Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 15, 2017
Yesterday afternoon, State Senate Republicans in Sacramento unanimously elected Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) as the new Senate Republican Leader, effective April 12. Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) is stepping down as leader since she will term out of the Senate in 2018.
In the caucus statement announcing her election, Bates said, “It is no secret that Republicans face a challenging political environment in California. But Republicans embrace taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected. That is a Republican Party that can attract broad support in California, and I will do everything I can as the next leader to spread that message in every part of the state.”
Prior to her election to the Senate in 2014, Bates was an Orange County Supervisor from 2007-2014 (serving as Chair in 2009 and Vice Chair in 2008 and 2013-2014), a State Assemblywoman from 1996-2004, and on the Laguna Niguel City Council from 1989-1998, including serving as the City’s first mayor after leading the city’s incorporation efforts (she would serve four terms as mayor). A South Orange County resident for 40 years, she worked as a social worker in Los Angeles County before embarking on a political career. During her tenure in the Legislature, she has served as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee in both houses. She has also been Vice Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee.
Bates is the first South Orange County resident to lead a party caucus in the State Legislature. She is also the first former Orange County Supervisor to serve as a legislative party caucus leader (Bill Campbell was Assembly Republican Leader before he became an Orange County Supervisor.
Serving as the Republican Leader’s chief of staff is not an unfamiliar position for Kevin Bassett, Bates’s chief of staff. Bassett had been selected for the role in 2010 by new Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton and continued in that position when Bob Huff became Leader in 2012, departing in December 2014 when he became Bates’s chief of staff. Bassett had been on the late Senator Dave Cox’s staff for Cox’s entire political career in the Senate, the Assembly, and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. He was Cox’s chief of staff during his entire tenure in the Legislature, including when Cox served as Assembly Republican Leader (2001-2004), and the latter part of his time on the Board of Supervisors.
Fuller is the first woman to head a Senate party caucus while Bates will be the second. No woman has yet led the Senate Democratic Caucus. (While Gloria Romero and Ellen Corbett have served as State Senate Majority Leader, from 2005-2008 and 2010-2014, respectively, that position is the second-ranking position in the Democratic Caucus behind the Senate President Pro Tem, who has always been a man.) Three women have served as Speaker of the State Assembly (Republican-Elected-Speaker-by-Democrats-Until-She-Was-Recalled-by-Orange-County-Voters Doris Allen in 1995, followed by Democrat Karen Bass from 2008-2010 and Democrat Toni Atkins from 2014-2016) and three have served as Assembly Republican Leader (Carol Hallett from 1979-1981, Connie Conway from 2010-2014, and Kristen Olsen from 2014-2016).
Bates is the first Orange County legislator since Senator Bob Huff (Fuller’s predecessor from 2012-2015) to serve as the head of a party caucus in either house of the Legislature and the first Orange County resident to do so since Dick Ackerman was Senate Republican Leader from 2004-2008 (while Huff’s district included Orange County, he is a resident of Los Angeles County). An Orange County legislator has not served as Assembly Republican Leader since Bill Campbell in 2000-2001 or Speaker of the Assembly since Curt Pringle in 1996.
While multiple Orange County residents have served as Senate Republican Leader, Assembly Republican Leader, and Speaker of the State Assembly in recent times, none has ever served as President Pro Tem of the State Senate. However, Republican R. B. Carpenter of Los Angeles County represented both LA and Orange Counties when he served as Senate President Pro Tem from 1892-1893. For Bates to become Senate President Pro Tem, she would need to grow her caucus by 61% or somehow get 30% of the Democratic Caucus to vote for her.
Posted in 36th Senate District, California, State Senate | Tagged: Bill Campbell, Bob Dutton, Bob Huff, Carol Hallett, Connie Conway, Curt Pringle, Dave Cox, Dick Ackerman, Doris Allen, Ellen Corbett, Gloria Romero, Jean Fuller, Karen Bass, Kevin Bassett, Kristen Olsen, Pat Bates, Patricia Bates, R. B. Carpenter, Toni Atkins | Leave a Comment »
Posted by OC Insider on February 28, 2013
This weekend, delegates to the California Republican Party Convention will travel to Sacramento will vote on a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and several other important CRP board positions. Since the current Chairman, Tom Del Beccaro, has announced he will not be running for re-election, former legislator Jim Brulte has stepped up to take the Chairman position in what can easily be described as the CRP’s lowest point in a generation. Senator Brulte has only drawn the token opposition of a very late entrant into that race and it appears Mr. Brulte has all but locked up the position. We wish him well in what will be a difficult job.
The real drama is surrounding the continued and expanding influence of Silicon Valley billionaire and Santa Clara County Republican Central Committee Chairman Charles Munger, Jr. As readers of this blog post know, Mr. Munger spent millions of dollars in last year’s election. Some of it was to support Proposition 32 and oppose Proposition 30. Unfortunately Prop. 32 failed and Prop. 30 passed.
Also unfortunately, Mr. Munger attempted to oust Assemblyman Allan Mansoor by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Allan’s June 2012 Republican opponent Leslie Daigle of Newport Beach. Thankfully that effort failed but Mr. Munger continued forward by spending more hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fall campaign in Republican v. Republican races. It is too bad he could not have spent even a little of that money to help Republicans in Republican v. Democrat races so that the State Senate and Assembly might not be in the complete control of Democrats for the next legislative session. The Chris Norby Assembly race comes to mind.
Recently, State Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway sent out a letter / e-mail to CRP Delegates defending Charles Munger and criticizing those who criticize Mr. Munger. It is noted that during the run up to the race between Allan Mansoor and Mr. Daigle, Mr. Huff and Ms. Conway did little or nothing to help Allan beat off this obvious challenge to a sitting Assemblyman that could have resulted in a Democrat running in the fall runoff against a non-incumbent weaker Republican Daigle for that seat. A pause here to give mega kudos to Orange County OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (and hundreds of volunteers) who pulled out all stops in support of Assemblyman Mansoor!
A web site/blog called The Munger Games, which appears to be one of the objects of Mr. Huff’s and Ms. Conway’s wrath, responded to their letter by pointing out they’re defending a man who wasted resources attacking a sitting Assemblyman while being a sitting Chairman of another county’s Republican Central Committee. The blog also pointed out that debates and criticism are important to the political process and the voters of Allan Mansoor’s district certainly expressed their views by reelecting Allan by such a wide margin that Ms. Daigle did not even make it into the “top two” runoff – the new system brought to you by Proposition 14 – again courtesy of Charles Munger, a very big supporter financially of Prop. 14.
Bottom line: The Munger Games blog site asks some very, very important and legitimate questions Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway should answer. Whether or not they agreed with Mr. Munger’s attempt to unseat a sitting Assemblyman at the risk of placing that safe Republican seat in play for the Democrats? If the resources Allan had to raise to fend off that challenge and the resources Mr. Munger used for that race and the R v. R races he spent money on in the fall could have been better spent holding onto Republican seats? Where were they during that June primary battle while Allan was fighting for his political life? Why are you attacking those who are asking these important questions? Why are you attacking those who engage in an honest debate by bringing up these issues?
This blog post writer would like to know the answers to those questions too. Senator Huff what is your response to those questions? Assemblywoman Conway?
Posted in 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: Allan Mansoor, Bob Huff, California Republican Party, Charles Munger Jr., Chris Norby, Connie Conway, Jim Brulte, Leslie Daigle, Tom Del Beccaro | 2 Comments »
Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 5, 2013
Don Wagner (R-Irvine) and Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)
Yesterday afternoon, the Sacramento Bee posted a story about the possible removal of Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Visalia).
Conway led her caucus into the 2012 elections and into its smallest size since 1883. (In a ray of hope, while Republicans held 19 seats in 1883, the GOP gained 41 additional seats to reach 60 seats in 1885, thereby flipping a 61-19 majority for Democrats into a 60-20 majority for Republicans in two years).
While Conway’s failings and probable removal were the main thrust of the story, the more interesting information for our readership is that the two leading contenders in the story to replace Conway are both from Orange County.
Second-term Assemblyman Don Wagner of Irvine and first-term Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach were cited as the two most likely contenders.
In the last 30 years, there have been 18 Assembly Republican Leaders, but only four have been from Orange County:
- Ross Johnson (1988-1991)
- Curt Pringle (1995-1996, 1996-1997; the interruption in Pringle’s tenure as Republican Leader is because he was Speaker in 1996)
- Scott Baugh (1999-2000)
- Bill Campbell (2000-2001)
In the same time span, there have been 10 Senate Republican Leaders, and three have been from Orange County (and four have represented Orange County):
- Rob Hurtt (1995-1998)
- Ross Johnson (1998-2000)
- Dick Ackerman (2004-2008)
- Bob Huff (2012-present) – Huff is not from Orange County but represents substantial portions of OC
First elected in 2010, Wagner terms out in 2016. First elected in 2012, Allen terms out in 2024. (In both cases, I’m assuming that they are both re-elected the maximum number of terms allowed and serve those terms consecutively.)
In either case, Wagner or Allen would be the first Assembly Republican Leader from Orange County in a dozen years.
The next Assembly Republican Leader has exactly two priorities: protecting seats currently held by Republicans and winning seats occupied by Democrats. The top three seats the leader needs to protect are Jeff Gorell‘s Ventura County seat, Mike Morrell‘s San Bernardino County seat, and freshman Eric Linder‘s western Riverside County seat. Target #1 is the Antelope Valley seat held by freshman Steve Fox (D). Target #2 will be in the leader’s backyard (assuming Wagner or Allen is the next leader) with the North Orange County seat occupied by freshman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D).
Failure to preserve the existing seats 25 seats and failure to gain either of those target seats will result in the next leader going the way of Conway, and let’s not forget Conway became Republican Leader when Martin Garrick stepped down after losing a Republican seat in 2010.
Posted in 68th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District | Tagged: Bill Campbell, Connie Conway, Curt Pringle, Dick Ackerman, Don Wagner, Eric Linder, Jeff Gorell, Mike Morrell, Rob Hurtt, Ross Johnson, Scott Baugh, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Steve Fox, Travis Allen | 6 Comments »
Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 22, 2012
This just came across the wire:
Senate and Assembly Republicans Introduce Governor Brown’s Pension Reform Plan
SACRAMENTO – Senate and Assembly Republicans today introduced Governor Brown’s pension reform legislation, and called upon Democrats in the Legislature to work with them across party lines to enact the Governor’s reforms. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in California | Tagged: Bob Huff, Connie Conway | Leave a Comment »