Here’s his post from OCBlog.net:
LA Times Gets It Wrong On OC GOP Endorsements
The Sept. 5 LA Times article on the OC GOP endorsements program has motivated me to officially become a blogger.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s start with the Headline:
GOP Endorsements Carry Price Tag
This headline is not misleading Ã¢â‚¬â€œ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lie. No candidate has ever been charged directly or indirectly to receive an endorsement. The sub-headline to the Times story and the lead donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get much better than the lie in the headline which state:
A new arm of O.C.’s Republican Party charges incumbents $200 if they want a shot at an early nod. Some consider it a shakedown.
For the first time, the county’s GOP is requiring incumbent candidates to join a special party association and pay a $200 membership fee if they want to receive the party’s “early endorsement.”
Wow, if you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know any better, after reading the headline, the sub-headline and the lead, one could conclude that the OC GOP is selling endorsements for $200. What a bargain for the candidates! The problem with the story is that facts left out of the story completely eviscerate the splashy headlines and lead in the story.
First of all, the endorsement of the OC GOP doesn’t have a price — it is reserved for those who support Republican values and help the OCGOP achieve its goals. Thus, no amount of money could buy an endorsement from the OCGOP. Second, the OCGOP has bestowed early endorsements on candidates who did not pay any fees to become a member of the association, a fact conveniently omitted from the story.
Third, and more to the point of the story, the OC GOP charges $200 for a membership in the Local Elected Officials Association (Ã¢â‚¬Å“LEOAÃ¢â‚¬Â). This membership entitles a local elected official to receive admission to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“400 Club,Ã¢â‚¬Â which entitles the member to attend anywhere from 12 -20 events per year. The member also receives admission to the VIP Reception at our annual Flag Day celebration, the member can attend a political campaign training seminar, and the member can attend a variety of receptions that the OCGOP hosts throughout the year with Governors, Senators, members of Congress and State Legislators. These benefits were conveniently left out story.
In addition to the forgoing benefits, the LEOA puts on events that are designed exclusively for members of the LEOA. The $200 does not begin to cover the cost incurred by the OC GOP to put all of these events together. Rather, the $200 helps defray a portion of the costs.
We established the LEOA program specifically to help local elected officials get involved in the mission of the OC GOP, which is to elect Republicans. We elect Republicans by registering voters and getting those voters out to the polls on election day with thousands of volunteers. Participation in helping the OC GOP achieve its goals by becoming a member of the LEOA is what entitles a member for consideration of an early endorsement.
In short, an incumbent does not have to be a member of the LEOA to receive an endorsement but you wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know that from reading the headlines in the Times.
Go to the post yourself and read the comments.
Calling it a lie is a real stretch; the fact is, the County GOP charges a fee to belong to an association in which an early endorsement could be granted and some Republicansfeel this is a shakedown. So rather than address the questionable program, Baugh attacks the messenger. Classic.