Aaron F Park

Reality is a stubborn thing.

Aug 192017

For those of you that read this blog, you may recall that sometimes I take a break from news reporting and excoriating political targets for personal updates. This is such a time. This post is intended to be serious. If you’ve never read a post of mine before please read this one.

As I have been advocating for the ouster of Chad Mayes as Assembly Permanent Minority Leader, I’ve noticed some extreme behavior and disturbing personality traits that have manifest that have given me serious pause. As a man nearing 15 years of Sobriety, and as a man with extensive experience working with some profoundly sick people in recovery groups, alarm bells are going off.

I know that Mr. Mayes is being supported by a close-knit inner circle that are attempting to insulate him from the firestorm. I know that “3rd House” Donors and lobbyists are putting pressure on Republican Members to keep Chad Mayes in Place. I know people are being threatened as well. It is also clear that many members of the Assembly Republican Caucus are very uneasy over the entire situation. It is also clear that the democrat leadership have been supplying Mr. Mayes with donors in order to fill his warchest for the coming election.

If you’re a Republican Member of the legislature – there is an angle beyond the donors, lobbyists, money, threats, chaos and turmoil to consider. What do you do when your current leader demonstrates an incurable behavior pattern that will destroy himself and everyone else around him?

When someone overcomes a major life issue like addiction, it is because you take a good hard look at your life, who you are and how you got to be where you are at. In AA, it is known as the 12 steps. At the beginning of every AA meeting, a passage of the AA Big Book called “How it Works” is read… there is a key part that is the basis for the remainder of my post:

    Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a way of life which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

The most disturbing thing about watching Chad Mayes speak to the Riverside GOP and listening to him address the California Republican Party Board of Directors was his absolute lack of honesty. Some try to dismiss it as him actually believing the absurdities coming out of his mouth.

I know what that is like, I used to live there and until I could get honest with myself, I kept getting drunk. It was not until I was breathless at 325 pounds at the age of 31 that I had the moment of honesty. I could not tell the truth even though I meant well, and it was because I was not completely gone that the integrity stuffed deep inside of me was finally able to come out. It saved my life, literally – I was on blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication at the age of 31.

I fear for Chad Mayes. I fear for anyone near him. He has retaliated against Melissa Melendez, he has cut off the “One Ask Program” in an attempt to retaliate against Republican Groups that have spoken out against him.

Mr. Mayes was trying to control the circumstances of his appearance at the Riverside GOP, demanding to speak before Melissa Melendez, threatening several times to not come unless he got his way on things, and attempting to intimidate volunteers in to doing what he wanted. It is my belief that Mayes may well have had a hand in the leftist protesters that showed up at the RivCO GOP Meeting.

Mr. Mayes told a string of lies leading up to the Cap and Trade vote, issuing deceptive tweets, telling GOP Board Members there was no deal, telling constituents there was no deal – even as he had enablers like Rocky Chavez, Marc Steinorth and others lined up and ready to go.

Despite 20 County Parties, the State Party, the Impact Republicans, 4 Big Donor Lincoln Clubs and a host of local groups calling on Chad Mayes to resign, he has defiantly told the LA Times, “I am not going to capitulate,” he said. “I’m going to continue to keep pushing forward.”

It is clear that Chad Mayes’ ego is out of control. He has bought a lie of epic proportions and has determined that he would rather be completely destroyed than back down from the grotesque error he has made. He has based his behavior on polling data few people have seen, but those that have drew a completely different conclusion than him.

It is also clear that Chad Mayes sees everyone around him as an extension of himself and therefore they are expendable and inferior. There is no other way to explain why he is so dug in despite the firestorm and body of evidence that surrounds him. There is no other way to explain his sexual exploits as juxtaposed with the faith he claims.

When I encounter someone who is incapable of grasping their own faults and is incapable of contrition, it is truly a scary experience. It nearly killed me as the price I paid for my own delusion of perfection was alcoholism.

Chad Mayes seems content to let everyone and everything burn down with him in his spiral.

In politics, people throw the word Narcissist around so much it has no meaning. I know a few Narcissists in politics. It is my untrained, 15 years in recovery working with a lot of messed up people opinion that Mr. Mayes is such a person.

Most in psychology will tell you that you can not cure a Narcissist. I was told I was a Narcissist when I was younger, but the spirit of the Lord that was inside me from a young age (I accepted Christ at age 5), was greater than the illness and addiction.

It is my own personal battle with arrogance, ego, addiction, honesty and the like that allows me to have a perspective for these people.

I am divulging some personal details on purpose (as I know some people in politics may attempt to use this information against me), I believe I know of which I speak. Seeing Chad Mayes was like looking in a mirror from years ago before the power of the Lord and the 12 steps of AA helped save me from myself.

Chad Mayes needs to rekindle his relationship with the Lord and needs to do so somewhere far away from the spotlight.

Meanwhile, I am imploring his fellow assemblymembers to take a break from the political firestorm to consider his behavior and the toxic effects it is having beyond the political realm. Please relieve Chad Mayes of command and get as far away from him as possible. And, if you are a person of faith, pray for him that he will find the ability to be honest – because only a willing honest heart will make it possible for Chad Mayes to become a whole person. Right now he is dangerous to everyone and everything he is around.

Aug 192017

This is from Harmeet Dhillon, CAGOP National Committeewoman

Assembly Leadership Update: there are plenty of votes for a new leader if Chad resigns (he’s announced he “won’t capitulate”), but a good contingent of members will not vote to vacate the chair, don’t ask me why.

It’s time for every activist represented by a Republican in the Assembly to pick up the phone and keyboard and ask those members to do the right thing — vote to vacate the chair, vote for a new leader.

Here is contact info for all of them. These calls/emails are most effective when made by their constituents or better yet, leaders of conservative groups active in their districts.

Assemblyman Dante Acosta – (916) 319-2038 – or email Assemblymemberacosta@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow – (916)319-2005 – or email Assemblymemberbigelow@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Phillip Chen – (916) 319-2055 – or email Assemblymemberchen@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham – (916) 319-2035 – or email Assemblymembercunningham@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Brian Dahle – (916) 319-2001 – or email Assemblymemberdahle@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Health Flora – (916) 319-2012 – or email Assemblymemberflora@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman James Gallagher – (916) 319-2003 – or email Assemblymembergallagher@asm.ca.gov 

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley – (916) 319-2006 – or email AssemblymemberKiley@asm.ca.gov

Assemblyman Tom Lackey – (916) 319-2036 – or email Assemblymemberlackey@asm.ca.gov

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron – (916) 319-2075 or email Assemblymemberwaldron@asm.ca.gov

Aug 192017

There has been a lot of talk about who is the more conservative. Is Jay Obernolte a moderate? Is Melissa Melendez the Conservative?

There is no doubt that Melissa Melendez is a rockstar. There is also no doubt that Jay Obernolte seems to be the candidate of the establishment.

It also bears repeating that Melissa Melendez has been retaliated against in a very public way by Chad Mayes, and Jay Obernolte has not been.

Let’s look at the numbers – which are easy to find on each group’s website under State Legislative Scores. I’ve only posted 2015 and 2016 because those are the two years both have been in the legislature at the same time, meaning they are being judged on the same issues.


Group                                              2015                       2016

Howard Jarvis                                 92.80%                   96.50%

Cal Tax                                             100%                      100%

American Conservative Union         100%                       84%

CRA                                                   93%                        87%

NFIB                                                  92%                        83%

NRA – A Rated

Firearms Policy Coalition – A+ Rated



Group                                             2015                       2016

Howard Jarvis                                 100%                      100%

Cal Tax                                            100%                      100%

American Conservative Union        100%                       89%

CRA                                                  94%                        94%

NFIB                                                100%                      100%

NRA – A Rated

Firearms Policy Coalition – A+ Rated

Bottom Line – if your primary consideration is how the candidates act on issues, then you can see that Jay Obernolte may actually be more conservative than Melissa Melendez. However, any score above 80% from any of these groups indicates that you are dealing with a Conservative Republican Candidate.

I think then that the primary considerations for the next Assembly Leader are ones of leadership, effectiveness, fundraising, unifying, messaging and the like – not about who is not ideologically pure.

Aug 182017

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:

  1. he claimed polling data showed Republicans support cap and trade
  2. he claimed cap and trade was the way to the promised land for the GOP
  3. he claimed grassroots supported him
  4. He claimed cap and trade was a tax reduction
  5. He attacked grassroots activists indirectly
  6. He attacked his colleagues in the State Senate
  7. He attacked CRP National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon by name in his presentations
  8. 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

  1. She called Chad Mayes out on his misrepresentations – decimating several of his patently false claims
  2. She called Chad Mayes out on his failures of leadership – including loss of legislative seats under his tenure
  3. 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
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. She pointed out the upheaval in the grassroots and the toxic consequence of a failure to act
  8. She pointed out that Mayes actions undermine the recall of Josh Newman
  9. 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.
  10. She rightly lit Chad Mayes up for indefensible actions from a Republican Perspective laying out multiple areas of the party platform that he crossed.
  11. 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.

Aug 182017

Harmeet Dhillon introduced the following motion:

“Given the uproar over recent decisions and actions by Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes and the fact that those decisions and actions have acted to divide the California Republican Party, the Board of Directors of the CAGOP urges Leader Mayes to resign his leadership position immediately, and if he fails to do so, urges the members of the Republican Assembly Caucus to select a new leader at the earliest opportunity.”

The CAGOP Board Voted as follows:

Jim Brulte: AYE
Kristen Olsen: NAY
Deborah Wilder: NAY
Mario Guerra: NAY
McCully: NAY
Sue Caro: NAY
Rob Bernosky: AYE
Joy Stewart: AYE
Steve Fazio: AYE
Dave Wilmon: NAY
Mike McClellan: AYE
Mike Osborn: AYE
Pat Bates: AYE
Chad Mayes: NAY
Dianne Harkey: AYE
Harmeet Dhillon: AYE
Shawn Steel: AYE
Tony Krvaric: AYE
Tom Ross – ABS
Tom DelBecarro: AYE

Final Tally: 13-7-1