Dec 272023

It is very simple. I have known Jeff Moss for 20 years. While I have not had a ton of interactions with him in that time, what I remember well is he has been on the right side of every issue conservatives care about. The most memorable one for me is when he was a part of dealing with the Fire Unions and their demands for pay and benefits that would have forced huge tax increases on the residents of the district.

He has also been at odds with the leftists, NIMBY’s and Enviros. The fact that the community was able to so quickly rally around him is further indicative of the life he has lived.

With regard to Karen Henson who I am un-endorsing in favor of Moss. She had ample time and opportunity to make a campaign for herself. She failed to do so. I liked her, a lot.. but she is not a good or viable candidate. It is purely that.

AD-01 – the two democrats, five republican nightmare scenario that was constantly used as a reason why endorsements had to be made never materialized.

Only Tanessa Audette, Heather Hadwick, Mark Mezzano and Melissa Hunt filed for election. While I am drawing a retainer from Heather Hadwick, allow me to as unbiased as I can offer an analysis:

Tanessa is from Bethel Church in Redding. This Church is a gigantic block of voters in AD01 and it appears that Tanessa believes she will get them all (or most of them). Remember, both Dahle’s got over 80% of the vote in Shasta County and it was believed that Bethel was the reason. While Tanessa still works for Brian Dahle, she is not Brian Dahle and those kinds of phenomena rarely transfer to non-family member candidates. Bethel is also a lightening rod in the community and is a source of controversy.

As I filter through the information about Tanessa, she’d like to believe that the four county GOP endorsements she has were about her, but they were more about anti-Dahle sentiment than anything. (El Dorado could be an exception to this)

My main concern about Tanessa is when she is fully vetted, it is not going to end well. How far do her opponents and detractors go in their efforts to stymie her campaign?

Mark Mezzano is a candidate that should have been formidable. He has strong support in Shasta County from several on the GOP there. It appears that many if not most of Melissa Hunt’s core supporters have jumped in to Mark’s camp. That said, time and again, I have been treated to stories about Mezzano meeting stakeholders and fumbling time and again. Mezzano’s failure to advance to the top tier is 100% on him. He has a resume and would otherwise be qualified were he not saddled with the flaws he has as a candidate.

Melissa Hunt. She hates Les Baugh. She reportedly has launched in to tirades in public and on the phone when people have attempted to talk to her about her campaign’s failure to launch. Anyone that hates Les Baugh has a screw loose. It is clear that she filed for the election to give everyone the middle finger. When she finishes 4th in March she will most likely get even angrier.

Heather Hadwick. I work for her. She is the Bomb. I can’t be objective in my comments about her because I think she is a fantastic and overqualified candidate. She is also working very hard doing the things a candidate needs to do in order to be formidable.

Absent my bias, it is clear that Heather Hadwick is the front-runner because the people I know that do not support her are opposed to her for reasons outside of anything directly related to Heather, her platform or resume.

My guess is Tanessa and Heather are the two that advance to the fall melee.

As a side note, Doug LaMalfa endorsed a series of candidates for Supervisor in Shasta County. All are part of the “Anti-Bethel” crowd and to the best of my knowledge all are hostile to the Dahles. Nice to see there are still tribes in the North State.

Speaking of the Dahles, Megan Dahle and the troubled David Fennell are all that filed for the SD-01 Tilt. The race goes to the November Runoff and Fennell gets hammered worse than the Niners got by the Ravens on Christmas. Twice.

Party Time.

May 202023

Please note that your intrepid blogger is helping Megan Dahle in SD-01. Dahle has drawn an opponent who has lost several races for office in the past.

In addition, Heather Hadwick is running in AD-01. She currently has the endorsement on Brian Dahle and will certainly gain several more as the campaign rolls out.

Heather was raised in the small town of Dorris in Siskiyou County where she met her high school sweetheart Bryon. They were married in 2003 and now have two boys, Sam and Zack. Together they run their family farm in Modoc County growing hay, vegetables, pumpkins, raising highland cattle, and have the County’s only Pumpkin Patch each fall.

​Born in Siskiyou and lives in Modoc. I can’t think of something more North State than that.

As a small business owner of her family farm and having previously owned a small local newspaper, Heather understands the constant obstacles of operating her own business. She knows the state needs to make it easier to open and run a small business, and to hire more people at good paying jobs.

For the last almost 5 years, Heather served Modoc County as the Deputy OES (Office of Emergency Services) Director at the Sheriff’s Office. Heather served as the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office, organized evacuations due to wildfire and flooding, coordinated support, managed recovery, and assisted on neighboring wildfires such as the Bootleg, Dixie, McKinney, and many more.

​The AD-01 Race appears to have 7 customers at this time. Hadwick’s resume is going to be hard to match by any of her opponents (especially those from the more urban Shasta County).

Jun 132019

Sometimes, I get a cold bucket of water in my email. I had to role-play Baghdad Bob as I was reading Kevin Kiley’s latest campaign email:

Dear Aaron,

To everyone who supported our campaign in so many ways — thank you! I am grateful beyond words to the hundreds of donors, dozens of volunteers, and countless others who did so much over the last several months. Thanks to your tremendous support, we made this a very close race, receiving over 70,000 votes despite a 4:1 spending gap.

I’m particularly grateful for the strong support from voters in the 6th Assembly District, which we won with over 70 percent of the vote. I’m humbled by the trust of my constituents, and I look forward to continue fighting for you at the Capitol.

Our work together is just getting started.

Yours sincerely,


Losing by 6.8% is not close. It is as close as his “first place finish” was in March. In a special election runoff losing by 6.8% or 10,400 votes is as close as Kevin Kiley has ever been to touching cattle.

Also note that AD06 Voters were outperformed by AD01 voters by a large margin suggesting that Kiley did not inspire his own district to support him. He points out the 70% number in an attempt to dissuade potential challengers.

Kiley has a lot of questions to answer – in particular what he did to earn so many people spending big to stop him? When I went to Brian Dahle’s reception, several lobbyists and “Third House” people volunteered their outright disdain for Mr. Kiley. Does that disdain translate in to cutting off money to Kiley’s campaign from these people?

I’ve been made aware of at least one powerful Assemblymember that has made it clear to several institutional donors that they will retaliate against the would be donor if they support Kiley.

You have to be skilled to make people that angry, that is something I have only seen Tom McClintock accomplish when he was in Sacramento as well. Perhaps even the “Third House” people have a limit as it pertains to being berated, talked down to and double-dealt on?

Another item of particular interest, people also volunteered how offended they were by the Ose-Kiley Cattle Company fraud. It is clear to this blogger there will be retaliation against Kiley for that stunt. Why Doug Ose participated in that is beyond me.

For me, when I got this email, it was just another attempt to save face and cover for embarrassment. Kiley was asked before, during and after his aborted run for SD-01 why he was doing it. On the campaign trail, he did not play well with others. He alienated Rex Hime and Theodore Dizuba so bad, both showed up to Dahle’s after party and gave him material support during the campaign after having run against him in the primary.

I am only aware of serious ground efforts in Sacramento County on Kiley’s behalf that stemmed more from angry email exchanges between their Chair and Josh Cook, Dahle’s Chief of Staff. There were other isolated efforts, but not the stuff a winning campaign is made of.

The $1MM that was spent on Dahle would not have been spent if Kiley looked like he had a good chance of winning. The ferocity and the wide range of groups that gave to Dahle were motivated more so than usual by Kiley’s behavior – something the young man is tone deaf to as proven by his Baghdad Bob level email today.

Do I think Kevin Kiley will get a serious primary challenge? I hope so, if anything to hammer his ego down a few more notches. Our work together is just getting started indeed…

P.S. Kiley is in debt a reputed $300k. Ouch.

Apr 292019

The world is caving in on Kevin Kiley

On the SOJ Radio show, Kevin Kiley got caught refusing to answer a question. It is ironic as just a few minutes before, he bemoaned the lack of courage and leadership on the Republican side of the aisle.

This radio disaster is emblematic of Kiley’s abject failure as an Assemblymember.

The first three minutes of the interview was about his meaningless resolution regarding free speech on campus.

Later in the segments, Kiley dodged a question about SOJ multiple times. The Kiley part starts at the 12 minute point.

If you listen to the cadence he is using, you can also understand the increasing disconnect. Kevin Kiley sounds like he is talking above everyone, including resorting to polysyllabic words when the interview starts to go sideways on him.

Win Carpenter and Sally Rapoza host the show. Rapoza is a leader in the SOJ movement. They also have Mark Baird (no relation to Steve Baird) on the phone for this particular episode of the show.

From about minute 24-34 Kiley filibusters and avoids the SOJ question. Starting at about 35-36 minute point the three of them unload on Kiley after he wiggles his way off of the show.

At about the 36 minute point Kiley runs away.

Similar to the Steve Frank and Travis Allen supporters that Kiley lied to by not endorsing a candidate yet handing his proxy over to Jessica Patterson’s consultants, the SOJ people that Kiley was courting just got tossed under the bus as well.

Mark Baird excoriates Kiley at about the 37:30 point. Listen to his comments carefully, he demolishes Kiley effectively repeating several of the criticisms leveled against him on this blog.

What does Kevin Kiley really believe? The lack of core principles is on display in the early part of the interview, particularly with the non specific answers to simple questions. Kiley is known for avoiding the immigration issue in public interviews, avoiding the gay rights issue and can not give a straight answer to the abortion issue when asked simply “Are you Pro-Life”?

Why is Kevin Kiley attacking all of his colleagues – including those that are supporting him? He even attacks his colleagues that did not endorse either he or Brian Dahle. I hope those that bailed out on Brian Dahle got the message clearly from this segment. Kiley thought he was playing to a hard right base on this interview, I wonder if he’d repeat the incendiary rhetoric in the Capitol. (hint: the answer is no)

Let me help young Mr. Kiley out, I support the State of Jefferson Movement. I am not sure if Mark and Sally’s approach is correct. I am not really sure how to make it (the SOJ) workable. If I was running for or in the Assembly or State Senate, I’d research the issue and get back to these guys with suggestions on how to make it workable. Now, how hard is that? You won’t even lose any donors over such a stance.

Let’s try this one – I am Pro-Life. Why? A government that does not protect innocent life won’t protect any life. This is indeed an issue of rights, for everyone. See how you just turned the issue around by taking a clear stance?

Let’s try this one – I am pro Church and pro family? Why? I believe 1st Amendment rights are fundamental to society, Churches and their followers have as much a right to their beliefs as people do to be homosexual. Too often courts and legislatures act as if the two are mutually exclusive. I believe traditional family units are foundational to society – despite recent efforts to re-define social norms, traditional marriages produce children and said children raised with two opposite sex parents tend to commit less crime, graduate at much higher rates and generally end up more productive in life.

It is the opinion of this blogger that the reason it is so difficult for Young Mr. Kiley to take clear stands on issues is two-fold, one is that he lacks an ideological core. Most of his family were democrats until 2016, his brother preaches social justice from the pulpit and was a public Obama supporter in 2012. (Recently at their church there was a black lives matter poet who gave a presentation trashing the police late last year that caused several of the security staff (off duty cops) to quit). It is hard to be a conservative when your family are to the left of you, that is not a slam on the Kileys, it is a statement of fact. They are good people, as I have met some of them. Kevin’s brother the pastor Brian, while liberal is a good dude. I still remember him ribbing me over working for Ben Carson.

Number 2, is the much more disturbing fact, there is a “Campaign Kevin” and “Assemblyman Kevin”. Having met both Kevin’s, there is a palpable difference. Campaign Kevin is the one that filibusters and tries to avoid answering questions. Campaign Kevin is the one that will give different answers to different groups. This is why he keeps getting caught. This is why the SOJ people he was courting are now withdrawing or supporting Dahle. This is why at least two county central committees that endorsed him have widespread dissent, as his game playing over the CAGOP Chairman’s race was exposed.

It is sad to see really, he is talented and has a lot to offer. But, his apparent lack of a core is overriding everything else he brings to the table. His lack of real life experience when added to the above is a killer.

Nov 152018

As of today, your intrepid blogger is aware of 4 major and one minor candidate for SD01. There is a tech millionaire from El Dorado County that has a website up. He has limited name ID in Placerville where he is from and it remains to be seen what his operation will be.

Major Candidate 1: Beth “Bethypoo” Gaines. Her campaign is predicated on her Husband Ted being able to raise money and endorsements for her. Ted is isolated as the lone member of the Board of Equalization. Since the BOE has no real power, his ability to leverage his office on Beth’s behalf (a la 2011) is decimated.

Beth Gaines has no other strengths as a candidate other than name ID.

The Gaines’ long-time political operative Ssssssteve Davey has become persona non grata within CAGOP circles and was finally terminated (2 years after ROD broke the story) for brutally graphic sexual misconduct. Add to this, the Gaines’ long-time political consultant Dave Gilliard has signed on with:

Major Candidate 2: Kevin Kiley

Kiley is a young, talented lawyer recently from the Bay Area. He started a Cattle trading shell company with Doug Ose specifically to be able to have the same ballot title as Brian Dahle. This is a standard drill candidates run in elections in order to jockey for position. (See also the Small Business Owner drill Beth Gaines ran some years back)

Kiley is also extremely intelligent and Ivy League Educated. It is clear that both Rex Hime and Brian Dahle will make sure voters know Kiley is an Ivy League Lawyer who started a Cattle Trading Company to appear as something different.

Of interest is how Kiley will play in the rural areas of this district. There are enough voters in the rural parts of the district that Kiley will simply not be able to win by suburb.

It is the understanding of this blogger that a lot of negatives in Kiley’s background and current life were not played in the AD06 race he won, it will be interesting to see what comes out when he has fully funded opponents.

Kiley has two major supporters that almost assure him of major Independent Expenditure money and donations. The liberal democrats of the California Charter Schools Association, fresh off of losing a second attempt to elect Marshall Tuck, bundled a lot of money for Kiley in 2016. They also dropped $500k in to late independent expenditures. Another left-leaning indian tribe is alleged to be in line with Kiley as well. Given that Kiley supported John Kasich for President, you can infer a pattern.

As I have written before, Kiley sat on $500k in his campaign account and did not contribute much of anything to his fellow Assemblymembers, while the CAGOP Assembly Caucus got decimated. This is my #1 issue with Kiley as I am sick and tired of the every man for himself mentality of a generation of term limit babies (see also the Gaines). It sure looks like Kiley did the same.

My #2 issue with Kiley is he was so good as an Assemblyman post Gaines/Gaines that it is annoying to see him try to leave after just 2 years in office. It makes me wonder if his engagement in the district was a self-serving drill to climb the ladder. It really sucks to have to write this, but what other conclusion can I draw given the circumstances.

Lastly, Dave Gilliard is a brilliant consultant (who Kiley has retained) and I am sure they have prepared a battle plan. Gilliard is about the best GOP Consultant left in California.

Major Candidate 3: Rex Hime

Hime intrigues me the most. A lot of insiders know him. Everyone I know that knows him likes him.

Hime has Pete Wislon, Lew Uhler and a ton of old guard in his corner. Does this translate in to enough money to compete with Kiley and Dahle? I don’t know.

What I do know is that Hime is easily more conservative than Kiley, and might be a touch to the right of Dahle. This is not a bad fit for SD01 at all. Hime is from Loomis (I guess he lives too far north to be in Granite Bay) and has a lot of friends in South Placer County.

Hime’s top two weakness are the lack of deep pocketed donors (PAC Donors typically contribute $1k-$2k a piece) and name ID. If he can demonstrate fundraising prowess, I’d expect other groups to come on board.

Hime’s consultant is Matt Rexroad. Rexroad, similar to a lot of GOP consultants has not preformed well in recent years. He is a solid character guy and is also capable. It will be interesting to see what he does on Hime’s behalf as Hime has a tough hill to climb against two incumbent assembly members.

Major Candidate #4: Brian Dahle

I have a personal connection to Dahle, as I helped him beat “the Establishment” in 2012 to get elected to AD01.

Dahle is a real rancher from Lassen County for his whole life. Dahle emerged as the Assembly GOP Minority Leader post Chad Mayes debacle. He recently stepped down in order to focus on this SD01 run.

While Kevin Kiley created a “cattle company” in an attempt to mitigate Dahle’s #1 strength in the SD01 Race, a wary electorate will be able to recognize the difference. The flip side is the two Cattle Barons will have to sell themselves to a suburban electorate in SD01 that is about 40% of the vote at the same time as trying to play to the rural part of the district. I think Dahle will have an easier time doing so as he has grey hair and some wrinkles versus the fresh-faced attorney turned Cattle Baron.

In Addition, Dahle has been a 95% Conservative in the State Legislature, his voting record is solid across the board. Kiley’s Conservative record is borne out of his time as a prosecutor (think lawyer), yet it is known to this blogger that Kiley supports Gun Control and Gay Marriage. Dahle is a Solid Social Conservative, and like Hime would fit SD01 well.

Given his position and developed list of connections, I expect Dahle to be fully funded on his Senate Campaign.

Dahle’s primary weakness is outside of the north of SD01, he is not well known. He has been remiss to be involved in local politics as Team LaMalfa etc. have been the preeminent force up there and Dahle beat them in 2012 to win his original election. He does however have 98% of his Assembly District encased in SD01, which is a huge head start.

It is my understanding that Dahle has not formally announced as some of his staff have been evacuated from their homes due to the Camp Fire. The Camp Fire has spread in to Dahle’s current Assembly District (N/E Butte County) as well. I’d expect Dahle’s announcement after Thanksgiving when the Fire is contained.