While he has not made a formal announcement of his candidacy, it has certainly been much talked about that Jim Brulte, the former leader of both Senate and Assembly Republicans, is seeking the Chairmanship of the California Republican Party. This is great news for the party, and for conservatives in California. I am very excited to endorse his candidacy, and will work hard not only to see that he is elected, but look forward to doing what I can to help make sure that under his leadership the CRP is successful.
Let me start out from the outset by making it very clear — Jim Brulte is a solid conservative. Whether you look at issues of taxation and regulation, freedom and liberty, the sanctity of human life, or the importance of the traditional family, Jim is a stalwart Republican. He firmly opposed Prop. 14 and believes in a strong, vibrant political party system. But you don’t have to take my word for it — he’s got a voting record well over a decade long to attest to his conservative credentials. When you talk with Jim, you will find that he does not believe that Republicans are losing market-share in California because of these policy positions, but rather how we communicate our positions, and of course how we engage in the science of politics.
In talking to many people about Brulte these last couple of months, I have had many tell me that they had heard that Brulte was a “moderate” — that his candidacy for party office would be about moving the party to the left. Hardly. As I explain to people, to know Jim Brulte is to know that it is, by and large, his temperament that is moderate. Jim typically does not get in people’s faces, and tends to be congenial and warm in his interactions with everyone with whom he deals. Jim is a listener, and is very considered about his decision-making. Now don’t get me wrong — Jim can be assertive when he needs to be. But it’s not because he’s flying off the handle, but rather it’s because he’s made a calculation that being more strident or direct in certain circumstances is what is needed or warranted. Perhaps my favorite example would be in in June of 2003, when as the Senate Republican Leader, he actually threatened to fund political mail against any member of his own caucus who went up on a tax increase. It was a bold move — probably meant to send a signal to then-Governor Davis and the Democrat legislative leadership as anything else.