Powder Blue Report

News, finance, politics, sports, and fun from the west coast

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Irvine Man Wins Power Lunch With Warren Buffett

Every year Warren Buffet auctions off on Ebay an opportunity to dine with him at Smith & Wollensky's Steak House in New York City. This years winner is a fellow Irvine resident Mohnish Pabrai. He ended up being the high bidder at over $650k. Mr. Pabrai get to bring along seven others to join him. It's a great opportunity to dine with the best money manager/investor of the past fifty years. I may not agree much with Warren's political beliefs(he's fairly liberal you could say), but I have to give him props for his business acumen. Mr. Buffet donates the proceeds of the auction to the Glide Foundation which is a San Francisco based group that helps out the homeless.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Defeat Is Sweet!

Amnesty is dead...again. I guess we won't "see ya at the bill signing" will we Mr. President. At the end, the voices of the American people were heard by our representatives. Now I can take myself off of DEFCON 1. Now is the time start enforcing all the immigration laws. Now is the time to complete the fence. Finally I can take a break from this subject for a little while hopefully. I feel like I've been on tactical alert for over two years on this subject.

There are a lot of winners and losers to name.

Winners: American people, rule of law, border security first advocates, Republican principles, talk radio/blogs/internet activism, Sens Jeff Sessions, Jim DeMint, David Vitter, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Tom Coburn, and GOP Presidential candidates that were against amnesty(you know who you are).

Losers: George W Bush and the open border crowd, MSM, La Raza, MECHA, illegal aliens(please go home now), Sens John McCain(stick a fork in his Presidential aspirations...they're done), Ted Kennedy, Lindsay Gramnesty, Jon Kyl, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter, Mel Martinez(who also happens to be the Chairman of the RNC), Trent Lott, and Diane Feinstein.

These are just a few off the top of my head. If you can think of any more, please them in a comment below.

Amnesty Bill On Life Support

The vote for cloture on the amnesty bill is coming up in a few minutes. Everything I've seen this morning indicates that the American people have won a great victory over the shamnesty crowd. We'll know more in about a half hour. Michelle Malkin is live blogging the festivities.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tuesday Random Thoughts

Today the US Senate will take a cloture vote on a motion to proceed to Bush's Amnesty Bill. Just kill this thing already. I'm reading that the vote to proceed will probably pass, but getting cloture(60 votes) on the motion to end debate is right on the edge of 60 votes. Maximum pressure needs to be applied to our servants in the US Senate in the next 48 hours. Please pick up the phone and call both our US Senators from California Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. We can defeat this monstrosity, but only with a huge effort.

The dust up on the CRP COO debacle has reached the blowback phase(yes Rudy G., there is such a thing as blowback). I just read an excellent article by our National GOP Treasurer Tim Morgan on the situation. It seems that Tim was a lone voice on the BOD calling for a wider search for a COO. Instead the Board of Directors rubber stamped Ron Nehring's choice of Michael Kamburowski by 19 to 1. I understand the reason that Chairman Nehring wanted his his own guy in the COO slot. He had a working relationship with the guy, but that doesn't excuse the fact that no background check was done. Hopefully Ron now understands why I was so skeptical on these hires in the first place. Procedures have to be followed and it doesn't do any good to hire someone just because you like them. Look at all the negative publicity this is now generating. It wasn't worth it.

Hopefully the selection of interim COO Bill Christiansen will stabilize things. I think this is a great interim choice. Bill has proven himself from his many past years of service in the party apparatus.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kamburowski Has Resigned

It's been one hell of a day for The California Republican Party. The Australian bloke who the CRP hired as its COO has tendered his resignation effective immediately. It was the right thing to do. Now an accounting must be made of what went wrong. People need to be held to account for this big time screw up. I like Ron Nehring. I think he can bring a lot to our party as our leader, but he has to understand the stakes that we are playing for here. I just had a bad feeling in my gut about this story when I emailed Chairman Nehring a few days ago about the other foreign national hired to be our main communications guy. See here. Ron said he knew these guys and had worked with them in the past, ergo they must be good people. There still has to be background checks made on key hires. I just knew this story was going to blow up in his face. He can try say how great they were until the cows come home, but I still smelled a rat. I was right. I will continue to post about these things because our leaders need to hear from activists like me who can observe these events with clear vision and not rose colored glasses.

Does The CRP Do Background Checks On Their Hires???

One has to wonder because again today we have more headlines about the CRP's recent hiring of Australian immigrant Michael Kamburowski. It turns out the guy was deported back in 2001 for visa violations! This guy has quite the checkered past. He has a lawsuit pending against the Dept. of Homeland Security for unlawful deportation. These are not the type of headlines the party needs as we get into the 2008 election season. All this could have been avoided if the party had a done a background check on this guy.

The Deadliest Catch

Are any of my blog readers out there as into the Discovery show "The Deadliest Catch" as I am? I absolutely love this show. Every time it's on(like yesterday), I find myself glued to the television in wonderment of what those guys do for a living. I love ocean fishing. I have done it ever since I was little, but it was always for enjoyment, not as a job. These guys are fishing for King Crabs in some of the most dangerous conditions there is. Not only do you have big swells to contend with on the Bering Sea, you have freezing air spray, cold sea water, a pitching deck, possible rogue waves, swaying crab pots on the deck, possibly getting tangled in the crab lines as pulled over the side, and on and on. It ranks as one of the most deadliest professions out there. I hear the show is bringing in huge ratings for a cable show. If you've never watched, you don't know what you're missing. It's great entertainment.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Illegals Given Red Bull & Ephedrine For Their Run Across The Border

Now Jay Leno Is Piling On To The CRP Hire-Gate

This quote is from Jay Leno the other night regarding the misguided hiring of foreign nationals at the CRP...

The Republican Party here in California has obtained a special visa to hire a Canadian to be the state deputy political director, 'cause they say they can't find a qualified American to do the job. Apparently, working for Republicans is one of those icky jobs Americans just don't want to do

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interesting Senator Harman Fundraiser Tonight

Lynn and I attended a Tom Harman fundraiser gathering tonight. I'm told that the event did well for the Senator's re-election coffers. There were lots of local politicians and their staffers in the room. As the Senator heads for his probable re-election, the only thing I can think of that is standing in his way is some millionaire challenger that wants to spend a lot of their money(Cassie DeYoung comes to my mind). It won't be Tom's last challenger Diane Harkey because she has already endorsed Tom and Tom has returned the favor by endorsing Diane for Mimi Walter's Assembly seat. This brings me to something the Senator said tonight in his speech about being able to mend fences with your GOP primary opponents after the election is over. The Senator and Diane Harkey had a knock down drag out bruising primary last year, but they now have endorsed each other. There are some people to this day who still haven't been able to put that election behind them. I think this was the Senator's not so subtle suggestion to a couple people in the same room together tonight at the fundraiser....Janet Nguyen and Trung Nguyen. Yes that's right, they were both in the same room together tonight. I've pretty much been a passive bystander in that race and even I could feel the cold war chill in the room. So I had an idea. Why don't I just go up to the two of them, break the ice and ask to have a big group hug, LOL! In the words of GHW Bush...(cue my best Dana Carvey voice)..."not gonna do it". It wasn't meant to be. I went up to Janet and just said that everyone should bury the hatchet and get on with life. Janet says she has tried to reach out, but it's always been to no avail. A Trung/Tran operative in the room said that the relationship(or lack thereof) is very chilly. Both sides need to quit the fighting and get on the same page. I understand that it was a bitter election. Sometimes these things happen. Anyway, so there was no group hug tonight between Trung and Janet. The cold war is alive and well.

Laguna Beach Fire

I just got a report from a friend in Laguna Niguel that he sees a lot of smoke coming from the Laguna Beach area.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Conversation With Ron Nehring About The CRP & Immigration

I had an email conversation with our state GOP party chairman Ron Nehring this morning about the recent news of the hiring of foreign nationals at the CRP and about the immigration/amnesty debate going on in the country. I want to thank the Chairman for taking time out of his day to respond to some of my questions. I have a lot of concerns about how the hiring of Christopher Matthews is being perceived out there in Republicanland. First here's a couple of quotes from some concerned Republicans:
It was not such a great week for the California Republican Party. The
Chronicle had a front page story reporting that the CRP hired a
Canadian for a top position in the party and made use of an H-1B visa
in order
to hire him. There is a cap on the number of these visas, and they are
coveted by Silicon Valley for getting foreign talent to come to America
to do work that keeps us competitive. In the application for this
visa, the CRP had to attest there were no Americans qualified for the
position they wanted filled. This is untrue, embarrassing, and

Bill Leonard, Board of Equalization

Leonard nails it right on the head with regards to the misuse of the H-1B visa. This issue regarding the California Republican party hiring foreign workers over Americans is going to get very hot heading into the September convention

Phil Paule, District Director to Congressman Darrell Issa

It's insulting but also embarrassing ... to bring people from the outside who don't know the difference between Lodi and Lancaster ... and who can't even vote. There are talented Republicans in California, and the message ... is that there's no talent pool here. Who will help (the) candidates? A couple of foreign transplants who don't know the political landscape and don't know the history of the complicated politics in California?

Karen Hanretty, former CRP Communications Director

Here's Barry Jantz's post of Flashreport about this issue.

Here is the back & forth between myself and Ron earlier today:

Hi Ron,

As a conservative Republican grassroots internet activist, I have a couple of questions for you about your recent hiring of Christopher Matthews and about your political views on the Senate Amnesty bill.

I find it hard to believe that you would make the decision to hire a deputy communications person in the CRP that's not a US citizen. At a time when our party is being led off a cliff by our President on the issue of illegal immigration, I just find the timing of the hiring of Mr. Matthews suspect at best and flat out radioactive at worst. It doesn't show good political instincts. In fact it looks very hypocritical. He may be a great hire, but the negative publicity about it has outweighed the good from it IMO. Was there no qualified individuals who are US/California citizens who fit the bill?

Secondly, what are your views on the amnesty bill debacle in the US Senate right now? I've read about your past close association with Grover Norquist who is very pro open borders as you know. It concerns me. This is what has caused this email. I need to know that the Chairman who is leading our state party is not going to follow the lead of our President right now on this issue. In fact it would be nice if the party could start being a lot more pro-active on this front in helping us fight this amnesty bill. Are you and the party leadership on board with this?


Allan Bartlett

his first response:
Dear Allan:

Many thanks for your note.

Two things.

First, on the hiring of Chris Matthews – yes, Chris is an immigrant who has an OUTSTANDING record of accomplishment in working for our party for the last three years. He is a movement conservative who first came to California in 2003 for a month to work as a full time volunteer in support of the recall campaign against Gray Davis. Chris has moved to Los Angeles with his wife and young daughter and I’m extremely proud to have Chris on our team.

Some of the information floating around concerning his hiring is just inaccurate. For example, Chris is our Director of Research and Political Technology, a position ideally suited for his strong skillset in those two areas. As for timing, I’m not sure what you’re suggesting, but there’s nothing nefarious about it whatsoever.

I’m sure when you meet Chris at an upcoming Republican event you’ll find him to be as great of an asset to our party as we all do in San Diego where he’s been part of our team for yours.

Concerning illegal immigration, you are not going to find someone in this party who is stronger on the issue of securing the border than I am. I live just 18 miles from the border, and regularly travel on Interstate 8 where, tragically, innocent people have often been killed or injured in head on collisions as a result of “coyotes” driving the wrong way on the freeway to avoid the Border Patrol. I have toured the border repeatedly, and visited with our agents on the ground. Duncan Hunter is my Congressman and we have many times discussed the progress of the border fence which I am proud to say he has driven in the Congress.

Going forward, I trust you have phoned Sens. Feinstein and Boxer’s offices and expressed your opposition to the legislation. Our goal is to build a strong party in California so that we may replace each of them with Republican Senators who share our values not only on illegal immigration, but on a host of issues.

Thanks again for your note.


Ron Nehring

my next reply, I pressed him more about his connections to Grover Norquist:

Thanks for the reply Ron. In the future I just believe it would be in the party's best interest to hire California citizens for all high level staff positions at the CRP. Wouldn't you agree? We have a hard enough time in California trying to win elections without us looking hypocritical on immigration.

So can I assume from your answer that you strongly disagree with your good friend Grover and the big business lobby on this issue and that you are against the Senate amnesty bill and for an enforcement first approach?

BTW yes, I have phoned both senators as has my entire extended family. They received an earfull from us

Lastly, you mentioned Cong. Hunter. I had the good fortune to hang out with Duncan & his wife Lynne at a house party down in Coto de Caza a few weeks ago.(here's my post about that) He is a great Congressman. We are going to have another house reception for him in August in Corona Del Mar at a friend's house. If you can stop by for a few that would be cool. I'll let you more details when I have em'.

Ron's next reply to me(a bit testy):
Dear Allan:

The liberals are always trying to smear us as “anti-immigration.” They can’t (or won’t) draw the distinction between immigration that is done the right way, vs. jumping over the border in the dead of night (or the light of day, as is often the case). We are not the party against immigration. My parents were both immigrants who legally came through the process. There is nothing hypocritical about our party hiring an immigrant who has legally gone through the process, especially when it is an outstanding individual with a solid track record of success in helping us elect Republicans.

Concerning Grover Norquist, with all due respect, you don’t know who my ‘good friends’ are so I would appreciate your refraining from such characterizations. I worked with Grover for years working on one project: promoting paycheck protection and other measures that would put an end to the practice of Republican union members being forced to fund Democrat campaigns. Grover’s views on immigration are his own concern.

Please let me know when you have another event with Duncan and if I can get it into the calendar I’ll be sure to come by.


Ron Nehring

I think this issue is going to get a hearing at the next CRP Convention. I would like the party to ban hiring foreign nationals in the future. These are definately jobs Americans will do and should do.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ron Nehring's First Big Unforced Error

So we're in the heat of battle right now on the Senate amnesty bill. It would be helpful if the state GOP parties showed a nice contrast from the RNC on this issue. What does CRP Chairman Ron Nehring do to fill a high level communications position in the CRP?...he hires some Canadian dude named Christopher Matthews through an H-B1 Visa. That's not the same Chris Matthews of Softball errr Hardball on MSNBC. This guy is supposed to be some ringer from Canada hired to help our California Republican Party with political messages. If that ain't the irony of all ironies. Nice message Ron. I guess there were no US citizens who could fit the bill? I mean this guy may or could be the next Karl Rove/guru, but the message this sends is horrible. Any positive this guy brings to the table has already been over shadowed by this bone-headed move. Nice going Mr. Chairman. A gunshot to the foot would have been easier.

Friday, June 15, 2007

All Hands....General Quarters

It's time for battle stations again as the Senate has foolishly agreed to bring back from the dead the amnesty bill. I had moved to DEFCON 3 after the bill supposedly was shelved last week. I'm now back at DEFCON 1 as should every concerned citizen. There is an eminent attack by the United States Sentate at hand. This is absolutely ridiculous. The GOP Senators are obviously not listening to their employers...US! Trent Lott is off the deep end and way out line with his recent comments. He's been in DC way too long, as has most of the Senators. They have no idea what's going on in the grassroots right now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'll See Ya At 20% Mr President

Not content with historical low approval ratings, President Bush is trying to see how low he can push his numbers. He's at a svelte 33% right now according to Scott Rasmussen. He's breaking out to the downside in trader lingo with his push for comprehensive amnesty for illegal aliens. I used to think his cockiness was a positive attribute for him. It's not. I was wrong. He's just plain annoying now. That brings me to his quote a few days ago while he was in Albania. He told an AP reporter/pool reporter...
"I'll see ya at the bill signing"
...refering of course to his hoped for Congress passing his amnesty bill. How much more arrogant can we be Mr President? A little humility would be nice.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How's That Approval Rating Doing Sen. Reid?

While the Republicans figure out how to put the pieces back together to our party from the disastrous 06' defeat, it's nice to know that the Democrat controlled Congress is in the political approval abyss as well. In factSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid wishes he had GWB's approval rating of 36% right now. Harry is resting well below the Mendoza Line at a paltry 19%. Hehe. We see you Sen. Reid....we see right through you!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Show Us Your Teeth!

So the NY Times does an article this past Sunday on the recently defeated amnesty bill that was actually fairly well written. Here is the link. The part that is disturbing about the article is the pictures of some anti-amnesty people without any chicklets as seen here:

Their implication is that all the people that are against the amnesty bill are rednecks, white trash, trailer trash, unwashed masses, etc. In other words, this is par for the course for a fish wrap like the NY Times. So today, John & Ken are asking all their listeners to send the NY Times editor a picture of ourselves with all of our teeth. Done. Apparently they are getting flooded with pictures now. Good. Here is the info where to send your picture:

Send your picture to The New York Times and show them that you are not an unwashed redneck! Or simply tell them “I’m against amnesty and I have my teeth!”

229 West 43rd Street. New York, NY 10036


or call: 1-888-698-6397, 212-556-7652

Rep Chris Cannon...Welcome To Your Constituents

There is a great thread going over at Redstate with Congressman Chris Cannon R-Mexico errr Utah. He's getting hammered!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flag Day Wrap Up

It was good to see a lot of familiar faces tonight. The county GOP party sold out the dinner for the first time in its history. It's not a bad haul....1100 people times $250 per head....that's about $275,000 by my math that the party added to its coffers plus the money from the corporate sponsors who were there. They were all there to hear Rudy Giuliani speak, most of them. I was there because it's a fun event. I was reminded when I pulled into the Hyatt parking lot why Rudy Giuliani is going to have a hard time winning the GOP nomination, social issues. There were lots of pro life protesters outside holding up signs of aborted fetuses and other stuff. There were also a bunch of Tom Tancredo supporters outside waving American flags and holding up signs saying "no amnesty". I gave them the thumbs up as I drove by.

Speaking of illegal immigration, Rudy must be reading the polls and following the news about the Senate's failure to pass an amnesty bill because he spent about half the time during his speech talking about the issue...a "Johnny come lately" to the issue if you will. He thinks he will be able to waltz in as President, pass a National ID card bill, build the wall, cut down on illegal immigration by 90% and then without him saying it(but definately implied), give all the illegal aliens in our country amnesty. Why do we need a national ID card Rudy? That might come in handy to confiscate guns like he is proud of...circa his days as NYC mayor. Again, we just need to enforce current laws Mr. Mayor. He also talked a lot about the so called war on terror. He kept uttering the lie that "they(jihadists) hate us because of our freedoms. No Rudy, they hate us because we are over there occupying their land just as we would hate the Chinese or any other foreigners who invaded and occupied our country if that ever were to happen...oh yeah it is happening, Mexico, duh. I would characterize the response from our crowd as respectful applause, but he didn't set the audience on fire exactly. Thank you though Mr. Mayor for showing up. I think he would be a good Cabinet secretary like Secretary of State or something, but not President.

Here's a few links to some other Flag Day coverage:

John Seiler at John Wayne County

Jon Fleischman at Flashreport Congrats also to Jon and his wife Maureen who are expecting their first child in a few months

Larry Gilbert at Orange Juice

And of course the MSM guy Martin Wisckol of the Register

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Amnesty Is Dead For Now

The Senate has again refused to invoke cloture on the President Bush's Amnesty Bill.....GOOD! Can we now go about the business of enforcing the current laws on the books please. I want to say how proud I am of my fellow citizens for rising up against this disastrous Presidential amnesty bill. All those calls, letters, emails, and blogposts scared a majority of Senators into doing the right thing. I also want to take this rare oportunity to thank one of my own US Senators...Barbara Boxer, for voting NO on cloture. I guess a broken clock is right twice a day, but I am grateful for her vote. Twelve courageous Democrats voted against cloture and I want to thank them all. Let's get on with building the border fence that was passed last year. As for all the GOP Senators that colluded with President Bush & Ted Kennedy to try to pass this shamnesty bill i.e Kyl, McCain, Martinez, Specter, Graham, etc...I hope the voters in your home states see fit to send you all into early retirement. You are truly worthless.

Senate Votes Against Cloture

So far so good this morning. The Senate tried to cut off debate this morning on the amnesty bill, but thankfully the Republicans and a handful of Democrats are having none of it. It failed 33-63. They needed 60 aye votes. Michele Malkin is liveblogging the current debate here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Flag Day With Rudy On Tap For Sunday

This Sunday is the OC GOP's annual Flag Day Dinner with special guest Rudy Giuliani. To be honest, I don't like Rudy's positions on a lot of issues and I don't think our conservative GOP primary electorate does either. He's got an authoritarian streak in him that should scare a lot of people. He was a great leader for the city of NY in a rough time, but I think he would be a horrible choice for President. When I heard him speak recently at the last CRP Convention up in Sacramento, he didn't say anything to temper my concerns. It was just a bunch of platitudes. Having said all this, Rudy is leading in most of the polls for the nomination right now. IMO he gets a lot of sympathy from GOP voters because most of them only know him from his time as mayor of NYC. Most don't know his positions on things like immigration, abortion, spending, and other very important issues. The more they find out, the less they will like about him. He is a good draw for this annual event though. I have to say that. I hope the county party gets as much $$$ out of this event as possible. I'm going to be social and catch up visiting with some friends I haven't seen in a while. I'll see everyone who's going at the Irvine Hyatt Sunday night

Sunday, June 03, 2007

An Entire Afternoon With Duncan Hunter

Yesterday Lynn and I were invited to attend a house reception down in Coto de Caza for Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter(no I didn't see any of the so called "Real Housewives of OC" if you were wondering). I want to say a special thanks to Karla Drew and the Olson & McAlister family(Downey Savings founders), whom I've known for many years, for hosting the reception. Lynn and I got to ask many questions and hear many great stories from the Congressman. He also brought with him his wife Lynne. She is very charming & down to earth. They're two great people.

I would say Congressman Hunter is in the second tier group of GOP candidates right now. He has done well in both debates so far and there is another one coming up in NH in a few days. Besides Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul, he is probably the strongest candidate on border security. He knows it well. He sponsored and had built the border fence down in San Diego. He's pushing Homeland Security to build the 800 mile border fence that was signed last year by the President. According to him, HS has over a billion in cash sitting in an account designated for the fence. They're dragging their feet on it hoping for the mileage to get reduced by the current proposed amnesty bill. I told him the story of how Lynn and I first met compliments of the Dornan family back on election night in 1996 hanging out at the Westin SCP watching election returns. He returned the favor by telling one of his favorite Bob Dornan stories of how he originally got on the Armed Services Committee after he got elected to Congress in 1980. He said a bunch of California GOP Congressmen were vying for one seat on the committee, including Bob Dornan. He said that during Bob's speech in front of the Steering Committee, Bob ended up throwing his support to Duncan and he ended up winning the seat by one vote. Cool story. He told me that he put together the bill to pardon border agents Ramos & Compean(excellent).

I also had a chance to meet 71st Assembly District candidate Neil Blais who was there rubbing elbows. He told me that he's running for the seat full time. He's also in the process of getting a CRA unit up and going for the Santa Margarita area(good idea). I asked how much he thought it was going to take to win the seat. He thinks it will take in between 500 to 800k. He has hired Johnson Clark to do his consulting for the race. I told him that my take was that the race was probably between he and Jeff Miller. I just hope the seat stays in the hands of an OC'r. I told him not to underestimate Steven Choi. Steven is a fierce campaigner. He came out of nowhere to win a seat on the Irvine City Council.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Neighborhood Coffee With Sen. Harman

So we had our little neighborhood coffee last night with Sen. Harman and some of his staffers. I think we ended up having about ten of my neighbors show up. I was pleasantly surprised. You'll never guess in a million years what the number one thing my neighbors were pissed off about....illegal immigration ding ding ding. The base has completely deserted the President on this issue. The Senator talked about how the problem was affecting the state. He said illegal immigration is estimated to cost the state over $10 billion/year between costs of education, welfare, and incarceration of illegal alien criminals. If we were reimbursed for these costs by the federal government, we could pratically eliminate the structural state deficit. That doesn't appear likely though.

He also talked about the different health care proposals floating out there. There's everything from market based proposals to Canadian style single payer government run disasters being thrown around.

Lastly he spoke about the upcoming budget talks. All Assembly and Senate republicans have pledged not to support higher taxes. It will be very interesting to see what comes out of this. My guess is that it's going to be one long hot summer in the state capitol.