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Blog: Yes, Virginia, There ARE West Hollywood Republicans!

I take it personal when I am falsely vilified for my party preference. I am a Republican who would like to change the GOP, and understand that change can only come from within.

The West Hollywood Term Limits initiative, Measure C, was placed on the ballot with the signatures of thousands of West Hollywood residents.  The more-than five dozen volunteers who gathered signatures also registered more than four hundred new voters—mostly Democrats, but many with no party preference.  Supporters of Measure C come in all shapes and sizes—renters and homeowners, Jews, Christians and atheists, Democrats and, yes, Republicans.

If you read the arguments against Measure C, the one that is being repeated most often was that Measure C was placed on the ballot with the help of a Republican consulting group associated with Orange County Tea Partiers.  And oh, Republicans who helped pass Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.

As the president of the only political consulting firm engaged by the West Hollywood Term Limits Committee, I take it personal when I am falsely vilified for my party preference.  I am a Republican who would like to change the GOP, and understand that change can only come from within.

Yes, I marched in the Kona, Hawaii, July Fourth Parade with some local tea party group to protest federal government raids on pot farms.

Yes, I spoke to a local tea party group about focusing West Hollywood’s resources on social services rather than employee salaries and benefits.

I even once fell in love a guy from Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.

Together, that guy from Wasilla and I worked with Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) to convince Republicans to vote NO on Prop 8 and support the freedom to marry.  Our innovative approach was recognized in 2009 with an award from the American Association of Political Consultants.

The methods we used to reach out to Republican voters were taken to New York, where Republican Senators cast the decisive votes needed for passage of marriage equality in that state, and were incorporated into the successful campaigns for the freedom to marry in four states in 2012.

I am proud of the work I have done for marriage equality, as I am proud of the broad, bipartisan support that Measure C has in West Hollywood. 

I love West Hollywood, but believe we can do better with fresh, new leadership. 

But to those of you who disagree, let’s debate Measure C on its merits, and not by making shrill negative attacks on your opponents. The voters deserve better.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

scott ferguson January 11, 2013 at 09:16 PM
I am still happy to discuss term limits on their merits. But I have followed the right-wing manipulation of the political system (yes, both parties do it, but Republicans have been much worse). Two of the bad elements have been 1) term limits and 2) referenda. This initiative combines two of them in one campaign. It is disingenuous not to see that the outside forces who have gotten involved - I am not talking about you - are ones that do not have the best intentions of WeHo in mind. If they get their nose under the tent with this first victory, do you really expect they won't be back for more? Winning a traditionally a Republican issue - term limits - with a traditionally a Republican method of upending representative government - a referendum - both with major negative impact on this state - is for me one reason to challenge this effort. In past blog comment sections, I have listed numerous other reasons for opposing term limits - we have them with elections every four years; in municipal elections with low turnouts, the dissatisfied have an advantage, & incumbents winnings is because the city it working; they are undemocratic; they could lead to inexperienced leaders - all worries But fear of a Republican Trojan Horse remains one worry for me. If more Republicans I appreciate your thoughts. We'd be better of with more Republicans - gay & straight - like you. But I fear you and your allies are being very naive about what might happen next if this wins.
scott ferguson January 11, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Ran out of space - to add, we've already seen one example of this, a result that might have pleased you, but one that worried me. A terrific Dem, progressive state rep - Betsy Butler - was defeated by a less progressive Dem - Richard Bloom - last November, with some of the term limit group supporting Bloom, who it turn was elected only because of a McCarthyite smear financed by a group of very Republican, very right-wing agribusiness folks in the Valley who hated Butler for standing up for farm workers' rights. We likely voted differently - but my point is, some of the well-meaning but duped WeHo progressives who are working with you on term-limits ending up backing Bloom because the Dem WeHo council members supported Butler. And I assume some of the same Repub outsiders working for term limits here also hand their hands in this. That's why I say to my fellow Dem progressive in WeHo - that is, most of us - caveat emptor. Though Scott Schmidt may be well-meaning, his fellow Republicans aren't.
Scott Schmidt January 11, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Well you're partially right... I am well-meaning. ;) I supported Betsy Butler after Brad Torgan came in third in the Primary. To think that this is some camel's node under the tent misunderestimates the intelligence of West Hollywood voters. This is no slippery slope--this is a popular uprising of citizens that wish to take back control of their government by reminding our elected officials that seats on the city council belong to the citizens, not the people who hold the office!
scott ferguson January 11, 2013 at 09:39 PM
They do control the government. We have elections every two years. I am sorry, but the idea that WeHo residents who vote every two years and usually re-elect incumbents - which I am convinced is mainly because a majority of us support what the council overall does - are stupid idiots who need term limits so they can be prevented from re-electing those who have done a good job is very offensive to me.
me January 12, 2013 at 04:24 AM
LET THE VOTERS DECIDE AND THE OUTCOME WILL BE THE OUTCOME....THE BEV HILLS/WEHO DEMO CLUB IS A INSIDER'S SHAM AND THAT FACT IS WELL-KNOWN
scott ferguson January 12, 2013 at 07:33 PM
But ME, you are opposed to letting the voters decide. What terms limits do is specifically to let voters do the deciding. Why is that concept so difficult for you to grasp?
scott ferguson January 12, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Sorry, should be "What term limits do is specifically DENY the voters the opportunity to decide who should be reelected."
Leandro M Pucci January 12, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Power corrupts even the most well meaning and honest individual. I do not agree with the statement that incumbents get re-elected because they are doing a good job. (They may or may not). The incumbents are known names by the regular citizen. For a new candidate to pass his message takes a humongous effort (money, hence future potential for corruption). I am a democrat and I do agree with term limits. Even if the incumbents are saints and are doing the best job in the world, they need to move along and give the people the control of their city. If we elect someone wrong, well there are elections to remove that person and term limits to ensure that he/she is out.
me January 12, 2013 at 08:49 PM
haha...you STILL seem to be fighting the fact that term limits will even be on the ballot....THOUSANDS of residents made that happen....let it go man and either it'll pass or fail.....repeating yourself a million times won't change anything, so in YOUR WORDS above, "why is that concept so difficult for you to grasp?".....i'm spending my time trying to get folks to vote for it, why don't you do the opposite?
judson greene January 17, 2013 at 06:32 AM
I'm a Democrat! And, I don't believe in term limits. But, for very real reasons our council members at large whom I like personally have stopped listening to US. We asked them to undo a secret deal discovered only when me and my neighbors discovered a rehab clinic (commercial venture) was sneaking in the Norma Triangle. They changed a CUP in 2007 and they forgot to hold hearings, place public notices and notice us and then as we worked harder to stop this some folks were cutting deals. We asked them to not do Plummer Park had a whole town against it. They voted funds, placed bonds out there to be financed by the state, the state said no there went a few million bucks to pay for those junk bonds. We liked the idea of a new library at $25 million. We got parking with 3 bookshelves for $64 million. We asked them to protect renters, our City Attorney writes the language for a sleazy El Mirador landlord and puff maybe the slumlord gets a hotel for throwing those people out of their homes. Hmm, I remember a 45 conversation with Mayor Heilman at our bookfair where he told me it would never happen cause the area is zoned residential. Bugger got a ok for a commercial venture with 24 parking spaces. Who asked for a computerized garage at city hall? None of my neighbors did. Never had a problem. Our leaders gamed the system by rewriting election funding, but they get to keep their large bankrolls. Ah, I'm a democrat and I am pushing term limits! Fresh ideas, NOW!
joninla January 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM
I think your opinion about 'term limits' and other local issues have nothing to do with your proud membership with the Republican Party. The Republican Party IS anti-gay ... and if you can't even get a seat on the city council of a 34,000 populous, do you rationally believe you can promote change in the National Republican Party's Platform, Positions and the biggest threat of all .... their nomination of Members of the Supreme Court. If you have read Antonin Scalia's opinions on gay related issues, the vile openness of his formal opinions regarding his declaration of the total immorality of 'being gay', you are blinding yourself to the truth about the Republican Party and you and the Log Cabin Republicans ability to make rational decisions that affect the legality of being gay. 30 States have no protection in employment for gay people. If you say "I'm gay" to your boss, and he says "then you are fired" there is no recourse whatsoever. Living in California (especially weho) you have apparently no insight to the United States as a nation, its size and diversity of people and hatred.
joninla January 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Further - as a grown adult gay male, please enlighten me (seriously) as to what progress the Republican Party has made towards gay-equality since the Reagan ear of the 80's where "AIDS" was a word not even spoken of by the President while countless lives were lost. Continuing with a consistent anti-gay agenda through and upto today and beyond with the "Defense of Marriage Act". Likewise, I would love to hear what accomplishments you have made from within the Republican Party towards promoting gay rights and equality. Maybe you should ask yourself why so many people are surprised there is a 'gay republican' and apparently hassle you to no end on the point. Maybe they have a very good point. But please provide factual information that supports anything The Republican Party and/or your Participation has done towards getting the gay rights we now do have as the result of decades of social activisim and not meetings of the Log Cabin Republicans.

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