What is a “Calipublican”?

Written by Philip Mauriello Jr., Managing Attorney of Arete Law A.P.C. and host of the California Underground Podcast

Recently, the famous pop singer Demi Lovato coined the term “California Sober.” To her it means you can be a recovering addict if you only have wine occasionally and only smoke pot. But California has the unique feature to have their name mean a different classification of what the term usually means. Instead of a king-sized bed, we have a “California King” which is a bit bigger than a normal king size bed. I remember learning the term “California Stop” for a rolling stop at a stop sign. California has that going for us over other states. Last time I checked nobody is calling it an “Arkansas King” or “South Dakota Stop.”

The reason for these unique denominators is likely due to how California does things a bit different than the rest of the country. It has been a bit of a double-edged sword in terms of results, but nonetheless California marches to the beat of its own drum.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what the main differences are between a California Republican and Republicans around the country. This led me to create my own California centric term by creating “Calipublican.”  Because California Republicans…er excuse me…Calipublicans can be a whole different animal. Yet for some reason we do not treat them as such.

I have said on my show countless times that a California Republican cannot and is not the same as a Nebraska Republican, or Texas, or Florida etc. etc. California is different, we revel in the fact that we are so different. People like myself moved to the Golden State precisely because there is nowhere else in the country quite like California.

But what are the differences of a Calipublican and your run of the mill Republican?

First off, a Calipublican is strongly influenced by the state’s overwhelming progressive slant of social issues. Living and being a part of communities that are full of progressive social ideals creates a space where a normal Republican may never discuss progressive social issues, yet in California, a Calipublican is bombarded with them. This forces the Calipublican to take stock of these issues, and quite often, begin to accept them.

In 2016 when marijuana was legalized in California it was not because so many progressives voted it in, but the fact that Calipublicans began to accept it as a norm and voted in favor of it too. They saw that the industry could be a boon for the state creating new jobs and help raise state revenues. They looked at this progressive issue from a conservative standpoint and accepted it. Remember, cannabis legalization had failed before, and the reason it crossed the finish line four years ago was because Calipublicans began to support it. Now we have a legal market for cannabis.

Most conservatives I speak with feel the same about issues such as cannabis legalization as well as other issues such as gay marriage. Live and let live has become the motto for most conservatives here in California.

Second, Calipublicans do care about the environment. They just disapprove of how green policies are handled by the state government. Calipublicans laud creative business owners like Elon Musk for producing an electric car that is something the free market actually wanted. What they do not like is Governor Newsom ordering via royal decree to ban all gasoline cars without a clear plan of how to get there. Calipublicans care about the destruction wildfires do to our state and to private property, and would like to implement sensible solutions to prevent it. They also believe in the construction of desalination plants to bring more water to the state, while shoring up reservoirs to ensure we never go without water. What they do not like is the government telling you to turn off your sprinklers and taxing you extra for too many showers.

Third, Calipublicans want to help solve the homeless crisis. Their hearts go out to the downtrodden in our state. But they do not believe building homeless shelters with taxpayer money is the solution. Instead, they say it’s our economy and cost of living that created this problem. Homelessness is a by-product of the middle and lower classes being priced out of a good living here. We fix homelessness by fixing the cost of living in our state, and that happens by shrinking our over bloated government which taxes and regulates everything to death.

Finally, Calipublicans want leaders and politicians who still remember they are beholden to the people, not special interests. The famous LaundryGate that occurred where Governor Newsom was seen dining with a well-connected lobbyist is California’s “let them eat cake” moment. While businesses and school children suffered under crushing lockdowns, we saw many politicians going about their lives as if nothing had changed. Rules for thee, but not for me. They seek politicians at the state and local level who hear the cries of their constituents and act in their best interests, not those of the highest bidder.

Now you may be saying, this sounds a lot like you are describing a RINO, not a Republican but I would argue you are wrong. Calipublicans may be more progressive on some issues than their Republican counterparts, but it does not mean they are any less Republican. Republicans believe in finding solutions that do not come from the government, but from the people and the free market. They believe they can create a better world for their children. Calipublicans need to be different, they need to be creative. Trying to force a Nebraska style Republican into California is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It will not work and it won’t fit.

So, who is with me? Who is a proud Calipublican? I know I am. I know there are better solutions for better days out there. We just have to remember all that makes California unique and special and remember our style of Republican politics has to be so as well. We can be the future of the Republican Party; we can change how things are done. Because as California goes…so does the nation.


Photo via ETSY