Inside a Costa Mesa hotel ballroom on Feb. 20, Orange County’s most enthusiastic conservative activists met to hear candidate speeches and issue endorsements while paying homage to Saint Ronnie and excoriating gays, abortion rights, bureaucrats and, the favorite target of the day, employees’ unions. The meeting of the local chapter of the California Republican Assembly (CRA) began with an invocation that asked God to ensure that “people of good character and faith get elected” and ended three-plus hours later with a whiff of scandal. A handful of members wondered aloud at the meeting: Had Van Tran, a Republican candidate hoping to face Democrat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in November, quietly stolen CRA’s endorsement for his primary fight... More >>>