Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton Responding to De Facto California Republican Party Leader Grover Norquist's Alarming Budget Statement

Washington, D.C. insider and anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist was recently quoted by conservative columnist Debra Saunders in the SF Chronicle as saying "I think golf and cocaine would be more constructive ways to spend one's free time than negotiating with Democrats on spending restraint."

I have always considered golf a good walk spoiled. As a recovering cocaine addict, I am surprised that anyone would think that it is at all constructive to spend one's free time using that drug.

One would think that Mr. Norquist made this comment with a straw in his hand bending over a mirror full of white powder.

This is the man the California Republican Party is taking its cues from when it comes to tackling our state’s budget crisis.

It's no wonder California Republicans find themselves out of touch not only with California voters on the whole, but even with an increasingly smaller percentage of Californians who self-identify as Republican voters.

A recent Field Poll showed that 61% of California voters were in favor of holding a special election to vote on a package of spending cuts and temporary tax increases to balance our budget. Even 56% of California Republicans are in favor of the idea.

Instead Republican leaders in Sacramento are taking their lead from their de facto leader in Washington, D.C., Grover Norquist. This isn't good for Californians, it isn't good for our budget process and it isn't even good for the Republican Party.

Californians must be trusted to exercise their right to vote -- that's how things work in a democracy. What remains of the sensible part of the Republican Party needs to speak loudly against out of touch, and out-to-lunch Republicans like Grover Norquist.

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