GOP Convention 2010–California

I did not attend Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally or Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts this year. The world is better off without me being cloned, so I missed these events while attending the Michigan GOP Convention.

Recently I attended the California GOP Convention in San Diego.

While most convention are an opportunity for me to make new friends, the California Republican Party Convention is an opportunity for me to see friends I have already made.

Normally I describe events that are so overwhelmingly positive that people think I am a sycophant. I am not sugarcoating anything. The experiences really are that good.

Then there was California.

This convention was at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego.  I will be blount. I think the hotel sucks. I think it is the second most overrated hotel on Earth behind the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan.

The hotel is ginormous, absolutely gargantuan. This means that to get from one meeting room to another means walking the length of California itself. For some of the 80 year old ladies, this was not pleasant.

I did not stay at the hotel because the prices of the rooms were exorbitant. Thank heavens I have friends in San Diego. Yet the hotel charged $34 per day to valet ($24 non-valet, which means spending all day looking for your car). Somehow this is legal.  The hotel neglected to mention that if one ate at one of the many overpriced restaurants on hotel grounds, that they would validate parking for $3 for 3 hours. Naturally the hotel felt it best to have guests oblivious to this so the $34 could be collected.

The internet charge was another $13 per day. I think that if a hotel is billing itself as a place for big conventions, they should comp the d@mn wireless internet access.

I went to one coffee shop in the hopes of just getting a sandwich and a couple of sodas. Somehow that came out to $22, but at least the sandwich was terrible.

If I never go to the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego again it will be too soon.

As for the convention itself, there were some positives and negatives.

From a socializing standpoint, the after-parties in the suites were top notch. In California, they do know how to put the party in Republican Party.

Politically, the convention was mostly harmonious. Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina had their teams in place.

A pair of rising stars add some testosterone to balance out those two ladies. Former NFL wide Receiver Damon Dunn is the nominee for Secretary of State, while CBA basketball player Tony Strickland is running for Controller. They are both good conservatives, good people, and great candidates. The aptly named STar Parker is running for the 37th congressional district.

The one area of acrimony belonged to the Young Republicans. There are two different California Young Republican organizations, and they have been at war. While it appeared they had agreed at the convention to a peaceful merger, the deal was blown up way past the 11th hour. It got pretty ugly, and some party higher-ups had to intervene.

The biggest negative about the convention was the pathetically low turnout. California has millions of people. Even if only 40% of them are Republicans, the convention turnout of 600 activists was inexcusable. Even with others such as vendors and guests, the grand total was under 1000.

Conversely, Michigan had 3,000 attendees.

If other states can get galvanized, Republicans should not sugarcoat the fact that this convention was sparsely attended.

One positive explanation for this is that higher turnout often coincides with vicious primary fights. This was the post-primary convention, and there was relative peace and calm.

The CRP also seems to have a logical succession plan in place. The CRP Chairman is stepping down soon. While Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro does have rivals, Del Beccaro as of now is the odds on favorite to move up one notch to the top spot soon enough. This stability is good for the party, and Del Beccaro is highly regarded among many members of the party faithful.

(Full disclosure: I have done events with him.)

So the low turnout was partly due to the lack of drama that thrills media members but bothers the party faithful.

Broadcasting the entire weekend from the convention floor in the vendor area was Elise Richmond, a major radio personality based out of Palm Springs. Her guests included me, fellow conservative comedian Evan Sayet, various politicos, and California Federation of Republican Women President Maryann Hedstromm.

Evan gave a serious lecture on the media while Larry Greenfield offered more solid knowledge regarding Radical Islam.

There were no major politicos from outside the state. Other conventions have appearances by everyone from Michele Bachmann to Michael Steele to Scott Brown to Haley Barbour. In this case Meg Whitman headlined the main dinner. The second dinner had Congressman Darrell Issa and Lieutenant Gubernatorial Candidate Abel Maldonado.

So while some may have found the convention boring, tranquility among the party faithful is something I am fine with.

The party seems united going into November, which can only make us stronger as California Republicans.


6 Responses to “GOP Convention 2010–California”

  1. Part of the low turn-out, too, probably has to do with the shear size of California. People forget just how huge a state it is and how the population is scattered all over it.

    Also, the top candidates are both in for a real fight. There’s a good chance that when all is said and done, Jerry Brown will be the next governor and Senator Boxer will still be Senator Boxer.


  2. Toma says:

    Jers, you are probably right on both counts. CA is deep blue and the high percentage of hispanics, illegals and liberal academics will never support anything but a liberal platform. CA is entrenched with Dems and will not change in the foreseeable future. Brown and Boxer will buy the support they need.


  3. I have no idea why the large number of undocumented immigrants would have to do with the election, but I do know that Hispanics are not particularly pleased with the anti-immigrant fervor of the GOP (as evidenced by the silly and ridiculous notion that “illegal aliens” would bother to take the chance to vote). As for “liberal academics,” they’d be a pretty tiny percentage of the vote or even influence on the vote in a state with the popluation of California’s. What makes the state Blue is the level of education of the voters, which tends to be high. It’s a typical coast state in that sense.


  4. Toma says:

    Illegals do vote. Acorn and the democrat election machine use absentee ballots to secure the illegal and/or undocumented vote. The influence of liberal academics over the years has insured the high level of liberal indoctrination of the blue voter and yes it is typically coastal.


  5. Micky 2 says:

    “have no idea why the large number of undocumented immigrants would have to do with the election, ”

    First of all..they’re “illegal aliens”. Not undocumented immigrants.
    And they’re one of Californis largest financial burdens. So how you can say they dont effect an election is flat out stupid

  6. Micky 2 says:

    “What makes the state Blue is the level of education of the voters, which tends to be high. ”

    The level of education doesnt seem to stopping idicoy from prevailing.
    They keep electing the same schumcks (or kind of) that got them in this rut

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