Passing laws to break laws

December 17, 2016
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee


In its paroxysm of over-the-top liberalism, the new Democratic supermajority in California’s state legislature is introducing a package of bills to protect sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants. The legislature is poised to pass laws to create an $80 million public legal defense fund to block deportations of illegal immigrants, train public defenders to defend them, and mandate that state agencies refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

This legislative initiative is being proposed as a panicked response to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States before he even takes office.

Few of us, including yours truly, were stunned that he actually won. As someone who believes that “building a wall,” and the mass deportation and breaking up the families of undocumented immigrants is going too far, we clearly need a more compassionate and measured reform of our state and national immigration policies. But should we embrace one form of political extremism with an equal and opposite reaction to another? We should be better than that.

While Trump has toned down his campaign rhetoric to initially target only the criminal element of illegal immigrants, California seems disturbingly determined to protect that very same element. Consider the San Francisco shooting death of Kate Steinle at the hands of a convicted felon who had been previously deported five times. Yet state Senate pro tempore Kevin de Leon argues that such steps are necessary to protect “California values.”

Has spending our public funds to defend the violators of our laws really become a “California value”? God forbid!

California has become a “monoparty”– a government of, by, and for one party. Some are even considering a California secession movement in answer to Trump’s election. Are they really thinking that California would be the 2017 version of 1861 South Carolina?

Contrasting views, even moderate ones, seem to be missing in action. Even little “r” republicans have become a rare and endangered species in California, and that “monoparty” seems determined to drive them to extinction. Now that it controls 2/3 of the state Assembly and Senate, it can enact urgency legislation that can become law immediately while remaining immune to a Governor veto.

Are we to stand by and tolerate the passage of new laws designed to break existing, long-standing ones? What would that say to those who came here legally from the south of the border? Should we support laws designed to protect those who violate our laws? And should we allow our state legislature to do so at the expense of our hard-earned tax dollars while risking the loss of federal funds to state and local government? Has this type of fiscal irresponsibility become a “California value?” Are we nuts?

Indeed, the Golden State has quickly become the State of Insanity.


Interesting article. I would indeed think that a Democratic super majority might be more moderate. It seems though that we have a single party neo-liberal government with Trump in the lead of the fascist elite. The “we can do what ever we want because we are rich” mentality has become the norm in the United States. So I might argue that all of this will tie in together somewhere and end up costing everyone out of pocket except the wealthy. The welfare state has been being replaced by the punishment state as we have seen with the criminalization of even homelessness. So to argue that this is all about money somehow seems to be the only sane assumption. Then again this could very well be a set up of sorts to create taxpayer funding of the increased police activity that will ultimately result in the whole of the nation from this fake splitting of interests. Which is exactly what this is. Wait for it…..


Here we have the political concept accurately expressed as California’s “Democratic a single party neo-liberal super majority” and Trump’s Federal “fascist elite”. Both as stated are centralized governing institutions. Except one is Democrat and the other Republican. What is missing in this analysis is the reconciliation where Trump is facing reality and California continues in LaLa land. The Trump’s reconciliation may be horrid but California will be the tail on that dog.


I too believe that absolute power corrupts. I’m a life long Democrat and and I don’t like many actions the state party has taken like pouring millions of dollars into the state assembly seat in our county for a less then stellar candidate.

I am more concerned about Trump. He is a dictator and has been very successful in climbing to the top leaving the suckers who bought into his projects holding the bag. Trumps foreign policy is very frightening. h

Jorge Estrada

Your absolutely right he has no patience for suckers, he seeks contributors. Something like Kennedy said, “It’s what we can do for our country”. My hope is that when he secures more jobs for America that there are Americans willing to work.


For the sake of argument, here are a very few initial points to consider: Just suppose the Fed govt allowed Calif to secede. How would Calif control all those folks who didn’t wish the secession? The new Calif govt cannot rely on the US to intervene and protect this new govt. Massive hiring of a loyal state police quasi-military? LOL

Don’t count on the rest of the US to still support the “6th largest economy in the world”. The large earnings of the huge entertainment industry will crater; the various aspects of the Tech industry are available from other states such as Washington, thus that is in jeopardy. The most tangible thing Calif has going for it is agriculture, and those folks don’t want secession and ag can not support this socialist utopia. Taxes will skyrocket while earnings crash to support this joke.


I do not have to imagine anything at all. I just have to crack a history book – or, better still, speak to one who has lived through it – and learn exactly what far left ideological control over a people brings: DEATH. More death at the hands of Marxism (and all its many faces) than even religion in the last 100 or so years it’s been around – and that is saying something!

What do far left political zealots do with absolute power? Why just what they’ve always done: crush non-conformists under their jack boots, a lá Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Pol Pot, Sung, Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, Castro, Guevarra, et. al.

Given that the vast majority of bloody dictators followed Marxism of one form (usually communism), it’s pretty damn clear what the worst thing for human beings has been these last 100 or so years. Did any of them start out brutal, or all alone? Never. There was always just enough compliant people, willing to either sit idly by and do nothing, or worse, join the cause.

Not to speak, is to speak; not to act, is to act.


The really interesting thing to watch for is how the cities and counties will react when the funding from the federal government is stopped. I expect to see absolute chaos with many cities and counties defying the state law in order to continue to comply with federal law and receive their federal funds. The kind of lunacy that we are currently observing in Sacramento only proves one thing: that is that this state is too big to be intelligently governed from within. While others talk about secession for California, which I think is even crazier that the proposed legislation, the idea of splitting California into two or even three smaller more governable States has merit. For one thing it would create a true competition between separate political parties and also the respective state government would be able to represent the interests of the people living in their state as opposed to trying to balance the interests of over 40 million people in what is geographically the third largest state in the nation.


Is more government workers and politicians to run three states instead of one really the answer? I think we need to concentrate on electing smarter politicians instead.


A start would be eliminate politicians who think political office is a career instead of a part time gig, plus eliminate the benefits of political office.


OK Confed. Wanted to see if others agreed on the statement of the Problem before suggesting some solutions. Seems they do, but California is too far gone for a quick fix. With our state government so heavily controlled by one party, with the public employee unions serving as the most powerful political force in the state, and with California voters willing to pass any laws to tax Californians into the stone age, Moderation, fiscal responsibility, and common sense are flat missing in action in this state


California needs an external wake up call from its parent: the government of the United States. So here are some candidate solutions:

1. Have the federal government cease all Federal funding to those avowed “Sanctuary Cities” until they renounce that status.

2. Pass a national law forbidding any state or local government to pass laws designed to blunt or frustrate national laws with strong penalties and consequences.

3. Rescind federal funding for the Bullet Train. That will get their attention!

4. Have the Federal government intervene in California to identify and deport those undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

5. Have the Federal government limit funding to state of California only to help resolve the state’s water crisis until such time as the state wakes up to reality on immigration issues.

6. Work to elect state and local officials who aren’t in lockstep with the lunatic fringe that presently represents California, although by now this might be a futile gesture.

7. Work to reform California’s initiative process to prevent special interest legislation that has not been thoroughly vetted by the State Legislature and Governor’s office.

8. Finally, challenge our national and state lawmakers to make meaningful headway on immigration reform that is realistic and compassionate without rewarding those who are breaking our laws.

So Confed, what are your ideas?


Ah, a peanut thrown back to the gallery.

I’m still looking for the beef. While I agree with a lot of what you say in the article, your itemized list simply expands your theme:

1. Have the Feds cease ….

2. Pass a national law ….

3. Rescind federal funding ….

4. Have the Feds intervene ….

5. Have the Feds limit ….

6. Work to elect ….

7. Work to reform ….

8. Challenge lawmakers ….

You have presented problems and obstacles to the choir but you fail to offer realistic solutions. How do we as individuals pass laws, deal with the Feds, work to elect and reform. How how do we challenge lawmakers? My votes and complaints have not worked.

I disagree with you wholeheartedly in one respect. The Feds are not part of the solution. The CA monster is unique and self made. It needs to be dealt with from within and there are plenty of ways to do that. But this is your pulpit.


Still waiting for your ideas and I am open to them. Can’t wait to hear what they might be…


First the peanut and now the gauntlet. This is your soapbox and I think it’s too weak to support anything of substance. If you want to hear what I’m doing get me a ConfedOfDunces byline.

I will say that we have to educate ourselves on local government. State grants are accepted at face value with no regard given to the attached strings that tug on our Constitutional rights.


Given the hostility of California towards Trump, and the threatened exigencies by Californians to secede and as a minimum protect illegal Sanctuaries, California may see the deiminishment of many Federal agencies.

This may include the transfer of major programs from Pendleton, Vandenberg and San Diego to the East Coast.

Their move East will increase employment there and reduce employment in California along with other significant programs such as the the sale of billions of dollars of real estate assets (Post Offices) now controlled by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband. Richard Blum of CBRE Investors.

It is reasonable to assume that given the Trump family’s interests in real estate matters they may see the opportunity now being addressed by Feinstien’s husband, especially considering her recent pronouncement of threats and hostility towards Trump.

Such are the possible implications for California of Trump’s election, where the nation’s popular vote was so massively influenced by California’s support of Hillary as further exemplified by the “Democrat supermajority in California’s state legislature”.


don’t matter. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. common folk can sit around and gripe all day. It’s a runaway train. do what you can to protect yourself, end of story.


Please Ca. just go ahead and secede.


Please California don’t! (not until I can sell my house and move to Idaho!).


I hope the Feds cut off all federal dollars to California.