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A new time for choosing

Posted: November 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Much has been written over the past few months regarding the GOP establishment’s attempts to quiet the Tea Party/Conservative wing of the party.

The tension within the Republican Party is undeniable. However, the cause and solutions are often lost in explanations built on archaic views of the party.

This is not a disagreement among said “labels” in the party. What we are witnessing is a generational revolution as more Republicans realize that many of the longtime leaders have failed to lead.

Most in the Republican Party feel that we are truly at a moment of crisis and that we must do everything we canto stop the impending train wreck.

The established leaders believe that they can simply bide their time and run out the clock. For two election cycles we watched them fund-raise on anti-Obamacare rhetoric, but when the time came to stand strong and fight, most were more concerned with funding their own pet projects than actually stopping the horrible legislation.

Earlier this year, the rumors were swirling that legislators and their staff would be stepping down without a fix to the Obamacare rules for Congress.
Make no mistake, the leadership secured its own fix — but where is yours?

As President Obama is at an all-time low in polling data, so is Congress. A recent Pew poll reported that for the first time in the poll’s history, most people want their own member of Congress replaced (not just everyone else’s).

This is more than a “tea party” problem. The American voters are realizing that some people in Washington D.C. are so disconnected from the people they represent that they no longer feel the need to even pretend to be honest or principled.

Before dismissing the sentiment, consider that even our own elected officials are calling out the unprincipled behavior of other locally elected officials and candidates.

The recent statement by Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, regarding Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and congressional candidate Tony Strickland express a strong desire for both to stop putting personal gain before the welfare of the district, the country, and the party.

“Unfortunately, some people place their personal agenda and ambitions over what is best for our country. When we see this happening it’s incumbent upon us to call people out and address the issue so we can all move forward in executing Chairman Brulte’s game plan for 2014,” Wilk wrote on a state website, referring to California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte.

McKeon has represented the district for more than 20 years. Loud speculation among activists, donors, and party leaders that McKeon isn’t running for re-election abounds.

There are several solid Republicans ready to run for the seat should McKeon decide to retire. At this point, only McKeon knows if he is running for re-election or not. Why doesn’t he make an official statement?

Tony Strickland is a candidate for Congress in the neighboring Congressional District 26. He has expressed interest in running for McKeon’s 25th District if McKeon does not run again.

However, what happens to the activists, donors, and party leaders who are diligently working on the 26th District race? Why would Tony Strickland want to leave his district in the lurch when there are solid leaders with a much better chance of winning who live in 25th District and are willing to run?

The constituents deserve better. They want leaders who clearly state what they mean and mean what they say.

The patience with “mis-speaking” and “clarifications” has vanished. The innocence of this generation of voters has been replaced with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Our party must find a way to push forward the new leaders waiting in the wings who are not shackled by years of selfish, political hackery.

We live in serious times. There are serious decisions that must be made regarding our future and that of many generations to come.

This is the true struggle we see in the Republican Party today: those who wish to keep playing the same old, tired games and those who are willing to stand for principles.

Alice Khosravy is a Santa Clarita Valley resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.



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