I was contacted by one of the potential candidates for the 2019 CRA President. He was not happy of my characterization of the CRA or the candidate field. At the end of his missive I was told that I am full of bitterness and resentment.
Without naming this individual, I would like to respond to his message.
First, I still regard you as a friend whatever you may think. However, my friend, you have a problem. You are obsessed with the CRA. The CRA can’t fix itself let alone the problems facing California. The Republican brand is toxic in California not because they are outnumbered by Democrats but because they have no core values. CRA can’t fix this problem but they helped create it.
Republican leaders learned from the vulnerabilities exploited by Barbara Alby and company back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and have blocked access to the Party apparatus by rank-and-file Party members. Statewide you can thank Charles Munger and Jim Brulte. Locally you can thank Sue Blake, Terry Mast, Duane Dichiara, and the gang in the Sacramento County Central Committee.
If I would be described as bitter and resentful about anything it is this, I let Barbara Alby and her fellow travelers use me—and willingly so much of the time—as a pawn in her grand schemes to take over the California Republican Assembly and later the California Republican Party. The way that she and her posse treated Carl Burton, River City Republicans, and many others who were once involved in CRA is shameful. Doing it in the name of Jesus Christ even more so. Not until I personally experienced this treatment did I begin to question their methods.
Sadly, I’m a slow learner. A few years later, I came back to CRA. By then, the Alby crew had kicked CRA to the curb. In terms of membership, CRA was a shell of its former glory having gone from 80,000 members to about 15,000. I also spent much time in both Yolo and Sacramento County Central Committees. After getting involved in the Sacramento Central Committee, I participated in Support The Platform and was one of the few people to write them a check in their first outing. The next election cycle STP targeted me for removal from the group that I helped to create and fund in the previous cycle. It’s the kind of gratitude I’ve come to expect from the disciples of Alby.
The bottom line is that our people wanted to play power politics in the very same manner as everyone else. They claim that they acted in the name of Christ but the way they treated others proved that they were just being good Pharisees. So, yes, I regret that I was easily duped and treated others in a way that profaned Christ.
While I have come to this conclusion, many that were once in CRA still treat others just like they did back then. Sadly, for many, winning by any means is more important. For them, knowing just how much pressure to put on the scales to win is still very much part of their stock and trade.
As for today’s CRA, the best way I can describe the group is this:
If a person was within the blast radius of a nuclear weapon detonation, all they might see is a flash. They then might seek shelter and try to survive but it’s already too late. You see, the flash exposed them to a lethal dose of radiation. They are dead, it’s just that their body hasn’t caught up with reality and may not for a period of time.
A number of recent events could be pointed too as that lethal blast for CRA but whether that was Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander not pursuing the Park Brothers, CRA endorsing Ted Cruz on the first ballot, Celeste Greig saying if you don’t support Jim Brulte as the next CRP Chairman, “there’s the door”, or something else, the point is that CRA is over. It’s time to move on and spend your time doing something more productive.
We’ve had a lot of good times together but with all due respect, you don’t have the financial security and fiscal independence to be CRA President; neither do you have the sales skills to build the group. You can filibuster as well as Tom Hudson but I don’t count that as a gift. Turning a twenty minute business meeting into a two hour marathon is not the way to boost membership. Your home CRA Unit is hovering below the threshold of a healthy unit and some you count as members haven’t written a check to CRA in a few years. Like the statewide group, your home chapter is on life-support. Sorry but why should this formula be replicated on a statewide basis? What you need is not a position in CRA but gainful employment. Take care of your family and then see what you can do to help in the community. Lead through what you do and then people will listen to what you have to say.
CRA talks a lot about “principles” and the old “conscience of the Republican Party” quotation but they are not now; (if they ever really were). If their support of Ted Cruz or Travis Allen is any indication, they are out of touch when it comes to where Republicans are in this state. Their endorsements have never come with any funds but an army of volunteers to get out votes. Dude, those days were gone a few decades ago. If CRA has 800 active members statewide I would be shocked. Your own unit is luck if they get five members to a meeting and you want to be President of the entire statewide organization? Hubris? In our own ways, we are both policy guys and not the ones qualified to lead.
It’s time for you to quit tiling a windmills and join the rest of us in the real world. CRA can’t save themselves, the CRP, or California. Do what is in the best interest of your family; find employment with benefits, save for retirement, and take the wife to a nice vacation in a tropical place. In my opinion she’s earned it.