While the largest gathering of conservative Republicans was taking place at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) near our nation’s Capitol, roughly 1300 delegates and guests gathered at the Sacramento convention center, across the street from the California State Capitol. for the biennial organizing convention of the California Republican Party.
The California GOP confab was a relatively low-key affair. All of the elections for party office were uncontested, with former State Senator Jim Brulte being elected by acclamation by delegates to a second term as Chairman. San Francisco GOP Chairman Harmeet Dhillon was also re-elected as Vice Chairman. Newly elected statewide officers were former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra as Treasurer, and Nevada County GOP Chairman Deborah Wilder. Elections were also held for five out of eight regional Vice Chairmanships.
The convention’s keynote address was given at a Saturday luncheon featuring New Jersey Governor and presidential aspirant Chris Christie. While his remarks got off to a bit of a slow start, Christie closed exceptionally strong, sharing some personal stories that exhibited the kind of charisma that makes his national ambitions harder to dismiss (see more Breitbart coverage of Governor Christie’s speech here). On Saturday evening, convention attendees heard from freshman GOP Congresswoman Mia Love of Utah. Always a California GOP convention favorite, Congressman Tom McClintock’s fiery address to a Tea Party Caucus meeting received rave reviews.
The only controversial issue at the convention, which clearly divided convention attendees, was a decision to grant a charter to the Log Cabin Republicans of California. The debate on the issue lasted the better part of an hour, with an ultimate vote in support of granting the charter of 861-293. You can read Breitbart California’s coverage of the debate here.
For context of how uneventful the rest of the Sunday general session was, the most controversial discussion on the floor besides the chartering of the Log Cabin Republicans was whether or not a resolution using the phrase “illegal immigrant” should be amendment to read “illegal alien.”
Of interest was the increased presence of public employee unions at the convention, sponsoring the event, hosting parties, and sending representatives to interact with the delegates.
The 2014 election results were a mixed bag for beleaguered California Republicans, who currently hold a 28% share of registered voters in what has become a reliably blue state. On a statewide, level Democrats swept every constitutional office, and Republicans had their clock cleaned in U.S. House races, ending up with a net loss of a seat. However, the GOP did have enough state legislative wins to climb back up above super-minority status in both the State Senate and the State Assembly–an important benchmark to be able to stop tax increases, which take a two-thirds vote.
Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor of Breitbart California. A longtime participant, observer and chronicler of California politics, Jon is also the publisher at www.flashreport.org. His column appears weekly on this page. You can reach Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fleischman is a voting delegate to the California Republican Party.