This weekend was a big victory for Consultants and Moderate Republicans seeking to take over control of the California GOP. We will soon have a laboratory to test if the Moderate vision for the California GOP is a winner. I thought the 2010 election disaster was the answer, but apparently that was not enough abuse for those in charge.
Many who read this blog remember the April 2011 CRA Convention that featured a revelation of rampant fraud that had been allowed under past CRA President Mike Spence. The part that I have never revealed before are my conversations with political consultants (off the record, of course) that told me that they had bought CRA endorsements in past campaigns.
We put a stop to that in April of 2011. Not surprisingly, Mike Spence founded an organization called Conservative Republicans of California… designed to compete with the CRA, but more importantly, appears to be formed to maintain Mike’s commercial enterprise.
The CRC lists amongst its’ leaders those disgraced for being caught defrauding CRA.
The just concluded CRP Convention featured a ton of drama as usual without any solutions as to how the GOP is going to regain lost ground going forward in California. Rather – it was highlighted with the chartering of CRC. The Conservative movement is now divided with one half apparently for sale.
There was no investigation that the CRC even had the 200 members in 10 counties that the State CRP By-Laws require.
The vote of 371-343 to Charter CRC was also informative. Several who were there told me that it was the Bay-Area Moderates, including Charles Munger and Luis Buhler teaming up with Legislative Staff and political Consultants versus activists. Two people mentioned that Mike was seen yukking it up with one Charles Munger and Luis Buhler at the end of the convention.
I had been told of a meeting of Bay Area Republican delegates where the “deal” was mentioned – as in Mike Spence had opposed CRA with regard to the Nehring Plan for regional caucus endorsements of candidates and he had most recently opposed attempts to reform the corrupted proxy process. So despite Mike Spence’s support for the Conservative platform, the Bay Area Moderates voted to give Mike his group.
The backdrop is that the electeds – sensing a loss of control with the proposed Nehring Plan for regional endorsing caucuses – appointed only staff and consultants with their 2012-2013 appointments, making proxy drills much easier to control. In one case, a member appointed 5 family members – just to maintain control.
What was peculiar to me was CRP Chairman Tom Del Becarro’s role in the process – he was abusive to Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander as they argued against the charter of the CRC. Then on Sunday, he appeared to fight against the effort to charter it from the floor. I am still wondering if the money and electeds behind that group threatened him or made some sort of an offer… my only proof is Tom’s behavior.
In the end, State Senator Joel Anderson and Assemblymember Don Wagner showed up to get even with CRA. To them, like typical electeds, it was all about them and not the health of the Conservative movement. If Conservatives lose majority control of the CRP and the platform is indeed changed in a few years… mark the moment of the chartering of the CRC.
Secondly, take a close look at the pattern of endorsements that come from the CRC. That will also be a true measure of the cash flow.
Despite what many think – this blogger couldn’t care less about the ideological leanings of the players as it relates to all of the CRP drama – it is the ethics and integrity of the matter that matters. The Consultants now have an another organization with a name that they can control, the electeds that are looking to protect their shrinking fiefdom now have another mirror to provide the illusion of control.
The California Republican Assembly will indeed survive and thrive. The stench of the psychotic smear tactics employed by some of Mike Spence’ allies will fade and I believe that in the end, many in the Tea Party will find a home in the CRA – a CRA that no consultant nor elected can control.