This weekend, the California Republican Party, a bunch of hard-core right-wing conservative Trump supporters who believe they will win more elections if only they were “more” conservative, is gathering in Sacramento for their annual convention and on the agenda is an action to endorse Third District Orange County Board of Supervisor’s candidate Don Wagner, the “Christian Conservative” mayor of Irvine, even though almost every political position Wagner takes would make Christ himself weep.
The CRP has yet to learn any valuable lesson from last November’s Blue Wave and ignores data on how many OC Voters are Democratic Party voters, and how many voters are women. There’s a slight voter registration advantage for Republicans in the Third District but six GOP candidates that a small group of OCGOP insiders failed to buy off with promises of party support for other elections, have filed to run in this race, thus diluting the field for the party elite’s current darling, Wagner.
Adding to the political intrigue, these geniuses are benefitting from attacks in this special election by Howard Ahmanson, a filthy-rich 1%er newly registered independent, who was a Democrat in 2009 and has given generously to Anaheim Council races for Dr. Jose Moreno and Arturo Ferraras (as well as squishy Republican Mark Lopez) on behalf of his buddy, former Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.
I’d be embarrassed to have received money from Ahmanson if I were a Democrati candidate due to the man’s record against the LGBTQ community and the support he’s given to the anti-Gay marriage/marriage equity collation.
Former Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray is the object of Ahmanson’s ire, but make no mistake. Every dollar spent to promote Wagner for supervisor hurts Democrat Loretta Sanchez. And CRP delegates are allegedly crowing about the financial support from Ahmanson in this race.
Care to know what Ahmanson’s spent in prior elections, in addition to more than $1 million to pass Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage in California (https://www.thedailybeast.com/a-prop-8-crusader-leaves-the-gop )?
Here you go:
Activities in 2018 Election:
- $2,000 Contribution to Patty Gaby for Anaheim City Council 2018, June 29, 2018
- $2,000 to Fuentes Strategic Consulting, Inc.
- $11,812.98 – Opposing Anaheim City Council Candidate Trevor O’Neil (10/16/18)Activities in 2016 Election:
- Supporting Denise Barnes Independent Expenditure – $43,877.50
- Supporting Jose Moreno – $2,542.50;
- Supporting Mark Lopez – $2,542.50
- Supporting Arturo Ferreras – $2542.50
- Opposing Steve Faessel – $16,282.00
- Opposing Steve Lodge – $25,490.00Activities in 2014 Election:
- California Homeowners Association PAC – $49,750 (Tait Family Trust also gave $49,750)
- Opposing Gail Eastman – $46,834.80
- Opposing Kris Murray: $40,794.80
- Support Tom Tait: $4,532.30
- Support James Vanderbilt – $5,825.30
Ahmanson is a hardcore conservative, who is pro-life and uses his considerable wealth to fund extremist organizations that advocate stoning homosexuals and full implementation of Old Testament biblical law. He’s paid for a number of hit pieces on Murray because he knows she’ll cut into Wagner’s base. As Democrats, we ought to support anything that cuts into Wagner’s support. And we should oppose campaigns funded by homophobic bigots. Plain and simple.
TheLiberalOC is somehow on the mailing list for Wagner’s race and IEs to hit Murray. I’m sharing a couple below.Additionally, we were forwarded an email string between Murray and a hardcore Ahmanson supporter that we Democrats need to see.
Here’s the email string we received:
Begin forwarded message:
From: email address removed>
Date: February 14, 2019 at 12:29:03 PM PST
To: <email address removed
Subject: Howard Ahmanson
It has just come to my attention that when you sent this message to me, you blind copied quite a few people. You were referencing an email I sent to OCGOP central committee and Lincoln Club board members and not to you, so allow me to respond in kind.
Apart from the rank hypocrisy and selective outrage exhibited in your message, the most absurd statement in your email is the full-throated glorification of Howard Ahmanson as “one of the most principled and devout people I have ever known,” as well as describing him as a “good and decent man.”
Howard Ahmanson is infamous for bankrolling extremist religious groups that call for the stoning of same-sex couples in the street. His money and influence have only divided our party while painting Republicans with a bigoted, prejudice brush rejected by a majority of Orange County voters.
My advice to you, as you ponder your next move, is to seriously ask yourself if Orange County voters will ever embrace Ahmanson’s extremist views and whether his bigotry reflects policies the Republican Party wants to be affiliated with in any capacity.
If so, the direction you and your cronies are steering our party is morally bankrupt and can only degrade the Republican brand in Orange County even further.
As a lifelong Republican, I reject Howard Ahmanson’s hateful views and your blind eye towards them. You and the OCGOP central committee officers who profit from independent expenditure committees funded by Ahmanson and his firm, Fieldstead & Company, should be held accountable for the mass casualties suffered by the OCGOP in recent election cycles, and the sharp decline in party registration.
I will continue to work on behalf of all residents in Orange County and look forward to a day when Republicans once again grow the tent and return to the party’s core principles, which have nothing to do with the hateful, extremism associated with and funded by Howard Ahmanson.
(Full text of my original email and your reply are posted below)
FPPC ID# 1403412
From: “Bahnsen, David” (email address removed)
Date: January 21, 2019 at 8:35:44 PM PST
To: email address removed
Subject: Howard Ahmanson
Your slanderous and insulting comments about Howard Ahmanson, one of the most principled and devout people I have ever known, are uncanny in their ability to validate decisions many wise and prudent people made in this race.
It is certainly understandable that you would be upset about the decisions to rally around a candidate other than yourself, but to manifest your frustration by making reckless and inflammatory comments about a good and decent man is beneath contempt.
I’m devoting my resources in the cause of local politics to ridding cronyism from the Republican cause. You may believe that a lack of coalescing in this race was in the best interest of Republicans, but we both know that’s ridiculous. My advice as you ponder your next move is to treat those who are trying to do what is best for our troubled county with respect, and avoid the petty insults and thoughtless barbs that are way too common in today’s political environment.
David L. Bahnsen
Chief Investment Officer
(boilerplate removed for brevity)
On Jan 21, 2019, at 3:33 PM, krismurray wrote:
I am writing in response to John Warner’s email to Lincoln Club members and other Republican stakeholders in Orange County announcing the club’s endorsement of Don Wagner in the special election for 3rd District County Supervisor. The email, in full, is posted below with corrections to false statements made throughout.
Despite repeated requests, I was refused an opportunity to speak to the club’s board or even be considered for an endorsement, despite many member’s objections. The same is planned for the OC GOP meeting scheduled tonight.
In light of being shut out, I am writing to set the record straight and respond with facts.
In short, my candidacy, was launched in March 2018 in anticipation of a 2020 election. In November 2018, when we found out the 3rd District Supervisorial seat would be up in early 2019, I already had a campaign in place with substantial support from a host of prominent and prestigious organizations and policy leaders from across the state. (www.ElectKrisMurray.com to see endorsements). Despite a broad base of support for my campaign, an exclusive group of political insiders responsible for our party’s recent catastrophic losses set out to split our Republican ticket once again.
Worse still, the rationale behind coalescing around their preferred candidate in the eleventh hour is based on faulty premises that do not stand up to even a cursory examination (see corrections below).
The Lincoln Club and OCGOP could have focused their efforts on beating Loretta Sanchez. Instead the tip of the spear in their strategy is to divide and marginalize our party even further. Have they learned nothing from 2018?
These machinations have wasted precious time and resources while Loretta Sanchez has been in the field working hard and gaining ground unabated by any Republican opposition. If the contention is that Loretta Sanchez is a threat in this largely Republican district then party leadership seems to be focusing, once again, on the wrong priorities.
- To my supporters, thank you for standing up to the bully tactics led by a small group of insiders dragging our party deeper into the clutches of Howard Ahmanson. His money is hardly worth the taint it brings to our party in the minds of Orange County voters and I appreciate your support in helping me start rebuilding a Republican brand that does not repulse a majority of voters.
- To those undecided, I promise any amount of due diligence on your part will lead you to see this attempt for what it is, and I remain available to discuss my candidacy with you. I hope you will be open to the facts about my public service record, which I’m running on and give it due consideration.
- And to those supporting Don Wagner, I hope you will remain open-minded as the campaign progresses, because we will not win this seat or any seat in Orange County moving forward, by allowing these same machinations to continue.
I look forward to a spirited race for Orange County Supervisor and believe my candidacy represents our best chance to elect a Republican to the Board of Supervisors.
If elected, I will continue the work I’ve done in Orange County for nearly a decade to address the crisis of homelessness in our county, grow our local economy, improve our infrastructure, and expand resources to serve and protect our communities. No amount of strong-arm tactics will dissuade me.
On the basis of my successful record, I humbly ask for your support.
FPPC ID# 1403412
I really enjoyed reading this email to see how totally chaotic the OCGOP is at this point. Clearly the Good ‘ol Boys of the Republican Party are still in charge and haven’t learned anything valuable from last November. Don Wagner is coming off an election where he lost 60% of the vote for re-election and before he was even sworn in as Mayor, was fundraising for County Supervisor. Anyone who funded his campaign for Mayor should ask for their money back.
Early ROV voting says lots of Republicans have voted while few Democratic ballots are in. I’ve spoken with a few people about polling in the race that shows it’s Loretta’s to lose but in a short campaign, voter turnout matters and history shows Republicans always come out for every special election while Democrats stay home.
The first Sanchez for Supervisor signs showed up in my neighborhood this week. For Republicans out there, you have six choices. If you can’t vote for Sanchez, don’t vote for someone who embraces fake Christian values and can’t raise the money needed to run well on his own. Find a different Republican than Wagner.
And when Wagner loses, he should do the good voters of Irvine the courtesy of resigning since he hates being our Mayor anyway. And take that stupid Trump cutout with him when he packs his office.