A CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN WHO CAN WIN ELECTIONS–Catherine Baker

Catherine Baker is the poster child for a candidate and office holder that exactly meets the ideology and values of a District.  Yes, folks on the Left and Right have significant disagreements with the Assemblywoman.  But, she represents and votes for the needs and concerns of the vast majority of her District.

In 2016 when running for re-election she said that if Cap and Trade came up for a vote, she would vote for it.  It came up and she did.  She kept her promise to the people of the 16th District.  Isn’t that what we want in a candidate and office holder.  She told us what she would do, she did it and now has earned re-election.

Ms. Baker frequently holds town-hall meetings, most of which are heavily attended.  She is not afraid to answer questions — especially tough questions — from audience members. 

In a recent direct-mail piece to residents in her district, Ms. Baker displayed a picture of and quotation from Gov. Jerry Brown.  Mr. Brown said, “Catherine Baker is the kind of independent leader we need in Sacramento.  She has worked across party lines to fight climate change while protecting California’s economy.” 

In another direct-mail piece, Ms. Baker said she is “pro-choice and pro-equal pay.”  She also stated that she is “pro-environment” and “pro-gun control.” 

In this District she is a Republican that can win—the last GOP officeholder in the Bay Area.  Watch her win by a wide margin on November 6.  She has my support—honest office holders are good to find.

catherine baker

A CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN WHO CAN WIN ELECTIONS

By Richard Colman, California Political News and Views,  9/21/18

Assemblywoman Catherine Baker (R-San Ramon) knows how to do what many California Republicans don’t know how to do:  win elections. 

Ms. Baker represents California’s 16th Assembly District (16th AD), which includes such cities as Orinda, Lafayette, Danville, San Ramon, Alamo, Pleasanton, and Livermore.  The district also includes 82 percent of Walnut Creek.  The district is about 30 to 35 miles east of San Francisco. 

The 16th AD is heavily Democratic.  Forty-one percent of the voters are registered Democrats, 28 percent are Republicans, and 26 percent are not registered with any political party.  The district has a smattering of Libertarians. 

The district’s demographics are 64 percent white, 20 percent Asian, 11 percent Latino, and three percent black.  The rest of the residents fall into other ethnic categories. 

In 2016, 64 percent of the district’s voters picked Hillary Clinton for president.  Seventy-two percent voted for Kamala Harris for U.S. senator.  Both women are Democrats. 

In 2014, Ms. Baker first ran for the Assembly and won.  She was re-elected in 2016.  She is heavily favored to win in 2018. 

So how did Catharine Baker win an assembly seat in a district that is so heavily Democratic? 

The short answer is that she has paid attention to the issues that concern 16th AD voters.  She also worked hard at staying in touch with constituents. 

Ms. Baker is not a typical Republican.  She is not a polarizing figure and likes to work with any assembly member, regardless of party or ideology. 

Ms. Baker frequently holds town-hall meetings, most of which are heavily attended.  She is not afraid to answer questions — especially tough questions — from audience members. 

In a recent direct-mail piece to residents in her district, Ms. Baker displayed a picture of and quotation from Gov. Jerry Brown.  Mr. Brown said, “Catherine Baker is the kind of independent leader we need in Sacramento.  She has worked across party lines to fight climate change while protecting California’s economy.” 

In another direct-mail piece, Ms. Baker said she is “pro-choice and pro-equal pay.”  She also stated that she is “pro-environment” and “pro-gun control.” 

On specific issues, Ms. Baker’s voting record is similar to that of a Bill Clinton Democrat.  She voted for the Equal Pay Act.  She voted for bills protecting a women’s decision to have an abortion. 

On environmental issues, Ms. Baker supported legislation to prevent the federal government from expanding programs to drill for offshore oil.  She voted for the goal of having California achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. 

Ms. Baker has been a strong supporter of state-run higher education such as the University of California.  She believes current tuition fees are too high. 

Ms. Baker has a fiscally conservative streak.  Regarding the California minimum wage, the assemblywoman opposed a recent minimum-wage bill that automatically adjusts the state’s minimum wage for inflation. 

Ms. Baker has been a strong opponent of letting BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) build high-rise, high-density housing on BART parking lots.  She claims that BART is usurping local control in such areas as building heights, zoning, and housing density (houses per acre). 

The odds are that most elected Republicans in the California state legislature don’t agree with Ms. Baker.  Her reply to such Republicans could — and should — easily be that she knows how to win an election in a heavily Democratic state and in a heavily Democratic assembly district. 

Today, too many California Republicans are right-wing ideologues.  They are against abortion, they do not want to work with Democrats, and they support President Donald Trump’s policies, which are widely unpopular in California.  

Both houses of the state legislature in recent years have had Democratic supermajorities (two-thirds or more of the legislative seats in each chamber). 

It’s time for California Republicans to start winning elections.  If winning means making compromises, so be it.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.