The members of the Tehama County Republican Central Committee are miffed enough at state GOP chairman Tom Del Beccaro over an endorsement spat that they’ve rescinded their invitation for him to keynote one of their upcoming events.
Oh no they di’int!
Ah, but they did, and now they’re telling the world. County GOP chairman Ken Say reached out to reporters today to announce that Del Beccaro, of Lafayette, is no longer welcome to speak at the fundraising banquet they’re holding in May in Red Bluff. From his letter to Del Beccaro:
After serious discussion of the endorsement actions taken by the California Republican Party Board of Directors during their March 11th meeting, the Tehama County Republican Party has unanimously voted to rescind the invitation extended to you to be our guest speaker at the TCRP dinner of May 19, 2012. The TCRP, by unanimous vote, has affirmed that our speaker must be someone that upholds our adherence to Republican values and principles. Unfortunately, we no longer believe that you meet that criteria and have voted to invite speakers that the TCRP believe to meet that standard.
We realize that you are only one vote on the Board, but your personal leadership in the CRP Board endorsement process has convinced us that you were unable to guide the Board in adhering to the Board’s own bylaws. The specific bylaw violation was the invalidation of Tehama County’s February 9th endorsement of Assembly candidate, Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams, which then allowed the CRP Board to disregard the clear requirement of a non-endorsement by the Board in Section 3.02 of the bylaws. The TCRP believes that their endorsements were invalidated by the CRP Board because it did not fit conveniently with the candidates that you wanted to support and we resent that CRP funds will be used to only support your candidates.
We are making our displeasure of the Board’s and your action public to let the other Republican County Central Committees know that the CRP’s leadership has placed their own interests above the individual interests of the local Republican voters as expressed by their duly-elected central committee members. We clearly understand the reason for the alienation that many California Republicans feel toward the State Party.
We, the Tehama County Republican Party, at the local level, will continue to support the Republican candidates that represent our best interests and not some unknown person picked by a “star chamber” in an illegal procedure.
The state GOP endorsed incumbent Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, in the 3rd Assembly District, rather than Williams. Logue, 61, now seeking his third and final two-year Assembly term, is the Assembly Republican Caucus’ chief whip and is the top Republican on the Health and Elections and Redistricting committees; earlier, he was a Yuba County supervisor.
Del Beccaro, responding by e-mail this afternoon, said the party “engaged in an unprecedented process in response to the challenge of Prop. 14” – that is, the new top-two primary system, in which all voters can choose from among all candidates regardless of party and the top-two vote getters advance to November’s general election, even if they’re from the same party.
“In the end, the overwhelming majority of decisions the Party made were well received,” Del Beccaro said. “There were exceptions – proving the adage that you cannot please everyone, especially in politics. Going forward the Party will move toward a more broad based process that will engage Republicans voters directly.”
Another source close to the GOP endorsement process called this little more than a case of sour grapes. “The CRP didn’t go their way on the endorsement process, and quite honestly, it is just silliness. We have 58 counties in California, and made some 154 … endorsements without this sort of letter. I chalk it up to that.”
More than half of the newly drawn 3rd Assembly District’s registered voters are in Butte County; it also includes parts of Sutter, Tehama, Yuba, Glenn and Colusa counties. About 40.7 percent of the district’s registered voters are Republicans, about 32.9 percent are Democrats and about 20.2 percent declined to state a party preference.
UPDATE @ 5:07 P.M.: Former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring just replied to my tweet of this item with a tweet of his own: “A chairman often takes grief for events beyond his control. @tomdelbeccaro acted properly.”