Conservatives have nothing to cheer about in central OC

Longtime OC GOP Central Committee member and party activist Abie Garcia decided to do something after liberal RINO Lynn Daucher won the Republican nomination for the 34th Senate District. Garcia and his entire family quit the party that abandoned them, and registered instead in the party made famous by Minuteman Jim Gilchrist. Garcia and his family are now members of the Constitution Party. This is exactly what I thought might happen when I first heard that Daucher had been recruited by sellout “conservative” and State GOP Senate Leader Dick Ackerman.

Why would Garcia stay in the GOP? Not only did Daucher win, but Garcia’s friend Rosie Avila, a dedicated and faithful conservative, was blown away in the primary by a guy who was a Democrat candidate for the House of Representatives just two years ago. Tan Nguyen, the wealthy Republican who beat Avila, left the Democrats and spent over $300,000 for the right to face Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Good luck Tan – I hope you have a few bucks left to spend in the general – because I know Sanchez will be unloading her warchest on you.

I have no idea what Nguyen stands for, except that he is against illegal immigration. Quite frankly, it worries me when an adult changes parties – is Nguyen sincere about the change? What made him a Democrat in the first place? What in the world does he stand for? So many questions, and so few reasons for a conservative to care about this candidate.

Daucher is of course a huge turnoff to conservatives. There are already rumors that the conservative she defeated in the primary, Lupe Moreno, will mount a write-in campaign in the general. If so, she just might cost Daucher any hope she had of defeating Lou Correa, the popular Democrat who hopes to keep the 34th in the Democrat column. Moreno may not even stay in the GOP as she is considering following Garcia to the Constitution Party. I can’t say that I blame her – the entire OC GOP machine supported Daucher even though her record is so completely liberal that she makes Correa look like a conservative by comparison.

Now that I am a member of the OC GOP Central Committee, I have to figure out how to energize Republican voters in the upcoming general, and for the life of me I don’t know how we can do that when we are stuck with candidates like Nguyen and Daucher. And don’t even get me started about our Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who thinks it is a great idea to raise the minimum wage, even though it is a fact that doing so costs teenagers jobs.

And what about all the Santa Ana voters who were offended by OC Sheriff Mike Carona’s endorsements of Nativo Lopez and John Palacio, not to mention his many scandals and friendships with mafiosos? Now they are sure to be upset as Carona goes about destroyng the life of his chief opponent, Lt. Bill Hunt. Good grief.

I don’t think that the OC GOP is going to make any headway in central OC until after the general. I have been saying this for years, and it still holds true – we need to go about recruiting and developing homegrown candidates in our area for local offices, such as city council and school board seats. Once we get them involved at that level, we will have viable candidates to run for legislative races. Take a look at the current crop of legislative candidates in central OC – one is a carpetbagger RINO from Brea (Daucher); one was a Democrat candidate two years ago (Nguyen), in Huntington Beach; and one came here recently all the way from Texas – and he is the only conservative-leaning candidate of the bunch (Ryan Gene Williams, candidate for the 69th Assembly District). Where is the home team?

It falls on OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh to sort through this mess, and he has already made one positive move. When I spoke to him a couple weeks ago, I advised him to settle the lawsuit that Whitacre brought against him and the party. In fact when Baugh invited me to the party’s upcoming flag day event, I suggested that he might consider inviting Whitacre to the function. By the time we finished our call, Baugh was asking me for Whitacre’s cell phone number so he could call him and offer to settle the lawsuit in return for giving Whitacre a seat at his table at the flag day event. Today’s Total Buzz column reported that this deal went through after all. Well done Chairman Baugh! This is a good start in healing the rifts that were opened in our party during the primary.

Now Baugh needs to start looking ahead, past the general, and a good place to start would be putting together a list of potential GOP candidates for local offices in Santa Ana and surrounding cities in central OC. One way to get some new blood into the party will be for those of us in the 68th and 69th Assembly District caucuses to nominate new Republican faces to the Central Committee as our alternates. I have already asked Thomas Gordon, my co-blogger here at the Juice, to serve as my alternate. We also need to get involved with local Latino business owners, as Congressman Henry Bonilla did in his first campaign, in Texas. He won in a Democrat district, and so can we if we follow his example.

Baugh also needs to run interference in Carona’s attack on Hunt. He should ask Carona, for the good of the party, to back off and stop pressing contrived ethical charges on his opponent. Instead, Carona should ask Hunt to accept a reassignment to a lesser post. That is how these matters are usually handled.

Finally, any future voter registration activities by the OC GOP in central OC need to be honest and ethical. We cannot allow contractors to lie to voters in this area by changing their registrations to the GOP without their consent. Baugh also needs to have the party contact everyone who got their registration changed under false pretenses and make sure that they have a chance to stick with the Democrats if that is their choice. It is not enough to let the OC Voter Registrar’s office handle this. We created the mess and we need to deal with it.

I am saddened that Garcia left the GOP. I am not ready to follow suit. I may not be happy with the candidates we are stuck with going into the general, but my beliefs and principles will always hew to the GOP, and I would rather stick to the party and try to change it from within. We can do it – but this will take time and effort and we will have to stand for the values that are at the core of the Republican Party. We already have a party for liberals, let’s not let them have our party too.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.