Cats and dogs sleeping together! Howard Ahmanson now a Democrat

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Would you believe it?  Republican mega-donor Howard Ahmanson has quit the GOP!  Steven Greenhut broke the story over at his Orange Punch blog.  Here is an excerpt from Greenhut’s post:

Philanthropist and political activist Howard Ahmanson has often been portrayed in the media and by his critics as a one-dimensional right-wing religious figure, but I’ve found him to be an independent and unpredictable thinker. For instance, Ahmanson and I have gone round and round over the issue of New Urbanism — he is sypathetic to it, and I am hostile toward it. Although he helped fund the Prop. 8 campaign, he also has been involved in various property rights endeavors. Well, I just received a fascinating short column from him in which he declares that he registered as a Democrat. He makes a great point about the GOP and its only principle these days: opposing tax hikes. I always oppose tax hikes also, but there is something intellectually dishonest about a party that opposes tax hikes while voting for things that mandate higher debt or tax hikes down the road.

 And here is an excerpt form Ahmanson’s column:

About six weeks ago, I, a known leader of the Religious Right in California, decided to reregister in the Democratic Party. Why did I do this?

Well, I think I was reading about the budget struggles and threatened purges in the Legislature, and I was getting more and more tired and disgusted of it, and I realized that, had I been a Republican assemblyman, I could have hardly escaped being purged myself. The Republican Party of the State of California seems to have decided to narrow itself down to one article of faith, which may be described as NTESEBREE: No Tax Shall Ever Be Raised Ever Ever. Now, I’m concerned about this constant tax ratcheting, but I don’t think this is the answer. The Democratic Party in California, however, is now so big and diverse and all-inclusive that it has ABSOLUTELY NO PRINCIPLES WHATSOEVER. The Hollywood and San Francisco establishments within the Party may hold to some pretty detestable principles, but the party as a whole? I have not changed any of my opinions. There is not a single right-wing opinion I hold that some section of the Democratic Party doesn’t support it. Opposed to “marriage equality” and freewheeling abortion rights? A lot of Democrats of color will agree. And also many of them will agree on the importance and social justice of vouchers and tax credits for non-government schools. Opposed to fiscal irresponsibility? A lot of Silicon Valley Democrats will probably agree. Opposed to “urban redevelopment” schemes that run small business and residents out of the way for the benefit of the politically important? Got a high view of property rights? Lots of Democrats, including Robert Cruickshank and Senate President Darrell Steinberg, agree with me to a considerable degree.

You know the red ship is sinking when major GOP donors like Ahmanson are getting off!  Not only is the California Republican Party in its death throes – now it just isn’t cool to be a Republican anymore. 

Ahmanson made headlines last year when he donated to State Senator Lou Correa’s campaign fund.  I ripped Correa for taking that money – but in retrospect it is clear that there was more to that transaction than just a check.  Ahmanson was starting to think even then of bolting the GOP, I think. 

Of course Ahmanson ended up giving a lot of money to the Prop. 8 campaign.  I think in retrospect that the hateful Prop. 8 campaign was engineered to bring Republicans to the polls, to vote for John McCain.  Well, folks voted, but McCain got blown away in California.  It wasn’t close.

Memo to Ahmanson – when you realize that the blue crowd is no better than the red one, try freedom for a change.  The Libertarian Party awaits – but you’ll have to leave the Talibani agenda at the door.  If you are looking for something to back, I suggest you get involved with the Tax Revolt.  Viva la Revolucion!

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.