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-
-75th Assembly District-
Delores Chavez Harmes
-76th Assembly District-
-77th Assembly District-
-78th Assembly District-
Julio DeGuzman (works for a termed out elected official in a non-political position)
-79th Assembly District-
-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.