Critics Demand California Republican Leader Resign After Cap-and-Trade Vote

Chad Mayes and Jerry Brown (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

California State Assembly Republican caucus leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) is facing calls for his resignation after he supported an extension of cap-and-trade, and after allegations of an extramarital affair with his predecessor emerged.

News broke this week about the alleged “open secret” affair between Mayes and former Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Riverbank), in the wake of Mayes’s vocal support for Governor Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade bill.

Mayes defended his vote as a conservative option, and won praise from former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The affair claims were published online by an organization called American Children First, and are also fueling calls for his resignation, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“Yesterday, American Children First broke the news that GOP Assembly Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) was having an affair with Kristin Olsen, the former leader of the Assembly and current Vice-Chair of the California Republican Party. She is also a current member of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors,” American Children First said in a statement.

“In light of these revelations and his vote to pass the ‘cap and trade’ bill, we call upon Mayes to resign his leadership position so that another member with real principles and conservative values can lead the party,” the press release continued.

Although rumors about the alleged affair were reportedly circulating in Republican circles for months, it was a letter from Olsen’s estranged husband, Rod, sent to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) in April that put the suspicions in writing.

The letter, requesting an investigation into whether taxpayer dollars had been used by Mayes and Olsen to conceal their affair, was acquired by American Children First.

California conservatives are furious that Mayes, who stayed home from the 2016 Republican National Convention, and whom American Children First identifies as a supporter of the “NeverTrump” movement, backed the renewal of cap-and-trade.

According to the Bee, Mayes declined to comment on the allegations through his spokesman and Olsen said, in a text message, “It’s a private matter, and I need to respect my family’s privacy.”

American Children First has called for Mayes to be replaced with Assemblywoman Melissa Menendez (R-Lake Elsinore).

Some saw the situation differently. Kevin Spillane, a Republican consultant, tweeted that he thought it was “[d]isgusting that personal attacks would be made against elected officials because of policy votes – regardless of animosity against the vote.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



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