OC GOP endorsement process flawed but can be fixed

The OC GOP Endorsement Committee is meeting tomorrow, at 5:30 p.m., at the OC GOP headquarters at 1800 W. Katella Ave., #210, in Orange. They have a full plate as they will be considering no less than 62 local Republican candidates and one local ballot measure. Whew! I am guessing that they will be stuck in committee at least through 11 p.m. Kudos to the brave souls on the committee for showing such fortitude – clearly there must be a better way to do this!

It is too late for this year’s campaigns, but here are my proposals for next year:

  1. First, we need to take a close look at who is on the Endorsement Committee. Currently the committee includes political consultants and candidates. Not good! I am not seeking to impugn any of them, but honestly how can they possibly come up with objective decisions? The OC GOP endorsement committee should not include: political consultants; people who work for elected officials; candidates for office; and also only elected or appointed members should serve on the committee. No alternates should be on this committee! We should include only those committee members who were either elected to serve on the Central Committee, or who were appointed to fill out a term after an elected member withdrew from the committee.
  2. Next, let’s reduce the workload of the committee by having each Assembly District Caucus handle the local endorsements. These are elected Central Committee members – and they know their respective cities better than their counterparts on the Endorsement Committee. Once the respective caucuses make up their minds, they can forward their recommendations to the Endorsement Committee. That body should have the right to review the recommendations and then pass on their comments to the overall Central Committee.
  3. What about local candidates who are running for school boards, water district boards, or sanitation district boards? If the seats they are running for overlap more than one Assembly District, we can either have more than one caucus examine them, or move the matter to the Endorsement Committee. I prefer that the caucuses examine the candidates and then the Endorsement Committee can review their picks. If two caucuses disagree on a candiate, the Endorsement Committee can settle the issue.
  4. If a candidate is running for a legislative district that overlaps more than one Assembly District, that candidate should be assessed by the Endorsement Committee. We should favor incumbent Republicans, but not automatically. The Endorsement Committee should look closely at their voting records, endorsements, etc. and assess whether or not they have been good Republicans. If they have been selling out to unions, or endorsing local Democrats, or voting for higher taxes or other bad bills, they should not be automatically endorsed.
  5. All endorsement recommendations, from the local Assembly District caucuses and the Endorsement Committee, should be considered by the entire Central Committee. Candidates should be allowed to speak on their own behalf – but no comments from anyone else. If a candidate does not come to the Central Committee meeting to plead his case, oh well. Obviously the party endorsement does not matter to that individual. However, if that person has a legitimate conflict, such as a city council meeting that he has to attend, he should be allowed to designate one person to speak on his behalf.
  6. When the entire Central Committee considers the recommendations, and votes on the endorsements, only elected members, or their designated alternates, should be allowed to vote. The alternates should have a vote only if the elected member is not present. The ex-officio alternates should not have a vote if the respective ex-officio member is there. Also, no person should be allowed two votes. Currently an ex-officio who has also been elected to the Central Committee gets two votes. That is not fair. One vote per person is sufficient!
  7. Local ballot measures should be reviewed by the respective Assembly District caucuses, as with local candidates. Again, their recommendations should then go to the Endorsement Committee.

I am no expert on the OC GOP bylaws, so perhaps I am off-base with some of my recommendations. The point is that we need to look at the process and make a lot of changes. The endorsement of the OC GOP should mean something – and it should be hard to obtain. I hope that the Central Committee that will be seated next year, as of January, will take a look at my proposals and do what needs to be done to fix our endorsement process.


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.