California’s next move


With its worst fears realized and President Trump now a reality, Californians need to look forward.  We need a new approach as to how residents of the Golden State can influence the national election.  Because, since 1980 (and again in 1984), when the national news organizations called the race for Reagan while Californians were still finishing their afternoon meditation before heading to the polls, it seems the most meaningful way Golden State residents can influence election is with cocktail parties and fundraisers.  Politicians of all stripes stop in our state, to feast on tofu dumplings, non-dairy cheese served on gluten free crackers, and local – organic – wine, for only one reason: Money.

As we look ahead to 2020, if we want to make a meaningful difference, we need to be more strategic with our dollars, combining Silicon Valley ingenuity and entrepreneurship with Southern California creativity.  And by that, I do not mean hosting more Hollywood and Silicon Valley events.  (If there is one beacon of light in Trump’s victory, it is that LA freeways will have fewer days of gridlock.)  We can jointly contribute our tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars not to the Democratic party or specific candidates for President but rather to the one thing that can most ensure Trump’s defeat in four years:  Move.

Hold on, no need to reach for the Xanax and Ativan that line your medicine cabinet.  Or for the cannabis growing in your yard (likely long before it was made legal on November 8).  I am not suggesting permanently leaving our great state. 

The ‘move’ will be only for a short time period.  Enough to declare residency in a state that went for Trump in 2016 and use your vote to make a difference.  Calm down, breathe.  No, you won’t have to trade in your Tesla or Prius for a Ford pickup. 

“But – “

It’s okay, I know your next worry.  No need to dust off your winter coats, the out of style parka, or that Michelin tire looking bubble jacket that surely was the right look once upon a time before you headed west.   You don’t even have to hurry to get your KJUS or Bogner jacket back from your winter home in Sun Valley or Aspen.  You know, the jackets you wear to the après ski parties.

“Oh.  Good.  But – “

Yes, you can still keep your tan.

“I can?”

Yes.

“And –“

Yes, your surfboard too.

“Dude, what’s the deal?”

Okay, so I have your attention.  

California residents donated approximately $100 million to Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party.  That’s a lot of money for a losing candidate and party.  I suggest we channel that money to buy real estate in the sunny – yes I said sunny – state of Florida.

Here’s the plan:  Money we would set aside for the next Presidential campaign will be pooled to buy single family homes and apartments in different parts of Florida. Call it the NextMove Fund.  We’ll get homes closer to the beach for those who can’t be away from surf and sand.  A sprinkle of condos will be purchased near South Beach for those who need the paparazzi snapping photos of them. 

All we need are 120,000 votes to win Florida in the next election.  Each home will have a minimum of 4 beds so we need to purchase 30,000 homes.  At an average price of $200,000, the current average price for a home in Florida, the total needed to buy all of the properties will be $6,000,000,000.  But, thanks to our new President, mortgage rules will certainly be relaxed (ah, remember those days?), so the most we will have to put down will be $600 million.  Yeah, that leaves us short so we will essentially use each house as collateral for the next, taking out second and third mortgages to raise the money we need.  So, yes, all we need is 1-2% to fund this entire operation.  Crazy!  Impossible, you say?  Did you see ‘The Big Short’?  Right, I know it only won an Oscar for Adapted Screenplay and that doesn’t really count.  But you saw it.   

And here’s the beauty.  It’s an investment.  Unlike campaign contributions that give you no tax or financial benefit, these properties will bring rental income once the next election is over.  Maybe we can even pool the properties and go public and really make some money. 

“IPO”

That’s right.  The NextMove Fund will IPO.  We’ll hire Goldma Sachs.  Easy.  And, as soon as the election is over, you can leave.  You didn’t think we were going to ask you to stay more than a few months, did you? 

I couldn’t see your brow furl up because your skin is so taut. 

All you need to do is live in Florida for a period of time required to be considered a Floridian.  Once you own a home, you can become a permanent resident, which then entitles you to a driver’s license, which you can then use to register to vote.   You just need to register 29 days before the next election. 

Come summer 2020, you can begin your vacation as usual, on your yacht off the coast of Italy.  Stay longer overseas if you want to avoid hurricane season, or if you wish, come back to your now second home in California while rain batters the Southeast.  In fact, you’ll be doing your Floridian neighbors a favor because when it rains, you won’t know how to drive and the idea of buying plywood to board your windows is as foreign to you as retrofitting your water heater or buying earthquake insurance.  NextMove will have your house for you, in your name.  Arrive in Florida in time to get your driver’s license and vote.  Just make sure to punch your ballot correctly!

“Did you say permanent – “

Yoga time!  Breathe in and out through your nose, close your eyes, stand in tadasana.  And listen closely.  Nothing is permanent in life.  Nothing.  Neither is living in Florida.  Permanent is the new temporary.  Wink, wink.  You just need to keep repeating permanent because that will get you the driver’s license.  You need the license to be able to vote.

“But – “

I know, I know.  You don’t want to be a resident of Florida forever.  Who does?  After all, hurricanes, alligators, the Jacksonville Jaguars, hurricanes, Zika.

“Zika!”

Each property comes with an endless supply of mosquito repellent.  With fragrance.  Because we understand.  The Jaguars on the other hand.  We can’t help you there. 

“But what about Zika! “

Chill.  The CDC just said the fear has passed.  You have more to worry about tanning salons than Zika.

“Okay, I am in.  But –“

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pencelvania?  We’ll leave that to the kind folks from Illinois, New York and the rest of the Northeast.  They know how to live with the cold.

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