Friday, September 16, 2011

Rejecting the sage advice Calbuzz offered them, GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have basically told the hundreds of dedicated activists of the California Republican Party, who will convene in Los Angeles today through the weekend, “You are irrelevant, meaningless and worthless.”

Romney, who has a seaside mansion just down the road in La Jolla and who will be doing three fat dollar fundraisers in California on Friday, and Perry, who just did a series of Golden State cash grabbers, have opted to skip the state GOP convention, leaving the field to Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul (oy).

They appear to have concluded that the Republican nominee will have been chosen by next June, when California holds its presidential primary, and therefore there’s no need to recruit and fire up grass roots conservatives. That’s the only way to interpret their decision because if the state’s 172 GOP delegates are still in play next June, neither campaign is likely to have enough money to seriously advertise on TV in California’s hugely expensive media markets.

According to the latest Field Poll, Romney leads Perry 28-20% among Republican voters statewide, but among the activist crowd, Tea Party identifiers and born-again Christians, Perry leads Romney 33-23% and 28-19%. By not showing up, both candidates are sticking fingers in the eyes of those potential volunteers.

We can understand why Romney might be a little gun shy since he’s getting California advice and counsel from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. She got skewered at a couple of California GOP conventions during her 2010 campaign for governor. “Mitt, don’t even think about getting mixed up with those loons,” Whitman told Romney, according to sources close to our imagination.

But Perry is missing a bet. He’s just the kind of gun-loving, God-fearing, abortion-banning, tax-hating, tough-talking candidate California Republican Party conventioneers adore. Instead of lining up support, he’s flipping them the bird.

Of course, part of the reason the big boys may want to stay away is news that a group of GOP moderates – incorporating some of the advice Calbuzz has freely proffered – are seeking to tone down some of the explicit arch-conservative language in the California GOP platform, in hopes of appealing to a broader swath of voters.

According to a handy spreadsheet put together by our knuckle-dragging friend Jon Fleischman – who vehemently opposes the proposal – the new platform would remove a specific call for withholding government benefits to illegals, remove specific support for two-thirds votes on tax measures, wipe out platform language relating to allowing concealed weapons and ending waiting periods for gun purchases, remove mention of support for “English only” laws, take out support for three-strikes laws, wipe out specific anti-abortion language and much, much more.

As the AP’s Michael Blood describes the proposal:

“A proposed rewrite of the California Republican Party platform retreats from opposition to same-sex adoption, domestic partner benefits and child custody, avoids any mention of overturning Roe v. Wade and drops a demand to end virtually all federal and state benefits for illegal immigrants.”

Calbuzz, of course, is agnostic about the Republican Party platform which nobody but a handful of political proctologists pay much attention to. Except that it’s always useful to ask candidates for high office if they agree with the GOP plank that asserts that life begins at conception and ends at natural death, opposes all abortions and calls for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Why is this worth asking? Because no candidate at the top of the ticket – for president, U.S. Senate or governor – who is not pro-choice has won in California since 1988.

Looks like the platform debate won’t really be decided until next year, but it will be gearing up this weekend. And the entire Calbuzz National Affairs and Emmy Watching Bureau will be there to tell you what happened.

Kunta Kinte meets Durward Kirby: Nice work by Old Chronicler Carolyn Lochhead hosing down Politico’s breathless story about Senator Difi having her $5 million re-election campaign fund “wiped out” by the widening scandal involving Democratic accountant Durward Kirby Kunta Kinte Kinde Durkee.

As the Senior Senator from California was coming off the Senate floor the other day, Politico ambushed her with a question about the mess. Herself, apparently afflicted by one of her occasional episodes of logorrheic shoot-from-the-hip disease (see: Ejaculations, premature) blurted out, “I was wiped out too.” To her credit, she instantly added the rather important phrase, “we don’t know how much.”

To read entire story, click here.