California Tea Party groups (CTPG) are showing that they are not only alive and kicking, but actively seeking to make a difference in Tuesday’s upcoming gubernatorial primary election.

“Our groups have now made an exception to their longstanding no endorsement rules,” explained Dawn Wildman, long-time state coordinator and co-fonder of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition. “The tea party groups in CA have built consensus on so many issues and candidates that we are poised to become a big player in the upcoming elections.”

As Wildman points out, since the IRS doesn’t seem to be in a rush to give Tea Party groups tax exempt status, the organizers thought that it was time to take advantage of that fact.  So, they have named specific candidate preferences in this cycle, which has not been their policy before.

“We still encourage everyone to do their own research,” Wildman said.  “But we have had so many requests for a guide, and many of our groups are very tired of the GOP establishment hand-picking candidates, that we felt it was time to name names.  Interestingly, the leaders from California Tea Party organizations across the state came together on choices fairly quickly.”

Click HERE for the complete list of California Tea Party Groups’ recommendations.

As California’s crazy often seeps over onto other states, I thought I might hit a few points of interest to Legal Insurrection fans elsewhere.  The governor’s race in November is a foregone conclusion no matter which of the two leading GOP candidates (Tim Donnelly or Neel Kashkari) wins.

Right now, the race between the two leading GOP contenders is a dead heat.

Republicans Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari are locked in a statistical dead heat in the Republican race for governor, according to a new USC/Los Angeles Times poll.

Eighteen percent of likely voters support Kashkari and 13 percent support Donnelly, with 10 percent undecided, according to the poll.

Both Republicans remain far behind Gov. Jerry Brown. The Democratic incumbent registered 50 percent support among likely voters.


The reasons for CTPG’s selection of Donnelly over Kashkari stem from the fact that Donnelly has much grassroots support, while Kashkari is clearly the establishment pick. Kashkari’s defense, for example, of AIG executives’ bonuses with Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds don’t lend much credibility to his claims of being a “fiscal conservative.”

Of course, not every Tea Party participant views the candidates the same way. Many are wary of Donnelly’s positions and ability to appeal to a wide spectrum of Californians as well:

There was a post on Donnelly’s Facebook page suggesting that Kashkari, a Hindu, supported Islamic Sharia law. When a newspaper dug up a 2006 speech to anti-illegal-immigration Minutemen in which he referred approvingly to the number of Mexicans killed at the Alamo, Donnelly was anything but apologetic, saying, “People will respect you if you stick to your guns.”

San Diego conservative pundit B-Daddy stated, “I am voting for Neel Kashkari in spite of my TARP-based misgivings. Why? He is focusing on Brown’s boondoggles and is making an effort to grow the state GOP so that we can end one-party rule.”

My advice:
Make your choice based on who past actions represent what you would like to see more of in the future.   The candidate who wins will at least get the opportunity to gain state-wide exposure and campaigning experience — valuable, despite the likely November defeat.

It may also be helpful to view the debate between Donnelly and Kashkari, hosted by AM 640’s John and Ken. The exchange was reported to be very heated.

Several clips of the debate are on Youtube, starting with this video.

Other items to note:

  • CTPG recommends a Democrat for Treasurer.  John Chiang is a straight-shooter who upset the Democratic legislature when he refused to authorize a cut in their paychecks because they failed to meet their obligations to produce a budget.  The Democratic leaders sued him.  He is serious, hard-working, and willing to push back on Democratic leaders harder than many Republicans.
  • No on both Proposition 41 and 42.  The details are in the linked item above; essentially the propositions will cost the state more money, are redundant in what they are planning to provide, and will not actually solve the problems the over-worded and confusing measures say they will solve.