Is Environmental Extremism Losing Steam?

News, Views and More From Chairman Mark Vafiades

So, Tom Steyer, the billionaire investor who made a fortune off of the energy industry, became one of the nation’s leading environmental activists and spent more than $70 million unsuccessfully trying to impact the 2014 elections for liberal candidates has decided not to get into the 2016 race for U.S. Senate in California.

With a record like that, he seems more than ready for the Democrat side of the primary!

But all kidding aside, I think there’s one very good reason why Steyer passed on the race: Even with his essentially unlimited campaign funds, he just didn’t have the support … even among Democrats.

This is actually pretty good news. Why? Because it shows that except among the very far left-liberal Democrats, environmental extremism is – pardon the expression – losing steam. While we have a very long way to go to win this issue among the public at large, one gets the sense that people are beginning to see that jobs, wages and a better standard of living are a lot more important than the tired and repetitive “Green” agenda. Steyer’s non-candidacy helps prove it.

As the Calderon Family Turns

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon and his brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, have asked for a three-month delay in their trial on charges of bribery and money laundering. That’s not really big news, as these kinds of procedural delays are routine. But it gives us an opportunity to focus on what this case means and why we need to keep an eye out for the trial, its testimony and whatever happens next.

While every American accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, this case is disturbing on many levels, and it certainly is attached to what I have been calling the “Democrats’ Culture of Corruption” in Sacramento. One Democrat State Senator was convicted of several felonies and ultimately went to jail. Another, Leland Yee, is awaiting trial on numerous charges, including gun-running! Sen. Ron Calderon makes it a hat trick of shocking corruption charges.

Keep an eye on this case and let’s see where the evidence leads. I believe we are going to hear almost unimaginable testimony about the criminal activities of these Democrats. At the very least, I am hopeful that everyone starts asking much tougher questions about what the Democrats have done to build the California Capitol’s culture of corruption.

The Maximum Confusion of the Minimum Wage

I completely understand why some people instinctively support an increase in the minimum wage – even large increases. After all, if we can find a way to reward hard work and advance people in life, our society will enjoy substantial benefits.

But the economic data tell a different story when it comes to the minimum wage. Every reputable study shows that while some individuals will benefit, others will, literally, lose their jobs. What kind of policy is that to support?

Well, Democrats like to ignore these facts and they are committed to at least the political advocacy of a higher and higher minimum wage. And Los Angeles is the center of attention.

Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to see the minimum wage increased to $13.25 an hour, while some liberal advocates and (of course) some City Council members say that’s not enough, and want the minimum wage to increase to $15.25 per hour.

While Los Angeles gained more than one million new residents over the last three decades, the city has lost about 165,000 jobs. What greater evidence do we need that the present policies of the city – totally controlled by Democrats – aren’t working?

It’s time to leave behind the stale minimum wage discussion and advance the ideas of RPLAC and our great Republican leaders by incentivizing business, inspiring new job creation and lifting people significantly out of a minimum wage existence and towards a lifestyle of economic success and independence.