Your intrepid blogger has been receiving tips and leads from all over the state.
The bottom line – a group of political operatives and consultants are attempting to consolidate their control of the shrinking Republican Party. Research and sources indicate that the fundraising levels are significantly lower post Jim Brulte. Sources and research also indicate that several existing Republicans are looking to jump ship for greener pastures.
Let me start by repeating something, I do not dislike Jessica Patterson, Madam Chairman of the CAGOP. She has a lot of friends and respect in the insider community. She is an insider that that is the key problem that I believe could doom her chairmanship. She is simply not in the position to stand up for GOP Values, or worse is of the same belief system of those seeking to finish off the CAGOP.
The California GOP insiders have been obsessed with three things – 1. is Re-Framing the Message, the same warmed over New Way, Old Way, squish out way that has been talked about by (fill in the name of squish here) since before I (20+ years in the CAGOP as a Conservative Activist) got involved in CAGOP politics in 1997. This is why they engaged in the Platform Committee fight, they truly believe that shredding the CAGOP Platform is a key step to returning to the promised land. (More on that in a separate blog)
2. Get as far away from President Trump as possible.
3. Consolidating control. This means making sure a shrinking list of consultants get the shrinking list of contracts. This also means attempting to throttle the flow of information outside of a small fraternity and also attempting to re-arrange the deck chairs by lining up candidates they can control for a shrinking list of “target seats”. The vetting process appears to be simple, find Non-White Candidates (if possible), then vet said candidates for controllable personality traits and then create resumes if they lack one on the natural.
For example in CA-10, Charles Dossett who I attacked for re-registering GOP the day before becoming a delegate seems to be the pick of the #NEWWAYCA crowd. But, it now appears they are bailing out on him and are instead looking over Marla Livengood a former Richard Pombo Staffer and lobbyist that ran for CA-09 Last Year. Her Husband, Ray was recently elected to CAGOP Platform Committee (in AD09) and was backed by the insider crew in his effort against CRA Vice President Carl Brickey. The insiders wanted to stop Brickey at all costs. in CA-10, it appears #NEWWAY and some of their allies in the Oligarchy of Controlled Failure have declared Ted Howze public enemy #1 despite Howze being the only GOP candidate with significant resources. Remember, Drucilla herself lives in CA-10. (Kristen Olsen)
In CA-45 and CA-49, I am being treated to emails and poorly placed social media ads for retread candidates seeking to re-take those seats. Another example is in CA SD-05, there appears to be an unnecessary primary fight among Republicans for the privilege of getting hammered by the Dem Incumbent next fall. I have heard next to nothing about attempts to re-take the 5 assembly seats that were hemorrhaged in 2018 other than a few unimpressive candidates. Maybe there really is no plan. In CA-45, CA-48, CA-49 and CA-39, it looks like Virginia Based consultants with gigantic staffs are arguing over the positions of the deck chairs on the Titanic (while charging $10,000 a month retainers).
The following is an incomplete – yet cogent list of “Vulnerable Seats” aka “Target Seats” and what I think / know is happening and why I believe that a loss of 4-6 more seats at the California State Level is an entirely reasonable assumption. The sad part is that Jessica Patterson will get blamed for it, but it will really be laid at the feet of the same “Oligarchy of Controlled Failure” that are executing a strategy to shred the platform and consolidate control (as they have been for 20+ years).
CA-50 Duncan Hunter, regardless of his guilt in the Campaign Finance Scandal, he is toast. He does not know this of course – but Republican Vultures are swirling. These include Newly minted Senator Brian Jones, #NEWWAYCA hero Rocky Chavez who is running specifically to split votes off of Republican Candidates in a revenge mission and Larry Wiske a Conservative Veteran. Unless someone asserts leadership – there is a high likelihood of another AD-76 2018 repeat where two dems make the runoff.
CA-42 Ken Calvert, Calvert is a squish and one of the top members of the Tuesday Group (used to be Mainstreet Partnership). Like a lot of districts in Riverside County, it is slipping. The RIVCO GOP was running strong voter registration efforts until internal party politics and control issues dried up their money.
CA-08 Paul Cook. My sources indicate Cook is running again. However in 2022, look for a Jay Obernolte vs Chad Mayes vs Psycho Tim Donnelly (and at least 3 other Republican gadflies because that is how it always works) blowout barnburner. The registration in CA-08 is marginal and getting more so by the week.
CA-22 and CA-23. My guess is that Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy get drawn in to the same district as the dems will influence the tainted redistricting commission to attempt to shrink the GOP to 4 seats. Being left to choose between those two is a choice I won’t have to make as I don’t live down there.
CA-01 and CA-04. Both Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock are facing well-funded psychotic democrat opponents again in 2020. I think they will both survive, but McClintock’s margin will shrink further as his abusive behavior towards constituents and his refusal to lead are steadily eroding his base. McClintock refuses to engage on behalf of conservatives and despite being in Congress for over a decade still does not live in CA-04. McClintock is the poster child for Republican Leadership Failure. It is the opinion of this blogger that LaMalfa and McClintock will get drawn in to the same district in 2022. I also believe that Kevin Kiley (Ad-06) will attempt to run for Congress against the two of them as well.
I believe CA-50 turns blue in 2020 and CA-08 could as well. I also believe that the CAGOP will not successfully flip any one of the 7(!) Congressional Seats we lost in 2018. I am of the same belief as it pertains to the 5 lost Assembly Seats as well. I’ve seen some of the people lining up to run for lost assembly seats and I have not been impressed as of yet by any of them.
AD-77 Brian Maeinschein became a democrat in an act of cowardice and self-serving. He was rumored to be working with Chad Mayes (Ad-42) and Jordan Cunningham (Ad-35) on forming a third party caucus of #NEWWAYCA members. Mainschein’s New Way was out of the GOP. Mainschein gets re-elected as a dem.
AD-76 This is the #NEWWAYCA Hero Rocky Chavez’ former seat. Similar to Chad Mayes’ ego-fueled rampage, Chavez went after CA-49 in 2018 and is going after CA-50 in 2020. But first Chavez is running for Oceanside Mayor to split votes off of a Republican Mayor Candidate before going to CA-50 to do the same. This is what the #NEWWAYCA looks like – pumping up empty shell candidates who then start to believe their own BS.
Let’s look at vulnerable Incumbent Republican Assembly Members:
AD-72, Tyler Diep. Survived ballot harvesting in 2018 by having his own drill. Diep is a deeply flawed candidate and it remains to be seen if he can survive. He is also virtually useless on an internal party level.
AD-68, Steven Choi. Hoarded over $400K in his campaign account similar to AD06 (Kevin Kiley) while the GOP got slaughtered. He could be vulnerable in 2020, or post 2022. He is emblematic of the every-man-for-himself mentality that has ruled the CAGOP post term limits
AD-71 – Randy Voepel. Randy is an old white guy. His district is also completely encased in the CA-50 District where Duncan Hunter is about to get hammered.
AD-42 – Chad Mayes, he is sitting on $1MM and his district has gone to plurality dem registration. Does he start actively campaigning as a liberal democrat? Does he care about trying to keep Republicans on the reservation? Since he is angling to run against Jay Obernolte for Congress soon, what is his next move? (Other than clandestinely funding and participating in political revenge missions that is…)
AD-36 Tom Lackey. Good Dude. District is D+9. I hope my friend George Andrews can be effective in his effort to save Lackey, I am not optimistic. It is my understanding though that Lackey has been effective and engaged in his district which gives him a better than average shot of surviving.
AD-35 Jordan Cunningham – It is the opinion of this blogger that Cunningham is going to bail on trying to get re-elected to the Assembly. SLO County is one of the strongholds of the liberal Republicans trying to destroy the CAGOP Platform so protecting Cunningham (a cap and trade vote) is a top priority. Does that change if Cunningham runs for Supervisor, County Wide or CA-24? When Cunningham bails on the Assembly for greener pastures, the GOP loses that seat for sure versus maybe if he stays.
AD-33 Jay Obernolte – His district has deteriorated in Registration to the point of being even as well. However, he got re-elected with over 60% of the vote. Perhaps a clinic on not being lazy, arrogant, and actually working/caring about your district is in order for some or all of his colleagues?
State Senate – Seasoned observers understand that the GOP Nearly lost SD28 Stone and SD36 Bates in 2018. The Dems poured money in to those districts, long considered “safe” and narrowed both of their margins to single digits… while at the same time defeating former SD38 Senator Joel Anderson for Board of Equalization. (The dem that won is an 80 year old with a nice batch of legal maladies) Undaunted, Joel Anderson is seeking yet another office.
Perhaps Joel Anderson’s humiliating defeat is why SD38 Senator Brian Jones is looking at challenging Duncan Hunter in CA-50 along with run-for-everything-Rocky Chavez. Jones has a “free shot” and who knows what the 2022 redistricting does to his Senate District?
SD29 – Ling Ling Chang. Given how weak politically Ling Ling Chang is and how liberal she is, does she re-register democrat like Maeinschein? Do her issues bleed over to the CA-39 Race preventing a Republican victory there? What is the impact of Ad-65 and the likely strong run of its’ Dem incumbent on both CA-39 and SD-29? Chang is a far left Republican a la Catherine Baker, who got blown out of AD-16 in 2018, will Chang’s Gun Control and pro-death votes in the State Senate help or hurt in that district?
SD21 – Scott Wilk is in as deep a trouble as Tom Lackey is. Wilk is probably in more trouble than lackey as he appears to have less of a connection to his district. It also appears that there are not strong recruits manifesting in CA-25 or AD-38, (both lost in 2018) to help buttress SD-21.
SD23 – Mike Morrell (Morrell is term limited), Remember AD40 was lost out from under this district and parts of now-marginal AD33 and AD42 underlie this district. The GOP is going to have a tough hold on this seat.
SD37 – John Moorlach. Moorlach cares more about settling scores than doing his job as a State Senator. It is also clear that Moorlach is going to bail on re-election opting instead to prepare a run for County Supervisor. If Moorlach runs for re-election, I’d consider him vulnerable.
The makings for another 2018 style bloodbath are clear. Once again, Ballot Harvesting and President Trump will be blamed. The formula has been the same since I have been aware, a generation of controllable candidates and a shrinking coven of controllers getting controlled failure.