One of the biggest examples of the Luis Buhler directed rampage in 2016 Central Committee elections was in Sacramento County. Sacramento County’s Republican Central Committee was almost completely cleared of activists in the 2016 election rampage. (Luis Buhler, David Reade, Andy Garakhani and others led massive expenditures of Charles Munger’s money in to GOP Central Committee Elections in at least 44 counties)
Only a few stalwarts like Roger Canfield and Carl Burton were left when the dust settled. Then at the 2017 organizational meeting, the purge was completed with a contentious but pre-scripted meeting where the Consultants and legislative staff cleared the remaining activists out of any position of responsibility.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to the Sacramento GOP and had not even before the 2016 Buhler / Reade / Munger Money massacre of the activists on that committee. I was not surprised that the consultants that run the Sacramento GOP decided to feature their former hero Chad Mayes on the pages of the website.
Since being involved in the GOP since 1998 – I want to list some of the “Next Generation” or cutting edge Republicans that the establishment have presented as “the candidate” that can break the statewide losing streak:
Senator Abel Maldonado – lost three times statewide, had a CRA Rating as low as 28%. “Maldo” was looked at for a Trump Admin cabinet post until Kevin McCarthy killed it not because of Maldonado being a liberal, but because McCarthy did not want to share the spotlight with a Cabinet Secretary. (Opinion based on research and interviews of political insiders)
Senator Bruce McPherson – appointed Secretary of State and lost re-election. Now an Independent supervisor in Santa Cruz County
Toni Casey – former local elected in the Bay Area. Was one of the original “Yank the Plank” Republicans, lost statewide race for US Senate
Rosario Marin – was a Cabinet Secretary in the G W Bush Admin, similar to most in GWB admin was a liberal Republican. Also lost a race for US Senate
Meg Whitman – wasted $150 Million on a Governor Race. Many of the consultants on the Sac GOP earned money from that campaign. Whitman is a Trump-Hater
Tom Campbell – actually elected to Congress in the Bay Area. One of the original GOP supporters of Gay Marriage, Lost two statewide Races
Nathan Fletcher – was billed as the “Future” of the State GOP as an squish-rino assemblyman. Left GOP for DTS, had an affair with a dem Assemblywoman and is now a Democrat himself.
Carly Fiorina – beat Tom Campbell in 2010 Primary. Now a top Never-Trumper
Honorable Mention: a host of “New” moderates running for State GOP office most of whom disappeared after losing.
I remember others like Jim Cuneen, Steve Kuykendall, Guy Houston, Abram Wilson, Bonnie Garcia, Shirley Horton, Charlene Zettel – all liberal Republicans who had some success running in democrat districts in the 1990’s-2000’s. However, all were involved in attacking Conservatives elsewhere in the state and advocating for the ENTIRE GOP to be like them. All received disproportionate institutional support while Conservative nominees in other areas were underfunded.
Mike Madrid – former Executive Director of CAGOP, most recently made millions working for Antonio Villariagosa and is currently working to stop Trump from within GOP
Rob Stutzman – at one time made his chops defending Prop 22 (the original defense of marriage act), turned completely when he was paid tens of thousands by Arnold and Meg (and others) Currently working to stop Trump from within GOP
Mike Murphy / Steve Schmidt – top architects of John McCain and Mitt Romney disasters. Made careers out of attacking conservatives in the primary – now both are working with Stutzman and Madrid on trying to stop trump AND attacking Trump allies in their primaries.
All four of the above were produced in the 1990’s squish-country clubber classes of Republican Activists turned consultants. Few, of the crew from the 1990’s CAGOP are Trump supporters, even the conservative ones still like to attack the President. Yet all of these people used to lecture myself and other conservative activists about supporting your nominees after the primary – I guess it was easy for them to say when they had control of the money and endorsements and knew they were going to win 95% of the time. Nothing like an out-of-left field Donald Trump to upend it all thus bringing out the true colors.
Many of the consultants and staff on the current Sacramento GOP committee have ties to some or all of the above and the current Chair of the Sac GOP (who is by all accounts a solid human being) is/was a lobbyist / former Capitol Building (or related organization) staffer.
The notion that because some liberal / moderate GOP win in some places that we need liberal/moderate GOP-ers in ALL places is absurd. This, however has been the MO of Kevin McCarthy (both as Assembly leader and now as minority leader in Congress) and others in positions of power for years. The Sacramento GOP is a microcosm of the people that currently control what’s left of the State GOP.
President Trump is only used for fundraising off of the base, otherwise he is shunned by the leaders within our state party. Candidates are told by their consultants to tiptoe around the “T” word. This is not new – this is a continuation of what I have seen since 1998 when I first got involved in California Republican politics. Back then, it was avoid the life issue. At other times, other issues were to be avoided. But, the common thread was always hide the fact that you are a Republican in an attempt to win election.
In a future post, I am going to do another analysis of GOP prospects in California, and they are grim as usual. I wish I had better news, but it is like ground-hog day watching the same people make the same decisions time and time again.
Blogger’s Note: In the interest of full disclosure – I like Bruce McPherson on a personal level (always have), I almost worked on an Abel statewide campaign (because of my disdain for Tim Donnelly) and I supported Carly for US Senate in 2010 over Chuck DeVore and Tom Campbell.
P.S. I am watching for the latest crop of “New Republicans” to join Chad Mayes and Brian Moonshine in the party-jumper category. We’ll cover that as well in the upcoming analysis post.
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