For one thing, the attorney from San Francisco is a Sikh, a member of a distinctive ethnic group from the Indian subcontinent. She worried that voters wouldn’t be receptive to a candidate from such an unfamiliar background. She was also concerned that some voters might object to her service on the board of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Not voters in San Francisco, of course. Being a non-Christian, Indian-American who strongly supports the ACLU, after all, is hardly an electoral handicap there. But Dhillon wasn’t running for elected office in San Francisco; she was running for the vice chairmanship of the California state Republican Party.
For the GOP today, California serves as the boogeyman. Conservative thinkers such as Joel Kotkin see the state’s chronic deficits, towering unfunded pension liabilities and bankrupt municipalities as the embodiment of a Democratic Party run amok. They see California as a cautionary tale of what happens when the Democrats take power.