The Sun Rises in the East – California Republicans 2011 and Beyond

Fellow California Republicans:

I am sure that many of you woke up as I did today; groggy from a late night watching returns and with a twisting mix of emotion. Excited about the national results but frustrated and possibly even frightened at our results at home.

There are certainly lessons for California Republicans from last night.

  • Now more than ever we know that we can not buy our way into the hearts and minds of Californians, nor do the moderate within our Party fare any better than the conservative. In fact, though still far short, conservatives had significantly better results.
  • We must stop the crippling influence of labor unions both on our elections and our State policies.
  • We must close our registration gap.
  • We must present a clear choice based on ideals and vision not on a popularity contest.
  • Most of all, we must not give up, hide our heads in shame or return to a strategy of playing defense.

There is an old saying that “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Well as of last night that has changed. The pendulum has swung. Like the sun that rises in the East so shall America’s political recovery. The sun’s warmth began last year in New Jersey, spreading its glow to Massachusetts and last night brightened the future of our nation. Unfortunately, as yet, that light seemingly could not crest the Rocky Mountains. However, though California may remain in partial darkness for now, we must embrace the faith of our Founders and the spirit of Reagan, that it will be morning in California again. We must remain confident that our values and vision will ultimately prevail. If we endure, California too shall feel that golden sun on its political landscape.

The rays of light can already be seen rising over the eastern mountains. Last night, while California Democrats recycled leaders from the past and salvaged entrenched incumbents, the voice and influence of California’s Young Republicans continued to emerge. YRFC is proud that many of its members were elected last night and are poised to become our Party’s welcoming beacons. We congratulate:

Matthew Harper (former YRFC Chair) – Huntington Beach City Council
Russell Johnson (Kern County YR Chair) – Bakersfield City Council
Steve Baric (OCYR Member) – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Ben Benoit (Riverside County YR member) – Wildomar City Council
We also want to thank the many YRs (and some former YRs) who valiantly brought our message to the voters but came up short.

In particular, thank you to Tony Strickland (Controller), Merlin Froyd (Congress), John Stammreich (State Senate), Terry Rathbun (State Assembly), Alvaro Day (State Assembly), Nathan Mintz (State Assembly), Emanuel Patrascu (City Council), Ben Lopez (School Board) and many others.

More importantly, thank you to the swells of volunteers that have rushed into grassroots Republican activism during this election cycle. I spoke with several leaders of YR chapters who said their activist base has grown and is poised to take action. These young leaders and activists will continue to fight until California joins the rest of the nation on the road to recovery.

We have a choice here in California, we can shrink unceremoniously into the night, allowing our great State to be relegated to liberal looneydome, or we can claim our party and our State through action.

I choose the later and look forward to working with each of you.

Very conservatively yours,

Adam Abrahms
Chair, Young Republican Federation of California