If Rocky Chavez confounds conventional wisdom to run a stronger-than-expected race for U.S. Senate, it most certainly will not be due to the efforts of his asshat press secretary, Christopher Pickard.
In a stunning display of unprofessional oafishness, the twit Pickard physically broke up a conversation that several reporters, including your Calbuzzards, were conducting at the recent GOP convention with Assemblyman Chavez.
Now the only declared Republican candidate for the retiring Barbara Boxer’s seat, Rocky Balboa on the first night of the convention was making a nice first impression at his reception suite, during an amicable and interesting informal interview. Suddenly, and without warning, his bush-league Assembly lackey thrust his arm, legs and beefy ass in between reporters and the candidate, nearly toppling one of our aging Founders, who makes his way through life with the aid of a cane.
Chavez, likely chagrined by such a public show of incompetence, turned to greet several well-wishers, while his toady continued playing the fool, obnoxiously insisting all communications with the candidate should go through him.
Full disclosure: 1) we briefly considered finding a cop to file battery charges against the dunce, but dismissed the notion in favor of getting in his face (some witnesses reported the word “motherfucker” was used in both its noun and adjectival forms, but this could not be independently verified); 2) we felt instant, deep and seething antagonism towards Chavez’s media operation, something it took Meg Whitman’s GOP press team at least six months to accomplish in the 2010 governor’s race.
Ask eMeg how that clever bit of strategy worked out, Captain Pickard.
Have we mentioned we need a race? We recount this unfortunate incident (what is it that triggers Republican aggression against Calbuzz at their conventions anyway?) by way of reporting that we actually performed our due diligence at the GOP confab, touching base with all three of the party’s allegedly serious candidates for the 2016 Senate campaign. We do these things so you don’t have to.
We confess, however, that we remain in deepest despair at the likelihood that Democrat-anointed Kamala Harris simply will be handed a U.S. Senate seat (think about that for a moment) without mussing her tresses. Still, somebody has to finish second in the primary, so we did our First Amendment duty, chasing down and interviewing Chavez, Duf Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro, all while struggling to stave off a diabetic coma triggered by wolfed-down ice cream sundaes via the hospitality of party Secretary Deborah Wilder and gobbled seconds of a decadent chocolate dessert sampler at Jim Brulte’s karaoke bash.
Here’s how we rank their field today:
Chavez: The 63-year old Oceanside Republican has the build of a varsity wrestler and the no-nonsense manner of a career Marine who made colonel, both of which he used to be. On the David vs. Goliath question of how he intends seriously to challenge Queen Kamala with an “R” behind his name, Chavez said his work with military veterans around the state positions him with a campaign infrastructure of non-partisan vets organizations in all 58 counties.
On the key issue of immigration policy, Chavez said he supports “a pathway to legal residency,” if not citizenship for undocumented immigrants: “Why would a party who talks about family values be for a program that divides families,” he told Calbuzz. The idea of rounding them up and sending them back? “That’s crazy.”
(Sadly, we couldn’t follow up because of the amateur-night antics by his aforementioned staff imbecile, whose name we avoid repeating in order to spare his family’s feelings. However, you may register your displeasure about Christopher Pickard’s adolescent behavior by calling him in the Capitol at 916-319-2076 or in the district at 760-929-7998. Plenty of free parking).
George “Duf” Sundheim: The former state party chair, 62, has everything Calbuzz looks for in a viable California Republican: a Stanford man, he’s smart, thoughtful, earnest, open-minded and non-ideological. Dispassionate about social issues, he’s an actual political reformer, who helped lead the redistricting and open primary initiatives. He’s also tall, unlike Rocky, over whom Boxer would tower.
To our deep disappointment, however, Sundheim refused to be coaxed into a discussion of crucial policy matters, most especially immigration and abortion rights, two threshold issues that long have thwarted statewide GOP wannabes. Apologetic about it, Sundheim insisted he truly is just “exploring” a campaign, i.e. talking to moneybags to see if he can raise enough scratch to run a serious race, and doesn’t want to deal with controversy and conflict until he’s decided if it’s worth it. He said that if he runs he wants to focus on ways to improve stagnant wages and cut the cost of living for middle class and working-class people, while boosting public schools.
Tom Del Beccaro: Another former Republican state chair, who left behind a huge pile of debt (and losses in the state Assembly and Senate) when his term ended, the 53-year old wannabe journalist and low-rent lawyer seemed more interested in selling his new book, with the characteristically pompous title, “The Divided Era,” than in seriously running for Senate.
At least that was the impression we got after doing a good-cop bad-cop interview with him for an hour late Friday night, during which he refused to offer a single answer that wasn’t packed with obfuscation, gibberish and wiggle words.
Example of BS: on immigration he wants an “effective border policy” before he’ll even discuss what to do about the 11 million folks already here illegally; however, he refuses to define seriously what such “an effective border policy” is, other than to say it’s one that “sends a strong enough message so that their desire to come here illegally dwindles.” Whatever that means. Also: he claims Obama “grew up in Indonesia,” allying himself with Donald Trump, and he spent Saturday morning totally pandering to the Tea Party caucus. Puh-leeze.
Phil Wyman. Seriously?
Web gems: The indestructible Tony Quinn churns out a must-read piece explaining why there’s simply no-way no-how for a Republican Senate candidate here.
Josh Richman asserts that the clear-the-field early strategy by Kamala and Prince Gavin Newsom is not such a great idea.
Don’t miss: Why Dems should win back the Senate in 2016.
Please Condi, oh please, please, please.
Face plant in the guacamole: Word reached here by Pony Express today of the final results of the Condoleeza Rice Drinking Game.
As loyal readers know, the greatest excitement of the GOP convention was to be the competition among Calbuzzers who swallowed a drink each time anyone said, “I wish Condi would run.” Early favorite Sherri Bebitch Jeffe of KNBC failed to hold off aggressive challenger and former state party chair Bob Naylor, and the two finished in a tie, both trashed well before midnight Friday. There were no injuries.