Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nehring on CA GOP Chairman Jim Brulte (Reflections)

Ron Nehring, the former Chairman of the California Republican Park and candidate for Lieutenant Governor offered the followig analysis of CAGOP Chairman Jim Brulte.

Senator Jim Brulte
Brulte passes 3 Part Test to Be CA GOP Chairman

As the performance of party leadership is reviewed, some commentators and self-styled analysts get it wrong -- mixing up what party leaders can control and influence with what they can’t.  The result can be incorrect analysis and bad recommendations.

How does a party chairman amass power, however?

Nehring announces what lies outside of a chairman's control ..

First let’s review what a chairman doesn’t control.  He does not pick the candidates – those are chosen by voters, and thanks to California’s misguided “jungle primary” system, the Republican nominees are not even chosen by the party’s own members, but rather by the electorate at large. 

I welcome Nehring's rejection of the Prop 14 "Reform".

This has to be the worst thing that happened to the California Republican Party, even worse than an incoherent actor from Austria becoming Governor with next to nothing to show for his RINO ways in Sacramento.

America’s political system is candidate-centric, not party centric. 

I am not sure what to think of this. In local races, and also for state legislative seats, most people vote based on party. The ultimately know very little about the candidate running. Fo this reason, branding is very important. What do people think of the Republican Party?

There are some races which are candidate-centric. After all, most people piled into the Trump Train because the found a fighter who punch back at destructive policies hurting the average working family. I do agree, however, that a chairman can face limitations into which candidates run for certain seats. He can also assist with the vetting process as needed.

Nehring lists the issues which can cause candidate to fly or fall in their elections bids. They have to choose the right message and connect with the voters in the district. A good message and a strong ground game make all the difference as well. If they are sloppy or needlessly offensive, then they lose.

Now, at this point, I take exception Nehring's arguments:

Chairmen also do not control the party’s brand, which is primarily driven by national media coverage of Republicans in Washington and on the national stage.  Doubt this?  Check how many minutes of coverage per day the typical Californian receives from the 916 area code versus 202.  Party brands are defined nationally, and the Republican Party brand does pretty well -- nationally.  A Republican President-elect, House and Senate demonstrate that. 

Donald Trump did well nationally because he is ... Donald Trump. Chairmen have a responsibility to define their brand in their states. Are they the party of opportunity, or of dependence? Are they the party of an open or a closed society? The argument coming from a number of statewide consultants suggests that the California Republican Party needs to step away from

The California electorate, however, is very different than the national electorate, with much higher Latino and Asian populations that are far less receptive to national Republican messages than whites.  The state also has a much larger immigrant population which is sensitive to different issues than those whose parents were born here.

Is this really true? This sounds like the very left-leaning thinking and worldview which Barack Obama has been pushing, The answer is not to accommodate this narrow-minded worldview, but rather to combat it. There is a more ready interest to go along with the cultural decay in our state rather than fight the lies with the truth.

We need to stand for what's right, what measures up to reality. More than half of Millennials are falling for socialism! They don't need to be accommodated. They need to be confronted on these issues.

The CAGOP needs a fighting spirit. How do the voters plan on Making California Great Again?

So just what does a party chairman control?  

Three things – personnel, finances, and programs:

So, what about personnel?

Wow. CA GOP staffers can answer phone calls. How about they are supposed to be doing that no matter what? Corporations should not receive plaudits for doing what they are supposed to do in the first place.

Finances have improved under Brulte. The $1 million debt was an embarrassment for the party that is supposed to be fiscally conservative and responsible. I was not pleased that Brulte took union money. Thankfully, that was a one-time matter.

There is too much dependence, however, on one single donor:

Charles Munger Jr.
This sounds like an unhealthy dependency taking place in the state of California.

Reports have informed me that country party committees like RPLAC depend on Munger money. They do no fundraising for themselves. This is not good.

Finally, programs.  California’s convoluted maze of campaign finance laws places a premium on raising money into the state party and then working with campaigns to the maximum legal extent to get resources where they need to be. Sometimes this involves spending the money directly on voter registration and turnout activities, while at other teams it requires making contributions to campaigns directly.

How much has been spent on registration? I see little getting done in the way of registration. I do not see lots of people lining up to become Republicans. It seems that the consultant/donor class has declared war on the conservative/activist/grassroots groups in the state, as well.

Nehring then recognizes that the state of California could have done worse. Republicans held onto all 14 Congressional seats. He forgets to point out that long-time stalwart Darrell Issa almost lost his seat this year. It was a close call which no one had predicted in 2014, since he had crushed his liberal opposition with little fanfare.

Jim Brulte
How does a district swing from safe Republican to death match in one election cycle?

As for this "victory", this small ball mindset has to change. Just holding onto what California Republicans have --and even then that did not happen in California with the state legislative seats--is not a good enough standards.

Republicans have work to do in California, no doubt.  

They key word: "Work."

How many Republicans are working to get more elected? How many Republicans are spending more time attacking other Republicans?

Nationally there is much work to do as well – the messages coming out of Washington DC overpower whatever Republicans are doing in Sacramento.

What have Republicans been doing in Sacramento which warrants love, respect, and ardor from the base? There are Republicans who continue to support tax increases. There are more Republicans who are caving on illegal immigration and other sensitive issues hurting the state of California as a whole.

At this point, our lawmakers need to do more than just "vote the right way."

How about some rough and tumble hustling?

In the meantime, Chairman Jim Brulte deserves another term.

I will agree to that. Yes, I wrote that.

At this point, I am not sure that anyone chairman can fix the problems which plague the CAGOP.

If Reince Prebius decided to take over in the next week, he would face the same stifling problems as Brulte does now.

We need more donors, activists themselves who want to shape the culture rather than merely acquiesce to the downfall pushing California to the brink. Who would want to spend the money, though?

Major reforms out of Washington DC will have to make the difference first.

1. Water reform
2. Union reforms
3. Border enforcement

These changes are a must, and yet they have to come from outside of the state. UGH!

In the meantime, is there anyone else who would to become CA GOP Chairman?

Is there anyone willing to fight back and win? Brulte has done the best he can with the cards dealt to him. He has helped  me and others, too, with insight and assistance on a number of issues.

I do believe that more ideological rigor and affirmation are needed, with a Trump-like dash to state hard truths and not run from "politically incorrect" confrontation.

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