Manchurian Candidate for Lt. Governor?—Cole Harris—who? Editorial by Stephen Frank

As many of my readers know, I have been involved in politics since 1960—started by walking precincts for Nixon.  I have seen ideologically driven candidates, power hungry candidates, folks that wanted the “bright life”—wine, women and power (in todays world it is also wine, men and power—think Christina Garcia).  Many have studied the issues, been activists, and donated tons of money to candidates and causes.  Some folks have an issue agenda, others want to make a difference.

Then you have the Manchurian Candidates—people who have never been involved, never took a public stand on issues, never attended meetings, never involved in government—but they have so much money, why not spend a few million and get your name on the ballot.

Who controls them?  Who is behind them?  Why won’t they speak to you , your club or Central Committee?  The “Manchurian Candidate” was a 1959 book and early 1960’s  movie about an individual who was brainwashed—we do not know if Cole Harris is brainwashed, power hungry, an ideologue (and what his ideology is) a Tim Donnelly or Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican—or a Democrat registered as a Republican.

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

Manchurian Candidate for Lt. Governor?—Cole Harris—who?

Editorial by Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 5/2/18


A few months ago I noticed that a “Cole Harris” was running as a Republican for Lt. Governor.  He appeared to be very rich.  But, after 58 years of working in politics I never heard of him.  I called some friends around the State.  No one else heard of him.  So, I did what I normally do, I called him—at his financial services company.  I called several times.  Never got a return call.

On April 18. 2018 I saw a short story in “WhatMatters” by Dan Morain in which he noted he also tried to talk with Cole Harris—to no avail—no return calls, no aide calling to say sorry the Candidate had no time to talk to journalists.

Then I went to his website to see where he stood on pension reform, cutting taxes, sanctuary cities, the issues of the day.  This is  a sample of what I found:

“Jobs and the Economy

  • Cole Harris will promote a climate that builds consensus between state government and private enterprise to foster economic growth in California.
  • Cole Harris is an international business owner and leader who has created hundreds of direct jobs, and thousands of indirect jobs in California.
  • Cole Harris will pursue eliminating red tape for small businesses.
  • Cole Harris will bring together the best and brightest entrepreneurs in California to create well-paying, sustainable jobs”

Except for the personal history this could have also been said by Travis Allen or Gavin Newsom—nothing specific, nothing to stand out from the crowd.

This was punctuated for me by his TV ads.  He is proud he was born here, wants his kids to have it as good as he had it.  Then as Lt. Governor work to “unite” all Californians.  Seriously, with a straight face—not even a mention of a single issue—just wants to unite us.  Name a candidate for dog catcher to President that doesn’t want to unite us.  President George W. Bush ran as a “uniter”, but he also had position on issues as well.

This weekend we are going to be asked as delegates to the California Republican Party to vote to endorse Cole Harris for Lt. Governor—a “pig in a poke” as they say in the South.  An Arnold Republican or a McClintock Republican—or a Republican at all?  Yes he donated, after all these years about $15,000 to GOP candidates—a man that put in $2 million of his own money in the Manchurian campaign—was a nickel and dime donor, at his level of assets.

The East County of Ventura has a similar type candidate, our own “Manchurian Candidate”, running for Board of Supervisors, but in this case he did speak on one subject–at a recent speech to the Simi Valley Womens Fed, Andy Waters, a farmer, owner and partner in eight farms in Moorpark, announced he has 1800 farm workers–of which according to him, “many do not have documents”.  Then he asked the women to keep that information “in the room”.  Waters has never been involved in campaigns, claims he is personally going to spend $250,000 to get elected.  Until his appearance at the Womens Fed, he had never attended a GOP meeting.  He claims to be a conservative, but bragged about hiring hundreds of illegals aliens.  BTW, I have a video of him saying this, and more, plus a transcript of his speech.  Manchurian Candidate, or just someone who wants to see his name on the ballot.  Wealthy like Harris, until yesterday, 35 days from the election, no mail pieces.  Spending $250,000 in 35 days in a District with 91,000 voters–of which in the primary maybe 35% will vote?  He wants to buy an election, just like Cole Harris–the other Manchurian Candidate.

What is wrong with Prop. 14, the “Top Two”?  It creates candidates that never existed in public policy or politics before.  It creates people with lots of money and no background in government to run for office, thinking that in the land of blindness a one eyed man is King.

Please if anyone has actually met Cole Harris, let me know his position on sanctuary cities, how he would solve the pension crisis, what he would do about high taxes—not just say they are too high.

Cole, I am sure your campaign team knows how to reach Dan Morain or me.  Here is a hint, my cell phone is 805-795-1271.  Call me—but if you do, I will ask the hard questions.  See you in San Diego.




About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.