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California Democrats tongue-in-cheek support for Ronald Reagan naming project

By on May 20, 2014
John Burton is not impressed

California Democrats are joining conservatives in the national quest to name public buildings, parks and landmarks after former Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Well, sort of.

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton published an open letter to Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist offering his support for the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which is working to name something after Reagan in every county in the country.

Thus far, the group’s most successful achievement occurred in 1998 — when Washington National Airport became Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“I think it’s wonderful that you’re willing to honor somebody who has such a liberal progressive record,” Burton wrote in his letter.

ca democratic partyCalifornia Democrats point to Reagan’s tenure as governor when he backed the largest tax increase in state history. As president, Reagan worked with conservative taxpayers, including Norquist, to streamline the federal tax code.

Reagan isn’t the only California Republican with a mixed record on taxes. Last year, Senate GOP leader Bob Huff and legislative Republicans supported a $2 billion car tax extension. Maybe they only read the gubernatorial section of Reagan’s biography?

May 19, 2014

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform
722 12th Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. Norquist,

I’m very concerned that our political philosophies may be starting to merge.

I commend you on wanting to name three thousand items in the country after Ronald Reagan. As you know, I was in the state legislature when Ronald was governor and I fondly remember his signing the largest tax increase in the more than hundred year history of our state. That Reagan tax increase stood as the state’s largest until of course the early 1990s, when Governor Pete Wilson signed a $7.3 billion dollar tax increase.

I also fondly remember Governor Reagan signing the bill that liberalized abortion, the Therapeutic Abortion Act.

I think it’s wonderful that you’re willing to honor somebody who has such a liberal progressive record.

Peace and friendship,

John Burton
California Democratic Party



About John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about state and national politics for,, Huffington Post and the editorial pages of the Orange County Register. John’s most recent high-profile investigation uncovered the questionable labor practices of Goodwill Industries, the nonprofit organization famous for its secondhand clothing stores.

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