Duf Sundheim was the chair of the California Republican Party from 2003-2007 and remains active in the party. He lives in Los Altos Hills, CA. KQED's Stephanie Martin spoke to him today about his reaction to the Supreme Court decision.
MARTIN How do you feel that Chief Justice Roberts, a fellow conservative, voted to uphold the law?
SUNDHEIM Well I think he really had a lot of things he was trying to address. One was the specific issue of the mandate and the commerce clause. That’s why I think so many people thought the legislation would be overturned. And the fact he was able to make a bridge to find that it was a tax, not a mandate. I think was very interesting.
I thought the reasoning was a little tortured but I think he was really concerned about the future of the court, the public perception of the court.
So I understand what he was trying to do. Again it’s not a situation where they’re making a decision that ties the hands of the other branches of government. It really transfers to the decision to those two branches. And it’s now up to those two branches to make a decision that’s in the best interest of the people.
MARTIN The Bay Area is a favorite stop for presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle because of deep pocketed residents. How do you think it’s playing out among local Romney supporters?
SUNDHEIM I haven’t had a chance to talk with too many today. I think what’s going to be interesting is really what it comes down to now. And the court has made it perfectly clear today what their view is. This is a substantial tax increase on many people, on many different points of the economic spectrum. And the question is whether that is going to be a problem for the president, who promised that there would not be a tax increase and that in fact this legislation was not a tax increase.
The supreme court has said the president was wrong, that it is a tax and it’s a very substantial tax. So that will be an issue that the people will have to decide. Is this a tax increase that they approve or do they want to overturn it?
MARTIN And among California Republicans do you have a sense how that will play out?
SUNDHEIM I think clearly there will be opposition, but the opposition to the legislation existed prior to today. I think some people will be more motivated because of the decision of the court, and how it is important that if they do not want the tax increase that we need to elect leaders that oppose this kind of tax increase.