Dec 052019
 

It’s 2010. California’s 5th Assembly District was coming open as Roger Niello was term-limited.

The leading candidate with all the institutional support was Andy Pugno, the author of California’s Proposition 8. He won the primary with 44% of the vote. Suzanne Jones finished a distant third with 12.3% of the vote, despite having no campaign and not raising any money. To this day, everyone involved in that campaign believes that the only reason she did as “well” as she did, was that there were five men and one woman on the GOP Primary ballot.  One would think that, as the only woman running, with any kind of a message she would have gotten at least 25%.

Another candidate, Donald Thompson got 17.4% of the vote, likely because his name was so similar to John Smith (a little inside polling humor).

I was never able to capture a Suzanne Jones Sign in 2010. This one was my favorite though

I witnessed Suzanne Jones at two public events during that primary. She was a very poor public speaker at that time, her message was incoherent and unclear. She did however, establish a theme, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”. She ran for Assembly again in 2016 and did the same things she did in 2010. (More on that in a future installment of this series)

In 2010, before a lot of us really got to know Suzanne Jones, we saw potential. Several years prior, in 2004 the Placer CRA PAC using money from the late Dave Cox, Tim Leslie and several others worked with the local Charter School Movement. We Spent $45,000 taking out two long term liberal democrat incumbents off of the Sierra College Board. We helped elect Aaron Klein and Scott “Tim” Leslie (the Senator’s Son who is still in office to this day). I met the late Joe Scharrer, Kevin Cooper and David Patterson in the years between 2004 and 2010 largely due to the exposure of the campaign to get a Republican majority onto the Sierra College Board.

After the primary of 2010, Dave Patterson and myself had a chat with Joe Scharrer about Suzanne Jones. She lived in Granite Bay (still lives in the same place today), which was smack in the middle of the trustee area of Trevor Sanders. Trevor was an anti-charter school member of the Placer County Office of Education. At the time, there was a literal war over the Charter of the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy (that Dave Patterson helped found).

Lew Uhler (Kirk’s Father) and Suzanne Jones at a Placer CRA Event in 2010 (Note, I was President of the Placer CRA then)

The Rocklin School Board at the time (only extreme left-wing liberal democrat Camille Maben is still on that board) was fighting with the WSCA people. The Rocklin School Board was able to stuff the charter requests because a majority of the Placer County Office of Education Board was anti-charter school.

We (the Placer CRA that I was still President of in 2010), and the Charter School People recruited some candidates for local office. Among them was Linda M. Park (my mother), for Roseville Joint Union High School District, and Suzanne Jones for Placer County Office of Education. Kirk Uhler and pretty much everyone else in Roseville endorsed them both when we asked them for help.

We never asked Ted Gaines nor Tom McClintock for actual help. They weren’t interested. Ted Gaines did endorse some of the candidates because he was running for State Senate in the wake of the passing of Dave Cox (Gaines was actually on the ballot twice in 2010, before Gaines was on the ballot twice as two different people).

Kirk Uhler, Susan Rohan and others walked precincts with Suzanne Jones’ flyers in 2010. I distributed hers and my mothers’ stuff to all the gated communities in East Roseville as I had the fire department code at the time. Kirk Uhler was with me at least twice. I covered a part of Granite Bay on behalf of Andy Pugno as well.

We had such teamwork that Scott Huber (running for re-election) chipped in financially to split the cost of two-sided door-hanger flyers with my mother.

Suzanne defeated Trevor Sanders by about 5% and my mother blew out her opponents finishing only about 4% behind the top vote getter Scott Huber (he is still on the RJUHSD Board to this day). We put out so many flyers for Suzanne while knocking on doors that she ran out of flyers. The Placer CRA also bought slate mail cards on her behalf as well. Click here if you are curious about the election results.

Because of the election, the John Adams Academy in Roseville was safe (As Linda replaced Jack Duran whose seat came open when he was elected supervisor in 2010) and the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy got approved by a 5-2 Pro-Charter Majority (versus a previously 4-3 anti Charter group).

Kirk Uhler was there when other Republican Leaders had other priorities. Kirk helped raise money for the CRA slate cards in support of Republican candidates. You will notice a pattern with Uhler, he has stood in the Republican leadership vacuum many times over the nearly 20 years I have known him. This is a theme that will repeat…

Your Intrepid Blogger Circa 2010

Dec 032019
 

(Again, this series of blogs is dedicated to my friends on the Placer GOP and those patriots in Team Travis, or working on the recall all around the state. I appreciate your readership and affirmations to keep doing what I am doing.)

In 2009 (through about 2012), my brother, George, and I would experience a trial by fire. Up until 2009, it had been pretty straightforward: help candidates win; do CRA stuff; fight with squishes on the Central Committee.

In 2009, there was about to be a game-changing GOP Primary that would shape the current state of the CAGOP today in 2019.

In late 2008, I was contacted by the Meg Whitman team who had been observing my efforts on behalf of Tom McClintock. They wanted to pay me to blog for Meg Whitman in the primary against Steve Poizner. Following the example set by Kirk Uhler and others just a few months before with regard to now former Congressman Doolittle (Ose vs McClintock was to replace Doolittle who retired), I refused to betray my friendship with Steve Poizner, instead accepting less money by taking less money from the Poizner campaign.

I was being paid via Steve Frank to help Steve Poizner’s Governor Race. That whole saga is a subject for a different set of blogs.

Under-laying this was the SD04 Primary that was going to be a slug-fest between Rick Keene and Doug LaMalfa. One of LaMalfa’s top boosters was a fraud and a charlatan known as Karen England. She was allied with David Stafford Reade, and the two of them ran a smear campaign against me, George, Tom Hudson and Jeff Atteberry (among others – but the four of us were the targets).

She recruited local Tea Parties to participate in the smears. There was cyber stalking, and my wife got harassed once by a now former member of the Placer GOP Cent Com. In addition to the smears, they drew in big bucks towards the Central Committee race in 2010. England knew that we were the most effective supporters of Rick Keene, and Doug LaMalfa had donated thousands of dollars to her group called the Capitol Resource Institute. She never disclosed this conflict of interest and it was not known until I wrote about it a few years later.

To this day, a few of the tea party idiots Karen England recruited in her smears still believe there was felony embezzlement from the Central Committee. Underscoring the absurdity was Karen England in a public meeting in January of 2011 claiming the FBI had visited her to talk about the finances of the Placer GOP (literally a month ago I saw one of her former disciples that is 4’10” tall by 4’10” wide at Raley’s glaring at me the same way she has for ten years). The People who believed the smears are the genesis of my disdain for the tea party in general, as this was my first experience with it. None of us had ever been attacked in this manner and we were not prepared for it.

During this period, Tom McClintock, despite having been supported by the Placer GOP and Placer CRA chose to ally himself with Karen England against the bulk of the people that took the unprecedented action to endorse him at the County Party Level.

By stringing us out to dry, Tom McClintock did exactly what I was warned would happen by several. Many of those that warned me are known Conservative leaders (such as Prop 8 consultants and Mr. Steve Frank among others). McClintock told Jeff Atteberry, the man who registered me Republican and recruited me in to the CRA that he and Tom Hudson / Placer CRA were basically to blame for the smears we were enduring.

In McClintock’s mind, we brought the smears on ourselves despite the fact that the smears about embezzlement, money laundering and selling endorsements were patently false. Given the fact that McClintock has repeated his abusive pattern with many in local government from Nevada County down to Mariposa County since, what he did to us was not unique.

In contrast to the behavior of Ted Gaines and Tom McClintock, Kirk Uhler and others like Susan Rohan and the late Kathy Lund who were in local office started participating in the Placer CRA. Kirk never said I told you so, he simply tried to help us deal with the big money and the big smears as did the rest of them. They always supported our events for the entire time I was President of the Placer CRA. There were times when we had a majority of the Roseville and Rocklin City Councils at Placer CRA events!

Near the end of 2009, Meg Whitman wrote a gigantic check to the RedState Blog for $25K (She’d end up paying off the Red County Blog to the tune of about $140K in total) and within a week of that check cashing the blogmaster of the Red County Blog publicly outed my relationship with Steve Poizner that I had told him about months earlier. Similar to Karen England, I had to do research to find out months later about the financial conflicts of interest. Whitman’s people ran a media drill against me that in retrospect launched my career as a political blogger and paid political operative – even though their intent along with David Reade and Karen England was to destroy me.

In December, 2009 I started www.RightonDaily.com. This is quite literally the 10th anniversary of the Right On Daily Blog coming up shortly. The name? My wife’s idea. The slogan “Where Conservative Values Trump Agendas” was coined in December of 2009 when Donald J Trump was a New York Democrat.

The Expulsion from Red County buttressed the attacks of Karen England, the Tea Party and the anti-CRA Moderates that had formed a coalition to take over the Placer GOP. In 2010, I won a term on the Placer GOP from District 3. This was my third time getting elected to the placer GOP in 3 different districts. Were I to actually run rather than serve as an appointee of the Dahle’s, I’d be in district 1, a 4th different district on the same County Committee.

In 2009, when we were trying to figure out how to thwart the big money we knew was coming, we concocted the idea of expanding to 7 members a district. Tom Hudson told Jeff Atteberry how to request it and Placer County Clerk-Recorder Jim McCauley codified it. It is the 2010 Central Committee election which is why we have 7 members to a district in Placer County. The fact that we expanded the battlefield thwarted Karen England, David Reade and the Moderate’s plans to take over the Placer GOP in 2010.

In the 2010 Primary, Rick Keene got hammered. The night of the primary in 2010 was the last time I ever saw or spoke to Rick Keene. It has been 9 years. Some people around various campaigns gave me a few dollars for my time in various places after the Poizner gig went away earlier in the year. Keene was beaten by LaMalfa by 16 points district-wide. However, Doug LaMalfa lost Placer County by 4.5%, despite the meat-grinder they set up there to attack Republican volunteers. Between Ed Rowen and myself, we covered every precinct in the Placer part of that Senate District.

Kirk Uhler supported us and helped us (the Placer CRA) financially during this period. Despite many opportunities to duck or try to run away because of the smears, Kirk Uhler did not distance himself from us, nor tell anyone else to.

I would finally meet Suzanne Jones for the first time in the 2010 Primary…

I’ve never before or since seen a candidate advertise themselves as a moderate republican – From the AD05 Primary in 2010

Nov 222019
 

2006 was another bizarre year in CAGOP Politics. It was a bad year for the CAGOP marked by losing every statewide partisan office except for the nimrod Governor Arnold.

At the direction of Steve Schmidt, Arnold’s campaign adviser who had millions in bonuses riding on the percentage victory in that race (this was a widely known and believed axiom in CAGOP politics then), Arnold dissed the rest of the ticket – including attacking Tom McClintock, who was actually within striking distance of winning the Lt. Governorship. In 2002, McClintock lost the Controller Race. In 2003, he was the third wheel in the Recall Election. McClintock had a ton of statewide name ID.

One of many early conversations I had with Kirk Uhler was about when Tom McClintock worked for Lew Uhler – during a brief period when McClintock was between stints in office. Some of my political instincts were formed by that conversation and eventually when I was able to start separating the “Conservative” from the “Character” of the person, it was because Kirk Uhler was one of the few people I knew that was an unassailable conservative who observed serious stuff about the character of people in office. It took several years for this blogger, but eventually the character of a candidate became a larger metric than the conservative bona-fides.

I also remember a few long conversations with Kirk about Arnold. Neither of us liked him very much.

In 2006, I got elected to Placer County Republican Central Committee in District 2 in the June Primary, but I had to resign before taking my seat. Why? On July 4, 2006 I went out on a real date for the first time in nearly 10 years. 14 weeks later I married my wife on October 22nd, 2006. (we just celebrated 13 years!) She lived in Sacramento, and I moved from Lincoln in to her condo.

In 2006, Kirk, myself (as the President of the Placer CRA) and a host of political leaders helped clear the field for Ted Gaines to run to replace Tim Leslie who was finally termed out of the legislature due to Proposition 34.

At the same time, the backdrop of my brother getting messed over by Sam Aanestad was eclipsed by the spectacle of Arnold strip-mining the CAGOP in 2006, leaving a rotted carcass.

Ted Gaines was sworn in to the State Assembly in December of 2006. He hired Steve Davey over the objections of a lot of people, including Kirk Uhler. Davey would get fired by the Assembly Rules Committee for his abhorrent conduct a decade later, as Ted would not fire Davey himself.  Just months later, Ted Gaines turned on his political mentor and benefactor, Congressman John Doolittle who was wrongly tied up in the Jack Abramoff Scandal.

The scum that infest the DOJ would “investigate” John Doolittle for 7 years and leak like Robert Mueller did to their willing whores in the press. The Sacramento Bee attacked Doolittle dozens of times, back when the print media had some influence left. Doolittle ultimately was exonerated, but people like Ted Gaines helped run him out of office. In the summer of 2007, Gaines pulled an exploratory committee against John Doolittle, just 10 months after being sworn in to the Assembly. There was also a major personal and health toll suffered by Mrs. Doolittle that she has not recovered from to this day.

The official Ted Gaines Logo

Despite the close relationship the Uhler family had with the Gaines family, that ended when Kirk told Ted he was not going to join him in betraying Congressman Doolittle. Their relationship was never the same afterwards. This told me volumes about who Kirk Uhler is as a person.  At the time John Doolittle was very unpopular, and it would have been expedient to abandon him, but Uhler refused to.

Kirk Uhler had been appointed in December of 2006 to replace Ted Gaines as the Placer County Supervisor in District 4, so his position in the community was substantial and there was significant risk to making an enemy out of your local assemblyman. Remember, at the time there were 32 Republicans in the Assembly. (Currently, there are 19)

All throughout this time period, Kirk would share observations about substantial political figures in California.  When juxtaposed with Tom Hudson, Steve Frank or others – Kirk’s observations rang true 95% of the time, while Steve Frank and Tom Hudson missed the mark frequently.

I helped Tom McClintock defeat Doug Ose in 2008, spending hundreds of hours blogging on a website called RedCounty.com in what was at the time the 2nd most expensive Congressional Primary in history. McClintock and Ose combined to spend about $11 million. In that race, everyone in local government save Kevin Hanley endorsed Doug Ose. Yet, none of them ever held any contempt for your intrepid blogger for going to war on behalf of Tom McClintock. I was paid very little in that tilt, but that was my first experience with being a paid operative.

I learned years later that Kirk Uhler stuck up for the Placer CRA and those of us in the group that stuck up for McClintock and defended our right to do so. At the time, Tom Hudson was the Chairman of the Placer GOP and we did something unprecedented – we endorsed Tom McClintock in a contested primary over another Republican opponent.

Kirk Uhler refused to betray Congressman Doolittle. He also refused to allow community leaders to hold a grudge against the Conservative activists that supported Tom McClintock. I would later recognize this as maturity in leadership. At the same time, Uhler was fighting to protect Placer County amidst several financial issues and budget battles where the State Government would go 60-90 days without paying its’ bills. Even then, Kirk Uhler was often the only Placer Supervisor that would stand up against tax and fee increases.

One incident that stands out were a series of $1 Fees the board sought to add to Car registrations two of which Uhler was able to forestall and he also led an $11 reduction in the tipping fee at the county dump. 

In late 2008, it would still be nearly 2 years before I met Suzanne Jones for the first time.

In late 2008, little did I realize that just a few months later, Kirk Uhler’s prognostications to me would get proven right once again…

Nov 202019
 

The day I endorsed Donald Trump 3-15-2016

2002 was quite a year in politics for me. I spent hundreds of hours volunteering for then Assemblymember Sam Aanestad against the late Assemblyman Dick Dickerson. Dickerson’s heinous crime was voting for the Gray Davis Budget of 2002. (It seems like child’s play when compared to today’s tax increases)

Back then, there was no Ed Rowen in Placer County either. I walked tons of precincts out of an old, converted Gas Station that was on what is now Lincoln Blvd. The old service station that traced its’ roots back to the days when main street in Lincoln was US 99E (long before CA-65) was torn down in favor of a fast food place not long after that 2002 Primary. In the backdrop of the all-out war in CA SD-04 in 2002 was the Bill Simon Campaign against Gray Davis (think Pre-Recall).

During the Congressman John Doolittle-led effort to pour an unheard of $60,000 in to a Central Committee Race in Placer County, your intrepid blogger was left off of the slates of candidates for both the moderates and the conservatives. Even then, the powers that be saw me as a loose cannon. (I can’t imagine why)

Suffice to say, Sam Aanestad won the Senate Primary by 16 points. Rick Keene took his Assembly Primary by 14 Points and the Placer Congress Club Slate got slaughtered largely because they were cast as people that opposed Congressman Doolittle for being too conservative. (Which they did, by the way) Also note that Doug LaMalfa beat a crowded field to win his Assembly Primary at the same time as Keene won his. 8 years later, in 2010, Keene and LaMalfa would clash in a State Senate Primary (to replace Sam Aanestad) that was for the ages.

The late Sam Aanestad would later run for Lt. Governor in 2006 and would attempt to walk out on two months of pay he owed my brother who traveled the state with him. My Brother George had to sue Aanestad to get paid some of the money – this despite what your intrepid blogger had done for free for his Senate campaign just a few years before.

I had not seen or heard much from Paul Hrabal (the Placer Congress Club leader) since 2002. I’ve run in to Tom Jones a few times. Many of you current Placer GOP Members may remember Jon Green or Cheryl Maki or Murriel Oles. They were part of the 2002 crew for the moderates.

In 2002, current Auburn Councilmember Bill Kirby ran against John Doolittle in the Republican Primary. In 2004 and again in 2006 – it was Mike Holmes. (some of you should remember him) Both attacked John Doolittle for being too conservative. Many of us believed then-Auburn Councilmember Mike Holmes was working with the national dem operatives that were running Charlie Brown’s two campaigns for congress in 2006 and later 2008. While Bill Kirby has since reconciled with John Doolittle and others, Mike Holmes spent years disrupting the Placer GOP Cent Com and attacking conservatives. Mike’s Brother, Jim Holmes was always held in much higher regard because he is a lot easier to deal with.

I got myself appointed as an alternate for someone on the Committee (I can’t remember who) but as such, I had a front row seat to see the dynamic of the 2003-2004 Central Committee. It was not healthy. I recall Kirk Uhler, Susan Rohan and Kathy Lund, amongst others, having arguments with Ken Campbell and others in leadership about payments of voter registration bounty and other items without the consent of the committee.  I can not remember all of the facts of the matter – as this was 15-16 years ago – but this is the genesis of the issues between Ken Campbell and Kirk Uhler. The only other member of the Current Placer GOP Cent Com that remembers those days is Thomas N Hudson.

In 2004, Kirk Uhler told me he was not running for Placer GOP Cent Com. So I ran and got elected to my first of three elected terms on the Placer GOP Cent Com. Also in 2003, I was elected President of the Placer CRA. I was president of the Placer CRA for 10 years.

It was in my capacity as President of the Placer CRA that I got to know many of the local electeds in Placer County. These include Kirk Uhler, although in 2004 he was still out of office.

It would still be another 6 years before I or anyone else came to know Suzanne Jones, but in the next 4 years from 2005-2008 I’d get a front row seat to know who Kirk Uhler is, especially when juxtaposed against many of the other so-called Republicans in local office.

Nov 182019
 

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…

Sign up to receive RightOnDaily updates delivered to your inbox.