President’s News

Recapping Fall 2023 CAGOP Convention

The Anaheim Marriott was the place to be on the last weekend of September. The California Republican Party hosted its Fall Convention and had four, count them, four Presidential candidates speak at the convention. Leading off with President Donald J. Trump at Friday’s Lunch Banquet, he spoke to a multitude of excited and vocal guests. Senator Tim Scott held an afternoon event where he delivered his speech on his vision and goals for our country. The Friday evening dinner featured Governor Ron DeSantis where he spoke to another full house of California faithful Republicans. On Saturday, Vivek Ramaswamy was the featured speaker for the lunch banquet and did not disappoint another assembly of Republicans.

The California Congress of Republicans held its meeting Saturday afternoon where it presented a program, “What to Expect on Sunday,” Members from the committees on Sunday’s agenda informed the attendees what would be presented to the delegates and their recommendations on each item. There were CCR members belonging to each of these committees. Candice Cetrone represented the Volunteers Organization Committee, Luis Buhler delivered the Rules Committee information, Mike Wright spoke for the Initiatives Committee, Anna Bryson represented the Resolutions Committee, and Mark Hershey gave the recommendation from the Platform Committee.

CCR members from all over the state attended the meeting and gave their Chapter updates, John Murphy reported on the events and meetings held by North County of San Diego organization, Dr. Arnie Zeiderman described the progress and plans for the North Sierra region, and Anna Bryson advised on the recent and future events for the Orange County club. Charlene Stover gave the Hemet / San Jacinto presentation. Timur Engin updated us on the many activities involving SPARC. Jeff Brown delivered the update for Santa Clarita having monthly meetings and a recent barbecue social event.

Once again, the California Congress of Republicans was a sponsor for the “Return to the Republican Revolution – circa 1994” party on Saturday night that was hosted by the California Young Republican Federation and the Log Cabin Republicans of California. Organizations. Hundreds of Republicans enjoyed the event going late into the night.

The California Congress of Republicans presented itself well at the convention. An informative presentation at our meeting and a fun time with our Republican friends at the Saturday night party.

America Celebrates Christmas

America has always been a big fan of Christmas. The settlers who arrived in the early 1600’s held Christmas with a high regard, preserving it as “a sacred occasion and a day of rest.” Many Christmas traditions can be traced back to America’s Founding Fathers, who each celebrated Christmas in their own way. George Washington celebrated Christmas with his family at Mount Vernon, where the entire family spent 12 days celebrating the holiday. They would host family and friends to celebrate Christmas during the lengthy 12-day holiday.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin was vocal about his faith in God, who he called “Creator of the universe” who “governs it by his Providence.” He remarked in his Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1733, “A good conscience is a continual Christmas.

The first White House Christmas party can be attributed to the second President of the United States. John Adams and his wife hosted their Christmas party for their four-year-old granddaughter Susanna Boylston Adams, and the event was attended by government officials and their children. Thomas Jefferson described Christmas as “the day of greatest mirth and jollity” and recounted how he celebrated Christmas with his grandchildren. Upon inheriting the White House from Jefferson, James Madison continued the Christmas tradition of hosting parties at the White House, but he and First Lady Dolley began the tradition of sending out Christmas cards to their family and friends. John Quincy Adams wrote “Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of a nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

It is through reflecting on the thoughts of the Founding Fathers on Christmas and their faith that Americans can understand how deeply rooted the holiday is in America’s identity and culture. 

On June 26, 1870, the American government declared Christmas a federal holiday.

What I Learned Running as a Republican in California

Peter Coe Verbica
November 14, 2022

Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you a story.  It’s not about little red riding hood or houses built out of straw.  But there are pigs and wolves.

I’m a fifth-generation Californian who grew up on a cattle ranch and went to MIT.  So, I’ve looked back at the old and looked ahead to the new. I have training in real estate, law and finance.  I work as an investment advisor and an investment banker.  I have four daughters and am a baptized Episcopalian.  I have served on many non-profit boards, though I prefer being on horseback.  This year, I bucked the advice of many friends and ran as a Republican for the Board of Equalization (“BOE”).  I’m in District 2 which covers 19 counties that cling to the coast from the Oregon border down to Ventura County.

What’s the BOE?  It was created in 1879 to ensure that counties charged property taxes uniformly.  It collects alcohol and pipeline taxes.  Perhaps most unique to the Board is its Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office.  Some want the BOE folded under the governor’s office.  Those wary of consolidating power have argued otherwise.

As a Top Two candidate, I made it to the General Election.  To my surprise, I beat one of Gavin Newsom’s former hand-picked replacements.   (He appointed her to the SF Board of Supervisors when he jumped to his next gig.)  The good news?  Our campaign bumped up the district’s CAGOP percentage of votes by over 13% versus the last election cycle.  They’re still counting the votes.  So far, 584,090 voted for yours truly – more than 2.5 times the number of Republicans in the State of Wyoming!  The bad news?  I still lost decisively to a hard-Left progressive.  It makes you scratch your head and take stock.

Here’s what I learned, running as a commonsense Republican in California…

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Ballots Have Arrived – Time to Vote

By Mark Hershey, President
California Congress of Republicans

We all should have received our ballots by now. It is Election Season in California. I cannot stress enough how important it is for each of us to vote. And we must convince all our family members, friends, neighbors to vote as well. Many of us are working with local campaigns to get out Republican voters by phone banking, door knocking, sign waving, and financial support. This is particularly important, but do not forget to have your closest relationships vote.

Getting Republicans out to vote is especially important since we are only 24% of the registered voters in California. Midterm elections historically have lower voter turnout. Terrible policies by the current Democrat controlled regime have caused 40-year high inflation, unprecedented gasoline prices, poor economic conditions, out of control crime, open border crisis, fentanyl deaths, and demonization of parents by public school officials. These issues are motivating Republican and NPP voters while discouraging Democrat voters. If 70% of Republicans vote while only 50% of Democrats vote, California can be part of the 2022 Red Wave. It is not realistic to think we can win every race, but we must re-elect our Republican incumbents while we add many more Republicans to California State offices, Congress, Assembly and State Senate, and local city council, water board, and school board offices. Removing the one party dominated legislature begins with baby steps, but I believe we can make a big jump this cycle.

Shake It up: CCR-Endorsed Candidates Advance

By Mark Hershey, President
California Congress of Republicans

Republican candidates endorsed by the California Congress of Republicans turned in a solid performance in the June 2022 Primary. More than 85% of the 70 candidates we endorsed advanced to the Top Two for the November 8th General Election. This is a remarkable feat given that Californian Republican registration stands at just ~24%. But perceptions are changing in the Golden State, especially as inflation and poor governance assault hard-working taxpayers.  To succeed, Republicans need to continue to increase voter registrations and convince No Party Preference and moderate, free-thinking Democrats to vote for commonsense, GOP candidates. Republican values, such as fiscal prudence, are time-tested and must be communicated to voters — even with the tough challenge of a one-party tyranny.  It’s time to shake up the makeup of our elected and appointed public offices.   

I would like to spotlight Peter Coe Verbica (also known as “The Equalizer”) – one of these successful Top Two candidates.  Peter is running for Board of Equalization District 2 which encompasses 19 counties.  Peter’s background in real estate, law and finance makes him the most qualified for the position.  He served as President of our California Congress of Republicans for four years and President of one of our most active chapters, the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition (“SPARC”). Peter was an outstanding and energetic force for our organization. He is a brilliant, honest, and ethical leader, as well as a loving family man with four remarkable daughters, one of whom served in the US Navy.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Peter earned a Master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Santa Clara University (impressive).  He is passionate about creating good paying jobs for California’s workers, bringing safety back to our neighborhoods, reducing governmental overreach, and making affordable housing possible for our teachers and first responders.  When elected, Peter will champion lower taxes, an end to government waste, better water infrastructure, and a curbing of rampant CEQA abuses.  When you meet Peter in person, you want him to be your friend for life.  I cannot think of a more thoughtful, qualified, and deserving person to serve California as one of its elected.  He would make California a better place to live.

Soon, many more Republicans will step up for their community and register as candidates for their local water board, school board, and City council positions.  The campaign trail is a marathon which tests our candidates’ will and endurance.  As members of the California Congress of Republicans, we are a volunteer, grassroots army which works hard for these candidates. Our candidates will be ridiculed, lied about, attacked, and unfairly treated in the press and social media over the next several months. Please display the same courage and energy to support our candidates and let’s be part of a “Red Wave” in November.

One man’s thoughts.  Let’s shake it up!

CCR Shines at CAGOP Convention

First off, I would like to thank all the Republican candidates for their pursuit of public office.  From school board to Governor of California, the campaign trail is a long one that is emotionally, physically, and financially draining.  Republican candidates are peppered with endless questions about their ideas and solutions to problems and are often misquoted or attacked in the press and social media.  So, I applaud the candidates for the courage, dedication, and hard work it takes to run for an office.

The California Congress of Republicans held their endorsement convention just prior to the CAGOP Anaheim Convention. CCR delegates from all parts of California, from Shasta to San Diego, from the Central Coast to Hemet and San Bernardino, gathered and endorsed Republican candidates for 8 statewide offices as well as numerous candidates for district seats. Our endorsements were publicized on our website and through email blasts. Many candidates touted their CCR endorsement in their speeches and campaigns.  At the CAGOP convention, delegates voted to endorse 6 statewide candidates, all of whom were previously endorsed by CCR. 

The California Congress of Republicans co-sponsored with the Log Cabin and Young Republican organizations, a “Spring Cleaning” reception on Saturday evening at the Anaheim Convention.  Hundreds of Republicans enjoyed the event with the theme of “cleaning” the Democrats out of office in our 2022 election.

The California Congress of Republicans presented itself well at the convention. Our endorsements helped six statewide candidates secure the CAGOP endorsement. No CCR endorsed candidate was opposed by the CAGOP. We shared a fun time with our Republican friends from all over California at our social event.

Now is the time to help our endorsed candidates and turn out our fellow Republican voters in the primary election.  Reach out to your family and friends and offer your knowledge and recommendations.  Email or text them a link to the California Congress of Republicans endorsements in both statewide and district races.  And of course, don’t forget to cast your vote early and track your ballot to be sure it is counted!