3-day Republican convention begins in downtown

By City News Service

The three-day California Republican Party convention begins Friday, with Tea Party activists set to hold a rally outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego to attempt to persuade gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to back Proposition 23.

The Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, which bills itself as the home of the San Diego Tea Party, is holding the rally “to bring awareness to Republicans that their candidate is not holding up the ideals of their party and the concerns of conservatives in California,” coalition President Dawn Wildman told City News Service.

“We would like to see Whitman do the right thing and get behind Proposition 23,” Wildman said, referring to the initiative that would suspend AB 32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, until the state’s unemployment rate reaches 5.5 percent or below for four consecutive quarters.

“We also want the California Republican Party to hold the line and endorse the proposition as they did before.”

Whitman said in an Aug. 4 interview on KFI’s “The John and Ken Show’’ “I haven’t made my final decision” on Proposition 23. “In all likelihood, I’ll vote no.”

Whitman said if elected, she would put a one-year moratorium on AB 32’s provisions, as the law allows.

The moratorium “represents the best option for California to be smart and green,” her press secretary Sarah Pompei said.

“Her approach would take a step back by putting in place a one-year moratorium to analyze the full impact of the legislation and implement it in a smart way that doesn’t hamper job creation and economic recovery in the state,” Pompei said.

Proposition 23 supporters say it should be passed to free business from burdensome regulations that prevent them from creating jobs.

Proposition 23 opponents say passage of the measure would create more air pollution, threaten public health, kill clean technology jobs and billions of dollars of investment in California.

Whitman is scheduled to speak at a convention dinner banquet Friday night along with Damon Dunn, the party’s nominee for secretary of state, and Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, its candidate for controller.

Dunn, a real estate developer making his first run for office, said he “will speak to the strength of the Republican ticket, a group of job creators versus the career politicians who have made it a business to live off taxpayer money.”

Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is scheduled to speak at a luncheon banquet Saturday.

About 1,000 delegates and volunteers are expected to attend the convention, which California Republican Party Communications Director Mark Standriff described as “a combination of business and networking.”

On Sunday, the delegates will vote on positions on measures on the November ballot and various resolutions.

The party will also use the convention to unveil “several important and exciting new online tools that will give the California Republican Party its best opportunity to network with groups and communities,” Standriff said.