Originally written in 2022 with minor updates.
As someone involved in the San Bernardino and Los Angeles County Republican Parties by virtue of being the party’s nominee in three previous elections (2002, 2014 and 2018) I have a major complaint about county political parties such as the Los Angeles County Republican Party not taking the state elections code seriously and merely treating it as President Biden initially dealing with Vladimir Putin.
The elections code has no legal teeth when it comes to county party political organizations. County parties can systematically discard ex-officio nominees and its leaders can endorse non-Republicans in contested elections with Republicans running in them when we are supposed to be the Republican Party not the Lincoln Club (a group of Republican leaning business owners and allies). There needs to be an enforcement provision where if the county chairman endorses a Democratic Party member for county supervisor instead of a Republican or being neutral, the offender would have to donate 100 dollars to one of the California State Tax Contribution Funds. If a county party illegally denies membership to their party, then the county party would be liable for each offense with a cost of 100 dollars to start and add up another 100 until it hits 1000 dollars, and the county party would have to also pay money to charity as a punishment.
First offense is section 7404, Los Angeles County Republican Party decided to discard this part of the elections code and put Democratic Party of Los Angeles County language only limiting ex-officio membership to Los Angeles County nominees, throwing out both myself and Kathleen Hazelton illegally. They were fed up with people asking critical questions about party operations and wanted the meetings to be more like a pep rally. Traditionally if Tom Lackey is the nominee, he gets a seat in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, and it should also be the same for Kathleen Hazelton as well. Reciprocity should be given to all our ex-officio candidates and winners.
Elections code 7413 is also a big problem as well, even though county supervisor races are not partisan races, these races are just as partisan as state legislative and congressional races. We have had former San Bernardino County chairman Curt Hagman endorse James Ramos, a registered Democrat for County Supervisor in 2012 and 2016 when we had Republicans running. In Los Angeles County Richard Sherman the current chairman decided to endorse Bob Hertzberg over two qualified Republicans running for Board of Supervisors in the third district. I thought we are there to elect Republicans. However, county leadership rarely takes offense when general members violate 7413. We had Republicans such as Mayor Warren in Fontana endorse Cheryl Brown over a Republican running in the primary. If county parties fail to remove a member off a committee for a severe lapse of judgement, there should be ways that party members could get some recompense so the elections code would have teeth and not merely suggestions in how to operate a county party. At this time there are no actual members violating this rule right now in San Bernardino County, but this has happened big time in the past.
There also needs to be a provision for transparency of operations when it comes to member discipline. If people are booted off a committee there should be a certified letter mailed to the member being booted. There should be due process as usual when it comes to running membership of an organization to make sure people are not being railroaded out.
When we as Republicans treat our members fairly and work to elect Republicans instead of the least toxic Democratic Party politicians, perhaps the small donors of our party will come back to the party and work towards our shared goals together.