President’s News

What I Learned Running as a Republican in California

Peter Coe Verbica
November 14, 2022
sanjoseinside.com

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!

A Holiday Message From Our President

 

This is the Most Wonderful Time of Year

 

The season begins with leaves changing their color and the weather turning crisper and cooler. The obscene dry heat is a thing of the past and the air just smells better. In California, we begin our hopes that we will get rain.  Anticipation grows as several holidays and celebrations approach.

Perhaps my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It reminds us to be grateful for everything we hold dear and for our good fortune.  A joyous feast is the center piece of the holiday where we consume great quantities of comfort food with family members. During our food coma, we play games, exchange stories, and enjoy each other’s company. We flashback to the difficulties faced by the earliest settlers and their perseverance that led to the formation of the greatest country on earth that provides the freedom and liberties we all enjoy every day of the year.

Christmas sneaks up on us next. It always seems to arrive too quickly, but it is a wonderful journey.  We attend several parties, mail Christmas cards to our friends, reach out to persons that we don’t see regularly, and make lists for gift shopping and check it twice. We start scheduling the timetable to watch our favorite movies, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “A Christmas Carol”, “How the Grinch stole Christmas”, and “Elf”, to name a few.  And it all culminates with another family gathering where gifts are exchanged, and another delicious meal is shared.

New Years Eve is a late but festive evening and morphs into parades and football bowl games on January 1st.  Another time for friends and family to gather and make our resolutions for the year.  And of course, more food.

I love the Holiday Season. Let the diets begin.

Secrets of Success from the Best in the West

Foreward

by Peter Coe Verbica,
President
California Congress of Republicans

Each month and without fail, the California Congress of Republicans (“CCR”) has a board conference call.  In attendance are executive board members, Regional VPs and chapter officers throughout the Great State of California.  The call is a wonderful time to hear concerns and successes of chapters throughout the State.  And, the meeting gives like-minded Republicans a chance to discuss how to make our grassroots organization even better.  A lot of great ideas are shared — what businesses often describe as “best practices.”  One of the most vibrant chapters of CCR is the Republican Club of Ocean Hills.  I asked John Murphy, its Second Vice President of Membership to weigh in on how his chapter has continued to blossom. 

Secrets of Success from the Best in the West:

Notes on Building Membership

by John Murphy
Second Vice President, Membership
Republican Club of Ocean Hills (a Chapter of the California Congress of Republicans)

One step back and three steps forward! 

This article was written with a simple objective: to share our secrets of success so that you, too, can be the best in the West.  The Republican Club of Ocean Hills, in North San Diego County, has always had a strong member base. A majority of our 116 members lived in a retirement community called Ocean Hills Country Club when I joined in July of 2019. Since then we have lost 16 members who have moved from our area or quit the chapter due to health issues. However, in the last 14 months we have gained 48 new members.  One step back and three steps forward!

There was a need for a more renewed electronic presence, updated membership file and a way to reach out to potential new members. We focused on improving our website and Facebook page. More frequent updates to our online presence created a base from which members and nonmembers could get an update on our activities. Improvements to our website included an online form for new membership. Anytime someone submitted the form online they got an automatic generated email from the website welcoming them and giving them more information on how they could be active in our Chapter. Our Director of Membership and Chapter President also received an email with all of the information about the new member. With these changes we could reach out to prospective members and make becoming a member more seamless. Our President Barbara Hazlett challenged us to start a prospect list and include them in our monthly communications. Many board members would bring in new members or add to our prospect list.

Our monthly communications to members and prospects included:

  1. Email a flyer with information 2 weeks before our general meeting
  2. Phone call reminder to members 7 days before our general meeting
  3. Email meeting details & last month’s minutes five days before our general meeting
  4. Email newsletter two days before our general meeting
  5. Email meeting agenda one day before our general meeting

This communication schedule keeps our members informed and in touch with their club’s schedule.

Reaching out to Potential Members

The single biggest impact on our membership came from the many ways we reached out to potential members. We were able to get a list of emails from a candidate for local office that included all Republicans and Decline-to-States in our area. We added to that list anyone who liked a comment or post on our Facebook page. An introductory email to them got us a 10% increase in membership.

Fine wine from Sour Grapes: Origin of the “Freedom Flier”

Finally, we had a neighbor and member of our club whose property was stolen or destroyed, dog feces thrown in his driveway and his car was vandalized with what we think was a golf club all for flying a TRUMP flag.  Clearly, this was a case of sour grapes from the radical Left, but our members were determined to convert them into fine wine.  Several of our members were very upset; some were fearful they could be next.  Michael Richardson, our longtime member and member of the board, suggested it could not go unchallenged. After much discussion and a board split on our suggested action, we decided to distribute a “Freedom Flyer” to everyone in the 1,600 home community.  The flyer asked point blank “Are our rights guaranteed under the Constitution under attack in our community?”  It went on to describe in detail the property damage that was designed to intimidate, spread fear, and eliminate freedom of speech. “Not in our community, not in our state, not in our Country,” we pledged. We suggested a “Support Your Candidate” day encouraging residents to fly flags, banners, or yard signs for whoever their candidate was,  or fly an American Flag to show your support for residents’ freedom of speech.  The flyer offered to deliver Trump signs or signs for any local /state office to any home that wanted one. We delivered over 70 signs. This particular initiative increased our membership by 25% over a 3-month period!

By beefing up our core responsibilities of membership tracking, communications, and the new way of submitting a membership form, we were prepared for the surge in membership our outreach programs brought in.  All during this crazy pandemic lock down that would suggest membership would decline or stay stagnant.

A Team Effort

The success of our club would not be what it is without those board members who delivered great speakers each month, kept the minutes, reached out to current members with hand-written birthday and get well cards, managed the team who reaches out to 148 members via phone, writes our newsletter every month, keeps track of our finances, arranges for hospitality and our Chapter President for her leadership in challenging us to grow the club and increase our impact on local, state, and federal elections.  Clearly, our club members are involved in a team effort.

You can grow your club, too!  I wish the best of luck to you and your chapter in your search for increased membership. If you have any questions I can be contacted at:  [email protected]