OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

  • Custom Campaigns

    Custom Campaigns
  • DMI

  • Lindholm for County Board of Education

  • Pollitt for County Board of Education

  • Glasky for IUSD

  • Rackauckas for District Attorney

  • Woolery for Auditor-Controller

  • Iglesias for 69th Assembly District

  • Ming for Supervisor

  • Contact Us to Purchase an Ad

  • Lincoln Club of Orange County

Posts Tagged ‘OCGOP’

Vote for me, because I am one of you

Posted by Brenda McCune on February 18, 2014

Last night the OCGOP Central Committee held it’s monthly meeting and on the agenda were some requests for early endorsements in upcoming partisan races.  There has been some confusion over recent changes in the bylaws and how the timing, request and filing requirements of endorsements will be affected, but that is not the topic here.  (Frankly, I’m a pretty smart person, and I am still struggling to understand the amendments and why we made them)  Here, I want to discuss the future future of the party in California in a post Prop 14 world.

The only endorsement that garnered any discussion is the one sought by Diane Harkey for the California State Board of Equalization.  There were unanimous endorsements for Shari Freidenrich and Tony Rackaukas.  I don’t believe that Shari is challenged and given the circumstances surrounding prior challenges, it’s not likely that TRack will see any challengers until he is blind and walking with a cane and willing to step down, none of which seem to be in his future.

Diane Harkey has announced her candidacy for the State Board of Equalization. In that race also, are Republicans Van Tran and Mark Wyland.  As a matter of procedure (which was not at any time clear what exactly the procedure should have been) the candidates were allowed to speak.  It was fairly impromptu, and did become something of a debate, although the Chairman continued to remind us that this was not a debate.  The end of the story is that the Committee voted by a narrow, (3 votes) to endorse Diane Harkey at this early stage, per her request.  She was immensely grateful, and indicated it was going to make it so much easier for her to raise money and obtain support.

Although I am not well acquainted with any of these candidates,  I did receive a phone call quite some time ago from Diane requesting my support.  I have also had contact from her campaign requesting the same, so kudos to her for hitting the ground running.  I have seen her at every Central Committee meeting in recent months, pressing the flesh, making her presence and ambitions known. She certainly has gotten out early and often, doing the work.  However, I am not certain that an “A” for effort necessarily entitles a candidate to essentially eviscerate opportunities for the other Republicans before the campaign has even started.

To clarify, since Prop 14 we have ‘open’ primaries in California.  Any number of candidates from any party may enter a race.  In this race, we will have at least 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat in what has been described to as a ‘safe’ Republican seat.  In the last election we saw the first glimpse of what is to come of this in the form of Republican on Republican fundraising and rhetorical violence.  How we will deal with it continues to be of concern and debate amongst our ranks.

The best idea of the evening was in the form of a motion made by Deborah Pauly to “table” this discussion until the filing had closed for this office, i.e. postpone this discussion and endorsement until after the ‘official’ filing deadline with the Registrar of Voters has passed, because in theory, someone could walk in there today and decide to be a candidate for this office.  In the morass of procedural clarifications throughout the meeting, that motion somehow got lost, which was disappointing.  The vote on the endorsement and the debate from the members proceeded nevertheless, the endorsement was granted, without any significant consideration of the implications and seriousness of the problems this new post Prop 14 lay of the land provides for the party.

The lack of strategy and agenda for addressing this problem having been noted, here is what has and is developing from this new early endorsement approach.  A veritable game of “gotcha” seems to be arising, in that if a candidate gets there early, and another worthy candidate is in the wings, unaware of the procedure for an endorsement, if and when the political insider, the one who knows the ropes, the one who has been in an office and aware of these procedures, gets there first, he or she will be the one who will get the endorsement.  Will this stop the blood bath of Republican on Republican campaigning in the early races?  That remains to be seen, but it seems it could really exacerbate it.

Now with the OC giving the nod to Harkey, it is likely that San Diego will give the nod to it’s hometown hero, Wyland.  A comment was made last night that VanTran has “no chance” and should bow out now, which of all the incredible and offensive things I heard last night, that was certainly one of them.  It was only a few years ago that Van Tran was the great party hope to unseat Loretta Sanchez. Now he is disregarded like road kill, ‘nothing to see here folks, move along’.  Wow.

The veritable stepping over Van Tran, is magnified though when viewed in light of the discussion that occurred.  Strangely, in the lengthy questioning of the candidates, not only were there no questions related to the actual duties of the position, there was no discussion of the agenda that either candidate would bring to the office.  What there was, were a number of questions that could be easily rephrased as “How Republican are you?”  We heard quite a lot from Harkey about how involved she has been in the party, how she is highly rated in her State Assembly performance by conservative groups, and all the conservative principles she has fought for in the State Assembly.  Nothing other than she really wants “this” (new) job, to explain to us what exactly she will do at the Board of Equalization.

It should be noted that Wyland, even though he was invited to engage in the discussion, did NOT seek the party endorsement.

In addition to being light on substance related to the actual office, (again, these candidates were not noticed that they would be speaking) Harkey was over all, shrill in her presentation. She was a tad histrionic, condescending and rude at times.  I did not care for the eye rolling at some of the comments from Wyland, and her body language, including but not limited to the manner in which she snatched the microphone from Mr. Wyland.

I have said before, this is a tough room.  Politicos of every ilk, well versed in the issues and public figures who in their own varied roles, must verbally address the public on a regular basis.  If you are coming here, you should be prepared to bring your A-game.  Ms. Harkey, as she pointed out, has a long career of public service and has run many a successful campaign. She as much as anyone, should not take any of this for granted.  The impression she gave last night is that she does.  She was indignant that Wyland was there, or in the race or really toward almost anything he had to say. He is also an elected official, coincidentally, higher ranking than Ms. Harkey. Regardless, her disrespect was uncalled for.  Her anticipation of the automatic nature of the endorsement of this important body, also uncalled for.  I would have been far more impressed had she been dignified, respectful and acquiescing to the right of her opponent to be heard.

I am disappointed that the Committee took this action when there were other options, to simply not endorse, or table it for a short, or even indefinite time.  I am disappointed at the narrow margin by which this important endorsement was gained.  I would have voted for the motion to table this to the next meeting or anytime AFTER the filing deadline had passed so that we could be certain exactly WHO will be in this race, but that’s not the way it went.  I fear now, that this will be a fundraising and propaganda blood bath, in what could have and should have been a quiet race for a “safe” seat.  Ms. Harkey indicated that this early endorsement will avoid exactly that which I and others fear, in that SHE will have an easier time raising money and obtaining important support.  I’m not the campaigning pro that she is, and I seriously hope she is right, it just doesn’t make any logical sense to me.

A letter I received from Mark Wyland dated February 13, 2014, stated, “My view has always been that the best role for the party is to stay out of Republican on Republican races, and to help unify everyone after the June vote.  ……With that in mind, I would ask the Orange County Republican Party not pick favorites between three Republicans.  Speaking for myself, I can’t think of anything I have done over the years to deserve having my party endorse against me.  …. I do not request my party’s endorsement and would deeply appreciate it if my party would not endorse against me.”

In this post Prop 14 world, I keep having this recurring thought, it is a good thing we Republicans are so pro-gun because we need to keep re-loading to shoot ourselves repeatedly in the foot.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anaheim Council Members Make (Or attempt to) Their Case to the Central Committee

Posted by Brenda McCune on January 21, 2014

The OCGOP held it’s monthly meeting last night at the (newly renamed) Hotel Irvine (Fka the Irvine Hyatt). The speakers for the evening were Lucille Kring and Kris Murray. These council members have been under attack for their vote on permitting hotel developers to have a rebate on the Transient Occupancy Tax, (TOT) once and if the hotels are built by the developers. This issue came before the council in 2012 and the council was split 2-3. More important is the May 2013 vote, when the issue was again considered and the vote was 4-1, Mayor Tom Tait being the only vote against the rebate.

The other hot topic of discussion was the ongoing negotiations with the Angels to extend their contract with Anaheim.

We heard over and over again from Kring and Murray that these were “complicated” issues. It seemed to me they had forgotten that their audience for the evening were 1) Grown-up people whom have all presumably stayed at a Hotel at some point in their lives, 2) Live in Orange County and know a few things about the Angels and Arte Moreno and 3) Are all politicians of one ilk or another.

It’s not complicated. It is not new math. It is not brain surgery or rocket science, but here’s the message they delivered.

Kris Murray beat the drum of unity of the City Council, indicating they were all in agreement on this and that and a whole bunch of other things. It is noteworthy, that the Central Committee meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and in general, whomever is speaking is also not a secret. It would seem to behoove good local Republican politicians to know what the goings on are in their county’s Central Committee, particularly when a monthly meeting might be featuring one of their cohorts on their own council. Mayor Tom Tait was a guest speaking at the meeting just a few months ago. He delivered a very different message. His message was that he stood alone fighting the battle of fiscal conservativism on the Anaheim City Council. The 4-1 vote in favor of extending tax rebates (TOT’s) to hotel developers (Tait was the only dissenter) seems to bolster this claim by Mayor Tait.

Ms. Murray went on to discuss the “complicated” issues arising in the negotiations with the Angels over extending their contract with Anaheim. She emphasized the long history of the partnership of the city and the team, (no mention of the protracted litigation over the name just a few years ago) and the huge risk to the city should the Angels decide to up and move to a nearby city that will build them a new stadium, such as happened in Atlanta. She prepared a Power Point but time constraints did not permit her to go through it. She was kind enough to email it to the Central Committee members today for our review. It was interesting in that the Power Point contained one map of the United States that showed the teams that are receiving substantial subsidies from their city. These included four teams, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays. Each are purported to be receiving in excess of $300 million dollars in facilities funding. She emphasized that the city “makes” money on the Angels franchise in that it brings people to the area who support local retail and hotels. There are 30 MLB teams, there was no information or statistics on the averages, or any other variations, only the four teams getting subsidy’s of $300 million or more.

Tom Tait, when he recently appeared before the Committee, had argued that the city was not making money on the current deal with the Angels, and that the Angels were in essence being provided “free rent”. The Orange County register in September reported that over the past 16years that the current agreement has been in place, the city made money in nine of those years, and lost money in the past seven, for a net loss of $52,000.00. A sports/business expert interviewed by the Register called it an “irrelevant” loss. Tom Tait’s demeanor on that evening, was emotional, self serving, and desperate to convey to us that he was fighting the good fight and holding the line as a fiscal conservative. From that initial perspective to the message of last night, it is clear to see the emotionality in this divided Council. If Council Members Kring and Murray accomplished anything last night, it was to explain the emotionality and bolster the credibility of Mayor Tom Tait.

Lucille Kring discussed the TOT. This has been widely debated and criticized as the “$158 million dollar give away”.  She went on into a lengthy discussion and explanation of the TOT, of the fact that in the ‘90′s some hotels chose to build in Garden Grove instead of Anaheim, because of such tax advantages, and that Garden Grove at that time gave away free land. She failed to note that those Garden Grove hotels have undergone several ownership changes since they were built.  No discussion of whether the lack of success of those hotels has to do with the lack of proximity to Disneyland. She also noted that travelers frequently choose to stay in “four star” hotels in beach cities.  There was no discussion of what these proposed hotels getting the TOT rebates would be, but one report was that the plan was for a three story structure.  If that is what is proposed, that’s not a luxury hotel. She was terribly condescending in her repeated statements that the “city is not writing a check”. Well, maybe not now, but if this is indeed a “rebate”, that is exactly what the city will do. Again, she seemed to forget her audience, and stayed firm on her position that it was just too much for us to understand, and that if only we understood we would see what a great idea it was. She further, had great difficulty in admitting that she campaigned on representations that she would not support such tax breaks fro developers. Only after several questions from the typically forceful Debra Pauley, and then after the same question was restated by Chairman Baugh did Ms. Kring ultimately, finally admit that she “only discussed that with a few people, yes.”. She continued to assert that it was never stated in her “campaign materials”.

As public servants, both of these women serve our community at a substantial sacrifice to themselves, and nowhere could this be more appreciated than by this audience of public servants. However, in taking up the cloak of leadership, credibility, responsibility and message are relevant. Local politics is a blood sport and it appears they have engaged in this battle essentially unarmed. Overall, both Council Members were unconvincing in their message that everything is coming up roses in Anaheim and there is peace and harmony and that campaign promises are alive and well all around the Council Chambers in Anaheim. When Ms. Kring made the statement regarding her “campaign materials”, she turned away from the audience to face Chairman Baugh and spoke very softly. Nevertheless, it garnered an audible sigh from the audience.

There are a number of business people in Anaheim who support the Hotel deal, even though the most vociferous discussion on this TOT vote has been negative. Maybe there is a really good economic policy behind this and maybe it will ultimately be a wonderful outcome and bring business and revenue to the city, but we did not hear anything that sounded like that. There was a recurring excuse from both the speakers that these actions are similar to actions that have been taken before. That “well they did it back then” attitude and theme was as unpersuasive as every other part of the presentation.

Neither one of them appeared to believe in what they were selling. They were well prepared, rehearsed, polished and articulate and said what they came to say, but it was weak and unconvincing to say the least. If they believed in what they were doing, had absolute confidence in the positions they have taken on these issues, then there should have been no reason to sidestep actions contrary to campaign promises or to deny the obvious and well documented division among the council. This is certainly the wrong room to come to and be timid, apologetic,defensive, or untruthful.

In litigation we have a saying for silly or non-meritorious arguments, “That dog don’t hunt”. In the public forum as well as the political gathering last night, not only do these positions and policies “not hunt”, these politicians now and in their re-election bids will continue to be the hunted if they persist on a platform of excuses and half truths.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

OCYR Summer Party

Posted by Scott Carpenter on July 13, 2012

The Orange County Young Republicans are ramping up their operations for this coming November’s election.  To keep members active and recruit new member’s they’ve teamed with the Newport Harbor Republican Women and the Hispanic 100 to host a summer party for only 10 dollars.  As an OCYR board member I’m excited for this fun event, check it out at http://www.ocyr.org/ocyr_summer_party

Flyer below:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Why I Did Not Vote to Endorse John Campbell for Re-Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 14, 2012

In February of this year the Orange County Republican Party (“OCGOP”) voted to endorse several incumbent Congressmen for re-election. One of the incumbents seeking that endorsement was Congressman John Campbell. As an elected member of the OCGOP I was entitled to a vote and to voice my opinion on the subject. I spoke out against that endorsement and voted No.

This was the first time the OCGOP was doing endorsements for partisan offices since the passage of the terrible “Top Two Primary” of Proposition 14. Prior to passage of Prop. 14, the official party did not endorse in partisan races such as Congress. But Prop. 14 has forced the Republican Party to do so and the OCGOP is the official arm of the Party in Orange County.

The tipping point for me regarding Congressman Campbell was the December 2010 lame duck Congress’ vote to repeal the military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (“DADT”) regarding active homosexuals serving in the military. Prior to this vote I was becoming troubled with Congressman Campbell’s vote in favor of TARP and Cash for Clunkers and his abstaining on the vote to bailout the auto industry. When Congressman Campbell 1st ran for Congress in a special election, I was one of those who supported him by helping him obtain the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly and walking precincts for him. Until the most recent re-districting, I lived inside Mr. Campbell’s congressional district. Seeing him vote with the lame duck Democrats for the repeal of DADT was a shock and disappointment.

As a former U.S. Marine (1975 – 1978), I understand something about serving in the military including what I consider very severe challenges to service members’ 1st amendment rights of freedom of religion and free speech due to this change in policy. Almost immediately I wrote a letter to Congressman Campbell advising him that I did not agree with his vote, that as a former member of the military I felt I had some legitimate concerns over the implications of the repeal of DADT for those serving our country in the armed forces and I asked to meet with him to discuss this.

For over one year Congressman Campbell knew of my request (according to his District Director) but never would meet with me. At the OCGOP meeting in February I asked him to explain his vote to repeal DADT and why he would not meet with me, one of his supporters and constituents. Congressman Campbell stated to the members and guests of the OCGOP that he felt his vote was right partially due to information he, as a Congressman, had that we constituents did not have (can we spell arrogance!). He then went on to state several other things he has done as a Congressman that he was proud of – without once explaining why he would not meet with me (in his oral response to my questions he did not even acknowledge me or my letter to him on the DADT subject).

Almost immediately following this, Bill Dunlap (an OCGOP alternate) rose and asked Congressman Campbell why he is never in the District to meet with constituents or hold town hall meetings (bravo Bill!). The Congressman’s only response was that he feels his mass e-mails to his e-mail list is sufficient. I guess that means to the Congressman that face-to-face contact with voters in his District is not only not important but also not needed.

I am not important in this matter. What is important is a person who is supposed to be a representative in Congress who refuses to meet with a constituent on an important public policy issue. In my opinion that is not a proper attitude for a Congressman. Congressman Campbell did not lose my vote for endorsement – he did not earn it.  Congressman Campbell fell short of the two thirds votes necessary for him to receive the OCGOP endorsement (He was later able to obtain the endorsement of the CRP when the executive board met privately).

For those who live in the new 45th Congressional District, as you consider who to vote for in the June 5, 2012 election, I offer you this information for your consideration. If I lived in the 45th District I would cast my vote for Republican John Webb.

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 883 other followers