Max Minshull

New Zealand, Old Soul

Freedom camping is ubiquitous in New Zealand. Pull up in a “verified self-contained camper” (meaning a camp ready vehicle) and voila— you can camp in most anywhere in the country. While it does not sound particularly exciting, for a Californian like myself, it is surprising to be in a place where the campsites are not…

Reagan the environmentalist

Once upon a time, Republicans could win statewide elections in California. In 2018, as the Republican Party becomes increasingly irrelevant in a state that once produced many of its most important leaders, it is worth reflecting on milestones set by California Republicans and their specific contributions to state governance and environmental policy. There is a…

Oh, California: Ruminations on the midterms

The 2018 midterms provided no lack of interesting and relevant observations. In California, however, one observation in particular dominated the narrative — the entrenchment of the Golden State as the farthest left state in the union when taking into account local, state and federal representatives. Congressional elections even in traditionally Republican, suburban, upper-middle class districts…

Free thinkers in a world of -isms

Last night, I had a dinner with two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent. I, a Republican, was hosting a dinner for Nick Eberstadt, a Democrat, after Dr. Eberstadt’s panel discussion at the Hoover Institution on China had concluded. Dr. Eberstadt is an expert on Chinese and North Korean domestic and foreign policy, and we…

A Republican take on California’s ballot

For virtually any Californian living outside of key congressional swing districts, his or her vote will have the most profound impact when it comes to the suite of 11 propositions on the ballot for Nov. 6. Several are hotly contested. If passed, propositions effectively become law under the California state constitution. Thus, state legislators have…

Ironies of “public” access and land conservation

In the late 1970s, California established a Coastal Commission in order to direct and supplement conservation efforts along a coast threatened by population demands and rampant disregard for open space. The Commission was charged with the dual mandate of the preservation of natural resources and the promotion of public access. As one can imagine, this…

Department of Bureaucracy

Presently, I am reading Theodore Roosevelt’s autobiography, written in 1913, five years after he left the White House. In it, he lucidly characterizes the tradition of the citizen-politician. “I did not then believe, and I do not now believe, that any man should ever attempt to make politics his only career. It is a dreadful…

Golden state of crisis

The California Republican party is suffering an identity crisis. It has become so dire that Republicans across the state can’t decide if they like Steve Bannon (who spoke at the 2017 state conference) or losing to the Democrats more. The party has not enjoyed a double majority in the state assembly and senate (save one…
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