I tried it. I worked for an extremely viable challenger. He is the author of Prop 8. He had access to money that the establishment could not choke off. His opponent was unable to finish a sentence on the floor of the Assembly and had few, if any loyalties or true connections within the district. It was a perfect storm.
It took the establishment about $2 Million to save Beth Gaines. They also made sure that I and everyone else that helped Andy Pugno (the candidate) got retaliated against.
Primary challenging and actually defeating an incumbent is extremely difficult. A famous example is the idiot known as Joe Miller who beat incumbent liberal Republican Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Primary only to lose when she re-emerged as a write-in candidate (apparently AK election law allows that) in the fall. Tea Party Joe is relegated to the dust heap of history. Another great example is the fraud known as Kelli Ward who got crushed by John McCain in Arizona. John McCain? That’s right, Chad Mayes on steroids, nuked an opponent with national support. (Please note that Steve Bannon is reputed to have disassociated himself with Ward)
Chad Mayes has a ton of money. I think he has something like $500k that he will show at the end of the year, maybe a bit more. $500k is enough to run two assembly campaigns. With the grassroots ranks being decimated and few people being willing to get off of facebook and out on the street, Mayes has a massive advantage. Also remember that the establishment will support the most ethically and morally flawed people in office as incumbency is king.
Mayes has two known opponents. One, Gary Jeandron, has indeed run twice before and lost. It appears that he is trying to do new things to be viable. Jeandron has a superior resume to the other opponent Andrew Kotyuk. Mr. Kotyuk has endorsements, momentum and a few dollars to work with. I am told, however that Kotyuk is an opposition research bonanza. Remember, Joe Justin is Mayes campaign boss and Mr. Justin is a gifted operative who is lethal. Any opponent to Mayes had better be top shelf and extremely disciplined and well managed.
Marc Steinorth? He is rumored to be polling for San Bernardino Supervisor. He is as tough as a junkyard dog. Given that the sex scandal (in terms of people being victimized against their will) culture has metastasized as it has, I just don’t see a consensual affair between two adults mattering to voters. (this comment applies to Mayes as well) It is my opinion that Steinorth will win whatever he runs for as he will be funded and his “brass balls”, despite how wrong he may be on some issues, represents leadership. Compare this to so many in the GOP Caucus and it stands out. Marc’s leadership ability alone makes a compelling case to support him despite any other misgivings.
Devon Mathis? He is the one incumbent who could lose. The sex assault charge is hanging over him and his team has done little or nothing to get him out from under it. Until then, he will have a hard time raising any support. Once that is cleared up, he will get fully funded, This will be especially by the Agricultural interests that got him to vote for Cap and Trade. It is my opinion that Mathis is guilty of bad judgement, but not guilty of sexual misconduct. Mathis is also guilty of not doing many of the basics that a member of the state legislature should do in order to govern, this is the reason he is vulnerable. If the money people decide to cut bait and choose for fund the Mayor of Visalia, Warren Gubler instead, then the decisions that were made by Mathis’ advisors in terms of their crisis management will become the #1 reason for his demise. It is extremely rare for the establishment to de-fund an incumbent.
Dante Acosta? At this time, I am of the opinion that he will be safely re-elected. I simply do not see anything serious enough against him to provide anything more than ammo for the left wing fringe. This can change, but my gut says Acosta is guilty of nothing more than some bad judgement.
It is my opinion and I have nothing to prove this other than my gut that Devon Mathis and Dante Acosta are sitting on information and are waiting for the correct time to deploy it thus eviscerating their accusers.
All of this said, there is one Republican member sitting in a safe seat doing nothing (and I am not referring to Matthew Harper who raises no money at all in the wealthiest district in California, that is a different kind of doing nothing), that is on the “sex” list along with 4-6 democrats. There are lobbyists and staffers who are going to be exposed. I believe some of the staff that are on the “sex” list may be the source of some of the un-vetted attacks against one of the aforementioned GOP members.
I am not sure if the CA GOP is going to be able to muster candidates to contend for any of the winnable Assembly Districts. The CA GOP is poised to lose SD12 as there is no longer an Anthony Cannella in that district, so even if there is a gain elsewhere, it is status quo. It is sad, too. So many Democrats have been burnt by their sexual deviance that they lost their supermajority. This, of all things is an unprecedented opportunity.
Beyond the drill myself and others ran, there was no end game after taking out Chad Mayes as Assembly GOP Leader. It was a reaction to what he did and how it decimated my efforts to build the CIR from the resulting disillusionment in the GOP.
The proof of many of my judgement and commentaries about the state of the CAGOP will manifest when every vote for Cap and Trade returns to office. (Except Tom Berryhill, the safe district Senator who betrayed his conservative district while on his way out the door via term limits)
This will be continued as events warrant as this drama is far from over.