The California Republican Party’s Central Committee has elected a new Chairman – Jim Brulte, a former State Senator who currently works as a Public Affairs Consultant for California Strategies. That means that political consultants are now running both the CA GOP and the OC GOP, where Scott Baugh holds court.
“Brulte is taking over at a low point for Republicans in California. Republicans currently hold no statewide office and account for less than 30 percent of the state’s registered voters. They lost key congressional races and ceded supermajority control of the state Legislature to Democrats in the 2012 election,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
The OC GOP lost two Assembly seats last year. One of them, the 65th Assembly District, should have been retained by the incumbent, Chris Norby, but his campaign was run by former State Senator John Lewis, who apparently was more interested in electing his other candidate last year – Democrat Tom Daly, over in the 69th Assembly District.
The Norby campaign was a train wreck while the OC GOP paved the way for Daly by removing their Republican candidate, Robert Hammond, at the last minute. I was told at the time that O.C. Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Baugh pulled Hammond out and convinced him to run for the O.C. Board of Education.
The thinking was that if the GOP didn’t challenge Daly then they would be able to focus on winning Norby’s race. But that didn’t happen. Lewis hardly used social media and had no ground game and Norby was outspent and outworked by his Democratic opponent, Sharon Quirk-Silva.
The OC GOP also lost several key local races last year, as Republicans were defeated in former Republican strongholds such as Huntington Beach and Orange.
When I was a Republican, I warned the OC GOP and the CA GOP what would happen if they blew off Latino voters but they also have driven women and gays out of their party. And Asian voters in California are also solidly in the blue column. It is an abysmal situation for a party that would win and win a lot if they would stick to messages such as less taxes, smaller government and more freedom. Like the Libertarian Party I belong to now.
“Brulte insists he will not wade into incendiary matters like immigration, climate change or same-sex marriage,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But how will he control his party’s members and politicians? Good luck with that.
I don’t think the Republicans are going to be able to turn things around. They can’t stop whining about abortions and gay marriage and too many of them still hate immigrants, although they seem to reserve their ire for Mexicans while catering to Asians (which as I pointed out above is not working either).
The CA GOP’s “national significance lies in the state’s 55 electoral votes, which is the largest share in the country. It has not voted for a Republican presidential nominee since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Last year, Mitt Romney lost the state to President Barack Obama by more than 2 million votes,” according to Politico.