Republican leader wins despite election losses

Nov. 11, 2012

Katy Grimes: Despite losing two important Republican Assembly seats in the election and handing state Democrats a supermajority, California’s Assembly Minority Leader  Connie Conway, a Republican, was surprisingly and handily reelected to her leadership position Thursday.

“It was a Connie Conway love fest,” said one Capitol staffer who asked to remain anonymous.

Republican Assembly incumbents and candidates who were presumed to win across the state were left out to dry, while other races where Republicans appeared not to have a chance were supported by the Republican Caucus, according to Republican insiders.

Many in and around the Capitol were speculating last week that Conway would be replaced if she did not voluntarily step aside, as is the time-honored practice whenever there are election losses under a Legislative leader.

Republican Assemblyman Martin Garrick stepped aside as minority leader of the Assembly after losing only one seat in the 2010 general election.

Money makes the world go round

Money and politics go together like heroin and drug addicts; they have the same effect on most politicians. Legislators are far too invested in acquiring and keeping their jobs.

Critics of Conway said they were most upset over the loss of two key Assembly races. Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, who was expected to win reelection, trailed on election night, and is losing as absentee ballots are still being counted.

Norby’s opponent, Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva, a Democrat, received an infusion of money the last week of the election. Capitol insiders close to the Republican Caucus said that Norby requested help and more money to fight off the attacks, but was left hanging.

Republican Assembly candidate Pedro Rios ran for and lost the 32nd Assembly District in Kern County. Rios was not supported by the Republican Caucus during the primary, nor during the general election. And Rios lost to the Democrat.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, the Republican Caucus focused on the newly drawn 8th Assembly District race between Democrat Ken Cooley and Republican Peter Tateishi. But Tateishi’s campaign, as well as Tateishi, was virtually MIA in the district. And Tateishi lost.

Hollow promises

While Gov. Jerry Brown has been promising that he will ensure that California does not spend beyond its means, the Democrats now have the supermajority ability to override the governor’s vetoes.

It looks like business as usual in Sacramento, full of hollow promises and unholy deals, with rancorous Republican leadership now leading a superminority.


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  1. Not a leader for these times
    Not a leader for these times 11 November, 2012, 15:05

    At least we know for sure now that the turnaround for the California Republican Party is NOT going to hatch out of the mini-minority in the state legislature. Check that one off the list.

    Assemblywoman Conway is a nice person who was thoroughly dedicated to travel throughout the state helping to raise money for Republican incumbents and candidates. They owed her, and the price was paid.

    Alas, the biggest problem for the mini-minority is not money, but a lack of vision.

    One thing Republican legislators like about Connie Conway is that she doesn’t give anyone hassles about enjoying the perks and privileges of office. That is very important to a lot of them, as being there for six years doing nothing of any value can be boring and miserable.

    For a while, she was driving the most expensive state-issued vehicle in the legislature, with numerous rationales to justify it. And it might be interesting for someone to research how often Assemblywoman Conway uses the change-my-vote-afterwards scam that the Orange County Register commented on a few days ago ( – Editorial: In California Legislature, vote now, switch later – Assembly members can alter voting record.)

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 11 November, 2012, 22:06

    About 1/3 of residents of Orange County have no health insurance. Approximately 40,000 young people are homeless. Not the OC you think it was/is….

    Demographics are changed….but Repubs are daff to reality…..under estimate your opponents once or twice…..but many times?

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 12 November, 2012, 16:08

    About 1/3 of residents of Orange County have no health insurance. Approximately 40,000 young people are homeless. Not the OC you think it was/is….
    Errr…source teddy ?????

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 12 November, 2012, 16:46

    Your sick….a mess..bitter, cynical and never credible…..

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 13 November, 2012, 08:11

    He’ll probably give you that source when you give your’s that janitors make 200k………….

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 November, 2012, 22:10

    You better believe. Heard two different charity talks in Newport Beach… not think unpaid volunteers lie about OC human suffering.

    Reply this comment
  7. Not a leader for these times
    Not a leader for these times 14 November, 2012, 07:52

    UPDATE! This morning I saw a link on the Los Angeles Times web site to an article “California Lawmakers Head to Hawaii, Australia for Post-Election events.” I immediately thought of this article and went to the L.A. Times article solely to see if Connie Conway was listed as one of the fact-finders. I was sure she would be listed as one of the “at least 20” legislators going to Hawaii on the tab of corporations and unions.

    Bingo! Assembly Minority Leader Conway is setting the example for the California Republican Party by heading off to the Kea Lani in Maui. (Beautiful hotel, by the way; I stayed there several years using my own money, when I could afford it doing business in this state.)

    As I write above, perks and privileges. Have fun!!! Here’s the relevant L.A. Times excerpt:

    Group spokesman Dan Howle declined to identify the legislators attending but said they include some newly elected members and some current ones, including a few who are leaving office next month because of term limits. Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway of Tulare is among those who confirmed to The Times that she is attending.

    Reply this comment
  8. Not a leader for these times
    Not a leader for these times 20 November, 2012, 18:58

    UPDATE #2: today Assembly Mini-Minority Leader Conway issued her first press release since her announcement on November 8 about being unanimously reelected to the top leadership position. No, it does not outline what the Assembly Republican Caucus is going to do now that is has no apparent power. It is a “Statement Regarding Israel-Hamas Conflict.”

    Citizens and non-citizens of California were waiting breathlessly to find out what the Assembly Mini-Minority Leader thought about this conflict, in part because she obtained deep insight when she traveled to Israel in the past. (Regrettably, Californians do not learn in the press release who paid for the trip.)

    Californians are eager for additional press releases about civil unrest in Syria, Pakistan, and Mali.

    While the press release claims that Israel is a “critical trading partner,” in reality it is California’s 16th ranked recipient of exports. Exports to Israel comprise 1.7% of the total amount of exports. Nice to have, but not a critical trading partner. See

    Belgium is ranked as California’s 15th highest recipient of exports. Californians are awaiting a statement on the possible and long-awaited breakup of Belgium into the Flemish north and French south.

    Reply this comment

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