Spring 2001 Newsletter
In This Issue:
Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Jones To Address Congress
Dealing With The Consequences of Neglect
I Saw At The Convention
Welcome New Golden Circle Members
Dan Walters Packs The House
Notice of Bylaws Changes
Jones, California Secretary of State and the highest ranking Republican
elected official in the State will address the Congress on May 7, 2001,
at the Rocklin Park Hotel, 5450 China Garden Road, Rocklin. Social hour
will begin at 5:30PM with the program starting at 6:30PM.
Election 2002: The New Political Battlefield
Jones will speak on the upcoming reapportionment plan and the shift
in power due to new campaign finance laws enacted under Proposition 34.
His speech will be all the more topical as the Secretary of State has
just declared that he will run for Governor next year against Democrat
A former state legislator from Fresno, Jones served as the Minority
Leader in the State Assembly in 1990. As Minority Leader, he
successfully fought for the historic reapportionment of 1992. The
re-drawing of legislative district lines that year returned fair and
competitive elections to California and erased the severely
gerrymandered district lines of the past.
In 1994, Jones received national acclaim when he authored California’s
immensely popular "Three Strikes and You’re Out" law. He was
elected California Secretary of State later that same year and was
re-elected in 1998.
Reserve Your Tickets Today!
To confirm your attendance at this exciting event, please call (916)
786-6690, then pay $20 per person by cash, check or credit card at the
door. The price includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and no-host
Members Save $5.00!
Members who prepay for their tickets save $5.00! Send a check for $15
per member payable to “Republican Congress of Placer County,” to
P.O. Box 840, Newcastle, CA 95658-0840. Non-members can also prepay at
$20 per person.
By Assemblyman Tim Leslie
While the specifics of our current electricity predicament were not
necessarily foreseeable, the eventuality of a major electricity supply
crisis certainly was.
An editorial I wrote for the Sacramento Bee in 1988 expressed what
many could see at the time: “The most serious unresolved need in
Sacramento’s future is energy….Shouldn’t we be planning new
sources of clean, inexpensive hydroelectric power for our future?”
Energy experts, business groups, and other reputable sources urged
that investment in energy-generating infrastructure was crucial to our
future. The California Energy Commission agreed in its 1988 report,
acknowledging that California’s existing energy resources were only
sufficient to carry the state into the latter part of the 90’s.
State policy makers, however—eager to spend public dollars
elsewhere and anxious to avoid difficult decisions regarding placement
of new power plants—continued to whistle in the dark. They justified
their actions with overestimates of future savings from conservation
programs and other misinformation fed to the media by extreme
Meanwhile, crushing environmental regulations effectively stymied
private investment as well. Proposal after proposal for the construction
of energy-producing infrastructure fell by the wayside.
Not Keeping Up
The net result? Driven by an expanding population and our increased
reliance upon high technology, the amount of electricity needed by
Californians rose 24.3%; in the same time period, California’s supply
of electricity grew a measly 3.7%.
Greatly exacerbating this situation is the dysfunctional market
system mistakenly labeled “deregulated.” Sky-rocketing natural gas
prices, neighboring states’ decreased ability to export electricity,
and opportunistic energy producers added fuel to the fire.
This havoc-wreaking combination, however, did not create our problem.
It simply exposed it, just as the next drought will reveal the
foolishness of our failure to invest in water infrastructure.
Extricating ourselves from this mess, of course, will not be easy.
In the short run, we must act immediately to stabilize rates and
avoid rolling blackouts. Reforming the power exchange market is the
first priority. We must also curtail suppliers’ reliance upon the
volatile “spot market” and encourage longer-term contracts.
Underutilized alternative energy sources, such as biomass and
photovoltaic programs, must be employed to as high a level as possible.
Aggressive conservation efforts, both public and private, must be
Our long-term picture is in desperate need of attention as well. The
Legislature must finally own up to the hard decisions it can no longer
avoid. At the present time, permits for nine new plants have been issued
(five are under construction.) However, even if all nine plants do come
online, they will provide only 60% of the new electricity California
will need by the end of the decade.
To fill the gap, part of our state surplus can be used to provide low
interest loans and other incentives for plant construction, especially
for facilities that harness renewable sources rather than relying upon
natural gas. Public dollars can also be employed to finance “peaker”
units—as has been done successfully in New York—which will provide
crucial supply during peak demand hours.
Let Markets Work
The bulk of necessary investment, however, will come easily enough
from private sources if the state provides basic guarantees of
stability. Investors flood a profitable market as long as they have a
reasonable level of certainty regarding future conditions. Guaranteeing
certain basic market conditions and allowing long-term contracts between
generators and suppliers will provide at least some of this necessary
stability. Investment will also be encouraged as we streamline onerous
environmental regulations that have made construction virtually
None of these steps, of course, will immediately usher in an era of
electricity plenty. Problems that are long in the making usually take at
least as long to fix. Even so, if properly applied, these measures will
allow us to survive the current crisis with a minimum of pain. Perhaps
more importantly, they will lay a solid foundation for the future—a
much better foundation than was laid years ago for the present.
year has started with a number of outstanding successes for the
Congress. The Dan Walters event in January was the biggest event we ever
hosted (see photos and special thanks to our events
Now on May 7th we have Bill Jones fresh from his announcement that he’s
running for Governor next year. How timely can you get?
Largest GOP Group In County
In addition, our membership has ballooned over the past 4 months to
the point that we can confidently call ourselves the largest,
Republican volunteer organization in Placer County.
Our membership includes virtually every mainstream Republican leader—elected
and volunteer—in the County. Thank you and welcome to everyone who
recently joined us!
Put Us Over The Top
Did you know that Placer County is only 0.8% away from being a
Republican majority county? Republicans make up 49.2% of registered
voters today, with the balance being Democrats (around a third),
independents and third parties. In percentage terms, that makes us the 2nd
largest Republican county within the state.
But, there’s always the risk that these positive trends could start
to turn the other way if we do not keep the momentum going. Coming from
Pasadena, an old Republican dominated suburb, I’ve seen this happen
firsthand. GOP registration there has slipped so far that both state
legislators and the Congressman are all Democrats now and there’s
little hope of a Republican resurrection.
So the Congress is embarking on a large-scale voter registration
and outreach project to put Placer County “over the top”
(hitting 50% GOP registration) prior to the March 2002 Primary Election
(just 10 months away!)
We need your help NOW to make this effort a success. We need
volunteers to staff registration tables at supermarkets, The Galleria in
Roseville and various fair booths. We are also touring high schools,
signing up students turning 18 years old.
Please give a call to Tom Jones at (530) 885-0366 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
to let us know how you will help.
If you cannot help with your time, please consider giving $25 to
pay a student to do the job for you! Heck, we even take credit cards
now to make this as painless as possible!
Summer Social—Save The Date
The Congress is not just about politics and campaigns. We want to be
a social club where like-minded Republicans can meet and network.
We have established two social events a year—a Holiday Party and
Summer Social—for Congress members and their guests. This year the
Summer Social will be held on Saturday, July 7th at the home of
Gary Fitzpatrick in Auburn. Save the date and watch for details in early
In the meantime, don’t forget to RSVP for Bill Jones on May 7th. It
will be another blockbuster event!
What I Saw At The Convention
By Tom Jones
I attended the Californian Republican Party (CRP) 2001 Spring
Convention in February. I was appointed as a Regular Member of the CRP
by Assemblyman Tim Leslie. The convention was held at the Hyatt Regency
Any Republican can register to participate at our convention by
paying the $50 fee. Only Regular Members or their Associate Member with
proxy can vote (see box below on “Who Is A Member?”)
Most of the organized convention activities deal with the nuts and
bolts of the organization, such as Rules, Proxy & Resolutions
Committees. Their proposals are then voted on in the general session by
Regular Members or their proxies.
Most activists also attend workshops that give updates on matters
relating to election laws and finance regulations like Prop 34.
Fun and Fellowship
The fun and fellowship usually occupies most of my time at the
convention. There were both paid and free events to attend every day and
Friday had a VIP reception and dinner with State Senator "DMV
Rebate" Tom McClintock and a live performance by Capitol Steps, a
musical political satire group. The hospitality suites then opened and
lasted to the wee hours of the morning.
Saturday started with breakfast featuring the Hon. Jim Rogan, a
luncheon with US Senator Jim Ensign (R-NV) and an evening VIP reception
and dinner that featured a debate between the two candidates running for
state party chairman.
The dinner was sold out early and standing room only for the debate.
The hospitality suites and parties followed. My favorite was the private
reception at Assemblyman Leslie's capitol office and Congressman Ose’s
party at Imax.
The Big Event
Of course, at this year’s convention, the big event was Sunday’s
general session and the election of CRP officers. There were two
competing slates running for state party offices, pitting mainstream and
far right forces against each other.
Former Assemblyman Brooks Firestone led a mainstream slate that
wanted to take back the Party from the far right that has dominated the
party structure for most of the 1990s. The far right candidates, led by
Shawn Steel, were battling tooth and nail to keep the reins of power.
Party Members had received tons of mail and phone calls in the weeks
before the convention and were inundated with pleas of support from both
sides all the way up to the Sunday’s vote.
Steel New Chairman
Out of approximately 1,400 voting members, Shawn Steel became our new
Chairman with a margin of 80 votes. It was the closest chairman’s race
that I can remember.
In a show of unity, Steel invited Firestone up to the dais after the
vote, where the two embraced. He also immediately appointed Firestone to
Co-Chair the newly created and potentially influential Reform Committee.
As the Fresno Bee said, “It was a far cry from the chairman’s
election two years ago, where hit mailers were left under hotel room
doors and bitterness lingered long after the convention.”
Reforms Under Way
Steel also realizes that serious reforms are needed in the Party and
has agreed to appoint key Bush officials to help direction that change.
He appointed top Bush fundraiser Tom Stephenson to head the Finance
Committee and Bush State Chair to head the Budget & Expenditures
Even Firestone acknowledges the change in attitude when he wrote to
supporters after the convention, “. . . the CRP Board is far more
reasonable and productive than in previous years. Additionally, the
force of our team’s campaign helped an agreement to be reached which
brought the Bush administration into the management of Party operations.”
Debate is healthy for any organization. The reform efforts must
continue if we are to lead. You cannot lead if you cannot win.
- Tom Jones serves as First Vice President of the Placer Congress
and has served on the Placer County Republican Central Committee a total
of 14 years beginning in 1982.
Renown Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters addressed a standing room
only audience of 150+ Congress members and guests on January 29th at the
Auburn Elks Lodge.
meeting was the largest event ever held by the Congress and demonstrated
our growing strength in the County.
Mainstream Republican elected officials from throughout Placer County
attended, including County Supervisors and officers as well as local
city council and school board members.
Mr. Walters commented on the Republican Party’s successes and
failures over the last decade and what we must do to reestablish
ourselves as a force within the State.
Our quarterly meetings would not be possible without the help of the
following individuals who do everything from arranging our speakers and
food to phoning members to remind them of the meeting.
Thank you to . . .
Heather Davis Pat Evans
Glenda Freeman Mike Gilbert
Herb Johnson Barbara Jones
Bonnie Jones Tom Jones
Louise McCauley Murriel Oles
Bill Radakovitz Dennis White
Click here for more photos of the event!
Welcome New Golden Circle Members
The Congress is grateful for the leadership of the following
individuals who joined the Golden Circle during the 1st quarter 2001:
Corrine M. Callaghan
Jack & Sharon Love
Vince & Vicki Mendez
By joining the Golden Circle, you are invited to twice yearly private
receptions with key political leaders. Members also receive a gold name
badge and their name prominently listed on our web site, letterhead and
Take your place among the mainstream Republican leaders in Placer
County, join the Golden Circle today! The cost is $250 (individuals) or
$300 (couples) per year and includes Congress membership. Existing
Congress members can upgrade to Golden Circle for $220 (individuals) or
For more information or to join, please call Sandy Hoffman at (530)
878-9089 or simply mail your check, payable to “Republican Congress of
Placer County,” to P.O. Box 840, Newcastle, CA 95658.
Notice of Bylaws Changes
Pursuant to By-laws Article XIII, the Board of Directors proposes the
following By-laws amendments for consideration at the general meeting on
May 7, 2001.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
3. Associate Membership
Add: A “student” is defined as any person under the age of
eighteen years who subscribes to the principles of the PLACER CONGRESS.
Rationale: Defines who qualifies as a student.
ARTICLE VIII - MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING
Delete: “for the calendar year” from the last sentence in that
Rationale: Housekeeping for consistency with change in dues renewal
to anniversary date.
STANDING RULE 1
Delete the following:
C) Admission to pre or post meeting reception with PLACER CONGRESS
speakers allowing for photos to be taken, private introductions and
C) Admission by special invitation to at least two Golden Circle
receptions per year. These receptions will not be held at the same time
as the regular quarterly meetings.
Rationale: The Board of Directors has determined that separate GC
events will be more effective and enjoyable to participants without
incurring any additional cost.
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