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State GOP Convention: Will big party donors desert over internal combat?
SFGate: Politics Blog ^ | 3/18/11 | Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

Posted on 03/18/2011 10:25:17 PM PDT by SmithL

After a combative meeting today marked by tough words and legislative walkouts, California Republicans continued to debate a controversial plan to change the way the party endorses candidates Friday night.

Jeff Miller, the finance chair for the state party, warned Republicans gathered tonight that the party's most loyal donor community is "frustrated with the party'' in the wake of efforts by conservative activists lead by outgoing chair Ron Nehring to change the endorsment process.

He said that big California GOP key check-writers think that most of the party is speaking to "30 percent of the state,'' not concentrating on its key mandate, "electing more Republicans."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: California; Parties; State and Local
KEYWORDS: cagop; prop14
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1 posted on 03/18/2011 10:25:24 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

California, the Republican’s surrendered it long ago. No wonder it doesn’t speak but 30%, because they can’t communicate and combat the local media calling them the KKK.

2 posted on 03/18/2011 10:32:54 PM PDT by dila813
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To: SmithL

These folks are so misguided. They think the caGOP leadership is too conservative?
That’s the same leadership that brought us Arnold and Meg, massive debt and huge growth in government.

What a sad joke they have become.

3 posted on 03/18/2011 10:46:13 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("Sapere Aude!" --Immanuel Kant)
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To: SmithL
not concentrating on its key mandate, "electing more Republicans."

Perfect example of what is wrong with the party.

4 posted on 03/18/2011 10:52:14 PM PDT by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: SmithL

And exactly have the “Big Donor’s” checks brought California?
A pole would tell you if the 30% remark is accurate. Right?

5 posted on 03/18/2011 10:56:23 PM PDT by J Edgar
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To: thecabal

Amen! If they would actually wield the power of a majority when they have it then perhaps electing Republicans just for the numbers might be worthwhile. That is what the Democrats do. When Republicans have the numbers they get all bi-partisan about things and let the media run the show for them.

Run strong conservatives and watch them get elected to the astonishment of the media.

6 posted on 03/18/2011 11:00:37 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: calcowgirl

“That’s the same leadership that brought us Arnold and Meg, massive debt and huge growth in government.”

Absolutely. It’s ‘The New Majority’ gang, that group of socially liberal libertarians who have gained control of the GOP nominating process:

The candidates they get behind are guaranteed to be Democrat-Lite, pale pastel imitations of the likes of Boxer and Pelosi. They have stuck us with a string of losers, losers even when they get elected as in the case of Arnold. California conservatives may as well form their own party, it would probably stand a better chance of appealing to voters than the Big Tent Republicans have been doing.

7 posted on 03/18/2011 11:12:49 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot

Friday, June 15, 2007
New Majority edges state, local GOP toward middle

Los Angeles Daily News
Rick Orlov, Staff Writer

The name might be more wishful thinking than practical politics, but a group of Republican business leaders calling themselves the New Majority are hoping to reshape the GOP to give it a stronger role in state and local politics.

Launched in Orange County seven years ago, the group raised more than $8 million - more than any other contributor - for the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis and replace him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also is a New Majority member.

Since then, the group has expanded to Los Angeles County and now has about 90 members in the area. Organizers also want to establish chapters in San Diego and the Inland Empire to wrest the GOP back from those it considers extremists.

“We are trying to get away from some of the personal attacks that dominate politics today,” said John Kilroy, head of the Los Angeles chapter and chairman of Kilroy Realty Corp. “We recognize that not all Democrats are bad and not all Republicans are good.

“We are a Republican organization, but we want to return the party so that people here feel they have a choice and not get involved with all the wedge issues that seem to divide us. What we are looking for is to reduce the influence of those on the extreme end of issues.”

For the New Majority, Kilroy said that means staying away from issues such as abortion rights and immigration.

No litmus test

“We have people who are pro-choice and people who are pro-life,” Kilroy said. “There is no litmus test, only if they agree with our desire to have a government that is more business- friendly.”

The New Majority was among the largest contributors in Tamar Galatzan’s bid for election to the Los Angeles Unified School District board. The group raised $200,000 for Galatzan, contributing the funds to a mayoral committee that funneled money to Galatzan.

“A lot of people looked at that and asked why we were supporting a Democrat,” Kilroy said. “We felt she was the best-qualified candidate and will bring us closer to what we believe in.”

He said the decision also was helped by the fact that the school board post is a nonpartisan seat.

“We have people in our organization who are pragmatic,” Kilroy said. “We are looking at candidates from a business approach. We look at what we have now, at what doesn’t work, and are looking for people who offer solutions.”

Original New Majority founders included such moderates as developer Donald Bren and George Arygyros. In Los Angeles, it has a number of prominent Republicans who have indicated they are looking to change the direction of the party. Among them are Bert and Jane Boeckmann of Galpin Ford, Kathy and Frank Baxter of Jefferies and Co., Dawn and Roland Arnall of Ameriquest Capital, and Elizabeth and Robert Lowe of Lowe Enterprises.

“We believe in politics, but we are concerned the parties have been highjacked by the extremes on both ends,” Kilroy said. “We think if we can elect moderate Republicans, it will serve to help elect moderate Democrats who are representing most of the people in the middle.”

GOP comeback in L.A.?

Republican consultant Allan Hoffenblum said the group has an admirable goal of trying to make the GOP a factor again in Los Angeles elections - even though Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by large margins.

“It makes sense that they would get involved in a nonpartisan election as a way to become a factor,” Hoffenblum said. “And that’s because there are hardly any Republicans left in elected office in this county.

“We have some Republicans in office, but nowhere near where it was 20 years ago when we had competitive districts. All those have been carved up for Democrats.”

In Los Angeles County, most recent figures show 1.9 million registered Democrats and 1.05 million Republicans out of 3.9 million registered voters. But of 1.9 million registered voters in the city of Los Angeles, there are 780,000 registered Democrats compared to just 288,000 Republicans.

Kilroy said his group hopes there will be a change in how districts are drawn as a new reapportionment plan is pushed through the state Legislature.

While it has yet to endorse a specific approach, Kilroy said he expects the New Majority to play an active role in any campaign that develops.

Tom Ross, a political consultant to the group, said it favors a citizens’ commission responsible for reapportionment, but is open to other proposals.

“Our key thing is seeing reapportionment taken from the hands of politicians,” Ross said. “But we are a pretty pragmatic group and we are open to looking at other options as long as it changes the way it’s done now.”

8 posted on 03/18/2011 11:21:14 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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To: SmithL
I made the mistake of volunteering for my local "Republican" party central committee. I thought it would be like Tucson in the 1960's, when my mother and I walked the precincts campaigning for Nixon. My Dad had AuH2O on his bumper.

Nope. They spent half the meeting listening to some ancient halfwit talk about the upcoming golf tournament, probably with a bunch of illegal alien caddies.

Whatta a bunch of worthless losers. All around them, their state is being taken over, and they thought nothing will ever change, lets go golfing, sing la de da.

There's a reason California fell off a cliff.

9 posted on 03/18/2011 11:23:42 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out! Americans are on the March! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
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To: Pelham
means staying away from issues such as abortion rights and immigration

Yup. Why run on real winning issues when you can run on say, cutting the budget 3% more than Jerry Geezer?

Real winners these guys.

10 posted on 03/18/2011 11:25:53 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out! Americans are on the March! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
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To: SmithL
Hmmm. Seems like the 'key check-writers' don't control very much money. How did tea-party candidates do with small donations?

Someone should take a medium sized check and purchase a clue.


11 posted on 03/18/2011 11:27:56 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: thecabal


Monday, August 7, 2006
OC Metro

OC Metro by Steve Eddy

When it comes to high-level Republican politics in an election year, it’s time to meet the new boss ­ not quite the same as the old boss.

Back in 1999, after Democrat Gray Davis trounced hard-core conservative Dan Lungren in the 1998 governor’s race, winning 59% of the popular vote to Lungren’s 39%, it became apparent to a number of wealthy Orange County Republicans that their beloved party wasn’t resonating anymore. The age-old conservative power structure led by county GOP chairman Tom Fuentes was losing touch with a county and state whose demographics were reflecting a more moderate political outlook.

Instead of merely bemoaning the situation, these successful businessmen got together and created an organization to channel the change in their fathoms-deep pockets. Fast-forward to 2006, and it’s clear that members of that group, the New Majority, are now among the Powers That Be. And, for a bunch of former political neophytes, the results haven’t exactly been shabby: The group can (and does) boast of donations of more than $30 million to hand-selected GOP candidates and causes, here and around the country, and the registration of 30,000 new Republicans in Orange County.

Along the way, individuals within the group who used to sit on the sidelines have become major players.

“The New Majority’s biggest accomplishment is that they brought a lot of people to the political table that weren’t there before,” says Michael Capaldi, chairman emeritus of the Lincoln Club, a Republican group that is often seen as a rival to the New Majority but which Capaldi says is an ally. “The New Majority grew out of a network of donors for the arts,” Capaldi says. “Bringing that new interest, enthusiasm and money to the Republican side is a positive for the party. You may not agree with everything they stand for, but, as a Republican, you have to welcome them.”

An example of the conversion from fine arts philanthropists to political moneyman? There’s none better than Paul Folino, head of giant data-storage company Emulex and chairman of New Majority Orange County. Folino, who is one of the county’s most noted and generous philanthropists, used to leave politics to others.

“I was registered as an independent,” Folino says. “I hadn’t been involved in the political process. I always just looked at the best available ‘athlete.’ And that person could come from either party.” About six years ago, as the finishing touches were being put on the New Majority’s local apparatus, Folino was drawn into discussions with two of the group’s lynchpins, venture capitalist Tom Tucker and Apria Healthcare head Larry Higby. These were men he knew from nonprofit boards at South Coast Repertory and elsewhere.

“Tom and Larry approached me about this concept of promoting a fiscally responsible philosophy toward government, but at the same time being more inclusive,” Folino recalls.

In other words, no right wing “litmus test” for candidates. “Inclusive,” Folino says, “really means that we don’t spend a lot of time discussing what we call the social issues ­ abortion, gun control, those kinds of things. In other words, as long as a candidate was pro-business and anti-tax, his or her views on other matters would take a back seat.

“I could really relate to that, and I got on the bandwagon. The goal was to professionalize the Republican Party, make it more like a business.”

Folino told his pals he would help out financially, but that he’d rather stay in the background. “That lasted about 27 seconds,” he says with a laugh. He almost immediately found himself being interviewed by Tom Brokaw on NBC, and he became the “face” of the New Majority.

All it takes to become a member of the club is a cool $10,000 a year in dues, but that’s only the beginning of the group’s financial base, according to Folino. “The real power is that many of our members are going beyond that, giving more money.”

The club’s financial clout is aimed at “getting people elected who understand economics,” says Tom McKernan, president of the Automobile Club of Southern California. McKernan, chairman of the New Majority’s Political Affairs Committee and vice chairman of the Orange County board, says there is great concern about the economy being weakened over time, “and you end up with fewer jobs ­ fewer middle-class-type jobs.”

McKernan says the group “is sticking to that goal. People all seem to work together. There’s not a lot of infighting. Everyone is focused on the mission and very dedicated to it. All of them have other lives and other things. This isn’t their main focus. But we’ve all come to it with a passion to get a result.”

What results?
Others question whether the New Majority has stuck to it’s original intent and say the results haven’t been all that impressive. Sure, they have raised a lot of money, but what victories have they engineered?

The group strongly supported Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2004 recall election, and some point to his triumph as the club’s biggest success. But most political analysts say that Schwarzenegger likely would have won without the New Majority’s cash infusions.

“It wasn’t a close race,” says Mark Petracca, professor of political science at UC Irvine. “He didn’t need their money. The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘In what contested race have they made difference?’ When and where have they tipped the balance in an election?”

“I’m not aware of a case where they weighed in with an independent expenditure and tilted the scales in the direction of a win,” says Capaldi. “But there may be cases I’m not aware of.”

Orange County Republican elder statesman Dale Dykema is a member of both the Lincoln Club and the New Majority. He says the New Majority has a made a difference in several contested races, pointing to the 2002 victories of Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia in the 80th District in the Inland Empire and Assemblywoman Shirley Horton in the 78th District in San Diego, candidates the club backed.

But the question remains whether the group has been true to its initial urge toward moderation.

“When the New Majority first came along back in 1999-2000, I certainly thought it was a move in the right direction,” says Frank Barbaro, chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party. “I was very impressed with the people involved and hoped they would move the Republicans more to the center and make them more responsive to the needs of the people in Orange County.

“Initially, I saw some better candidates and other good things happening. But more recently, I haven’t seen it so much. It seems to me like we’re getting a melding of the new majority with the old majority, if you will. They haven’t maintained the forward-looking attitude they started with. I mean, where are they on the issue of abortion? Where are they on the issues of immigration? Where are they on the issues of the environment? There doesn’t seem to be much now that distinguishes them from the knee-jerk right-wingers they started out to replace.”

The New Majority maintains strong support for Gov. Schwarzenegger, a social moderate, but withheld support from moderate Tom Harman in his recent state senate contest. When Harman ran for assembly in 2000, New Majority members successfully backed him against the establishment candidate. This time around, however, when he was locked close race with Diane Harkey in Orange County’s 35th state senate district, the New Majority was missing in action. Harman won without their support.

Capaldi blames the split between Harman and the New Majority more on Harman than on any failure of moderate principles at the club. “They had to be disappointed with his performance in office after they supported him for assembly,” Capaldi says. “He let a lot of fiscal conservatives down, with support for regulations, for increased taxes and fees, that moderate Republicans wouldn’t have touched. I think the New Majority fell out of love with him for good reasons.”

Academic opinion
Jack Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a longtime observer of the Southern California

political scene, believes that, on balance, the New Majority has been a moderating influence on Orange County Republican politics.

“One sign is the degree of support for the governor in the county,” Pitney says, “a governor whose philosophy is very much in line with that of the New Majority.”

Petracca agrees: “There are other factors involved in the shift in Republican attitudes here, but yes, the New Majority has been a moderating influence. They haven’t so much pushed a moderate social agenda as they have just stopped talking about social issues,” making the right-wing social agenda less of an issue.

“It’s kind of hard to push any kind of social agenda on a local level,” says Pitney. “Most of those decisions take place in Sacramento or Washington. But the New Majority has had influence on those politicians who realize that there are a lot of checks out there to be written by people who favor a moderate social agenda.

“It’s not that you’re seeing huge numbers of Orange County Republican officeholders showing up at gay-rights rallies that doesn’t happen.” But, at the same time, “You don’t have Dornan or Dannemeyer anymore. A lot of local politicians still have conservative views, but they don’t express them in the same way.”

Another analyst, Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of the California Target Book, which handicaps various legislative races, says that in the beginning, the New Majority “was sort of the moderate Lincoln Club. They wanted to confront what they perceived to be too much dominance by rigid conservatives, and were willing to support candidates who might not toe the conservative line on certain issues.” But, over time, he says, the group became less confrontational.

“It appears that they’re becoming mainstream (Republican),” Hoffenblum says. “Attempting to go from confronting the hard core to see if there is some way everyone can work together.” That can mean endorsing a fervid conservative such as Tom McClintock, who the group supports in his race for lieutenant governor.

“In politics, particularly on Republican side, there really aren’t enough candidates out there who are strong for us to be too selective,” says Capaldi. “We don’t have enough good candidates to really have a litmus test, one way or the other.

“When you have a good moderate Republican who is in a race for his life, you are going to support him. When you have a conservative who is working to survive in her election, you are going to support her. Any good Republican would rather see a Republican of just about any description holding office than a Democrat.

“That is the Lincoln Club’s philosophy, and I think over the years, the New Majority has joined us in that philosophy. I think they are looking a lot less now for a sort of moderate litmus

test. They are looking more toward building momentum for Republicans in general.

Tucker, statewide New Majority chairman and the original Orange County chairman, agrees that outlooks have changed.

“When we began, we are singularly focused as agents of change ­ almost like rebels,” Tucker says of the days when he and Larry Higby led an unsuccessful frontal assault on the county’s Republican old guard. “I think we have matured and become more pragmatic as it relates to politics. Most of us were very green in the political arena, and there’s a pretty steep learning curve.”

One thing they learned, Tucker says, “is that if all you do is work with people who think like you do, you’ll never build a majority. Today, it’s important to build coalitions with people you can agree with on specific issues. But you don’t have to agree with them on every issue.”

As an example, he mentions OC Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh. “I recruited him to take a leadership position in the Orange County party,” Tucker says. “He is a social conservative. I am socially moderate. But he’s a great business guy, and we now have a strong personal and political relationship. In my first meetings with him early on, it certainly was not at that level. Over time, our attitudes changed and our thought processes matured.”

Not an ATM machine
That maturity has blossomed into the New Majority becoming the largest donor to the Orange County Republican Party.

But, Tucker cautions, “We’re not an ATM machine. We have high expectations, and Scott has met or achieved every one” of them in the areas of voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. In the end, of course, much of modern politics comes down to money, as it’s impossible to get elected without it.

“The New Majority’s purpose isn’t to pass resolutions on a Saturday afternoon,” Hoffenblum says. “Their purpose is to raise large dollars.”

That they’ve done ­ and they’re not finished. Far from it. An initial Orange County chapter (there are about 140 members now) spawned one in Los Angeles County, and the group is now setting its sights on the Inland Empire, San Diego County and, a bit further down the road, the Bay Area.

“In the next two or three years, we could find ourselves (in all the chapters) with 400 to 500 members,” Folino says. “Imagine what we could do with 500 members.”

With Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides viewed as a potential calamity from a business standpoint, a prime focus of the group is getting Gov. Schwarzenegger re-elected. The group’s website ( features an array of photos of various New Majority figures posing with a beaming Schwarzenegger.

Other photo galleries show group members with a wide range of national Republican figures, some moderate and some not so moderate, who have come to Orange County to court the club’s money. They include Governors Mitt Romney and George Pataki, Sen. John McCain, Sen. George Allen, Karl Rove and Dan Quayle.

Despite their hefty contributions and hobnobbing with national figures, some analysts say the group’s clout remains local at present.

“They are not a major player in state or national politics,” says Petracca.

In Orange County, however, they are a force to be reckoned with. OCM

12 posted on 03/18/2011 11:33:53 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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To: Regulator

They can offer up their ‘inclusive’ Big Tent candidates all they want. I won’t vote for them.

13 posted on 03/18/2011 11:40:20 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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To: Pelham

Groups like that just want everybody to be nice and just get along. When the talk about abortion and immigration they are already using whitewashed terms. As long as they skirt the issues, usually out of fear of the media, they will never give the voters a clear choice.

Abortion is murder, period! Just as with capital punishment, murder is sometimes justified but only in rare circumstances. It must be made clear that the Democrats are talking about a woman’s right to choose to murder her unborn child.

The same with immigration. The subject is not immigration, the subject is our being invaded by people who are illegally in this country. The corollary is the burden they place on the taxpayers when they receive money and services that are reserved for citizens.

Dancing around these issues simply muddies the water and leads to nothing being done. Give people clear choices, not Romneys and McCains.

14 posted on 03/18/2011 11:58:40 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Pelham
group of Republican business leaders calling themselves the New Majority....the New Majority means staying away from issues such as abortion rights and immigration.

Most of these people are nothing more than run of the mill, wealthy folks, who live in 3+ million dollar view homes scattered all over Orange County....Most all these people care only about personal power and personal profits

To hell with these people

15 posted on 03/19/2011 12:23:25 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Regulator
means staying away from issues such as abortion rights and immigration

Why run on real winning issues

Abortion reduction is not a winning issue in CA. We've tried a number of times to get just a simple notification of even one parent/guardian before abortions are performed on young girls. Fails every time it's on the ballot no matter how watered down. Prop 4, Sarah's Law, is one example.

Immigration has been a toxic issue in CA since 1994's Prop 187. was struck down by Carter appointee (Mariana Pfaelzer) for infringing on the fed's right to set immigration policy. Gov Pete Wilson (R) appealed but was termed out. Not unlike Obama's DOMA move, in 1999 Gov. Grey Davis (D) decided not to appeal the Prop 187 decision.

Eighteen years later and resentment is very high among a increasingly Hispanic majority brainwashed by La Raz, Reconquista lies, "Mexifornia" spanish-language media and Democrat race-baiting.

16 posted on 03/19/2011 3:10:37 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Obama, recreating-in-chief until Fri, Jan. 20, 2017.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
The subject is not immigration, the subject is our being invaded by people who are illegally in this country. The corollary is the burden they place on the taxpayers when they receive money and services that are reserved for citizens.

How do you sell that to the majority population of CA which is full of anchor babies and their relatives?

CAGOP haven't any idea how to package it so the debate moves back to fundamental fairness and away from the two-decade war of racist demagoguery of the Dems, brainwashing by La Raz, the Reconquista movement and spanish-language media.

17 posted on 03/19/2011 4:11:19 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Obama, recreating-in-chief until Fri, Jan. 20, 2017.)
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To: newzjunkey
Yeah. I was here for all of that, and remember that Mr. Davis was de-governorized over that issue, power problems that summer being just the last straw with him.

Mexican illegal immigration is a winning issue that the Republicans keep running from. Remember 187 won by a 2/3 majority. It was Dan Lungren who caved and walked away from the issue, which is one reason the guy lost to Davis...aside from being an unlikable eel.

Steve Poizner made himself competitive with Whitman by bringing up illegal immigration. In retrospect, why did she get the nomination and not him? Because people are afraid of being called nasty names for pointing out the elephant in the room.

So from my perspective it's a lack of perception and will. Nominating a dilletante like Whitman was a mistake; she really could do a lot more if she were to have taken that 130 million she spent and build up a publishing business in California that would not be a pawn of the Left: TV stations, newspapers, online ezines. That's something she knows a lot about.

Ask yourself about the backbone of Conservatism in California: talk radio. Do we have an equivalent anywhere else in the mediasphere? Hollywood?

Yet that used to be the domain of Americanism in California, and even spawned the greatest role model: Reagan.

So I don't think that social conservatism is dead here, or that it's a loser. It's just not properly played.

The CRP has about a decade to do something, and then it really will be dead, as California simply sinks into being Mexico Norte. They could start by trying to change the media equation with the people they have.

Absent that, aprende Espanol, and get ready to pay the mordida.

18 posted on 03/19/2011 3:24:14 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out! Americans are on the March! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
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To: dragnet2

“To hell with these people”

Second that!

19 posted on 03/19/2011 11:04:40 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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To: newzjunkey

“Grey Davis (D) decided not to appeal the Prop 187 decision.”

You left out “and Arnold Schwarzenegger, member of the Bush-Rove Open Borders faction, declined to appeal Prop 187, which he could have done at any time.”

20 posted on 03/19/2011 11:08:06 PM PDT by Pelham (California, Mexico's most recent colony.)
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