Mar 132023

OMG! Heeeeeees a RIIIIIIIIINO. (code for, He does not agree with me 100%)

In installment one, I mentioned that one of my professional and personal objectives for the 2023 CAGOP Convention was to elect John Dennis Chairman of the County Chairman’s Association. He was vigorously opposed by people that at one time used to view him as an ally.

John Dennis is a Libertarian Conservative and always has been. He was once the darling of Conservative groups because he ran for CA-12 against Pelosi. Dennis is also the Chairman of the SFGOP.

John Dennis did not support Steve Frank for CAGOP Chair in 2021, which was his first offense. This also earned him a contingent of Steve Bannon political anarchists that are hellbent on burning down the GOP anywhere they can find it. They have been setting up confrontations and videotaping the SFGOP’s meetings, one of the tapes was cut up and used to attack Dennis.

Mr. Dennis was also attacked by his former Executive Director who is as much of a disaster as anyone I have seen in California Republican Politics.

John Dennis won 26-24. SDGOP Chair Paula Whitsell changed her flight to come to the meeting earlier and stood up strong for John Dennis. Other Southern California Chairs did as well. The close nature of the race shows that weak-minded leaders can be swayed by half-truths and outright lies. But, who cares, we are the opposition and we get to use the same tactics we decry from those in power.

Conservative Mugs 970×250

It was clear the savaging of John Dennis had some impact on the outcome – all because he was no longer a part of the tribe. This was certainly not ideological as Dennis would pass any purity test.

This theme of demanding 100% compliance would repeat itself over and over again in the 2023 CAGOP officer elections cycle.

It was not effective. in 2021, Steve Frank was beaten 689-423 which is a bit over 38% of the vote. In 2023, the combined total of the three opponents of Jessica Patterson was 452. However, the universe of voters had increased to 1361, with 1330 voting. This means that the opposition performed worse (34%) in 2023 than in 2021.

One of the themes of the 2023 CAGOP Convention was also Steve Frank. It was clear he was attempting to orchestrate all of the opposition and he was attempting to stay relevant even as he is now in his late 70’s has had heath issues and has been fading somewhat. In addition, even if Mr. Frank was 37 and not 77, there were several people in his crew that are completely unmanageable. Mr. Frank had a chance to emerge as a senior statesman in Republican Politics and decided to do the opposite.

Somehow, Corrin Rankin, now the Vice-Chair of the CAGOP (more on that specific drama in later posts) was no longer acceptable despite having had endorsements and support from Conservative groups for her past races. What changed? Rankin won a hotly contested race with 51+% of the vote on ballot one, preventing a second ballot.

Somehow, CAGOP Secretary Randy Berholtz, who is a complete conservative was no longer acceptable. Amazingly, Berholtz is known for not towing the leadership line on the CAGOP’s board. Perhaps because Berholtz prefers to pick his battles he failed some new standard? Berholtz defeated a determined and funded opponent 58-42. (More on that in a later post as well)

Somehow DESPITE BEING ENDORSED by Conservative Groups, CAGOP Treasurer Greg Gandrud drew two opponents. So, even when someone passes the current test (because the standard changes based on the current whims) they were not safe from the splinters taking a windmill charge. The opposition did not disavow the two people that ran against Gandrud and in so doing took ownership of them both.

I wrote about one of Greg’s opponents, Joseph Grcar. He told people that he was running against Greg because Greg is gay and married to another man. I saw nothing publicly confirming this, simply people I spoke with during my efforts related to the convention confirming it. Given Grcar’s insane behavior before and during the convention, anything is possible.

Another person named David Fennell decided to run against Gandrud. Fennell is a perennial candidate from the extreme right who has gotten plastered at the ballot box multiple times. However, in 2010, he sued the CAGOP for some odd reason and lost so bad that the CAGOP got a SLAPP motion granted against him. Fennell lost a $40,000 judgement as a result of how frivolous his lawsuit was.

I was told by a couple CAGOP Board Members that Fennell has evaded collection attempts from the CAGOP since 2011. I was told the interest rate was 10% a year, which if true, means Fennell owes the CAGOP $100,000 or more by now.

Fennell also had violated the CAGOP’s By-Laws preventing a candidate for Statewide Office from running for or holding CRP office. Fennell still has an open LT Gov Committee. He signs his emails as a candidate for Lt Gov.

It also appears When Fennell showed up at the CAGOP Convention, he was told to leave. He was never recognized as a candidate. It makes perfect sense, he owes the CAGOP $100K, and wants to be a senior officer in the organization? Get lost dude. (What a conservative, files frivolous lawsuits and does not pay his bills)

The crew opposing the current leadership of the CAGOP drew some sort of line in the sand. Either you were with them or against them. Fortunately, I had enough relationships with enough people that I was not sucked in to the RINO vortex by everyone… but there were some that looked at your intrepid blogger like he was suddenly pro-choice.

It is my belief that this absolute line and the refusal to accept candidates that may have been a little less than 100% was one of the major factors in what happened with the near sweep of the opposition at the CAGOP Convention. If there were undecided voters, they had to be repulsed by this approach and some of the other sideshows.

To set up the next installment, let’s continue the story after I checked in to the CAGOP convention and got my badges…

The first thing that happens the morning of Day 2 of the Convention is that there are 5 regional caucus meetings. 10 of the CAGOP’s board members are regional vice chairs. When the convention is in the North State, the five regions that are north of LA County are on the menu. The results of these were noteworthy and gave the opposition some false hope and also took your intrepid blogger by surprise.

In the Northwest, Brian Pritchard (speaking of Libertarian Conservatives) trounced Lance-Corporal Charlie Schaupp.

In the North, my buddy Laurie Wallace won unopposed. (Well done Laurie, drawing no opponent takes as much work as beating an opponent)

In the Bay Area, Jason Clark won re-election by only 4 votes. This had the opposition buzzing.

In the Central Coast, there was a small earthquake. Lindsey Stetson, long viewed as being on the Short List of people to replace Jessica Patterson as CAGOP Chair got taken by storm. This was the only victory the opposition had all weekend. San Luis Obispo County Chairman Randal Jordan beat Stetson. The opposition got JW Paine to step aside and the more polished and accomplished Jordan stepped up. Randal Jordan is an articulate and reasonable conservative who presents very well. I anticipate him working well on the CAGOP board.

The combination of the Bay Area and Central Coast results had me congratulating Mr. Frank the first time I saw him at the convention. I knew these people had worked hard trying to organize, I would see evidence later that their effort was scattershot, undisciplined and ineffective. I tried when I worked with Frank for his CAGOP race to elevate the level, but there just was not enough of me to go around.

In the Central Valley, I had to wait a few hours before I learned later that Craig De Luz was beaten soundly by Lisa Moreno 84-64. I had come to the belief that the establishment was going to mobilize against Craig by virtue of some conversations I had in the week before convention. This was confirmed by this result.

I told several people to watch on Saturday to see who started showing up. It became clear by mid-day that the missing voters from the Central Coast and the Bay Area were arriving. I also saw several Southern California legislators and others arrive as well. It is very possible that the torrents of rain delayed travel for many of the usual suspects that may have been at the convention thus aiding in the surprising results in the two coastal regions.

In addition, when I was appraised of the result of the DeLuz outcome (He was the only CAGOP endorsement I made that did not succeed) I knew that the opposition had peaked on Saturday Morning.

The last thing for this portion of the 2023 CAGOP story is the proxy drill. On Friday Night, they announced that nearly 500 proxies had been submitted. Only 239 were valid. This was also concerning, but when you read on you will learn that by Sunday morning it had leveled out.

Next Up, Let’s Talk SooYoo and David Dhillon. There are several lessons to be learned from both of these debacles…

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  9 Responses to “2023 CAGOP Convention Summary Part 2: The Suicide Pact With Tribalism”

  1. Laurie Wallace drew no opposition because those of us under her leadership watch her leave it out on the field everyday. She’s a tireless advocate, an excellent communicator (knows how to return a phone call / email), and an all around wonderful lady.

    To quote a famous movie, “We are not worthy.”

    She a great regional leader and a friend as well. People were falling over themselves at the regional meeting on Saturday to second her nomination (myself included). Watch for good things coming from the North in the next two years!

    Thank you Laurie!

  2. So….bottom line, is patterson IN or OUT?

  3. From the internet:

    By our friends at the

    At the California Republican Party’s online state convention in February 2021, Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson won a solid reelection victory. She received over 62% of the delegate votes. She campaigned on her success both in partybuilding – recruiting 42,000 volunteers and raising $36 million, as well as election results – taking back four of the congressional seats that Republicans had lost in 2018. She also laid out her priorities: “This fall, we must recall Gavin Newsom to save our great state, and next year, we must retire Nancy Pelosi to save our country. That is our focus, and we will not be divided or distracted.”

    Statewide Vice Chairman Peter Kuo also won reelection at the convention, with nearly 77% of the vote. Peter is a delegate from Santa Clara County. Asked about his plans going forward, Peter said, “I look forward to two more years of growth of our Party’s base by attracting new immigrants, hard working middle class folks, people of faith, people who want to defend the police, people who want their children to go back to school and re-open our businesses. We the people deserve a better Governor and legislators – the Democrat Party has failed the people of California. It’s time for a real change.”

    Bay Area Regional Vice Chair Jonathan Madison won a second term at the Saturday morning regional meeting with 83% of the vote. Jonathan is an attorney who lives in Alameda County. He said, “I plan to lead Bay Area Republicans into a more prominent role in the Recall Newsom effort. We need real leadership at the state and local level. It’s time for Republicans to lead that effort for our state and nation.” He also plans to continue coordinating with the six county Party chairs in the region as well as doing more of his innovative outreach events.

    In the Central Coast Region, which includes Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties, among others, Lindsey Stetson was reelected as Vice Chair and appointed by Chairwoman Patterson to head the Recall Committee. In the North Region, which includes Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties, Matt Heath was reelected. See the list of CAGOP Leadership here.”

    Well, so much for that. Patterson is back in. Ah…huh. AND!!, they wanna restart up a Re-Call of the Gov dumdum. Ah—–huh. I presume I should be excited over this, but I’m not sure I’m there. I WILL say this in advance: I don’t believe a re-call now, is a good thing that will take off. (Seeresults from last time) I DO believe, after dumdum’s term is up, the REAL CA GOV race will be on for 2026. You try another re-call at this time, I believe it’l fail, and alientate voters for 2026. Yes, 2024 will have an impact as well, which is another reason to NOT try another re-call at this time. That’s just me. I’m sure there are those out there in ” net land ” who think/beleive otherwise.

    After seeing all the comments about patterson on here, I’ve likened her to Maj. Gen. Lloyd Ralston Fredendall. History says the rest about that. I seroiusly doubt, she has the leadership for any form of Re-call attempts, now or in the future.

  4. Leo – that was soooooo last convention.

  5. I stand corrected, you are right. My pardon.

  6. My take on the Convention:

    1. Nothing has changed in the CA GOP


    2. RNC recognizes this and has created its strategic initiatives and community center programs. This is a good idea and I wish they would put one in Sacramento Valley Region — lots of veterans who would support party. I asked “Isn’t this the job of the local counties GOP organizations and didn’t this reflect an effort to centralize by national GOP?” In response, someone from down South mentioned the word “incompetent” in his remarks. I replied that I liked the mention of incompetence. Everyone chuckled.

    3. Parental revolt and solutions. Great energy from Shawn Steel. I was somewhat depressed until I attended this meeting. Shawn, Lance Christensen, Josh Hoover, et al. gave me hope that it is from the bottom up that we will change things …

    4. Initiatives Committee. This was one of the most interesting, informative and well organized meeting that I attended. Look forward to engaging with them.

    BOTTOM LINE: Otherwise, all remains the same …

  7. Aaron, I’m going start billing you for every time you used my RINO acronym, in Hollywood is call ‘residuals’
    Good report

  8. Intrepid Blogger, if you were a registered Republican in California, I would consider selling you my proxy for the next convention. You are not so I will have to find another buyer.

    Blogger’s Note: LOL.

  9. Intrepid Blogger, if you were a California Resident, I would sell you my proxy for the next convention. I guess I will have to find someone else.

    Blogger’s Note: LOL

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