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Ron Nehring

Protect Our Republican Candidates by Closing this Crazy Loophole in the CRP Bylaws

We need your help to protect the California Republican Party and our candidates.

This weekend, we have proposed a bylaw amendment to close a loophole that is being exploited to the detriment of our party.

Twelve years ago our party adopted a rule which results in any registered Republican who makes it to the “top two” in the jungle primary to receive the automatic endorsement of the California Republican Party.

In most cases this is not a problem. But what happens when, in a heavily democratic district, someone with a criminal history or someone very obviously racist or anti-Semitic, is the only candidate to file, and they make it into the top-two. The CRP’s seal of approval, our endorsement, goes to them automatically.

No vetting. No vote. Nothing. Our party’s endorsement – the most valuable benefit we can give a candidate – is theirs, on auto-pilot.

This has happened, more than once. Someone with a history of racism or anti-Semitism or a criminal history, re-registered as a Republican, they file, and because either there were only two candidates in the primary, or some other happenstance, they make it into the top two.

And once again, without a vote, they receive the official endorsement of our party. Because we’re on auto-pilot.

And each time this happens, it makes national headlines, and the phone calls start coming in demanding explanations for why our party has endorsed someone who is not even remotely a Republican, or worthy of our endorsement. And when this happens, it hurts all of our Republican candidates up and down the ballot.

Here’s one example of how this bylaw loophole has damaged our party:

Holocaust Denier in California Congressional Race Leaves State GOP Scrambling

The good news is we can put an end to this process of giving our endorsement away like this.

We have introduced a carefully written, very specific bylaw amendment to end the practice of automatically giving the CRP endorsement to non-incumbent candidates who make it into the top-two.

Under this amendment, when a Republican candidate for state legislature or Congress makes it into the top-two, they can still receive the endorsement, but it requires a vote – either of the full state committee, the Executive Committee, or the Board. Someone – somewhere – in the CRP will need to look at these candidates before they receive our endorsement.

The amendment does not apply to our incumbent legislators or Members of Congress seeking re-election. Our Republican state legislators and members of Congress have been previously elected, and they’re not the source of these disasters that occur when we endorse wildly unqualified people who by happenstance fall into the top two.

Our proposal also requires that for an endorsement to be revoked once granted, it must follow a hearing, and requires a higher threshold.

We have one interest in closing that loophole – to protect our party, and to protect all our great Republican candidates from the black eye that comes when this loophole has been exploited by people who do not share Republican values at all.

Please join us in supporting our amendment to close this loophole and protect our party. Your support is needed at the Rules Committee meeting, and on the floor on Sunday.

Ron Nehring, Chairman, California Republican Party, 2007 – 2011
Matt Shupe, Chairman, Republican Party of Contra Costa County