Coming not long after San Diego Assemblyman Brian Maienschein's announcement that he had switched from Republican to Democrat, the news that San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey has switched from the GOP to independent status is one more reminder that the Republican brand appears to be on life support in California. A party that produced two GOP presidents and that for decades had substantial support in suburbs and rural areas now only holds seven of the state's 53 House seats.
But county Republican chair Tony Krvaric sees no crisis. In an email to an editorial writer, he wrote, "Democrats are out in front of their skis on policies -even for California - and the pendulum will swing back with voters. They are acting too arrogant and that never ends well. Republicans are the only alternative to providing much-needed balance - whether in Sacramento or in local government."
This may seem inexplicably upbeat. But given that the state is running a massive, multibillion-dollar surplus - yet Democrats in the Legislature are interested in $15 billion in new taxes on drinking water, soda, tire changes, firearms, oil and gas, and much more - the party could face a comeuppance.
New Gov. Gavin Newsom, who leads the push for the water tax, isn't going to be the brake that Jerry Brown was. So will Democratic overreach revive the state GOP? Californians may soon find out.