Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Republican politics' Category

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 »

PAC vows to revive civility in politics. Not.

A Nevada-based conservative political action committee on Thursday apologized – well, sort of – for an early-morning fundraising email describing lawmakers who supported the deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling as “a parliament of traitors and whores.”

“These 81 whores curbstomped liberty and defecated on the Constitution yet again tonight,” the Western Representation PAC’s email said, singling out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., for special abuse. “Mitch McConnell received his $3 billion of silver to betray the base and the grassroots, via an amendment authored by Lamar Alexander. They’re such sluts for a good porking… It takes $2.9 billion to put Mitch McConnell on his knees before President Obama, whoring himself out and betraying his Kentucky constituents.”

Western Representation PAC logo

“They will remember this day and rue it, and we will pour forth the fires of your wrath upon their heads… We are coming, and we are never going to stop until we take down every last one of these 81 whores,” the email vowed. “Your donations are history-making ammunition to execute those who spat in your faces tonight with their vote. It’s time to take these whores and traitors out. Donate today, and know that your dollars will rain down like mortars on those who betrayed us tonight in 2014. A season of vengeance is upon us, and it is time for the establishment to reap what it has sown.”

Yowza! Sounds like someone was off their meds.

The email had gone out in the name of PAC cofounder Dustin Stockton. He sent out another email Wednesday afternoon under the subject line “We went too far.”

Dustin Stockton “After seeing some of the crony handouts in the legislative deal yesterday I instructed our team not to pull their punches and portray the rage that we are justifiably feeling over just the latest example of Washington corruption,” Stockton wrote. “Although my name was at the bottom of that email it was not written by me and some of the rhetoric I felt went over the line. I’d like to apologize for that and since it had my name on it, ultimately it is my responsibility and I apologize for some of the more brash rhetoric.”

But delving into notpology territory, Stockton also wrote “the fact is that these politicians who are granted the sacred honor of representing our interests ARE whoring themselves out to lobbyists and special interests.”

“Our team is humbled and honored for the opportunity to dedicate our lives to fighting these evil bastards,” he wrote. “We only succeed when we responsibly represent your voice in our activism and our email earlier stepped over the line. We apologize for that, but not for calling it like we see it.”

Read the entire original email, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Under: Republican politics | 2 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 »

    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 »

    GOP donors urge action on immigration reform

    More than a dozen prominent Republican campaign donors and donor groups from California wrote to the state’s GOP House members Tuesday, urging them to pass substantive immigration reform this year.

    “We believe that it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to ensure that our laws keep us safe and help our economy grow. Our current immigration system does neither,” the GOP donors wrote. “It rewards law-breakers at the expense of those who follow the rules. It turns away talented workers who can help our economy. And, by not controlling our borders, it makes all Americans less safe.

    “Doing nothing is de facto amnesty. We need to take control of whom we let in our country and we need to make sure everybody plays by the same rules.”

    The letter was signed by:

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Frank Baxter of Los Angeles
  • San Diego-area developer James S. Brown and his wife, Marilyn, of Jamul
  • David Hanna, chairman and CEO of FHP Wireless Inc. & Hanna Ventures LLC, of Laguna Beach
  • conservative writer David Horowitz of Laguna Niguel
  • Diving Unlimited founder Dick Long of San Diego
  • former San Francisco Giants managing partner Peter Magowan of San Francisco
  • CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder of Santa Barbara
  • Orange County Business Journal publisher and CEO Richard Reisman of Laguna Beach
  • former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Tuttle of Los Angeles
  • Hispanic 100
  • Lincoln Club of Orange County
  • New Majority Orange County
  • New Majority San Diego
  • Many of them also were among 102 from across the nation who co-signed a letter going to all Republican House members.

    “Immigrants coming to this country for a better life have helped build and sustain America. They are a vital part of our future prosperity. They remind us of our potential as a free people,” Puzder said in a news release. “If our great nation is to continue to grow and prosper, we need to reform and modernize the U.S. immigration system. I strongly encourage the California Republican Congressional Delegation to strengthen our nation by working with their House colleagues to advance substantial immigration reform legislation this year.”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
    Under: campaign finance, Immigration, Republican politics | No 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 »

    Study: Young men with sisters tend toward GOP

    Young men with sisters are more likely to be Republicans, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Loyola Marymount University.

    The research by Stanford’s Neil Malhotra and Loyola’s Andrew Healy indicates men who grew up with female siblings tend to be conservative in their views of gender throughout their lives, and more likely to vote Republican when they’re young than their male peers. One reason may be that they’re much less likely to share household chores with their sisters, an avoidance of housework that continues into adulthood.

    Wait, what? Republican men don’t do dishes?

    not a Young Republican“Researchers have known that families have a strong influence on their children’s political ideas. But families are complicated, and it’s been hard to pinpoint how that socialization happens,” Malhotra said in a news release. “Our breakthrough is understanding that mechanism.”

    Watching their sisters do the chores “teaches” boys that housework is simply women’s work, and that leads to a traditional view of gender roles — a position linked to a predilection for Republican politics, Healy and Malhotra claim. Boys with all sisters were 13.5 percent more conservative in their views of women’s roles than boys with all brothers.

    When the boys with female siblings were seniors in high school, they were nearly 15 percent more likely to identify as Republicans, but as they grew into middle age, that effect diminished sharply. On the other hand, having sisters instead of brothers has no significant effect on girls, Healy and Malhotra found. Other researchers have found that people with traditional views on gender roles are 25 percent more politically conservative.

    “These effects were surprising to us. We might expect that boys would learn to support gender equity through interactions with their sisters,” Healy said in the release. “However, the data suggest that other forces are more important in driving men’s political attitudes, including whether the family assigned chores, such as dishwashing, according to traditional gender roles.”

    The researchers base their conclusions on an analysis of data gathered for two earlier studies: the University of Michigan Political Socialization Panel (PSP) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) young-adult sample.

    Those studies followed thousands of U.S. families and individuals over an extended period, and probed for attitudes about gender and politics, as well as the inner workings of their households. The studies were conducted separately and at different times, but the findings were strikingly similar. Because the two studies point in the same direction, Malhotra said, he’s all the more confident that the conclusions he and Healy reached are valid.

    The PSP study began in 1965 as a national sample of 1,669 students from 97 public and private schools, most of them high school seniors, and their parents. Subsequent surveys of the same individuals were conducted in 1973, 1982, and 1997; by the time of the last survey, the former students were about 50 years old.

    The NLSY survey, conducted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included interviews with children as young as 10. They were asked if they regularly helped with straightening out their room, keeping the rest of the house clean, doing the dishes, and cooking. Over the years, questions about political views were added to the NLSY. When that data was correlated with that from the PSP, Healy and Malhotra concluded that “the gender stereotyping of the childhood environment thus may help to explain the effects that sisters have on male political attitudes.”

    Their paper, “Childhood Socialization and Political Attitudes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” will be published in the October issue of the Journal of Politics.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
    Under: Republican politics | 4 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 »