Jan 122019

There is a concept in parliamentary procedure called quorum. Quorum designates a fractional part of the body that is required at a minimum to be functional in order to do business. Imagine tripling the universe of people required to make quorum to start a meeting. This is part of what Steve Frank is proposing. 

The truth for over 30 years of CAGOP Conventions

It feels really good to make every Central Committee Member an automatic delegate, right? It is a way to dilute the influence of those party bosses over the party, right? Let’s unpack this idea…

Steve Frank, 71 has been involved in the operations of the California Republican Party since 1960. You would think a man with this kind of experience and heritage within the GOP would understand the consequences of poorly thought out rules changes.

Problem #1: All of us remember when Luis Buhler ran a statewide effort (funded by Charles T Munger Jr.) – spending an estimated $2.2 Million trying to pick the membership of EVERY Central Committee in California. Dozens of Central Committees became overrun with Political Consultants and Legislative Staff as a result. Should another group of people or a different rich dude attempt this in 2020, with Steve Frank’s By-Law Amendment in place this would literally leave the composition of the State GOP at the mercy of whomever had a ton of money to campaign with

Since grassroots activists rarely have a ton of money, most were hunted down in 2016 and many long-time party stalwarts were run off of their local party committees. (More on this in a future post)

Problem #2: The CAGOP’s By Laws are clear – it takes 50%+1 of the delegates / proxies in order to achieve quorum at a convention. That number is usually about 500 in order to do business. Imagine tripling that number? 

If the Convention fails to make quorum, then the Executive Committee takes care of the business – meaning 100 members of a small, exclusive club are empowered to control everything. 

Problem #3 – did you know that the LAGOP has something like 150 members at any given time? (In theory, they could have 161 elected members + 21 nominees in the Assembly Districts for a total of 182)

Most counties are elected by supervisor district and have 21 members. This means that the LAGOP would engulf 9 counties in influence!)

San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego all have somewhere between 50 and 80 members each. 

It gets better – the Sacramento GOP with 2 times the number of Republicans that the Placer GOP has, has 32 elected slots on its’ Roster. The Placer GOP went to 7 per district 10 years ago and thus, has 35 Elected Members. Under Steve Frank’s rule, a county with 95,000 Registered Republicans would have more representation than a county with 200,000 registered Republicans!!!

We need more than solutions borne out of campaign posturing. 

Problem #4: If we were to abolish proxies and combine that with tripling the number of delegates in a slipshod manner, there would be a number of unintended consequences. The immediate consequence would be to create imbalances in representation due to variances in composition of county committees, empowering small sub-committees of people within the CAGOP to make major decisions and logistical nightmares.

I am actually quite disappointed that Steve Frank, with all of his experience did not think this through. This feel good idea would be a disaster and either he is not aware of the issues his proposal would create, or he is and is using it as a feel-good campaign prop. In either event, he is disqualifying himself from serious consideration with his own verbose plans and emails that fail scrutiny when tested against reality. 

To be continued…

P.S. Please note that I am in favor of abolishing Proxy Voting altogether, and will accept reducing proxies per delegate to 1 as a good first step. Secondly, I support opening up more opportunities to become CAGOP delegates, but that will be a discussion for a different time. 

Nov 082018

I have been active in California Republican Politics for 21 years and counting.

I have had a front row seat to watch 20 years of Controlled Failure.

First off, let me say that I think it is absurd and insane for anyone to talk to Travis Allen about running for Congress. Dana Rohrabacher is not gone yet and Scott Baugh needs a clear avenue to get his clock cleaned once and for all should Dana lose the final tally. Travis has a young family and a financial planning business he is trying to get cranking again.

It is alleged that Harley Rhouda had about 3,000 paid operatives on the ground in the final days of the election as they appear to have made over 100,000 door knocks in the final 72 hours before election day. The GOP had not much more than a standard token ground game. I am not sure anyone outside of a Rich dude looking for a new adventure in CA wants to mess with that kind of fire.

The CAGOP is going to need a religious experience to manifest 3,000 volunteers in Orange County, let alone a Congressional District.

Having seen first hand what happened in Northern Nevada, I get 100% what happened. I saw canvassers sometimes 5 deep in precincts in Central Reno (think dem areas). I know of several people in Reno that were not contacted by anything other than mail (Registered R’s). Heller and Laxalt got beaten on the ground, period.

I’ve watched a generation of Republican consultants that eschew the ground game. You can’t win with just a ground game, and you can’t win with just media.

I’ve watched a generation of CAGOP Chairman talk a good game about grassroots but the grassroots and ground games continue to degrade. Jim Brulte was successful at digging the CAGOP out of Bankruptcy and holding a shrinking, fractured party structure together. Most of his predecessors that I knew failed at one or the other.

I have also watched as big money has allowed a very small oligarchy of consultants to basically take over the skeleton known as the California Republican Party. They dictate everything that goes on behind the scenes and had ironclad control until Chad Mayes’ very public meltdown shattered that paradigm of control. They are scrambling to regain that stranglehold.

For as much as I love Jim Brulte – that small group basically wielded a tremendous influence over him while grassroots groups have withered and died. I have seen a generation of term-limit babies that could care less about the condition of the CAGOP or the size of the GOP caucus in the legislature as long as they are one of them. Matthew Harper is a poster child for this, he did not and could not raise money (getting elected on $15,000 originally) and his vulnerability sapped resources out of other Republican Districts.

In my home Area, Kevin Kiley had $400,000 in the bank that he did not share with his colleagues as he just declared for State Senate. It is literally every man for himself.

Now, we are down to 11 Senators (out of 40) and likely 19 maybe 20 members of the Assembly (out of 80).

If Kiley beats Dahle or Dahle beats Kiley – there were be a feeding frenzy for the vacated Assembly seat. I am not sure why, but people seem to line up to run for state legislature for the privilege of being irrelevant. Special Bonus! Former Assemblymember Beth Gaines is going to run for that Senate Seat as well! (BTW – of the Three, Dahle is by far my favorite as I helped get him elected against the GOP establishment in 2012 and it is likely I will support Dahle in that SD01 Special Election)

Here’s my main point – our candidates (rumored and declared) for CAGOP Chair Present a striking contrast:

Career Activist and former 1996 Assembly Candidate Stephen Frank.

Former AD-74 (3 Terms) Assemblymember Travis Allen

Liberal Former Assemblymember David Hadley.

Hadley is making calls and locking up establishment endorsements. He is 100% more of the same. The same got us shellacked in the 2018 election and his solution was to take to AM 1070 KNX in LA and trash the sitting GOP President. I heard this from three people that listened to it live.

Filtering my past history with Steve Frank and focusing only 100% on his accomplishments, I do not think Steve Frank will be able to deliver on his plan for the CA GOP. While his talking points are cogent and his approach is better than I have seen him take in a long time, I don’t see a future for the CA GOP in electing a 72-year old Chairman with no demonstrated history of being able to organize or fundraise.

Frank has a successful online presence and serves as a voice for Conservative principles. I believe that Mr. Frank will continue well in to his golden years using his golden keyboard.

I took Steve Frank on in a CRA Chairman’s Race fight in 2013 and unseated an incumbent CRA President and unseated him as a CRA Vice President, I am worried that he is not able to organize grassroots either.

Steve Frank also lacks the charisma and presentation of Travis Allen.

I see the CAGOP Chairman’s race as a clear choice between two middle aged white guys, David Hadley and Travis Allen.

Hadley represents more of the same. Period. Nothing else matters as it pertains to him.

Travis Allen represents a different course. Regardless of his Governor Campaign, as a CAGOP Chairman he’d represent a mouthpiece for Republican Values, someone who is not afraid to mix it up with the other side, someone who will paint a clear contrast with the other side.

Travis Allen for his faults did have a rabid base of support and with some seasoned people coming alongside him could help harness that enthusiasm in to something real for the CAGOP. I really had not seen that since the days of McClintock for Governor in 2003.

We’ve tried the same approach for 20 years. I think it is time to burn it down and start over. I think someone like Travis Allen would be a great place to start trying to redefine the CAGOP.

OMG!!!! As the world turns……CRA & aaron park

 Steve Frank, Tom McClintock  Comments Off on OMG!!!! As the world turns……CRA & aaron park
Mar 102014

I sent the following email to several that were asking why the CRA did not endorse Tom McClintock. As I hoped, several in the Tea Party forwarded it far and wide.

The first copy I received back was from former CRA President Celeste Greig: (with the above title)

So, here I’m minding my own business, and lo and behold, I’m getting hundred of emails, comments and the below
posting about aaron park (the current CRA president in name only), and I did NOT solicited, read below, how he trashes a solid conservative member of congress, just like he did when he went after then candidate for congress, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, oh I almost forgot, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (all with solid conservative voting records).

FYI, Steve Frank speaks highly of Congressman McClintock, of his great oratory, his voting record and unwavering stand of both social and fiscal values, as he has told me numerous times.

The last sentence is the most laughable. However – the text of the email that is making the rounds follows:

Thank you for emailing me.
Steve Frank ran for assembly in 1996, McClintock entered the race late and mopped up the floor with him. It is well-known that Frank hates McClintock. If I have helped relieve Steve of an 18-year grudge, then Praise God for that.
That being said, he is obsessed with trying to wedge the Tea Party and the CRA against each other. He was disgraced by CRA in 2013 because we held him accountable for his dishonest actions in manipulating endorsements and in 2013 all of his clients lost their races for CRP office.
These sorts of attacks are what desperate men do whose egos are defined by events outside themselves. Steve Frank has lost considerable clout and needs to reinvent himself by trying to get to the right of the CRA.
McClintock has done nothing for CRA and worse, his local actions have been hostile including his current hand-picked Chairman of the Placer GOP who is an unabashed social liberal. 7 of his 8 appointments to the CRP WILL vote to gut the platform.
In our county, we have a democrat supervisor in a 44% Republican district. He just filed unopposed. McClintock did nothing to help us find an opponent. McClintock has never helped fund voter registration. We’ve been on our own since McClintock got elected.
The Placer RA has elected 12 of its’ members to local office despite McClintock and his political advisor treating us like the enemy. McClintock has even publicly attacked us for defending ourselves from Karen England.
We need help. I am not sure if Art Moore is the right guy or if the focus on why Art Moore is getting traction against McClintock will cause McClintock to alter his course of action.
Steve Frank’s account of the events of the convention is so wrong on so many facts, it is astounding. There were 8 CRA Board members present when the non-endorsement of McClintock occurred, start there.
The motion the reconsider the endorsement is out of order for many more reasons than John Briscoe cited. We have to follow our by-laws and tea party harps on the constitution, yet we are supposed to violate ours because it involves McClintock?
Bottom line – the CRA has the right and the local units have the right to endorse or not endorse as they see fit. We spoke. We are a bottom-up organization, a fact not lost on Steve, yet conveniently ignored. The liberty people in the Tea Party should respect that unless their desire for a result overrides their desire for liberty and self-determination. BTW – I did not have a vote in that local convention. I was not a delegate.
Second – I had nothing to do with Art Moore filing. The one time I met him, I told him not to run. Taking on an icon like McClintock is a suicide mission. It is entirely possible that Moore gets funded, as there are a lot more people than Steve Frank that dislike/want to remove McClintock. Even if Moore gets funded, can he beat McClintock? Not sure.
Third – I am neutral. The attacks have only hardened my resolve to sit this one out. At a time of my choosing, when it is convenient for me, I may engage on behalf of either one of them, which one it is depends on Tom McClintock. Right now, this is a no-win thanks to the actions of one CRA officer (who I won’t name) who has inflamed this situation causing Steve Frank to get John Briscoe’s email. Our club spoke and the CRA Spoke and the discussion should be on why we did not endorse versus the attacks.
Fourth – Art Moore is not a moderate. He is a conservative, not as far-right as McClintock but easily a prototypical CRA Member type. The Sac Bee article was wishful thinking by the reporter as the Sac Bee is dedicated in their ideological hatred of McClintock. (Which is far different than the issues many here locally have with Tom) Since I was accused of recruiting Moore, I figured I might as well get to know the guy I “recruited”. I reached out to him and spoke to him at some length. That call was the first time I ever spoke to him beyond the three minute conversation I had with him when I first met him, telling him not to run.
You can use any of the above as you see fit.
Jul 032010

The usual Labor-Union Fed crap of lowering the budget threshold to a simple majority makes another appearance… Prop 18 is a disaster – it would actually shut down three dams, accomplishing exactly opposite of what it says it is for… and Prop 23 is the biggie, the rollback of the Cap and Trade Global Warming AB32.

(Prop 26 is also huge – it would stop “Fee” increases by simple majority as well)

From Steve Frank: Secretary of State Debra Bowen just rolled em out, and here they are …

Proposition 18: Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010 ($11.1 billion bond measure)  NO

Proposition 19: legalizes recreational marijuana use. (Too bad this wasnt Prop. 20, as proponents wouldve been able to say theyre For 20.)  NO

Proposition 20: adds Congressional reapportionment to the authority of the citizens redistricting commission created by Prop. 11 of 2008  YES

Proposition 21: establishes $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to help fund state parks and wildlife programs, with free admission to state parks for all surcharged vehicles  NO

Proposition 22: bars state government from taking, borrowing, shifting or restricting use of tax revenues dedicated by law to fund local government, community redevelopment or transportation projects  YES

Proposition 23: rolls back AB 32, the states landmark greenhouse gas emissions law, until the states unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters  YES

Proposition 24: repeals recently enacted corporate tax breaks letting businesses carry back losses, share tax credits, and use a sales-based income calculation to lower taxable income.  NO

Proposition 25: reduces legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority.  NO

Proposition 26: increases legislative vote requirement to impose state levies and charges from a simple majority to two-thirds.  YES

Proposition 27: eliminates citizens redistricting commission created by Prop. 11 of 2008, putting all reapportionment authority back in the Legislatures hands.  NO