Source: Washington Times
Author: Rebecca Friedrichs
Date: October 9, 2023
“But she’s disastrous for Californians.
As if on cue, pundits around the country say California Gov. Gavin Newsom “checked off all the boxes” in naming Maryland resident Laphonza Butler to fill out the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s term in the Senate.
What the identity-politics watchers mean by this is that Ms. Butler is (a) a lesbian, (b) Black and (c) female. This accords with the Democratic governor’s vow to name a Black woman to the Senate after angering one set of racists by naming Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris’ seat after the latter became vice president.
That Ms. Butler is a lesbian is what politicians consider an ID-politics bonus. Never mind that her policies are sure to bring more agony to the beleaguered people of California, and she had to change her voter registration from Maryland to California to take the job.
Ms. Butler’s credentials make her a perfect choice for identity politicians like Mr. Newsom, but she’s woefully unqualified for the job of leading Californians out of the mess these politicians have created for us.
Ms. Butler is a longtime government union leader and an energetic supporter of abortion access. She headed Emily’s List, an organization dedicated to helping left-wing women who support abortion on demand win political office. No matter that California is full of Hispanic women who are mostly pro-life Catholics, many of whom are barely getting by thanks to identity politicians.
But the crown jewel of Ms. Butler’s “qualifications,” to grossly misuse the term, is her fealty to union power. Unions are the toxin that has so fouled California, and Ms. Butler is the poster child.
Look no further than her role in California’s push to raise the minimum wage, which has helped wreck California’s once-vibrant economy. Most economists agree the minimum wage is a job killer — especially for the poor, unskilled and minority people trying to get a foot on the first rung of the economic ladder.
Price those people out of the market by enforcing an artificially high minimum wage, and presto, you’ve just eliminated your competition from the job market. Businesses can’t hire the help they want, and low-skilled workers can’t get training they need, but you’ve got your power, and that’s all that matters.
This is a favorite ploy of leftists around the country, especially in California, and it is almost always followed by rhetorical backslapping that they are “helping working people” with such political stunts.
Ms. Butler was for many years a honcho at the Service Employees International Union, the state’s largest. With her help, the SEIU pushed numerous policies that have brought harm to regular people in California.
Among the fallout from policies favored by Ms. Butler’s SEIU (and other ally unions in the state): ludicrously high housing prices, man-made drought, destruction of the world’s food supply with policies harming farmers, politically created homelessness (with the requisite mental health, drug and alcohol problems), and exploding utility, grocery and gasoline costs.
Add to these wrongheaded policies that (1) California has the highest sales, gasoline and income taxes in the country and (2) California leads the nation in poverty, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Ms. Butler didn’t establish each and every one of these damaging policies, but she and her union have energetically supported them through their money and influence.
Many Americans think we Californians vote for this nightmare. We don’t. Our “representatives” are chosen for us, whether through questionable elections or appointments by power players, including government unions and the very knuckleheads they put into office.
Now you know why a colossal 500,000 Californians have fled the state in the last three years, ditching the high costs, crime, and attacks on family values. All of this while Mr. Newsom and his “progressive” buddies praise one another as “champions of women and working people.”
Identity politicians like Mr. Newsom and Ms. Butler may think they’re clever at winning their divisive game, but for Californians like my family and me, identity politicians and their agendas are devastating.
Rebecca Friedrichs is the founder of For Kids and Country, whose mission is to restore America’s educational system to the excellence, morality and patriotism envisioned by the Founders. She is also the author of “Standing Up to Goliath: Battling State and National Teachers’ Unions for the Heart and Soul of Our Kids and Country” and a 28-year public school teacher who was lead plaintiff in Friedrichs v. CTA.
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