Bush 2004 – instant replay?

I read in the O.C. Register last week that the folks running the Bush campaign in California will essentially be the same ones who were at the helm the last time around. That does not bode well. If you recall, a huge sum of money was spent here in 2000, and all other campaigns had to take a back seat to the Bush effort. And Gore trounced Bush in the Golden State – big time. What leads anyone to believe that the results will somehow be different this time? The names do not inspire much confidence. Here in Orange County, it is the usual suspects – David Padilla, Emily Sanford, etc. Nice people (some of them) – with lots of experience. But what have they done lately? And what did they do in 2000? Mario Rodriguez, the California Republican Party Vice Chairman, will be at the top of this mess, along with termed-out Assemblyman Bob Pacheco, who is not known for doing much for anyone outside of his immediate circle. Even worse, none of these folks are known for their ability to get conservatives engaged in campaigns. Good luck guys – you’ll need it.

What’s up with Cristich?

You have to like the energy – and money – that Cristi Cristich brings to her campaign for the 70th Assemby District. However, there appears to be a gap between what she has to say for herself in her mailers, versus reality. For example, she states in virtually every mailer the importance of ending successful businesspeople to Sacramento. Granted, that is important. However a recent search of the Dunn & Bradstreet record pertaining to her business turned up something interesting. Her business has a financial stress rating of “Class 3,” which means nothing unless you know that during the previous year, firms with this classification had a failure rate of 3.73% (373 per 10,000), which is 2.66 times higher than the national average. Not good. Her company also seems to be paying its bills at an average 19 days beyond terms. That is why the financial stress rating is what it is. You have to wonder if all of the money that Cristich has lent to her campaign has resulted in a cash crunch at her company. If she loses the primary, that could be money ill spent. Even if she wins, Cristich will still have to come up with thousands to pay herself back. Then again, our state is also in arrears, so I guess the shoe fits.

Rohrabacher attacked by conservatives

We all had a good laugh when our old friend Bob Dornan emerged once more as a candidate – against fellow Republican Dana Rohrabacher, in the Huntington Beach area. Well, they’re not laughing anymore. Front Page magazine, a conservative pubication with a huge following, recently ripped into Rohrabacher because he has apparently been making nice with a bunch of Middle East baddies. Oops. You can read the article online at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11901.

Fuentes on the outs?

The O.C. Register also reported recently that Orange County Republican Party Central Committee Chairman Tom Fuentes is at long last thinking of stepping down. Former Assemblyman Scott Bauch is said to be his heir apparent. Good move on both fronts. Fuentes has done a lot for the party, but in the last few years he has surrounded himself with sycophants and alienated the moneybags in the Lincoln Club. Not good. Thanks for your years of service Tom – enjoy your retirement. In the meantime, we lost central Orange County under your watch, and won’t be getting any of it back any time soon.

Maybe Baugh will be able to do something about that. However, the only ongoing effort, the Republican Alliance of Central Orange County, has few members from Santa Ana, which is the populous county seat, and when I attended a meeting about a year ago I was told by the Chairman, David Padilla (yeah the same guy working on the Bush campaign) that the Alliance did not intend to do anything with regard to voter registration or local candidate development. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Baugh would be well-advised to clean house when he takes the helm. For one thing, it would make sense to appoint Latino Republicans who actually speak Spanish to any county GOP posts in central Orange County. Padilla does not speak la lengua, and neither does Tim Whitacre, the defacto head of the local Central Committee members for the 69th Assembly District. We’ll have to do better than that to take out the likes of Lou Correa, Joe Dunn, and Loretta Sanchez.

About Art Pedroza