Sunday, April 19, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Immigration a battle for state GOP’s soul

elias column sig

By
From page A11 | October 02, 2013 |

Repeated battles for the soul of California’s Republican Party began in earnest in 1968, when the ultra-conservative state Schools Superintendent Max Rafferty bested moderate U.S. Sen. Thomas Kuchel in a June primary election and went on to lose badly to Democrat Alan Cranston, who would then be re-elected three times.

The newest split in this party that began by advocating freedom over slavery is about immigration, with moderate elements in the state GOP wanting some sort of pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and the conservative wing holding they are all criminals who should have no rights or privileges.

It’s a reflection of a national battle first symbolized in 1964 by the fight over Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater’s nomination for president, one that still sees state parties all over America severely divided almost 50 years later.

In those days, the battle was over segregated housing, voting rights and what was euphemistically called “states’ rights,” the party’s conservative wing arguing that states should be able to restrict voting, allow landlords to discriminate on the basis of race or religion and more.

Today’s conservative Republicans say they discriminate against no one and want merely to limit government intrusions on individual rights, while insisting that no illegal act – including sneaking across a border – should be rewarded.

“The GOP divide is serious and real,” writes Stephen Frank, conservative blogger and former president of the California Republican Assembly. “Issues like amnesty and abortion have so divided the party that folks on both sides of those issues say if they lose, they walk.”

Already about 14 percent behind Democrats among registered voters, the state’s GOP can ill afford to have anyone opt out. But Frank, strongly against both abortion and what conservatives call amnesty, claims that when Republican voters “no longer see a difference between the two major parties, (they) say no to the GOP.” He says that’s happened since 14 GOP senators voted for the omnibus immigration bill now languishing in the House of Representatives.

But House members have long been moved more by what’s happening in their districts than anything else. If they alienate their constituents, they can’t survive.

So it makes sense that Republican Jeff Denham, whose district includes Central Valley cities like Tracy, Manteca and Turlock, has lately spoken in favor of “top to bottom immigration reform.” About 44 percent of residents in his district – a swing one since new boundaries were drawn – are Latino.

By contrast, only about 20 percent of residents in the district of fellow GOPer Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach are Latino and Rohrabacher adamantly opposes any law granting any sort of path to citizenship for the undocumented. The overwhelming white Anglo majority in his district makes it among the nation’s most conservative.

Their colleague and party mate, David Valadao of Visalia, meanwhile, called the Senate immigration bill “monumental,” saying he is committed to “developing a reasonable, responsible immigration plan.” No coincidence, probably, that 67 percent of his district’s population is Latino, including about half its registered voters.

For the most part, this split does not carry over to abortion, the other litmus test for Frank and his fellow conservative leaders. Almost every Republican is pro-life. Yet, the state’s Republican convention last year voted only narrowly to keep the party’s strong anti-abortion platform plank. So there’s disagreement on that, too.

California is not unique. In states as varied as Maine and Alaska, state GOP officials have been forced out lately while their parties – like California’s – face financial problems. “There’s been a lot of division and disharmony in the Republican Party,” Maine’s new GOP chairman, Rick Bennett, told a reporter.

But Frank believes the real danger to the party lies in what might happen if the Republican-controlled House passes any immigration bill containing a route to citizenship, which is probably necessary to get Senate concurrence and become law.

If no such law passes, plenty of Latino voters in districts represented by Republicans will vote against the GOP. Of course, many would anyway.

But if enough Republicans do go along and Frank proves correct, a large segment of base GOP voters could stay home next year and beyond, which means the party faces consequences either way, and might as well search its soul and do what it believes just and moral.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensOctober 01, 2013 - 8:32 am

    The writer along with his disloyal California Government pals refuses to recognize and declare the distinction between ''illegal immigration'' and ''legal immigration''. The news media helps the toward that end by refusing to use the term ''Illegal Immigration'' or ''Illegal Alien''.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Waiting game: Woman, toddler hope for kidney transplants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Tiny twins call Heather House their 1st home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 31 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano ranks last in Bay Area for health

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

SID to consider water rate hikes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
 
Il Fiorello serves up chocolate desserts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

City announces Browns Valley Road closures

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

 
Healthier Living program begins mid-May

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Bachelor party turns into community event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Coping with seasonal allergies

By Emerita Brigino-Buenaventura, M.d | From Page: C4

When to throw in the towel on sickly plants

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
Church hosts health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Solano superhero back in school

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Weather for Sunday, April 19, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

Home, garden show offers something for everyone

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Land use, design, project synergy key to growth

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

2 nations at center of market drop

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Vanden robotics team ready to compete in world championships

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Fairfield hotel gets major renovation

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Teen victim of Dixon shooting dies

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Commissary-Exchange pairing gains steam

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Airmen with county ties complete training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco marks anniversary of 1906 earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Time plus distance help some Oklahoma City victims move on

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Scarlett O’Hara outfit fetches $137,000 at auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Turin Shroud goes back on display for faithful and curious

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Caged puppies on car roof trigger dozens of 911 calls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

French replica of revolutionary frigate sets sail for Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Islamic State blamed for Afghan suicide bombing killing 35

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Sound off for April 19, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Talk about corruption

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Justice not served

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 20 Comments

Clinton should spruce up a bit

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 11 Comments

 
Brown support of ag water ruffles feathers

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 19, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Sunday, April 19, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican unexpectedly ends crackdown of US nun group

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes: April 19, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Wife needs to decide if she can tolerate husband’s binge drinking

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Anna Kendrick has book of essays coming out in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Phil Klay, Leslie Jamison among PEN award nominees

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
.

Sports

Crawford, Heston lead Giants to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry scores 34, Warriors beat Pelicans 106-99 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Reddick’s 3-run homer sends A’s to 5-0 victory over Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Cal defense shines for a change at scripted spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Jones throws 2 TDs, wins challenge at Ohio State spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Serena Williams gets a rare test from Giorgi but holds on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tom Watson: Next Masters might be his last

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Free agent center Wisniewski signs 1-year deal with Jaguars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pete Rose hired by Fox as special guest studio analyst

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Marcotte, Ryan win US cycling Criterium championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Independent league experiments with 3-ball walks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Merritt maintains edge through 3 rounds at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As Spurs know, international players can impact NBA playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Rose scores 23, Bulls beat Bucks 103-91

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Harden has 24 points, Rockets beat Mavs 118-108 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Pierce leads Wizards past Raptors in OT in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Logano leads flag-to-flag to win Xfinity race at Bristol

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Hometown report: Little League baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Hometown report: Youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Kenseth content in car and not contemplating retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for April 19

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Using a prepaid card? Avoid getting socked with fees

By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

 
This year’s fight for the tech industry: Patent trolls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: blowers, bike hooks, mattresses, toys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
IMS: US prescription drug spending jumped 13 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Fast-growing Asian aviation confronts safety challenges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
 
.

Obituaries

Carole Anspach

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Frances Bayona Lozano

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Larkin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Medders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Carrol “Carl” Gordon Parker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Allen Ellsworth Dolby Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sterling Jenkins

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5

Dennis Burkhart von Ting

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics