California Republican Assembly, CRA/SRA endorsing convention results

Last night I attended the Saddleback Republican Assembly, SRA, endorsement convention. SRA, representing the California Republican Assembly in local races, conducted a three hour endorsement convention at Atria Del Sol in Mission Viejo.

Known as the “conscience of the Republican Party,” the CRA’s first statewide organizational meeting was held in San Jose on February 11, 1934.”

“Earlier this year, the CRA officially commemorated its 75th Anniversary.”

In attendance at the meeting were city council candidates from Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo.  Having served as SRA president for four years, and drafting questionnaires for prior elections, I commend the current Board for their in depth questionnaires which were sent to every Republican candidate in each of these cities.

Categories of the approximately 50 questions included: government services, revenue & spending, transportation & traffic, land use & property rights, public safety, education, legal issues, Nov. Ballot Measures, and a few questions relating solely to Mission Viejo.

After SRA president Corrigan’s opening greeting, a prayer and pledge to our flag, he turned the meeting over to CRA Vice President Karl Heft. Karl conducted the voting based upon official CRA By-laws. To participate in the election you must be a paid up member for at least 30 days to avoid allegations of stuffing the ballot box.  Any endorsement requires a 2/3rds vote of approval of the members in good standing who must be present. The By-laws do not permit any proxy voting.

Each candidate was given three minutes for an opening statement followed by Q&A from the members.

In Aliso Viejo the CRA endorsed challenger Bill Perkins. For the city of Laguna Hills the members endorsed challenger Ali Djowharzadeh and incumbent Melody Carruth.

Next under consideration were four candidates from the city of Lake Forest. CRA Vice President Scott Voigts, who previously served as SRA president, was the only candidate in that city to receive the endorsement.

Last under consideration were candidates from the city of Mission Viejo. The voting members had the choice to cast votes for up to three of the 10 Republicans on the ballot. Prior to the voting, Mark Dobrilovic informed the members that he has suspended his campaign asking them not to cast any votes for him.

In attendance were challengers Rhonda Reardon, Ken Golemo, Bill Barker, Neil Lonsinger and Brian Skalsky. Although he responded to the questionnaire, Sam Mamolo did not attend. After the Q&A the members voted by paper ballot.

To make sure that no one challenged the validity of the election I witnessed the ballot counting by former SRA presidents Phil Steinhauer and Michael Ferrall. After completing the tabuation, Michael Ferrall reported that Rhonda Reardon was the sole candidate to surpass the 2/3rds requirement and was endorsed on the first ballot.

After a second round with no candidate getting a 2/3rds vote, Ken Golemo and Bill Barker were removed from the ballot in conformance with the CRA By-laws.

After the third and final round results were tabulated, neither Neil Lonsinger or Brian Skalsky were able to meet the endorsement criteria.

Having interfaced with the members before and after the meeting I can report that they are all in agreement that, based on incumbent abuse of taxpayer funds and self dealing, they need to be removed.

About Larry Gilbert