Ordinary Citizens Reclaiming America's Founding Principles
Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 2/6/14
I started in politics in 1960 at the age of 13. By 1964 I was a conservative and knew why. I understood that government was too large and obtrusive. By 1964 everybody understood the moderates would make deals to raise taxes by fifty cents if liberals asked for a buck, and would be happy they “cut the tax increase by half” You know the type we still have them.
By the early 1970’s I had served in Viet Nam, started the POW/MIA bracelet, traveled the country to stop riots on our campuses, was married and looking for the long term in the political field. That is when I spoke in the North San Fernando Valley to the 41st AD California Republican Assembly. By the end of that meeting I was a CRA member. For more than forty years I have been a member—the longest continuous member in the organization.
As of January 31, 2014 my dues have expired and I will not renew. Why?
I am a consistent, Constitutional conservative. No longer am I willing to be part of an organization that divides the conservative movement or harms conservatives. I will no longer work with Corporate Republicans, folks that kill off conservatives, while calling themselves conservatives. In 2012 $700,000 was spent to defeat Allan Mansoor, an incumbent Assemblyman, to be replaced with a candidate that could find reasons to raise taxes, and then claim to be a conservative e Republican. One man did this. Now many of our good officeholders are afraid to speak out for fear they will be the next victim.
In the middle of all of this the California Republican Assembly has elected leaders that actively oppose the Tea Party, intentionally or not, helping kill off conservatives to the benefit, ultimately of Democrats.
For instance on September 15, 2013 Aaron Park, the leader of the California Republican Assembly sent an email to some Party leaders, he wrote:
“Four things could be done: audit delegate appointments and see where the vacancies are, asses that alignment of the person with vacancies, then block tea party endorsements while appointing our own.”
In other words he, as a CRA “conservative” wanted to stop the Tea Party. In fact many members of the CRA are Tea Party members, not knowing their leadership is opposed to them. How opposed? Here is another segment of the letter written weeks before the October California Republican Party convention.
“In summary, at the CRP convention — every event, can and will be “crashed ” by potentially hundred s of well organized tea parties with canned messaging. They will know where every CRP leader and elected official is at all times and will swarm and follow them to convey their unhappiness. They could effectively enroll a effective amount of delegates to sway votes. They will be pressuring resolutions against immigration reform and other issues
That could be every meeting. They will harass and stalk every candidate in opposition to them.”
He claimed the Tea Party was going to “crash events, swarm and stalk”. Many of you attended the convention—did you see anything like that? Instead about 250 people met at 3:00pm on Saturday of the convention to hear speakers and learn about the Tea Party California Caucus. The State CRA never issued an apology. In fact Park spoke to a Tea Party leader and promised an apology—never happened.
To this day the State CRA has not apologized. But that no longer matters.
It is time to be honest about the grassroots of California politics. Most statewide organizations are only a few hundred actual members. Action is no longer taken statewide—all politics is now local. Even the Tea Parties.
Yet the formation of the Tea Party California Caucus creates an umbrella group of dozens of Tea parties. At a recent conference in Fresno more than 250 people leaders, from 44 counties attended. They now have a political plan, active committees and numerous other localized conservative groups as part of the coalition of conservatives formed.
Why do I like the Tea Party? It stands for something and means it. It believes in the free market and limited government. It believes in Constitutional government and is not afraid of “offending” officeholders that raise taxes, accept government stalking and openly opposes policies that harm our children. While it is willing to compromise on strategy and style, it will not compromise on principle. Oh, while some organizations and clubs—throughout the conservative world—endorse candidates for office, that is not the role of the Tea Party of California Caucus.
As an activist I want to endorse folks I want, not be told who to support. For instance, at this point, I have not endorsed a candidate for Governor. That does not mean many in the Tea Party movement have not already endorsed a candidate.
It is time for activists, conservative activists, put aside the smear and slander campaigns and talk about values and principles. We need to be supporting candidates that support us, not the special interests. To me there are two types of Republicans, Corporate GOP’ers and Constitutional GOP’ers. We need to use technology—which when you read the Park email he is upset that we are not using smoke signals and memory to run campaigns and operations, we need to understand how to message our principles and finally we need to be able to do the foot work needed to win elections. Going to meetings is nice—but that does not win elections—walking precincts, handing out literature, working phone banks, does.
For the next chapter in my life I have decided to be productive, positive and promoting responsible principles. No longer do I want to be active in grassroot groups that like power rather than winning elections. Holding an endorsement meeting is not the same as walking precincts for the candidates.
To me the enemy are the Corporate politicians, the Leftists, those that promote “statism”—let those people fight among themselves as I work with the Tea Party, folks that have a policy goal, not a power goal. Join your local Tea Party, start a Tea Party if there is not one near you. For productive, stay out of the smear campaigns of the power hungry. We have one government—why shouldn’t principled people have a seat at the table?
Here is the Aaron Park email—I have taken the names out to protect folks.
(Note: almost 20 people sent this email to me before I finally read it)
From: Aaron Park >
Date: September 15, 2013, 3:53:56 PM PDT
To: xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Subject: Tea Party Intel – RE: CRP
Reply-To: Aaron Park >
Xxx and xxx – a head’s up on the coming convention:
1) Apparently 50% of CRP delegate appointments are still available. They are encouraging their members to aggressively pursue those appointments. (That was NOT true, not even close, SRF note)
2) They will be using mass-text technology to coordinate their members. This will be used to quickly allocate resources to disrupt meetings, organize votes, voice opposition, harass leadership (they bluntly indicate that). They will also provide a conduit for people to report events, locations of individuals and any other real time intelligence.
3) Behind the scenes they will have a group of individuals at home on computers, dedicated to fact checking information, and doing whatever research they need .
4) They will be running a QR code sticker campaign. They will be littering the convention with stickers with QR codes on them. When people scan the codes, they’re add ed to their real time operations.
5) They are utilizing Nationbuilder to organize their operations, disseminate information, take donations.
In summary, at the CRP convention — every event, can and will be “crashed ” by potentially hundred s of well organized tea parties with canned messaging. They will know where every CRP leader and elected official is at all times and will swarm and follow them to convey their unhappiness. They could effectively enroll a effective amount of delegates to sway votes. They will be pressuring resolutions against immigration reform and other issues
That could be every meeting. They will harass and stalk every candidate in opposition to them.
My understanding and insight of both whip operations leads me to believe that theirs will be more effective. Also, we could strictly enforce badges and registration.
Four things could be done: audit delegate appointments and see where the vacancies are, asses that alignment of the person with vacancies, then block tea party endorsements while appointing our own.