Blogger’s Note: I did more investigating of George Andrews. He really is a rino, not just a squish or a hack. I mean, look at him. He was wearing a lame Hawaiian Shirt on Sunday Morning too.
If you have ADHD or just like reading the first 100 words of a blog, here is what happened. The Establishment got everything they wanted. If you read on, you will realize there is more to this than these first two sentences. It may require an open mind and critical thinking skills. (I know, an anathema in politics)
One important note: Consistent with the entire reign of her majesty Jessica Patterson, the California Republican Assembly, was relegated and shunned. The old Pete Wilson crew that hated the CRA in the 1990s are reliving the past in the 2020s. The CRA has doubled its membership and is adding three new clubs. This is the correct way to respond to the abuses of consultants and party leadership.
I was in the floor session until the Governor’s race endorsement was completed.
I was pretty accurate at predicting the outcomes of the convention – but way off on the margins. I will explain that in a bit.
Mark Meuser beat Cordie Williams for US Senate Endorsement 58-31 on the first ballot and 71-21 on the second. The explanation is straightforward:
Meuser spent thousands on a convention drill, passing out shirts, stickers, etc.
Meuser got 20+ county party endorsements.
Meuser is known very well in the small subset of the CAGOP universe
There were the usual whisper campaigns as well
The delegates voted for the devil they know vs. the devil they don’t know. Relationships matter. Oh, and the party leadership did not attempt to influence the outcome of the endorsement in that race either.
I snagged a couple souvenirs of the convention. I guess the CAGOP system cannot print the word “Washoe.”
I thought Lance Christiansen would run away with the Sec of Ed endorsement, he didn’t. He got 62% on Ballot 2. George Yang pulled an astounding 45% on ballot one. More on this in a bit. While correctly predicting Christiansen as the winner, it was not by the margin I had believed. I am unsure if Christiansen can make the runoff election.
There were three instances with a Ballot 2 via reconsideration. The CAGOP rules allow a simple majority motion to reconsider a failed endorsement with just two candidates left. Usually, reconsideration takes 67%. I have a problem with this, speaking of the process being broken. Reconsideration is when a failed motion is brought up a second time. The parliamentary procedure allows for reconsideration once, then the action has to be re-noticed and started from scratch. But reconsideration usually has a high bar to succeed, not 50+1%.
Insurance Commissioner – the 89-Year-old Greg Conlon beat Robert Howell 41-37, well below the 60% threshold. I heard that Howell was not acquitting himself well with his presentation to delegates all weekend. As I previously wrote, Conlon killed himself at the main floor speech session. The establishment succeeded in stopping Howell as much as Howell stopped himself. A non-republican likely makes the runoff against Ricardo Lara.
Treasurer – I underestimated the effect of Jack Guerrero’s presentation and efforts. I believed that Andrew Do was well-positioned to walk away with the endorsement. While I indicated the outcome was in some doubt, Guerrero fought Do to a draw. Do could only muster 50%, and there was no will to attempt a second vote due to the margin. My guess is neither of these great candidates will make the runoff.
Update: I was also alerted by a reader that Assemblywoman Janet Nugyen intervened heavily to thwart an endorsement of Andrew Do as well. There is quite a rift in the Orange County asian community.
Secretary of State – The Establishment recruited Rob Bernosky specifically to thwart an endorsement of Rachel Hamm and most likely will result in no Republican making the fall. Hamm beat Bernosky 48-37, again well below the threshold.
Attorney General. Nathan Hochman missed winning on Ballot one by 5 votes. He had 59.5%. I missed that prediction as I believed he’d win on Ballot one outright. Amazingly, after pushing a reconsideration for Meuser and Christiansen with no opposition, the Conservative coalition leadership attempted to thwart a reconsideration of this race. This inconsistency was lethal as the motion to reconsider passed handily, and Hochman was endorsed on the second ballot. I believe that Hochman can make the runoff election.
Controller. Lanhee Chen was endorsed with no opposition. He has a good shot at making the California Runoff election.
Lt Governor. Angela Underwood Jacobs was endorsed with minimal opposition. The conservative coalition rightly recognized that David Fennell was a loser (he did not even qualify for a CAGOP endorsement) and did not include him on their slate card.
This is the conservative coalition voter guide that was distributed.
It was as dicey as I had predicted in the Governor’s Race. I did not know if Senator Brian Dahle would make it to 60%. He did on ballot 5.
Dahle was 40% on Ballot one, Trimino at 22%, Collins at 20%, and Jenny Rae Le Roux at 10%. It was clear that blasting Dahle for purchasing the CAGOP endorsement backfired on Le Roux and the delegates penalized her for it.
On Ballot two – Dahle climbed to 43%, and Collins was third.
On Ballot three – the CAGOP staff committed a poorly timed blunder; they forgot to eliminate Collins as an option internally in their system. Delegates only saw Trimino and Dahle as options – but when the votes were displayed, Dahle’s 56% showed in the Trimino Column, and Collins was getting the no endorsement votes in his line. This gaffe by the staff will cause conspiracies for years to come.
ON Ballot four – Dahle was at 56+% and Trimino at roughly 40%.
There was then a motion to reconsider, similar to the previous 3 I wrote – but this time on Ballot 4 after a 4-person race was cut to 2. On ballot 5, Brian Dahle was endorsed.
The bylaw amendments were a different story than the endorsements. The Conservative coalition lost most votes by 57-58% against.
On the all-important Rule 5 that gives Jessica Patterson a third term, the vote was 64-36.
Finally, after the rules report took 2 hours to get to rule 5 – rules 7,8,10, which were also pulled for debate, were all tabled to get to the endorsements. Why the control agents of the CAGOP put the committee reports before the endorsements is beyond me.
Here are my takeaways, and these should be the silver lining for the CRA-Tea Party alliance.
- The 45% that Yang got shows the ceiling for this group when unified on a message or issue. This should be a severe cause for concern for the control agents within the CAGOP. Their margins were once 20-25% easily now; it has been shrunk to 10.
- The Conservative Coalition need to pick their battles on the convention floor better. Fighting every by-law backfired as the margins against them grew as the rules report continued. It may also have had an effect on endorsements as well.
- The CAGOP did not help themselves with the significant blunder in the GOV endorsement. They did not help themselves by cutting people’s microphones off. These two actions will fuel attacks on the CAGOP staff and processes for months, if not an entire election cycle.
- The establishment did not help party unity by recruiting Rob Bernosky (a puppet) and an 89-year-old man named Conlon for the purpose of disqualifying another candidate. While effective political strategy, such a tactic’s ruthless and abusive nature creates lasting resentment. All the consultants have done with these moves is legitimize the grievances of the opposition. Better candidates would have mitigated this obvious argument.
- The varying numbers show that in endorsing conventions with more interest and more proxies, the ability of the Oligarchy of Controlled Failure to Control an outcome is no longer an exact science. There was as much as a 20% deviation in results.
- The Conservative Coalition now knows that they need to gather 200 or more proxies to have a voice at the CAGOP Convention. This is a low bar if they are disciplined and organized.
As a paid consultant for Cordie Williams and Jenny Rae Le Roux, I credit Anthony Trimino and Mark Meuser. Both turned the tables on what happened at the CRA and did to their opponents at the CAGOP what was done to them at the CRA. They worked the CAGOP hard and spent a lot of time and money. It does have a payoff, and Trimino nearly blocked an endorsement of Brian Dahle.
People I was talking to commented about the seemingly volatile nature of the endorsement voting, with large numbers of people switching votes. What really happened is that people within the rank and file of the CAGOP delegation believed that the CAGOP needed to render endorsements. So several people changed their votes on the last ballot to give the leader enough to make it over the line regardless of their first choice. This happened to Meuser. This happened to Hochman, and this happened to Christiansen.
Your intrepid blogger sitting in the cheap seats.
Do I think there was election fraud at this convention? No. The staff made a legit screw-up in the middle of the Governor’s race endorsement. The results were consistent with what I believed them to be, but the margins were much closer than I thought. This suggests that the votes of the opposition did indeed count and add up.
Was there manipulation? Absolutely. There was ample evidence that the Reade / Gimmecandy / McCarthy crew had spent the requisite time to script committee outcomes and choreograph the convention. Once again, while effective, legal, and unethical, these tactics are being discovered more readily and add to the grassroots’ brewing resentment.
Did the Oligarchy of Controlled Failure put its fingers on the scale to influence outcomes? Yes, they did; they always do. Did they sell CAGOP endorsements at this convention? I can not prove that.
Did the Oligarchy of Controlled Failure sell proxy votes at this convention? One can make the argument, and people also know it has happened in the past. But remember, while many were accusing Brian Dahle of buying proxy votes, yet at the same time, some of Mark Meuser’s people accused Cordie Williams of buying proxy votes. When there is this sort of disparity in accusations, it makes it impossible to validate any kind of conspiracy theory.