We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee meeting, where a slew of endorsements are up tonight.
These endorsements are being sent straight to the whole Central Committee for consideration without going to the Endorsements Committee:
AD-69: Cecilia Iglesias
SD-34: Janet Nguyen
CD-39: Ed Royce
CD-46: Carlos Vasquez
CD-48: Dana Rohrabacher
CD-49: Darrell Issa
Supe 4: Shawn Nelson
Judge: Helen Hayden
Governor: Tim Donnelly
Lt. Gov.: Ron Nehring
These recommendations are being made by the Endorsements Committee for consideration of the whole Central Committee:
OC Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery
Judge: Kevin Haskins
Judge: Delay until May 5 (Jeff Ferguson/Carmen Luege race)
Supe 5: Delay until May 5
There is zero chance that there won’t be some debate, so we’ll be here blogging it.
7:15 PM: Jennifer Beall and John Brantuk appointed to two Central Committee vacancies in AD-73.
7:20 PM: The committee hears a presentation from Democracy.com.
7:25 PM: The Young Republican Association (a partnership of high school and college-age Republicans) gives a presentation.
7:29 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about Flag Day.
7:30 PM: Chairman Baugh asks the elected officials and candidates to introduce themselves. This takes quite some time due to the sheer number of people.
7:37 PM: Endorsements Committee Chairman Mark Bucher gives the committee’s report, which proposes endorsements for Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller and Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge Office Number 14. The Endorsements Committee delayed consideration until May for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35 and Fifth Supervisorial District.
7:42 PM: Woolery and Haskins endorsed unanimously.
7:43 PM: Janet Nguyen, Cecilia Iglesias, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa, Shawn Nelson, Claude Parrish, and Helen Hayden endorsed unanimously.
7:44 PM: Scott Voights moves and Steve Sardis seconds endorsing Ron Nehring for Lieutenant Governor.
7:45 PM: Voigts speaks about Nehring’s efforts to grow the grassroots as state party chairman and notes victories like San Diego Mayor were due in part due to his efforts.
7:46 PM: Allan Bartlett objects to Nehring’s record as state party chair when the party made no statewide advances while Republicans nationally made gains. He also objects to Nehring making marijuana a campaign issue when there are numerous other more important issues.
7:47 PM: Nehring talks about eliminating party debt as both state party chair and San Diego County party chair. Nehring criticizes Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. He speaks about needing to improve the business climate.
7:50 PM: Bartlett asks Nehring to answer the question.
7:51 PM: Nehring says the party chair wield little ability to affect races; candidates are the key. He also points to changing demographics.
7:52 PM: Mike Munzing asks if any other Republicans are running.
Someone shouts the answer: there are two other Republicans but neither has a ballot statement (Nehring has a ballot statement).
7:53 PM: Nehring is endorsed by a 2/3 vote.
7:54 PM: Jon Fleischman asks why there is an endorsement proposed for Carlos Vasquez for CD-46, as there are two other Republicans running.
7:56 PM: Candidate Carlos Vasquez says he’s running not for fame or power but to leave the country a free place for his children.
7:57 PM: Candidate John Cullum is running to make a difference and work together across the aisle to end partisan bickering. He says he wants to work for the American people, not special interests.
7:59 PM: Vasquez says the party should get involved because CD-46 is a political donut hole represented by Democrat Loretta Sanchez, surrounded by districts represented by Republicans.
8:00 PM: Cullum says the voters should decide, not the Central Committee. He urges neutrality.
8:01 PM: Kermit Marsh asks about viability, including endorsements and funds on hand.
Vasquez has $8,000 while Cullum has $7,000. Vasquez is endorsed by the Family Action PAC and CRA. Cullum is endorsed by U.S. Senator John Thune and the American Independent Party.
8:03 PM: Baron Night asks about grassroots efforts.
Vasquez points to an Institute he helped start while Cullum points to the Internet.
8:05 PM: Voigts asks if either candidate speaks Spanish.
Vasquez says, “Si” while Cullum says, “Poquito.”
Chairman Baugh admonishes Voigts in Spanish when Voigts asks for the answer to be repeated.
8:06 PM: Cullum is asked if he sought the American Independent Party endorsement.
He did seek it; it was not unsolicited.
8:07 PM: Voigts asks if the candidates believe life begins at conception.
Both are pro-life.
8:09 PM: Fleischman urges the party’s neutrality.
8:10 PM: Thomas Gordon moves and Brenda McCune seconds to table this endorsement until the May Central Committee meeting.
8:11 PM: Brett Franklin supports the motion because he feels the candidates should be vetted. Voigts urges endorsing Vasquez as part of the party’s Latino engagement efforts.
By a vote of 31-20, the party sends this to the May Central Committee meeting.
8:15 PM: In the Governor’s race, Fred Whitaker moves for no endorsement with a second from Jeff Lalloway.
8:16 PM: Kermit Marsh asks the gubernatorial candidates about Jerry Brown’s $20 million. He asks about viability: how much does each candidate have cash on hand and their top endorsements.
Tim Donnelly has $11,000 cash on hand with $148,000 in debt. His endorsements are actor Rob Schneider, Brad Dacus, CRA, and several county central committees. Andrew Blount has self-funded $7,000 and has sought neither donations nor endorsements.
8:21 PM: Dennis White asks what distinguishes each candidate from the other Republicans.
Donnelly says he is leading his Republican opponents 9:1 among all voters and 10:1 among Republicans. He says he will capitalize upon Common Core, AB 1266, and SCA 5.
Blount says he is Mayor of Laguna Hills and had bladder surgery this morning. He says he is part of Orange County. He didn’t seek the Orange County party endorsement because he believes the party should be neutral in a contested partisan primary. He criticizes Donnelly for bringing outsiders to hold signs (who then boo him) and for being o probation.
8:25 PM: Baron Night asks what they’ve done to get their message out.
Donnelly says he’s met 55,000 people and raised $700,000 without a professional fundraiser. He speaks of growing the party and points to the crowd in the room. He says he has fought the Dream Act. He says he’s sponsored AB 351 to require that people accused of terrorism get their day in court in a speedy fashion rather than being held indefinitely. He says he already has 17% support without spending any money on advertising.
Blount says he has not taken any money to pay for traveling up and down the state or going to the state party convetnion. He notes he’s ahead of Neel Kashkari. He says his app, Skidoo, will allow him to reach voters without spending large sums of money.
Both Donnelly and Blount say that MEG Whitman’s campaign demonstrated $178 million could still lose an election.
8:30 PM: Candidate questions end and the motion is debated.
Fred Whitaker says the party needs to unite behind a nominee after June. He says none of the candidates have demonstrated viability yet. He wishes to avoid a divisive endorsement because he wants everyone to come together after the voters decide in June.
Dennis White says the country is in crisis, and California leads the way in being in crisis. He says there are major differences between Donnelly and Kashkari. He says Donnelly wants an endorsement while Blount does not; he suggests complying with both requests.
8:38 PM: By a razor-thin 27-26 margin, the motion for no endorsement appears to have prevailed.
8:39 PM: Deborah Pauly calls for a roll call vote with support from Kermit Marsh.
8:45 PM: By a vote of 30-25-1, the motion for no endorsement is defeated.
8:48 PM: John Draper points to the endorsement of Diane Harkey over Mark Wyland as precedent. He dismisses Blount and points to Donnelly’s conservative record and blasts Kashkari for TARP and for supporting Obama. He points to Donnelly’s endorsements from seven other Central Committees.
8:51 PM: Mary Young says it’s a big mistake for the party to endorse, noting the party needlessly made an enemy of conservative Senator Mark Wyland.
8:52 PM: Dennis White speaks of a controversial candidate named Ronald Reagan and his “A Time to Choose” speech. He speaks of protecting individual liberty against totalitarianism. He says there is not a contested election when it comes to morality. He blasts AB 1266, noting Latinos oppose the bill. He says the party is “at war” with the Democrats.
8:58 PM: It requires a 2/3 vote to endorse. With 30 votes for Donnelly, 21 against Donnelly, and 1 abstention, the vote falls far short of the 2/3 needed to endorse. There is no endorsement for Governor.
9:00 PM: With endorsements completed, the room starts to clear out.
9:02 PM: Steve Baric is named Volunteer of the Month for his pro bono legal work defending the party in recent months when someone sued the party and threatened the safety of party volunteers and leaders.
9:07 PM: Various club reports are given.
9:09 PM: The Central Committee adjourns.