Mar 152023

In the first three installments of our summary on the 2023 CAGOP Convention, your intrepid blogger has excoriated the opposition for various issues. This post is 100% on the CAGOP Staff and the consultants that control the CAGOP. Buckle up.

Remember, your intrepid blogger still abhors proxies and wants to see them banned or severely restricted.

The CAGOP By-Laws need major reform. They are limited and inadequate, exposing the CAGOP to unnecessary liability and creating a clear impression of impropriety. Note that all of the delegate disputes from two years ago have never been addressed, and deliberately so.

I have been around the CAGOP for 20+ years; the other disturbing pattern is conflict avoidance. The people that run the CAGOP, which applies to the so-called squishes and conservatives alike, all major on avoiding conflict and sweeping it under the rug. Another way this manifests is in the dishonest game the Rules and Credentials committees play, telling people with disputes that the other committee has no jurisdiction.

Then, conveniently, both meetings get scheduled simultaneously at the convention to prevent any adjustments. I no longer believe the explanations about the availability of meeting rooms. The convention centers have plenty, and this one was the same.

The real issue is that the CAGOP Staff have made themselves believe that their paychecks depend upon keeping the opposition out of office. This is my opinion based on years of evidence. It is sad because these same people that called the Sacramento Sheriff on me (leading to the FBI visiting because I live in Nevada) have gone out of their way to be friendly and polite to me since. (Except for Mr. and Mrs. Butthurt-Klemin)

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The even bigger issue is that absent a major effort to address glaring holes and silences in the CAGOP by-laws, it will require a lawsuit from someone with money to burn who does not expect financial damages from the CAGOP to force the reform.

The control agents all understand there is no accountability, so their actions have become blatant and overt.

This makes me as sad as some of the bad behavior I saw from the opposition. I care about the party’s health; seeing the corruption is disturbing.

Let’s talk about the Rules Committee, but the real story is the Proxies and Credentials Committee.

The CAGOP system is rigged against the opposition because the Rules Committee is appointed 100% by the CAGOP Chair. Then, said committee, on a simple majority vote of the committee, can “Kill” any rules change. This means that the dead rule has to be brought up on the floor in the Sunday General Session and takes a 2/3 vote to be adopted. Effectively this is impossible.

This CAGOP convention was no different. The proxy system is vigorously defended, and a proxies and credentials committee full of appointees that will protect the status quo is the second part of the gatekeeping process.

It may surprise some to read me writing this. Just because I support candidates that my friends in the opposition don’t sometimes, this does not mean my personal views of the party’s problems have changed.

The CAGOP Rules Committee is more like a kangaroo court. It is what it is.

The CAGOP Proxies and Credentials Committee has become a corrupt joke. It sucks, too, because I know many of the people involved in both committees, and they are good people. What they are doing sucks. The decisions being made, even if being done so innocently and without malice, cast dispersion on the CAGOP and expose the organization to liability.

Sometimes I wonder if I should be spending my precious time and blog electrons writing about this stuff…

I just can’t quit the CAGOP.

Did you know that the CAGOP’s bylaws say nothing about an electronic system being used to appoint delegates? This means that people should be able to mail in a list or email in a list as the CAGOP By-Laws are silent. Yet, Modoc Chair Bob Zane was torched by the biased Proxies and Credentials Committee because he did not know how to use the system.

How many times since the online portal was created for delegate appointments have people aligned with the establishment been given grace for not being able to use the system? The refusal of the Proxies and Credentials Committee to accommodate Bob Zane is terrible form and bad faith that would not go over well with a judge. (Update: Zane never complained or appealed to the committee – he just emailed staff about the problem after the deadline)

In addition to Modoc, Bob Brunton, a nominee, got three delegate appointments. Bob said he was waiting until the last minute to make his appointments. When he went in, they were already done. He did not do them. But, the biased Proxies and Credentials Committee told him to go to hell, and three delegates loyal to the establishment were left in the queue. I could not imagine that a Judge would view this favorably either. (Update: I now have information that conflicts with any story that Brunton may have had his delegates “ripped off” – it is likely he made the appointments and then thought better of them)

Did I mention that Scott Winn, a paid consultant doing proxy gathering work, is a committee member? What would a judge say about that conflict of interest? I have a huge problem with paid political consultants that may have an interest in the outcome of things CAGOP being delegates to the party.

The CAGOP By-Laws must be amended with an INSTANT dispute resolution process to address issues. What the consultant-controlled Proxies and Credentials Committee did was corrupt and in complete bad faith.

Did you know that Kathy Kneer in Shasta County appointed delegates before quitting the Shasta GOP altogether? Kathy is by all accounts a fine person with many friends, but her move was in complete bad faith. A new Chair was elected in enough time to have made the appointments themselves.

Hugh Bussell did the same in Alameda. Again, a new Chair was elected in enough time to have made the appointments. I have issues with the new Chair, David Chan, but those are not germane to this discussion about the crooked proxies and credentials committee.

This is where the CAGOP Staff Came in. They recognized the delegates appointed by the establishment-aligned former chairs of both counties. Then, they claimed the CAGOP By-Laws did not allow the Proxies and Credentials Committee to “remove” delegates.

Further, an attorney on retainer for the CAGOP inexplicably said that “General Elections” only happen once every 4 years. (regardless of what the county party by-laws say or reality that is every two years) This insane opinion would get laughed at by a judge. Still, more importantly, it shows the pre-meditation by the control agents to rig the outcome of the credentials committee meeting.

Then the Proxies and Credentials committee told the new chairs of both counties to go to hell. What a great look when juxtaposed with a call for unity from the re-elected CAGOP Chair.

Had I been on the committee, I would have recognized both sets of delegates.

It will likely require a judge to resolve these issues as the rules committee would rather die than address this situation in the by-laws or by adopting a policy and procedure manual for the Proxies and Credentials Committee.

It gets worse; based on how the CAGOP By-Laws are written, we do not know when appointees become delegates. There are three possible interpretations. This also leaves the door open for the CAGOP to get sued for their consistently biased decisions regarding these issues.

Why do I keep talking about the CAGOP getting sued? They do not consistently apply the few by-laws they have, and many decisions made by committees are cowardly conflict avoidance. Being a coward only breeds more significant conflict down the road.

If you want unity, it requires strong leadership and negotiation. What we have is a committee with paid political consultants and members with other conflicts rendering biased decisions.

There are long-term consequences – all of the elections for corporate officers that occurred with these decisions standing could be challenged. How about a tenacious leftist lawyer with practical litigation skills taking down the CAGOP’s corporate veil because of the appalling one-sided and wonton disregard for propriety. Then these control agents would all be calling their homeowner’s insurance carrier, as each of them would be personally liable for the issues with the corporate veil shredded.

To any attorneys out there, don’t scoff; I’ve seen corporate veils get shredded a few times in my life as an insurance agent.

Then we have the crazed Omar Navarro. He was stripped delegate appointments because the committee saw social media posts they believed were “proof” that he lived out of state.

G. Rick Marshall showed up on behalf of Omar Navarro with proof that he was still a resident of California. Scott Winn, a paid political consultant who gathers proxies for the establishment, demanded a power of attorney from Marshall to speak on behalf of Navarro. Winn would get fried faster than Grimace can grab a box of McDonald’s cookies by a judge for what he did.

The Proxies and Credentials Committee violated the CAGOP By-Laws and Roberts Rules in the case of Omar Navarro. He was entitled to two delegate appointments…

Hey, wait, I thought the Proxies and Credentials Committee could not remove delegates? I guess that only applies to Hugh Bussell and Kathy Kneer’s appointments, not Omar Navarro.

Worse, showing incompetence to add to the corruption – the same committee allowed Omar Navarro’s own individual proxy in lieu of his Regular Delegate status to be validated! I thought he lived in another state and could not make appointments… why in the hell was his own credentials recognized?

You’d have to be a complete idiot to not believe the common thread here was the alignment of the people they victimized. What kind of group  tells two newly elected county party chairs to go to hell, and then strips a California Resident nominee of their delegates? A group that was given direction and instructions beforehand on what to do.

The total number of delegates affected by this is 12 that should not have been recognized versus 12 that should have been. In addition, 9 more that should have been allowed to be appointed. This is a total swing of 33 votes…

Regardless of how you are aligned, these situations should give you all pause. 28 out of 1361 votes is statistically significant.

I hate that this happened because it gives credence to the hair on fire election fraud conspiracies and legitimizes the email Mike Cargile just sent out claiming the convention’s results were pre-ordained.

I was personally fully invested in the election of several new CRP officers, and the Rules / Credentials Committee situation cheapens the efforts of all of us.

If you think only people like me want this, witness Harmeet Dhillon’s comments about the Alameda GOP situation in the post-convention board meeting. She clearly said the process is severely broken and needs to be reformed.

Start by banning paid political consultants and political staffers from the rules and credentials committees. The CAGOP’s By-Laws need major reform, and there needs to be an operations manual drawn up for the proxies and credentials committee to standardize the process.

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  12 Responses to “2023 CAGOP Convention Part 4: The Rules Committee and Credentials Committee Disaster”

  1. Aaron, 2 Conventions (the LA airport location) ago I submitted a bylaw change for proxies to be done electronically and the appointer had to name the person he (or she) is appointing to carry their proxy (ending blank paper proxies that consultants could harvest). Who was on the Rules Committee and spoke against it at that convention killing it in committee? Luis Buhler and David Stafford Reade….two of the people that continually use the blank paper proxies to control the Conventions. Is this corrupt? The word ‘corrupt’ is too mild for what has been going on.

  2. Aaron,
    I totally agree with your summary paragraph to these undeniable problems. We need to start being transparent within our GOP organization by banning paid political consultants and political staffers from the rules and credentials committees. The CAGOP’s By-Laws need major reform, and there needs to be an operations manual drawn up for the proxies and credentials committee to standardize the process. The question is who is going to allow this to happen or even attempt to get it done!

  3. Interesting, but sad all the same. Um, statistically, your figure amounts to .0242% points, significant in a tight race. I’ve been informed, that the CAGOP kinda has base within southern CA, given the population center there. Debate the point if youd like, but it’s a reality. We have other chairs in other Counties, but Southern CALI is where the power base is. Will it change? If you were them, would YOU? Doubtful. Money is made buying/selling proxies, from what we were told at our CRA meeting. More infighting happens, keeping themselves IN power, than is spent trying to get people elected in this state. NOw, it appears that patterson won, again? Rigged or not, it’s a shame given her track record. Either way, it’s done now. What those people in charge will do now, is a guess. They’re getting paid, so they’re happy. They keep their power base, so they’re happy. Everyone else loses. Ah well, besides what the intrepid blogger writes, it still gives one from the outside, what amounts to a party that is content, with the status que of their own status. Those people have grown accustomed to being ” 2nd place to first or last ” and won’t budge to be/do/act anyway else. So long as they’re paid, it’s all good. Dam shame.

  4. It is correct the Chair appoints the members to all the committees, and this is why elections matter. Appointments to committees are sustained by the Board of Directors. Not sure to what extent the Board vets these appointments or if they just go along to get along.

    My experience with these committees’ the primary purpose is to “protect the throne”. I understand this but these are opportunities to nurture and mentor. Former Chairman Brulte was good about making teaching points rather than slinging arrows at members.

    I submitted a bylaw amendment proposal to make it clearer that a County Chair could not appoint delegates to the State Committee prior to their organizational meeting. It was stated poorly. It was tabled to the September Convention, but it could have been fixed at this convention. Since then, I was informed that the Board was going to rewrite to make sure these shenanigans will not happen in the future.

    I sent an email to membership about a delegate that according to the Secretary of State received 30.0% of the vote. This was a rounded number. He actually received 29.96% of the vote. Our bylaws require candidates to attain 30% of the vote. Membership said take it up with Proxies and Credentials. I did and was told that it will be brought up in the P&C meeting at 5pm on Saturday. I was not there, not sure what happened. Not sure if they publish minutes. Since then, I was informed that the Board is looking to hold the P&C meeting on Friday afternoons.

    I had a bylaw amendment proposal to do our endorsements to allow them to appear on the county voter information guides. It was soundly defeated by the Rules Committee because I also had a clause that said the CAGOP would only endorse candidates that had a candidate statement that would appear in the voter information guide. It will be interesting to see if action is taken to get more endorsements on county voter information guides. The Democratic Party has a process to get its endorsements on the county voter information guides. Why can’t the CAGOP do it?

    Keep plugging away.

  5. Thomas – thank you for this comment, this is encouraging

  6. About Bob Zane’s appeal at the Proxies & Credentials meeting. One of the committee members decided that it was up to Zane to find out who appointed the delegates – even though Bob repeated that he didn’t have access to the CAGOP system. (Where are hackers when we need them?) Zane read an email one of his delegates received informing her of her appointment. As soon as Bob read the name of the sender (Luis Buhler) the mood among the committee changed from interestingly listening to Bob’s problem, to complete closeminded to anything else Bob would say. I thought I smelled a fish.

  7. Let it be pointed out that if Proxies and Credentials (or the CAGOP before the Convention) had properly acted on David Chan’s Alemeda County Delegate Appointments, rather than Hugh Bussell’s outgoing appointment travesty, Yvette Corkrean WOULD HAVE WON the Election for the BAY Area Regional Vice Chair.(the vote magin was 4 votes. The exact number of votes Alameda County would have provided and would have voted for Yvette. At that election the problem with these delegates was Brought up and as I understand it, the results of that Election were suspending pending a ruling on the Delegates challege by either the Rules Committee or the Proxies and Credentials committee (I’m not sure which one-i’m going to find out). But no matter because AFTER the Bay area Election meeting, Bryan Watkins of the CAGOP staff called David Chan, Chairman of AleMeda County and told him the suspenion of the vote was wrong and the Election WAS Certified. What is a staff person doing getting involved in this? (unless Aaron is right that they are protecting their jobs or those in power manipulating to stay in power – After all, “the Opposition” as Aaron calls us, the RCC, won 3 other Regional Vice chair positions (all seats on the CAGOP Board -including beating Lindsey Stetson in the Central Coast Region) and jsut couln’t have a 4th win.

    This Proxies and Credentials Committee decision was completely BS. And it really mattered as it affected the outcome of the Bay Area Regional Vice Chair Election and all the one-sided decisions in the Delegate Challenges made could have forced the CAGOP Vice Chair Race to a second round of voting.

    But the establishment Machine in charge couldn’t have that…

  8. @Ron – I know Luis Buhler. He is many things, but insinuating that he defrauded Bob Zane is absurd.

  9. I think Ron meant Bob Brunton, not Bob Zane. Bob Zane did not appeal his delegates being taken away at Proxies.

    It was very eye-opening to see these new members on the Proxies committee stand up to deny David Chan his delegates, including Kneer of Shasta, who had just done the same thing to her incoming chair – they have no shame.

    Also Tamika Hamilton did as she was told. These people have no idea what pawns they are.

  10. Ya know when I think about it I doubt the CRP assigned a voting machine to a proxy…rather just the name of the person and how many proxies he/she/it carried. So you might not able to determine how the proxies voted compared to actual delegates in attendance, but you can find out how those without proxies delegates votes to end buyig/selling compared to how those with proxies voted. I will bet it’s a huge percentage of the proxy holding delegates that voted to not accept Bylaw Proposal #5 to end the selling and buying of proxies thereby, keeping the corruption in place.

  11. I sat through the entire Rules meeting. I thought I would learn something. I learned a woman, who was the legal counsel, was pushing agenda. Then a man, who I found out was Luis Buhler, was more concerned with getting through everything rather than listening. He was bullying the entire committee. Disappointing. Very disappointing.

    Very good recommendations were made. Two gentlemen who obviously understand the nuances had very clear changes. Easy changes. These men were listened to, but no action taken.

    The delegates left distrustful, disheartened and disenfranchised. This is JUST voting. How complicated do we need to make this? Simplicity should reign. Transparency should be the rule.

    BTW…I sat next to the melt down not knowing who he was. Saw the entire thing. The emotional reaction, while distracting and degrading to the bigger cause, is a result of extreme frustration. The committee could have easily ended it by allowing discussion and thoughtful decision.

  12. CalPatriot. The rules committee is stacked by the chair to ensure the proxies and way the CRP operates never changes. This is done so they ‘the Bakersfield Bunch’ (Ms Patterson came from that group) can hold on to power…They have worked on this for over 20 years. Luis Buhler is associated with them and his brother Roman Buhler was part of them. Things will never change unless we elect a Chair that is willing to put the delegates back in charge of the Party and not the ‘Bunch’. I could go on and on about those guys…but it’s pointless. The Vice Chair was the key race and we lost it…So I don’t expect any changed unless there is an upset in the Spring 2025 Organizing Convention.

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