By Steve Thompson, Chairman of the Butte County Republican Party
What happened Sunday at the convention of the California Republican Party could only be viewed as a victory for conservatives.
As some of you have read here before, the CRP is due to ratify or pass a new platform clarifying the values it stands for. In an early meeting of a drafting subcommittee of the Platform Committee (I know, that sounds terribly bureaucratic), moderate republicans wrote up a proposed platform that basically dropped all of our conservative principles. They claimed they just wanted to have a shorter platform.
Well, it was shorter. Of course, they deleted everything we believe in as a party!
They deleted our support for the 2nd Amendment, and our support of the death penalty and 3 Strikes.
They deleted our defense of the unborn, and our support for adoption.
They even deleted our support of allowing commercial timber harvesting to manage our forests, and for water storage to promote agriculture.
I can go on and on with this. The point is that the moderates in our party made a very brazen attempt to gut the platform of our party and delete everything that makes us republicans. They believe this would help our party win. I strongly disagree. If their assertion was true, Meg Whitman would now be governor.
The moderates managed to get a lot of their people elected on to the platform committee. They thought they had this won, until conservative Dan Logue showed up. Every republican legislator has a seat on the platform committee, but very few showed up to cast votes against this atrocity. Dan Logue stepped up and volunteered to chair the committee. His being in that position helped prevent any parliamentary tricks, and gave conservatives a fair chance at winning.
When the conservative team presented the option to stick with our current platform, which has worked well for the last few years, we had the votes to win it. I believe the final vote was 60 -55.
It was not a final victory, however. Although the current proposal is now conservative, it has to be voted on by the delegates of the next CRP convention in the spring. The moderates will not give up and they will be working overtime to get their delegates there. Conservatives now have their work cut out for them and have to get all of their delegates there as well. As a county chairman I have a number of delegate appointments, as do our republican legislators, so it is critical that we all do our part. But I am very confident that conservatives will win in the spring.
Finally, on a more ominous note, there was mischief going on at convention. Several north state delegates who were unable to attend, including a member of the local TEA Party, had their proxy votes handed over to bay area supporters of the moderate (liberal, IMHO) platform. I am very disappointed that someone would abuse their trust this way. However, for now I will leave it up to those members to identify themselves and the ones who sold out their votes, if they so choose. Better that you hear it from the TEA Party members than me.
Readers can also investigate for themselves. Visit the CRP website. Contact their office and ask for minutes from all of the platform committee meetings. Don’t wait for a few bloggers to spell it out for you. If (as Reagan once said) America is the last best hope for freedom in the world, than the Republican Party is the last best hope for freedom in America. It’s time for conservatives to get out of the bleachers and onto the field.