Can Travis Alle(n)viate CA GOP’s Travails? (Haha – No)




Departing CRP Chair Jim Brulte looks over his possible replacements Travis Allen and Jessica Millan Patterson.  (Stephen Frank is below.). Actual true-to-life cranial proportions, unless my hand slipped while editing.


As predicted, the winner is Jessica, who declares Democrats “the enemy.”  Sayeth the Sac Bee:

California’s Republican Party took a small step on Sunday in an effort to regain political power, selecting a person to lead the party who is less vocally supportive of President Donald Trump.

Backed by prominent lawmakers, whom opponents labeled as “the establishment,” Jessica Patterson fended off aggressive challenges from devout Trump supporters.

“We’re going to be out there and picking up seats and working hard,” Patterson said. “You’re going to see a really, really sharp change in the Republican Party.”

With her win, Patterson became the first woman to lead the party. Throughout her candidacy for chair, she labeled Democrats as “the enemy” and called on Republicans to unite to oppose progressive policies.

“The enemy”?  Oh, it’s on, pendeja!  Congratulations on the arduous task of defeating Travis Allen, and prepared to be crushed like a grape!

Original Story:

This weekend is the California Republican Party’s State Convention, in their beloved Sacramento, where its delegates will choose the beleaguered party’s new Chair.  Is there an OC tie?  Sure!  Former Assemblyman and Gubernatorial Travis Allen is a leading contender, and he has the support of all sorts of Orange County has-beens, never-wases, and still-sorta-ares.  I got much of my understanding of the goings on from Scott Lay’s Nooner of Thursday , to which I commend your attention if you want more info.

We have Travis Allen and Stephen Frank competing in what Scott calls the “activist” wing (which I think we can fairly construe as the “immoderate extremist wacko” wing), opposing Simi Valley’s  Jessica Millan Patterson from the more moderate-Establishment “donor” wing.  The big news is that the double-first-name candidates have have sent delegates a joint statement statement calling for factional unity, which I presume means that they want to hold Jessica to under a majority and then have the one of them who doesn’t make the runoff throw support to the one who does.  From that statement:

“The definition of insanity is continually repeating the same behavior and expecting a different results. If we join together, the conservatives win and the Party wins, and and those that do not with our Party well (Remember November 6) are defeated.” …  “RESISTANCE: THE ROAD TO VICTORY IN 2020.”

The more likely road to insanity is thinking that that Republicans have any chance at winning one of the more significant statewide officers in 2022, though the Democratic lead in both houses of the legislature is SOOO HUGE that they do have a chance of bringing it down below supermajority level, though it’s not really likely that who becomes Chair will make much of a difference there.  In fact, I think that outgoing three-term Chair Jim Brulte has done about as good a job as anyone could have for his party, and will be missed (once it becomes clear that results aren’t improving.)

Among the five current or former state officeholders listed as endorsing, um, one or the other are some familiar names.  In fact, almost only familiar names:

  • Assemblymember Steven Choi (R-Irvine)
  • Diane Harkey (former Assemblymember and BOE member from South County)
  • Matthew Harper (former Assemblymember from Huntington Beach)
  • Dana Rohrabacher (former Congressmember from Costa Mesa or so)

What drawing power!  (Well, maybe among Republican delegates, it is.)  The fifth remotely credible endorser of the conservtiver pair is Senator Jeff Stone (R-La Quinta).

Before we Orange County Democrats get too smug, though, we should remember that the one area in the state where Republicans are still doing well in our state is local office, where local business communities still hold sway, and this is especially true in Orange County.

The election is getting some national coverage, of course.  Here are some tidbits:

From Carla Marinucci for Politico:

Jessica Patterson, the CEO of the California Trailblazers — a candidate-recruitment program blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — has racked up the lion’s share of endorsements from the state’s GOP elected officials.

A Latina from a Southern California working-class family, Patterson voted for Trump. But she argues that her leadership of Trailblazers has armed her with the experience and the strategic knowledge necessary to build the state party back to its former strength — and reassure key donors regarding its rebound.

In her view, Republicans must “stay on message” — jobs, economy, education, pro-business policies — and concentrate on the damage the ruling party has done in Sacramento.  “Some people have already given up on my party, and they say it’s not salvageable,’’ Patterson told POLITICO. “I don’t accept that. I love my party too much.’’

And one more bite:

Leading Republicans say the situation will deteriorate even more if either Allen or Frank claims the chairmanship. Former Assembly Minority leader Chad Mayes pushed back against Allen’s jabs at the GOP establishment and elected officials. He tweeted a prediction that if Allen wins the chairmanship, “more sitting legislators will leave” the California Republican Party.

Oh: more conservative electeds in the CDP.  Uh … great?  (Seriously, do I always have to root for that?  Why does Travis Allen keep causing us problems?)

Kate Irby, for the McClatchy papers, has this to offer. Noting the scope of GOP recent slaughter, she reports that:

State Republican officials readily concede the party faces huge problems. Some — though not all — say state party Chairman Jim Brulte’s warnings long ago about the need to appeal to minority groups should have been heeded.

While Brulte and others have long warned of danger, such as the difficulty appealing to minority groups like Asian Americans and Latino Americans, few Republicans in recent years would not or could not offer solutions.

Seventy percent of Asian Americans in California voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 71 percent of Latinos did the same. Latinos made up 31 percent of the 2016 state electorate while Asian Americans were 12 percent, according to network exit polls.

But Brulte notes that:

It’d be hard to find better Republican hopefuls than Republican Reps. Jeff Denham and Mimi Walters or candidate Young Kim…. They all lost in the “unmistakeable” blue wave. … “Until the issue of immigration is completely dealt with, California Republicans are going to have trouble.”

As a California Democrat, I’d rather lose a few more seats that win them just because Trump gets his insulting, inciting, less-than-useless wall.  Anyway, we’ll let you know how it turns out.  (Hint: it will be Jessica.  And that, sadly or not, is not the road to a worse Democratic slaughter.)

This is your Weekend Open Thread.  Talk about that or whatever else you’d like, within pre-Trump-level-reasonable bounds of discretion and decorum.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)