A conservative Latino’s view on politics…
If your happy with the California Republican Party (CAGOP) and wanted the continued success of the worst beatdown in CAGOP history, your candidate was center-left Republican Jessica Patterson. Handpicked by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, she’s to be his marionette to his puppet master and continue the same leadership we’ve had since 2010. Conservatives felt after the 2018 massacre, leadership could change. Well, “The Empire Strikes Back” as Patterson won on the first ballot, easily defeating two conservatives.
Albert Einstein said to define insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I don’t believe the CAGOP did this expecting different results. Rather, current leadership believes we must go center-left to compete against Democrats even if that means higher taxes and bigger government. Perhaps they believe the state’s lost and look only to support McCarthy and his focus on congressional races.
CAGOP CHAIR RESULTS (1,192 votes)
- Jessica Patterson, 651 votes – 54.6 percent
- Travis Allen, 366 votes – 30.7 percent
- Steve Frank, 175 votes – 14.7 percent
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT
Both the establishment and conservative grassroots look up to Harmeet Dhillon, a former vice chair and current National Committee representative. She’s taken the fight straight to Democrats by taking the institutions of education and technology to court for attacking or firing conservatives. Many believe, as I do, she would’ve probably taken 95 percent of the vote had she chosen to run for chair. That said, I found it comical but expected when she introduced Patterson and stated in so many words that she chose to run a “positive” campaign, implying the other candidates did not. Comical because I knew someone from the Patterson camp would say that.
The Establishment consistently tells us to honor Ronald Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment” that states, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” The proverb of, “do as I say, not as I do,” comes to mind. Case in point: immediately following Dhillon’s introduction stating Patterson ran a clean campaign, a well-known Patterson supporter, speaking on her nomination attacked Allen. Adding to that, the night before, Patterson’s camp slipped into the delegate’s hotel rooms, a hit piece against him. Oh, the hypocrisy my friends, the hypocrisy!
THE SEVERE CONSERVATIVE
Patterson’s history had her supporting “Cap and Trade” Republicans. Supporting Proposition 14 (Top-Two Primaries Amendment). Working for the center-left donor that’s been directly responsible for the CAGOP malaise that led to the 2018 midterm destruction. Leadership doesn’t deny it. They make excuses for it. These are just a few examples of her center-left track record that included sanitizing social media accounts showing center-left leanings before announcing her run. Despite that, Patterson’s campaign was flawless in disguising her as a conservative.
The real coup was in gaining the endorsements of conservatives. Some research eventually revealed there was pressure to support her by the ruling class and specifically Kevin McCarthy. To the public and anyone who doesn’t follow the inner workings of CAGOP politics, one would think she’s the greatest thing since Mitt Romney said he was “severely conservative.”
What is it with center-left Republican candidates who claim conservatism come election time? Former gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, current San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and former Republican turned newly-minted Democrat, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein. Patterson belongs in that group.
Truth is, we know. These individuals epitomize those who’ll say anything for a vote. John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, better known as Lord Acton said it best, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Regardless, Patterson’s deception was impeccable in her portrayal as a conservative.
THE BATTLE FOR PROLIFE GAINS SUPPORT
Now that Democrats have determined “infanticide” is part of a woman’s pro-choice right, the prolife battle has begun anew in mainstream America. Shocking to many leftists, prolife is gaining prochoice supporters for the simple fact, they also believe once a baby is out of the womb it’s no longer an abortion, it’s murder. Patterson had a heartbreaking story to tell about her own family and why she’s prolife. It’s tragic and showed why many would think she’s a strong proponent of the prolife movement. Some stood to applaud her and her poignant words.
Here’s the problem. She worked to remove prolife from the California Republican platform. This is a great example of judging someone’s character by their actions, not words. This part of her speech encompasses everything wrong with anyone running for office. To use a true, tragic personal story to promulgate a lie. It made it even more ironic or maybe hypocritical is the better word, when I read in the San Francisco Chronicle that she said, “My parents told me that talk is cheap.” “Your actions speak louder.” Shades of leftism; saying anything for a vote!
THE MILLENNIAL LATINA
You’ll see some mainstream media (MSM) papers talking about how the CAGOP elected the first woman Latina and millennial to boot. I saw many women vote for her because of this. Some even told me they were voting for another candidate but their jubilance and talk after her election revealed who they voted for. That’s OK, I understand it. Culture’s take pride when one of their own break barriers. On the surface it’s a great moment for the CAGOP.
As a conservative Latino I promote more Latinos in positions of power in business and politics but only if they’re qualified and have similar values. Two mentors – one black (liberal) and one a woman (conservative) taught me about life, treating others, leading and managing and how to carry yourself in business and politics. They also taught me qualifications and values are a necessity.
However, Patterson is chair to further the center-left movement and goals of leadership and to focus on congressional races for McCarthy. As I told a brethren Latino, I don’t care that she’s Latina as much as she’s qualified and upholds the values of the Republican Party. If you believe the CAGOP should remain center-left, then she’s your girl but realize she’s also McCarthy’s girl to do as he dictates.
I believe in Martin Luther King’s belief of not judging someone by their color (or culture or religion) but their character. A center-left Republican has nothing to do with the party Lincoln built and Reagan revitalized.
BETRAYAL OF VALUES FOR DOLLARS?
Almost every Republican – conservative and establishment – endorsed Patterson. That includes my representatives:
- Assemblywoman Marie Waldron
- State Senator Brian Jones
- District 50 U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter
They’re solid conservatives, so why endorse a center-left candidate? As I said earlier, various sources told me it was pressure from the party, including McCarthy whose only goal is to focus on congressional races to win back the house. That’s important, but I care about all of California. The biggest disappointment is Waldron who’s revered by most conservatives and Republicans. This is how the highest-ranking Republican in California grows conservatism? Grows the party?
That’s my issue with Waldron. As a former liberal, I know most Democrat politicians get out into the community to grow the base, inspire youth, women, people of color or anyone else. My conservative friends who admire her, pushback with the classic, “that’s not their job,” comment. To those I say, that’s a big reason we keep losing. We don’t hold them accountable in helping grow the party. Her endorsement of a center-left candidate just adds another issue I have with her to the list.
I walked and supported Hunter but did relay to his campaign, not to call come 2020. I voted for Jones and have always voted for Waldron, but I’ll now look at all Republican candidates who’ll challenge these individuals, but I don’t expect any.
In Congress, Republicans voted over and over to overturn “Obamacare” knowing he would veto it. When they could’ve overturned it, they puckered up and failed their constituents to tow the establishment and donor line. When it came time to support a conservative versus center-left candidate for CAGOP chair, Waldron, Jones and Hunter chose to tow the establishment line. The real kicker? Many will chastise me and that’s problematic. Too much reverence without questioning actions, makes us no better than sheep.
UNIFYING REPUBLICANS WITH VOTER REGISTRATION
In a sign meant to unify Republicans, Patterson asked the defeated candidates, Allen and Frank to head the CAGOP voter registration task force. One of the biggest and most legitimate issues conservatives have with leadership is the fact the party no longer continues registration. Ironic because that’s one of their fundamental tasks. It’s easy for her to ask these two and create a perception of unity and extend an olive branch. The question they and all conservatives must ask, “What’s the budget and where will it take place?”
How much the CAGOP’s willing to finance in registering new Republicans will decide its success. We’re talking a multimillion-dollar campaign to be effective. Earlier, Patterson pushed back and said the party was already doing voter registration, but Frank exposed her lie. We know the current results. The CAGOP is now No. 3 behind the Democrat Party and NPP (No Party Preference). Before either Allen or Frank accept that challenge, they should make sure it’s properly funded with no constraints or walk away.
However, if the party does make it happen, maybe it’s finally understanding a base fundamental to winning – more Republicans! More important, it’s a huge step for current leadership in giving confidence to conservatives that Patterson’s willing to change. Regardless, how she votes and where they designate the registration events to happen is just as important. Her vote tells us where she stands as does where it takes place – will it only be districts where we lost congressional races in 2018 that McCarthy wants, or statewide?
BALLOT HARVESTING, CAGOP STYLE
Apart from the CAGOP chair election, one big issue that sadly, didn’t go anywhere was a bylaw proposal where Dhillon sought to change how proxies would work. Proxy votes are those delegates who don’t go to the convention but allow someone to take their ballot and vote for them. These votes decide elections, such as chair, bylaws, platform, amendment changes, etc. Proxy drills are a lucrative procedure worth tens-of-thousands with some telling me up to $30,000 but I didn’t corroborate those numbers. I did verify it’s mostly paid for by donors who’ve turned it into an art form with consultants specializing in it.
Stories have delegate trips to the convention paid for by donors. Republicans selected as delegates who won’t go to conventions but will give their vote by proxy to make sure leadership’s agenda can continue. It’s an incestuous, unethical system that desperately needs an overhaul. In fairness any candidate or individual can do a proxy drill. It’s just the establishment class, fed by donors has the resources to ramp up a machine to make it successful. Patterson’s infamous for running proxy drills for the center-left’s former top donor, the notorious Charles Munger Jr.
Dhillon compared it to Democrat ballot harvesting because it’s the practice of taking someone’s ballot and voting for them. I lost hope that someone would make this correlation. When I brought up the absurdity in this to others, they gave me dumbfounded looks. The irony! How Democrats destroyed the CAGOP using a tactic Republican leadership spent years perfecting against the conservative wing!
Dhillon was also unafraid to state two members benefiting directly from proxy drills didn’t recuse themselves during the committee vote. This is what conservatives talk about when they say the GOP consultant class doesn’t care about winning and doing right but getting paid. Ethics be damned! Sadly, by not getting out of committee it needed two-thirds vote to pass and went down in flames securing roughly, over 50 percent. Conservatives want change, but the establishment continues to thwart the people’s will. The “Force” is strong in the consultant class. Despite this, Dhillon was commanding in her tone and delivery in making her case from a position of moral strength, showing herself a force to reckon with.
This shows why conservatives adore Dhillon. She’s part of leadership yet challenged a corrupt tactic leadership uses to keep an iron grip on the party. She gives many conservatives still battling optimism. I’m sure she gained new fans and secured her conservative bona fides. It’s a shame she chose not to run for chair.
SILVER LINING: BERHOLTZ and CONSERVATIVE VOTE TOTALS
I didn’t know Randy Berholtz before the election but spoke to him. I grew up with three sisters, a mother and an aunt and I jokingly brag about my “woman’s intuition.” When you meet Randy there’s an air about him. Confident yet humble. My gut or “intuition” says he’s “real” but like I always do, I ask around and research. From what I understand, he’s a successful businessman and rock-solid conservative.
It’s what I got from everyone I spoke to even when I delved into picking their brains to try to see how much was just talk versus truth. To a T, those who know him said, he’s as conservative as they come and those who didn’t know him too well, said, “I know he’s conservative.” It was good, no great to see at least one success at the CAGOP convention with his win to be Secretary of the CRP.
Despite the loss, another silver lining was the fact the two chair candidates, combined, received 45.4 percent of the vote (541 out of the 1,192 votes). It gives “New Hope,” conservatives may still have a future. While I thought we hit bottom, the CAGOP will likely dig a deeper hole but conservatives will remain. I say to conservatives: it’s not time to jump ship, but to refocus our own efforts and only support candidates that share our values.
We’ve stopped going along to get along and many establishment candidates will face our wrath when we leave their selection blank on Election Day. I’ve voted this way since 2012 and others do as well. We’ll turn out for our conservative candidates but are no longer voting for someone simply because they have an “R” by their name. Mitt Romney, John McCain and Neel Kashkari learned this the hard way.
THE CAGOP CONSERVATIVE FUTURE
I expect some phone calls. Some will chastise me and tell me to keep the faith. Some’ll say, I’m the problem and get on board or leave or ostracize me because I’ve chosen to write how I see the truth. Luckily, I’m not beholden to the CAGOP even though I support them. As a conservative Latino, they need me more than I need them. As someone formerly in the media, I believe in making sure others understand what’s happening – good and bad.
Despite another beatdown by center-left leadership, I’ll remain a Republican because as a young liberal, I quickly realized Democrats don’t care about minorities as much as using blacks and Latinos for voter turnout. Don’t believe me? Look at the data since the “Great War on Poverty.” However, the grassroots must focus toward working and shaping ourselves into activists to work directly with candidates who share our values and can show a track record of those values.
While the Republican Party remains closer to our values, we must see the CAGOP and Patterson’s promises bear fruit. Since 2006, the Republican Party’s been feckless, and Patterson’s political circle’s been with leadership that’s brought the CAGOP to its knees. Forgive me if I’m skeptical and refuse to jump on board and sing Kumbaya.
We should be wary and take a wait and see approach. What other realistic choice do we have? It’s the Republican Party or bust and yes, I know – we’re closer to bust in California.
An abbreviated version of this article ran in the Valley Roadrunner March 1, 2019.
William Del Pilar is politically active, currently sitting on the Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG). As an entrepreneur, Del Pilar drove his fantasy sports company to set the standard for analysis and news distribution, helping to commercialize the industry from 1997-2008.