At first it seems like a political head-scratch. Why would MP Marjorie Taylor Greene – the former QAnon supporter who once contemplated a space laser lit a forest fire in California – be invited to a San Francisco Republican Party fundraiser in the Bay Area next month?
It should not be. Republicans have long visited what they call the belly of the liberal beast for the same reasons as Democrats. Because that’s where the money is.
Californians contributed $ 1.6 billion to political campaigns during the 2020 political cycle, with 69% going to Democrats, 28% to Republicans, and the rest to independents and third parties, according to bipartisan Money-in-Politics analysts at Open Secrets.
“You’re definitely here to raise money,” said Roger Royse, a Silicon Valley tax attorney who has participated in several GOP fundraisers. “Despite the fact that we are in the belly of the liberal beast, there is a large enough Republican contingent in the state” to support them.
Tickets for the November 6th Greene event, which starts at $ 175, are expected to sell out. Any concerns from ticket buyers or promoters about Taylor Greene’s previous endorsement of insane conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and the school shootings in Parkland, Florida – or since then apologizing for comparing Capitol mask wearing rules to the Holocaust – were either forgiven or forgotten . Her house counterparts may have stripped the Georgian of her committee duties, but that only makes her a grassroots heroine – and a fundraising star who raised $ 6.3 million in just her first term.
Join us for our Lincoln Reagan Dinner 2021 with selected speaker:
Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene! @RepMTG
Hope you can join us! https://t.co/zhrzsD0L79 pic.twitter.com/ALaV4oEcsJ
– Republican Party in San Francisco (@SFGOP) October 21, 2021
All that remains to be decided is where your event will take place. A San Francisco venue has likely gone down because Greene declined to reveal whether she was vaccinated, which would be a requirement for being allowed to enter many venues around the city. Now their event appears to be somewhere in San Mateo County.
It’s not just Greene raising cash in the politically indigo Bay Area. The region has become a hotbed of GOP activity in recent weeks among top Republicans, many of whom keep dreams of a possible 2024 presidential election warm as Donald Trump plans his next move.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Utah Senator Mike Lee, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have all visited – at times maskless – and left with heavier campaign accounts. They rant about government mandates and lament the failed Californian dream.
It is a political win-win situation, as is common in fundraising campaigns of all stripes. Their audience goes bellies full of political red meat and politicians return home with their campaign coffers full of cash.
But GOP fundraisers are very different from democratic ones. The California Republicans love to help these out-of-staters because they give them something they don’t have at home: a political voice. California has no statewide officers and Republicans are a super minority in the legislature.
“We are an endangered species here,” said Peter Kuo, vice chairman of the California Republican Party, who attended an event this month for Pompeo at Calvary Church in San Jose for violating COVID. Fines of more than $ 3 million have received public health restrictions, the pastor said.
“We can’t choose them,” said Kuo. “But you can vote for us.”
Pompeo’s speech on Calvary, which was not a fundraiser, was heavily influenced by tough China politics. But other speakers were more focused in the States, like Calvary Pastor Mike McClure.
McClure railed about “the Marxism and the lies that are told in our culture that are not true,” said McClure that “what we see in the forced vaccinations against all these locks and all the controls has kept people from Worship God ”.
The audience roared in approval like Pompeo encouraging what he believed were full of Conservative Californians to stay on course.
“You are in a difficult situation here. Never give up. Never give an inch. Keep your faith, ”said Pompeo. “The ‘California Dream’ is the American dream. Or at least it was. It will come again. “
He said, “We would be much better off if Americans spent more time on the Bible and less on the 1619 Project,” the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning historical analysis of America’s slavery in recent years four years has shaped centuries. The project has become the acronym for political correctness in conservative circles.
DeSantis ‘appearance last week for a fundraiser at the San Francisco home of venture capitalist David Sacks drew some protesters concerned about Sacks’ involvement in several product recalls in California.
“I like him,” Sacks told Bloomberg TV of DeSantis. “He was the first governor to end these insane lockdowns. He found the right policies for lockdowns to stop them and he did so despite very hostile media.
“I can really respect that. That’s why I support him, ”said Sacks, who contributed to the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and members of the San Francisco Unified School Board.
DeSantis and Newsom have continued to argue in the media over their respective states’ approach to the pandemic. During the recall, Newsom often told audiences that if a Republican replaced him, they would likely “drive California off the same cliff” as Florida and Texas.
On Sunday, DeSantis told Fox News that he would offer a $ 5,000 relocation bonus to officers from other states moving to Florida. At a news conference on Wednesday, Newsom responded, without mentioning the Florida governor’s name, that “If you are a law enforcement officer, you support vaccination. There is a lot of politics in this area. “
Jason Scalese, a California Republican Party delegate who attended one of Lee’s recent local fundraisers, said a candidate’s handling of COVID has “become the fourth leg of the Republican chair,” alongside social, economic, and foreign policy Ronald Reagan once universally defined pillars of the party. It makes sense that they are promoting it along the way, said Scalese, who was a longtime GOP leader in San Mateo County before moving to El Dorado County recently.
Scalese said Greene was not his kind of Republican, however. Given her outrageous comments over the years, she seems “just a little too bombastic for me”.
But he’s certain of one thing: “She’ll probably sell a few tickets.”
Joe Garofoli is the leading political writer on the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @joegarofoli