This past weekend, the California Republican Party held its bi-annual Convention in the state capital in Sacramento. On hand was FOX News’ Karl Rove and U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
The party suffered one of its worst election cycles in 2012. Party registration for Republicans is a mere 29% in California and both the State Senate and State Assembly have veto-proof super majorities. It’s not a good climate for business.
Still, former State Senate Leader Jim Brulte took the helm as the Chairman of the California Republican Party and Republicans elected its first woman Vice Chairman, Harmeet Dhillon of San Francisco. This was a proud moment for all women of California – especially women of color.
Among the highlights of the weekend was a luncheon with Karl Rove and a press conference about the new Grow Elect project, which trains and helps Latinos and Latinas to win local elections. More on that later.
Here are a few quotes of what Karl Rove said to California Republican Delegates and their guests:
“We’ve got an obligation to take our values, carry them across the country, and ask people for their vote.”
“Take the values you have and sell them as hard as you can.”
“Our message is this – get off your ###. Get back in the game and fight.”
“Barack Obama wants to create a civil war in the Republican Party and break his political opposition. We can’t let him have this satisfaction.”
“We don’t know all the answers, but we’ve got to stay focused on the big issues.”
“(The United States) is on its way to looking like Greece but in our case, there is no European Union to bail us out.”
“The biggest problem we’re facing is the economy. It’s the weakest recovery in the history of the country and the first recovery where median family income has dropped. Ordinary Americans can’t afford colleges and quality of life that they’re used to.”
“It will take likely until July 2014 to get back to the number of workers we had back in December 2007 (when George W. Bush left the White House).”
On California -
“If you keep going in the direction you’re going, we in Texas will appreciate your business moving to our state.”
Congressman Darrell Issa was also on hand talking about the revenue issues and spending problem the country faces. One statement he made stuck with me:
“The President doesn’t want a tax increase. He needs a tax increase.”
Congressman Issa also talked about his role as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a recent conference that was held to discuss ethical standards in the U.S. government. He found it ironic that a group of Washington consultants were paid by the U.S. government to discuss rules and standards and needed to spend money on a conference to do this in the wake of the GSA hot tub scandal.
U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy did several events on site and was honored by the San Luis Obispo Republican Party at the weekend’s greatest party that featured “America’s best dance band” in 2009: Hip Service. Young and old danced and enjoyed the evening’s festivities on site. It was good to see California Republicans having a little fun.
I’ll have more about who was there and what was said in the next couple of days.