March 11, 2011
The Riverside County Young Republicans recently gathered for its March general membership meeting. Almost immediately, following the call to discuss & potentially endorse on the upcoming CRP proposed bylaws concerning the aftermath of Proposition 14, I received a flood of communications making the case for one side or the other. There is no doubt that this is merely foreshadowing of an energetic and passionate CRP convention to come.
For those interested in the official RCYR position, the primary result from our discussion was that it would be premature at the very least to endorse at this point especially considering Congressman Tom McClintock!'s recent statement concerning the post Proposition 14 dilemma. We therefore took no position. Ultimately we determined that the final versions of both proposals will bear significant changes at the very least. It is still possible that a merged compromise could arise or perhaps a third option might be introduced by another entity.
RCYR concluded that the purpose of our discussion should be a collaborative process of determining the pro’s and con’s of both proposals. The following are some thought’s and considerations that arose from the discussion.
Nehring Proposal hereby referred to as (Proposal A):
This proposal demonstrates the Republican principle of representative democracy, that being said how familiar are voters, in reality, with the county party delegates they indiscriminately choose on their ballots? Not to mention of course the CRP appointed delegates included in the caucus that can be removed and reappointed at a moment’s notice?
The most important aspect to Proposal A is the ideal of the Republican Party having a say in supporting primary candidates. In the race for the recently vacated 36th Congressional District seat there is roughly 1 to 2 worthy Republican candidates that can be taken seriously. This is known as a safe Democrat seat but then again so was Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, later to be referred to as the people’s seat. Here, without the Party’s ability to endorse in what could be a watershed race for Republicans on the West Coast, we must unfortunately suffer an overflow of clowns, imposters, and non-viable candidates that undermine a reasonable Republican’s chances in this special election and of course all primary “general” elections to come of making the top two for the run-off. Endorsement however can be a double edged sword.
A consideration to make regarding both proposals are the significant financial backing the party appreciates that may be affected should we choose one or the other.
A successful party is the result of strategic coalition building. We as Republicans have remained strong as a coalition of fiscal conservatives, strong national defense enthusiasts, social values conservatives and libertarians to name a few groups. Proposal A backers primary concern is dissolution of this coalition. It is a reasonable argument to conclude that a shift in platform could have a ripple effect and completely undermine this coalition which could take decades to recover from.
Proposal A could however reinvigorate the party machine. When campaigns became candidate centered and party support of a candidate for general elections chose a more democratic path all political parties suffered a loss in power. Campaign finance reform further stung political party power paving the way for unencumbered elite candidates that by and large must be financially independent in order to appear palatable to donors and mount a serious campaign. We have since been reduced to one of relatively meager financial means emphasizing mostly grassroots support and activity. This proposal would clearly make the California Republican Party once again, a powerful entity in elections and candidate support. Whether this is a good or bad thing in the long and short of it is at the heart of the argument between both proposals.
McCarthy Proposal hereby referred to as (Proposal B):
This proposal argues that it represents a pro-growth policy regarding the election process. The proposal supports the idea of a broad based coalition reaching beyond the boundaries of what has remained the traditional Goldwater/Reagan based network. Is this what we want as Republicans? Does the nature of the California electorate make traditional conservative candidates non-viable throughout the state in all but a few regional strongholds? These are also questions at the heart of the argument between the two proposals here.
Proposal B hypothetically asks, why mandate endorsement, because if we truly want a coalition from the bottom up for support of one candidate or another, why not let voters themselves continue to decide. A party endorsement may back one candidate but it can’t ultimately prevent another from running. The reasonable argument however is that without a strong Republican Party with firm values as a beacon of choice, we as conservatives will be bred out of existence by voters of diverse value systems. In that case why have a Republican Party at all?
What if Nancy Pelosi’s district was hypothetically an open seat? (I love this hypothetical by the way because one day this wish will come true.) Could we possibly run a candidate like Sarah Palin or Chris Christie here and hope to gain a seat? This is of course an extreme example but clearly illustrates the point that some localized seats demand support of candidates that build coalitions that may not be as traditional as in the Inland Empire or Orange County. Scott Brown is hardly the quintessential conservative but that didn’t prevent my excitement with our victory in Massachusetts. Indeed centrist Republicans that afford us a party majority allows for our tough conservative voices from strongholds to get real work done. It could be argued that Proposal A allows for appropriate endorsements due to the regional caucus choosing where to give support.
Proposal B makes it clear that it wants to protect Republican Incumbents. There is by the way, a good reason for this whether or not it’s popular. Incumbents statistically have the best track record of winning and thus provide a foundation for Republicans to build a majority from. Every time a seat from any party opens up, it runs the risk of it switching into opposite hands. Probably the most controversial portion of Proposal A is the idea of removing support from candidates that don’t tow the party platform line. Just where do those boundaries begin and where do the recall’s end? I ask this as a reasonable question as one that participated in the Adam’s recall effort. These are dangerous waters for the party. I expect voters, YR’s and the CRA to step up to the plate and hold self serving Republican’s accountable to their deeds, but the Party’s primary focus should be to beat Democrats and protect Republicans.
Supporting good and viable Republicans in a primary with all available resources is a good byproduct of endorsement on the table with Proposal A. We ought to consider strictly constructed curbs such that our Party endorsement will ultimately focus on expanding the party brand and supporting good viable Republicans.
Protecting incumbent Republicans may not be popular on a statewide level, but wait until some disappointed interest comes after your representative that you for one reason or another appreciate. We should tread lightly here. There are plenty of negatives we could point out with all of our Republican elected leaders. Just remember that the information accessible to most legislators is in most cases far better than what we are aware of. Not all is as it seems in the course of the political process and votes are cast to save this State from a complete liberal onslaught on a regular basis by the same individuals that we have demonized for other votes.
The main purpose of this commentary was to reflect the tone of the discussion in such a manner that may prove thought provoking and increase awareness of both proposals. It’s easy to point fingers calling each other RINO’s and Right Wing Extremists, and it doesn’t help that both sides may wear those labels as badges of honor. We want what is best for our State and the Nation which means good, strong Republican leadership. With that as our top priority at the upcoming CRP convention, we can’t go wrong.
Nathan A. Miller, President
Riverside County Young Republicans
California Young Republican Federation
November 3, 2010
It happens every election cycle. In general everyone sees the writing on the wall, the nay-sayers try to refute a preponderance of the evidence, those with positive political momentum await results, cautiously optimistic and some celebrate prematurely only to find themselves forced to swallow the bitter pill of defeat. Brace yourself, I’ve been biting my tongue for some time, so the following is my analysis of events and things to come.
Where do you fit on this spectrum? If you’re a California Republican, it wouldn’t be a shocker to find yourself everywhere at once. Americans across the nation voted yesterday with their wallets in mind with bitter resentment towards an arrogant administration that has been increasingly intrusive in their daily lives. Our huge gains yesterday initially tasted sweet until we faced our own election results here at home in the Sunshine State, soon to be Governed…by Moonbeam and a not so delightful cast of characters. We celebrated a Cooley victory for Attorney General only later to find the results indeterminate for the time being. For me it felt like being in a war, cheering on the resistance at the dawn of victory only to simultaneously get your house bombed. We won, but our own home is no longer secure.
Here’s what I make of it, let’s start with the positives: We won the house back. This alone stops what had amounted to a non-stop barrage of liberal laden legislation that was systematically undermining our domestic sovereignty and liberty in the name of equality of results. The Obama administration, on Bush’s coattails was simultaneously spending money it didn’t have while telling American citizens to be responsible with their checkbooks. For the most part, that’s over with but keep your eye on discretionary spending, it’s not likely to slow down anytime soon. Obamacare isn’t going away either but once we have at it, it will scarcely resemble the beast it was when it was first given birth.
So the gravy train has been decommissioned and healthcare is on the chopping block about to undergo some plastic surgery…this is where the more evenly divided Senate comes in. I am hopeful that our Republican brand is absolutely united on these two issues and the Democrats in the Senate, save for a few smarmy liberal holdouts, will be eager to join Republican leaders for true bipartisan reform, not Barack Obama’s version of it. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. On our end, there has been absolutely no response by Congress and the administration whatsoever to curtail the unethical atmosphere and practices that led us down the path to our current nightmare of an economy and record unemployment. We will need to work with Democrats now while we have the chance to responsibly find a solution to this dilemma. We can be the leaders on this or followers but it needs to be addressed. This is one of the main grievances the demographic of independent Americans that swept Democrats in, hold against the Obama Administration and Congress.
While the rest of the nation went crimson, for the most part California embraced Obama and elected a retread Governor and a horde of Statewide liberals. We actually picked up a congressional seat in California (Vidak) but lost a state legislative seat (Pan). What’s a California Republican to do…? It took me a good 24 hours to get over the heartbreak, now that it’s over, there’s work to be done.
Firstly, there’s no excuses for squandering almost $200,000,000, the most spent on a non-presidential campaign in history and losing, all the while preaching fiscal restraint. While Whitman herself ought to be commended for the assistance she personally devoted to the down ticket races, there were other issues as well. There was fleeing from reporters, convoluted and complex positions straddling a myriad of red meat issues, and the housekeeper that sunk the titanic. The unfortunately over-managed Whitman had too many chiefs and not enough Indians, and many of them were absolutely foolish. Following a bitter primary instead of embracing the opposition and building a unified GOP force, specific Whitman staffers attempted to blacklist primary foes from getting work, then proceeded to get into a Hatfield’s vs. the McCoy’s style feud with the CRA. Wedging potentially willing conservative allies into a corner and purposely creating enemies. They believed they wielded a shield of cash that would pave their way to victory and that this would make them untouchable. Following a somewhat chaotic CRP convention they waved a white flag and got engaged into a distrustful marriage of convenience. This was a band-aid but clearly not a cure. They thought they could keep her away from the press then purchase and market their own. Combine this with one of the worst GOTV programs ever, with the exception of isolated pockets of activity, most offices remained dormant throughout the campaign.
This plan didn’t pan out so well. Let’s never do that again. Let’s remain committed to work together for the benefit of our state and our Conservative cause. If you lose get over it, quickly. If you win, be the first to welcome the best and brightest of the previous opposition over to your side, it’s actually a real good idea. You’ll notice with the exception of Cooley, still too close to call at the moment, all statewide GOP candidates lost by the same margin. Upset temperamental democrats statewide and you will force them to vote party line. Most reasonable California Democrats not “Liberals” love our fiscal restraint and embrace of liberty it’s the social issues that bother them. This time they would have been willing to forgo the social for the sake of their bank accounts if we delivered sincerity, and we didn’t here at the top of the ticket. I understand that we did have our work cut out for us. I witnessed firsthand devious slant journalism aimed at undermining anyone with an (R) by their name. I am also aware of the Unionista Mob that hires temps to charade nonstop protests. However, the truth is the truth so let’s learn from it and move on.
I am not looking forward to the damage that might be inflicted upon our state by a Democrat Governor, legislature and simple majority budget but now it’s all theirs along with the responsibility which they will attempt to shirk. Hopefully we’re ready to pounce next time. 2012 is right around the corner and we will be hearing about it as early as next summer so be prepared and be vigilant. This will be unlike any election cycle you have ever experienced.
We will have districts redrawn, both the state legislature (prop 11) and congressional (prop 20) will be drawn by a “non-partisan” panel of private citizen partisans and others, it’s very complicated and if I tried to explain it, I wouldn’t be doing it justice. Just know that everyone is seeing it as a crapshoot. It could make districts more competitive or not, who’s to say? Next there’s prop 14, which makes all statewide races “non-partisan”, but believe me when I say you haven’t seen partisan until you’ve seen money spent on a non-partisan race. L.A. is a perfect example, Republican is used as a smear on candidates seeking council or supervisorial seats, they just can’t say so on the ballot.
I have heard it said that California will no longer get any attention save for candidates seeking an ATM for their respective campaigns…hogwash! Never say never and don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched. Modern technology has made politics incredibly volatile and dynamic. It will serve us well to take a step back and look at the big picture once in a while.
In Parting, take pleasure in the House sweep, we deserve it. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and above all else…Stay thirsty my friends. Once you understand the nature of microcosmic and macro-cosmic cycles, it’s no big deal.
Nathan A. Miller, President
Riverside County Young Republicans
I happened to be driving today at the time KFI broadcast the live sentencing phase of a criminal, the confessed murderer and rapist of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King. The parents testimonies were heart wrenching and the lifetime of pain they will have to endure is something no one should have to go through.
There was a lot of specifics mentioned by the girls loved ones about the little things that will be missed. In this case their time was cut pointlessly short by a selfish, evil criminal. I often think a lot about time, how we all too often waste it, take it for granted and of course realize our mistakes when there's no time left. God forbid should anything like this ever happen to our loved ones.
How many times have we witnessed or experienced people and events that have made us and others realize what's really important? Why must tragedy be our wake up call. What is really important to you? Who in your life are you not giving your time to that you would regret if they were no longer around? Are you taking your loved ones for granted? Are you aware of the temporal world in which we all live and that the time we have here to live, love and work passionately to make a difference is very short?
This is probably not a typical politically charged Young Republican post that would be expected here but I hope you find this relevant in your lives as Republicans and otherwise. There are people in your life right now that love you and need your attention, give it to them now before its too late and repeat it again tomorrow. There is something that you could be doing right now that you care about that will bring you a lifetime of fulfillment, don't miss your opportunity. You can avoid future regret and pain right now by taking the time everyday to remind yourself of what's important in your life consciously. Its different for everyone and its Gods plan for purpose in our lives. We must be the change we wish to see in the world - Gandhi
Often we find ourselves hesitant to say something or take a stand because of the anxiety we feel about how others may percieve us. That can be a good thing but don't allow embarassment to hold you back from what is good and righteous. Courage doesn't come easy but you would be amazed how mustering the courage to say kind words to someone can really make the difference in their lives and yours. Be aware all the time of who is around you and how you can find ways to be kind to others. Be creative.
May Amber Dubois and Chelsea King find eternal peace. I pray that their parents one day find joy in their lives again because I would imagine just moving one foot in front of the other for them right now is nothing short of a tremendous effort. I hope that the potential criminals of the world think twice about performing evil acts and follow a different path that doesn't involve destroying lives. Out of respect to Amber and Chelsea's parents I made sure that the name of their daughter's killer doesn't get a plug here.
As predicted, Congress inevitably rammed their "healthcare" bill through the House and Senate. It's no surprise really, the 2010 election cycle outlook was gloomy for the Democrats at best. Faced with a lose-lose situation they figured that they might as well go for it. Republican members gave them plenty of outs but instead of taking up a serious dialogue of reform, the Democrats insisted on turning the whole conversation into a mockery and charade.
Firstly, I have to say that I have been disappointed at conservatives for not articulating the truth of our message properly. Congress was meant to be a gridlocked, snailspaced process with the end result being the death of unnecessary legislation over time and bills becoming law only when time and desire proves there to be a need.
In the matter of healthcare, the crisis has been completely and utterly manufactured by the Democrats. It's good for some, not good for others, all right for most; I'm more upset about the fact that illegal immigrants recieve free defacto healthcare and remain an unrestrained cause of its increasing costs. The problem isn't with our "healthcare system", the problem is still factors that contribute to costs that have yet to be addressed properly. Republicans approach of incremental reform is exactly what we need and in fact this bill will only serve to amplify these factors.
So just what is this bill supposed to do? Generally the Democrats would claim that it will control the costs of healthcare, increase accessability to many more individuals, and in the process decrease the budget deficit. Sound too good to be true? You may be on to something here.
Already several corporations have announced that they are more willing to take a hit in the form of a fine. This would be cheaper and hopefully prevent them from going out of business as opposed to buying into a plan that they and their employee's they provide jobs to can't afford. Indeed a casualty of this bill will likely be increased job losses as a result of companies adjusting to this new cost.
The federal government of course will be happy to take their money, it's a new source of revenue that will help them offset the costs for the creation of the new healthcare bureaucracy to deal with the mandates and specifics related to this bill. No gain and likely a loss adding to budget deficit woes.
What's more is that the people that the Obama Administration and Pelosi's Congress claim this bill is going to help will suffer the most. Because of its mandates and outs for businesses through fines, costs will continue to increase, only now at an exponential rate with still no solution to root causes of inefficiency, just more inefficiency which is of course no solution.
The scariest aspect to this is that the Administration knows this and sees it as a justified means to an end resulting in government run, universal healthcare.
Obama is counting on no real effects before 2012. By 2014 however, hang on to your hats. Anyone without insurance will face a fine unless they can prove that they can't find a policy that costs no more than 8% of their annual income. Will such a policy exist? Not if healthcare providers want to stay in business. In fact we will witness a monopolization of healthcare making it much easier for what we are being set up for. The claim will be that the flaws are a result of the initial bill being gutted due to conservative influence and that the only choice will be to solidify the government option that Democrats wanted in the first place. This will pave the way for centralized, socialized medicine which the Democrat congress and Obama Administration just took the first step towards.
There is hope. 13 states have filed suits claiming the bill is fundamentally unconstitutional. We will have to wait and see what is to come of this. I would guess that the Supreme Court is less than eager to take on this heated political debate. Republicans could gain a majority in the Senate if not both houses of Congress and prevent it from wreaking fiscal havok. Should the economy finally go through its inevitable inflationary period we may be lucky enough to see an end to the Obama Administration in 2012 and truly see the bill repealed.
There is a message here and its simply this, get informed, get involved and participate at all levels. Get uncomfortable, our comfort zones are our biggest enemy and cause us to retreat at the first hint of danger. Of course this is a dangerous path, but the dangerous results will be far worse should we cower and hope for the best. I believe that this Administration and Congress have truly underestimated the resolve of real Americans. We all need to pray for the enlightenment of those that unknowingly and knowingly support policies that seek to do our nation harm for all of our sakes. God Bless America!
Standing in Barry's Shadow
One of the greatest campaign experiences I ever had was working on John Benoit's State Senate campaign. First of all we won, there is no better feeling after a hard fought battle. Next there was the team: Eddie Sprecco was about as cool headed as they come. Darin Schemmer had no enemies. All of the volunteers; Bridgette...soon to be Mrs. Sprecco, Sarah Johnson, Sarah Peterson, Robert Youssef (now councilman Youssef) and several others were all really good hearted, fun people.
We would wind down at the end of the day eating pizza, huddled around a computer screen watching youtube clips of SNL's "People getting punched while eating", Dramatic Squirrel, and Bub Rubb to name a few. Once Eddie and I had Chinese food something like 3 days in a row. John had offered to get us some burgers and we were real excited about it until he changed his mind last minute and we ended up at a Panda Express...what could we do? We ate our Orange Chicken gratefully.
These were good times, and none of it would have been possible were it not for Barry Nestande. No one knew, not even him that I was at a very low place in my life personally at the time. I was good at putting on my game face. When we had the official chat and he hired me there was somthing about his personality that made you feel like you belonged, it was that rare element in politics called sincerity. He helped me build confdence in my capabilities. He worked hard, looked out for people he cared about and appreciated everyones hard work and contributions to the team.
My experience working with him was relatively brief compared to some that worked with him and got to know him for years. But I learned a lifetime of valuable knowledge from him in that short amount of time that is irreplacable and without equal. He was good at identifying your strengths and amplifying them. If you were an opponent, he was equally good at identifying your weaknesses and capitalizing on them, you did not want to be his opponent.
From the top down, Barry fostered an atmosphere of guided creativity and you couldn't help but love going to work. He leaves behind a loving family, countless friends and dozens of colleagues that depended on his expertise. It is a void that in most cases will never be filled, in others it will take several people to do half of what one Barry Nestande could accomplish in half the time.
I am better off for having the privilage of knowing and working with Barry. I am devastated to think that his number on my cell phone will no longer reach him and I am really going to miss him. Thanks Barry, keep fighting the good fight.
Last night at the Temecula Hills Country Club the atmosphere was charged. Everyone anticipated at the very least an animated contest. Russ Bogh had routinely worn his CRA score card rating as a badge of honor, and who could blame him, the CRA is the conscience of the Republican Party and highly sought after for support and endorsement.
Well clearly the sparks flew as Bogh levelled one jab after the next at Assemblyman Emmerson. Not surprisingly Emmerson was cool headed and took all of Bogh's personal attacks in stride. Bogh accused Emmerson of supporting abortion, illegal immigration and raising taxes. Serious charges indeed, but were they substantive?
One would have to ask themselves just how in the world Emmerson remained in office if that were his record. Well to be clear the attacks were baseless and false. Emmerson's record as a strong conservative shined through Bogh's simplistic rhetoric and the esteemed delegates of the CRA saw through his thin veneer as well.
In just the first round of voting Assemblyman Bill Emmerson soundly defeated Bogh by a vote of 14 to 4. Just a few weeks ago Assemblyman Emmerson soundly defeated Bogh recieving the endorsement of our own organization to which Bogh responded in the following manner:
<9:17:203021394393:::0:::345873914536:::5:1:28:0 href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Russ-Bogh-for-State-Senate/203021394393?ref=mf">"Russ Bogh for State Senate 9:17:203021394393:::0:::345873914536:::5:1:28:0>Here's a great example of what we need to fix in our Party. A Republican club (RCYR) that's been hijacked by political operatives attacks conservative Republican Russ Bogh to paper over the liberal voting record of the person its supporting. Shameful and destructive to our Party."
That would add up to about 50 or more political operatives in RCYR that participated in the endorsement and not all voted for Emmerson. Well, after last evenings endorsement, it all sounds like sour grapes. Attacking well established republican organizations that don't support you is yet another example of the ill will bestowed on many in Riverside County by Bogh after he lost his last election.
Nobdy likes a sore loser. Bogh has attempted to sue every political opponent he's run against to get into office and has offensively attacked members and organizations personally for choosing to support another candidate. Can we be surprised that he's been suspected of using his one past political office to gain favorable contracts for his family business...in the district he represented?
It's no surprise that Republicans once again united to support Assemblyman Bill Emmerson for Senate, congratulations!
-Nathan Miller, President RCYR