California Republican Assembly Convention
By Carla Virga
Several members of the new Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly (SYRA), who are also members of the Sutter Buttes Tea Party, attended the Convention and 80th Anniversary of the California Republican Assembly (CRA) at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West, March 14-15, 2015.
SYRA is the fastest growing chapter of the CRA, and we earned five delegates to the convention. (The average number of delegates per chapter is three; i.e., San Diego and San Francisco each have three delegates.)
The Saturday morning session included reports by the Credentials Committee, Rules Committee, and Nomination Committee; election of officers by acclamation for unopposed officers; and speeches by two candidates for Membership Secretary and two candidates for National Committeeman.
Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) and our Assemblyman James Gallagher were the speakers at the Saturday luncheon. We are blessed to have these two young freshmen Assemblymen in Sacramento and need more conservatives like them representing us!
Saturday afternoon, each state Senate district caucused; and the Bylaws Committee provided its report.
SYRA received special recognition at the Saturday night dinner with keynote speakers Harmeet Dhillon (CRP Vice Chair) and Michael Reagan. We were honored with a certificate and later with a photograph with Mr. Reagan. With five delegates, eight associate delegates, and one guest at the dinner, SYRA was the largest group in attendance at the dinner.
Paul Chabot, an Iraq war veteran and former Congressional candidate, and Bill Leonard, former Assemblyman and Board of Equalization member and current Chaplain of the Assembly Republican Caucus were the inspirational guest speakers at Sunday morning’s Prayer Breakfast.
Incumbent George Park won the election for Membership Secretary. Johnnie Morgan, a long-time and well known activist in Central LA and member of the South LA Inglewood CRA Unit, won the election for National Committeeman.
After pros and cons were presented, a resolution opposing the Convention of States passed.
As a former delegate to California GOP Conventions, I was struck by the difference between shadowy CRP voting (where I was left feeling my vote was meaningless) and transparent CRA voting (where I saw my vote was counted and mattered). CRP accepts voting by proxy, and the majority of votes are by proxy. CRA requires in-person voting after presenting photo identification. CRP prefers delegates turn over their voting proxies to others and not attend conventions; whereas, CRA requires all voting be by attending delegates only.
The CRP recently chaptered Log Cabin Republicans “in an effort to be inclusive” despite the objections of CA Assemblywoman Shannon Grove and others, including the California Republican Assembly. We heard the CRP Resolutions Committee held back a pro-choice resolution. The CRP will probably hit us with that one at the next GOP convention.
Although the overall messages of the convention speakers differed greatly, the basic message from all is the need to stop engaging in circular firing squads, to come together, and to spread the truth of what it means to be a Republican. Given the path the CA GOP is on, I don’t think they remember what it means to be a Republican. As Alexander Hamilton said, “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
Ronald Reagan said the CRA is “the conscience of the Republican Party.” As such, it is our duty to overcome the forces destroying the Republican Party. If you left the Republican Party out of disgust with the direction the Party is going, please re-enlist. The CRA and its chapters are our weapon to take back the Republican Party. Join us as we grow and support conservative candidates. Our next SYRA meeting will be Monday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Yuba City City Hall Sutter Room.