Voepel Leaves GOP… Union Tribune Unclear on New Party Affiliation

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Reading the Union Tribune I noted an article that said Santee Mayor Randy Voepel announced a couple days ago that he was leaving the GOP because the Republican Party wasn’t conservative enough. I thought this was a little odd, timing wise. After all, the national party basically picked up what 63 seats this time RETURNING to the conservative fiscal values that they had all but abandoned during the end of the Presidency of George W. Bush. One would think Voepel would have left 2 to 4 years ago, during the era of Republican Big Government, not now. Voepel notes that he is sick of the earmarks and taxes – but the new Republican Congress is all over the papers opposing both. What gives? Maybe Voepel will explain? I’d be interested in hearing his thoughts.

The Union Tribune reporter Michele Clock added to the confusion when she wrote that Voepel was becoming an independent. Really? Voepel is joining George Wallace’s American Independent Party? That’s the only “independent” party recognized in California. Maybe Clock was just inaccurate, and that Voepel was merely declining to state his party affiliation in the future, becoming a “DTS” voter. Big, big difference, and one that the Union Tribune editors surely should have caught. Note that DTS DOESN’T mean “independent” – it just means the voter doesn’t want whatever partisan affiliation they have, or don’t have, made public. Maybe Michele Clock could clear that one up for the readers. Thus independent is NOT the biggest growing faction of voters, voters who don’t care to share their partisan affiliation are. Michele?

One more request from the Union Tribune: I’m not a huge fan of everything the local GOP does, but please find a better source than Michael Crimmins.

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Comments 5

  1. Although the media may have only picked up on it now, or Voepel may only be announcing it now, or both, records show he switched party registration all the way back in APRIL of 2010! The switch was from GOP to “non partisan”. He chose a non-partisan ballot for the June 2010 election as well. So much for some recent breaking news story.

  2. In California, “decline to state” = nonpartisan. The history of how this came to pass would be interesting.

    Decades ago with only two parties on the ballot, the powers that be did not want people registering “nonpartisan” or “independent.” So they concocted the very negative “decline to state” option.

    “Decline to state” sounds like the voter is HIDING their party affiliation — perhaps one of those evil commies, or a KKK member. It does NOT seem to mean “nonpartisan.” Clever!

    But even more clever were the George Wallace consultants who in1968 figured out that since “independent” was not a registration option in a number of states, they would name their new states rights George Wallace party the American INDEPENDENT Party (AIP). MANY Californians have since registered AIP, thinking they they were registering “Independent.”

    It’s become a dormant party in this state — seldom running candidates in district elections, or participating in elections beyond putting some flag bearers in statewide races. Because so many independents unknowingly have “joined” the AIP via registration, this is easily the largest third party in CA, and will never lose its ballot qualification.

    Oddly enough, It’s likely that CA is the only remaining state were the AIP is ballot qualified. Not sure about that, however.

  3. Actually Richard, “Decline to State” Voters tend to be about evenly divided between people who vote Democrat always, Republican always, and true independents. Maybe John Nienstedt can speak to this.

  4. Californians cannot register as “non-partisan.” They can register as “decline-to-state” (DTS). However, a DTS registrant could pull a non-partisan primary ballot, which is probably what Positivus is referring to.

    As for the voting proclivities of DTS registrants, in San Diego County about 70% of them have no partisan allegiance at all. That is, they are just as likely to vote Republican as they are to vote Democrat in a hypothetical election. Now, 11/10 was a real (not hypothetical) election and across the US, 59% of independents/non-partisans voted for GOP House candidates. So they can be moved by the right political wind.

    The balance are closeted Democrats and Republicans. In the past, the break has been about 20% Dem/10% Rep. I would not be surprised if that has now shifted to parity (15%/15%). Wouldn’t it help the GOP’s prospects in CA to re-register that 15%? Doing so would up the GOP’s statewide registration percentage by 6%, taking it to the magic 37% mark.

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