April 2023 Newsletter Articles
Patterson Wins Re-Election for Third Term as CAGOP Chair
Rankin, Berholtz and Gandrud Prevail
Jessica Patterson won her third term as CAGOP Chairwoman at the biannual CAGOP organizing convention held March 10-12 in Sacramento. Patterson won with a resounding 65% of the votes cast in a four-way race. At the Saturday luncheon, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy thanked Jessica and all CAGOP delegates and volunteers for delivering the house majority to Republicans. The California GOP picked up 5 seats in the last two election cycles under Patterson’s leadership. Those 5 seats more than made the difference in electing a Republican Speaker of the House. McCarthy was elected speaker in January by a four-vote margin on the 15th ballot.
Joining Patterson is new statewide Vice Chair Corrin Rankin, the outgoing Regional Vice Chair from the Central Valley. Rankin was elected on the first ballot with 51% of the vote in a three-way race. Rankin had also served as the Vice Chair of the San Mateo County Central Committee and founder of the Republican Legacy Alliance, an organization focused on promoting Black conservative leadership. Rankin worked as California director for African Americans for Trump and was a prominent media surrogate for the campaign.
Randy Berholtz, an accomplished business lawyer, venture capitalist, and Rhodes Scholar, was re-elected as CAGOP Secretary. During his previous terms, he made election integrity his top priority and led much of the CAGOP effort to guarantee fair elections in California. In addition, he advocated for transparency at the CAGOP board of directors by helping to write and pass a bylaw amendment at the convention that would make board meeting schedules, agendas and minutes available to CAGOP delegates. Berholtz won his race with 58% of the vote.
Greg Gandrud was overwhelmingly re-elected Treasurer of the California Republican Party with 86% of the vote. Greg had previously served as CAGOP Regional Vice Chair for the Central Coast and as Chair of the Santa Barbara County Republican Central Committee. As Treasurer, Gandrud is responsible for the CAGOP’s compliance with a complex array of both federal and state campaign reporting laws as well as the stewardship of the CAGOP’s financial resources.
Delegates also elected five Regional Vice Chairs from the CAGOP’s northern-most regions. The following individuals were elected:
- Northwest Region – Bryan Pritchard
- Northern Region – Laurie Wallace
- Bay Area Region – Jason Clark
- Central Coast Region – Randall Jordan
- Central Valley Region – Lisa Moreno
Regional Vice Chairs from three regions in Southern California will be elected at the fall convention scheduled for September 29 – October 1 in Anaheim.
Gallagher: GOP Legislative Wins Could Change State Policy
By Roger Riffenburgh
At the recent Republican state convention in Sacramento, Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher led a session where he discussed 2022 election successes and future opportunities. He pointed out that many “Crises impacting you are caused by bad policy in Sacramento … and many are close votes.” He suggested that even winning a small number of additional Republican Assembly seats could have an important legislative effect.
Gallagher listed a few bills that he considered bad policy from the last two-year legislative session. Among them is SB 357, a bill to decriminalize loitering for the purpose of prostitution. It was opposed by some in law enforcement as well as by anti-trafficking groups. It was passed in September of 2021 with the minimum 41 votes, as it was even opposed by many Democrats. After considerable delay, the bill was sent to the governor and became law last July. Perhaps as a result of the law, neighborhoods in both San Francisco and Oakland have recently suffered an influx of streetwalkers.
Another bill on the bad bill list is AB 257, which established a new state Fast Food Council to regulate working conditions and wages of fast food workers. A big win for organized labor, the legislature delegated substantial responsibility to the 10-member Council of political appointees who are part of the industry. The bill passed the State Senate in August with 21 votes, a bare one-vote margin. The legislation has provisions for standards to get only stricter, and wage increases are considered likely. Of course, this is likely to result in increased prices for consumers. The fast-food industry responded by gathering signatures for a referendum, so the Fast Food Council will be on hold until a vote in the November 2024 election.
Another bill opposed by Gallagher and Assembly Republicans is SB 1137, which would prohibit approval of new gas or oil wells within 3200 feet of homes and schools. It would also require strict new regulations on existing wells within 3200 feet. The governor signed the bill in September as part of his climate agenda. Opponents believe that this bill would result in increased reliance on foreign oil, increased gas prices, and loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in state revenue.
In addition to the substantive issues, opponents object to SB 1137 on procedural issues, as a “gut and amend” process was used to introduce the bill a week before the end of the legislative session. This maneuver avoided the debate and public discussion of the normal legislative process. Opponents of the bill gathered signatures for a referendum, and the bill will not take effect unless approved in the November 2024 election.
These bills represent just a few examples of how having more Republican legislators would lead to more balanced legislation for California.