Orange County, CA – The Orange County Republican Party expereinced a bit of a shakeup earlier this week when the party voted to remove Orange County candidate for County Supervisor Deborah Pauly as vice-chair of the central committee. Officials from within the party claim Pauly was too divisive a figure and damaged the reputation of the party. Pauly has been involved in a number of controversial issues in the last few years, including a speech she gave while protesting a Muslim community center/mosque in Yorba Linda. She also has refused to denounce Marilyn Davenport, the OC Republican who emailed a picture depicting Barack Obama as a monkey. The latest Pauly misstep involved an Orange County business owner – Bob Walters- who apparently mailed out letters on Pauly’s behalf that were printed on original stationary from the office of reviled segregationist Democrat George Wallace. Walters had once worked for the Wallace campaign.
This latest faux pas on the part of Ms.Pauly was the last straw for party Chairman Scott Baugh. “She makes statements that are out there that I’m constantly having to defend”, the L.A.Times quotes Baugh as saying. Baugh felt Pauly was just too divisive for the best interests of the party at this time, and many on the Central Committee seemed to share his opinion. The vote to oust Pauly came in at 47 in favor and only 16 against.
Ms.Pauly is intimating that the real problem is not with her statements, but her politics. From the beginning of her campaign Pauly has represented herself as a candidate not only running against Democrats in the state, but also against the Republican establishment. Is this a case of tea party versus the GOP machine? A source from inside the OC GOP’s central committee, who wished to remain anonymous told us this is not about politics. “I don’t think this is about Deb’s conservative views. It’s about how she conducts herself. Deb can be confrontaitional when you don’t need to be confrontational. Her personality can be abrasive. Do we think she’s been appropriate in her conduct as first vice chair? Perhaps this wasn’t the right time to take this type of vote two weeks from state elections, but a 47-16 vote tells you a lot about what people thought of her.” As to the timing of the vote, the source goes on to say that Baugh seemed uncomfortable with that as well, but thought it best not to delay it until August to avoid too much drama just a few months out from the general elections in November.
Whatever the motivations and behind-the-scenes affairs, the OC Republican Party has experienced quite a dust-up this week. It remains to be seen if Pauly will go quietly into the night or put up a fight. It also remains to be seen if the OCGOP can pull together convincingly enough in time to generate some passion and support among voters this November.
We contacted both Deborah Pauly and Scott Baugh but both were unavailable for comment.
crossposted at kiradavis.net