California RNC convention delegates announced

By George MillerRNCConvention2016

Via the California Secretary of State’s office, a list of Republican delegates to the Republican National Committee Convention was released this week. It actually is two lists: one for Ted Cruz delegates and one for Donald Trump’s.

The list: June 7, 2016, Presidential Primary Election Republican Delegate List

We are also providing an archived  downloadable version as of 5-11-16, in case it is changed: republican-delegates

Local selections:

For Ted Cruz (Congressional District and Delegate):

25 Peter Foy 25 James Mitchell 25 Stephen Frank 26 Doug De Groote 26 EDWARD CZUKER 26 ELISSA CZUKER

For Donald Trump (Congressional District and Delegate):

25 Morris Thomas 25 Steve Ward 25 Angela Underwood Jacobs 26 Michael Osborn 26 Pete Petrovich 26 Frank Visco

We could not find the list on the public portions of the California or national GOP web sites at publication time.

Tony Strickland is a Trump delegate, but we saw he’s not a delegate for a local district. Instead, he is a state delegate at large, meaning he will be a convention delegate if Trump gets the largest number of CA GOP votes, which is likely.  Peter Foy is a County Supervisor and well-known Conservative/Libertarian. Mike Osborn is Chair of the Ventura County Republican Party. Steve Frank is a Republican political consultant. Frank Visco is a financial services executive. Doug DeGroote is a financial planner.

We talked to multiple people who applied to be delegates, but only learned that they weren’t selected after the selections became public.

California does not have a winner take-all Republican primary. Each election district’s winner gets three delegates to the convention (159 total), 10 at large delegates and three comprised of top party officials go to the statewide winner. So the two lists will be used accordingly.

Interesting back story- How sausages are made

There’s an expression that politics is like making sausages: if you knew how it was done, it would seem far less appetizing.

The delegate selection process in many states, including California, is no exception and has been hotly disputed. Because political parties are private organizations, they have very wide latitude in how to conduct business, which they exercise. In fact, many delegates are actually selected in the proverbial “smoke-filled rooms,” of party officials or campaigns. Some of these officials are elected by the public, some are appointed by other officials or candidates for office.

The struggle of Donald Trump vs Ted Cruz and other campaigns over delegates across the country has been well-publicized this year. It has exposed how undemocratic, untransparent, even corrupt, the process often is. There are similar problems with the Democratic Party’s process. Especially irritating to many Democrats is their “Superdelegate” system, which gives disproportionate weight to party officials’ votes vs. other primary voters.

We are told that in California, the GOP convention delegates are chosen by the candidates, which would seem to reduce the potential for mischief. Winning candidates then send their delegates to the convention to vote for them. Yet, some of the delegates do not appear to be supporters of the candidates, so there may be some other calculus at work as well.

Recent conversations helped to confirm that, at least partially. Steve Frank, a well known Simi Valley-based, statewide political consultant, writer for CA Political Review and a newly selected Cruz delegate for CD-25 opined. He said that he and several others were tasked to vet and recommend Cruz delegates and that their list was accepted by Ron Nehring, state Cruz Campaign Chair, former GOP state Chair and a national spokesman for Cruz. However, Frank doesn’t believe that some of the Trump delegates are dedicated Trump supporters.

Frank agreed with our other sources who told us that Bakersfield area political consultant Mark Abernathy headed up the Trump delegate vetting. But the results have puzzled some. For example, House Majority Leader and appointed Trump delegate Kevin McCarthy was not known to be a Trump supporter.  Nor was delegate and Ventura County Republican Chair Mike Osborn, who reliable sources say was known as a Cruz supporter. Nor was State GOP Vice Chair and delegate Harmeet Dhillon. The pattern looks more like party faithful were selected.

Ventura County Cruz campaign Chair Scotia Alves said she applied for a delegate position, was not selected, but has no problem with those who were. She thinks the Cruz delegate selection process was OK. While she is disappointed that Cruz suspended his campaign, she sees a role for him in helping to shape the platform, rules and gain a possible new role in the federal govt. She said he has expressed an intention to run for re-election to the Senate (MORE on that).

It was Bakersfield raisin farmer, GOP state delegate and Tea Party leader/activist Tom Pavich who first told us that longtime political consultant Mark Abernathy was selected to vet Trump delegates. Chuckling, he said that Abernathy had also helped to establish a Cruz campaign HQ in town. He did not think Abernathy was a Trumper, but was more of a “political consultant animal.” But Alves told us that he and his wife Kathy appeared to her to be dedicated Trump fans.

Well-known political veteran, former local State Senator and Trump delegate Tony Strickland said supporting Trump was a very easy decision for him. He observed that many of Trump’s positions and his extraordinary communications talents, executive abilities and business skills make him a strong candidate and future President.

Some say: “so what, the political parties are private organizations and can make their own rules.” While this is true, the two largest parties overwhelmingly dominate nearly all election contests above the level of city councils. So, they have become de facto monopolies, with a stranglehold on elections, which also gives them a stranglehold on government, laws made, executive offices and even court and commission appointments.

Although Cruz has “suspended” his campaign, a low key effort is still ongoing.  In fact 16 Republican candidates have dropped out or suspended their own campaigns, leaving only Donald Trump still standing on the Republican side. Cruz and Kasich are expected to get a lot of votes in the California primary. But Trump, who was already significantly ahead, is expected to really dominate now that the other campaigns have petered out. Cruz and others were hoping to force a “brokered” convention and even point to Abe Lincoln, the first Republican President, who walked into the convention with only 20% of the vote, but prevailed. However, Trump will likely show up with more than half and the California primary will likely put him over the top, making it the first time that California has made the difference in the nomination in a long, long time.

The reason that half is so so important is that the vast majority of delegates are sent to the convention with a mandate to vote the first ballot or sometimes more for the primary or caucus winner. But they may not be obligated to do that on subsequent ballots, which opens up all sorts of possibilities. However, ignoring nearly half or more of the selection of the people is fraught with extreme risk and could potentially tear the party asunder. So, it should be “interesting.” Political opposition figures are doing what they can to increase divisiveness. To make it even more interesting, with 17 candidates, winning vote percentages were much lower during the earlier portions of the campaign, triggering accusations that the winners won those contests with minority votes.

The Democrats elect some delegates, but the “Superdelegates” are appointed from party insiders/officials. There have been many complaints about this system, but Republicans have at least as many problems with theirs.

Read: How Republicans and Democrats pick California delegates to …

How Republicans and Democrats pick California delegates to …

More info: The Green Papers

Keep in mind that there are 39 Presidential candidates on the state ballot. So there are lots of other candidates. But, consider that minor Democrat or Republican candidates and so-called “third party” candidates have been virtually invisible this year. The major news media simply ignore them- don’t even report their vote totals, give them virtually no publicity, except for occasional patronizing or attacking angle pieces. They are nearly always excluded from high visibility debates, town halls, etc., unless they hold their own, which are rarely noted by news media. The reason given is that there is insufficient interest or support- a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Most people we’ve talked to don’t think a Republican will prevail in the general election in California. Polls don’t indicate that either. Tony Strickland thinks it would be a tough uphill battle, but it is possible, because Trump is a very unusual candidate, this is an unusual year and some issues could attract voters who would not normally vote that way, or even at all.

State campaign Chair Tim Clark and assistant Woody Woodrum did not respond to our inquiries.

Primary season is ON! List of candidates on VC ballot here

Primary season is ON! List of candidates on VC ballot here

By George Miller- “You may ignore politics, but politics won’t ignore you.” 2016 is a Presidential election year. Although California has one of the last primaries, it may be decisive in helping to determine which candidates are on the November ballot. In addition, many down-ticket positions are up for election this year, including US Senator, […]

George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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