Darth Vader exercised his will at CRA Convention
“Up from the grave he arose;
With a mighty triumph o’er his foes;”
Or so the old hymn goes;
Bob Haueter thinks he knows;
Why Park stepped on his toes.
Bob Haueter as you may recall was one of the problem folks named by George Park that was listed as a current member of the evil Santa Clarita CRA chapter. The only problem is that Bob moved to Texas many months ago and thus is ineligible to be a member of CRA. Anyway, Bob has done his best impression as a guest on “The Walking Dead” and fired-off a lengthy tome from beyond the CRA grave yesterday to give his side of the story. His “Tales from the Crypt” is an interesting read but falls short in many places.
In his letter, Bob makes many admissions against interest. He thinks they bolster his case when in fact they prove Park was right. Due to its length, I won’t go thru the whole thing but I will point out the contentions that caught my eye.
Bob opens with this salutation, “Greetings fellow CRA members”. This salutation is part of the problem, BOB thinks he is still a CRA member and so does his club. Since by his own admission, he resides in Texas, Bob cannot be a member of CRA. Sorry Bob but our Bylaws are really clear on that issue.
Bob laments that we are having an internal struggle and then says,
Is it any wonder there aren’t any state wide elected Republicans, or that the State Assembly and State Senate are controlled by Democrat super majorities and the State’s Congressional Delegation has been reduced to just 15 members out of 53?
So what’s the fight about? In reality it will be a battle of distinctions without differences. The real issue will be who controls, for their own narrow self interest the endorsement of the CRA.
OK; so it is all CRA’s fault that the Democrats have cleaned our clocks and own the State? No, it’s more complicated than that; however Barbara Alby and her followers are complicit in the decline we have experienced. (See my blog article on Gary North v Barbara Alby.) The current fight is the old Alby forces fighting for control v the post Alby membership.
The next paragraph is another admission against interest if you parse it just a little. “The real issue will be who controls, for their own narrow self interest the endorsement of the CRA.” The only contention of controlling endorsements for self interested reasons made thus far in this controversy is that Bob’s former employer, Congressman Buck McKeon and some fellow travelers in CRA leadership (Greig and Frank), have manipulated endorsements. Bob tells us more about what he and his friends have done in the past and how he really views CRA. CRA is to be controlled by the political elites to get endorsements.
Sorry Bob, I joined CRA so I could be the one endorsing the folks that I feel best represent my values not so I can grant legitimacy to candidates and consultants that try to buy CRA endorsements. I thought that is what we fought Karen England about two years ago. We purged many clubs funded by candidates and consultants but not all.
I joined the CRA in 1979. At the time our party was controlled by a group of go along get alongs. Unfortunately CRA was part of the problem, “The Conscience of the Republican Party” did not reflect the conservative values it was founded on. It took many years but we succeeded in returning the CRA to a Conservative organization that accurately reflected its heritage and one that we could be proud to be a part of.
Bob here displays the romantic view espoused by Alby that CRA was a conservative organization that she and others helped return to its conservative roots. The fact is that during its history, CRA has been on all sides of many issues. It has been liberal and conservative. It was founded as a “progressive” Republican group. It has been for progressive taxes, flat taxes, consumptions taxes, etc. CRA’s history is not one of principles that are the bedrock of its existence. This paradigm was given to CRA by Alby and her allies.
This weekend you’ll continue to fight amongst yourselves but instead of fighting for conservative values against moderate and liberals, you’ll be fighting against those that wish to use the CRA for a purely personal accumulation of power. A fight where the winner is rewarded with the power to decide who gets our assistance and endorsement and then reaps the rewards from that assistance.
Yet another admission against interest. The winner of the CRA Presidential election “is rewarded with power to decide who gets our assistance and endorsement and then reaps the rewards from that assistance.” OK, Bob first it is not “our assistance” because you are not a member. Second you are talking of a top-down organization not a grassroots one. The President does not decide who gets our assistance. We do not work for the CRA President, we work locally for local candidates that we choose to support, and whether the CRA leadership likes them is irrelevant. We are neither their slaves nor employees. Again CRA is a Grassroots group. Grassroots equals decentralized. Most in CRA do not work to “reap the rewards” unless you think more freedom, less government and, lower taxes is a reward.
Bob then thumps his chest to say how hard he has worked for various politicians. Then he laments,
I am saddened to see the depths that CRA has sunk to. Where personal attacks based on innuendo and manipulated emails are used to attack fellow members just so someone can achieve profit off our organization.
George Park is clearly in mind here. This is a false characterization of Park’s information campaign. Had CRA leadership done its job, Park would not have to go to the Internet to deal with these issues. They were not dealt with in 1998 as I have documented elsewhere on this blog and things got progressively worse. Two years ago was a corrective action but it was not a completed action. Everything Park put out publicly was documented and never refuted by Celeste Greig, Steve Frank or anyone else. Park only used a portion of the stuff that was available to him. It is worse than he stated.
That the day before the convention, Steve Frank has to get a former member from Texas to take up his cause is illustrative of how weak his defense really is. The only person that can “profit off our organization” is Steve Frank not George Park. Frank has a financial interest in the 25th Congressional district during the 2014 election cycle. More on this later.
This latest round of attacks against Celeste Greig and Steve Frank have set new limits…or better put…new lows. My gosh, Celeste and Steve, they are pillars of our organization with reputations beyond reproach. When people like Celeste and Steve are attacked its time to question the attackers.
Steve Frank threw Celeste under the bus three weeks ago and now Bob does us the favor of joining them at the hip again. If Celeste is so great why is the only press coverage that she gets for CRA related to rape and Todd Akin? Sorry Bob, no one is “beyond reproach”; ever read Romans 3: 23?
Unfortunately, many in politics build a good reputation early on in their careers and coast on that reputation for the rest of their political lives even when they act contrary to their reputation. We all know politicians that say one thing at election time in their districts and then vote the opposite way in Sacramento or Washington. Celeste Greig and Steve Frank acting contrary to their early reputation in CRA and that conduct is not unusual.
Bob then begins to tell his story about the formation of the Republican Assembly of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley (RAGSCV). This portion of his tome is worth an extended look. Here he is talking about how his faction lost control of the other Santa Clarita RA chapter and were later forced to form their own club.
Unfortunately there were some in town who wanted to control the CRA for its ability to endorse in local elections. Two of the leaders of this group were Wendy Albright and Alice Khosravy. They literally bought the election with Alice standing in the parking lot handing out cash to folks they had recruited to become members. This included folks who weren’t even registered Republicans. They won by 3 or 4 votes. We were so disgusted afterwards that we almost quit the CRA.
This is a rather pregnant passage as it once again tells us more about Bob than you might see at first glance. Bob makes Alice sound like some crazy ACORN member trying to buy voted from homeless people by passing out cash in the parking lot. He makes it sound like Alice gives people money, and then they charged into some nearby building and paid their dues, and then voted as instructed.
The only problem with this tale of fraud and woe is those stinking Bylaws don’t allow such conduct. Isn’t it funny that every time someone on Celeste’s side of the controversy says or does something the Bylaws keep getting in their way. Their lament reminds me of Democrats complaining about the Constitution being an obstacle to their utopian dreams.
All CRA chapters require that membership dues must be paid at least 30 days prior to a member being allowed to vote in officer elections. Some clubs even require members joining 60 days in advance. Furthermore, local CRA chapters can reject membership applications to their chapter. This action is subject to review by the State Board.
The irony of the charge of members not being registered to vote is that Bob’s righteous CRA chapter is the only one that lists members not registered to vote and membership of folks residing outside of California. The club he is complaining about is ten times the size of his group and has no such known violations. I know that Park has personally verified the membership of both groups looking for such problems.
The only conclusion that a rational person can draw is that Bob is telling a bald-faced lie that he hopes no one will notice.
Bob then recounts his version of getting his new Santa Clarita club chartered. He omits a few relevant facts but I wish to go on further into his letter as he begins has close. He begins with this premise, for Bob to be correct and Celeste to be righteous then George Park must be lying. Bob then asks why?
Again, within this statement you will find admissions against interest.
Well I can’t tell you precisely why but I can speculate. It’s been rumored that Congressman Buck McKeon, one of the highest regarded members of Congress and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, may retire at the end of this term. I don’t know. What I do know is if and when Buck does decide to call it quits there’s going to be a mad scramble to fill the seat. We only have 15 Republican seats left and they don’t open up that often. So the CRA’s endorsement in the 25th CD will be important. Look at the units George is going after: Northridge, RAGSCV and Antelope Valley…all within the 25th CD. Then, add to that, George comes all the way down from Northern California to help Charter a new unit in Simi Valley…yep its in the 25th CD as well. That leaves just one question; what’s in it for George? Why the sudden interest in the 25th CD? What’s he get for making sure a unit that hates Congressman McKeon, the SCVRA, gets the power to control the endorsement in the 25th CD. Maybe you should ask him, or his new friends Alice and Wendy.
Buck McKeon’s name just keeps coming up in this controversy. Buck paid many of the dues for members in Bob’s beloved CRA chapter from his vast campaign war chest. (Didn’t Karen England get booted from CRA for facilitating such acts?) This is one of Park’s many complaints about McKeon. Not until this Tuesday’s article in the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle did Greig admit to any ties with McKeon when they reported that Buck has endorsed Celeste.
Bob then goes on to point out that Park has been going after RA chapters in northern L.A. County. Park says they are problems because they are not complying with the rules and Bob implies that Park has a financial interest in the 25th Congressional District.
Bob is missing the elephant in the room with his comments. The problem RA clubs that Park is trying to deal with are the ones geographically closest to where CRA President Celeste Greig and her colleague Steve Frank live. One would think that if Celeste is the dynamic Republican leader that she claims to be in her campaign literature then the clubs that she can interact with the most would be the fastest growing most dynamic clubs in CRA. The fact is that the opposite is true. Celeste no longer even has a local CRA chapter to belong to since her’s died of inactivity many years ago. Steve Frank is also a homeless CRA officer.
Bob also neglects to mention that there are other vibrant CRA clubs in the 25th but they are ones that don’t regularly interact with Frank and Greig; an important omission.
The foremost player in this drama with a financial interest in CD 25 is Steve Frank. Steve is pushing Tony Strickland as the natural heir to Buck McKeon at rallies and events throughout the district. Steve is a political consultant working for Strickland. Steve and Celeste need Bob’s bogus RA group and others like it to engineer the endorsement of Tony next year.
So there you have it. The last installment before the Convention begins at 4 p.m. today.
Contrary to recent claims by Aaron Park, my read is that Celeste thinks her re-election is a done deal. Whether she can do it on a straight up or down vote or needs Frank to go nuclear on the Credential Committee we will know soon.