Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS



Likely GOP chief to ‘leave issues to others’

elias column sig

By
From page A11 | February 13, 2013 |

Almost every California Republican today realizes the party faces a serious dilemma upon whose resolution hinges the very life of the GOP in America’s largest state.

If the state party changes its long-held stances on things like illegal immigration (absolutely no form of amnesty or path to citizenship), gun control (against), gay marriage (against) and new taxes (none whatsoever), it will be deserting basic, long-held positions. But if it doesn’t make some changes, it will keep on losing because those stances do not square with the current preferences of most Californians.

Losses have been heavy to date: Democrats now have supermajorities of more than two-thirds in both houses of the Legislature, dominate the state’s congressional delegation by a 38-15 count and hold every statewide office, including the two U.S. Senate seats.

Into this bleak situation steps Jim Brulte, a former longtime Republican legislator from San Bernardino County who at last notice was unopposed in his quest to become party chairman during the GOP’s state convention in early March.

Rather than confront the crucial Republican conundrum, Brulte insists he will deal mostly with “nuts and bolts” as chairman, leaving political positioning to the party’s dwindling cadre of elected officials and its candidates.

“I’m not going to talk issues,” he declared in an interview. “I want to focus on rebuilding the party from the grass roots up.”

Brulte listed three areas as his top priorities: renewing Republican fundraising operations, recruiting many more grass-roots volunteers than the party recently has and “rebuilding the party’s bench” by recruiting candidates for legislative and local races who have a chance to win because they “look like, sound like and share the values of the people in their neighborhoods.”

“The neighborhoods are changing, and we need to change, too,” he conceded.

He didn’t go so far as to say he would push the GOP to change any longstanding platform planks or even recommend anything to bring the party more in line with what polls and recent votes show most Californians believe today.

“To the extent you want to discuss issues,” he repeated, “I will refer you to our members of the Legislature and Congress and our candidates.”

Brulte says his projected rebuild has immediate potential for bettering the GOP’s electoral fortunes with or without changes on any issues.

“We lost three or four seats where the outcome really hinged on nuts and bolts,” he said, citing several legislative races decided by fewer than 2,000 votes each.

Election returns reveal that the GOP won almost as many very tight races as it lost, one example being the 1,018-vote margin by which Republican Assemblyman Mike Morrell beat Democrat Russ Warner in a far-flung San Bernardino County district.

The same returns show Democrats won by wide margins in most races, indicating that merely fixing nuts and bolts won’t bring Republicans near parity anytime soon.

Brulte is plainly correct that the party needs less posturing and more hard work. One change he says he’ll make right away is to stop sending out ideology-driven press releases anytime almost anything happens, as the past two GOP state chairman have done.

“You resort to press releases when you don’t have much else,” Brulte said. “We will rebuild a bench of potential candidates by recruiting well and winning city council, school board and local district elections all over California. The party has not had an active recruiting campaign in some large areas of the state. The (San Francisco) Bay area is one. Even in heavily Democratic regions, there are areas within those regions where we could do well. We can attract people who favor small government and oppose a permanent welfare state.”

That’s as close as Brulte comes to discussing actual policy. “I will be the most boring chairman the party has had in a long time,” he said. “I’m not going to do talk radio or pontificate on issues. I want to do the hard work.”

He guesses bringing the GOP at least close to even with Democrats will take about six years.

It remains to be seen how long Brulte can ignore issues and focus on the strictly practical parts of party-building. As even he implies, unless Republicans move themselves more into line with public sentiment on major issues, it won’t matter how much money the party raises or how many volunteers and candidates it recruits.

In short, no matter how reluctant Brulte and other GOP leaders may be, they will have to address their party’s big dilemma or risk becoming perpetual losers.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Celebrate the magic of Christmas

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

     
    Santas have busy week at schools

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    Safe streets task force work nets 3

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
     
    Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

    Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    US / World

    Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

     
    Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
     
    Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    California’s top utility regulator defends record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

    Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    European court rules obesity can be a disability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

    .

    Opinion

    Another look at school bonds

    By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    News of the day strikes a chord

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

     
    Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

    By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

    By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

    Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

     
    39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

     
    This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

     
    Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Obituaries

    Lisa Dee McHughes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dominic C. Scolaro

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Travis Curt Price

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics