John Burton agrees with Grover Norquist. Sort of.

Conservative political advocate Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, also heads up a Ronald Reagan Legacy Project that aims to name something after the former president and California governor in each of the nation’s 3,141 counties or their equivalent.

And California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton thinks that’s a nifty idea.

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

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Willis James

    While Grover Norquist may be a extreme right wing idiot, let us not overlook that John Burton is no friend of California voters nor a fan of citizen based democracy.

    Do not forget that John Burton campaigned statewide, arm in arm with the Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring in a attempt to take redistricting away from a citizen commission and return it into the hands of the legislature.

    That after voters has passed a proposition/amendment to give the power to a commission made up of NON-politicians.

    Burton also campaigned state wide to defeat the voters will to give ourselves the new “top two” system of runoffs.

    If John Burton had has his way, Pete Stark would still be in congress and Mike Honda would not be facing a challenger of substance.

    John Burton cares only about those in power retaining power for the politically elite class. He doesn’t want open and freely democratic elections where the people can express their true voice.
    The guy is a crude political bully at heart.

  • Marga

    As the head of a political party, isn’t his responsibility to do what’s best /for the party/?

  • Willis James

    If its “best for the party” to take away power and choices for the people—- power and choice they voted to give themselves, then NO, not even the state chairman should do that.

    Don’t forget, the people had voted to have the redistricting commission. John Burton was attempting to twist and contort their will into giving that power back to the people he really represented, the politicians, the public employee unions and other special interests.
    No one can tell me he was acting in the best interests of the general public, the citizens whom the party claimed to represent.

    He is a political goon. The public saw through his scheme…..or should I say their scheme, as he toured the state, arm in arm, from radio station and media outlet to newspapers, with the Republican state chair, both trying to deceive the voters.
    We rejected their transparent attempt.

    John Burton is all about old world power politics wherein the wishes of the average voter are a distant second place concern.

  • JohnW

    Everything you say about Burton being a party hack may be true, but his letter to Grover Norquist is great.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    John Burton, already famous for patting rears, said when told San Jose had surpassed SF in population:”San Jose can’t carry SF’s jockstrap.”