As a Democrat, I am often grateful to the support shown to me by Republican friends.

However, California’s new Republican Party chairman may have taken support for a Democrat one step too far for the comfort of his party’s membership and the GOP contender in a local race.

A campaign committee controlled by the newly elected chairman of the state Republican Party donated $1,300 to Democrat Wendy Greuel’s Los Angeles mayoral bid.

Jim Brulte, who was elected chairman Sunday at the party convention in Sacramento, said he made the donation before he realized Kevin James was a viable Republican candidate.

“That was before I thought Kevin James had a great shot,” he said of the September donation. “At the end of the day, look at what the Democrats have done to that city. And I think Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, who are good people, would be more of the same. Sometimes you have to find the least objectionable alternative.”

Brulte also insists he will “not wade into incendiary matters like immigration, climate change or same-sex marriage“. With leadership like Brulte’s, I project that there will be a dramatic change in the number of registered Republicans in the state, which now hovers around 29 percent. And it won’t be an upward trajectory.

Dr. Gary Gonsalves is a physician-turned-activist in 2009 and is involved with one of the large Southern California citizen groups, Stop Taxing Us. He says Brulte’s donation is one of the many reasons Californians need to become involved outside the traditional political party structure.

I’m not sure what is more objectionable; the idea that this “leader” was unaware of good candidate, that he donated to a democrat, or that he is stuck in this idea of labelling people as viable versus non-viable candidates. If we don’t all start looking outside the box and start supporting non-traditional candidates, our republic is doomed.

Tuesday’s election in Los Angeles resulted in Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel pushing ahead of six other candidates, including the Republican hopeful and entertainment lawyer Kevin James. Greuel, 51, would be the first female mayor of the city if elected; Garcetti, 42, is a fourth-generation Angeleno whose father, Gil, served as Los Angeles County district attorney from 1992 to 2000. The runoff election is in May.

No matter the final result, it’s hard to imagine anyone would be less suited to the job than current office-holder, Antonio Villaraigosa. In fact, Los Angeles Magazine (no conservative publication) has deemed the Villaraigosa a “failure”.

The subhed: “So Much Promise, So Much Disappointment.” It’s a common enough sentiment around town, even among Democrats, but a pretty startling turn given the early pro-Antonio leaning of the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Kit Rachlis. When my profile of Villaraigosa ran in December 2006, the headline read Pop Star Mayor and the editors put him on the cover. Villaraigosa was only 18 months into the job then and still seemed to be maturing into the role. Now writer-at-large Ed Leibowitz pens an open letter to Antonio that draws a line from his betrayal of his wife to the betrayal felt by voters “who believed you could love this city more than you love yourself.”

To rework a quote from Nietzsche applicable to my state: Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in California, it is the rule.