George Boardman: Bagging the party nomination, no show, and a warning
It took four rounds of voting against three opponents you never heard of, but state Sen. Brian Dahle got the California Republican Party’s endorsement for governor at the party convention April 24.
Since there will be 13 Republicans on the June primary ballot and Dahle is little known outside this part of the state, it’s not clear how much the endorsement is worth. And it did not come without controversy, with his wife playing the bag lady two days before the nomination vote.
Dahle needed the votes of 60% of the delegates attending the convention, and that required four rounds of voting to defeat the likes of Anthony Trimino, Shawn Collins and Jenny Rae La Roux.
Dahle, who is termed out of office, told the delegates the Democrats are vulnerable because of taxes, poverty and crime. “Delegates, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity. The wind is at our back. Californians are looking for a better choice.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that some delegates grumbled that Dahle was being shoved down their throats by party leaders. Then there was the announcement of a committee supporting Assemblywoman Megan Dahle that it was contributing $40,500 to the party’s coffers.
The announcement two days before the vote was viewed skeptically by some in attendance. La Roux said Dahle’s endorsement was “purchased” and urged party officials to reject the money before her mic was cut off. A party official told the Times every Republican member of the Assembly was expected to make a similar contribution to the party.
The convention focused on crime, education and inflation, with little mention of Donald Trump. The party rejected the endorsement of Rachel Hamm for secretary of state even thought she denied being a “satanic witch” and had the backing of Trump acolytes retired Gen. Mike Flynn and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Nevada County voters who would like to hear from their possible representative in the new 3rd Congressional District will have to wait until at least the fall. Once again, we’re being ignored by the people who want our votes.
The League of Women Voters has canceled its Nevada County forum for the candidates because just one of them, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, a Republican, committed “despite multiple attempts to contact the candidates,” according to the league.
For the record, Democrat Kermit Jones and Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley took a pass. (I know these three are not the only candidates, but they are the only ones who have a chance of winning.)
To be sure, the newly constituted 3rd District is a contender for longest — and largest — in the state, stretching from Plumas County’s Lake Amador in the north to Death Valley National Park in the south. And the district includes places with a lot more voters than Nevada County, among them Roseville, Rocklin and Folsom.
Kermit Jones has no opposition for the Democratic nomination in the primary and likely wants to save his money and energy for the general election, but that’s not a good reason for blowing us off. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district and recent voting patterns indicate Nevada County is the most liberal in the district. If Jones is going to win in November, he needs every vote he can get here.
Kiley, who has to beat Scott Jones in the primary to make it to November, has already lost once to Dahle in Nevada County, and probably figures he’s better off spending his time down the hill. He also seems to be adverse to any place that isn’t welcoming, at least according to The Sacramento Bee.
Jack Ohman, the Bee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, called Kiley out recently for rejecting an invitation to a meeting of the Bee’s editorial board that is considering endorsements.
According to Ohman, Kiley won’t attend the meeting because of Ohman’s bullying in a column and some cartoons. Kiley’s reps said they could entrap him in a “political ambush masquerading as an editorial board meeting.”
For the record, Ohman is nonpartisan when it comes to skewering political figures, but he did run at least one cartoon that showed Kiley holding a campaign button that says, “Kiley for (insert office here).” As Ohman concluded: “Kevin Kiley is a snowflake who isn’t ready for a few questions, let alone Congress.”
It’s no secret that Republicans think there’s political capital to be gained by pounding away at the culture wars, particularly the “parental rights” supposedly thwarted by our public schools when it comes to woke policies involving critical race theory and gender-affirming literature.
Rest assured the California Republic Party got the message.
The party’s recent state convention included workshops where party activists trained attendees on how to demand more say in their local school district curriculum — and how to run for school boards if they don’t get the right answers.
The 28 pages of training materials warned that “ideological leftists prioritize union interests over student interests to pursue purely ideological adventures, including the teaching of principles rooted in critical race theory left-wing groups.
“Focusing on the issues important to parents can help fuel Republican victories across California.”
The writing may be clumsy and fevered, but the message is clear. Educators, consider yourselves warned.
George Boardman lives in Nevada City. His column is published biweekly on Tuesdays by The Union. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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