Following Fletcher Quitting Republican Party, donations to local GOP skyrocket
by Brian Brady
I cautioned the Sacramento Club to let the activists have their day back in March. Commenters retorted that if the SDGOP Central Committee dared to endorse a candidate, money would flee faster than a teenage mob runs to a Justin Beiber concert. To wit:
“Endorsement in a race with three credible candidates will leave the disfavored two camps angry and vengeful. People already are talking about withholding contributions and volunteer manpower from the Party if endorsement occurs.”
DeMaio got the nod from the Central Committee and Fletcher re-registered as an Independent, citing that the decision was weighing on him for “some time.” His decision was met with great glee by the left-leaning mainstream media as they portrayed DeMaio as an “orthodox conservative” and danced on Tony Krvaric’s inevitable grave site. It worked, too. Fletcher got the desperately needed media bump and surged in the polls.
One problem. DeMaio isn’t an “orthodox conservative,” in fact he’s quite the non-traditional Republican candidate. Matt Welch at Reason noted that DeMaio is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant, libertarian in fact, as he corrected The Grey Lady:
“This is what happens when political narrative overrides journalistic impulse. Imagine how different this story might have been spun if the dominant opinion-journalism narrative going around was about how the Republican Party was at long last ditching gay panic in favor of robust fiscal reform. Brooks and the rest of ‘em ought to be ashamed of themselves, but they won’t be.”
A more “orthodox conservative periodical,” the Deseret News (associated with the socially conservative LDS Church), agreed with Welch:
“But something is wrong with this picture. Carl DeMaio is openly gay, while Fletcher is decidedly heterosexual. And DeMaio is not an orthodox conservative on fiscal issues either. If anything, he is a libertarian, having worked as a policy analyst for the libertarian Reason Public Policy Institute in the early 2000s.
“And it doesn’t even work to pigeonhole DeMaio as a libertarian. Among his RPPI work product is a report on management at the Environmental Protection Agency co-authored by some of the best bi-partisan voices in that policy arena, including Debra Knopman at the Progressive Policy Institute. DeMaio has evidently moved at a high level in some bipartisan circles.”
The media have been telling the knuckle-dragging Republicans for years that voters don’t care about socially conservative orthodoxy but are attracted to the fiscal restraint platform the GOP advertises. In short, the media told the GOP to cut budgets and cut out the queer jokes and…
The San Diego County Republican Party listened….and THAT decision worked, too.
While Fletcher got his “bump,” DeMaio bumped even higher in the polls as the distinction brought more independents in from the “undecided” rain for the shelter of a candidate.
That’s not the whole story either. Fletcher’s departure didn’t siphon money FROM the local Republican Party, it attracted NEW Republicans’ money, the fiscal hawks who couldn’t care less about government regulation of sex partners, marijuana. or prayer. So much NEW money was attracted that the San Diego Republican Party set a record in political fundraising, right AFTER Fletcher left the party.
Krvaric, with his tenacious backing of his Committee’s endorsed candidate, used this as an opportunity to build a bigger tent that attracts a broader coalition of donors focused on fiscal reform. The media and political consultant class got this one wrong…VERY wrong. The volunteers got it right. They usually do.
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Brian Brady is a small business owner who lives in Solana Beach. He is a director for Stop Taxing Us, the taxpayer advocacy and tea party group. There, he crafted the “Promise to California taxpayers,” a no new tax pledge candidates make. He is a candidate for SDGOP Central Committee.