Pedro Rios: A GOP Rising Star in California’s Central Valley



In the rankings posted today, the liberal website Daily Kos predicts Pedro Rios (R) will win an open seat for the California State Assembly. Democrats are especially unpopular in the Central Valley because of stringent regulations which have restricted the water supply. The Daily Kos says it will be very difficult for a Democrat to overcome Rios’ 60 to 40 advantage.
This is a 69% Hispanic district and there are currently no Latino Republicans in the state legislature.
In 2010, the main accusation of Valley Democrats was that Republicans were anti-immigrant. They will have a hard time making that case against this year’s GOP nominee. Rios was born in Mexico and immigrated when he was nine years old. He has lived in Delano for the last 25 years.
Rios understands agriculture because along with his family, he’s picked grapes, pruned almonds, and cultivated tomatoes, squash, bell peppers and green peas. He graduated from California State University at Bakersfield, joined the Army National Guard, and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.
From personal experience he knew his business idea would be a success, and he was correct. He established Rios Portable Toilets to provide restroom facilities for agricultural workers.
In 2000, he was elected to the Delano City Council (population 53,000), and went on to serve as Vice Mayor and Mayor. Delano is best known as the birthplace of the United Farm Workers, and it is still closely identified with the late labor leader Cesar Chavez. Chavez was a liberal on all fiscal issues but his union strongly advocated restricting immigration.
Rios has gone from farm worker to farm owner. He says “The American dream is still alive, but it is being hampered by the heavy hand of government, taxes and regulation. The once great state of California has been driven to the brink of failure.
“Businesses are leaving in droves and taxes are being raised. Higher taxes are not the answer. We must focus on decreasing the size and scope of government. Spending cuts should be made across the board. I do not support any new taxes, and I do not support Governor Brown’s tax proposal.”
He also has a strong anti-Obama message. The administration has had a major role in restricting water to the Central Valley and Rios says “We need water, not a $100 billion train. Water is the life-blood of our families’ future. It will be my number one job.”

Kate Gregg Larkin: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Kate Gregg Larkin, 31, of Manhattan Beach, an attorney, is the Chairman of California Trailblazers. Her appointment in November 2011 was announced by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA), the House Republican Whip.
McCarthy said “Just as we did with our Young Guns program, California Trailblazers is training candidates so they can bring fiscal discipline and government accountability back to Sacramento. Kate is ensuring that the most qualified Republican candidates work their way through the program so they are ready to win in November and lead on day one.”
The program is modeled on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program, also co-founded by McCarthy, which recruits and supports House candidates across the nation. As candidates meet metrics specifically designed for their race, they will advance to “Pathfinder,” “Rising Star,” and ultimately “Trailblazer.” These goals will focus on campaign infrastructure, grassroots support, fundraising, and more.
Larkin has an extensive political and nonprofit background, and helped launch a social marketing company. She has been successful in candidate recruitment and engaging young professionals in charitable giving.
She spent five years on Capitol Hill working for the House Budget Committee and the Committee on Government Reform.
She was also an intern in the Bush White House, a Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA) and a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX).
Larkin graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, and earned her J.D. from UCLA.
Before college, she trained and performed with the Washington Ballet. She has also worked as a political fundraiser, helping raise millions of dollars for GOP House, Senate and Presidential candidates.
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

California Fiscal Crisis – Businesses Continue to Flee

California has experienced large budget shortfalls for the last decade and today faces a $16 billion budget gap. Liberal Democrats are in complete control of the state.
As usual, their solution is increased taxes, regulations and more spending. As a result, businesses are continuing to flee the state. This week began their new fiscal year, and what did the California legislature do to address the financial crisis?
The lawmakers are still refusing to make meaningful budget cuts, but new spending is always fine with them. On Thursday, the State Senate passed a bill that would block local law enforcement from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation, unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony. California will not be cooperating with federal immigration enforcement in this area. The so-called Trust Act will force local police to release individuals without conducting a thorough background check.
It lets dangerous people slip through the cracks. The Center for Immigration Studies says the Trust Act “benefits illegal aliens who are committing crimes. It makes it much harder for federal and local law enforcement agencies.
“The local law enforcement agency will not know what convictions are on a person’s record unless they hold them long enough for a DHS check.”
The same day, the State Assembly passed $8 billion in funding for high-speed rail and other projects, sending the bill back to the state Senate for final approval. Republicans are united in their opposition to the rail project.
The legislature has also approved “financial aid” for undocumented students, and they voted to reduce impoundment fees of vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. This means the cost of driving with no insurance in California is greatly reduced.
In January they thought the deficit would be $9.2 billion, but it jumped to $16 billion as tax revenues declined. One reason is that business owners are fleeing the state. The tax base is shrinking, so lawmakers keep raising taxes on everyone else.
The top destinations for the California business departures are Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and a tie for Utah and Florida. They are all right-to-work states, except Colorado. California has the second highest state unemployment rate in the country, and raising taxes on employers will not reduce the problem.

Happy Anniversary to Bridget and Mike Melson

Happy 17th wedding anniversary to Bridget and Mike Melson of Pleasanton, California, who are now celebrating in Las Vegas. They are both solid conservatives, and she is the president of the Pleasanton Tea Party, and has been a spark plug behind many GOP campaigns.
Bridget has a doctorate but prefers to be “Dr. Mom,” and says “I love being a wife and mother so much that I don’t know if I will ever go back to work.”
Today she wrote “I have the best husband ever, and he is a wonderful father. I want to thank him for being my best friend and life partner. . .
“You are the love of my life and I know you were sent directly from God. Thank you for keeping God at the center of our marriage and cherishing me everyday. Through sickness and health, the lows and the highs, you are my life and hold my heart. I am yours forever.”
This photo is from 2007 and there was another addition to the Melson household in 2009.
You can contact her directly at:

Kristin Olsen: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Kristin Olsen, 38, is the Republican Whip in the California State Assembly, and is also Vice Chairman of the Higher Education Committee. She is the mother of three children and previously served five years on the Modesto City Council. Her top priorities are cutting taxes, reducing regulations and creating a pro-business environment.
Republicans are greatly outnumbered in the state legislature and Olsen says “Californians are already being taxed to death. Nevertheless, the legislature is constantly proposing new taxes. In the last couple of years we have seen increases in both sales and income taxes.
“The legislature needs to cut spending, prioritize core services, and cut taxes so employers will locate in and remain in California.”
The Assemblywoman is a firm foe of the Obama Administration and blames them for many of the economic problems in her Central Valley district. She says “Water is our lifeblood and the crisis we have is man-made.
“Many California politicians stood by and watched as the federal government shut off our water to save the Delta Smelt. Acres upon acres of farm fields now lay fallow and thousands of jobs have been lost.
“The economy has suffered as we literally starve ourselves in favor of a two-inch fish. Current legislators are too busy trying to secure funding for their own special projects to take interest in the lifeblood of California’s economy. Our priorities are truly out of whack when a two-inch fish takes priority over human life.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Melissa Melendez: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Melissa Melendez, 44, is a member of the City Council and the former Mayor of Lake Elsinore (population 52,000). She is also the GOP frontrunner for an open seat in the California State Assembly.
Melendez has an MBA, is the mother of five children, and her husband is Manager of Pacific Region Public Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security.
She spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy where she was a Russian-language translator at the end of the Cold War. She was deployed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and was one of the first women to fly aboard EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft during intelligence-gathering operations.
She is a firm opponent of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative which will be before the voters in November, and says “The more people learn about it, the more they dislike it.
“I don’t have a lot of confidence that it’s going to pass because Californians are just sick and tired of being taxed, tired of having the state reach into their pockets every time they turn around.”
Melendez believes the answer to the gap between revenue and expenses is to trim spending. “The problem is we’re spending more money than we’re getting, and we are doing this over and over and over again. It is so frustrating because no business could operate like this,” she notes.
Her recommendation is to cut corporate taxes to attract new business, which would generate more revenue for the state. Melendez plans to introduce tax credits for manufacturers, and she will try to roll back environmental regulations. Her top target is Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law that seeks to slash greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming. “I hate that bill,” she said.
The candidate says “It boggles my mind that anyone thinks California’s global warming policy is a good idea. It places a heavy burden on business. I’m for preserving our beautiful environment. We all are, but ramming this down people’s throats is not the answer.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

The Great Speakers and the Failure of Nancy Pelosi

The Republican Party did not realize it then, but they were about to give up power in the House of Representatives for 60 of the next 64 years. On March 4, 1931, Speaker Nicholas Longworth (R-OH) approached the rostrum for the last time. The first person on his feet was Jack Garner (D-TX) who would be his successor. Then every Democrat and Republican stood up and the applause was thunderous. Continue reading