(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