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Mike Spence

Conservatives Serve Notice: “Reformed” CRP Platform is the End of the Line

In an unprecedented statement of unity, conservative and pro-family leaders throughout California have served notice on the California Republican Party (CRP) that if the CRP proceeds to adopt a draft platform that eliminates core conservative principles, these leaders will abandon the GOP and form a new conservative party. As the memo sent Friday to the Party’s leadership [Read it here] states “this is the end of the line for the California Republican Party” if the platform is adopted.

Last month, a group of CRP delegates elected as the Platform Drafting Committee launched a coup, proposing to eliminate the Party’s longstanding support for traditional marriage, abandoned the pro-life movement, and significantly weakened the Party’s position on illegal immigration. The platform coup was engineered by wealthy RINO’s with the backing of liberal billionaire Charles Munger. Republicans may remember Munger as the genius behind the so-called “open primary” and “citizens redistricting commission” that will likely result in the GOP losing numerous seats (and all relevance) in the next Legislature.

[Link to an analysis of the current platform compared to the proposed draft that would gut it substantially.]

The attempted RINO platform coup is actually pretty amusing for its audacity, were it not for its potential to destroy the Republican Party. At a time when Republicans have lost legislative seats and no longer hold a single statewide office, the RINO’s want to turn their backs on the three Republican issues which have actually captured majority support of the electorate. Proposition 8’s preservation of traditional marriage passed with 53% of the vote in 2008 – a huge Democratic year in California. Prop 22 passed with an even larger margin in 2000. Of course, Prop 187’s proposed curbs in illegal immigration also were overwhelmingly adopted. And recent polls show that a majority of Americans (including young people) now consider themselves to be pro life.

So what do the RINO geniuses propose? Eliminate these “divisive” Party positions. Apparently they would prefer to limit the contrast between Republicans and Democrats solely to fiscal issues which, not surprisingly, benefit the billionaires on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley venture capital firms. These are the same people who contribute millions to Barack Obama and Barbara Boxer, and then demand of Republicans that they protect them from higher taxes. It’s an all-too-common phenomenon: the heck with mainstream families, let’s focus on what’s good for big corporations.

It is refreshing to see conservative and pro-family leaders throw down a gauntlet. And they are not issuing an idle threat. The signers of the memo represent some of the most influential and accomplished socially conservative leaders in California today. It also includes national pro-marriage leaders. And it is not “fringe” social conservatives who have lent their name to the effort. The memo is signed by such mainstream Republican leaders as Celeste Greig, John Eastman, Jim Lacy, Brian Brown and Rev. Jim Garlow. Collectively, the conservative leaders who have signed the memo are responsible for pastoring to tens of thousands every Sunday, mobilizing hundreds of thousands to qualify ballot initiatives, and convincing millions of voters to side with their cause.Does anyone seriously doubt that these conservative leaders can mount the organizational effort necessary to create a true conservative party in California?

Either the Republican Party will stand with California’s families and restore a conservative platform, or California’s families will organize a party that WILL stand with them. This is what is at stake when the California Republican Party meets next month in Los Angeles. Will this be the end of the line for the GOP in California?

11 Responses to “Conservatives Serve Notice: “Reformed” CRP Platform is the End of the Line”

  1. Robert Bosich Says:

    A dream/fantasy:

    You go to the mall….all stores and banks are closed….same at the auto garage, manufacurers and warehouses …..all business closed!

    A helicopter above…you hear sound….


    Is this a moderate’s dream?

  2. Ernie Konnyu Says:

    Spilling precious California Republican blood over a simplification of the California Republican Party platform is a waste of Republican resources.

    Those of us who have had a presence in the Sacramento or Washington lawmaking capitals know that Republican lawmakers have almost never either obtained or read what is in our state party platform. While we are mostly aligned with and vote in accord with the platform we do so out of belief and conviction and not because a particular issue is featured in the platform.

    The point I am making here is that the party platform is symbolic and is not an effective guide for lawmaking.

    The coalitions that make up our party care about what is in the platform but only express that care when an issue is brought up for our convention’s consideration. This point is evidenced above. However, it is rare for our convention goers to have even a foggy idea of all the elements of the platform. In other words unlike bible quoting among the religious, California Republicans do not generally engage in platform quoting to further our Party’s interests or the way to influence the making or changing of laws.

    So, it is sad to see the threat of a third party movement arise over a probably ill chosen Party action proposed for ratification.

    Aside and apart from all this, splitting into a third party is ineffective in California for it is nearly impossible for third party candidates to get into the “Top Two” general election runoffs. As a result, the anti-reformers’s threat is politically empty and clearly toothless…except for the temporary noise they would create.

    As I wrote at the start, spilling precious California Republican blood of these proposed reforms would be a waste that our minority party can ill afford.

  3. bwiese Says:


    I’m glad these folks are subtracting themselves out of CA Reep party. Thanks for the help.

    Now CA Reeps may *eventually* actually have a chance to win something: right now, the “family values” baloney has achieved for us wonderfully. Reeps will shortly have at or under 1/3 legislative seats – and maybe, if we try really hard, we might occasionally get something downlist, a la State Memorial Dogcatcher office.

    “Family values” is a codeword for a collection of generally losing political positions in California – anti-abortion, anti-gay, sometimes religious bias in schools (Creationism), etc. Whether that is even wholly true or not, it’s irrelevant: it’s what Average California Joe (and more importantly, Jane) Schmoe in populous suburban areas actually believes about CA Reeps. And with increase of younger unmarried female votes, it’s especially fatal.

    [Now you’ll next trot out how you ‘won’ Prop 8 – until that is properly recognized as anomalous, directly correlated with a unique national election, and what is otherwise a single event in a decade-long panoply of generally lost statewide elections – with future likelihood of losing more CA legislative seats.]

    Sounds like CA Reep party management is starting to wake up and maybe even is getting some testosterone injections to withstand the noisy but relatively insignificant ‘family values’ votes. (If their votes were so valuable, they’d actually win some elections instead of being an albatross-by-association,.)

    Once the CA Reep vote focuses on minimal responsible gov’t, lower taxes, functioning schools and keeps itself out of the bedroom then it will pick up seats. In a few cycles – once a reformed Reep party has washed its hands of ‘family values’ codeword baloney – average folks outside of Orange County or certain Central Valley areas may trust them enough to give them a vote.

    ‘Family values’ by default must include at first winning elections so that excess taxation and attacks on businesses can be fought. Everything else is baloney or at best a derivative. Few if any of the currently seated legislators have a chance of holding future significant statewide office due to this taint (actual or perceived) – meaning these policies are “killing the bench”. With a dead bench, nonentities like Meg Whitman come in with cash and lead to further decline in the party because party leadership sits on existing cash and keeps their job – essentially affirmative action for CA Reep party mgmt!

    BTW, as a gun rights activist with a deep committment to a practcal recovery of 2nd Amendment rights in CA, I really don’t give a damn about what’s in the party platform… that’s ‘noise’, and I just care about end results. The current crop of CA Reep legislators has been notoriously skittish about carrying achieveable, passable gun bills, and we’re often getting more traction from some CA Dems than many CA Reeps. Call me back when the nominal CA Reep pro-gun platform actually is substituted by every CA Reep legislator marching up to the CRPA and NRA legislative liaisons and asking what bills they can create or help carry.

    Bill Wiese
    San Jose CA

  4. Ken Campbell Says:

    Mike, we would love to have you in the Tea Party.

    Admittedly I come from the perspective of watching the corruption, incompetence, and FBI investigations of the leadership of the Placer County Republican Party; but truth be told the Republican Party is becoming a relic of the past as is CRA. Witness last April 16 when CRA had their statewide convention in Sacramento and all they could muster was a couple hundred people… all the while the Tea Party Patriots had (within walking distance of that convention) a Sacramento Tax Day Tea Party where over 10,000 people showed up. On that day those types of Tax Day Tea Parties happened all over CA. CRP is no different in terms of relevance.

    Do you think for one minute, if left to Republicans, raising the debt ceiling, the CR or Obamacare would be anything but a slam-dunk? Do you really think if left to the Republicans people would be talking about and studying the Constitution, and the history of our great country? Have you ever gone to a CRP or CRA convention where people give a class on the Constitution, founding principles, limited government or history of the country?

    Like I say, we would love for you to get involved in the Tea Party Mike.

  5. Bob Evans Says:

    The way to win elections is to run moderate Republican candidates. The far right wing-nut candidates run by Mike Spence and his Friends have had their chance and boy, have they messed the Republican Party up in California. So thanks, Mr. Spence, for leaving the Republican Party and starting your own party (Conservatives of California – I think is the name of it) where you can run your far right wing-nut friends and associates. Maybe, just maybe, now the real Republicans (people who believe in individual freedom, free enterprise and efficient and effective government) will have a chance to win and bring our state back from the brink of disaster that the Democrats have caused.

  6. Bob Evans Says:

    PS: there were more like 2,000 and not anywhere near 10,000 people at that T-Party event at Cal Expo across from where the CRA had their convention. And it looks like the T-Party is fading away. According to the latest polls, the T-Party is much in disfavor.

  7. bwiese Says:

    Bob Evans….

    I’ve always enjoyed reading your nicely-written posts here, especially such rejoinders as above.

    You’re also correct about the TP’s decline. Part of the problem is that TPers
    never’ve had any cohesive message other than, “We’re mad as hell and… um… hey what’s next…”, with no professional coordination or unified message.

    Several TP-oriened seats will be lost in Congress this next cycle, though probably that won’t result in party seat changes. One other problem the TParty can’t deal with is that whatever strength in numbers they have is in Red states – most all of which are ‘net transfer’ states – any cuts they promote will directly take from their voter base. See, these states have a Gross State Product such that they take in much more Fed $$ (gov’t salaries, gov’t pensions/SocSec/SSI/MediXXX, etc) than they produce in total goods/services. Cutting gov’t largesse will affect these guys’ voter bases immensely. That’s right, many of these Red states are indeed welfare states, they’re just not full of the proverbial ‘welfare queens and crackheads’ even though there’s really no economic difference.

    For all of CA’s problems, by contrast, we produce far more net goods & services than FedGov sends money back to CA: we in CA are, in fact, giving FedGov too much $$$, and even with various self-inflicted wounds (excess state gov’t, stupid laws, high state taxes) we would be somewhere much closer to OK without this excess FedGov pay-out. The SF Bay Area alone pays for the overhead of a whole pile of Red States.

    Bill Wiese
    San Jose CA

  8. Robert Bosich Says:

    Befuddled Moderate: Flippin/ floppin/Romneycare….

    Patriotic Moderates: McDole

    Psuedo Cocktail Party Grazer Moderate: I was against immigration until I opened a political office in East LA!

    A Imported Moderate: I’m gonna blow up the boxes…but those greenhouse gasses gotta go!

    What would a Moderate propose for California?

  9. Bob Evans Says:

    Robert, your insults regarding moderate candidates are getting a little old. What do I consider a moderate candidate? A person who is not a peeping tom, keeping their nose out of the doctors office and/or the bedroom. A person who thinks their time should be spent making sure that government programs work and those that do not work are eliminated instead of spending all their time promoting their personal religious ideas. A moderate is a person who believes in individual freedom and in personal responsibility and that government should stay out of the personal business of everybody. The Republican Party once had many moderate legislators and constitutional officers. Now, since the RINO yelling minority has taken over the party Republicans have become irrelevant. Sad.

  10. Aaron F Park Says:

    IT is interesting that the only known Conservative posting on this op-ed from Spence is repeating lies and attacking other conservatives.

    Nothing like a nutbag with an axe to grind to make the points of a whole bunch of people that have it wrong.

    You win elections by differentiation – the new platform is symbolic of admitting defeat and eliminates so much that even the sections on Ethics and Federalism were deleted!!! That is beyond the GAG stuff and in to the insane realm!

  11. Robert Bosich Says:

    Bob Evans:

    Politics….off limits personal behavior or religion….unless infringe on constitutional rights of others.

    The problem seems no true leaders run only tired hacks, rich wanta bees, naive dreamers…

    Demographics in California are a challenge. Too many needy people and too many debt ladden looking for salvation.

    Relax. Only through the initiative process will you see the progress your seeking…the legislature is bought and paid for and primaries are frustration played out on the extremes…no rational outcomes.