When I was first sent a photo of this convention handout, I thought it was a gift from Peter Kuo. I am still not sure who sprung for these, but they should have spent an extra nickel for ones without a sticker.
I wrote yesterday about mixed committee votes on the platform – specifically about the Log Cabin Republican led effort that came within 2 votes of making an earth-shattering change to the CAGOP Platform. Either David Stafford Reade and the oligarchy did not care about this issue OR they lost control over several of their platform committee recruits.
Given that a vote about Parental Notification only succeeded 50-39 and amendments to oppose forced vaccination failed by similar margins there was no scripted outcome, only a direction of influence. This is markedly different than things under Jim Brulte (Or Duf Sundheim for that matter).
Your intrepid blogger discovered that the legislative leadership did not pay a ton of money for a funded operation going in to this convention. This left David Reade, George Andrews, Andy Garakhani and others to have to do a lot of the job themselves. When you do not have tens of thousands of dollars to use on staff, phone calls, social media and mail it makes things radically different.
Reports indicated that there were roughly 600 people in attendance and something like 300 proxies. That is ridiculous that 1/3 of the vote was not present. And the attendance was the lowest I’ve been aware of in the 20+ years I’ve been around this. There are something like 1400 total delegates and less than half were physically in attendance.
I was told that something like 30-40 “Conservative Proxies” were rejected. Most of this appears to be because a Tea Party Group did what groups like that do best – change the rules they don’t like. In this case, they did not use the official proxy form, they made their own. I don’t like the CAGOP’s rules any more than the “Tea Party”, but them’s the rules and until you can change them… deal with it.
The College Republicans Lost their permanent charter. The CFCR – which appears to be a broad spectrum of youngsters (not just squishes) was chartered on equal footing with the CCR. The California College Republicans did not acquit themselves well this weekend as even the most hardcore anti-Jessica Patterson people I spoke to had nothing good to say about the folks present to plead the CCR’s case. Whoops.
Tom Del Bacardi, who is now a former chairman and non board member of the CAGOP has a new girlfriend (at least that is what convention-goers thought). (He usually has 3-5 a year) She apparently is running for congress somewhere in San Francisco against SFGOP Chairman John Dennis. Dennis is a well known quantity and had been a Tea Party favorite in the past. (This is Nancy Pelosi’s district) Both Tom and the woman deny they are dating.
We’ll likely be following up on this later, but suffice to say, this woman was a former flame of the unstable Omar Navarro. Navarro for his part, was escorted out of the CAGOP Convention due to his behavior and this led to a call to the authorities. Apparently the authorities also had to come fetch someone who passed out higher than a kite in a hospitality suite as well.
I was also told by a first-hand witness that the shameless Navarro attempted to engage Brad Parscale in conversation and Parscale said “Not Gonna Happen” and turned away with his security detail stepping in.
On the floor of the convention a couple arguments occurred over proposals to change the proxy rules.
It was reported to me that David Reade, Luis Buhler and others were nervously pacing around the room making eye contact with people attempting to enforce discipline. Having dealt with them both for 20 years this is 100% believable as I’ve seen it myself many times. Only, this time they did not have megabucks behind them.
One rule proposal related to requiring proxies to match the county of the giver was defeated by about 10% from a majority vote.
Another proposal related to requiring proxies to be designated only to an alternate of the giver was defeated by a slimmer margin.
The floor fight over proxies featured the former CRA Pol-Pot bellied information minister in rare form. Without Steve Frank present at the convention and Mike Spence deceased – Hudson was doing the heavy lifting 100% himself.
The accounts of the altercation between Jessica Patterson and Tom Hudson during the Sunday floor session vary, but everyone agrees that Tom Hudson was being a loudmouth and Jessica responded in kind to Hudson’s condescending comments (my opinion) earning her boos from some of the delegates. In the 20 years I have known Tom Hudson, I have known him to be relentless and obsessive yet completely without empathy or shame. Jessica Patterson overstepped her bounds attempting to shut Hudson down, thus enabling a usually pitiless character to have a brief moment of victim hood.
You can make bank Hudson will roll in again and again, convention after convention. If he is the dude leading the conservative movement – we may as well re-write the CAGOP platform now because it will go down faster than Hudson is reputed to slam box wine.
I am not a fan of the people controlling outcomes in the CAGOP – but Jessica Patterson deserves credit for remembering Mike Spence’s untimely and tragic death due to his addiction. She also mentioned Steve Frank’s wife who is seriously ill. I guarantee you 20 years of knowing Tom Hudson tells me if he had the gavel and it was Luis Buhler’s wife in the hospital or David Reade who had passed – he’d say nothing.
I can also tell you this, while I am sharply critical of a variety of things, I am not rooting for Jessica Patterson to fail. There are too many people that don’t think that way and it is a high pressure situation for anyone – especially someone like Mrs. Patterson who is a career operative not an out front leader. Jessica Patterson deserves a chance to succeed and I type this while still scratching my head over her completely one-sided list of committee appointments (95% are moderates or staffers/consultants) and selective responsiveness to various delegates that reach out.
It is my opinion based on talking to about a dozen people present that David Reade / Luis Buhler and crew are losing their grip. The Log Cabin drill / social liberal drill on the left of the party in defiance of the keep the peace edict coupled with the floor fights and the consistent pressure from the right of the party are showing serious fissures in the coalitions that former CAGOP Chair Jim Brulte largely kept together.
Another example that came to mind was the announcement that live streaming from the convention is not allowed unless the oligarchy of controlled failure gave you permission to do so. You only do this when you are worried your machinations will make it out in public. Reade was apparently watching undesirables like a hawk during the floor session. This edict appears have been a response to Luis Buhler being filmed as he was giving instructions to the CFCR faithful in their meeting room. (again, they really don’t like public exposure of their behind the scenes manipulations)
That filming edict was just not a good look with the police state style responses – especially since the media are allowed to film. Got it? The enemy (the media) can film but delegates can’t.
In addition, the nervous pacing in the floor session by Reade and crew was something else I found noteworthy.
The party announced about $1.6MM in the State Account and less than $300K in the Federal Account. I was told that they had to pay a significant sum to get Scott Walker out to speak and several of the meal events had space available. I am hoping for their sake there is a profit as that is all federal money from this weekend.
One thing I will be tracking closely – It will be interesting to see if Harmeet Dhillon and Shawn Steel draw opponents at the May 2020 convention in LAX.
There were multiple sightings of CAGOP Vice Chair Peter Kuo with a youngster carrying his violin for him. Your intrepid blogger was also told that legislators were scarce in any of the contentious or controversial items of the weekend. Why am I not surprised.