Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Battle for Republican Leader

Jockeying has begun to replace McCarthy. Of the early three contenders, Walters has been aggressive and has Todd Spitzer strongly in her camp. Not known to take the floor and engage in debate, Walters must be considered the dark horse. Keene's steady leadership on budget and strong staff along with raising a good amount of cash have to make him the nominal frontrunner at this point. Plescia is the wild card and the one who most looks the part. Plescia's strength will be his popularity with staff and the person people envision as the best frontman for the Assembly GOP with the media and donors.

Jules Arrives at Hack N Flak

I am honored to join the Hack N Flak blog and can hopefully add some interesting perspectives. Having just finished a Big Kahunaburger and a Sprite, I'm ready to help gear this site up for the election season.

Vince Young in the house!

Yes, every spoiled USC fan's worst nightmare, Vince Young, has decided to join Hacknflak! Just a few observations: a) my Wonderlic score still beats Mountjoy and Oropeza....COMBINED b) Hey Marvin, exactly what did you tell Robert Redford at the end of "The Candidate" when he asks "What do we do now?"

McCarthy in campaign strategy meetings

Why did Kevin McCarthy leave the CRP convention before 5:00 pm on Saturday?

The most important issues of the convention had not even been decided, this being the resolution fight during the General Session on Sunday morning. Shouldn't the Assembly Leader have stuck around to help ensure a smooth and uncontested floor session?

Kevin was overheard saying that the reason he was leaving was to return to his district to "serve my constituents". Come on!! We know that Members in safe seats could care less about serving their constituents.

The rumor floating around is that the Kev has been holding high level campaign strategy meetings with team Thomas. I guess we will just have to wait until March 15 to see. As of posting Thomas is one of the few GOP Congressman that has not yet even pulled papers much less filed.

One other thing on this potential race. McCarthy has spent the last year hiring or placing most of the major Central Valley/Kern County consultants. His major rival, Roy Ashburn, has used Joe Justin in the past. The same Joe Justin that McCarthy just hired to run Assembly GOP campaigns.

Stay tuned!!!

Van Tran Drops out of the 34

I am a little late in reporting this but Jon Fleischman has reported that Van Tran has dropped out of the Senate race and will seek re-election to the Assembly. Big win for Ackerman and Daucher. Big loss for Nyguen and Riggy.

The click here for the story on the Flash Report.

Points to Ponder...

Looks like there is much going on in Reep-land. Let me just throw down a few things and see what comes back?

1) With Tran out of the 34th are you guys really going to get behind Daucher? Advantage Umberg/Correa.

2) McCarthy for Congress? So who replaces him as your fearless leader? Walters, Plescia, DeVore (my shameless plug for a fellow blogger), or Van Tran? Any others? And who has the staff to make it happen?

3) Is this the "year of the moderate" for the GOP? Example: Schwarzenegger, Poizner, Daucher, Bilbray, McCarthy, Maldonado etc etc.

4) Who would get a higher Wonderlic test score: Dennis Mountjoy or Jenny Oropeza? (If you don't know what the Wonderlic test is, just Google: Vince Young, Wonderlic)

Fight On XO

Monday, February 27, 2006

Does Tim Clark charge per release? or Van Tran Launches Campaign

I have always wondered if Tim Clark charges per release. That would make sense since we see a release on everything from campaign finance to changing ones own vehicle oil.

Anyway, Van Tran (who this blogger is a big fan of) has officially launched his campaign against the evil Lynn Daucher. The press release is below.

Popular Orange County Assemblyman Van Tran officially pulled candidate papers today for the open 34th Senate District, while his campaign finance team announced that $250,000 has already been raised for the effort.

“The Orange County Republican donor base has been very supportive of Van in this race,” said campaign spokesman Paul Hegyi. “Our supporters know that Van has a huge lead in the primary election, and they’re focused on gaining as much strength as possible to carry this seat in the general election.”

During his 2004 Assembly primary, Tran built a strong finance committee eventually raising close to $600,000 for that contest. Tran has revived that group for the Senate race, and has also committed $100,000 of his own money to the contest.

“This seat will be won by a Republican in the fall,” continued Hegyi. “Voter registration has made this a Republican district, and Van Tran is – by far – the strongest candidate in the field.”

A recent survey of 34th Senate District Republican voters revealed that Van Tran enjoys 52% name identification with a 5 to 1 favorability ratio, while his likely primary opponent, Lynn Daucher only has 32% name identification with a 2 to 1 favorability rating.


Convention Winners and Losers

Wow what a convention. From the murderers row of political operatives and consultants at the lobby bar on Friday night to the failed coup by conservatives.

Over the next couple of posts I want to list who I thought were some of the winners and losers of this past weekend.

In my humble opinion the biggest winner of the convention was Tony Strickland.

While Able had signs up and in place before 9:00 am on Friday the Strickland campaign came back strong and matched Able's boys in placement if not in quantity.

More importantly Tony and his minions were everywhere. From hallways to receptions to the lobby. Tony also appeared to be a more established candidate having staff with him every where he went creating that entourage feeling of a statewide candidate. Whereas Able had the same two aids with him and many times, that I saw him, he was walking by himself.

Finally, the receptions. Tony had a packed rocking reception on Saturday night, second only to Poizner's "Republican Idol". Able was unable to follow-up on his monster reception in Sacramento last year. In fact, when I visited Able's recepetion it was dead, maybe because he was charging for drinks and did not have any food. It also could have been because the YAFer's struck again and passed out a flyer stating a change in location to a restaraunt down the street.

More winners and losers coming in the near future, next BOE!

UCI, the College Republicans, the Muslim Student Union and the 1st Amendment

This Tuesday evening at the UC Irvine (UCI) there either will or there won't be a student-led discussion about the violence in parts of the Islamic world that flared up over the Danish political cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Along with the riot-inciting Danish political cartoons the College Republican club sponsoring the event will also show anti-Western and anti-Semitic (really anti-Jewish as Arabs are Semites as well) cartoons that routinely appear in Muslim nations.

This event needs to go forward -- if it doesn't, you can kiss the First Amendment goodbye on our campuses.

If UCI prevents this event from occurring on campus, what will happen next? Allow me to give you some easy examples of events that might draw the ire of an emboldened Muslim Student Union:

- A Sudanese refugee and former slave of Muslims speaking on modern-day slavery practiced by many Muslims in Africa
- A Muslim woman who suffered genital mutilation speaking on that barbaric practice, common in parts of the Islamic world
- A Muslim woman lawyer speaking on Sharia (Islamic) law and how under Sharia, a woman is worth half a witness in a court of law (one reason why rape is hard to prove under Sharia law)
- A religious scholar speaking about Islam in any way deemed unacceptable to the Muslim Student Union

I don’t claim to be an expert in Islam – but I did study Arabic for a couple of years in college, I did live in Egypt for half a year, and I did get shot at in Lebanon (doesn’t everyone?). I’d say that compared to most American policymakers, I’m fairly well read on this topic. With that said, the bottom line is clear and simple: if UCI caves this time UCI will never be able to make a stand in the future for academic freedom and the First Amendment if the Muslim Student Union objects.

For my full post on this topic, see: http://www.chuckdevore.com/pages/909913/index.htm

All the best,

Chuck DeVore, State Assemblyman, 70th District

Friday, February 24, 2006

Big Endorsement Coming!

My OC Reep friends have been hammering my e-mail with tips that indicate 68th AD candidate Janet Nguyen just got a huge endorsement ("huge" for a GOP primary at least). Janet seems to be doing quite well for herself in this campaign so far.

Maybe the details will come out at your convention this weekend, I don't know. But, I am not going to announce who the endorsement is from - I'd rather wait and have the Flashreport or OC Blog scoop me on it!

As for me, I am off for some fun in Tahoe! XO

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jessica's Law Polling In

The rumor mill is abuzz that CCPOA just concluded some polling showing Jessica’s Law in the mid-80’s, with the strongly's in the mid-60's.

Game over. This passes.

Californians win. Sex offenders lose.

My only question: will any opposition form?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Show me the Money?

As we are getting fully into the primary season I thought we should start looking at that all together major factor in most political campaign races, the money. There are three major contested races for State Constitutional Officers;

3-Insurance Commisioner

Let's start with HNF's favorite BOE.

Ray Haynes has three accounts (two from past Assembly races and Taxpayers for Haynes). With only the Taxpayers for Haynes showing any activity.

Ray raised $169,688.20 this past period and had expenditures of $137,111.20. He raised a total of $233,337.20 in 2005 and has $77,846.17 cash on hand.

Michelle Steele has one account FRIENDS FOR MICHELLE PARK STEEL.

Michelle raised $187,094.34 this past period and had expenditures of $119,958.43. She raised a total of $472,530.19 in 2005 and has $416,687.06 cash on hand.

No matter what camp you come down in you have to admit that Ray's $77,846.17 is miniscule next to Michelle's $416,687.06.

Next we will look at the very close race for dollars in the Controllers race. For now we want to know what you think!


I want to welcome our newest contributor OCEANS11

Christians and Executions

Now I do not want to hear the defense of "an eye for an eye" - that is overdone and from talking to a friend of mine that fancies himself an amateur theologian - not really applicable. I don't want Jefferson, Locke, or one of Asm. Chuck Devore's vaunted Claremont folks quoted - give me Biblical text!

I am seeking solid Biblical back up for your beliefs!

How can Christians that believe the Bible is the infallible word of God, support the Death Penalty and state executions? (Note: I support the Death Penalty)

From what I understand - Catholics oppose it, some Evangelicals oppose it too, but all the Republican self described Christians support it and want it expanded. To be fair most Democrats in the Legislature support it too.

But let me hear from you self described Christians out there - how does the Bible support executions?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Paulie and Haynes

I always wondered why Phil Paulie was so quick to defend Ray Haynes and Gina Zarhi on this blog. I thought it was because Phil was friends with Gina. However, while he might be, it probably also has a lot to do with him receiving more than $10,000 in consulting fees from Haynes in just the last filing period.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dante and Modern America

There is a long tradition of American interest in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

To that end, Professor Giuseppe Mazzotta wrote a wonderful review of three new Dante translations by Anthony Esolen in the Winter 2005/06 edition of the Claremont Review of Books. (For the review, see: http://www.claremont.org/writings/crb/winter2005/mazzotta.html. Sadly, Mr. Esolen’s translation of Canto One of Dante’s Inferno only appears in the hardcopy of the Claremont Review.)

After reading Mr. Esolen’s fresh translation of Dante, I saw how readily his allegory could be adapted to contemporary political conditions, with the forces of progressivism battling both traditionalism and Natural Law tenets. So, I figured I’d try my hand at bringing some Dantesque prose and commentary into 21st Century America.

Dante’s original volgare Italian verse was written in three-line stanzas in which the first line rhymes with the third while the middle line rhymes with the first line of the next stanza. The pattern is thus: aba, bcb, cdc and so on. It is, of course, impossible to rhyme such a large work in a translation – but not in an adaptation.

So, while in the airport or on flights between Orange County and Sacramento, and with Washington's Day weekend to finish it off, here is a bit of poetry for my fellow Hacks and Flaks. For some of you, of course, Dante's original is much more appropriate (you know who you are and you know what I mean). With thanks (and apologies, if required) to Anthony Esolen for his splendid translation of Dante’s Inferno…

Canto One

Lost in a confused time and threatened by self-delusion, we are
found by a timeless idea, who implores us to return to our ancient faith.

Two hundred and thirty years after our founding
we were unknowingly in danger,
for we had strayed from our firm grounding.

(For the rest, see: http://www.chuckdevore.com/pages/909913/index.htm )

Friday, February 17, 2006

You Reeps and your websites

The GOP primary in the 68th AD is getting as interesting as the Dem primary in SD 8 & 34.

A Reep friend of mine from the OC forwarded me this link about one of your candidates, seems ripe for comment by you Hackers and Flackers- Click here


Monday, February 13, 2006

Mark Leno, Cop Groups and Hustler Magazine

What cop groups gave money to Mark Leno last year? How much did Hustler Magazine and Showgirls give? Check it out!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My Only Issue with the Flashreport

First let me start by saying that I love the Flashreport. It is one of the premiere GOP/political news/blog/commentary site in California.

I have only one problem with it - but maybe it is just reflective of the GOP in California - its contributors, with the exception of two females, is comprised of all white males. No Latinos, Asians or African Americans?

Now I know that us Dems believe that the California GOP, for the most part, is the party of the wealthy white male. That said, why not try harder to change that image?

Maybe my mind is just a little too progressive and left leaning.

Now I know that some of you are going to say that it would be more "racist" or "wrong" to include someone based on ethnicity or race. But, any of you experienced Hacks or Flaks know that perception is important in politics.

I do love the Flashreport and its commentary - I am just offering a non-Reep perspective. Keep it up boys. XO

Friday, February 10, 2006

Isn't Ray Haynes the Conservative Candidate in this race?

California Young Americans for Freedom PAC Endorses Michelle Steel for Board of Equalization

(Palos Verdes) - In yet another sign that Michelle Steel continues to consolidate the Republican base behind her candidacy, today the California Young Americans for Freedom PAC announced their endorsement of Michelle Steel for the open 3rd Board of Equalization District.

"Michelle Steel is exactly the type of leader we need in elected office," said CAL-YAF PAC Chairman Brandon Powers. "Her conservative fiscal principles combined with her private sector background make her the most qualified candidate to be the next member of the Board of Equalization."

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) PAC, founded in 1960 at the estate of William F. Buckley, is the nation's oldest conservative youth organization.

"CAL-YAF PAC's endorsement is an early key conservative endorsement for any candidate," said Campaign Spokesman Mike Richman. "This endorsement is added to a growing list of organizations and individuals from around the district and state that are supporting Michelle, and are making her far and away the frontrunner in this race."

Michelle Steel's list of prominent endorsers in the 3rd BOE District includes:

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
Congressman Ed Royce
Assemblyman Van Tran
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore
Assemblyman Tom Harman
Assemblyman Bob Huff
Assemblyman Jay LaSuer
Orange Co Sheriff Mike Carona
Orange Co D.A Tony Rackauckas
Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby
Orange County Supervisor Jim Silva
San Bernardino Co Supervisor Bill Postmus
San Bernardino Co Supervisor Gary Ovitt
San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn
San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts
(partial list)

Michelle Steel is a member of several community and business based boards and commissions, including the Tax Advisory Committee for the State Board of Equalization. She has also served as a member of the California World Trade Commission, and in August of last year, Michelle was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Conference on Aging, her second presidential appointment.

Monday, February 06, 2006

HNF Poll; Who could replace Schwarzenegger on the Republican ballot?

Is history repeating itself with the CRP? Have we regressed back to the days of the circular firing squad?

In the last week or so I have received letters from Senator McClintock and Congressman Issa asking me to fax a letter of support for our "embattled" Governor. As has been talked about on HNF before certian factions of the CRP are planning on introducing resolutions ranging from demanding the resignation of the Governor's COS to rescinding the endorsement the CRP gave the Governor last year.

What do these people want Governor Angelides? Who do they think they can get to replace Schwarzenegger on the ballot?

McClintock is out so do not mention him.

Tell us who the Republican party could put as a credible candidate!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Riggy Off to a Fast Start

Conservative bigshot and FamilyActionPAC co-founder Jim Righeimer seems to be off to a fast start in his race to replace Van Tran in AD68.

It comes as no shock that the surfing Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, endorsed Jim, as Riggy and he are longtime friends, going back to even before Dana’s first Congressional election where Jim served as Campaign Chairman.

Of note, Righeimer also announced endorsements from Assemblymen DeVore, Walters, Haynes, Mountjoy, and Villines, along with Senators Hollingsworth and Morrow.

He’s been campaigning for what, a week now, and already a good chunk of the conservative movement is lining up behind him… Not bad.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The 3rd House Buzz: Change is Comin'

(I posted this on the Samish Shop but thought I would throw an excerpt of it on Hack N Flak for your enjoyment)

The new buzz around Chops, Spattaro, the Esquire and my personal fave Simon's is that change is coming and needed. Now I am not talking about regime change or power switching partisan hands. The change I speak of is personality based - not policy.

The aptly named 3rd House (Sacramento lobbyists) are desperately looking for new and refreshing candidates from both parties. As we know most legislative seats are locked up - safely Democratic or safely Republican - elections have become boring and predictable. Democratic primaries usually produce some radical leftists that are heavy on paciulli oil, granola, hippie lettuce, Che Guevara t-shirts and light on real world moderation. Similarly the Republican primaries have a habit of spitting out nominees that are are cut right out of the white, overweight, Jerry Falwell, male mold with an uncanny proclivity toward "sermonitis".

*You can read the post in its entirety by clicking HERE

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The numbers speak for themselves

Here are how the Dem candidates in the 34th Senate race are shaping up.

Supervisor Lou Correa, $303,460 Cash on Hand
Assemblyman Tom Umberg, $80,055 Cash on Hand

Analysis: This is not even close to a good showing by Umberg who has been running for this seat the past two years.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bring back the AA! Retire the COS

In days of not so long ago, there were people called "AA's" - otherwise known as Administrative Assistants. However, this was no secretary job - this job performed the same function as those we now refer to pompously as Chiefs of Staff.

AA's weren't only the title given to those people here in Sacramento, but Members of Congress (House & Senate) also used that designation for their top staff member.

I think we need to bring back the "AA" title and do away with the overused and underachieved title of "Chief of Staff". What does "Chief of Staff" really mean, and does it apply when you only have a staff of 4, or if you are 28 years old and this is your second job out of college? The title Administrative Assistant fits most in the building better.

At the risk of sounding like my Republican colleagues across the aisle, I think it is time to return to the values and traditions of years gone by. Bring back the AA title, and retire the COS!