OC GOP Central Committee Roundup
What a meeting tonight. I've come to expect some type of excitement and drama at Central Committee meetings, but this one will be etched in my memory bank for a long time. First things first. It was announced tonight by chairman Baugh that an ethics complaint was lodged by Linda Ackerman against her main GOP opponent for the 72nd AD seat, Chris Norby. This is scheduled to be heard Wednesday night at a special meeting of the Ethics Subcommittee. I can also inform the readers that a cross complaint will be lodged by Supervisor Norby against Linda Ackerman. Fun stuff. I had to recuse myself along with Deborah Pauley and Mary Young from participating in the Ethics Sub-Committee meeting to avoid any conflicts of interest.
A lot has been made of the fact that the GOP has lost their way recently. Chairman Baugh gave a fiery speech tonight that it is not going to be business as usual anymore for the OC GOP Party. The speech came at a critical juncture in time. He announced tonight that no longer will incumbent Republicans be given safe quarter for their re-election if they have strayed to far off the reservation. He made it clear that he is not looking for ideological purity per se, but Republicans in the mold of Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain & George W Bush for example are not going to be allowed to ruin the party's economic and fiscal credibility anymore. When GW Bush took office the percentage of debt to GDP was at 23%. When he left office, that percentage had climbed to over 28% of GDP. This year alone the percentage of debt to GDP will be over 43%. Clearly this is an unsustainable path we are on and our elected GOP leaders in DC and Sacramento have been part of the problem. So tonight he announced a contract with the OC GOP voters. It's not going to be good enough just to have an "R" by your name if you are a candidate or elected official. The "R" has got to mean something. He says we've swung way to far over to the middle of the political spectrum and a rebalancing is in order to get back our brand believability. Amen to that.
Lastly we had Irvine Mayoral candidate Megan Barth speak to the committee for about ten minutes. She introduced herself to everyone there since most have probably not met her in person yet, even though many know her work of organizing some of the biggest Tea Parties on the West Coast and back in DC. Things were flowing smoothly enough and then she brought up a subject that I knew was going to rear its ugly head sooner or later....our BOE member Michelle Steel. I had no idea Megan was going to go down this road, but she did and now that the issue is out in the open, I want to add some background and paraphrase what Megan said.
It had come to my attention a few weeks ago that BOE member Steel was at a big fundraiser up in Los Angeles for Irvine Mayor and liberal Dem Sukhee Kang. Not only was she at this fundraiser, she is in a picture with a "re-elect Sukhee Kang 2010" poster and she was quoted by the Korean journalist there as strongly encouraging her fellow Korean donors to give money to liberal Dem Irvine Mayor, Sukhee Kang. A couple of things. I understand that blood is thicker than politics for many in the Korean community. I get the ethnic angle. They want to support a person of similar culture and background. Michelle told me flat out that she has not and will not endorse Sukhee Kang. The problem is that everyone in Irvine is finding out about this picture and Michelle's words encouraging her donors to also give to Sukhee. A picture says a thousand words. It is what it is. She may not have "technically" endorsed Sukhee, but functionally she has done the same thing. It's hard to spin. Michelle naively thinks this picture that she is in is not going to be used against the Republican candidates in the next election. That is a false assumption knowing the kind of politician Larry Agran is. Irvine Republicans feel they have been stabbed in the back by a high ranking Republican elected official and they are letting people know they are not happy about it and are not going to tolerate it. Yes we know Michelle has been good for the party most of the time, but we feel offended in Irvine at what has transpired here. It's hard enough to go against the Agran machine in Irvine and it's even harder when you get sabotaged by someone in your own party. Scott's prior speech about it not being business as usual anymore dove tailed nicely with Megan's speech and she received a standing ovation from the members and guests. Here's the picture I was referring to: