New County Chairs to Lead GOP In 2015-16 Election Cycle

republican-sticker-75Nine Republican county committees in our coverage area have chosen new county chairs since December, and they are leading local efforts to activate their teams and connect to the community:

  • Under the leadership of new Solano Chair Jim McCully, the Solano GOP held a special event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with a special address by Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the civil rights leader.
  • Contra Costa Chair Nyna Armstrong has re-instituted a speaker series, hosting Jim Brulte, Ron Nehring, Supervisor Candace Andersen, and more.
  • Chair Bob Nuñez has continued the Santa Clara GOP’s support for San Jose pension reform by organizing a membership communications campaign for San Jose Republican council candidate Lan Diep in a special election.

Welcome to these and our other new chairs:  Susan Allen (Santa Cruz County), Lori Drake (Alameda), Edelweiss Geary (Sonoma), Tom Montgomery (Marin), Christine Hughes (San Francisco), and Mark Starritt (San Benito).  And a big thank you to their hard-working predecessors for all of their work over recent years. You can find meeting days and contact information for our county parties, as well as volunteer club information, on the BayAreaGOP Links page.

Best regards,
Luis Buhler, Publisher

Assembly Republicans: Let’s Make Government Work for the People

Assembly Republicans have introduced a package of legislative proposals “aimed at making state government work again, and restoring the people’s trust in their government.”

Two of the bills are aimed at increasing state government transparency. ACA1 would require posting all bills for at least 72 hours before the final vote. AB410 would require online posting of state agency reports to legislative committees.

“Every time you read the paper, there is another story about bills being passed in the dead of night, politicians in scandal, or ridiculous bills that do nothing to make California a better place to live,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto.

“We want to restore our constituents’ faith in this institution. That’s why we have introduced a legislative package to modernize state government and make it work for the people.”

Olsen’s Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 would require that all bills be made available in print and on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote. This would eliminate the practice of making last-minute changes to a bill and bringing it to a vote before the public (and sometimes lawmakers) have had a chance to read it.

Late in the legislative session a legislator may “gut-and-amend” a bill – strip out the entire contents and replace it with something completely new. Or “mushroom bills” may appear overnight (grown in the dark in a bed of manure). These are techniques to avoid public review and input.

Here are some disturbing articles describing these abusive practices – by Gary Galles, Dan Walters, and Capitol Alert. Kristin Olsen’s bill would assure a 72-hour window for review.

Assembly Bill 410, by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Big Bear Lake, would require that all reports prepared by state agencies for legislative committees be posted online. It would allow citizens to more easily follow state government activities.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, “Currently, even legislators have to get committee reports in photocopied form, rather than electronically.” Some of these reports can be thousands of pages long.

“I’ve always been a big proponent of transparency,” Obernolte said. “This particular bill was borne of my own frustration.”

Other bills in the reform package would reduce the number of bills an Assembly Member can introduce, require zero-based budgeting for state agencies, create a two-year budget process with increased oversight, and add protections for legislative employees who are whistleblowers.

You can read more about these proposals in the press release or the Executive Summary. You can use the Twitter hashtag #MakeGovWork to follow comments and progress.


Ruling on pension bonuses shows obstacles to CA reform

By Chris Reed
May 2, 2015

A retiree group won a big victory last month. Reversing a superior court ruling, an appeals court overturned part of a voter-approved San Francisco pension reform in 2011 that ended higher payments to retirees when investments have “excess earnings.” …

Retirees, scattered and no longer union members, might seem unlikely to be formidable, particularly when battling a cost-cutting pension reform backed by all 11 county supervisors, business and labor groups, and 69 percent of San Francisco voters in 2011.

Read More

Democrats kill Republican bills on teacher tenure, firing

By Jeremy B. White
Sac Bee Capitol Alert
April 29, 2015

A legislative committee on Wednesday rejected Republican education bills that would have overhauled teacher tenure and firing rules in response to a federal judge striking down California’s teacher employment laws.

In a resounding ruling last year, Judge Rolf Treu declared that California’s laws violate the civil rights of students by allowing ineffective teachers to remain in classrooms. Treu’s decision in Vergara v. California specifically targeted the method for firing teachers; the length of time it takes teachers to win permanent employment status; and the last-in-first-out policy dictating that the least experienced teachers go first during budget-driven layoffs.

Read More

Legislators must defer to voters on redistricting

San Francisco Chronicle
April 19, 2015

It’s not too early to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will shoot down California’s system for drawing congressional boundaries through an independent citizens commission.

If this happens, there will be a great temptation among state legislative leaders to return to the bad old days when politicians drew the lines themselves. This would undo the voter-approved 2010 initiative that extended redistricting reform to congressional seats.

Read More

Bill to end high school exit exam advances

By Chris Reed
April 17, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown and state schools chief Tom Torlakson have made plain for years they want no part of the education reform agenda touted by President Obama and think tanks backed by Bill Gates. The state has not pursued federal Race to the Top funds, which were meant to incentivize grant recipients to measure teacher effectiveness. Most school districts effectively ignore the Stull Act — a 1971 state law requiring that student progress be part of teacher performance evaluations — and face no push-back from the governor or Torlakson.

Now the Legislature has taken a first step toward bailing out on another part of the reform agenda: mandatory high school exit exams, which began in California in 2006 and were supposed to ensure a high school degree meant something. On a party-line 6-2 vote, Democrats the Senate Education Committee this week approved a bill by Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, that would scrap the state’s high school exit exam beginning with the class of 2017. Liu, a former teacher and teachers union official who represents the Pasadena area, chairs the committee.

Read More

Covered CA adds greater complexity to tax system

By James Poulos
April 19, 2015

Tax time has become even more of a challenge under the Affordable Care Act, and in California, taxpayers have found matters especially difficult. Despite racking up relatively big successes in enrollment and implementation, the Covered California exchange has struggled in its own way with tax documentation.

California media has picked up on reports of invalid code assignments and unresponsive customer service. Amid the headaches, officials have been forced to extend deadlines and re-send key forms, keeping many consumers in a state of confusion and frustration.

Read More



  • Silicon Valley RWF Lunch with Izaak Pichardo
    Thursday, May 7, 2015 / 11:30 am – Blue Pheasant Restaurant, 2210 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino

    The Silicon Valley Republican Women Federated will hold their luncheon meeting with guest speaker Izaak Pichardo.  Izaak is the Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Republican Party.

    RSVP: Reply online, or contact Ellen Longworth (408) 354-0419. Cost: $24. Social begins at 11:30am; Lunch at Noon.

  • Santa Cruz County Republican Central Committee Meeting
    Thursday, May 7, 2015 / 7:00 pm – Live Oak Senior Center, 1777 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz

    Monthly meetings are usually held the first Thursday of each month.  The meeting is open to the general public.

  • Solano County Republican Central Committee Meeting
    Thursday, May 7, 2015 / 7:00 pm – Republican Headquarters, 625 Jackson Street, Fairfield

    The Republican Party of Solano County normally meets on the first Thursday of every month. Meetings are open to the public. Contact them at 707-422-5000.

  • Lincoln Labs Presents Disrupting Democracy with Sen. Rand Paul
    Saturday, May 9, 2015 / 3:00 pm – Brigade, 548 4th Street, San Francisco

    Lincoln Labs will host a “Fireside Chat” with special guests U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Matt Mahan, CEO of Brigade, and Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle. The topic is “Disrupting Democracy: Encouraging A New Generation of Voter Engagement”. They will discuss the strategies and tools that can increase voter and overall civic engagement among Americans.

    RSVP: Register online for this free event. This is the first in a planned series of events hosted by Lincoln Labs.

  • Reception for Duf Sundheim
    Monday, May 11, 2015 / 6:00 pm – Private Residence, 450 Montcrest Place, Danville

    You are invited to meet Duf Sundheim who is exploring a run for the U.S. Senate from California.  Duf is a political reformer, mediator and volunteer settlement judge who also served four years as Chairman of the California Republican Party (2003-2007). Learn more on his website.

    RSVP:  Contact Sue Caro by email or call (510) 468-8054. Parking shuttles will be available from the corner of Montcrest Place and Love Lane.

  • Napa GOP Central Committee General Meeting
    Tuesday, May 12, 2015 / 6:00 pm – Round Table Pizza, 3331 Solano Ave, Napa

    The Napa County Republican Central Committee normally meets for its general membership meeting on the second Tuesday of the month. Contact: Glenn Ellen Smith by email or call 707-337-0513.

  • Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley Presents Lt. Colonel Allen West
    Tuesday, May 12, 2015 / 7:00 pm – IFES Portuguese Hall, 432 Stierlin Road, Mountain View

    The Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley welcomes as their next speaker former Congressman and Lt. Colonel Allen West. He is the President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. His topic will be “National Security and Military Affairs.” Lt. Col. West’s book, “Guardian of the Republic” will be available for purchase and signing ($25).

    RSVP: Reply online. Online discount if purchased by Sunday, May 10: 2015 Members – $25; Non-members – $40; Active military and full time students (must show valid ID at the door) – $10. Doors open at 6:00pm; Program begins at 7:00pm.

    A special pre-event will take place at a private home near the IFES Hall from 4-5:30pm. This will provide an opportunity to chat in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere with Lt. Col. West. Space is limited! Cost $100 per person. Includes wine and hors d’oeuvres and is a short drive to the IFES Hall. Address and directions will be provided upon ticket purchase.

  • Marin RWF Luncheon Featuring Judge Lois Haight Herrington
    Wednesday, May 13, 2015 / 11:30 am – Spinnaker Restaurant, 100 Spinnaker Avenue, Sausalito

    The Marin Republican Women Federated will host a luncheon meeting with guest speaker The Honorable Lois Haight Herrington, California Superior Court Judge, Contra Costa County. Judge Haight was previously a Prosecuting District Attorney in Alameda County and was appointed by President Reagan as Chair of the National Task Force on Victims of Crime. Her topic will be “Victims versus Criminals.”

    RSVP: Email reservations by May 8 to Or, send check payable to MRWF to Lindsay Laven, 115 Wilson Way, Larkspur, CA 94939. Phone reservations to (415) 924-5644. Cost: $30. Learn more here.

  • San Francisco Republican Party Monthly Meeting
    Wednesday, May 13, 2015 / 6:30 pm – Hiram Johnson State Building (downstairs meeting rooms), 455 Golden Gate Avenue (between Polk and Larkin), San Francisco

    Monthly meetings are usually held the first Wednesday of each month. They sometimes have a featured speaker.

  • Santa Clara County Republican Party Committee Meeting
    Wednesday, May 13, 2015 / 7:00 pm – Santa Clara County Administration Building, 70 W. Hedding Street (at First Street), San Jose

    The monthly meeting of the Santa Clara County Republican Party.  Normally the second Wednesday of the month.  Social period 6:30 pm. Questions? Contact HQ at or 408-246-6600.

  • Monterey GOP at the Salinas Valley Fair
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / N/A – Salinas Valley Fairgrounds, 625 Division St., King City

    The Monterey County Republican Party will host their annual booth at the Salinas Valley Fair Thursday-Sunday, May 14-17 to promote upcoming events, efficient government and fiscal responsibility. They need and appreciate any support you can provide; contact the office at 831-324-0617 to sign up for a volunteer shift.

  • Monterey Peninsula RWF Luncheon Featuring Roseann Slonsky-Breault
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / 11:30 am – Rancho Cañada Golf Club, 4860 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel

    The monthly luncheon of the Monterey Peninsula Republican Women Federated will include guest speaker Roseann Slonsky-Breault, President of the California Federation of Republican Women. Her topic will be “What we need to do to win the White House in 2016.” The public is welcome to attend.

    RSVP: Reply by May 11th to Sylvia at (831) 484-1104 or contact Cindy at Cost: $22 per member and $25 for non-members. Social time begins at 11:30am; Luncheon at Noon.

  • Evening With Ric Grenell
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / 6:00 pm – Private Residence, Address available upon RSVP, San Francisco

    You are invited to join hosts David Blumberg and Michel Armand for an “Evening Salon with Ric Grenell” including informed political discussion about major National Security and Foreign Policy issues for the 2016 campaign. Ric Grenell is the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the United Nations, having served from 2001-2008 for four U.S. Ambassadors. He will preview his new initiative to target voters in swing states to support Republican candidates.

    RSVP: Space is limited. Reply by May 11 to Welcome and refreshments begins at 6:00pm; Presentation followed by Q&A at 6:30pm; Reception at 7:30pm.

  • Reception in Support of Matthew Del Carlo
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / 6:00 pm – Private Residence, Address available upon RSVP, San Francisco

    You are invited to a reception at the home of Christine Hughes and Abe Ostrovsky in support of Matthew Del Carlo, Candidate for Chair of the California Young Republicans.

    VIP Cigar & Scotch Afterglow at the City Club

    RSVP to or 415-300-0632.

  • Tri-Valley RWF Dinner Meeting Featuring Assemblyman Jim Patterson
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / 6:30 pm – Cattlemens Restaurant, 2882 Kitty Hawk Road, Livermore

    The Tri-Valley Republican Women Federated will host their monthly dinner meeting with Assemblyman Jim Patterson. Jim worked previously as a businessman and radio executive and served two terms as the successful mayor of Fresno.  His legislative interests include improving the business climate, streamlining the vocational licensing process, veterans voting, and supporting aviation.

    RSVP: Reservations are due by Tuesday before the meeting to Linda Krikorian at (925) 426-1474 or Cost for Members $30; Guests $34. Social begins at 6:30pm; Meeting at 7:00pm.

  • San Mateo County GOP Committee Meeting
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 / 7:00 pm – San Mateo American Legion Hall, 130 South Blvd., San Mateo

    The San Mateo County Republican Party will hold their monthly committee meeting – normally the second Thursday of the month.

  • Sonoma GOP Private Tour & Pizza Dinner at Lagunitas Brewery
    Friday, May 15, 2015 / 5:00 pm – The Loft at Lagunitas Brewing Co., 1280 N McDowell Blvd., Petaluma

    Join the Republican Party of Sonoma County for a private tour and pizza dinner at the Lagunitas Brewing Company.

    Advance tickets $20. Buy advanced tickets here by Friday, May 8. At the door $25. For more info, contact Steve Giraud at or 707.769.8633.

  • San Mateo County Young Republicans Mixer
    Saturday, May 16, 2015 / 5:00 pm – Barrelhouse, 305 California Drive, Burlingame

    Join the San Mateo County Young Republicans for their third Saturday monthly mixer. Bring friends and meet new ones! Contact: SMYR Chair Jonathan Madison at .

View later events on the Calendar of Upcoming Events or view the Monthly Calendar of Events.

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