It's hard to say "goodbye" -- perhaps "au revoir" is better (till we meet again).
As some of my friends know, our family has been caring for my aged in-laws, 86 and 82. As with many people who have seen a full life of war and work and raising a family, they need our help. This assistance has consumed our whole family -- in fact, it's the toughest thing -- and the most important thing -- we've done, even more so than running for statewide office.
In addition, as with many in the Golden State, I have found it hard to earn enough to support my family. My old aerospace clientele has fled to greener, less-expensive pastures. Combined with the drain on our savings caused by six years of public service in the Assembly, we have come to the reluctant conclusion that it is time to move.
The good news is that there are still other places in America where the taxes are lower and the regulations less onerous than here in California, my home for most of the past 36 years.
One such place is Texas.
It is there, I am pleased to announce, that I have accepted a position as Senior Visiting Scholar for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. My first order of business is to write a book on the Texas Model of how low taxes and low government spending, a light and predictable regulatory environment, respect for property rights, and a business-friendly legal climate has turned Texas into America's jobs generating dynamo. (In fact, as part of my research, I've noted that almost 2 million Californians moved out of the Golden State in the past 10 years -- Texas, with no income tax, having received the largest number of Californians.)
Believe me, with what I know about California, having been the chief Republican on the Assembly's tax writing committee, Texas is a vastly different land in regards to public policy.
As for the campaign for Orange County Supervisor, we'll be winding that down and refunding the surplus to our supporters. This process will take a month or two, but everyone who contributed should get something back.
I'm expecting that a successful businessperson, someone with a strong record in promoting fiscally responsible policies, will soon step forward to run for the important office of Orange County Supervisor. When that person emerges, I expect that you'll know who it is and that they have my full support.
I'm hoping, that in some modest, tangible way, California today has a bit more economic freedom, a slightly lighter tax burden, a little less government spending, a few less business-killing regulations and more jobs -- in short, more liberty -- because of my time in the arena.
California is in a precarious position. Years of overspending, overregulation, and generous payouts to strong public employee unions have left the Golden State gasping for air. Just last week, it was revealed that California's budget revenue is falling some $705 million short of estimates made just a few short months ago in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.
I hope to keep in touch with y'all (I'm practicing for Texas).
If I don't respond right away to calls and emails, it's because I have 200 pages to write and nothing concentrates the mind like a deadline.
I wish you all the best and hope to see the great state of California turn things around and prosper -- with one-eighth of Americans living in California, America needs a strong and an economically vital California.
All the best,