New CA Republican Party Chairman

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Tom Del Beccaro is with Jessica Millan Patterson.

My thoughts on the CA GOP’s New Chair – Jessica Patterson

In response to the inquiries I have received, as the former Party Chairman, here are my thoughts . . .

First, keep this in mind:

1. Being Chairman of a party is NOT at all like being a candidate for legislative office. Candidates are about policy positions and getting votes. Being Party Chairman is about preparing that party for the next Election Day.

2. Party’s do just two things: Collect voters and get them to the polls. Everything else is in aid of those two basic functions. Fundraising, voter registration, press releases, conventions, volunteer coordination, initiative support, etc.
All of that is about Election Day.

As for Jessica:

1. She ran a nearly flawless campaign and immediately reached out to her opponents on the important issue of voter registration. She also made it quite clear that she was ready to lead the fight against Democrats in this state. She deserves credit for that. Good starts are just that – good.

2. Her biggest challenge, in my view, will be to convince the grass roots to believe in the party again. She has to restore the volunteer model of party politicking. Volunteers are essential to registering voters and getting them to the polls. Her offer to Travis Allen and Steve Frank to head up a voter registration task force certainly indicates she wants to start by casting a wide net. It is her responsibility to do that and YOUR responsibility, if you are a CA Republican, to give her help in that regard.

3. I know some will question the process and her “conservative” credentials.

Quite plainly, she is not running for governor. Her job is harder than that.

What matters is whether she can create common ground between the grass roots, donors and legislators.

Intraparty-partisanship can wreck the best of intentions.

She has to find common ground among members not in agreement – all successful parties must have that. CA Republicans are 3rd in registration behind decline to state. Politics is a game of addition.

There are enough issues on which all Republicans can work together. She cannot afford to participate in intraparty fights and you should not advocate that at this point – unless you want your party to fall to 4th place.

Her responsibility is not about being predominatly conservative or moderate. It is about working with both. That’s what party Chairs have to do – especially in California.

4. Please note, she will not be choosing who runs for governor any more than a party chair chose Arnold or Meg Whitman. Your candidate support decides that.

Finally, she has been holding party office for just hours. As a former Chairman, I hope people will judge her on her actions in the days and months ahead – not on their perceptions of the past or what other chairs have done. She is young and energetic. She has a ready smile and served the right notice on the Democrats.

That’s a good start and I want her to succeed. We need her to succeed.

There will be plenty of opportunities to judge if that is something you want to do. For now, if you care about the Republican party, give her the benefit of the doubt, help if you can, stay engaged and starting working for candidates.

You’re the biggest part of any party and always will be.

Tom Del Beccaro

Hear, hear!