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Bringing fiscal discipline to a liberal state: An interview with the GOP candidate for CA state controller



There may not be a bluer state in the country than California, although there are certainly areas of the state which are as conservative as rural Texas. Getting elected to statewide office as a Republican is problematic at best (unless you’re the Terminator).

I spoke with Konstantinos Roditis (“Kons” to his friends), GOP candidate for State Controller, about this and some other issues. I had questions on policy, politics, and challenges.

To understand the conversation better, know that the State Controller in California is the person in charge of audits, and can be described as the person most responsible for investigating fraud, waste, and abuse. Mr. Roditis pointed to California’s high-speed rail project as an obvious example of waste.

The interview

BW: What specific education and experience do you have that makes you feel qualified for the position of State Controller?

KR: I received a Bachelors in Political Science from UCSD with a focus in national and international security studies, which gave me an education on how to navigate the political bureaucracy.

I then worked for The Performance Institute, a San Diego based think tank, where I helped develop a plan for budget and pension reform in San Diego.

I’ve also run several small businesses, and so I am fully versed on what fiscal discipline looks like and what needs to happen to cut wasteful spending.

BW: What makes you a better choice than your opponent, the incumbent Betty Yee?

KR: The post of State Controller is supposed to be apolitical. The only thing the Controller should be looking at is making sure programs and projects are running in an efficient and cost-effective manner, regardless of whose pet project it might be. Ms. Yee has failed to audit several obvious wasteful projects and programs such as the high-speed rail project.

As State Controller, I will audit all programs that need it regardless of whether I like the said project or program. I’m a staunch conservative and a Federalist, so while I may not agree with many liberal programs, I recognize the right of Californians to make those decisions for themselves. I owe it to the taxpayers of California to make certain their money is being used in the most efficient possible manner; which any taxpayer, regardless of political affiliation or ideology, should want.

Betty Yee has remained silent on the politicization of fiscal policy, programs, and pension investment strategies, and in these ways, I believe she has been an absent Controller.

BW: If elected, what would be your top priorities?

KR: Well, obviously the most important thing to do would be to audit those programs that have gone unchecked for the previous four years.

After that, it is advocating sound fiscal policy through trickle-up taxation.

BW: You’ve made trickle-up taxation a big part of your platform and written about it several times. Can you explain trickle-up taxation and why you feel it is important?

KR: Sure. In business, a producer makes a product, who then sells it to a distributor, who then sells it to a wholesaler, who then sells it to a retailer. Each time the product changes hands the price increased to cover costs and profit.

In much the same way, when money is collected by Sacramento and then distributed back to the counties and municipalities, who then distribute it to their programs and services there is the potential for fraud and costs that are unnecessary. Allowing monies to stay locally saves taxpayer dollars because, in a sense, it cuts out the middleman (e.g. distributor, wholesalers, and retailers).

Trickle-up taxation keeps more taxpayer dollars locally. Giving communities the ability to address their unique needs without having to lobby Sacramento for money. It brings government to where it should be, the local level.

By implementing trickle-up taxation you will take power away from Sacramento and gives it back to local communities, where each communities needs and desires are best met instead of a centralized government agency far removed from one’s community.

For example, if San Fransisco wants a single-payer healthcare system, I may not personally think it’s a good idea, but I don’t live there and should have no say in it. With trickle-up taxation all the money for the program comes from the local population, not the state, and therefore it’s not my money going to a program in San Fransisco. Thus, it’s really about returning power and money to local communities and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse at the state level.

Further, it will create competition between California communities to have a business-friendly tax system, which will keep businesses from fleeing the state altogether to places like Texas, and rather keeps those businesses in the state but perhaps in a more business-friendly city.

BW: Turning from policy and to politics for a moment, what challenges do you see yourself having getting elected in deep-blue California, and how do you plan to overcome them?

KR: Well they are extensive, especially right now. The country is as polarized as it has been in decades, politically, and many on both sides tend to paint the other side with a broad brush, assuming they are “Nazis” or “Communists.”

While I am very conservative, whenever I’ve explained my policy ideas to liberals, they have actually really liked them. I’m willing to go anywhere and talk to anyone to speak about policy. If everyone could just get past labels and instead listen to policy, I think the voters of California will be receptive to my message, because ultimately it does help them.

BW: Last week US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was changing the Obama-era policy of not using Federal law enforcement to go after marijuana in states where it is legal. California is perhaps the most prominent of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana, via a voter-approved ballot measure. How do you feel about this?

KR: This move by Jeff Sessions is an absolute violation of state’s powers. I didn’t personally vote in favor of legalizing marijuana, but I respect the voters of California and what they want for the state is paramount. I join with Democrats and Republicans alike who are calling for Sessions to resign or be fired. Anyone who cares about states powers and an overreaching Federal Government should care about this issue, regardless of your personal stance on marijuana.

That is why if I was in the U.S. Senate I would not have voted to confirm Jeff Sessions. With his unconstitutional stance of violating state powers because of his stance on marijuana and his love of the unconstitutional and wholly un-American civil asset forfeiture programs, I could not and still cannot support him as Attorney General.

My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law not being a party hack that will support anyone because we happen to wear the same jersey.

If you want to learn more about Mr. Roditis and his policy positions, visit his campaign website here.


  •  Author’s disclosure: The author of this piece, who interviewed the candidate, is a colleague of the candidate, but interviewed him under the same rules as any other interview.

Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness



Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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MLK’s March on Washington would have been illegal if Trump were president at the time



MLKs March on Washington would have been illegal if Trump were president at the time

The “I have a dream” speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. in August 1963 is considered a signature moment in the struggle for civil rights in America, and the crowning achievement to King’s mission to see freedom and equality for every American.

But if Donald Trump had been president at the time, King wouldn’t have been allowed to give his speech because protests at the National Mall where he spoke during his March on Washington would have been illegal.

Always on the lookout for ways to silence anyone who refuses to praise him as the embodiment of perfection itself, Trump is seeking new regulations to ban demonstrations and protests using the National Park Service as his muscle.

The proposed regulations would not only ban protests at the National Mall, but also Lafayette Square across from the White House, and the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalks in front of Trump International Hotel. If enacted, the proposal would close off 80 percent of the White House sidewalks, place new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and force “approved” protestors to pay a fee to exercise their right to free speech.

Hey! Maybe charging people to exercise their rights is how Trump and the GOP plan to fix the budget.

But seriously, this is just the latest example of how Trump puts his egomaniacal narcissism ahead of the Constitutional rights of the peasants and commoners he sees as obstacles to his dictatorial ambitions.

Trump has attacked freedom of the press with his “Fake News” spiel and has called unfavorable media “the enemy of the American people;” attacked the right to bear arms by supporting Democrat anti-gun proposals and supporting efforts to seize guns without due process; attacked privacy rights by expanding NSA spying and renewing FISA702; and attacked property rights by expanding civil asset forfeiture laws.

This isn’t the first time Trump has suggested making protests illegal, but with the current state of affairs in Washington, we could see this latest effort become law now that Trumpservatives are making conservatives extinct.

The GOP has bought into Trump’s anti-free speech rhetoric. For example, Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) recently proposed 15-year jail sentences for wearing a mask while injuring, oppressing, threatening, or intimidating someone else who is exercising their constitutional rights. While appearing to address criminal activity, the title of the bill (Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018) reveals its true intent — shutting down a specific group of political activists who happen to oppose the GOP.

George Orwell once said that ”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” We used to believe that in America, but in the Age of Trump, we could soon see the day where the voices of those who dare to tell the President or others in Washington what they don’t want to hear are silenced by Big Brother.

Originally posted on


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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#WalkAway: True Liberals have had enough of the Socialist-Left




WalkAway True Liberals have had enough of the Socialist-Left

The true advocates of Liberty have had enough of the Left’s group-think, violence, vitriol, censorship, socialism, Marxism, and incivility.

The founder of the #Walkaway movement Brandon Straka has had enough of the Left and it’s liberticidal ways. In a recent video from the Daily Caller, he talked about how the Democrats Are Jumping Ship Over Kavanaugh Smear.

He says hundreds of people have reached out to him since the Justice Brett Kavanaugh battle started, and he began receiving more video testimonials and messages from people who say they will now vote Republican because of the smear campaign launched against Kavanaugh.

The #Walkaway march on Washington October 26-28

In addition to this he is leading a march on Washington to take place October 26-28, as reported in the Daily Wire.

Speakers for the event include Dinesh D’Souza, Stacey Dash, Joy Villa, Mason Weaver, Buzz Patterson, and others. Dave Rubin, Herman Cain, Tomi Lahren, and Antonio Sabato Jr. cannot attend in person, but have provided videotaped remarks.

Additional details can be found at Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at Eventbrite.

The official statement provided for the event is as follows:

The #WalkAway™ Campaign, founded by former liberal Brandon Straka, is a true grassroots movement. Until now, it has been a social media movement, dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the Democratic Party has become. Some left long ago, while many have recently been “red-pilled”. Some have wanted to leave for some time but have feared the consequences they might suffer from friends or family if they were to walk away. The Campaign’s membership currently exceeds 370,000 patriots on all social media platforms combined.

This is a movement of Patriots from all walks of life who share something very important in common. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS and we will not surrender our country to: group-think, identity politics, violence, vitriol, censorship, hysteria, fake news, race-baiting, corruption, socialism, marxism, and incivility.

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