This evening’s 13-7-1 California Republican Party Board Meeting where they voted to call on Chad Mayes to resign as Assembly GOP Minority leader was a microcosm for every problem I have ever seen with the Republican Party in California.
Chad Mayes was attempting to convince the California Republican Party Board of Directors that not only did he do the right thing, they were wrong for even considering taking action against him.
He made the following points:
- he claimed polling data showed Republicans support cap and trade
- he claimed cap and trade was the way to the promised land for the GOP
- he claimed grassroots supported him
- He claimed cap and trade was a tax reduction
- He attacked grassroots activists indirectly
- He attacked his colleagues in the State Senate
- He attacked CRP National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon by name in his presentations
- He made it clear he was dug in and would not go without a fight
Mayes unbelievable arrogance was on display as he acted morally superior to the people he was on the conference call with. This was similar to his performance the previous evening at the Riverside County Republican Party where he was blasted with a 50-1 vote telling him to leave.
He was also incapable of grasping what he did wrong, and compounded his maladies with several blatant falsehoods. This sounds like a clinical definition of Narcissism – a condition I have seen in several elected leaders regardless of party over 20 years of this.
Some of the 6 other opponents (Besides Chad Mayes) contributed to the horrifying expose’ of failure:
Sue Caro argued that the Bay Area Republicans supported the measure – basically towing the line of far left Republican Catherine Baker whose Assembly District is in the Bay Area. She was the only board member that spoke in favor of Chad Mayes and what he did. These assertions were despite the Solano, Sonoma and Monterey GOP taking action against.
Dave Wilmon, the trump-hating liberal Republican Inland Empire Vice-Chairman betrayed the Riverside GOP and the San Bernardino GOP who both adopted resolutions against Chad Mayes. He told a colossal lie during his comments in opposition – that the “One Ask” fundraising program would be cancelled if the CAGOP Board Voted Yes. Wilmon is term-limited and is out in October, good riddance. If he attempts to run for another GOP Party office, we will set fire to him.
Wilmon also bald-faced lied, claiming that some of the Riverside County GOP members that voted to call on Chad Mayes to resign, “said really good things about Mayes”. He must have been intoxicated or on some sort of personally ego-fueled rampage against his very constituents in his party region.
James McCully, Vice Chair of North Coast voted no without comment. We made sure activists in his region were informed as quickly as possible to make sure he is unseated as soon as possible. ]
Kristen Olsen whose affair with Chad Mayes was a flash-point in this drama voted no without comment. She should have recused herself. Why would we expect integrity after she and Mayes did what they did?
Mario Guerra, the Treasurer of the Party gave an argument that encapsulated the largest failure of leadership I have seen from the GOP in the 20 years I have been affiliated with it. He argued (as did Wilmon and Caro) that it was not the place of the GOP to take a position on leadership issues. Guerra’s weak argument is the exact kind of repulsive behavior from Republican leaders that helped give Rise to Donald Trump as people desperate for leadership voted to burn the political establishment to the ground.
I’ve seen a generation of Republican leaders who would rather gouge their own eyes out than take a stand.
Deborah Wilder, the Secretary of the Party went even further than the cowardly Guerra. Wilder was aggressive and hostile in her argument. She argued with passion as to why the California Republican Party board of directors should avoid conflict at all costs. She invoked mythical party activists as she claimed that this debate would tear the party apart. She argued that allowing Chad Mayes to continue and protecting the status quo was the only way to heal the wounds. She also claimed that she was talking to donors, whose identities no one else seems to know that were opposed to the CAGOP board taking action – were they real? If real, were they Republicans?
Tony Krvaric, Rob Bernosky, Shawn Steel and Tom Del Becarro all made cogent arguments in favor. I took note that they spoke far shorter periods than those vociferous opponents, which is typically the case in a political argument. The side at a disadvantage usually tries to overcompensate.
Harmeet Dhillon finished the board meeting by excoriating this opposed to the simple motion. She was the rallying cry for the party activists who have felt abandoned by their leaders and betrayed by the party machinery
- She called Chad Mayes out on his misrepresentations – decimating several of his patently false claims
- She called Chad Mayes out on his failures of leadership – including loss of legislative seats under his tenure
- She called Chad Mayes a liar for his claims about donors and party activists supporting his stance in large numbers – pointing out the 300 comments she received and supplied to the rest of the board
- She pointed out that conflict avoidance is an abdication of responsibility – why have a platform of you don’t enforce it? Why does a party exist if they wont take stands against destructive members?
- She pointed out that Chad Mayes has retaliated against political foes – banishing Melissa Melendez to the “Dog House” and threatening to end the “One Ask” fundraising program.
- She pointed out conversations she has had with members of the legislature who implored the CAGOP Board to Provide leadership on this issue as they felt they needed cover from the increasingly vindictive and hostile leadership
- She pointed out the upheaval in the grassroots and the toxic consequence of a failure to act
- She pointed out that Mayes actions undermine the recall of Josh Newman
- She lit Chad Mayes up for the underhanded method in which the drill to pass Cap and Trade was run, pointing out his tweets and communication with the CRP board just 48-72 hours before the vote was done claiming no support.
- She rightly lit Chad Mayes up for indefensible actions from a Republican Perspective laying out multiple areas of the party platform that he crossed.
- She rightly laid the unrest and turmoil at the feet of Chad Mayes for his actions that precipitated this drama. This was a direct slam on the conflict avoiders and provided much-needed focus
As an activist and blogger, the primary recipients of the excoriations I am famous for are usually self-serving, liars, hypocrites and the like. Within the ranks of party leadership, I’ve seen too many go along to get along conflict avoiding cowards whose #EPICFAILS of leadership lead to ruination at the ballot box. Today was one of the few times when I have seen the party leadership draw a line in the sand and this time it was the right line. That said, it was a 100 minute conference call when I saw my entire 20 year life as a party activist flash before my eyes.