The California Republican Party finished its spring convention in Sacramento this weekend, and the big news was also the expected news: The party bigwigs elected former legislator Jim Brulte as party chair.
I have some advice for him: Come to Madera and take a look at the Republican Party of Madera County as a model for how Republicans should work.
First — and this is important — Madera County Republicans elect candidates. That’s something the GOP statewide hasn’t been able to do.
Some people say, “Well, the reason that is the case is because there are so many Republicans in Madera County.”
Sorry, but that isn’t the way it works.
The county used to be Democrat to the core, especially when farms were smaller and farmers were more dependent on aid from Democrat-developed agricultural agencies and saw so much benefit from the Roosevelt administration’s dam-building program.
Now, those benefits are taken for granted, and farmers are more concerned about preserving the status quo and protecting their investments. When people get something to conserve, they become conservatives, and the GOP does the best job of helping conservatives in Madera County.
Eventually, Republicans coalesced locally and began to build a solid, grass-roots organization. It also included women.
In fact, the Madera County RepublicanWomen Federated is one of the party’s strongest grass-roots organizations, supporting worthy candidates, spreading the word as they see it, and inclusively seeking new members.
The local GOP, with other Valley Republican organizations, sends some of the state’s best people to Sacramento. Jeff Denham, who once represented Madera in the State Senate, now is in Congress; formerMadera County Supervisor Frank Bigelow is now Assemblyman Frank Bigelow; Mike Villines of Clovis was Republican floor leader while in the Assembly.
Central Valley Republicans know how to elect candidates, and they know how to govern. Getting to know them would be a good place for Brulte to start.