SAN DIEGO - Citing the need for a better vision for California than the status quo in Sacramento, former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring today began the process to become the Republican Party's nominee for Lt. Governor in 2014.
"Around the world, California is recognized for the innovation, creativity, and hard work of its people," said Nehring. "But today we have a government that is failing in too many ways: sky-high unemployment, more poverty than any state in the nation, failing schools and a toxic environment for job creation. We can do better."
Nehring served as Chairman of the California Republican Party from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, he served for six years as the Chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County and as a state and local government official. Over the last decade, he has taught governance, public policy and communications throughout the United States as well as in some of the world's most challenging countries.
"Today we're taking the first step in putting forward a better vision, better ideas, and a better plan for California," said Nehring. "At a time of serious economic problems, California needs leaders who will be relentless in putting forward the bold reforms needed to make our state competitive again."
"The policies of Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, and the Democrats in Sacramento have produced high taxes and high poverty together with shrinking economic opportunity and troubled schools. There is a better way, and as a candidate for Lt. Governor I plan to offer a better vision and leadership," added Nehring.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Ron Nehring to serve as a member of the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in 2005 where he participated in the crafting of new fire protection rules in response to the 2003 Cedar Fire. From 2004 to 2006 he served as a member of the Grossmont Union High School District Board of Trustees in San Diego County where he chaired the board's Audit Committee and strongly advocated for charter schools. The district at the time served over 24,000 students at 11 high schools with a budget of $170+ million.
VISION FOR THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE: A Platform for Reform
"In California, the Lieutenant Governor's office is what the holder makes of it. For the incumbent, it's a taxpayer funded gubernatorial exploratory committee," said Nehring.
"I have a different vision: to make the office a positive platform to develop and advocate for bold reform of state government to modernize it and make the state more economically competitive: comprehensive tax reform, pension reform, regulatory reform, education reform, reining in frivolous lawsuits, and more," said Nehring.
At a time when Democrats dominate the state capitol, Nehring believes the Republican Party must become the party of bold, serious reforms aimed at tackling the state's problems.
"Sacramento is not taking on California's most serious challenges: its lack of economic competitiveness, and underperforming schools. With a lack of vision, today's stale debate offers a false choice between spending more, or cutting more. Spending more on an ineffective program doesn't necessarily make it more effective. And spending less on an inefficient program doesn't make it more efficient. To move forward, we must focus on the much more difficult yet rewarding work of root-and-branch reform," said Nehring. "Free of the sausage-making grind of the daily legislative process, the Lt. Governor's office should be an incubator, and advocate, for comprehensive reform. The lack of such vision, and leadership, on the big issues set the stage for the problems we must tackle today: inadequate infrastructure for water and transportation, a convoluted and destructive tax system, and K-12 performance way behind other states."
Californians are burdened with the nation's highest sales and income taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. Yet, those high taxes are not producing prosperity: The state has by far the nation's highest poverty rate with almost 9 million people, or 23.8% of the population, living below the poverty line. The national poverty rate is 16%. In joblessness, California ranks near the top with an 8.3% unemployment rate. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 6.7%. The American Tort Reform Association labels California the nation's top "judicial hellhole" for its environment encouraging frivolous lawsuits.
"These aren't just statistics. There are real people behind these numbers. We owe it to them, and to the next generation of Californians, to offer a better vision and a team to get us there," said Nehring.
State government in California today is completely out of balance, and total control of all statewide offices and the legislature by one party means too many good ideas are killed off just because of the party affiliation of the proponent, says Nehring. "We need a more balanced discussion in Sacramento, with all good ideas receiving a fair hearing. The state's problems are too big, and time is too short, to continue with this kind of one party rule."
The campaign launched a website at RonNehring.com inviting Californians to get involved. On Wednesday, the campaign filed a statement with the California Secretary of State's office for inclusion in the state's 2014 primary Voter Information Guide.