The remaining leadership of the badly fractured California Republican Assembly will meet in Fresno this Friday to conduct their own version of the Salem Witch Trials, only the objects of their kangaroo court will be a list of fellow Republicans, not Democrats, and this particular list includes some of the most accomplished and well-known, well-educated Republican volunteer organizers in the state. Their crime? They lost the CRA election. They tried to elect their own slate of officers to CRA statewide office, and when incumbent Celeste Greig and her Merry Band, desparately and pathetically clinging to office, stacked the rules against them, these Republicans sued in Superior Court AND WON THEIR CASE!
But winning justice into a CRA election did not end the story. While the Greig opponents won in court, they were still outmaneuvered at the convention in Sacramento a few months ago by Greig and her top allies: state Board of Equalization career employee Tom Hudson; and Alan and George Park, all of Placer County; and Orange County trial lawyer Craig Alexander, who all disqualified on technicalities scores of delegates lined up to vote against them.
Hudson and the Parks have been distracted by charges of financial wrongdoing while running the Placer County GOP Central Committee, but that is not keeping them from helping Greig and Alexander now to extend the sad, perennial GOP circular firing squad to point their guns and permanently kill off CRA membership of the likes of Lake Forest Councilman Scott Voigts, and many other former top CRA leaders who have collectively accomplished a Mt. Kilimanjaro of work over the years for conservative causes in the GOP.
These amateurs in politics are handling the situation terribly. Republicans are very much the minority party in California. What Celeste Greig and Company should be doing instead, is to be “magnanimous in victory,” and welcome their former opponents back into the CRA fold, so they can repair past divisions and pull together to share their common values, and build strength to beat liberals in the coming elections. But the Greig allies are just too ignorant or intentionally blind of the real purpose of CRA to do that.
Karen England is the Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy for family values. She has led its work in the California state legislature and at local government levels for 12 years. CRI is the oldest pro-family public policy organization in California. But on Saturday, she will lose her CRA membership card in Fresno, as proposed by George Park’s “membership report,” for basically deciding to run against Celeste Greig for CRA President. Outrageous!
David Reade is the Chief of Staff in the Capitol office of conservative Republican Assemblymember Jim Nielsen. David is an accomplished conservative activist who has run for office himself. He is well-known in the current Second Assembly District and in Sacramento as an excellent organizer and political analyst. But on Saturday, Celeste Grieg, the Park Brothers, and Craig Alexander will move to burn his CRA membership card.
Tim LeFever, his wife Amy, and their three girls, are residents of Dixon, California. He is a principal in the real estate development and holding company of LeFever Mattson. He was the Republican nominee in the 3rd Congressional District of California (against Vic Fazio) 1994 and 1996, Chairman of Capitol Resource Institute; Chairman of Mission Solano; advisory board member of The Pacific Justice Institute, Youth Guidance Connection, Campus Life Connection, and the Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center, Co-founder and former board member of The Rutherford Institute of California and The Western Center for Law and Religious Freedom. He is well-educated with a B.A., University of California Berkeley; and J.D., Hastings School of Law, San Francisco. He is scheduled to be purged forever from CRA this Saturday. Because he supported Karen England for CRA president, not Celeste Greig.
Tom Rogers is the District Director for conservative Republican State Senator Joel Anderson in Temecula. Tom has a great reputation for understanding the political landscape and motivating volunteers. But on Saturday he will be terminated from CRA because he did not vote for Celeste Greig at the last CRA convention.
Mark Spannagel is Chief of Staff for conservative Republican State Senator Doug La Malfa. He was Campaign Manager for conservative Republican Tom McClintock For Congress, and is a graduate of the prestigious University of California, Davis. He gets axed by Celeste Greig and her cronies this Saturday, too.
Orange County GOP volunteer activist Paul Dillion will also get the boot this Saturday for the crime of starting a CRA unit in Stanton that did not support Greig, the Parks and Alexander at the last convention.
It really is just a Kafkaesque situation, isn’t it? Purging talented Republicans at a time when conservatives need and should be welcoming to the table every capable person we’ve got, regardless of past differences, which have nothing to do with policy. If CRA needs anything, it needs more, not less talent, especially now, in the wake of the statewide Republican wipe-out of 2010 and the coming reapportionment and open primary elections. And when you really see what Greig and Company are doing in this vile purge, you can conclude that they are really more concerned about consolidating their own power over a now mostly powerless CRA than beating the Left, by forcing these exceptional people out of the organization, an organization that claims honor in being the oldest Republican volunteer organization in the state.
There just isn’t any honor or comradeship left in the CRA, and I suspect that it’s candidate endorsements won’t be worth much, and probably will be a hot potato, if people the caliber of the list above are no longer welcome as members.