A conservative Latino’s view on politics…
Upon entering local politics in 2015, I learned the San Diego County Republican Party (SDCRP) is one of California’s most successful! It’s where Republicans thrive, with the board of supervisors showcasing our dominance since the 1990s. Unsurprisingly, that’s come to a crashing end!
Reading the San Diego News Desk article, “Democrat Victories in San Diego Spell Troubling Future,” made me think about current supervisor Kristin Gaspar’s rout. My friends, there’s no doubt this was a beat down!
The Democratic Party taking the board of supervisors’ district three, and district one races, along with Nathan Fletcher’s (D) 2018 mugging of former San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (R) in district four, gives them a 3-2 majority.
This loss by the Grand Old Party (GOP) is a culmination of at least a decade of Democratic Party dominance and Republican Party ineptitude throughout the state!
What’s worse? Gaspar was a rising political star. Now a veteran, party elder, and leader. Yet, that wasn’t enough to unite everyone – party, grassroots, and candidate – to thrust her to victory.
Reality vs. Fantasy
SDCRP leadership always treats me well. I have great respect for them as individuals and fellow Republicans. Still, something must change – we repeatedly lose! Politics is an industry that’s more cutthroat than any business. It’s an industry of scheming and despicability to an exponential degree. The SDCRP has no answer to counter what’s happening.
- San Diego’s failed politics are now out in the open versus the fantasy we’re the model for the rest of the state.
- A Democratic Party “blue wave” in San Diego County is ongoing. It’s massive and comprises the last two election cycles with no end in sight.
- The situation’s grim because we’re so deep in losses – county and statewide. It’ll take more than a generation to overcome.
Success in politics comes through winning elections. In that, the CAGOP and SDCRP are failures. That’s not a personal or spiteful comment, but a fact.
It’s not only local leadership that’s failed. We must rid ourselves of current state leadership and ineffectual county chairs. Also, consultants, whose only goal is to make a buck versus helping their candidates win. Until we do this, we won’t move forward!
Why We Lose: CAGOP Template to Failure
In 2016, local leadership – establishment and grassroots – told me:
- it’s the Republican Party’s job to get Republicans to the polls.
- It’s the candidate’s job to go out and find votes among any non-republican out there.
- Registration drives are nonexistent. Expanding and recruiting the Republican Party base is no longer a goal.
Leadership appears to have no qualms with this template. They view it as one that creates responsibility with accountability. Yet, grassroots aren’t on board, dealing with complete frustration and powerlessness.
- This model destroys us from within and creates losses up and down the state with no end in sight.
Watching the “establishment” dismantle and destroy local grassroots to their detriment? Beyond comprehension.
The California Republican Party (@CAGOP) focus is not a robust grassroots infrastructure. Rather, technology and media (mailers, later social media). I’m simplifying. Yet, the CAGOP infrastructure to victory has become a template, ignoring foundational politics for a consultant’s takeover of campaigns.
All this is to the disadvantage of candidates. But with history giving us a decade of data, they should know better.
CAGOP Winning Template – The Reality
The Republican Party’s template to win is a complete and utter failure with defeat after defeat. Sure, we earn a victory here or there, but nothing more. Yet, leadership shows no will to change, and candidates show no resolve to do what’s needed to win – instead, allowing consultants to lead their campaign toward defeat.
We’ve gone from a prosperous red to a deep blue state – led by a hybrid socialist-Democratic entity that looks more and more like serfdom. With abuses from the executive, legislature, activists, and local party leadership.
Why We Lose: No Unity
Upon hearing this winning formula, my immediate thought, “We not only lose, but we lose all the time!” It’s obvious; we lack unity!
- The union of candidate, party, and grassroots are a necessity to win.
The SDCRP and Kristin Gaspar failed to follow basic political fundamentals. In contrast, Democrats understand the importance of grassroots working with party leadership and the candidate.
Democrats abused belief of a “greater good” enables leftists to win – over and over. The Democratic Party understands the power of “the will of the people.” The Republican Party does not.
Why We Lose: Burp and Chirp Grassroots
Are you wondering what the term “burp and chirp” means? It’s a fitting term, and it was a grassroots activist from who I first heard it.
Most groups meet once a month – coming together with like-minded souls. Ready to hear conservative speakers talk about our beliefs and ideology.
Here’s what happens.
- Individuals show up and order their meals. Eat, and enjoy catching up with fellow conservatives.
- Listen to a conservative speaker. When done, he or she pushes their t-shirts, books, etc.
- The meeting closes on a high note. There’s optimism because righteousness will overcome hate.
- There’s rarely, if ever, a call to action.
- Individuals go back home and do no volunteering to help a candidate or cause.
- They then “rinse and repeat” this process.
That’s the grassroots we have – at least in San Diego County, but we can surmise that’s up and down the state.
Why We Lose: Weak Grassroots
Our grassroots are lacking. Most local groups are “burp and chirp,” with activists seeking popularity, not results. There are others, but an easy example is the North County Conservatives.
- They care more about complaining than helping candidates.
- There’re too many coaches and not enough players.
- They lack youth and a willingness to find them.
- They’re absence of diversity.
- Activists care more about “selfies” and popularity than helping a candidate win.
All this creates problems that result in losing, allowing the Democratic Party to take over a SDCRP.
2016: Foreshadowing Difficult 2020 Re-Election
In 2016, Gaspar battled a very flawed Democratic candidate in incumbent Dave Roberts. Roberts had various accusations ranging from:
- hostile work environment.
- Retaliating against an employee.
- Misuse of county resources.
- Employee favoritism.
There were other issues, yet Gaspar almost lost. Winning by a scant 50.23% to 49.67%. A difference of 1,272 votes!
Gaspar nearly lost a race in 2016 that should’ve been a blowout, shows a united and robust Democrat base. But part of that’s because they only hear one side of the story.
Again, Republican candidates rarely venture into Democratic strongholds. They don’t speak, hold rallies or do town halls. The signs were there in 2016 with many races. Her loss shows she ignored the data, or the strategies and tactics used were inadequate.
Reasons for Gaspar’s Beating
- Gaspar didn’t pursue non-Republican voters to sell herself. She only went to the predictable watering holes.
- There was a lack of cooperation with the party and grassroots to reach into non-Republican strongholds.
- She abandoned constituents and donors with a hopeless run for Congress. Likely losing her grassroots and donor support.
- Her political values, like the Second Amendment, don’t always align with conservative values.
- Gaspar’s 2016 primary win came by a vast, “establishment” war chest. Defeating the grassroots candidate left a lingering resentment toward her.
- Gaspar’s a divisive candidate, trying to work both sides of the aisle yet appealing to none.
This race is a repeat of the Dumanis loss last cycle. The answer’s obvious. Democrats outnumber Republicans, and that will grow under the current CAGOP policy. A diminishing Republican voter base means we must take our values to non-Republicans!
We’re not doing this; thus, we’re not growing the base to win. We’re our own worst enemies!
Truth? We Can’t Even Compete!
There’re approximately 7,500 ballots left to count in San Diego County. Gaspar’s flogging is about 50,000 votes, which equals a 16% loss. It wasn’t even close!
It’s significant because Dumanis’ assault by Fletcher in 2018 showed Gaspar what they would face. Dumanis lost district four by 34.8% and about 74,000 votes. Party leadership was in early denial but realized the race’s reality as it went on. Confirming what we already knew – the numbers and Dumanis’ strategy and tactics never added up.
We must ask if either the SDCRP or Gaspar didn’t consider or care to realize the reason for Dumanis’ loss. To overcome the future, you study the past. It was clear the lack of reaching out to non-Republican voters never was a serious strategy. I know – that sounds crazy, but it’s true!
Don’t forget; #CAGOP strategy believes a grassroots infrastructure is no longer necessary. Gaspar’s loss continues to show we’re not even competing in what were once GOP bastions.
Routs will continue. Until we determine as party, candidates, and grassroots – reaching out to non-Republican voters is the only path to victory. By not doing that, it’s the primary reason we can’t even compete, much less win!
Not Learning From Past Failures
The SDCRP should’ve seen this coming and prepared. They knew what the numbers were once term limits became law. Yet did nothing to prepare for these uphill battles. Instead, using strategies and tactics from past cycles of failure.
Gaspar should’ve taken what made her a successful businesswoman into the campaign. Instead, she accepted the CAGOP’s flawed policies. Policies that only help those in the system – consultants.
Results of Loss = Massive New Perpetuity Programs
Our board of supervisors is a rarity in politics today. It’s fiscally sound with billions in reserves, allowing us to keep a high credit score. This score enables funding during emergencies such as wildfires, homelessness, or anything else.
- COVID-19 will be the excuse that begins depleting these reserves.
Billions will disappear. Our credit rating will sink like a rock. We’ll lack the funds during emergencies and go in the red as Democrats put in new programs. They’ll tout them as temporary. Yet, they know full well, once started, they’ll continue in perpetuity.
CAGOP Still Refuses to Learn Basics
From local to statewide, we must realize, it’s not only money, but a base infrastructure must be in place to win – one composed of ready-to-move, savvy, and policy educated volunteers. You don’t build an infrastructure overnight, but we must start now or repeat a losing cycle!
Without a vibrant volunteer labor force, combined with candidates promoting proven conservative values and policies, losses will continue.
Losing the board of supervisors falls on party leadership and flawed candidates. San Diego County’s transformation from deep red to a blue takeover is now complete.
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 commercialize the industry from 1997 to 2008. You can follow William on Twitter (@wdelpilar), where he posts daily, covering fantasy sports and politics.