Your intrepid blogger has been involved in Placer County Politics for 20+ years. As such, I want to dedicate this series of blogs to those on the Placer GOP Central Committee and the fine folks attempting to recall Gavin Newsom. Many of you are much newer to the political scene and I greatly appreciated those of you that were sharing your thoughts and encouragement as I was opening up the history of the CAGOP in the run up to the 2019 CAGOP Chairman’s race. I want to share some more of my experiences specifically in local norcal politics. A lot of what you see today can be traced back to when your intrepid blogger was in his 20’s. (and before)
Yup. With Travis Allen at the 2019 CAGOP Convention
In 1997, I moved to Roseville with my family. We started our business which would later become Park Family Insurance that I have had for 22 Years. The first person I met in Politics was Jeff Atteberry, (in a Roseville Chamber of Commerce Meeting) who was then the Chairman of the Placer GOP for several years before the staff and consultant-led takeover of the Placer GOP in 2012. The second person I met in politics was none other than Thomas N. Hudson. Shortly thereafter in 1998-1999, I met people like Steve Frank, Mike Spence, State Senator Rico Oller, and his district director then known as Bonnie Mertus. (She is Placer County Supervisor Bonnie Gore)
True Story – Bonnie Gore is the deciding reason why I never ran for office ever. I had toyed with the idea and I had lunch with her one day at the Chili’s that used to be on Eureka and Lead Hill. We talked about the Moderates in the CAGOP and that 20 year-old fight (now 40 year-old fight) that started in the 1970’s and the foibles / pitfalls of running for office. That conversation with Bonnie Gore (then Mertus) was the tie-breaking factor as to why I became a full-time activist rather than one of many who plan a future run for office.
It was based on that chat, and chats with a few others to lead me to conclude that I really don’t want to have to serve side-by-side with people I don’t respect. This is your lot in life if you are elected to office. I’d never be able to write this blog if I had political aspirations either. (Think of all the people I’ve written about and what they would do if I was a candidate) In a sense, Jeff Atteberry who registered me to vote in 1997 for the first time, Tom Hudson who along with Jeff recruited me in to the CRA and Bonnie (Mertus) Gore whose brutally honest conversation with me in 1999 set me on the course towards political activism that helped found the Right on Daily Blog.
I actually served as a state officer in CRA from 2002-2015 (12 years as Sgt at Arms and then 1+ Year as a VP) before I was expelled for life from that organization during the Presidency of Thomas N Hudson. More on that in a later post.
It would be 5 years after Joining CRA in 1997 that I’d meet Kirk Uhler for the first time. That was 2002. In 2002, Ted Gaines was the Placer County Supervisor in District 4, having just advanced from Roseville office. Kirk Uhler actually preceded Ted Gaines as Supervisor in District 4. When Uhler was first elected a supervisor in the early 1990’s, he was 25, the youngest at the time in California, and second youngest in California history. I did not know him then.
In 2002, John Doolittle was our Congressman. He was at the peak of his influence. Doolittle was making his way up the list and was the #5 in the congressional leadership. Then Senator Tim Leslie and Assemblyman Rico Oller (they switched when termed out) were part of the crew of conservatives in office in Placer County.
Back in the days before it was fashionable to be a Gay Republican (aka Log Cabin), a man named Paul Hrabal, then President of the Placer County Congress of Republicans, (Yes, they were a chapter of the California Congress of Republicans – the moderates) recruited a slate of candidates for Placer GOP Central Committee. That’s correct – in the days when the Placer GOP was organized as a 21 member committee the Placer CCR Chapter had 21 certified squishes running and they had a fair amount of money in the bank with which to support them.
One of the biggest issues I have with Tom McClintock is that he simply does nothing to support local Republicans. At the beginning of my political consciousness, I had a Congressman, John Doolittle, that recruited candidates and helped finance candidates for local office. John Doolittle was responsible for getting Ted Gaines started in office only to have Gaines betray him later. Many of the Republicans in local office today trace their roots back to one of the three – Tim Leslie, Rico Oller or John Doolittle.
Former Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler, the son of legendary Ronald Reagan Alumnus Lewis K Uhler, was recruited by Congressman Doolittle as a key player in the effort to keep the Placer County Republican Party from getting taken over by the moderates. The Late Kathy Lund was part of the team as was former Roseville Mayor Susan Rohan.
Current Auburn Councilmember Cheryl Maki was part of the Congress Club slate in 2002 – a harbinger of her 2019 efforts to raise Pioneer Energy’s rates 27%.
Who was the chairman of the Placer GOP at the time? None other than Ken Campbell, still a member of the Placer GOP Central Committee to this day. That’s correct, Kirk Uhler was recruited to be a leader in the effort to prevent the moderates from unseating Ken Campbell as Chairman of the Placer GOP in 2002. Back in those days, Tom Hudson, Kirk Uhler and Ken Campbell were all on the same team.
From 2002, it would be 8 years until I’d ever heard of Suzanne Jones.
To be continued…