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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Not a Good Week for California Republicans

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional politics as well as the presidential race

Alexei Koseff at The Sacramento Bee:
Independents have surpassed Republicans to become the second-largest voting bloc in California, according to a firm that analyzes county voter registration information for campaigns.
Political Data Inc. on Tuesday released its latest count showing that voters registered with no party preference now outnumber Republicans by about 73,000 in California. The company regularly collects raw voter files from county registrars to maintain an updated database of the state's 19 million voters.
At the close of regular registration, 15 days before the June primary, there were 4,844,803 no-party-preference voters, according to Political Data Inc., compared with 4,771,984 Republicans. Both make up about a quarter of the California electorate, trailing 8,436,493 registered Democrats, about 44.4 percent.

It is the culmination of a trend that has been accelerating for years. California voters have shed their party affiliation at a growing rate, even as state politics are increasingly dominated by Democrats.
A GOP Senate contender is an anti-Semite.  So is a House candidate. Ron Nehring at The Flash Report:
It’s happened before: Some vile racist or anti-Semite runs for an office they have no chance of winning in the hopes of drawing attention to themselves, or their cause. This is exactly what happened earlier this year when Holocaust denier Arthur Jones ran for Congress as a Republican in the heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District of Illinois. He has been denounced by the Republican Party but will still appear on the November ballot as a result of winning the uncontested GOP primary in the district.
Well, now we have another one of these guys. This time it’s here in California. Today’s vile anti-Semite is John Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress in the heavily Democratic 11th Congressional District in Contra Costa County. The district, in which Hillary Clinton won 71.% of the vote in 2016, is currently represented by Democrat Mark DeSaulnier.

Fitzgerald has zero chance of winning this seat, yet he currently has the official endorsement of the California Republican Party by virtue of being the only Republican running for the office. Under rules adopted by the party following the passage of California’s deeply flawed top-two primary system, the party endorsement goes to any Republican running for state legislature or Congress when they are the only party member running. The Board of Directors may take an affirmative step to reverse the endorsement, which of course should happen immediately.
In a post on his campaign website that went up on May 23rd, Fitzgerald peddles numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He asserts as “truth” that Jews “played a prominent role in the African slave trade,” linking to an article that further peddles this conspiracy theory. He goes on at length peddling numerous other anti-Semitic claims and theories. I won’t link to his website or post because I have no interest in driving up his search results, but you can Google this guy yourself.
A press release from the state party:
 The California Republican Party and the Republican Jewish Coalition issued the following statements Tuesday regarding the congressional race in CA-11:
California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said:“Tonight, the California Republican Party’s Board of Directors took swift and decisive action to eliminate any support for John Fitzgerald due to anti-Semitic comments he made recently — those views have no home in the Republican Party. As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible. We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”
Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition said: “We absolutely and unequivocally condemn John Fitzgerald and his campaign for Congress. His anti-Semitic views have no place in our political system, and especially not in our Republican party. Fitzgerald clearly has no grasp of the facts when it comes to the Jewish people, Israel and our nation’s relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East, and history in general. The California Republican Party has been a good ally in our fight against anti-Semitism in the past, and we proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them on their decision to reject support for Fitzgerald.