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RecallGavin2020 rally at CA State Capitol. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

CAGOP Should Not Burn Up the Recall Jungle

There’s also a faint whiff of rigging in the possibility of sudden new rules

By Edward Ring, July 21, 2021 2:20 am

The latest hot rumor, circulating among the disaffected rebels, the insiders, and the wanna-be insiders (guilty), is that the California State GOP is going to endorse Kevin Faulconer as the official Republican candidate in the upcoming Newsom recall election.

Officials at CAGOP have dismissed this rumor as unfounded, claiming the process has just begun and the outcome is uncertain. Apparently the party’s rules committee will convene later this week, and then the party’s executive committee will meet over the weekend. If these committees approve an endorsement process, then candidates will be asked to each collect 200 endorsements from among the roughly 1,400 party delegates. Since party delegates will be permitted to endorse more than one candidate, this was represented as a reasonable requirement.

But coming at the last minute, this is not reasonable. It’s also a flawed strategy. GOP voters who feel burned may stay home on September 14.

Candidates with strong ties to the state party organization and established relationships with party delegates will have a decisive advantage acquiring delegate signatures, especially since the petitions themselves, apparently, won’t be available until the party decides they’re going forward with an endorsement selection process. Therefore, if they’re only given a week or two to go track down delegates, it is possible that candidates that have already invested a lot in this contest will be froze out of even being considered.

One of the things that may elude officials at CAGOP is that in order for the recall ballot’s question one (should Newsom be recalled, yes or no?) to attract 50 percent plus one “yes” votes, the more candidates that are in the race, fighting all the way to the finish line, the better. Every candidate has some base of support that does not overlap with any other candidate. There are people who will vote for Larry Elder, or Kevin Kiley, who will not cast a ballot if their candidate is not on the ballot. Ditto for Major Williams or Caitlyn Jenner. Some of these candidates might not poll very well. But the thousands of votes that only they can attract will make a difference if question one is a cliffhanger.

There’s also a faint whiff of rigging in the possibility of sudden new rules. Why now? Why not months ago, as soon as it was certain there would be a recall election? Candidates that are party outsiders, like John Cox, are going to have to drop everything to try to track down 200 delegates in a matter of days. Where is the respect John Cox deserves? This is a man who stepped up when nobody else was willing or able to step up. He invested his time and his fortune and earned a spot on the 2018 ballot against Newsom. Where was CAGOP back then? If there were better candidates, where were they? Why didn’t they run? In this recall, Cox was one of the first candidates to go to work. His television ads have relentlessly attacked Newsom. What’s that worth?

There’s more. Cox is good on the issues. While Faulconer’s polished campaign operation releases poll tested bromides about cutting taxes, Cox’s editorials are specific, talking, for example, about how housing prices cannot come down until construction costs are brought down through deregulating the building industry. Win or lose, John Cox deserves respect. People who dismiss his candidacy are invited to step up and run for office themselves.

What is the upside of the CAGOP endorsing a candidate, when the focus ought to be on question one? Consider the what-ifs. For example, what if the CAGOP endorses Faulconer? To suggest CAGOP would endorse anyone else insults the intelligence of anyone familiar with the dynamics of the state party. So how does this help? Does this somehow empower Faulconer to raise more money, which can then be deployed against Newsom to increase the chances that Newsom does not survive question one? That’s a valid argument, but it is a dangerous gamble.

Faulconer does not excite the right wing of the CAGOP. Kevin Kiley does. So no matter how hard they try to legitimize it, if CAGOP proceeds with the endorsement process they will embitter thousands of grassroots supporters, they will burn off entire county committees; at the least they will derail what had been a growing opportunity to unite the establishment and the grassroots.

If CAGOP is trying to reimagine the party as more inclusive, capable of attracting independents and disaffected Democrats, they aren’t going to accomplish that objective by backing Kevin Faulconer. And to state this is not meant to take anything away from Faulconer. He is a moderate Republican who, theoretically, should be able to attract people on the fence. But his choreographed gestures and coiffed hair make him look like another Newsom. CAGOP needs excitement and authenticity, and for all his viability on paper, Faulconer is not exciting. It’s good he’s in the race. He’ll get votes that the other GOP candidates will not get. He will help in the quest to move the yes vote on question one to 50 plus one. But he is not a breakthrough candidate.

The candidate that represents a true opportunity to realign the state is Larry Elder. Not because Kiley, Cox and Faulconer aren’t good candidates, each in their own way. But because Elder is something completely new. He is passionate, persuasive, a professional communicator, a Los Angeles native, and an African American with the ability to unapologetically explain the virtues of conservative values to everyone.

Larry Elder has the credibility and charisma that California’s Republicans need. He isn’t Newsom lite. He is a revolution. CAGOP should focus on getting Larry Elder past the roadblocks that a terrified bureaucracy have put between him and the ballot, and then just let every one of these worthy candidates fight it out.

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14 thoughts on “CAGOP Should Not Burn Up the Recall Jungle

  1. Here’s the crux of this issue :

    “Where was CAGOP back then?”

    The CAGOP is so insular, concerned wirh its own procedures and divorced from the realities of the corruption of the Democrat Party in this state and AFRAID to call them out for their union-funded BS that they are completely irrelevant,

    And then they emerge, like this years’ Brood X cicadas, to screw up the GRASS-ROOTS recall that they had VERY little to do with, to even suggest nominating a bland party hack who has his own corruption taint like Kevin Faulconer, ostensibly to reward him for some unseen internal activities or party loyalty to their (supposedly conservative) witches coven….

    The CAGOP is dead to me and you can STOP making pleas for money until you actually DO SOMETHING relevant to stand up against the Democrats that have run ROUGHSHOD over you for 20 plus years….

    1. Just want to say I appreciate this from Edward Ring. Very glad to see it.
      And CD9, whatever else there was left to say, you’ve said it.
      Soooo tired of being manipulated by the CAGOP, which has actually become a destructive force, almost like a special interest, in CA politics. We can only hope they will step back from “helping” in this important recall.

  2. Yes, it makes the hairs on my neck stand. The CA GOP only publicly supported this cause after the effort was near success. This action actually makes it easy for me to cross Faulconer off my list. Faulconer is a milk toast candidate.
    Does the official GOP endorsement make him more appealing? I do not think so. Maybe it puts a target on his back for the powerful union thugs to go after.

    @CriticalDfence9, I agree the CA GOP have let the Dems run roughshod. It is a main reason we are in this mess.
    We the people have had a enough. We want real change, not lip service, not the other side of the progressive coin so to speak.

    This is just political noise for me. I can tune it out and explore other options.

    1. “We the people have had enough. We want real change, not lip service, not the other side of the progressive coin so to speak.”
      Excellent, Cali Girl. Couldn’t agree more!

  3. I agree with you Mr. Ring. Elder is the best choice,however,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he should focus on his policies of change more and quit shouting out what a bum Newsom is. I want to vote FOR someone, not AGAINST someone. The only people that care about the CaGOP are themselves and their self importance, I believe their influence in this state is minimal given their past performance.
    PLEASE, Larry give us some meat (policy/vision) not just mud.

  4. Establishment Republicans make my skin crawl. An official endorsement from the GOP is the kiss of death to their candidate as no one wants their fake conservatives anymore. No more holding your nose and voting for the guy whose only quality is that they are less worse than the Democrat. The GOP has a long history of pushing fake conservatives. I am done.

    Larry Elder is my man.

    1. Let’s not forget the the narrative for the Democrats in the recall is that “The Republicans can’t win on the issues and are using the recall as a power grab.” Watch their campaign commercial. If the CaGOP and RNC endorse a candidate it confirms the Democrat narrative…..So, why would you do that you GOP morons?…..Duuuh.

  5. Faulconer? Oh great, another global warming nut job like Arnold. And yes, it’s called global warming because it’s core is based on the greenhouse effect. They only changed the name to climate change since their POS warming predictions weren’t coming even slightly close and they needed a name that could go both ways.

  6. So I got an email from the CAGOP this afternoon with a “candidate preference survey” link…

    THE LINK WAS BROKEN/INOPERABLE!!! (I’m NOT making this up – it actually happened!!!)

    These morons can’t DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!! They’re like the flip-side of Newsom!!! Total and utter FAILURES!!!

    GET IT TOGETHER, people!!!

  7. CAGOP is worthless, just as the greater GOP is! I told them to quit contacting me asking for donations; I will NEVER give them a dime! I will be supporting Larry Elder with my funds and my vote! In my opinion, he is the only candidate that can beat Gruesome Newsom! If the CAGOP doesn’t back him, then my assessment of them stands!

  8. “GOP voters who feel burned may stay home on September 14.” NOT A CHANCE! While the recall of Newsom is not necessarily a partisan issue, it has certainly solidified the conservative base to show up on 9/14! I don’t know who the CAGOP represent these days, but they don’t seem too conservative anymore, and you can tell by the ‘establishment’ candidates they are trying to force-feed us. California needs someone more like Larry Elder to shake things up and get this sinking ship set right & turned around. Kiley fought hard for the recall & I appreciate that, but he’s appearing too soft on issues of major conservative importance. I like Major Williams, but can’t even tell if he’s really running? Elder has the name recognition that can get us over that 20% mark, and he’ll be our family’s choice.

  9. Of course CAGOP will stuff its head up its ass. They’ve been RINO scum for years. Instead of standing up for conservative, American, constitutional values, they slobber all over themselves when demonrats yell and scream. Grow a spine and kick these dem scum in the ass, instead.

  10. I don’t care what the CAGOP does… they’ve been an epic failure…
    Larry Elder is the best candidate, and makes the rest of the cookie cutter machine pols pale by comparison (pun intended) and the CAGOP would be wise to back him.

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