The Lincoln Club Endorses Robert Ming: The Right Thing Done in the Right Way
By: Lincoln Club member David Bahnsen
Matt Cunningham has posted a bizarre piece over at OCPolitical expressing his dismay at the Lincoln Club’s decision to endorse Robert Ming for the OC Supervisor’s seat in the 5th District. It is bizarre because Matt expresses a long-held admiration for the club, and then says he has never “been more disappointed in one of the club’s actions than its endorsement of Robert Ming”. He later in the article says it is not about Robert Ming, but about the process by which the club gave the endorsement. A few comments are in order.
Matt is not a member of the Lincoln Club, and to my knowledge never has been. He is certainly not in the club’s leadership, was not at the board meeting in question, and is not in any position to know or understand what the club did, or what its policies and protocols are. He is welcome to endorse Frank Ury, and he is welcome to work for that candidate’s campaign (though I do not know if he does or not). Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
The Lincoln Club is free to endorse who it wants, when it wants, and it is not accountable to political bloggers or political consultants. In fact, we would be happier if political consultants were ALWAYS upset with what we were doing, for surely it would mean our cause would be righteous. But I digress … The club, is, however, accountable to its own bylaws. In this case, the club went above and beyond the call of duty in fidelity to our own rules and regulations. Our Executive Committee met prior to the board’s consideration of an endorsement and unanimously voted, on the merits, to endorse Robert Ming in the Supervisor’s race. The club requires a 75% super-majority of its Board of Directors to endorse a Republican candidate when there are other Republican candidates in the race. In this case, because Frank Ury entered the race, a Board vote was required for Mr. Ming to receive our endorsement. The club has run into these situations numerous times over the years, and we have sometimes voted to provide an endorsement in a contested race (Shawn Nelson comes to mind in a previous Supervisor’s race) and sometimes voted not to (DeYoung/Bates, Spitzer/Pauley, and a dozen other non-supervisor races). These decisions have always happened according to protocol – our own internal protocol, not ones dictated to us by the blogosphere. The process has barely ever involved candidates coming to speak to the club. There have been instances where that was deemed necessary or fruitful, but those instances are the exception, not the rule. Robert Ming was asked to leave the room while the Board discussed the proposed endorsement. Our board is not filled with political novices and ignoramuses. We know the candidates and have relationships with those whose candidacy we are asked to consider. Robert Ming is probably the easiest endorsement vote I have cast in my entire time as leader in the Lincoln Club. He is everything the club stands for: The epitome of fiscal responsibility, a devoted family man, a competent leader and business professional, a man of faith and conviction, and contra 99% of those you will ever see mentioned on a OC political blog, he is an astute and philosphically-inclined student of political thought. Our club would be blessed to have HIS endorsement of us. Robert has served in our committees for over a decade and as an elected leader in Laguna Niguel is very well-known to the club and its leadership.
Frank Ury may or may not be a number of the things that Matt Cunningham says he is. The point is that our club feels so strongly about the qualifications and abilities of Robert Ming that we unanimously voted to endorse him. Matt says that we were two votes short. Again, this misnomer could have been easily cleared up had Matt done any homework. Our bylaws require a 75% threshold for endorsement; in Robert’s case, we got 100%. To the extent that there were some absent board members at the meeting, we secured the votes of absent members after the fact (so as to leave no doubt about the board’s commitment to its chosen path). This is also very common in our history and practice.
The reality is that it is none of Matt’s business how we conduct our business. We are a private organization and are under no obligation to defend ourselves to him. Only Matt can speak to what his real agenda is here in this unjustified attack on the Lincoln Club. As a matter of defending our public record I have chosen to reply to clear up the blatant falsehoods uttered in his piece. We were faithful to our own bylaws, faithful to our own traditions, and in this case, took an action supported by every single board member present at the meeting (as well as the Executive Committee which met two days prior). Our actions amount to the vanilla task of endorsing a candidate we consider to be one of OC’s conservative stars.
The club is on solid footing in its endorsement of Robert Ming. All over the county the buzz is growing for Robert’s candidacy as his endorsements continue to mount. We are proud of this endorsement and hope all Orange County residents will look at what Robert stands for when they consider the options in this race.
David L. Bahnsen, CFP®, CIMA® is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, one of the leading investment banks and wealth management firms in the world. He there runs The Bahnsen Group, providing financial planning and investment management services to roughly 150 clients, managing over $600 million of client capital. He and his wife of twelve years (Joleen) reside in Newport Beach, CA with their eight-year old son, Mitchell, six-year old daughter, Sadie, and 3-year old baby boy, Graham. He is an active board member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Program Committee. He serves on the Board of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy and the advisory board of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. He also serves on the Blackstone Faculty of the Alliance Defense Fund and is a Cooperating Board member of the Center for Cultural Leadership where he is the Senior Fellow of Economics and Finance. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), and holds numerous financial designations and licenses.
David is a disciple of Milton Friedman, a lover of Ronald Reagan, and a “National Review kind of conservative”. His writings strive to reflect an ideology of freedom principles integrated with transcendent truths. His hero is his late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, but he is pretty fond of John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper, F.A. Hayek, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, William Buckley, Margaret Thatcher, George Gilder, Steve Forbes, and Larry Kudlow as well.
Hobbies include reading, travel, fine dining, golfing, and sports. His true passions in life include anything pertaining to USC football, the financial markets, politics, Palm Desert, NYC, his gorgeous and brilliant children, and his lovely wife, Joleen.