After a not-so-harmonious Western Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend and amidst a downright ugly state assembly race in north county, Red County's Alan Bartlett reports that last night's OC GOP Central Committee contained a few moments of strife and hand-wringing as well.
First up: AD 72 candidate Linda Ackerman reportedly has filed an ethics complaint with the GOP against primary challenger and current county supervisor Chris Norby over one of his campaign mailers. Norby, in turn, has filed his own complaint. The race, which is to replace the drippingly disgraced Mike Duvall, has featured Ackerman making Norby out to be a lothario and Norby portraying Ackerman as a carpetbagging party hack.
Next: Bush bashing!
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Party Chair Scott Baugh apparently gave an impasioned speech condemning RINO-ism (that's Republican In Name Only-ism). Bartlett's summary:
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.
With Republican recalls-a-plenty, a serious challenge to a Republican-held congressional seat in New York by a "Conservative Party" candidate and pigheads like John Ziegler harranguing anyone who even thinks a mean thought about Sarah Palin, Baugh's statement seems like a smart bit of positioning. It'll be interesting to see whether he follows through.
Finally, Irvine mayorial candidate Megan Barth spoke for about ten minutes about her run, and spent some time hammering a local Republican Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel for going to a fundraiser and appearing in a photo with Irvine Democrat and mayoral candidate Sukhee Kang. Make of that what you will, but I was more taken aback by Barth's mention of the April 15 Tea Party she organized in Santa Ana. She says 3,000 people came. Now I hate to be that guy -- that journalist who's going to be accused of liberal shilling -- but I was there and there definitely were not 3,000 people. I estimated a little under 1,000 and other outlets have been saying 1,000. But hey, facts are relative. Didn't you hear there were 4 million people in D.C. on 9/12?