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Today, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is planning to announce his candidacy for President of the United States.  While former Florida Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry are likely candidates, there is no doubt that the influence of the grass-roots tea party movement is being felt this year.

To date, there are four announced candidates for President:

1- Texan Ted Cruz was elected to the US Senate in 2012, defeating an establishment-backed David Dewhurst. Texas tea party groups proved that the “news of the tea party’s death was greatly exaggerated” with the Cruz victory.

Is Jerry’s Kern’s Assembly Run Serious?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
posted by Brian Brady

Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern announced his candidacy for the 76th Assembly District last week. The UT-San Diego reported that Kern will probably earn the endorsement of the incumbent Assemblyman, Rocky Chavez. Chavez is vacating the seat to challenge California Attorney General Kamala Harris for the open US Senate seat in 2016. Kern signaled that he will work to solve the “hot” problems reported in the media:

Kern, who has been on the Oceanside council since 2004, said he is seeking the position because he wants to help advance regional issues such as education, water, and jobs.

Ted Cruz announced that he is running for President in 2016. To date, he is the only Republican or Democrat who has announced his campaign. Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton have sent a lot of messages but Cruz is running for President.

This is a great thing for a Republican in the November 2016 Presidential campaign. Here are five reasons why:

1. Ted Cruz mobilizes a disaffected base of the Republican electorate. Ted Cruz is an unabashed conservative. He is a constitutionalist, a populist, a social conservative, and strong on national defense. More importantly, he is a gifted orator, has a brilliant mind, and communicates the “Reagan Revolution” to the next generation of Republicans (the under 40 crowd).

I thought this was an early April Fool’s Joke today until I read the invitation. Scott Peters is a disaster for San Diego County taxpayers so I naturally thought the Taxpayers “Association” was going to goof on him this month. Alas, this is just another crony capitalist event for which the SDCTA is becoming famous.

This whole “breakfast forum” SDCTA is sponsoring is how best to get taxpayers funds for private businesses. Let me state that differently. The goal of the breakfast forum is to question Congressman Peters about how to get the money, which San Diego County taxpayers pay to the federal government, into the pockets of privately-owned corporations. Most privately-owned corporations get capital from banks, Wall Street, owner’s savings accounts, or loans from family members but these “attendees” are going to learn how to get their neighbors’ money for their business.

Did you see what just happened in Oklahoma? Republican State Representative Todd Russ introduced a bill to get the Oklahoma State government out of the marriage licensing business and into the marriage recognition business. Readers here will recognize this as the “Michael Schwartz” plan: government should record marriage documents rather than issue them. From

He (Russ), too, claims to be confused by objections to this legislation. While it is true that the legislation is a direct response to the federal courts striking down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage recognition and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will uphold those rulings this summer, Russ said his legislation is intended to take the state out of the fight, not to perpetuate the conflict. He said Oklahomans likely wouldn’t even notice a difference in the legal status of their relationships under his bill.

California Assemblyman and retired Marine Colonel Rocky Chavez is running for the open California US Senate seat. Chavez is running against the “best looking attorney general in America,” Kamala Harris. Chavez offers a “pragmatic platform” of strong foreign policy experience, comprehensive immigration reform, leaving Obamacare in place, supporting same sex marriage, and opposing abortion. He faces a large registration disadvantage but thinks his military experience translates to a win:

I think Cory Briggs’ enviromental lawsuits are bat*** crazy but the KPBS/inewsource “expose” is a fishing expedition because he’s challenging the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) tax.  The TMD is a crony capitalist weapon, aimed at stifling competition, in a market which sorely needs competition.

Cory Briggs is not someone I revere but smearing the man’s name, for anything other than being an enviro-wacko, is a cheap, tawdry, two-bit trick. There was a time when I thought that Republicans were better than this.   Today is not one of those times.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego voted to endorse the candidacy of State Senator Joel Anderson (Alpine) for District Two on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in the 2016 election.

The Second District covers most of East County. It extends to the Imperial County line in the east, encompassing the communities of Poway, Julian and Ramona to the north, includes the cities of Santee, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon, the inincorporated areas of Alpine, Lakeside and Spring Valley, and all land to the Mexican border (including the communities of Jamul, Dulzura, and Potrero). Geographically, it is the largest district in the county and serves more than 625,000 citizens. District Two is currently represented by decades-long incumbent Dianne Jacob.

The County Board of Supervisors ruled against free speech today.  Let me amend that; every Supervisor, except Board Chairman Bill Horn, limited your right to support candidates through a political party.

Horn registered his expected pro-freedom response.  He started the conversation by saying that he opposes any limits to free speech.  After public testimony (from five speakers and 16 non-speakers, against the contribution limit proposal, and exactly NO people supporting it),  initiating Supervisor Ron Roberts amended his original proposal.  He increased the contribution limit stating that his original number was too low.

Tom Shepard is up to his old shenanigans again. Shepard-backed Supervisor Ron Roberts is introducing a proposal to limit candidate donations from political parties in San Diego County. Guess why? To protect two of Shepard’s other clients, up for re-election in 2016: Dianne Jacob and Greg Cox. It also gives Shepard a chance to make MORE money by forming and/or consulting for “independent expenditure committees” (also known as attack ad slush funds).

In my last two years as an Executive Board member of the Republican Party of San Diego County (a position from which I’ve resigned), I noticed a growing alienation between “rank-and-file” Republican volunteers and our County Central Committee (an elected position which I still hold). The most engaged Republican voters think we push candidates on them rather than listen to them. I covered this in my series about the RPSDC.

This isn’t just a San Diego problem.

Breitbart News reports that political consultant Pat Caddell sees this happening nationwide:

In my last installment, I suggested that there was only one approach to grow our party for the 2016 election cycle — change the endorsement process. I said:

Our endorsement process is broken — it alienates a lot of people. After reading through this entire series, I’ve concluded that two things could change us for the better: getting people elected to the Central Committee with no financial stake in the party endorsements (which can’t be attempted until 2017) or changing the way we endorse candidates (which can be changed in the next month). The latter is the only option we have this election cycle.”

We’ve had some great discussions in this series and I spent a lot of time discussing the Volunteer Neighborhood Precinct Captains. I’ve served on two other county committees (Camden County, NJ and Maricopa County, AZ)  before serving on the San Diego Committee. In those committees, the Precinct Captain was elected and was the basic building block of party governance and operations.

Take a look at what’s happening in Arizona. John McCain is trying to purge the “tea party” precinct committee captains:

This is a long series so let me summarize it before we start to talk about how to reconcile irreconcilable differences.

In the first installment, I posited that the Republican Party of San Diego County’s (RPSDC) celebrated “San Diego Model” was, in fact, not being followed. The comments that followed suggested early endorsements alienated people in the primaries, causing them to “drop out” of the general elections.

Like many libertarians, I am appalled at what’s happening to our police forces in this country. Like many conservatives, I am saddened that people have lost trust in law enforcement.

I was furious that Kelly Thomas’ killers were set free. While I agree with the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown shooting, I wonder why that cop had to chase a cigar thief. When I watched the Eric Garner video, I was stunned that a stupid cigarette tax escalated the way it did. Finally. watching a Cleveland cop shoot a 12-year old boy with a toy gun disgusted me.

There is an ongoing national struggle for leadership in the Republican Party: business establishment vs. populist conservatives.

Populist conservatives led the Republican House victory in 2010, infighting between the two factions produced a national loss in 2012, and an aggressive establishment victory snared the Senate just last month. In California, that struggle was highlighted by the Tim Donnelly v. Neel Kashkari gubernatorial primary last June. Republican volunteers loved Donnelly but the establishment, big-money donors backed Kashkari (then abandoned him in the race against Brown).

What happened to the celebrated “San Diego Model”?  The premise of the San Diego Model is that endorsed candidates focus on messaging and communicating with Democrats and Independents, while the Republican Party of San Diego County (RPSDC) focuses on turning out the vote for endorsed Republican candidates.

One in three San Diego County voters is a registered Republican. Approximately 36 percent are registered Democrats and almost 26 percent opt to decline from stating a partisan identity. Republican registration used to be much higher, but voters started moving away from RPSDC in 2008. Why?

…so offered my friend Michael Schwartz, in a satirical comment to my Facebook post:

Just got a greeting card in the mail offering me “Warmest Wishes for the Winter Holiday” from an escrow company in Northern California. Milquetoast. You gotta try harder than that.

Let’s start with this: Offering me the white-washed “Warmest wishes for the Winter Holidays” doesn’t make you politically correct, it makes you personally disinterested in me. Let me explain.

I don’t subscribe to the #WarOnChristmas meme. I’m sure it’s happening but it ain’t bothering me. What annoys me is that people are too scared to be wrong in what should be a nice gesture.

Who is the most important person in the Republican Party of San Diego County?

If you said “The Chairman,” you don’t understand grass roots politics. Our Chairman is a “super-volunteer” and he works his butt off, but a Committee Chairman isn’t the most important person in a Republican organization. The Chairman leads the Committee;  the Committee governs the Party organization.

San Diego is a Center-Right County

Consider this: Five of the seven Republican candidates for statewide offices earned a majority of the San Diego County vote in this past election. That’s good news for the Republican Party of San Diego County — it means that County voters are still of center-right ideology. But consider this comment, from Rostra awhile back:

“As for San Diego County 2014, its largest city still has a Democratic majority on the City Council, its second largest city now has a Democratic supermajority on the City Council, including a Democratic Mayor and the largest school district has a Board comprised entirely of Democrats as does the largest Community College District Board.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego (RLCSD) was founded in 2012 to advance individual rights, limited government and free enterprise within the San Diego area, the state of California and the Republican Party.  It is an officially chartered chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, founded in 1991 as a 527 political organization.

This new organization grew in numbers during the Spring and Summer of 2014.  Its local Board of Directors boasts prominent business leaders, a West Point and an Annapolis graduate, attorneys, and entrepreneurs.  Its membership includes county co-chairs for a Republican Presidential campaign, nominated RNC delegates, and county co-chairs for a California gubernatorial campaign.

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A huge victory was won for liberty in the San Diego City Council Chamber two days ago — the rent seekers lost the battle to keep competition down.  The San Diego City Council voted to lift the artificial “cap” on city licensing of taxicabs.

You might ask, “Why the hell is the City licensing driving?  Doesn’t the State do that?”– that would be a fair question.  For decades, a small number of businesses have leveraged government to restrict competition in the taxicab industry.  The City charges an excessive licensing fees and then creates an artificial market by capping the number of licenses issued.   The restricted market is so inefficient that the “medallions” trade for as much as fifty times purchase value in a secondary market.

The Bob Filner fiasco certainly has local media scared.  I noticed it in the special Mayoral election when they asked Faulconer and Alvarez the silliest of interview questions.  The media are worried they might not properly vet candidates, so rumor, innuendo, and accusations get reported first and investigated later.

Mike Slater thought differently when he refused to air an accusation by a former Carl DeMaio aide last June.  That aide told a story which was part Ben Hueso and part Bob Filner.  That story, released days prior to the June primary election, couldn’t be verified so Slater passed.  Months later, the accuser brought the story to CNN and local media jumped on it.  The San Diego Police investigated the claim and passed it on to the District Attorney — it was dismissed because, like Mike Slater decided in June, it lacked evidence.

A late decision and a large personal loan to his campaign made Encinitas Council candidate Alan “Lerch” Lerchbacker look like a long shot candidate But a divided electorate, support from the surging Mayoral favorite Kristin Gaspar, and a mid-campaign endorsement change from the Republican Party of San Diego County might propel “Lerch” to victory.

Early voting, as of October 28, 2014, in Encinitas has a slight Republican edge according to The San Diego Group.  Republicans have returned 2329 ballots, Democrats have returned 2237 ballots, and DTS and others have returned just shy of 1500.  Normally, that would seem par for the course and not signify any advantage for “Lerch” but a few extraordinary things are happening in this campaign:

The Encinitas’ City Council decision to purchase the former Pacific View Elementary School is proving to be an issue in the Encinitas Mayor’s race.  Deputy Mayor (and Democrat) Tony Kranz fully supports the decision to purchase property for close to $10 million, before the School District put it out to bid in a public auction.  Mayor (and Republican) Kristin Gaspar voted against the purchase, claiming that the price tag was too high.

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