The fading GOP — in OC
|Then county GOP chair Tom Fuentes |
became a SOCCCD trustee in July of 2000.
Nancy didn't like 'im much.
After a decade of guiding the Orange County Republican Party through sometimes tumultuous internal debates, Scott Baugh says he will step down when his current term as chairman ends in January.
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Among party initiatives implemented under Baugh’s leadership has been a ban on endorsements of Republican candidates for local office if they accept donations from public employee unions….
More controversial among fellow Republicans has been his effort to bridge the party divide over those in the country illegally. Baugh shares the concern of many that the party needs to improve its image among Latinos, particularly on the issue of immigration.
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Many Republicans – particularly those identifying with the tea party movement – continue to oppose citizenship for those here illegally.
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Baugh helped negotiate the 2004 resignation of his increasingly controversial predecessor, Tom Fuentes, after 19 years in the job. Fuentes was popular among social conservatives but increasingly at odds with major donors who said he was alienating mainstream voters.
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But Baugh was unable to reverse the party’s declining share of the county electorate, which was 56 percent in 1990, 48 percent when Baugh took over in 2004 and is 41 percent today. The growth of the Latino community is central to the sliding numbers in the county and statewide. And while the GOP has a 9-point advantage over Democrats in the county, it was twice that when Baugh became chairman.
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While Baugh has many staunch supporters and has largely kept the internal debates from the level of tumult seen under Fuentes, he inevitably has critics as well.
“Things have not been going well under his leadership,” said Villa Park Councilwoman and tea party activist Deborah Pauly….
See also: Shades of the South: Hate Comes to Orange County
During Tom Fuentes' tenure as trustee in the SOCCCD, the district became a part of Fuentes' Republican Party "machine." Not long after Fuentes' arrival, trustee John Williams' got a minor County gig, which was later expanded (until it finally popped). He was eventually hounded out of office owing to incompetence and corruption. Trustee Nancy Padberg ran for judge (unsuccessfully). Don Wagner ran (successfully) for the State Assembly—at first, Fuentes was his campaign chairman (until the infamous Wagner/Fuentes falling out). And trustee Dave Lang went from being the fiercest critic of the Fuentes era Board/Chancellor regime to its strongest supporter. Soon thereafter he put in a serious bid for County Treasurer, with Fuentes' limp-wristed support. Lang lost ignominiously.
But, of course, now Williams, Fuentes, and Wagner are gone, and Lang seems to have transitioned back to his old self, more or less.
The new regime ain't much, but it's infinitely better than what we had even five years ago.