Newly Elected Del Beccaro's Convention Speech - The Way Forward
Newly Election CA Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro’s Acceptance Speech
The Way Forward for CA Republicans
Good morning Delegates.
There are no Teleprompters here – so I will speak from the heart and tell you what I truly believe . . . and what I truly want to do is to welcome you to a new day in California Politics.
Before we talk about that future, and our new day, one more time, it is worthy to note that across the country last November, voters spoke out against runaway government. So loudly did they speak that they recalled the Democrat Congress and put in a new Republican Congress.
As we know the tide of Republican electoral victories did not reach California. Some said that that was evidence that the Republican Party in was irrelevant in California. Other Republicans said even worse.
I stand before you to say that: They Are Wrong.
Rather than surrender to those who only can say no, California Republicans should all remember that voters in California last November once again approved our ideas. They approved our ideas by once again rejecting tax increases, by making it harder to raise taxes disguised as something called fees, and by supporting electoral reform.
So while our candidates did not fare as well as we would like, this much I do know:
Republican ideas are alive and well in California.
As many of you know, I wrote a three part series called The Way Forward.
In part one of the series, I discussed the difficulties we face. In my judgment we face three major hurdles.
First, we simply do not communicate with enough California voters. We have trapped ourselves into talking to the already converted instead of inspiring a new set of voters. We have become more comfortable with an email list than with Independent voters, or minority voters, or with the next generation.
In other words we have become the party of limited communication.
Beyond that first problem of talking to a subset of voters and somehow believing we can persuade a majority of voters, California Republicans lack a focused message.
In a world dominated by the background noise of a 24 hour news cycle more than ever, we need a focused message on the issues meaningful to California voters.
Third, Republicans everywhere must come to understand that while we are right to believe in limited government, our strategy of limited campaigning is no longer viable. We must come to understand that the American Left and their Democrat party, dominated by unions, evangelizes, politics and build constituencies every day, of every year - not just at the end of campaign cycle.
We must realize that those programs that they fund, redundant though they may be, are not just programs but also coalition building exercises funded by the American taxpayer.
On the other hand, Republicans, by in large, wait until the end of a cycle and attempt to persuade a limited number of voters. It should be obvious who is winning that battle: Democrats. They are winning because they are in the market place of ideas every day of every year.
All together, we should wonder little why there are over 2 million more Democrats than Republicans in California.
So where does this leave us and what are we to do?
Three Decades ago we got some advice from someone who cared about us very much. Faced with a country rife with political malaise, Ronald Reagan told us this:
It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
I stand before you today to say:
It is time for us to realize that we are too great a Party to limit ourselves to small dreams. The CA Republican Party, as some would have us believe, is not doomed to an inevitable decline. And I certainly do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
Let us continue to take Reagan’s advice, and
with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of California Republican Party renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams.
So what does this renewal look like?
First, we need to consistently, not just here in Sacramento, but around this state communicate with people where they live and in terms they understand.
Second, we need a focused message that is concentrated on the issues facing Californians that will help them in their everyday lives.
Third, we need to start communicating at the start of a cycle and not just at the end of a cycle, and, once again we need to follow Reagan’s advice and not limit our appeal to those already converted.
We must carry our message to every Californian, regardless of party affiliation, who is a member of this community of shared values.
To do that, today I am announcing the California Republican Party Speak Tour.
We will be traveling the state, holding Town Halls, highlighting our views where people live and in terms they understand, in places like Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey and more. As part of that we will be utilizing local talk show hosts, internet messaging and grass roots organizing. We will invite Republicans, Independents and like-minded Democrats to participate. As part of this process I am pleased to announce three new websites which will help us in this endeavor.
#1 – CA GOP CARES which will highlight our charitable efforts. As the party of volunteerism, we must bring that message to all of California.
#2- WHERE ARE THE JOBS JERRY. Every two weeks, around this state we will be highlighting to California the contrasts between Jerry Brown’s job promises and our unemployment rate.
#3- COST OF GOVERNMENT. With this site, we will be highlighting how much government waste costs Californians in terms meaningful to their lives such as how many teachers we could have had but for each wasteful program.
The goal of these programs is to change the political environment in California.
Across America Democrat & Republican governors in places like New York and New Jersey, no less blue than California, have responded to the call to reform Government in reasonable ways and with an eye to the future.
We must make the same appeals as Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Chris Christie. As Cuomo said in New York, we can cap pension and not hurt the classroom. As Christie said in New Jersey, I am not attacking unions, I am simply letting the voters know what they are paying for.
The key to our turnaround in California is simple, if we are behind in votes inside the Capitol, we must empower the voters outside the Capitol.
As I come to a close of this speech, but the beginning of our time together, I hearken one more time to Reagan who said of America in the early 80’s,
“The crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the American spirit; it is our failure to establish rational goals and give our people something to order their lives by.”
Today I have offered you a vision.
Today I offer you those goals.
For the next two years you will have my heart and soul.
Thank you and God Bless.