disPatches: Contra Costa GOP gone to the dogs

Patches the all knowing all seeing BrittanyMy name is Patches, and like most mutts, my sense of smell is a thousand times keener than any human’s. So when I get a whiff of something nasty in the woodshed, I can’t help myself from digging up the dirt.

Case in point: More than a few Contra Costa County Republicans have been grumbling lately about the sorry state of the Contra Costa GOP under the lone wolf leadership of Tom Del Beccaro, Esq. While Chairman Del Beccaro will brow beat anyone he can bully into a corner about increased Republican turnout for the Governor’s ill-fated ballot fiasco, he fails to address the more important bones of contention, including but not limited to:

– the much-touted “increased” turnout was lower in comparison to statewide trends
– the unforgivable loss of Richard Pombo’s Congressional seat (CD-11) despite a clear Republican registration edge
– the decline of Republican registration overall during his tenure as Chair
– questionable staffing decisions including Del Beccaro’s personal selection of the young and inexperienced Executive Directoress
– the lack of discernable profit from the much ballyhooed speaker series
– the rumored inability to scrape together the down payment for the venue and caterer for the local party’s annual Red White and Blue Ball.
– questionable reporting procedures including unreported in-kind value of donated auction items
– questions about the payment and use of “Bounty” money paid for voter registration
– failure to produce meaningful financial statements

The list, as they say, goes on.

cc gop gone to the dogsNot that Del Beccaro hasn’t been busy, lately. His new book, a sophomoric rehash of Reaganesque principles, has been tentatively released to inauspicious reviews by anyone other than his book-tour scheduler and the well-wishes of hot-talk radio personalities. Meanwhile his website breathlessly touts self-important, minor-league punditry concerning national presidential campaign strategies like some obnoxious Anne Coulter high on inside dope.

Yet, while pushing his own agendas at the state and national party levels, Del Beccaro has forgotten Tip O’Neill’s wisdom that, “All Politics Is Local.”

Instead of local voter registration drives, Del Beccaro, has demonstrated more concern over turning his celebrity status as California’s #2 Republican and Chair of CoCo County’s GOP Central Committee into a statewide book signing tour.

Instead of developing prospective local Republican candidates, Del Beccaro has become a laughable Max Bialystock shamelessly shaking down Republican women of a certain age out of their precious time and resources for yet another electoral flop.

And somehow the County GOP leadership remained silent during the recent debate concerning Contra Costa County’s fiscal crisis; missing a perfect opportunity to translate Republican Principles into local action against profligate spending by County government. Instead of organizing opposition to the County’s OPEB debt that grows by a million dollars a day; the County GOP left the heavy lifting to the Grand Jury and the local Taxpayers’ group.

Any non-profit or local party organization whose board is dominated by hand-picked sycophants that can’t manage an out-of-control Chairperson or supervise a weak Executive Director is bound for trouble. The Contra Costa GOP oozes poor governance, negligent oversight, and lousy performance. Republicans can no longer afford to let the Contra Costa County GOP be the current Chair’s personal plaything. Republicans, Contra Costa Taxpayers, our Commonwealth, as well as those truly in need of legitimate County services, all deserve better.

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Comments

  1. says

    Arne, I am still waiting for all of the eternally grateful Republicans to whom you alluded to chime in and thank Tom Del Beccaro and the GOP Central Committee for all the money and volunteer help they've received in their campaigns.

    Let's ask Abram Wilson, or Scott Perkins, Dave Hudson, or Jim Livingstone. Maybe Candace Anderson owes her political career to Tom's Herculean efforrts. I'll bet Sue Rainey and Gary Skrell in the WC owe everything to Tom. And Mark Peterson and Helen Allen, or Bob Taylor of Brentwood would be nothing but for the crumbs that fell off the table to their campaigns.

    Sorry, I don't see any of them pushing people out of the way to praise Tom.

    Arne, please don't embarrass yourself any longer and let Tom answer the allegations directly instead of thru 2nd tier sock puppets.

  2. says

    Suzanne C of hgpac@aol

    as you say, please get your facts straight. Note "Sold By"

    That is to say I actually ordered it. Despite your wishes to the contrary

    Order Date: November 20, 2007

    Order #: 102-3204486-3115422

    Recipient: Bill Gram-Reefer

    The following item will arrive after December 25, 2007.

    Items not yet shipped:

    Shipping estimate: December 27, 2007 – January 10, 2008

    1 of: The New Conservative Paradigm

    Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

    Secondly I never mentioned dating habits. So for you to suggest that someone's promiscuous lifestyle is preferable to mine…only illustrates the total lack of class and length to which County GOP leadership will go to browbeat, intimidate, impugn, or shout down any opposition.

    It is unfortunate that a minion could be so enthralled to be put up to say something as embarassing and degrading as your statement above.

    I pity you.

  3. says

    The success of Republicans in Contra Costa County that Arne mentions is more likely in spite of Tom's leadership than because of it.

    Del Beccaro was extremely rude to me on the phone after I mentioned the release of his book as a news piece and essentially wrote the same book flap gibberish about the book that Lisa Vorderbrueggen wrote that Tom has splashed all over his website as some authoritative review.

    Most obscure authors would thanks their lucky stars for any such exposure,

    But I got the "don't you know who I am" temper tantrum.

    And this is not the only instance of this sort of out of control, imbalanced behavior.

    Other people who have been the brunt of this manage by bullying style are either fed up or afraid of Tom's bluster.

    I am still waiting for real financials to be presented. Not "Tom says so" numbers

    I am still waiting on how bounty money was spent. Not deflection

    I am happy to show decline of registration numbers on the blog and talk real numbers.

  4. says

    I'd like to check on whether the new hire is a done deal, Arne.

    As for not having Tom to kick around, I sure hope you don't mean to defend serial bullying, poor judgement and thinking this behavior is suitable to be leader for the Republican Party in California? Surely, you can't be serious.

    I'm sure your Dad was a great guy, but that would prove disastrous.

    Being for those republican values you mention also begins at home with personal responsibility and fiscal discipline at the county party level.

    Too bad Tom can't defend his own behavior.

  5. Arne Simonsen says

    Bill, you will be pleased to hear that the CCRP has hired a new ED. He's a former Marine officer and much younger than you and I.

    You won't have Tom around much longer to "kick around" as the CCRP prepares to elect a new Chair in the new year.

    My dad taught me a very long time ago that you can't change an organization from the outside – it can only be done by joining and changing it from within. I do not believe in radical change (I leave that to the other party) and prefer gradual change.

    I would think that even you believe that for the Republican Party to become "revitalized" at the county level, it needs to reject the extremes that can tear a party apart and focus on what unites us as Republicans (free enterprise, limited government, reduced taxes and fees, personal responsibility, and fiscal discipline).

  6. says

    Credit where credit is due: Great job in Antioch, btw, Arne; and on the canal issue.

    But we're not talking about "just" Antioch. And we're not talking about "just" Arne" we are taling about the CENTRAL COMMITTEE.

    And what's the deal with supporting Democrat Don Freitas for Supervisor? I did not realize it was the job of Republican Central Committee Members to tout or endorse Democrats.

    And please don't tell us it's a non-partisan seat or that issues like OPEB are not political. Why else will Tom announce Republican Party endorsement for AD-15 and County Supervisor seats in March at the Red White and Blue Ball when, in at least two races, there are multiple Republicans running and the Chair is already whispering support for Mary Piepho. Not only does this pre-empt Republicans' right to choose their candidates in Party Primaries, it certainly politicizes the election.

    And would you have someone tell us what the Party's new P.O. Box will be since since it lost its lease.

    Should we post the pictures from the ED's My Space site?

    Who who will be the new ED?

    It just goes on and on, Arne. This is the indefensible part. And many Republicans simply are tired of the Chair's "my way or the highway" attitude.

  7. says

    Arne Simonsen said with glee on 11/14

    "The Amazon pre-orders for Tom’s book are reaching the point where it will be reviewed by the New York Times. Tom has some 50 book signing events scheduled for the next three months."

    Who's bucket is that Arne?

    Amazon doesn't review books unless they are on their internal best-seller list.

    So muc h for out-dated information.

  8. Arne Simonsen says

    Bill commented: "And despite Arne Simonsen’s solemn assurances that Tom’s book would soon be on Amazon’s bestseller list, Amazon now informs me that there is no firm ship date."

    Bill, you're getting a little loose with you attributes. Reread what I posted and I did not write that and I have never said that to you or anyone else.

    I would have taken a lot more time this morning to go item by item, but I had to go to an all day Delta Vision meeting in Sacramento fending off Southern California's (aka "Metropolitan Water District") water grab and peripheral canal (although they now like to use the term "alternate conveyance" – "a rose by any other name still smells the same").

    Bill also wrote: "Leaders like you need to stop parsing around the issue and man up and quit defending the indefensible."

    Bill, I don't do the political tap dance – I go right for the jugular! For example, instead of "tap dancing" around the issue of OPEB (Other than retirement Post Employment Benefits), Antioch hit it straight on by establishing an irrevocable trust and putting $6.5 million into it up front (money that could otherwise have been used by a future City Council for anything). Antioch also has all new hires (safety and nonsafety) in a defined contribution MARA account (similar to a 401h plan) which will totally eliminate any future OPEB liability to the city.

    You asked why the CCRP didn't speak out on OPEB. The answer is simple: If the CCRP had, it would have automatically been politicized. Instead, we supported the nonpartisan efforts on the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association.

    Most of us know where you are getting your outdated information. The question is: Why are your "carrying the water"?

  9. Suzanne C. says

    Someone here is not telling the truth when it comes to Amazon and Tom's book. Amazon NEVER charges for an item until it is in-stock and shipped. If you had actually ordered the book from Amazon – then you would know that and not lie about it here.

    Just because you have a political ax to grind, does not mean you are entitled to your own set of facts.

    The book is actually pretty boilerplate, rah-rah-reagan. I picked it up at a Woman's Fed event a couple of weeks ago. It's pretty positive but not stellar. Frankly, I thought it was refreshing to see someone other than the usual suspects in print. As for the implication about Tom's skirt-chasing, he's single. Why not? Who cares? What does that have to do with anything? Do you have facts to support your assertion that his dating habits reflect negatively on his judgment? Or are you just jealous that Tom is having a life you never had?

  10. says

    Thanks to, Patty, another elected party board member, for her comments.

    To all:

    Let's not fall for the crocodile tears appealing to Reagan's warning against "Republican vs. Republican." These are legitimate issues that are being raised by Republicans about their party leadership. Are we to accept anything from Tom and the "board" without question? If that is the way the Republicans want to run the party, then who wants to be a part of it?

    Isn't primary season exactly the time to ask the tough questions about core values, sharp debate, and reforming party priorities? Otherwise it seems Patty expects Republicans to look the other way when poor governance and negligent oversight produces poor results.

    And please stop the continued deflection by twisting my comments to mean our valuable Volunteers somehow failed. If anything, it was party leadership that failed, not volunteers like Republican Women Federated.

    Why are there so many complaints about financial reports?

    Please if they are so readily available, please post them here or on the CCCRP website. The numbers are available to some extent on the state and federal websites, but there needs to be a real budget available to compare the numbers.

    Besides, in my 9 years experience as a funder for local non-profits, as a matter of course, organizations provide funders with independent audits. What makes CC GOP so special that it thinks it can get by with Tom "Says So" numbers instead of third-party verification? As Reagan said, "Trust but Verify"

    If things are in such good shape, why all the talk from more than a few about not being able to pay the deposits on the venue and caterer for the 2008 Red White and Blue Ball? And why are people being admonished NOT to talk about it? Do we need a co-signer?

    If Tom is so proud of his record with Pombo, then please explain why Pombo felt compelled to drive to the Sacramento Republican convention just to nominate the person opposing Tom for the #2 spot in the party.

    And for all his bluster, it's a shame Tom didn't get Contra Costa Republicans more involved with local issues such as our budget-busting public employee retiree debt?

    As for his book – have you read it? I actually paid for it some time ago and it was supposed to ship on 11/27 after a delay from 11/13 per post at CC GOP site dutifully hawking Tom's book. And despite Arne Simonsen's solemn assurances that Tom's book would soon be on Amazon's bestseller list, Amazon now informs me that there is no firm ship date. I looked at the tedious first chapter that was circulating, and trust me, this is not a personal attack when I say it was just plain awful.

    People…as Groucho Marx once asked… "Who are you going to believe…me or your own eyes?"

  11. Patty O'Day says

    Here we go again, attacks against Republicans by Republicans fraught with false information. I hesitate to post this comment at all because the purpose of the article is to push readership, but a couple of comments must be said:

    1) Pombo – in 2004, he won his home county of San Joaquin 2-1 and by 50,000 votes. In 2006, he lost his home town of Tracy and barely won San Joaquin (which makes up 60% of the district) by approximately 5,000. He lost overall by 8,000 votes. You do the math to figure out why he lost. His vote totals declined in all of his counties. BTW, in Contra Costa, which finished at the top of the state in turnout for Republicans for large counties, he declined the least by percentage.

    In sum, Pombo lost that race, not the Volunteers of Contra Costa.

    2) Our financial reporting has never been better. We now get monthly reports, income statements, balance sheets or budget to actuals.

    The rest of the info is just personal attacks and/or wrong.

    It's sad to see such attacks and one has to wonder the motivation.

  12. says

    Arne..

    reinvigorated??

    based on what… financial data? registration?…Tom's book sales?

    I would expect an elected member of the party:

    – first of all not try to deflect the issue onto how Democrats run their house.

    – secondly, please be more specific and refute any of the issues raised instead of glossing over them

    – if Tom and you, as elected party officials want to take credit for the turnout during the Governors ballot initiative fiasco, then you two should also take responsibility for the failures, including registration decline, loss of Pombo's district, lack of board governance and oversight, and financial chaos.

    The denial is palpable, and the number of people genuinely afraid to say anything on the record concerning this mismanagement, is sickening.

    Leaders like you need to stop parsing around the issue and man up and quit defending the indefensible.

    Let's see an independent financial audit, for starters.

    BGR

  13. says

    "Party politics" have contributed to the downfall of

    Amerika…for over 200 years, we've had the choice of Socialist party #1 or Socialist party #2…behind the scenes, I'm sure George Bush parties with Ted Kennedy….register Independent….make a statement!!

    I found out after only a year or so of being active in the Republicon party that it was NOT 'conservative'

    Do some research…quit reading the local newspaper and watching the TV for news…the real news is unreported, covered up by the latest murder or other created news story…write letters to the paper…if they don't publish them, write again…

    Quit being part of the problem….we may not be able to stop the crooks, but we can sure cause them some grief!!

  14. Arne Simonsen says

    As an elected member of the Contra Costa Republican Party I can only hope that you will now devote the same amount of time and space to write about the Contra Costa Democrat Party and their disfunctions.

    I have to disagree with your assessment of the CCRP. Tom Del Beccaro has taken a docile Central Committee and reinvigorated it.

    As for Richard Pombo's loss, you'll have to look at the other counties; particularly Pombo's own county which he lost.