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. 

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.
Sep 232012

Jim Nielsen is beating a drum – if you hammer him for his record, you’re a liar. Click here to see our post from last year lambasting Jim Nielsen for his role in decimating the CAGOP Platform.

Unfortunately, for gentleman Jim, he has been in office too long to get away with anything. Actually, he has been on both sides of so many issues he is using that to double-speak any of his critics. Case and point – Periphrial Canal – He opposed Jerry Brown’s Canal, but supported George Deukmejian’s. He voted to put Prop 14 on the ballot, but then opposed Prop 14 once on the ballot. He called members of the legislature to go up on Prop 1A – the largest tax increase in state history, then voted against it on the floor of the Assembly.

Nielsen was also on both sides of the California Republican Party Platform debate. But, what he did as a member of the drafting committee was so egregious that he will not recover politically from the exposure.

In the drafting Committee – the minutes show that Jim Nielsen was out in front, leading the charge for the Platform for California’s Future. This platform had the pro-life, prop-8, 2nd amendment, and a whole bunch of other Republican issues stripped out of it.

It was so watered down that it even had the ethics section deleted! Click here for a full analysis between the previous CRP platform and the one that Jim Nielsen advocated for.

Click here to see the minutes from the Platform Drafting Committee MeetingNielsen was the first to speak towards its’ adoption and he made the motion to adopt said platform (Called the Platform for California’s Future). Conservative leaders Mike Spence and Craig DeLuz led the opposition.

Note as well that there were amendments proposed to bring parts of the “Pruner Platform” in to the Jim Nielsen Platform. They were all torpedoed.

The amendment to add paragraphs 3-8 of page 8 was adding Pro-Life language to the Nielsen platform. It was voted down. The amdnement to add paragraph 2 of page 5 was adding Prop-8 to the Nielsen platform. It was voted down.

I was called the day of the Drafting committee meeting by Steve Frank and I also spoke to Craig DeLuz. They both told me that Jim Nielsen was leading the debate for the watered-down platform the entire meeting. Mike Spence later confirmed the same story and he added that David Stafford Reade (who was expelled from CRA for 10 years for committing fraud) was there with Jim Nielsen.

You see, when legislative staff come forward to tell me that Jim Nielsen is making calls to try and recruit people to support the largest tax increase in state history – it gets my attention. When these same staffers tell me that Nielsen played let’s-make-a-deal on tossing three dams in Siskiyou County as part of Arnold’s water bond (which could go on the ballot at any time, still)… it gets my attention. Then when something like the Platform fight features Jim Nielsen it all makes sense.

There are times when Jim Nielsen’s own tendencies put him in a place where calling his critics liars just simply can not obfuscate the truth.

Jim Nielsen calls himself a Conservative because he is not. He attempted to destroy the CAGOP Platform – largely due to this blog criticizing him  – Jim Nielsen reversed himself and actually voted against the Platform he had moved to adopt and voted for the “Pruner Platform” in the entire Platform Committee.

Add this to the list of Jim Nielsen’s flip-flops – but this one is clearly an effort to save face after getting exposed.

P.S. – remember that $133k that Charles Munger invested in Nielsen? Charles Munger spent a reputed $250k on the effort to gut the CRP Platform. David Stafford Reade was paid to run the proxy drill in the north state for Munger. The $133k from Munger certainly looks like Jim Nielsen’s reward for services rendered. If Nielsen really supported a Conservative CAGOP Platform would Charles Munger have dropped $133k in to him?

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