Urgent Message From Chabot Gun Club: This Is It

February 19, 2016

By John Myers – john.meyers@latimes.com

Californians may be more disenchanted with political party labels than at any time in modern history, as new voter registration data show another shift away from party affiliation coming at the same time as a presidential race that exposes deep partisan divides nationwide.

The report issued by Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Monday finds that 24% of California voters now officially have “no party preference,” the term used by elections officials to describe independents. That’s up almost three percentage points since the last presidential election in 2012.

While the migration away from Californians picking formal party labels has been evident for most of the past decade, the trend has picked up speed since 2008.

“The Democratic share of registrants has been flat, the independent share has been climbing fast, and the Republican share has been sinking just as fast,” said Eric Ok everybody, this is it!

The fate of your Range and Chabot Gun Club will be decided on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 beginning at 2pm in the afternoon.

We ask you to be there. Early.

The East Bay Regional Park District has made it a little easier this time. They have moved the venue to the Redwood Canyon (formerly known as Willow Park) Golf Course at the north end of Castro Valley, 17007 Redwood Road. The meeting room will hold 300 people and there is way more parking than at the District office. Also, there should be lots more parking along Redwood Road around the golf course and in the Chabot Staging Area by the Christmas Tree farm.

You may want to speak, but the really important thing at this point is that you show up.

Hundreds of you!!  Thousands of you!!

The importance of your attendance cannot be emphasized enough!

The people that want to shut us down are already calling on their supporters to attend.

If you love shooting at Chabot, you need to be there.

If you love shooting at the other ranges that are already under siege from some of the same groups that are targeting us, you need to be there.

If you love shooting to train and practice in the defense of your families and our beloved country, you need to be there.

If you are a member of the law enforcement or military communities that train to defend all of us, you need to be there.

If you live within earshot of the range and appreciate what our (legal in all respects) sound signifies, you need to be there.

If you operate a business in Castro Valley or Oakland, anywhere near Redwood Road, that receives the benefit of the 45,000 plus shooters and their families that attend the range (they have to go both ways so that’s 90,000 individuals each year traveling near your restaurants, stores, gas stations and so forth), you need to be there.

If you understand that the East Bay Regional Park District has a responsibility to provide recreation as part of its original intent and ongoing purpose, you need to be there.

The renewal team has done its part.

We have submitted our proposals to continue to meet our environmental responsibilities. Within those plans are expensive but workable procedures that we have already successfully begun to implement in the short term and will continue to upgrade and make permanent for the long haul.

The other issues we face are relatively minor compared to the environment but we are confidant that if we are permitted to, we can meet and exceed our responsibilities there also.

More than 100 professionals, tradesmen and others have volunteered to help the Club.

People are increasing their donations. We should be able to get support from the NRA and CRPA if we receive a lease with a long enough term (10 years is a good start, 25 years is better).

Now it is your turn.

The thousands of mail, email and petition supporters have made a difference. We might have been closed already if it weren’t for those.

Now, it comes down to you who will show up at the March 1st Board meeting.

It will be a zoo, I can promise you, because a democratic republic is a messy way to govern ourselves. Nevertheless, our elected officials need to see our passion, our dedication and our numbers.

You need to be there.

We will be sending along more updates to help us get organized. We are sending this out right away because we want you to have time to take off work, take off school, get the tiny ones a sitter, or do whatever you need to do to get to the Redwood Canyon Golf Course before 2 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

Please read all of the upcoming alerts, they may announce changes in meeting times or venues.

Let’s all wear some shade of Blue, Chabot’s color.

Please send this alert out to every single person or group in the Bay Area that supports the freedoms we cherish. Talk to all your friends about joining us.

It will be a long day, but if we lose our Range, it will be the beginning of a long night.

See you all there.

John M. Maunder
Senior Rangemaster,
Chabot Gun Club, Inc.

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.s. Don’t forget to get your families, friends and groups to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.comMcGhee, an elections researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The newly released report shows the gap between Democratic and Republican voter registration is now more than 15 points. Republicans represent less than 28% of the state’s electorate, a drop of almost three points since the start of the 2012 election cycle.

Democrats, while also shrinking in overall share, retain their plurality of voters at 43% of registration.

The shift to a less centralized political landscape in California is likely to accelerate, said McGhee, given the generational differences between younger and older voters.

“New, young registrants are heavily independent and to a lesser extent Democratic, while elderly people are much more likely to be Republican,” he said. “Since people tend to stick with their party registration even if their politics change, this means we should expect these registration trends to continue.”

While elections officials sample the size and contours of the electorate annually, the trend away from political parties is most easily seen in the context of previous presidential election years.

In the January 2008 report, almost one in five California voters were unaffiliated with a political party. In the last open presidential election, 2004, only 16% of voters were counted in the category of independent.

Republicans have suffered the greatest blow from the shifting allegiances of California voters. No statewide GOP candidate has been elected since 2006, and the party’s share of the electorate since then has plummeted by seven percentage points.

Mike Madrid, a Republican political strategist, attributes this to “the national brand.” As a result, he says, most unaffiliated voters aren’t in play for GOP candidates.

“More Californians are consciously saying no party represents my views, but are saying if they have to choose, then they’ll choose Democrats,” he said.

The new report also finds voter registration lagging growth in voting age population — 70% of eligible Californians are now registered to vote, compared with 72% in 2012.

“If the election were held today, over 7 million otherwise eligible Californians would be left on the sidelines,” said Secretary of State Padilla in a written statement.

Those numbers are likely to rise as the November election nears, and perhaps even sooner if either presidential nomination is still up for grabs when California’s primary rolls around on June 7.

Madrid says that because so few states release voter data by political party as California does, these numbers may be the best reflection there is of the nation’s increasingly polarized electorate. And the first casualty in California may be Republicans, he says, and soon. The size of the independent electorate could easily surpass GOP registration by the next presidential election.

“That’s going to be a very significant moment,” he said.

This article originally appeared on LATimes.com. To view the original article, click here.

By John Myers – john.meyers@latimes.com

Californians may be more disenchanted with political party labels than at any time in modern history, as new voter registration data show another shift away from party affiliation coming at the same time as a presidential race that exposes deep partisan divides nationwide.

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