To Wyland, Anderson, and Jones: Back Off And Let The Activists Vote

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Guest Commentary
by Brian Brady

Who’s running the San Diego County Republican Central Committee, the grass roots activists or the elected officials?

If you’re a Republican volunteer or a tea party activist (like me), this game of “inside baseball” might irritate you.  I’ll lay out what I see happening and you decide.

Republicans Carl DeMaio, Nathan Fletcher, and Bonnie Dumanis are running for San Diego mayor against Democrat Bob Filner.  Saturday morning, the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee is meeting at the Rancho Bernardo Inn to hold an endorsement vote for the mayor’s race.  This endorsement is pretty important because it motivates grass roots activists to volunteer and raise money for the supported candidate.  More importantly, the endorsed candidate will be “the party choice” for the “Get Out The Vote” campaign.  Republican volunteers will distribute door hangers prior to the June election to San Diego Republican voters.

The name on the door hanger matters.  Republican voters often look at the vetting process performed by the most active volunteers to be an influential factor in their voting decision.  In the mayor’s race, voters might want to know which candidate is going to have the full force of the GOP volunteer and fund-raising team behind them.  If the voter is undecided, that door hanger makes all the difference.  For instance, I rarely have time to research the Superior Court judges, so I rely on the volunteers’ choice.

Yesterday, an email was sent from “The Coalition to Retire Filner”, signed by State Senators Joel Anderson and Mark Wyland, and Assemblyman Brian Jones.  It dreams the dream Erica Holloway had about two Republican mayoral candidates in a runoff.  The “Coalition” makes an impassioned plea to the volunteer Republican Central Committee members:

“In order to establish and maintain that focus, we have come together to urge the Republican Party of San Diego County to refrain from forcing an endorsement in this race that will divide many of our most loyal and dedicated supporters, but instead to unify and focus on defeating Democrat Bob Filner in the primary.”

Why would three guys, who don’t even live in the City of San Diego, ask the volunteers to cancel an endorsement vote?  To answer that question, first ask “Cui Bono? ”

Carl DeMaio is most favored among voters followed by Filner.  Fletcher, the “coalition’s” colleague in Sacramento, trails with less than 15 percent support (as does Bonnie Dumanis).  DeMaio performs best among registered Republicans (35 percent support) and doubles all other candidates’ support among independents.  Filner does best among Democrats (which will secure him a spot in the runoff election in November).

The grass roots activists on the GOP Central Committee know the score.  These are the most engaged Republicans in the County.  The “Coalition,” all ex-officio members of the Central Committee, is asking the volunteers to cancel the endorsement vote.  There is nothing wrong with Central Committee members (ex-officio or volunteer) lobbying each other for votes, but it seems awfully strange that the ex-officio members couldn’t find one single volunteer activist to “join” their coalition to stop the endorsement vote.  The “Coalition” is all made up of the Sacramento Club, two of which endorsed someone other than the candidate leading in the polls, so I ask you again…

Cui Bono?

Anderson, Wyland, and Jones are stellar representatives. Tabling votes is a great tactic for stopping a Democratic majority in the Legislature, but this isn’t Sacramento.  Saturday’s vote is about Republican volunteers deciding whom they want to support.

Back off fellas.  You already made your endorsements.

# # #

Brian Brady is a small business owner who lives in Solana Beach.  He is a director for Stop Taxing Us, the taxpayer advocacy and tea party group.  There, he crafted the “Promise to California taxpayers,” a no new tax pledge candidates make.  He is a candidate for SDGOP Central Committee.

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Admin NOTE: Apparently, two communications were sent signed by Anderson, Wyland and Jones. The link to the email mentioned in the above guest column by Brian Brady has been corrected to show the one he received, which was the first such communication. It is also here.

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Comments 23

  1. Brian, not to be disrespectful but just curious…why is it that Wyland, Anderson and Jones should stay out because they live outside the city? Yet it’s okay for you who lives in Solana Beach to be involved?

  2. Not to mention that the party has endorsed in the past Mayoral races when more than one Republican was running.

  3. I wonder if Nathan and his Sacramento friends will ask people not to vote in June as well because he’s still behind in the polls?

  4. D7, good point, in that the legislators deal directly on issues with the City of SD, regardless of residency.

  5. I will stipulate that Messrs Anderson, Jones, Wyland, and I are all ineligible to vote in the San Diego Mayors race, D7. .Which one of us has chosen to not interfere in the volunteers’ decision to hold an endorsement vote?

  6. We have the same problem up here in Orange County. Whenever the current chairman of our Central Committee decides something is important for the committee to pass or block, he rallies all the ex officio members and/or their alternates to all vote as a block. Unfortunately for them their grip is slipping because the grassroots members of the committee were able to block the endorsement of Congressman John Campbell a few weeks because of his toxic vote in favor of TARP. Keep the pressure up Brian. Great job.

  7. Thanks Brian for the straight forward answer. Best of luck in getting the voice of the people heard. Keep up the good fight.

  8. “Mr. Brady, are you on the committee?”

    No, Vidosic. I merely contribute to the funding of its operations. I have qualified for the ballot, for June’s election and am a candidate for SDGOPCC in the 78th Assembly District.

    You can see the members of the Central Committee here:
    http://www.sandiegorepublicans.org/about/central_committee/

    I think it’s appropriate for people to lobby those members. I think it’s inappropriate to attempt to block the democratic process those members wish to pursue tomorrow.

  9. I strongly agree w/ State Senators Joel Anderson and Mark Wyland, and Assemblyman Brian Jones.

    Endorsement in a race with three credible candidates will leave the disfavored two camps angry and vengeful. People already are talking about withholding contributions and volunteer manpower from the Party if endorsement occurs.

    Further, discounting input from respected, regional leaders is a bit two-faced, don’t you think? Their out-of-district endorsements are coveted when it’s advantageous, but their sage and well-intentioned advise is denigrated when it is runs counter to the blogger’s agenda?

    And, an aside: Mr. Vidosic, I applaud your willingness to attach your name to your comments and your supported candidate. That’s the only integrity-filled way to do it.

  10. Fair enough, just pointing out the logical inconsistency of a non-member of a group criticizing members of said group for doing what is totally within their rights, as members of that group, to do.

    Carry on.

  11. The Party is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    Endorse only to get criticized for ignoring the voice of the people and being run by an elite, powerful few or don’t and be criticized for a lack of leadership.

    When someone runs or someone’s guy runs the sun, the moon, and the stars are expected from the Party. When the Party likes someone else the Party is expected to stay out of it and let the people decide. At the very least, show some consistency.

  12. “the logical inconsistency of a non-member of a group criticizing members of said group for doing what is totally within their rights”

    I hope you misread my reply. I not only vote for Central Committee candidates to represent me, I contribute to fund their mission. I don’t see any inconsistency in holding the people I elected and funded accountable.

    I have no idea which way the committee intends to vote tomorrow. What I do know, is that three ex-officio members, all of whom serve in the Legislature with Nathan Fletcher, and two of whom endorsed Nathan Fletcher, solicited the volunteer members of the Central Committee, to abdicate the most important duty they have.

    I address a group of about 50 Republicans tomorrow afternoon. Many are newly registered Republicans, brought into the party by an exciting Presidential candidate. We are mapping out a precinct walking strategy, along the coastal towns, from Downtown San Diego to La Jolla.. This group will willingly hang those endorsement door hangers, as we walk those neighborhoods over the next 10 weeks, to guarantee that a Republican is elected mayor of San Diego.

    Nathan Fletcher is a fine and honorable man as are the legislators who intervened on his behalf yesterday. Should Nathan Fletcher secure the endorsement of the SDGOP tomorrow, I will enthusiastically hang those door hangers for him. Should Bonnie Dumanis or Carl DeMaio win, I will do so with the same vigor.

    Why don’t we just let the members do the job we elected and funded them to do?

  13. Just to point something out, related to questions about non-members of the central committee weighing in with or even criticizing members.

    We all do realize that the central committee members are elected BY Republicans to REPRESENT them, right? Although central committees often operate with less fanfare and public participation, and such actions may happen less, those represented by the central committee members have every much the right to to weigh in with, address, criticize, and redress grievances to the elected and ex-officio members as all of us do with any of our elected officials.

  14. Bartlett, yeah good job, you really showed incumbent Congressman John Campbell. Completely disgraceful. Instead of the tyranny of the special interests/legislators you have the tyranny of the insane activists that are only a notch above the crazy man who yells on street corners. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Janette, volunteer manpower? HA!

  15. “tyranny of the insane activists that are only a notch above the crazy man who yells on street corners”

    There is a simple way to solve that problem, Sunshine. File papers, challenge Allan Bartlett, and beat him in an election. My guess is that it will be hard to do. Voters are fed up with politicians who bail out banks. Thankfully, people like Allan Bartlett are willing to represent those who vote for him rather than to “go along to get along”. We need more Allan Bartletts on Central Committees.

  16. I agree with Mr. Brady, as the years have passed and supporting Wyland, I realized through Wyland’s actions and comments that he seems to have an “I know best” mentality, forgetting he serves the people, not the establishment republican’s, but I guess kissing the GOP ring $$$ pays better in favor than serving the people. Such a disappointment……..

  17. Jones, Anderson, and Wyland understand the importance and utility of a strong party organization. An endorsement in this race, regardless of which way it might have gone, was going to be counter to >50% of Republican voters in the City. Arguments and analyses are always made about which candidates wins/loses from these endorsements, but what of the Party?

    By endorsing on Sat, the party loses big-time, as do its stakeholders that are not DeMaio partisans. This would have remained true regardless of who was endorsed. In its role as a body elected to represent registered republicans throughout the county, the purpose of the party is to facilitate growth and participation of the republican voter base to elect republicans. By marginalizing anyone whose choice for Mayor is not DeMaio, the party has weakened its base, and lessened its ability to facilitate the election of other Republicans.

    Back in the day, the party bylaws prevented endorsements in just these sorts of situations. That went out the door with Francis, 2005. Now the process is accurately perceived as highly fickle by the media, voters, and pretty much anyone else that matters.

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