Jim Brulte for California GOP Chairman

Jim Brulte is quietly but earnestly meeting with Republican, business community and conservative leaders across the state of California to discuss the sorry status of our Grand Old Party here.  And the consensus is things couldn’t be worse for Republicans in the Golden State.

In the 2010 election, Democrats swept through and held every single statewide office for the first time in decades.  To make matters worse, after two more years of mismanaged attempts to “re-build” the party, Democrats in 2012 made further advances by achieving veto-proof “supermajorities” in both the state Assembly and the state Senate, giving them the power to raise taxes without need for one Republican vote.  We lost four incumbent Congressional seats statewide to the Democrats in 2012.  Long-labored, and frankly internally divisive efforts to elect a Republican Mayor in San Diego fizzled-out in the final days of the November election.  Suddenly, politics has spun on its axis in Sacramento and Governor Jerry Brown’s veto threat has become the only thing standing between a person’s property and the tax man.  And adding insult to injury, the Secretary of State has recently reported that Republican Party registration statewide has sunk to just 29%, a most pitiful reality.  The Republican Party has become almost irrelevant here in just two election cycles.

The decline of the Republican Party in California did not come unpredicted.  I recall sitting-in on a meeting of consultants exactly two years ago in Jim Brulte’s Sacramento office where he matter-of-factly predicted it would all happen, unless Republicans could “wake up,” better organize themselves, and rise to the practical political challenges the party faces in California.  That didn’t happen and things got worse, not better, just as Brulte had predicted.

This next March, the delegates to the state Republican Party will choose a new Chairman at their convention, and if he runs, I am going to vote for Jim Brulte, because I feel the party risks becoming permanently irrelevant as a political force in our state unless we can engage serious, well-experienced leadership to help reverse its precipitous decline and instead build enthusiasm and support for our conservative cause among California’s increasingly diverse electorate.  We need to win some important elections, badly.  And I think Jim Brulte can help us do that.

Brulte, hailing from the Inland Empire, served as an aide to Senator Sam Hayakawa as a young man, became part of Ronald Reagan’s advance team, and served in both the Assembly and the State Senate as Republican Leader of both Houses.  He is considered a “Capitol insider” by the media, and that he is, working in his business California Strategies on behalf of businesses and organizations that have major investments in and a stake in California.  Brulte is a conservative, and also a realist.  He understands the underpinnings of the Tea Party, and he also understands that now, Republicans cannot have any influence on the process at all going forward unless we start winning elections.

There was a time, when Ronald Reagan was governor, that the chairman of the California Republican Party hailed from our state’s important business boardrooms or agriculture industry, or had served as a medical or legal professional with real-life experience, and those chairmen could get their telephone calls answered when, as volunteers, they managed our Party to some significant statewide successes.  In the last few election cycles, our Party has sadly lost that very important type of “gravitas” in its leadership, a gravitas which leads to success.

Respected conservatives and state GOP leaders have already started to close ranks behind Brulte.  State Party Vice-Chairman Steve Baric, a Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman, has endorsed Brulte’s chairman campaign.  That is a big statement, given Baric’s close links to Republican volunteer groups and the fact that he himself could have made a run for the position with good support from party activists.  So too has Jon Fleischman, a former California GOP Executive Director, conservative leader, and the publisher of the influential FlashReport blog.  Many Republican members of the state legislature have also stepped forward to urge Brulte to make the run, including early supporter, Orange County Assemblyman Don Wagner.

California is currently essentially a “one-party” state.  Democracy itself is threatened by that.  And now, Democrats in Sacramento are actively taking aim at dismantling as best they can the People’s right to vote on initiatives, by loading the process up with more regulations, limiting its availability and making qualification of initiatives more expensive, rather than, for example, opening up the ballot qualification process to new technologies.  If something is not done to bring balance back into the political equation by improving the prospects of the Republican Party, we may even lose our initiative rights altogether in this state, which would clear the way for unbridled dominance of liberal Democrats for decades.  No one person will be the savior for Republicanism in California.  But if Jim Brulte, with all his capabilities and experience, indeed runs for chairman and wins, we will surely be able to put up the better and good fight in the marketplace of ideas that Californians deserve.


  1. Go for it Brulte!

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