Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio held a press conference Saturday during the California Republican Party Convention to discuss “the catastrophic prospect of a Travis Allen California Republican Party Chairmanship.”
“From unpaid campaign debt for a failed gubernatorial race to running a misleading campaign to repeal the gas tax, it’s critical for delegates to face the facts that Travis Allen is unfit to lead,” DeMaio said.
DeMaio’s primary issue was Allen’s attempt to qualify a gas tax repeal for the ballot, in spite of the campaign DeMaio and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association already had in the works. DeMaio warned that under an Allen GOP Chairmanship, funding for the party would dry up. During the gas tax repeal campaign, DeMaio said Allen received more than $300,000 to push out his ballot measure on video ads that starred himself, while also running for governor.
“Travis Allen was never interested in qualifying a gas tax repeal for the ballot,” said DeMaio. “Travis Allen was interested in one thing: promoting Travis Allen. In fact, it’s the only thing he seems to be good at.”
DeMaio said he met Travis Allen at a gas station when DeMaio’s grassroots initiative was kicked off in the recall effort of Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), tied closely to the gas tax repeal initiative.
Allen responded back to a reporter who had texted him to ask his reply to DeMaio’s press conference:
“Unfortunately, after failing Californians with a badly managed campaign to repeal the gas tax, he now is looking for excuses and issues to distract from his failure,” Allen said in a text, the reporter read outloud.
Asked to respond, DeMaio said, “Ask him how his hair looks. He has audacity to criticize that grass roots effort…“Travis, just go away.”
Another reporter asked DeMaio about Allen’s “Resist” (the establishment) theme. “It should be ‘restore,'” DeMaio said. “Restore the American dream in California. Restore the economic opportunity that used to be in California. Restore hope, pride, and restore opportunity.”
DeMaio added: “I still have hope the California Republican Party can still do the things it needs to do.”
DeMaio said he wasn’t going to endorse anyone, but decided to endorse Jessica Patterson, “who has the experience.” Patterson is currently the CEO of California Trailblazers, which recruits, trains and elects Republicans to state legislative office.
“Jessica believes what I believe,” DeMaio said. “We need elected officials and the grassroots to get this thing done.”