Changing The Republican Party of San Diego County — Central Committee Elections

Brian Brady Brian Brady 18 Comments


I served for three years as a Committee member of the Republican Party of San Diego County (RPSDC), two of those years as an Executive Committee member. After those two years, I wrote a series of posts about the good things I experienced and some of the problems I detected. Three problems I identified were:

1- RPSDC endorsed in R on R races too early, alienating potential volunteers for victory in a general election. That is not the case today. In the 2016 election cycle, the Central Committee, with good leadership advice from the Chairman and Executive Committee, has practiced restraint rather than intervention in the endorsement process. I think that will serve Republicans well this November.

2- The Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain Network was weakened. It still is, but not for a lack of trying to strengthen it. RPSDC will still rely on the “Junior Political Director” network to get out the vote (GOTV), but a solid effort is being made to rebuild the precinct captain network. That effort though will be arrested unless the third problem is addressed.

3- We need more volunteers to serve on the Central Committee. Too many Central Committee members derive their primary source of income from political activity. I am not suggesting that members of “the political class” are corrupt but I am suggesting that their decisions could be biased by the “business as usual” mentality. I don’t blame them for this. When your income is derived from an established paradigm, you develop a myopic view which favors that paradigm. That’s not corruption; that’s just human nature.

How do you change that?

You change the Central Committee and we have an opportunity to do that on June 7, 2016. Mason Herron gave us a glimpse of what the Central Committee ballots might look like. In this first pass, I will offer up the names which I believe have no financial interest in the outcome of primary elections. I don’t know all of the candidates so you might find people on this list who should be disqualified. If you do, please point out where they don’t qualify (based on my criteria). My criteria are:

1– No elected officials except for water, school, and community boards (those positions are thankless and are difficult to fill. God bless the people who raise their hands and run for those spots). If you are a city council member, or hold higher office, and aren’t termed out this election cycle, you are omitted.

2– No candidates or announced candidates for city council seats or higher.

3– No employees of elected officials at the city council level or higher.

4– No political consultants or employees of political consulting firms.

5– No lobbyists or employees of lobbying firms.

That’s it — volunteers. Critics will suggest that we sacrifice political expertise by excluding political professionals but they won’t go away. The political professionals have a financial interest in the Republican Party so they will be at meetings, offering advice and guidance, and the volunteers can accept or reject what they offer.

Here is my first attempt at the list of “pure volunteers” for the RPSDC Central Committee ballots (incumbents emboldened). Note that I don’t know all of the candidates so I may make a mistake; please offer your advice in the comments:

-71st Assembly District-
Corrine Busta
Steven Esparza
Steve Johnson
Alicia Owens
Harold Turner
Allyson Smith
Jim Kelly
Ken Hansen
Frank Hilliker
Robert Maupin
Eric Andersen
Louis Russo

-75th Assembly District-
Debbie Lenson
Joe Bologna
Duncan Fane
Jonathan Sciano
Lee DeMaio
Delores Chavez Harmes
Lisa Gunther
Clare Plotner
Regina Roberts

-76th Assembly District-
Tia Ballard
John Buell
Gary Felien
Sandy Waecker
Dan Hughes
Judy Rees

-77th Assembly District-
Jeannie Foulkrod
Elliott Schroeder
Andrew Skale
Lynette Williams
Carl DeMaio
Tony Krvaric
Scott Rieker
Richard Rider

-78th Assembly District-
Taylor Bloom
Monica Fay
Waskah Whelan
Michael Williams
Julio DeGuzman (works for a termed out elected official in a non-political position)
TJ Chaloub
Dan Holstein
Brad Gerbel
Lance Pelky
Jean Roesch

-79th Assembly District-
Michael Sexton
George Williams
Martha Doiron
Bohdan Kniahynyckyj
John Moore

-80th Assembly District — no election needed:  4 incumbents and all of 6 the candidates were volunteers

If you look at the six districts with ballots in the June election, and offer up pure “volunteers,” you have 56 people running for 36 seats on the Central Committee. A total of 25 of the 56 candidates have experience serving on the RPSDC Committee. If all you did was eliminate candidates with a financial interest in the outcome of endorsements, and voted for the incumbents, you would guarantee that over half the Central Committee had experience and none of them had a conflict of interest.

It’s a start.


Comments 18

  1. While a noble idea, barring registered Republicans who happen to work for elected officials or consulting firms sets a bad precedent.

    I’m going to treat this like my ultimate all-time fantasy baseball team. Good idea on paper, but unrealistic at best.

  2. Curious as to why you do not think the there’s no financial interest coming from those on water boards? Some are compensated far in excess of those in part-time city council positions.

  3. Post

    @TWM I’m not “barring” anyone from running but I will campaign against them. It’s nothing personal; I have friends who are running and they understand this position (and disagree). I’m trying to avoid conflicts of interest

    @kristine alessio i guess because I’ve never seen water board or school board candidates really campaign hard or want the GOP endorsement. It seems like we are always recruiting people to run for those spots. More importantly, the City Council positions wield much more power because Council members have opportunities to serve on regional boards and commissions.

    My fight against Republicans who won’t oppose new taxes (read: ) really codified this position for me. Some Republicans on SANDAG will not oppose the new tax, hiding behind the “let the people decide” cloak. Our local party has been very clear; our default position is that we oppose an and all attempts at new taxation. If those SANDAG members, who won’t oppose new taxation, get onto the Central Committee, Republicans face a threat of losing our most popular plank in our local platform.

    In short, it’s about power and jurisdiction. Those who seek endorsements should not be voting on those endorsements.

  4. I am a Retired Marine Officer, but also retired a second time as a high school educator and am on my final career, that of a U.S. Government contractor. I have served on a fire board and am currently on a local planning group. I’ve run for a school board, and will again, hopefully with the help of the Party. I have my original Republican Registration Card (from PA, 1974) and would never consider another party. It’s very simple that Republicans offer platforms that should appeal to a majority, not only in San Diego, but all of California. Some believe the Democrats will always rule in California, but nothing is forever. Finally, I have seen my share of RINO’s and they can’t continue to get the support of the party. We must recruit and support genuine Republicans.

  5. I have served as a Central Committee Member for the 76 AD and as a Member of the Executive Board for the past three years, plus. As Voter Registration Chair, I am a full time grass roots volunteer. I do not see how it would be possible for those that hold an office, that they could possibly find the time to answer the call and also be an active and effective Central Committee Member.

  6. Virginia,
    Read Brian’s post again. This isn’t a list of all the candidates. It’s a list of those he defines as pure volunteers. What are your thoughts on his concept?

  7. Brian,

    The purpose of the central committee is to support the San Diego Republican Party. It’s good to have elected officials on the central committee so they can give perspective to other members.

    Ronald Reagan’s “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican” needs to be followed.

    Your comments just divide the party. Last I looked it’s the people who elect the central committee members, not you.

    If Republicans would simply work to defeat Democrats and not other Republicans we might actually be in command of the State of California. More people need to say how can I help my party (volunteer), not how can my party help me, and this might happen.

  8. Post

    There are elected Republicans on the Cent Com; every Assembly member and member of Congress is a member. The 42 elected slots are for broadening the party with volunteers, local people who can bring the perspective of the local volunteer clubs to the governing body.

    Your Reagan quote is a straw man fallacy; I’m not “speaking ill”; I’m addressing a structural deficiency.

    Again, I’m not prohibiting anyone from running, rather I’m electioneering FOR growing our party by asking people to consider a broad coalition rather than a governing body of insiders, for insiders.

  9. I currently serve on Central Committee in the 76 AD and am hoping to be asked by the voters to serve again. I appreciate Brian standing up for those of us who are truly grass root activists who might not have name recognition except from those who have worked beside us in our volunteer capacity. I still feel as though my job here is not done. I am grateful for the opportunity to try and give voice to conservative values, and help Republicans remember we are not here to go with the flow but we are here to stand for something and make a difference in the community where we live. Now is the time for everyone to step up If we hope to give our children a future where they will know freedom and propsperity. Brian has courage and that is to be valued. He did not have to make this distinction between all of us who are running, but now that he has, he may be right.

  10. Sometimes I get paid as a Political Director and sometimes I don’t. A lot of the things I do are pro-bono. I think that to an extent when someone like me devotes 40 hours a week to different political causes, it makes sense for me to be reimbursed for my time. If we had more volunteers, perhaps I could put in less hours for my favorite local candidates. Training is also a big factor, as a lot of volunteers do not have extensive experience in organizing groups of people and motivating them to act to achieve big picture objective. If we improved our training programs, we could have volunteers fill these positions.

  11. Post
  12. Great idea Brian, that is one of the reasons I ran, to make the party a bit more balanced, its a little like having developers and real estate agents on planning boards…

  13. Ron Nehring will not get my vote. He currently is not supporting the Republican nominee, which was put there by We The People. That alone cost him my vote. We The People matter, this is OUR country and we should be in on all decisions via voting! San Diego California has become nothing but a cesspool! It’s disgusting and it’s time for a change. Dems have run this state and country into the ground, including Republicans that fold like a cheap suit and forget We The People put you in office seat.

  14. Lynn, you may need a primer on the electoral process.

    Did you know there’s an election coming up in June in this state to select the Republican nominee? There is no question that Trump will win, in our minds, but until that election takes place there is no nominee from California. Central Committee members are thus fully free to do whatever they’d like, including even supporting Republicans listed on the ballot that have no chance.

    The Republican nominee is a presumptive one at this point, most certainly, but We The People have not yet spoken in this state. Your “we should be in on all decisions via voting” is EXACTLY what is going to take place here. The fact that you know the likely winner and the eventual Republican nominee does not take away the RIGHT of Republicans and even Central Committee members to exercise their free will on election day.

  15. Lynn,

    You claim that We The People should vote on all decisions and that We The People have made the decision that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President. Fair enough, but then you complain that the Democrats have run the State and the Country into the ground. That is where you lose me since it is We The People that elected those Democrats.

  16. Here’s how I will choose… who will not bother me accessing my medical cannabis?

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