Skip to comments.The Lincoln Club of Orange County
Posted on 09/03/2003 8:44:45 AM PDT by logician2u
The Lincoln Club is the largest and most active political club in the United States. Its has shaped California and national politics for almost forty years. Many of southern California's most successful business leaders are among its members.
Like many good stories, The Lincoln Club of Orange County's begins with bloodshed. In 1962, Richard Nixon returned to California to run for Governor. He was considered a heavy favorite to beat Governor Pat Brown, but he had to get by the primary challenge of Orange County native Joe Shell in order to win the nomination. The primary campaign was nasty. Many observers believed that, even though he survived to win the nomination, it was because Nixon had been so bloodied in the primary that he lost the general election against Pat Brown.
The business elite of Orange County, many of whom supported Nixon, believed that they should try to impose a business-like order on state politics and avoid such primary battles. But, instead of shunning Shell supporters, they reached out to them. The Nixon boosters offered the Shell men membership in the new club.
Its founders included the most prominent business leaders in Orange County, including Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the founder of Beckman Instruments, Walter Knott, the founder of Knott's Berry Farm, and Si Fluor of the Flour Corporation.
The club membership is still comprised of the most public-spirited and prominent business men and women in our community today, including Donald Kennedy of First American Financial Corporation, William Foley of Fidelity National Title Company, Donald Sodaro of Hanford Hotels, and George Argyros of Arnel Development. The club has approximately 300 members.
Hundreds of candidates throughout Orange County, our state, and across the nation owe their start to the Lincoln Club. The club has played a pivotal role in the candidacies of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Pete Wilson, and George Deukmejian. Richard Nixon and John Wayne were once members.
The Lincoln Club works to reduce the power and scope of government. It pushes for lower taxes, smaller bureaucracies, and more freedom for us all.
How influential is this group of well-heeled Republican businessmen? How successful have they been in their push for "lower taxes, smaller bureaucracies, and more freedom for us all?"
Does the fact that the club got its start right after the Nixon fiasco in 1962, when conservatives in the GOP were essentially written out of the party for not bowing to the wishes of the establishment, help explain its present position on the recall election? Nixon, a late entry into the '62 primary, blamed conservatives for his loss to Pat Brown in November. Had their candidate, Joe Shell, withdrawn in favor of the former Vice President and avoided the bloodletting, perhaps Nixon would have won.
Think of the alternative history we could have had: Nixon getting the 1964 nomination, being elected over Johnson, imposing his wage and price controls four years earlier, then getting mired in Vietnam and quitting while he was ahead.
Ronald Reagan would have never run for California governor, let alone President. Nixon's Lieutenant Governor, whoever that might have been, could have stepped in to the governor's job and kept it for another 6 or possibly 10 years, thereby eclipsing the ill-fated reign of Governor Moonbeam.
Back to reality.
Back to reality.
The reality is, not much. Taxes, bureaucracies, personal freedoms, are not problems for these men. Access to power is what concerns them. They fear irrelevance much more than than they fear a general loss of liberty.
Small businesses are leaving California in droves, in part because they don't have "access" to help make the laws which give an advantage to the establishment, country-club set.
Favoritism is a bi-partisan, equal-opportunity corruptor.
Yep & ya better play ball with these guys or you are an outcast. This group with its elites are a part of Californias problem. ANd it makes perfect sense for them to go for AS.
From what I can tell, that's an admission they are really in it for the bucks.
True. What's unfortunate is that many of these men are like the lawyers in the CA State Legislature. They have never started a business, one was already there when they got out of college or they became 2nd. VP because Daddy was the founder. The problem of business AND honest labor is the elitism built into California's commercial culture. From their side of the ledger, things look just fine. They worry about someone screwing it up. To the guy at the bottom with a good idea, there is nothing but permit fees, red tape, regulations, that are more formidable than getting his idea to a customer.
It's nothing but a "Good Ol' Boy's" club and you have to be born into it.