Round two of the dust-up in the California Republican Assembly is scheduled for this Saturday. Rumors of “scorched-earth” retribution are circulating among both camps of the current dispute. The only written account that I have seen is from the Restore the CRA faction lead by Capitol Research Institute President Karen England. The email is short on facts and overflowing with sarcasm and disinformation; however, I have heard that some claims in their email are being considered by the newly elected board. Possibly on the agenda are plans de-chartering several units and then having trials of certain members that could face expulsion from the organization.
De-chartering some CRA units is based on their compliance with Restore the CRA’s request that local units withhold membership information for the Credentials Committee headed by George Park prior to the April convention. As far as I can ascertain, former Membership Secretary Peggy Mew has never turned her records over to the new Board or her replacement George Park. As a result, Park has no information that documents the existence of these rogue units. Since no records exists that prove these non-complying groups are legitimate, they will be deemed to not exist. If they wish recognition then they will have to go thru the chartering process—which is expected to be revised at the Saturday meeting.
If such an action were to happen, it should be done in an affirmative manner that says these are legitimate units in our records, any groups not on this list must submit themselves to the chartering process since the Board has no record of their existence and they refused multiple attempts requesting the information. However, the rumor is that each group in danger of losing their charter will be tried individually in front of the whole Board. A separate vote will then be taken to remove each chapter. I really hope the folks in charge have more sense than to adopt such a vindictive and time consuming strategy.
The other rumored agenda item is the trial and expulsion of several members that were leaders involved in Restore the CRA—including Karen England. I think such a move is beyond the legitimate boundaries of action that should be considered or taken by the Board. Such a move would be a sign of weakness by the current leadership and proof that England was correct in her diagnosis of the state of the CRA.
A friend tried to explain the current situation to me this way. Two factions in Placer County are fighting among themselves and this has spilled over into the CRA. Simultaneously, at least two factions in Orange County are also at war with each other. Many involved on opposing sides are CRA members. It just so happens that the two groups on the losing side in Placer and Orange have united to challenge the side in power in CRA. Whether this explanation adequately captures the outlines of the conflict, clearly folks from Placer and the O.C. are the focal points of the current controversy.
Lastly, since the CRA conflict is pending arbitration by the California Republican Party, it seems reasonable to think any heavy-handed retribution by the current CRA leadership against England and the Restore the CRA folks could turn into a suicide pact for the group. England has a lot more friends in the CRP and than in CRA leadership. CRA should tread lightly or there may be hell to pay.
I can see it now on Saturday morning…
The command is given to form the circular firing squad. Then as the Republicans face each other across the circle the order is given, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Yep, just another day of Party politics.