addition to that, Donnelly crows about his endorsement [2] from the Republican Liberty Caucus, a group that's a cruel joke on California. He also touts endorsements from Pat Boone and Rob Schneider. Nothing against either, but that's not going to work.

What could be the winning issue for Donnelly is at the bottom of his issues page: immigration. While he's been OK on immigration in the past, he clearly isn't making a big deal out of it during his campaign.

Massive lower-skilled immigration is an issue that impacts most Californians. It's had a devastating impact on California schools, it's impacted traffic and crowding, it's driven Americans into other states, and it's given more power to the far-left and the Democratic Party. It's also the issue where Jerry Brown, the Democrats in the California legislature, and the establishment in general are most vulnerable.

If handled correctly, Donnelly could get a great deal of support from many groups in California, even Hispanics. A majority of Hispanics supported Proposition 187 two months before the election, and if it were done in the correct fashion something similar could be obtained again. The key there is to do it in the correct fashion: no playing to yahoos ("alligators") but instead pointing out the damage that massive immigration has done to the state and the impact the loose borders policies of the Democrats will continue to have. For instance, those who support DREAM Act-style bills are incredibly vulnerable: they support taking college educations from Americans to give to foreign citizens who are here illegally.

Another aspect of doing things correctly is to be prepared for the inevitable pushback from illegal immigration supporters. But, given that Donnelly thinks that what would fly in Texas would fly in California - right down to fracking - it's not clear that he's smart enough to adequately represent the interests of all those Californians negatively impacted by massive immigration.

Please search for those supporting him (@electdonnelly and @AsmTimDonnelly) and suggest they don't waste everyone's time until Donnelly realizes this is California and not Texas.

11/10/13 UPDATE: Here are some imperfect metrics giving a clue to how little support Donnelly will have statewide. The Los Angeles County Republican Liberty Caucus has just 167 members (meetup . com/republicanliberty). On Facebook, the Republican Liberty Caucus of California has 603 likes (vs 20,121 fort the California Democratic Party and 9,197 for the California Republican Party on the same site). In 2012, the Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Ron Paul, who only got 10% of the votes in that year's California GOP primary. And, around the height of their popularity, a 2009 Tea Party event drew 0.005% of Los Angeles' population.

12/10/13 UPDATE: Based on part of an interview Donnelly did with Irish Central, he should use the tagline "Tough on illegal aliens, and tough on Americans":

We need some sort of guest worker program. If you want to seasonally come here and work, no problem, but we’re not supporting your family. We should allow in workers only and not their families, to fill in the gaps of labor that Americans cannot fill

Of course this goes hand in hand with reforming our culture. Our social safety net has been turned into a hammock in many cases, with long term unemployment and benefits actually incentivizing Americans not to work. The situation needs to be turned around to where it pays more to have a job than it does to stay home collecting benefits from the government.

...We already have a pathway to citizenship, it has a few glitches, but we can work it out. Changes in the system could include not kicking out foreign students after they earn their PHD’s in science, etc. Let them stay here and contribute to our society, let us get a return on our educational investment by letting them create jobs and wealth.

...Target the needs of vital industries when we consider new immigrants. Focus on industries that make our country strong and competitive.

1. Guest workers programs don't work as intended: "there's nothing as permanent as a guest worker" as they say. We already have small guest worker programs, but it sounds like Donnelly wants something much broader. If so, the Democrats and the far-left are going to work to help those workers bring their families and help them stay longer. Farm work is done year-round throughout the U.S., and growers will push to have their guests stay here year-round. Donnelly doesn't understand how that would happen and has no plan to do anything about it.

2. There are very few such "gaps"; virtually all jobs done by illegal aliens could be done by Americans (in many cases with enough incentives, which fiscal conservatives like Donnelly would balk at).

3. The second paragraph is, at best, borderline anti-American. Instead of calling Americans lazy, how about supporting incentives to encourage Americans to do certain jobs? How about cracking down on employers?

4. The third paragraph is the stock "staple a green card to their diploma" talking point in so many words. Perhaps Donnelly should think through the impacts on the Third World of taking their smarter, more active people, as well as the impacts of perhaps more pro-American students returning to those countries as leaders.

5. Regarding the last paragraph, "what makes us stronger than food? We need food, and growers need workers. We can't be "strong and competitive" if our lettuce comes from China or costs $10." Growers, chicken processors, and other cheap labor employers will make arguments like those, and does anyone think Tim Donnelly would be able to resist their pleas?

[1] electtimdonnelly . com/issues.html
[2] electtimdonnelly . com/web/rlc/