I think I speak for the entire rest of the country in extending a hearty thank you to the CRA. Their piss poor performance on election night has only bolstered the ranks of other state’s Republican Party rolls. Sadly, the CRA “leadership” —I guess that is still a thing—likely feels they are doing a mighty fine job. The Republican Party was decimated at every level and the CRA was more than happy to be the ship’s captain. Not a single statewide candidate got over the 40% threshold; keep in mind one of the most liberal politicians ever was on the top of the ballot. Down ballot we did even worse as a party. However, I don’t want to focus on the CAGOP for this blog—we all know they lack any competence—I want to focus on the group that calls itself the “conscious” of the Republican Party.
I used to be a CRA board member, so I am keenly aware of the ins and outs of the CRA. I can tell you as much as they may blame “vote harvesting” or “same day registration” or pick any other excuse, the fault lies with them. Since I know many of them read this blog, I will offer up undebatable concrete examples of their incompetence.
First their opposition to all things Jeff Denham. I will stipulate that Denham is not perfect, but the CRA wanted no part of him and never endorsed him. As a result, he finally lost his seat. Sadly, it’s a seat we will likely never get back. Many in the CRA saw this as a chance to be rid of a congressman whose first vote as a member would be for a Republican speaker! Appears that wasn’t good enough for the CRA!
Look at some of the Orange County based seats…. Several years ago, these seats were all easy victories for the good guys; that was until the CRA started meddling. As a result of their interference, additional seats were lost, again most of these seats were lost for good. Rohrabacher’s seat we can likely win back, but not the others. Hopefully the CRA stays far away from that race since it could be winnable without their meddling. As far as the legislative races, we lost a seat we should have had no issue keeping and lost a few more again due to CRA meddling. All in all, it was a disaster on election night, however I think the CRA spent the night celebrating! I’ll get in to that below.
The biggest issue with the CRA has been their evolution (or should I call it intelligent design?) The CRA used to be the premier volunteer organization in the entire state. We sent forth an army of volunteers and we tipped many races in our favor! We held our elected officials accountable and vowed to hold the other side in contempt! Then something changed, we became a club. We were no different from the CAGOP which we used to view as the moderate machine! We even branded ourselves as a sane version of the Tea Party after they were corrupted and taken over by Republican political consultants—can you say Sal Russo?
What is a top political operator, who owns a multimillion-dollar lobbying firm and has had a hand in many of California’s crucial election campaigns since Ronald Reagan was governor, doing at the head of an anti-establishment grassroots phenomenon like the Tea Party movement?
Sal Russo is the brains behind one of the largest and most politically effective groups, the Tea Party Express. The movement exists to end what its followers call “business as usual” – the cosy club of politicians and vested interests in Washington.
Yet Russo himself could be said to come from precisely that same cosy club.
Now CRA is just the old guard club. It is the political equivalent to the VFW; just a bunch of old, used-up soldiers sitting around tell war stories of the glory days of their youth. From that time to now, everything is different; I mean everything. I’m glad I left when I did.
Nowadays, CRA meetings consist of the club President speaking for hours at a time about mindless drivel like: lower government, less spending, tax cuts, and how over forty years ago Ronald Reagan called us the conscious of the Party. Heck, most voting age people in California weren’t even born when “The Gipper” uttered those words. Undeterred, CRA folks—like a cult using its mantra to focus power— say that conscious thing at every meeting. These days, they are never able to get a decent speaker and they have run off most of their membership. Heck you could put everyone attending my old CRA chapter’s month meeting in a corner booth at Denny’s and still have room for visitors.
You see, when you join the CRA you must be either completely nuts or very weak kneed; I’ll discuss the latter in a minute. On the topic of being completely nuts I mean that you are a one issue person who could care less about any other issue. I witnessed firsthand this group ignore a tax hike measure in Sacramento county and instead put all their effort behind an unwinnable school board race…by the way the tax failed by about one hundred votes, no thanks to the “conscious” of the Party which sat it out.
Now I will discuss the values and beliefs of this group. I call it “beliefs you can change in” because on paper, they have a plethora of issues; however, they never take a stand on them in some cycles and in others they act as if they picked that very issue to die on. For a group that claims to be based on principles, they are an inconsistent lot. Abortion tends to be a mainstay issue with these guys, even though there is little chance that Roe v Wade gets overturned outright—even if it did, nothing in California would change because Democrats covered that base decades ago… just in case. Taxes seem to be an issue that comes and goes, depending on what races they want to get involved with.
The CRA has a litmus test for both candidates and members that is enforced on a “when we feel like it” basis; however, if you support Donald Trump…you’re out. Support Jeff Denham…. you’re a moderate, support Ling Ling Chang…..you’re a gun grabber, the list goes on and on. They love to keep their members in check, however when it comes to holding candidates and elected officials accountable? Don’t count on the CRA.
The board members are the worst, they’ve been rotating deck chairs on the Titanic for a while now. It seems like a tradition to permanently expel officers by forcing them to walk the plank every few years and tell everyone that with a smaller crew, things will get better. CRA then celebrates their victory of principle, the opportunity for improvement, and the promise of better days ahead…but, it never arrives.
How about this for ways to treat your membership: conning delegates into traveling 2+ hours by car to an endorsement convention that features only 1 person running for said office! Talk about a waste of time and resources. Or conning a member to call the question about a candidate’s past or a rule change, only to have the floor pulled from under them by the same person who prompted them to call said question. Bylaws may keep the same wording from meeting-to-meeting but be interpreted differently by the same guys depending on what outcome leadership requires in a particular situation.
Hopefully Johnnie “Captain” Morgan can turn this around, and by that, I mean fire the entire incompetent board immediately. I still would like to know how “The Wookie” and “Drunken Jedi” remaining on the board due to their myriad of issues.
Lastly, where is any sense of activism within your club? You have members in your group that claim to be “insiders” or “in the know” regarding local events. 9 times out of 10 you have no idea about the goings on. Two concrete examples, Governor Gavin Newsom in his inaugural address mentioned 2 tax increases he was going to propose with help from the super majority legislature, elected in no small part due to CRA incompetence. Has the CRA put out anything regarding these tax hikes? Do they even know about them? I would say “No” on both counts! The tax hikes for those of you wondering are a new tax on phones to fund a 911 system overhaul, and a tax on drinking water to help underprivileged communities. Only commentary out of the CRA is hopefully Ted Cruz is running in 2020. These are things the CRA should be out on front of…instead apathy, or maybe boycott Dick’s Sporting Goods since they want to ID people who buy guns?
Again ask yourself why would anyone join the CRA?