Republican Party of San Diego County Should Back Leo Hamel For Assembly

Brian BradyBrian Brady 57 Comments


Remember the tea party movement?  Way back in 2010, while conservatives were rising up to oppose the Bush bailouts, the Obama stimulus plan, and Obamacare, some people were fed up with the Republican party and re-registered to “decline to state”.  Santee Mayor Randy Voepel was one of those guys — Voepel made a very public statement about leaving the party:

In an interview, Voepel, 60, said his change of heart came after the selection of Sen. John McCain as the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, but records showed he re-registered this year. He said he hasn’t been pleased with the local GOP either.

Read that emboldened line again and look how GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric responded (in 2010):But Krvaric said that rather than criticizing the organization, people with ideas and energy should step forward and help.  He said that the party had seen more volunteers and more excitement than any time since George W. Bush first ran for president in 2000, and said he planned to run for another term as party chairman this month.

As for Voepel, Krvaric said that there’s always been a natural ebb and flow of people complaining the party is either too moderate or has been “hijacked by conservatives.”

Read that again, “people with ideas and energy should step forward and help” and ask yourself this, “Who stepped up to help after Randy Voepel threw his ‘more conservative than you’ temper tantrum?”

Leo Hamel did:
-In 2010, he gave over $4000 to The Senate Conservatives Fund, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee (last year and this year’s Lincoln-Reagan dinner speakers).
-In 2012, he gave $10,000 to the Republican Party of San Diego County and $2500 to last year’s Lincoln-Reagan dinner speaker.
-In 2014, Leo gave $6000 to the Republican Party of San Diego County, $6000 to the Congressional Victory Fund, and over $6,000 to Congressional candidates Larry Wilske and Carl DeMaio.
-This year, he has already given $2500 to a local Republican candidate for Congress.

Randy Voepel gave $250 to the local GOP, in April of 2015, one month before he announced his campaign for Assembly and re-registered as a (get this) REPUBLICAN. Voepel didn’t raise one dime for the local GOP nor did he back tea party candidates when they needed him most — when the going got tough, Voepel got going.

If you are keeping score, here is how it breaks down since 2010:  Voepel $250, Hamel $35,000 plus

It’s not even close.  Ask yourself, “Which one of these two will focus on building the Republican Party?  The business man who donated $35,000 to win some races, or the local Mayor who leaves when things get tough?”

Remember who your friends are.  Endorse Hamel for Assembly.


Comments 57

  1. Brian,

    Thanks for confirming what was already quite evident, namely that Republicans value a candidate’s wealth above all.

  2. Hypocrisy: Don’t throw rocks in glass houses. Scott Peters self funded his campaign against CD with his wealth estimated between $80 to $200 million. His wife Lynn is CEO of Cameron Holdings, a private equity firm. Why don’t these fat cats Democrats put their money where their mouth is and give all their money to the poor in San Diego?

    The greedy wealth-worshipping Hillary has made 30 trips to California in the last 2 to extort money from the Silicon Valley crony capitalists and the greedy Hollywood glitterati.

    After 7 years of Obama, why is the unemployment rate for blacks and Latinos so high? Too busy lining his pockets to help the poor?

    The sad fact is that the Democrats use the poor to get power and line their greedy pockets.

    So I guess this election will be wealth against wealth, a Republican with strong values and money against the do nothing wealthy Scott Peters.

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  4. HQ, the Lincoln Club (I’m a member) — the voice of the well-to-do Republicans in the county — voted to endorse Randy Voepel for this Assembly seat in spite of the fact that Leo Hamel told them IN PERSON that he was running for the office. Leo was not even offered an option to present his case before the vote — and he’s a member of the Lincoln Club Board of Directors! Oh — BTW – clearly Hamel is worth FAR more than Voepel.

    Sooooo, your fatuous post that “Republicans value a candidate’s wealth above all” is just more of your labor union talking point nonsense. Don’t you ever tire of being so wrong so often?

    The one thing you do well? Post anonymously.

  5. That’s what I get for writing an answer before I had a cup of coffee. I got carried away by the incredible nerve of Hypocrisy.

    How about we make everyone wealthy by encouraging businesses to create good paying jobs? That kind of thinking never occurs to Democrats. They’re too busy extorting tax money from honest working people and giving it to the government to manipulate and control people.

    We should think of the Democrats as the Party of Thieves.

  6. Ok everyone, just chill. My comment had nothing to do with which party is better for the rich or better for the poor or even just better. All I was doing was responding to Brian’s post which I understood to be making the case that the Republican Party should endorse Leo Hamel because he has given more to the Party than Randy Voepel and would most likely continue to give more. My mistake was in generalizing that all Republicans think like Brian. The Lincoln Club endorsement of Voepel proves that not all Republicans automatically gravitate to the candidate most capable of enriching the Party’s coffers.

  7. Brian,

    “Conflating wealth with generosity.” I wonder which one of us is guilty of that. I would speculate that based on personal wealth, Mayor Voepel’s $250 is comparable to Mr. Hamel’s $35,000. Of course, The Party and its political consultants aren’t as concerned with generosity as they are with actual $$$.

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    That certainly is a speculation but who cares? For five years, Voepel uses his talents to work AGAINST Republicans while Hamel used his to grow the party.

    They’re both going to vote similarly but Hamel is running to grow the party while Voepel thinks we are all “too liberal” for him. If you’re pro- Democratic Party, Leo is your worst nightmare– a successful pro-freedom guy who thinks the Repiblican Party is the vehicle to achieve the right policies.

  9. Brian,

    For the record, I am not “pro-Democratic Party.” I am pro-California and pro-USA. To that end, I think Hamel would make a much better Assembly Member than Voepel. However, when political parties endorse candidates because they will “grow the party” rather than because they would be the best for the people, you end up with the public being disgusted with the parties and supporting candidates like Trump and Sanders.

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  11. We agree on who would be the better Assemblyman, but I definitely do not agree with your assertion that the Party should endorse based on who has given the Party more contributions. That type of thinking is sure to further alienate the average voter who already feels as if he/she has no say in the political process.

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    You read what you wanted to read HQ. Leo’s opponent worked against the local party for five years. Are you someone who has the ability to decide whom the local GOP should endorse?

  13. Brian,

    I simply read what you wrote but no, like 99,9% of the voters, i don’t have the ability to decide whom the local Republican (or Democratic) Party should endorse. That was my point. The voters expect you, because you do have a say, to choose based on the candidate who will do the best for the people. I think the voters have made it clear that they are fed up with “the insiders” caring more about what’s best the Party leadership.

  14. Given that the local party’s something of a disgrace, I think Hypocrisy makes a good point.

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    “The voters expect you, because you do have a say, to choose based on the candidate who will do the best for the people.”

    My residence no longer qualifies me to serve on the RPSDC Central Committee. I think Leo is EXACTLY the type of outsider we need in the State Legislature. I’m glad you agree with me.

    “I think the voters have made it clear that they are fed up with ‘the insiders’ caring more about what’s best the Party leadership,”

    Do you object to my trying to influence, the elected leadership of my party, to try to endorse the best candidate?

  16. @Steve N:

    It appears to show that either Leo Hamel (or someone with the same name) completed several Scientology courses in the decade of the 1990s.

    It is also noted that the website is careful to spell out on every page the following…

    “Preliminary analysis suggests that about 60% of people who try Scientology do only a single course or service, that 80% of new members become inactive within 2 years, and that 65% of those who reach the level of Clear become inactive within a year after doing so. The older a list, the more likely that a person listed on it is no longer involved in Scientology.”

    We don’t know if it matters — it’s clear that it must matter to you.

    Mr. Hamel is free to weigh in or ignore this, of course.

    The fact that the Scientologists would have a publicly accessible database of everyone ever taking a class is so … Scientology!

  17. A reminder…

    Anonymity through the use of pseudo-names or handles is allowed, but commenters should use the same name for every comment …
    Some also believe they are being cute by selecting a name specifically matched to their comment, such as commenting on Councilman Smith under the name “Smith is a Clown.” That’s not a name and falsely assumes the commenter will be using that same name for every future comment, even when the topic isn’t Councilman Smith. Such comments will be changed to “Anonymous” by administrators.

  18. The Scientology question is a fair one. Although religion should not be a test for office it helps us understand the ideas our representatives will uphold.

    Although I cannot find the source, the great Reformation theologian Martin Luther was believed to have said, “I would have rather been ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian.”

    Please note that when we ask such a question we need to be reminded that many of our Christian representatives widely espouse principle but do not practice them nor have they played a significant role in limiting government, standing up for free markets or upholding individual liberty. George W. Bush comes to mind as he initiated the crony capitalism that was the bail out of Wall Street, authorized the Prescription Drug Act and despite have Republican control of both houses did not attempt to overturn Roe v Wade.

    That being said, Leo was kicked out of the (Scientology) church in the early 2000s by the office of the Chairman of the Board because he questioned him and his practices. He has been “dead filed” ever since.

    Leo’s passionate support for free markets, individual liberty and limited government are more Christian than many of my brothers.

  19. True. Religion shouldn’t be a test for office. Quack cults like Scientology, on the other hand, are another matter altogether and shouldn’t be ignored.

  20. That’s strike two, Leo.

    Eric: You are pushing a guy who got in three days ago and you haven’t even googled him? We need to vet these candidates.

    So the Scientologists kicked Leo out in 2000, but he’s still the in annual directory in 2007.

    Let’s try this again …

    Leo: If it’s just a business marketing thing, then SAY SO. What’s the story?

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    I can’t tell if Randy Voepel is just a serial tax hiker or just hates Christians:

    We all know how to use the Google and can all devolve to the bottom of the pile. It’s pretty silly if you ask me but we can go tit for tat if you want.

    What does matter is this; Randy Voepel is asking for the Republican Party of San Diego County to endorse him after he made a HUGE political point of saying he is leaving the Republican Party, to get elected as Mayor of Santee. At the same time, Leo Hamel was trying to get Republicans elected to office.

    Until Voepel wanted to be an Assemblyman, then he realized he needed the Republican Party of San Diego Party to advance his political career. Meanwhile, Leo Hamel is still trying to get Republicans elected to office.

    So let’s try this again….

    Randy: If it’s just a political thing, than SAY SO.

  22. Dodging? You guys must be worried that his story will keep changing too!

    We all go to Santee for large purchases for one reason: LOWEST sales tax (and lowest business fees and permitting time too, per the UT.)

    Nice try though.

    What is the story? We’ve heard two versions now from “Beam me Up” Leo.

    You want the party to weigh in for this guy? THEN TELL US THE TRUTH. What’s the real story?

  23. To clarify… Voepel left the party after he became Mayor. It was noted in media reports in 2010 that he had registered Independent, after serving as Mayor for several years. (Yes, he did re-up with the Party more recently, of course.)

    Aside from that, we’re gonna toss out some preemptive cautions here as a reminder:

    -We don’t delve into whispering efforts (if anyone is tempted to go that direction).

    -Outright allegations must be documented — and accusations are best from those using real names.

    -The anonymity thing — yes, but anonymity includes using names that APPEAR to be real when they’re not. No switching back and forth between a clearly anonymous name and a “looks real” name, in other words. It’s still “select a name and stick with it.”



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  25. Brian,

    “Do you object to my trying to influence, the elected leadership of my party, to try to endorse the best candidate?”

    Of course not. In fact, with your passion for and knowledge of local politics, I would almost go so far as to say that you have an obligation to do so.

    That said, I just wished your reasoning was more along the lines that he is better for California rather than he is better for the Republican Party. That is really the only point that I have been trying to make.

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  27. Greg Simmons asserts that “We all go to Santee for large purchases for one reason: LOWEST sales tax . . .” Who is “we”?

    There are only 4 cities with a sales tax above 8% (last time I checked):
    El Cajon 8.5%
    National City 9%
    La Mesa 8.75%
    Vista 8.5%

    ALL the rest of the cities (and the county) is the same as Santee — 8.0%. It’s fine that Santee isn’t higher than most of the county, but hardly anything to crow about.

  28. Ok I’ve watched his latest Jewelry commercial. It could just have easily been a campaign commercial. Leo Hamel has been thinking about running for office for a very long time. We have seen for years those commercials with the adorable ending “come see us.”

    He knows how to market himself well.

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  30. RE: Ken Stone article

    Says Hamel uses “Scientology’s business study program.” This IS scientology. All Scientology’s offshoot programs, such as this one, are simply fronts for scientology. If his wife was still donating to the organization in 2010, they certainly did not leave in 2000. I’m also betting that the “many charities” he donates to are all scientology charities. Whether he is a scientologist is very relevant. If he adheres to any of Hubbard’s teachings, ethics for him means something very different than ethics for the rest of us. Scientology ethics involve doing anything necessary to protect scientology, including lying, cheating and stealing. The organization always comes first. It’s more important than everything else, including families, which it has a long history of tearing apart through disconnection.

    All non-scientologists are “wogs,” enemies, and open to “fair gaming,” that is, in Hubbard’s words, they “May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.” Such behavior is in scientology’s DNA. There is ample evidence of this in the public record, not only from witnesses but recorded in a myriad of court cases.

    The fact that Hamels doesn’t answer the question of whether he is a scientologist directly speaks volumes. If he were no longer involved, he would state it emphatically. Politicians are already known for their untruths. You add the fact that he’s a scientologist to that, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    BTW @Brian Brady, “yawn” is a typical scientologist response

  31. Yawn.

    Gee, does that mean by using the word, Rostra is a typical scientologist website?


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  33. A picture today on Facebook posted by Capt. Marco Garmo, commander of the Ranch San Diego Sheriff’s station (in my hood), thanked Leo Hamel for his support of Law Enforcement via the Auto Theft Recovery Task Force. The San Diego Sheriff’s Dept must be a scientologist charity, according to the commenter above. Next she’s going to tell us that Hamel is responsible for the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige.

  34. Leo’s connections to Scientology …
    Ver 1.0: Kicked out in 2000.
    Ver 2.0: Just used business study program.
    Ver 3.0: Left on my own in 2001, I don’t know why I still appear in directories in 2005 … must be because they are trying to sell ads.

    Then we got Rostra running cover for him … saying that posting public links to facts available by googling the guy is a “whisper campaign”.

    Better yet, if you don’t “yawn” about Leo’s evolving explanations on Scientology, you are a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

    Let me make sure I understand you correctly, Barry … Because Leo helped law enforcement, therefore, if we have questions about how his explanations evolve to match new facts, then you equate that with us saying that he’s responsible for Shelly Miscaviage’s disappearance? Sure … that follows … or maybe you are unfairly discrediting those who put less confidence in the facebook photo you refer to (?)

    While the Facebook photo is enough to put Barry’s mind at ease, to any objective reader, Rostra is protecting him, because — dare I say it — the Facebook photo:
    1) is completely irrelevant, and,
    2) does nothing to answer the questions raised by multiple inconsistent explanations from Leo.

    So when the next shoe drops, Barry, and it’s not just a business course, or something that happened during the 15 year history that Leo currently (and finally) now acknowledges, then what?

    Leo has made this an issue by providing too many inconsistent explanations.

    Frankly, denying ones religious faith (by claiming you quit or were kicked out by 2001 when that’s not true) is more offensive to me then having a guy stand up and say “I stand by my beliefs; but this campaign is not the appropriate forum for me to defend my personal faith or my churchs’ teachings.”

    Now comes my scolding from Thor’s assistant …. (restating rules that weren’t violated in an attempt to provide cover for Leo … aka attacking the messenger..)

    The bad news for Leo is that the messenger is Google.

    I’ll save you some time, Thor. Rostra is obviously not the place where we are going to get to the bottom of this, so I am logging out, never to return, and never to comment again … I won’t even read your “attack the messenger” response because I’m DONE WITH ROSTRA. Failed experiment.

  35. Barry, I doubt that the best public relations or public affairs consultant can put this genie back in the bottle. I think the San Diego Republican Party members who almost officially endorsed Leo Hamel for the 71st should consider implementing a better vetting process of potential candidates, regardless of how much money gets sent to the party from the candidate. (Leo told me he barely missed getting the endorsement). Otherwise, some folks will think the party cares more about money than getting candidates the public can trust. It’s nice that Capt. Marco Garmo recognized Leo for helping the Sheriff’s department, but that will not take away people’s valid concern that Leo was connected to Scientology. I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was until I took the time to do more research on Scientology. There’s an Emmy award winning documentary on HBO on Scientology called: ‘Going Clear’ that I highly recommend watching. I saw it today, and it gives me great concerns about voting for anyone connected to that organization. I think the voters will agree.

    Tony Teora
    Candidate State Assembly 71st

  36. @Greg

    If Rostra were running cover for him, would these comments be up?

    As for the caution above about whispering campaigns and anonymity, it wasn’t even directed at you. It was in fact in reference to a deleted comment that violated at least two rules. But, even as it stands as posted, it is still simply a caution for everyone.

    Carry on. Or not, if you’re that sensitive.

  37. Wowzza. (No, that’s not a Scientologist word, that’s a Jantzology word.)

    My comment wasn’t in response to Greg either. My purposely flippant comment was about this:

    “I’m also betting that the ‘many charities’ he donates to are all scientology charities.”

    That’s a blanket and simplistic statement, quite frankly, and I was simply noting that at least one of many things Leo Hamel is known for supporting in the community has nothing to do with Scientology.

    Yes, I also couldn’t help myself from taking a poke at Michelle for posting using the email

    That’s a normal email address, or one used by someone a tad bit obsessed with one thing? Michelle may have rightful and legitimate concerns about Scientology, but she isn’t likely someone from our community that knows a thing about Leo Hamel, or Randy Voepel, or Tony Teora. Thus her use of blanket generalities.

    But, since I didn’t refer to Greg once in my comment, but he uses my name three times in his (I’m pleased to see how much clout I have by making one smart aleck comment on a blog; it being so deserving of such reactions), let me weigh in for the record:

    -The discussion about Hamel’s involvement with Scientology is a fair one, for reasons stated here by others.

    -My view that Scientology is highly questionable in many ways (to be nice), is different than thinking anyone who ever may have been involved in it or aspects of it is somehow a questionable person or somehow unfit to serve in office.

    -I have no doubt this will continue to come up in the next several weeks. Mr. Hamel will obviously be the one to decide whether his statements to Times of San Diego will suffice.

  38. I’m running for County GOP Central Committee. To save all my opponents’ political consultants valuable time, here’s my religious background:
    1. Mom was Germanic Jew.
    2. Dad was a “bad” Catholic.
    3. While that makes me technically “Jewish,” I was raised Presbyterian, but it didn’t take.
    4. I’m now a bumbling agnostic — I have little interest in religion at the moment.
    5. When (if) I get to see death approaching, I plan to join as many religions as possible, on the off chance that one of them is the right one. Including Scientology, if time permits. (I’m going to join the big ones first — better odds.)

    Therein lies a treasure trove of ammo for my opponents to use. Granted, none has to do with my politics, but we all know that doesn’t matter when you’re out to smear someone.

  39. Richard,

    Far worse than any of that, you were a Libertarian. I see you conveniently left that out. Shame.

  40. You guys are missing the point. Leo could have said that his religious faith is not a subject he will discuss during the campaign, but instead he asked his surrogates to provide a number of responses, there by discrediting those individuals as more facts came to light.

  41. Could have, Sarah, but didn’t. Isn’t that telling?
    Going after a candidate’s religion would, under normal circumstances, be a kiss of death–to the critic!
    But, since Scientology isn’t a normal religion, this isn’t a normal circumstance.
    In fact, it’s not a religion at all. It is a quack cult; the greedly warped and manipulative brainchild of a half-baked science fiction writer.
    Unsurprising that many of the most easily misled have been unsophisticated yet well-monied Hollywood stars. Sound judgement is not their forte.
    Of greater concern is the longterm involvement of an aspiring politician who wants to be our representative.

  42. Sarah G. — who are the Hamel “surrogates” who were asked to respond by Leo? Me? Brian Brady? Eric Anderson? And you know this because . . . ?

    Maybe. After all, it’s hard for the accused to disprove such a wild, totally unsubstantiated accusation.

    But than, if true, then you and the others desperately trying to make something out of Hamel’s Scientology background are therefore the surrogates of Randy Voepel, right? Randy asked you to post about Hamel’s religion, right?

    Good to know.

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  44. Barry, my heretofore secret Libertarian connection has recently become (relatively) common knowledge. Moreover, some might argue it’s not a religion. Not me, as I’ve yet to grasp the Meaning of Life (if any), etc.

    But my checkered religious (?) background should provide something for EVERYBODY to shoot at!

  45. Wild and substantiated? Only if you don’t read, Richard.

    First “Eric” responded by saying “he quit in 2000”.

    Then “Brian” tried the blanket denial “he’s not one of those!” … then shifted to yawning as the truth became more clear.

    Leo is quoted saying he left 15 years ago … “oh I mean 10” (when the business directories came to light.)

    Some say he quit. Others say he was kicked out.

    Leo also tried to say his name was only listed to help them sell ads. Another quote has him claiming he only was involved as part of a business program.

    The surrogates were caught off guard, provided specific facts that only could have come from Leo, and then were embarrassed and started “yawning”.

    You say there is nothing wrong with Scientology, well then why has Leo DENIED HIS FAITH in all these ways, both directly and through surrogates?

    And if you are trying to make the ridiculous assertion that Eric learned of the specific manner and time of Leo’s departure (or at least one version anyway) in a dream, then it is YOU who is making ridiculous assertions.

    And it is YOU that has made the only “wild and unsubstantiated accusation” — accusing me of being put up to this by a political candidate. I have never met or even heard of “Randy” until this campaign, and am in NO WAY acting on his behalf. You owe me and him an apology.

    It’s clear what is really going on from this thread … you and the others were the ones responsible for the lack of “vetting” of Mr. Hamel that has been referred to twice on this blog. You now are trying to cover for the fact that he is imploding by blaming the people who have an issue with this.

    You seem to be seeking my motives, so let me share more. A very close aquaintance worked for an employer who pushed Scientology on the their employees. Only the ones who participated progressed in the organization. Eventually, those who wouldn’t were encouraged to seek other employment.

    That’s not religious freedom. That is VIOLATING someone else’s religious freedom — and their professional career and livelihood — by pushing a crackpot cult.

    It wasn’t just a business program. His name wasn’t listed to help them sell ads. He didn’t leave/quit or anything else in 2000.

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