It appears that the freedom-loving Republican Central Committee has an issue with members who attempt to express their freedoms.
According to the San Diego Reader’s City Lights section this week, there were a series of slate mailers put out to advertise candidates running for positions on the Republican Central Committee. Thing was, the people selected for ballot placement were those most likely not to challenge Chairman Tony Krvaric.
According to Joe Deegan of the San Diego Reader:
Krvaric did not reply to my phone message asking if he were behind the Central Committee lists on the slate mailers. Members of the committee’s executive board haven’t confessed to anything either, according to Laura Sumrall, who thinks her close association with Steve Francis made them “a little cautious” of targeting her completely. (She opposed the committee on its endorsement of Jerry Sanders over Francis for mayor of San Diego.) “But the discussion of the Central Committee lists happened in a silent meeting the executive board members will all deny,” Sumrall tells me. “We have a mole who was sitting in the meeting outraged but kept his mouth shut and told us about it later. And a couple of them have slipped and said, ‘But, you know, you can’t have people on the committee who cause trouble and aren’t willing to work together.’ ”
“There are a few people,” according to Cowlishaw, “who would like to control everything, including Tony Krvaric. They want to have no dissent, no confusion about what they want done. They want everybody to get along and have the same idea and be on the same page. I can understand that to a certain degree, but there has to be some discussion. I am vocal in my opinions, though mostly outside of meetings. But I don’t think my views were anti anything.”
But things happened a bit differently with the recent mailers. Printed at their bottom, a note stated that an asterisk next to the names of the candidates meant the candidate had paid to be on the slate. All the candidates for the Republican Central Committee had the asterisks. But Sumrall says she didn’t pay a dime to appear on any slate. “So I called the number on the mailer that had my name, and I got a recording,” she says. “It did not identify a business. It just said to leave my name and number, which I did. I also asked why I was on the slate and who paid for it. Nobody ever returned my call, though I called twice.”
Records at the office of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters suggest what happened. Between January 1 and May 17, an organization called Citizens for a Better San Diego County took $18,300 in contributions, including $8300 from Atlas Hotels and $5000 from Thomas Sudberry. (Sudberry is currently petitioning the City of San Diego to build Quarry Falls, a massive condominium development in Mission Valley.) Citizens for a Better San Diego County, whose treasurer is Seventh District candidate for San Diego City Council April Boling, then made payments to five groups for “slate mailers to support SD Co Republican Central Committee candidates.” Family, Faith and Freedom Association and California Taxpayer Protection Voter Guide each received $2500. Citizens for Good Government received $2100, California Voter Guide, $2875, and Official Non-Partisan Voter Guide, $3000.
I’ll give the Democratic Central Committee this; It may be a chaotic and entertaining free for all but at least contrary opinions are expressed.
I guess freedom of dissent is not the Republican way, but buying a Central Committee is.