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Spring 2001 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Jones To Address Congress
Dealing With The Consequences of Neglect
President's Message
What I Saw At The Convention
Welcome New Golden Circle Members
Dan Walters Packs The House
Notice of Bylaws Changes

Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Jones To Address Congress

Bill Jones, California Secretary of State and the highest ranking Republican elected official in the State will address the Congress on May 7, 2001, at the Rocklin Park Hotel, 5450 China Garden Road, Rocklin. Social hour will begin at 5:30PM with the program starting at 6:30PM.

Election 2002: The New Political Battlefield

Jones will speak on the upcoming reapportionment plan and the shift in power due to new campaign finance laws enacted under Proposition 34.

His speech will be all the more topical as the Secretary of State has just declared that he will run for Governor next year against Democrat Gray Davis.

A former state legislator from Fresno, Jones served as the Minority Leader in the State Assembly in 1990. As Minority Leader, he successfully fought for the historic reapportionment of 1992. The re-drawing of legislative district lines that year returned fair and competitive elections to California and erased the severely gerrymandered district lines of the past.

In 1994, Jones received national acclaim when he authored California’s immensely popular "Three Strikes and You’re Out" law. He was elected California Secretary of State later that same year and was re-elected in 1998.

Reserve Your Tickets Today!

To confirm your attendance at this exciting event, please call (916) 786-6690, then pay $20 per person by cash, check or credit card at the door. The price includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and no-host bar.

Members Save $5.00!

Members who prepay for their tickets save $5.00! Send a check for $15 per member payable to “Republican Congress of Placer County,” to P.O. Box 840, Newcastle, CA 95658-0840. Non-members can also prepay at $20 per person.


Dealing With The Consequences of Neglect

By Assemblyman Tim Leslie

While the specifics of our current electricity predicament were not necessarily foreseeable, the eventuality of a major electricity supply crisis certainly was.

An editorial I wrote for the Sacramento Bee in 1988 expressed what many could see at the time: “The most serious unresolved need in Sacramento’s future is energy….Shouldn’t we be planning new sources of clean, inexpensive hydroelectric power for our future?”

Energy experts, business groups, and other reputable sources urged that investment in energy-generating infrastructure was crucial to our future. The California Energy Commission agreed in its 1988 report, acknowledging that California’s existing energy resources were only sufficient to carry the state into the latter part of the 90’s.

State policy makers, however—eager to spend public dollars elsewhere and anxious to avoid difficult decisions regarding placement of new power plants—continued to whistle in the dark. They justified their actions with overestimates of future savings from conservation programs and other misinformation fed to the media by extreme environmental groups.

Meanwhile, crushing environmental regulations effectively stymied private investment as well. Proposal after proposal for the construction of energy-producing infrastructure fell by the wayside.

Not Keeping Up

The net result? Driven by an expanding population and our increased reliance upon high technology, the amount of electricity needed by Californians rose 24.3%; in the same time period, California’s supply of electricity grew a measly 3.7%.

Greatly exacerbating this situation is the dysfunctional market system mistakenly labeled “deregulated.” Sky-rocketing natural gas prices, neighboring states’ decreased ability to export electricity, and opportunistic energy producers added fuel to the fire.

This havoc-wreaking combination, however, did not create our problem. It simply exposed it, just as the next drought will reveal the foolishness of our failure to invest in water infrastructure. Extricating ourselves from this mess, of course, will not be easy.

What’s Needed

In the short run, we must act immediately to stabilize rates and avoid rolling blackouts. Reforming the power exchange market is the first priority. We must also curtail suppliers’ reliance upon the volatile “spot market” and encourage longer-term contracts. Underutilized alternative energy sources, such as biomass and photovoltaic programs, must be employed to as high a level as possible. Aggressive conservation efforts, both public and private, must be pursued.

Our long-term picture is in desperate need of attention as well. The Legislature must finally own up to the hard decisions it can no longer avoid. At the present time, permits for nine new plants have been issued (five are under construction.) However, even if all nine plants do come online, they will provide only 60% of the new electricity California will need by the end of the decade.

To fill the gap, part of our state surplus can be used to provide low interest loans and other incentives for plant construction, especially for facilities that harness renewable sources rather than relying upon natural gas. Public dollars can also be employed to finance “peaker” units—as has been done successfully in New York—which will provide crucial supply during peak demand hours.

Let Markets Work

The bulk of necessary investment, however, will come easily enough from private sources if the state provides basic guarantees of stability. Investors flood a profitable market as long as they have a reasonable level of certainty regarding future conditions. Guaranteeing certain basic market conditions and allowing long-term contracts between generators and suppliers will provide at least some of this necessary stability. Investment will also be encouraged as we streamline onerous environmental regulations that have made construction virtually impossible.

None of these steps, of course, will immediately usher in an era of electricity plenty. Problems that are long in the making usually take at least as long to fix. Even so, if properly applied, these measures will allow us to survive the current crisis with a minimum of pain. Perhaps more importantly, they will lay a solid foundation for the future—a much better foundation than was laid years ago for the present.


President's Message

This year has started with a number of outstanding successes for the Congress. The Dan Walters event in January was the biggest event we ever hosted (see photos and special thanks to our events committee.)

Now on May 7th we have Bill Jones fresh from his announcement that he’s running for Governor next year. How timely can you get?

Largest GOP Group In County

In addition, our membership has ballooned over the past 4 months to the point that we can confidently call ourselves the largest, Republican volunteer organization in Placer County.

Our membership includes virtually every mainstream Republican leader—elected and volunteer—in the County. Thank you and welcome to everyone who recently joined us!

Put Us Over The Top

Did you know that Placer County is only 0.8% away from being a Republican majority county? Republicans make up 49.2% of registered voters today, with the balance being Democrats (around a third), independents and third parties. In percentage terms, that makes us the 2nd largest Republican county within the state.

But, there’s always the risk that these positive trends could start to turn the other way if we do not keep the momentum going. Coming from Pasadena, an old Republican dominated suburb, I’ve seen this happen firsthand. GOP registration there has slipped so far that both state legislators and the Congressman are all Democrats now and there’s little hope of a Republican resurrection.

So the Congress is embarking on a large-scale voter registration and outreach project to put Placer County “over the top” (hitting 50% GOP registration) prior to the March 2002 Primary Election (just 10 months away!)

We need your help NOW to make this effort a success. We need volunteers to staff registration tables at supermarkets, The Galleria in Roseville and various fair booths. We are also touring high schools, signing up students turning 18 years old.

Please give a call to Tom Jones at (530) 885-0366 or email him at mrtomjones@jps.net to let us know how you will help.

If you cannot help with your time, please consider giving $25 to pay a student to do the job for you! Heck, we even take credit cards now to make this as painless as possible!

Summer Social—Save The Date

The Congress is not just about politics and campaigns. We want to be a social club where like-minded Republicans can meet and network.

We have established two social events a year—a Holiday Party and Summer Social—for Congress members and their guests. This year the Summer Social will be held on Saturday, July 7th at the home of Gary Fitzpatrick in Auburn. Save the date and watch for details in early June.

In the meantime, don’t forget to RSVP for Bill Jones on May 7th. It will be another blockbuster event!


What I Saw At The Convention

By Tom Jones

I attended the Californian Republican Party (CRP) 2001 Spring Convention in February. I was appointed as a Regular Member of the CRP by Assemblyman Tim Leslie. The convention was held at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento.

Any Republican can register to participate at our convention by paying the $50 fee. Only Regular Members or their Associate Member with proxy can vote (see box below on “Who Is A Member?”)

Most of the organized convention activities deal with the nuts and bolts of the organization, such as Rules, Proxy & Resolutions Committees. Their proposals are then voted on in the general session by Regular Members or their proxies.

Most activists also attend workshops that give updates on matters relating to election laws and finance regulations like Prop 34.

Fun and Fellowship

The fun and fellowship usually occupies most of my time at the convention. There were both paid and free events to attend every day and evening.

Friday had a VIP reception and dinner with State Senator "DMV Rebate" Tom McClintock and a live performance by Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group. The hospitality suites then opened and lasted to the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday started with breakfast featuring the Hon. Jim Rogan, a luncheon with US Senator Jim Ensign (R-NV) and an evening VIP reception and dinner that featured a debate between the two candidates running for state party chairman.

The dinner was sold out early and standing room only for the debate. The hospitality suites and parties followed. My favorite was the private reception at Assemblyman Leslie's capitol office and Congressman Ose’s party at Imax.

The Big Event

Of course, at this year’s convention, the big event was Sunday’s general session and the election of CRP officers. There were two competing slates running for state party offices, pitting mainstream and far right forces against each other.

Former Assemblyman Brooks Firestone led a mainstream slate that wanted to take back the Party from the far right that has dominated the party structure for most of the 1990s. The far right candidates, led by Shawn Steel, were battling tooth and nail to keep the reins of power.

Party Members had received tons of mail and phone calls in the weeks before the convention and were inundated with pleas of support from both sides all the way up to the Sunday’s vote.

Steel New Chairman

Out of approximately 1,400 voting members, Shawn Steel became our new Chairman with a margin of 80 votes. It was the closest chairman’s race that I can remember.

In a show of unity, Steel invited Firestone up to the dais after the vote, where the two embraced. He also immediately appointed Firestone to Co-Chair the newly created and potentially influential Reform Committee.

As the Fresno Bee said, “It was a far cry from the chairman’s election two years ago, where hit mailers were left under hotel room doors and bitterness lingered long after the convention.”

Reforms Under Way

Steel also realizes that serious reforms are needed in the Party and has agreed to appoint key Bush officials to help direction that change. He appointed top Bush fundraiser Tom Stephenson to head the Finance Committee and Bush State Chair to head the Budget & Expenditures Committee.

Even Firestone acknowledges the change in attitude when he wrote to supporters after the convention, “. . . the CRP Board is far more reasonable and productive than in previous years. Additionally, the force of our team’s campaign helped an agreement to be reached which brought the Bush administration into the management of Party operations.”

Debate is healthy for any organization. The reform efforts must continue if we are to lead. You cannot lead if you cannot win.

- Tom Jones serves as First Vice President of the Placer Congress and has served on the Placer County Republican Central Committee a total of 14 years beginning in 1982.


Dan Walters Packs The House

Renown Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters addressed a standing room only audience of 150+ Congress members and guests on January 29th at the Auburn Elks Lodge.

The meeting was the largest event ever held by the Congress and demonstrated our growing strength in the County.

Mainstream Republican elected officials from throughout Placer County attended, including County Supervisors and officers as well as local city council and school board members.

Mr. Walters commented on the Republican Party’s successes and failures over the last decade and what we must do to reestablish ourselves as a force within the State.

Thank You!

Our quarterly meetings would not be possible without the help of the following individuals who do everything from arranging our speakers and food to phoning members to remind them of the meeting.

Thank you to . . .

Adi Benning           Paula Celick
Heather Davis       Pat Evans
Glenda Freeman    Mike Gilbert
Chris Hill                Sandy Hoffman
Herb Johnson        Barbara Jones
Bonnie Jones         Tom Jones
Louise McCauley   Murriel Oles
Bill Radakovitz       Dennis White
Doris Winter

Click here for more photos of the event!


Welcome New Golden Circle Members

The Congress is grateful for the leadership of the following individuals who joined the Golden Circle during the 1st quarter 2001:

Corrine M. Callaghan
Jack & Sharon Love
Vince & Vicki Mendez
Don Novey
Elliott Rose
Randy Wall

By joining the Golden Circle, you are invited to twice yearly private receptions with key political leaders. Members also receive a gold name badge and their name prominently listed on our web site, letterhead and newsletter.

Join Today!

Take your place among the mainstream Republican leaders in Placer County, join the Golden Circle today! The cost is $250 (individuals) or $300 (couples) per year and includes Congress membership. Existing Congress members can upgrade to Golden Circle for $220 (individuals) or $250 (couples.)

For more information or to join, please call Sandy Hoffman at (530) 878-9089 or simply mail your check, payable to “Republican Congress of Placer County,” to P.O. Box 840, Newcastle, CA 95658.


Notice of Bylaws Changes

Pursuant to By-laws Article XIII, the Board of Directors proposes the following By-laws amendments for consideration at the general meeting on May 7, 2001.

3. Associate Membership

Add: A “student” is defined as any person under the age of eighteen years who subscribes to the principles of the PLACER CONGRESS.

Rationale: Defines who qualifies as a student.

Delete: “for the calendar year” from the last sentence in that article.

Rationale: Housekeeping for consistency with change in dues renewal to anniversary date.


Delete the following:

C) Admission to pre or post meeting reception with PLACER CONGRESS speakers allowing for photos to be taken, private introductions and refreshments.

Replace with:

C) Admission by special invitation to at least two Golden Circle receptions per year. These receptions will not be held at the same time as the regular quarterly meetings.

Rationale: The Board of Directors has determined that separate GC events will be more effective and enjoyable to participants without incurring any additional cost.


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Past Newsletters

Winter 2001



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