By Timothy Yung
Here is a dilemma that true conservatives face: Do you join a third-party or do you remain in the Republican Party and try to transform it? I have reluctantly decided to re-join the Republican Party. While I was at a TEA Party event I heard a speech from someone who had made the same decision. The man was John McDonald who is running for Congress in California’s 9th Congressional District. As a principled Ronald Reagan conservative, McDonald left the Republican Party in disgust when George W. Bush abandoned the conservative principles he ran on. McDonald was alarmed when George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), Medicare Expansion Act (2003), and refused to veto a single spending bill. He became an Independent, but McDonald returned to the Republican Party after seeing the impact the TEA Party could have in transforming and returning the party to its roots. He opposes the unconstitutional Federal Department of Education, Department of Housing, and Department of Energy. He supports domestic drilling. He wants to go beyond the Paul Ryan Plan and make meaningful cuts. John McDonald is also for lowering the income tax and the corporate tax rate. John McDonald is a businessman who I believe will transform Washington, D.C if elected. As a business executive he understands the dangers of excess environmental regulations, eminent domain abuse, and the myth of man-made global warming.
The problem is that the Republican establishment has lined up in support of Ricky Gill. Ricky Gill is a 24-year-old law school student (turns 25 by the election time). He has the backing of the California Republican Party, the California College Republicans, Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, etc. According to the Washington Post Ricky Gill “knows he’s not playing to hard-core conservatives,” which many will recognize as code for being a moderate, centrist, and even a liberal on many issues. Ricky Gill claims that he is against federal intervention in education, but he believes the federal government should encourage higher standards. He claims he is against Obamacare, but he wants to preserve the pre-existing condition ban and the government cost controls. He is against unilateral foreign intervention but wants to use the United Nations as the world’s policeman. He is also “personally pro-life” but is for a woman’s right to make that decision. His parents’ used to own an abortion clinic that was protested by Operation Rescue. His parents also received over $200,000 in farming subsidies.
Why mention his parents? His parents have used their connection with the Sikh business community to help their son raise over $ 1 million in campaign contribution including from gambling interests linked to Harry Reid. Thanks to the Republican Establishment and the money, John McDonald is fighting a uphill battle.
John McDonald opposes the U.N. and Agenda 21. John McDonald understands that health care works best when the free-market, not the government, determine costs. John McDonald supports the personhood rights of the unborn. He and his wife have volunteered several hours at a pregnancy crisis center. My friend, a hard-core Catholic social conservative, re-calls marching with him in the San Francisco Walk for Life. (My friend told me this story after I talked to him about John McDonald.)
If John McDonald wins the primary he has a good chance of winning the general election. His Democratic opponent, Jerry McNerney, won the 2010 election against David Harmer 48% to 46.9%. In San Joaquin County, David Harmer won the majority of votes however the district included an extremely liberal county. Due to the census most of the district now consists of San Joaquin County which gives John McDonald a fair shot at winning. Now he just has to overcome the Republican-established backed candidate.
Timothy Yung is the Co-Founder of the UC Davis Chapter of Young Americans For Liberty.