Jon Fleischman gets punked and denounced at the CA GOP Convention

“The bad blood in the party was evident at the convention. On Saturday, state party vice chair Jon Fleischman angrily confronted state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County), who made his name last week by providing the critical vote needed to pass the state budget,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“You voted for the largest tax increase in the country when you could have stopped it,” said Fleischman, publisher of the GOP Web site, which had publicly pressured Republicans to stand united against the package of $15 billion in spending cuts and $12.5 billion in new taxes. “Good call.”

As an open-mouthed crowd of Republicans looked on, Maldonado – viewed as a turncoat by some Republicans, and a hero by others – coolly shot back: “We need a change.”

How can Fleischman even show his face in public after his former boss, Mike Carona, was ousted from the O.C. Sheriff’s department, and he was indicted?  He represents the very worst that the Republican Party has to offer.

Kudos to Maldonado for showing up to this event when he had to know that he would be attacked by creeps like Fleischman, who ought not be acting this way given that he is a Vice Chair of the CA GOP.

Fleischman also got punked when his measure to censure the six GOP legislators who voted for the budget was shot down.  Instead, none of them will receive funding from the state party, which is practically broke and would not likely have helped them anyway.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Republican delegate Helen Najar of Long Beach took issue with the party’s action Sunday, which is to say that she disagreed with Fleischman.  She said the minority state party should be working to broaden its appeal, not attack its own members.  “The circular firing squad stuff never works,” Najar said. “It’s petty and it’s unproductive.”

GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner also “criticized those who sought to censure the six Republican lawmakers who provided the votes to reach the required two-thirds majority for the spending plan,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.  This criticism was astounding given that Fleischman is backing Poizner.Poizner said it was not the most effective use of leaders’ time and warned that the GOP, which has been slipping in voter registration for years, needs to modernize.

“The California Republican Party is in trouble,” he told a gathering of reporters. “We have to do some serious rebuilding.”

Poizner also said that “Frankly speaking, our party’s in a mess right now,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman also piled on Fleischman and the CA GOP – “We’re losing market share at an alarming rate,” she warned, noting Republican party registration is now barely at 31 percent in California, “13 points below Democrats – and dropping.”

And possible GOP U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina also criticized Fleischman and his Talibani goons, as she urged party members to offer “a positive, pragmatic way forward.”

Maldonado got the last word.

“The party needs to change,” Maldonado said. “We can’t go back to the old political system that we had. … We need to bring other people to our party. We’re losing them every day.”

In the coming months, “we’re going to talk a lot about reform … reform, reform, reform,” Maldonado predicted. “And if my party doesn’t like it … then I’ll be looking at it in the rear view mirror.”

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"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.