Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/28/2012 06:09:41 PM PDT
Updated: 10/28/2012 07:48:03 PM PDT
A dispatch of negative ads in the congressional race between two Republican candidates, Rep. Gary Miller and state Sen. Bob Dutton, has the state’s top GOP official on record that California Republicans need to reaffirm their adherence to the “Eleventh Commandment.”
The Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican,” is one of the sayings Ronald Reagan made famous during his political career.
The phrase originally came from the mind of former California GOP leader Gaylord Parkinson, but the issue at hand in the race for the 31st Congressional District seat is the California Republican Party’s recent dispatch of anti-Dutton ads.
The state GOP endorsed Miller in March. There’s nothing in the Eleventh Commandment that says a Republican organization cannot favor a candidate, but it may come as a surprise to see an official party organization bad-mouthing one of its own.
And that’s something California GOP Chairman Thomas Del Beccaro has noticed. In a message to Dutton, Del Beccaro thanked the candidate for his prior service to the Republican Party and said the decision to send the negative mailers was made by a “small committee” of party officials and that the attacks do not represent the full California GOP.
“It was not made by the board nor was it made by me,” Del Beccaro wrote to Dutton. “I don’t believe the content of those mailers reflects the view of the party as a whole and it certainly does not reflect my views.”
He went on to write that “this circumstance should not only reaffirm our need to commit to that 11th commandment, but I am certain it will lead to reform in our process to ensure this will not happen again.”
Del Beccaro confirmed that he sent the message Saturday in an email. He did not provide further remarks.
The Eleventh Commandment may have only been honored in the breach – if at all – during the more competitive Republican primaries of years past.
New California rules affecting this year’s elections, however, have created new opportunities for Republicans and Democrats alike to campaign against members of their own parties beyond June and into November.
Miller and Dutton are running against each other to represent the 31st Congressional District. The new district spans from the Upland and Rancho Cucamonga area to the San Bernardino and Redlands area.
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