Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Republican Party' Category

RNC Chair Priebus to address CA GOP convention

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will speak at the state GOP’s spring convention.

Preibus will be the opening-night speaker at the confab, which runs March 14 through 16 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame. The party also announced Friday that House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, will speak at the Saturday-night banquet.

The party previously had announced that former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak as well.

“We’re thrilled to have such a distinguished lineup of speakers for this convention,” party chairman Jim Brulte said in a news release. “Both Chairman Priebus and Congressman Sessions have track records of success in reviving Republican organizations and will be extremely helpful in the ongoing efforts to rebuild our state party from the ground up.”

Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014
Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 21 Comments »

A GOP ‘prebuttal’ to Brown’s State of the State

With Gov. Jerry Brown set to deliver his State of the State address at 9 a.m. Wednesday, one notable Bay Area Republican has made a first strike.

Tom Del BeccaroIn an opinion piece published on Forbes’ website, former California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro of Lafayette said the Golden State is reeling under Brown’s leadership, with crises in public safety, education, transportation, water, pension liabilities and unemployment, to name but a few.

“The foregoing, mind you, are just facts,” Del Beccaro wrote. “While the state’s economy is doing better than in 2009, despite government policies, Jerry Brown will not let the above facts get in the way of his good story. For too many Californians, however, they represent the true, divided and troubled state of the state.”

Brown’s address will be streamed live online by the California Channel.

Posted on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, Republican Party, Republican politics | No Comments »

Report: GOP’s future hangs on immigration reform

The Republican Party could lose a lot of House seats in 2014 and 2016 – including a few in California – as well as the next presidential election if it stands in the way of comprehensive immigration reform, according to a political research firm’s new report.

The researchers at Seattle-based Latino Decisions call it the “Prop. 187 Effect,” after California’s 1994 ballot measure to bar illegal immigrants from using health care, public education, and other social services – a measure their report says drove the ever-expanding Latino electorate into the Democratic Party’s arms.

“Even in a gerrymandered Congress, the Latino vote is going to remake the landscape if we experience a national phenomenon around immigration similar to the Prop. 187 effect,” said Latino Decisions principal Gary Segura. “Not only does our research show Latinos still hold the GOP responsible for Prop. 187, we see that they’re poised to significantly shift the vote toward Democratic Congressional representation in districts nationwide.”

On a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Segura noted 93 percent of all Latinos under the age of 18 are U.S. citizens, so the nation’s Latino electorate will double over the next 18 years even if not one new Latino immigrant enters the country.

The report identifies 24 House districts now held by Republcians where the Latino vote alone has a strong chance of swinging the outcome of 2014 elections, and 20 more GOP districts where the size of the Latino electorate exceeds the incumbent’s 2012 victory margin.

Among districts the report deems most susceptible to a Latino swing vote are California’s 10th, represented by Jeff Denham, R-Modesto; 25th, represented by Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita; and 31st, represented by Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

A poll conducted by Latino Decisions in July found 58 percent of Latino voters will be personally angry if the House blocks an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship, and 69 percent of Latino voters would place blame for a lack of comprehensive immigration reform upon Republicans, while only 13 percent would blame Democrats and 11 percent would blame both parties equally.

Hector Barajas, a longtime Republican strategist who earlier this year co-founded the GOP polling and messaging firm Latino Edge Research, acknowledged later Thursday that it’s “important to recognize that some races would be more affected than others if they do not correctly engage their Latino electorate.”

“That being said, not changing the same narrative that Republicans as a whole are opposed to immigration reform will allow Democrats to continue with their successful strategy of attack candidates with an R behind them,” he said. “In the end, it will be up to the individual campaigns to demonstrate to the Latino electorate that they are not the ‘Bad Guy’ in the movie.”

President Obama said Thursday that with the government shutdown over and the debt-limit crisis averted, “we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.” A bipartisan bill already passed by the Senate would beef up border security and modernize the system while ensuring “everyone plays by the same rules, makes sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, meet their responsibilities,” he said, adding economists estimate the bill would bring $1.4 trillion in new economic growth over the next 20 years.

“The majority of Americans think this is the right thing to do. And it’s sitting there waiting for the House to pass it,” he said, inviting the House to offer any improvements. “But let’s not leave this problem to keep festering for another year, or two years, or three years. This can and should get done by the end of this year.”

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Under: Immigration, Jeff Denham, Republican Party, Republican politics, U.S. House | 8 Comments »

GOP hires Hispanic state director for California

In the GOP’s latest move to attract Latino voters, the Republican National Committee has announced its new Hispanic state director.

Francis BarrazaFrancis Barraza – most recently the San Diego Republican Party’s executive director – will head up the effort. The RNC also named a state advisory council, and said it’ll hire more Latino field directors across the state. Similar staffers have been hired in Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

“This is just the beginning of our efforts in the Hispanic community,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a news release. “We plan to hire and mobilize Hispanic engagement teams in 18 states to build a grassroots infrastructure.”

Jennifer Sevilla Korn, RNC deputy political director for Hispanic initiatives, said the GOP “will engage with voters in their neighborhoods, towns, and cities to strengthen our ties with the Hispanic community. We are committed to creating a permanent year-round ground game that will allow us to compete for every vote and will outlast any one candidate or campaign.”

Barraza, 28, of Chula Vista, was the San Diego GOP’s finance director in 2011 and 2012 before becoming its executive director in January; earlier, she worked on various campaigns including Meg Whitman’s 2010 gubernatorial run. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Irvine, and a law degree from the University of California, Davis.

The GOP’s Latino state advisory council will consist of:

  • Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Carlsbad, as state chair
  • Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, as Riverside County chair
  • Brea Mayor Ron Garcia, Orange County Chair
  • GOP activist Delores Chavez, San Diego County chair
  • Hawthorne City Councilman Alex Vargas, Los Angeles County chair
  • Republican National Hispanic Assembly state chairman Errol Valladares, Los Angeles County chair
  • Greater Pasadena RNHA chairwoman Michelle Martinez, Pasadena City Chair
  • GOP activist Alex Galicia, Chula Vista City chair
  • Indio Councilwoman Lupe Ramos Watson, Indio City chair
  • In other GOP Latino-outreach efforts this year, GROW Elect – a group founded in 2011 to recruit, endorse, train and fund Latino Republican candidates in California – announced in February that it had hired former Bush White House aide and former San Mateo County Supervisor Ruben Barrales as its first president and CEO.

    And in May, two well-known GOP consultants announced they were teaming up to form Latino Edge Research, “the only all Latino Republican survey research firm,” which “provides the insight and understanding of Latino voters so that messaging will reach them, persuade them and activate them.”

    The RNC in July named 23-year-old San Diego campaign operative Clinton Soffer as the party’s state director for California.

    Posted on Thursday, October 10th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 1 Comment »

    Rob Schneider goes GOP, endorses Tim Donnelly

    Actor and comedian Rob Schneider announced yesterday that he’s switching from being a lifelong Democrat to being a Republican, and endorsing conservative Assemblyman Tim Donnelly for governor.

    “The last time I made a movie in California was seven years ago, and that’s because we’re not being competitive,” said Schneider, 49, of Pacifica.

    Oh, Rob. Robbie. Robmeister. The Robster. Rob-o-rama. Robman. Robatollah. Baron von Robthoven.

    Yes, the California Film Commission reports that despite some positive effects from a tax-credit program for television and film production, “California continues to experience a pronounced erosion of this signature industry.” But could there be another reason that Rob Schneider hasn’t made a movie in California in seven years?

    Let’s see what he has been doing for the past seven years. That takes us back to 2006 and – aha! – “The Benchwarmers.” Can’t believe that didn’t bring the big-ticket scripts pouring in. Then, who could forget those eight episodes of “¡Rob!” early last year? And, what was the difference between “Grown Ups” (2010) and “Grown Ups 2” (2013)? Looks like the latter suffered from a distinct lack of Rob.

    Yep, must be the taxes and whatnot.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Under: 2014 primary, Republican Party | 4 Comments »

    New Tea Party Caucus to debut at GOP convention

    A new Tea Party California Caucus will make its debut at the California Republican Party’s fall convention in Anaheim early next month.

    Tea Party CA CaucusA news release issued Thursday morning says the caucus will host “a solution-oriented seminar filled with a diverse group of policy experts and high profile Tea Party leaders and organizers” to “educate convention attendees about Tea Party principles and advance these principles by proposing policy and position resolutions to the CRP.”

    The caucus itself was announced late last month.

    Tea Party groups have been very active at the grassroots level for the past four years, and many members already have been elected to county central committees.

    “This involvement is bringing a return to constitutional principles and energizing the Republican grassroots at the county level across the state,” the release said. “We are now gathering together to bring that energy to the statewide level and restore our principles of constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets to CRP as we work together to restore and ensure a future of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Californians.”

    Posted on Thursday, September 19th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 2 Comments »

    Rick Perry to speak at California GOP convention

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry – a 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate who some believe will try again in 2016 – will headline the California Republican Party’s fall convention this October in Anaheim.

    Rick Perry“Gov. Perry’s leadership is a major reason why Texas has emerged as one of America’s leading forces for economic opportunity and personal freedom, and we’re delighted that he accepted our invitation,” state GOP chairman Jim Brulte said Monday.

    Republican National Committee Co-Chairwoman Sharon Day and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden also are scheduled to speak at the convention, which will run October 4-6 at the Hilton Anaheim.

    Day, now in her second term as RNC co-chair, will discuss “the RNC’s historic investment in California,” according to the party’s news release. The RNC less than a month ago announced it had hired 23-year-old San Diego campaign operative Clinton Soffer as its state director for California, charged with overseeing GOP field operations as the besieged California party works to rebuild from the ground up.

    Rep. Walden, R-Ore., “will focus his remarks on California’s critical role in maintaining the Republican majority in the House of Representatives,” the state GOP’s news release said. Much like last year, California should see a bunch of competitive House races in 2014.

    Posted on Monday, August 19th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 21 Comments »

    County GOP’s support of gay marriage draws fire

    California Republicans are abuzz following the Marin County Republican Central Committee’s vote Thursday to support same-sex marriage, becoming the nation’s first Republican county central committee to do so.

    “We recognized that we were not providing Marin voters with a viable choice at the polls, and we looked at ways to begin correcting that perception,” Kevin Krick of Fairfax, the committee’s chairman, told my Marin Independent Journal colleague Richard Halstead.

    But Harmeet Dhillon – chairwoman of the San Francisco Republican Party and vice chair of the state GOP – on Monday said the feedback she’s hearing from Republicans all around California is “pretty overwhelmingly in opposition” to the Marin GOP’s vote. She called the vote “ill-advised politically and premature at best,” and said she doesn’t know of any other county that’s considering following suit.

    Harmeet Dhillon“I don’t think it’s appropriate to have platform positions at the local level that contradict what the party positions are at the state and national level,” she said. “I don’t believe in meaningless gestures, and we don’t engage in them at the San Francisco Republican Party.”

    Activists have not been agitating for the San Francisco GOP to take a position on the issue, she said, “and I don’t expect that to change because they’re not single-issue voters and it’s not the most important issue for them.” Dhillon said gay Republicans like other Republicans are more focused on economic issues, and though she considers Krick a friend, she finds this decision surprising: “I don’t think it was properly aired, vetted, thought out.”

    “There’s really no groundswell for taking what I think is a premature position on the issue,” she said. “It’s not decided by any stretch of the imagination in the courts, by the Legislature or by the people.”

    Nor does she believe it’ll attract new voters to the party, Dhillon said: People for whom same-sex marriage is a prime issue usually disagree with the GOP on many other issues as well, so all this does is vex the party’s conservative base.

    Stuart Gaffney of San Francisco, spokesman for Marriage Equality USA, said though this is a first for the Republican Party, “it confirms what we already know: Support for marriage equality is increasing on a daily basis across all spectrums of our society.”

    Stuart Gaffney“It wasn’t that long ago where marriage equality might’ve been thought of as a partisan issue, but we see more and more politicians and leaders working across the aisle,” he said, noting actions like those of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman – who last year became the first GOP senator to support same-sex marriage – and the Marin GOP’s “are a result of seeing their LGBT constituents as human beings worthy of full dignity in all aspects of their lives.”

    “Any politician and any political party needs to be looking at how they can put together a majority, because they need to win elections,” Gaffney said, citing a new Gallup Poll that shows 52 percent of Americans would vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

    “The numbers are only getting stronger and stronger… so any party that hopes to remain relevant needs to get on board or get out of the way. It’s a question for politicians and political parties now whether they want to be on the right side of history or not.”

    UPDATE @ 1:25 P.M.: Gregory Angelo, executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans, said the Republican Party of Washington, D.C., in June 2012 became the first GOP affiliate to officially declare its support of same-sex marriage, but Marin is the first county committee.

    “This news is encouraging and only further shows what we’ve long said: that the GOP is no longer walking in lockstep on this issue,” Angelo said. “Enabling local Republican party central committees to take their own positions on marriage equality is an inherently conservative choice because it lets those closest to the ground have the ability to make policy and platform decisions that best meet the needs of their community and constituencies. That’s what the Republican Party advocates across the board.”

    Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics, same-sex marriage | 10 Comments »

    RNC names new California state director

    The Republican National Committee, working in partnership with the California Republican Party, announced Tuesday it has hired 23-year-old San Diego campaign operative Clinton Soffer as the party’s state director for California.

    Clinton SofferSoffer’s mandate is oversee GOP field operations as the besieged California party works to rebuild from the ground up.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Clinton on board; his expertise and experience will be an asset to our team as we look forward to 2014 and beyond,” said state party chairman Jim Brulte said in a news release. “I’m confident Clinton will help us build a formidable ground operation to compete for every vote, register new voters, and expand our outreach efforts into new communities across the state.”

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said they’re “building the most expansive field program the GOP has ever seen, and we’re doing it earlier than ever before.”

    “Republicans have never made this kind of investment in an off year. The RNC will be in communities engaging with and listening to voters where they live, work, and worship–not months, but years before Election Day,” he said. “Our state directors will play key roles in building a permanent field operation to be successful in elections this year, in 2014, in 2016, and beyond.”

    According to his LinkedIn profile, Soffer got his political start working on a pair of San Diego City Council races in 2008; he then served as political director of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County for the 2010 primary, and of the San Diego GOP for that year’s general election.

    Soffer managed Scott Sherman’s 2012 primary race for San Diego City Council, in which Sherman narrowly won the race outright without any further runoff; he then managed former Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia’s unsuccessful race for the state Senate last November. He also has worked as a staffer for several San Diego officials and state lawmakers.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 3 Comments »

    GOP consultants form Latino-focused polling firm

    Here’s another sign that California Republicans are stepping up their efforts to attract Latino voters: Two well-known consultants are teaming up to create a Latino-focused polling firm.

    Latino Edge Research’s principals are billing their new venture as “the only all Latino Republican survey research firm,” which “provides the insight and understanding of Latino voters so that messaging will reach them, persuade them and activate them.”

    John Nienstedt, whose Competitive Edge Research & Communication is based in San Diego, will be Latino Edge’s research director while Hector Barajas – who has held top communications jobs for the California Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, 2010 gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and the state Senate Republican Caucus – will be in charge of message development. Barajas most recently has worked at Revolvis, and Latino Edge reportedly will be run out of CERC’s and Revolvis’ existing offices.

    “Latino Edge focuses exclusively on Latino and Hispanic voters, diving deep into this diverse community to understand the values, language and priorities necessary to develop winning center-right messages,” the new firm’s news release said.

    This news comes just a few months after GROW Elect – a group founded in 2011 to recruit, endorse, train and fund Latino Republican candidates in California – announced it had hired former Bush White House aide and former San Mateo County Supervisor Ruben Barrales as its first president and CEO. Barrales reportedly has thrown himself into the job, including doing some face-time and fundraising with Republicans across the state; case in point, he’ll be joining state GOP Chairman Jim Brulte this Friday, May 10, at the San Mateo County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, and next Thursday at the Alameda County Republican Party’s leadership dinner.

    Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2013
    Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | No Comments »