There’s an app for that

Barry Jantz Barry Jantz 17 Comments

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A short response to the little Rostra debate over Tony Krvaric’s reaction to the recent Tom Shepard news…

Commenter ‘D. Morton’ says, “Only through a combination of naivete and delusions of grandeur could someone actually believe that it is both possible and the ‘JOB’ of 60+ people in a hotel banquet room in Rancho Bernardo to define a Republican.”

To change the end of his quote a tad… Only through a combination of naivete and delusions of grandeur could someone actually believe that it is both possible and the ‘JOB’ of 121 people in a building in Sacramento to decide policies that impact over 37 million of the rest of us.

Whether the GOP should have or shouldn’t have endorsed in a race, whether the Central Committee members represent the rest of us at a level of everyone’s agreement, whether the voters know whom they are electing when it says “vote for 6″ or even the purpose of the local GOP, whether Republican voters may put too much unknowing trust in a name or a ballot designation — please tell me how any of that is different than any other elective office anywhere, then we’ll talk.

The point is … there is a process, for both getting elected, and then once elected, for getting items voted on, at every level from DC to Sacto to City Council to Central Committee.

Is it right? Gee, I don’t know — but the process says it is.

Do the electeds make correct decisions? Everyone can be the judge … at the ballot box and in their streets and neighborhoods.

Are yahoos getting elected? Perhaps, maybe back someone else, or even run yourself.

Don’t like the established process? Advocate for change.

Don’t like the leadership? Get involved.

Think they’re not following the rules? There are codes, contracts, and courts at your disposal.

There’s an APP for that — it’s called a Republic.

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Comments 17

  1. On Facebook, a friend says, “There’s a big difference between central committees and other elective offices. Elected officials are chosen by the voters to conduct public business … why should the taxpayers pay for the election of members of what are essentially private clubs any more than we pay for the elections of Rotary clubs members?”

    I’m not arguing any of that. The use of tax dollars to elect central committees is open to debate and is rightfully questioned. What irks me is those who claim the members (of any party) have no right to endorse, based on pretty much a “Who are these people?” argument. Under current law they do have the right. That can be changed, but there’s a process. The comparison (not to compare public policy with party business, I agree) is only to say the argument against “60 people sitting in a room” is petty, unless someone wants to argue the same of 120 folks sitting in two rooms, or five (or nine) people sitting at city hall.

    I’d like the naysayers to make logical arguments about changing the process, instead of basing it in “They have no right to decide for the rest of us.”

  2. “why should the taxpayers pay for the election of members of what are essentially private clubs any more than we pay for the elections of Rotary clubs members?”

    They shouldn’t. A party-sponsored caucus, for both Central Committee and Presidential races is more appropriate

  3. If we agree that a CenCom slot, having a role defined by CA law, is not “different than any other elective office anywhere,” then you cannot argue that its members should be insulated from scrutiny by their electors – particularly with the cop out that unless you’ve ran, you have no right. Under your definition, that’s akin to saying that unless you’ve run for governor, you can’t critique Moonbeam.

    Further, in the “service” of its electors, the SDGOP has gone well beyond its defined role under CA law. Platform and endorsements are the purview of the committee, but to think that it is within the “right” of this publicly elected board to both define a “Republican,” and then tell a member that he is no longer welcome because he doesn’t fit some arbitrary mold –as in the particularly egregious case of Mr. Shepard – requires both naiveté and delusions of grandeur.

  4. Brian: A worthy point for debate. Such discussion over the role of the party and how it represents its electors are moot if it were to essentially become a politicized rotary club. In that case, it would certainly have no business being financed by the State. But the problem is that the privileges afforded to party committees under Prop 34 assume the public trust inherent from public elections. It would be likely that those benefits would have to be surrendered. And without those benefits, the Party would be nothing but a club with a PAC (maybe a SuperPAC). Under that scenario, the GOP becomes but a weaker, lamer mini-me to the Lincoln Club.

  5. Spelled out “now works for a Democrat running against the Cent Com endorsed Republican in a very important race for a major city’s mayor” is not an arbitrary mold.
    And nobody is ripping up the guy’s voter registration. He is still registered a Republican if he chooses. It was just stated publically and clearly that he will no longer find a paycheck from the Republican Party. It’s not like the differences between the local Republican leadership and Tom Shepard were small political throw away issues.
    And it is not like “don’t raise taxes” and “elect a Republican mayor rather than a Democrat” are strange stances for the Republican Party to take.

  6. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Shepard was NEVER a conservative Republican. It’s no surprise he’s finally dropped the pretense of Republican roots.

    Shepard has worked on many tax increases and bonds (tax increases). I don’t think he’s EVER worked AGAINST such props. He has been AT BEST a RINO grazing in GOP meadows of green. It’s way past time to put him out in a separate pasture.

    Personally I’m DELIGHTED that Shepard has finally come out of the political closet.

  7. “Brian: A worthy point for debate. Such discussion over the role of the party and how it represents its electors are moot if it were to essentially become a politicized rotary club. In that case, it would certainly have no business being financed by the State”

    D.Morton: This might be my limited government bias coming out but I can’t understand the mixed messages State law sends. Prop 14 suggests that political parties are essentially private clubs. Prop 34 suggests that political parties “assume the public trust inherent from public elections”

    So the question to me is “what are political committees?” Should they operate as “agents of the State-sponsored elections” or simply “guide the private organization”. Moreover, if they are the the former, the State law has codified the two-party system rather than to encourage competition.

    Naturally, you can see the paradox State law presents (to me). I agree with you that this is a worthy point of debate and I’ll initiate it more here, time permitted.

    ” to think that it is within the “right” of this publicly elected board to both define a “Republican,” and then tell a member that he is no longer welcome because he doesn’t fit some arbitrary mold –as in the particularly egregious case of Mr. Shepard – requires both naiveté and delusions of grandeur.”

    Let me check it up here; I never said “right”. I only believe individuals have “rights” and the ones we have (as individuals) are clearly defined in the Constitution and Declaration. What I have said is “responsibility”. The nuanced difference is important.

    As a limited government conservative, I understand that the market dictates that role. Do San Diego County Republican voters want their elected committee members to define a platform to attract more voters to the Republican message? I think they do. I would argue that Mr. Krvaric ‘s issues-based campaign has had resounding success these past few years. Mr. Shepard has been on the other side of each and every one of those issues.

    I am the LAST person who believes in the country club Republican party but clearly. the party has to stand FOR something. It is my belief that voters are on our side on the Prop issues and vote against us when we field candidates who go against those defining issues. I believe we have a communications problem.

    Communicating to Republican voters, that a political operative is consistently working AGAINST the party platform, strikes me as an important fact to highlight.

  8. Brian: the quoted “right” was from Barry’s post, not yours. But you could easily replace that word with ‘prerogative’, and the point remains minus the semantics.

    “Communicating to Republican voters, that a political operative is consistently working AGAINST the party platform, strikes me as an important fact to highlight”

    Important to who? You? Krvaric’s ego? 95% of Republican voters couldn’t tell Shepard from any other Rep or Dem consultant in town, and would only be less likely to turn out for a Republican candidate as a result of Republican in-fighting. A statement like this only damages the SDGOP’s brand by making it appear as if the Chairman’s main concern is insider baseball and the spoils of elections. Even if that’s the case, the Chairman has to be smarter than to air it out publicly.

    “I am the LAST person who believes in the country club Republican party but clearly. the party has to stand FOR something.”

    And yet you advocate for a top-down approach to defining a platform around issues, which are never uniformly agreed upon within a party, meaning that they are inherently exclusive toward anyone not agreeing with those on the top.

  9. D. Morton, After reading much of what you write, I Just don’t know how much credibility you have since your only gripe seems to be with whatever Tony Krvaric does. Post after post for months now. The guy can’t win. You blast him for remaining silent; you blast him for speaking up. You just blast him.

    I am not here to defend Tony Krvaric. I have no reason to. I don’t benefit any more than anyone with him at the helm or with him on the sidelines. But the attacks on him and the attacks on Republicans as a group in San Diego are getting silly. I know nothing about you, but it is clear you aren’t interested in a true conversation.

    I am guessing it is just about some personal issue between the two of you. I just don’t know how someone who is being honest can criticize a Republican chair for condemning a consultant for supporting a tax hike, helping what looked like a promising Republican destroy his career by throwing every Republican under the bus, and then consulting on Bob Filner’s campaign over the Republican candidate for mayor. It is truly laughable to suggest he shouldn’t. I mean how new are you to politics?

  10. “And yet you advocate for a top-down approach to defining a platform around issues, which are never uniformly agreed upon within a party, meaning that they are inherently exclusive toward anyone not agreeing with those on the top.”

    Maybe I”m not communicating properly; I advocate no such thing but I certainly understand the expectation of a platform, for Republican voters, from a committee. That is the role of a committee and San Diego County Republican voters do change that committee every two years.

    I might not like the platform which comes from the CRP or RNC (both of which are due this month). If I don’t, I’ll work hard to elect delegates who share my vision or simply no longer identify myself as a Republican. I don’t consider the county, State, or National committees to be top-down approaches though. The Republican Party is very much a grassroots party which uses a representative form of governance. Some states use direct elections while others prefer caucuses.

    Are you suggesting direct democracy to perform these important functions or are you more interested in a party without a platform?

  11. Brian: I’ll actually admit that I’m starting to like you. But that aside: “Are you suggesting direct democracy to perform these important functions or are you more interested in a party without a platform?”

    What I am truly interested in is a party that had a broad-based appeal and is focused on bringing Republicans together to win elections. The bigger and stronger this coalition is, the better. Every time the committee makes a contentious endorsement, members are alienated – when the Party then ostracizes the losing side, enemies are made – this is not how a party grows. Additionally, I’ve found that issues are used to justify political objectives with the SDGOP, not the inverse. Some consistency needs to be created so that the value of the endorsement means more than being the winner of a popularity contest (prior endorsement rules, which created a consistency for when/if the cmte got involved in a race were thrown out in 2005).

    The fact is that if not for the soft money monopoly created by the member comm function in Prop 34, the way this committee is run would make it but a bad joke. And this is an exceedingly urgent problem because Citizens United just deprived the party of that monopoly.

    As someone from outside the City of SD, I see the effects that contentious city races have on races in the rest of the county. But they also have effects on other in-City races. How do you think all of this public wrangling and infighting has affected Bilbray’s race? How many of the Party’s volunteers will not be walking for him because they have in some way been alienated by the Party’s actions during the mayoral race? How do you think Fletcher-supporting moderate Republicans will react to a pro-Bilbray mail piece with the SDGOP logo and Krvaric’s name printed on it? These are the considerations that have not been sufficiently accounted for.

  12. Michael A. Schwartz: My “gripe” is with watching the Republican coalition disintegrate in other parts of the County because of decisions made for member comm money, mainly SD City races.

    Read above post for more details.

  13. Your goals sound similar to what I have heard tony Krvaric say so it is hard to specifically figure out your actual “”gripe””.

    Honestly, I don’t know much about the Bilbray race. But I know he has kind of earned a reputation as a squishy Republican during a time when people are fed up with compromising into a fiscal hole. I believe a flyer with the GOP symbol and Tony Krvaric’s name supporting Bilbray will benefit him the same way it just benefitted DeMaio.

    My personal experiences are limited, but I haven’t seen anything, but support for Bilbray from the local party and their Central Committee. And outside of the city, Republicans are winning the same places they always have. Can you be more specific as to what negative effects that you are seeing?

    In the city, most of the major objectives of the local party have won under Krvaric despite being outnumbered by registered Democrats. That is hard to do if they are in fact alienating people. Hanging the drop in Republican registration here in San Diego County around Krvaric’s neck isn’t intellectually honest. This was a nationwide phenomenon.

    And the mayor race…there were two Republicans left by the time the primary was done. DeMaio is endorsed and Dumanis exited gracefully with little if anything bad to say about the party or DeMaio. She did have choice words for Fletcher though. And the party didn’t alienate Fletcher…he alienated himself for his own personal agenda. He left. The party didn’t kick him out. Benefitting his own ambitions and certainly not helping to create a party with broad based appeal, threw Republicans under the bus. Not the other way around.

  14. D. Morton: I won’t argue with the idea of a coalition but to build it you need fellow travelers. Grover Norquist defined the coalition as people who jealously guard each others vote moving interests. Fiscal conservatives, limited government hawks, gun rights activists, school choice advocates, and religious liberty proponents all watch each others’ backs.

    I fail to see how Shepard (and for that matter Fletcher) have jealously guarded the coalition’s interests while Tony Krvaric has done an admirable job expanding the coalition (tea party people, libertarians, paleocons, etc). Tony’s keeping the fellow travelers on the same road and jealously guarding their interests by exposing Shepard for working against the coalition

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