NAME: Duane Dichiara
JOB TITLE: Partner at Coronado Communications, a political consulting and
public relations firm with offices in Sacramento and San Diego.
Capitol Weekly: Thanks for agreeing to talk with us.
Duane Dichiara: The goal of most political operatives is to avoid having
their name in the press. But this paper is different. I would love to see
your paper be wildly successful. We finally have something like “The Hill”
in D.C. And of course if this paper doesn’t work, all I’ll have to read
locally will be the Bee.
CW: Tell us about this organization you’re in that has the really long name.
DD: I’m president of the Senate and Assembly Republican Chiefs of Staff
Association. We wanted to make a good abbreviation impossible. Foresight,
you see. It’s a social, educational and mentoring organization for
Republican staff. Membership consists of interested Republican Assembly or
Senate Chiefs of Staff, senior Republican leadership staff and senior
California Republican Party staff. It’s not my day job, but it has enslaved
me. And it’s been a great experience getting to know a lot of hard working,
dedicated people I might never have gotten to interact with.
CW: You used to be a chief of staff yourself? Or a chief of staffs?
DD: Yes. For the last five years I’ve been Assemblyman Mark Wyland’s chief
of staff. Actually, according to this newspaper, I had the honor of being
the lowest paid chief of staff last year. I’m sure there are folks who would
argue based on talent I was probably overpaid at that.
My claim to fame was that I was simultaneously chief of staff for two good
San Diegans: Mark Wyland [R-Del Mar] and Shirley Horton [R-Chula Vista] in
2003. Which led to a lot of late nights and running back and forth. Their
offices could not have been further apart.
CW: Tell us about your day job.
DD: I’ve been involved with Republican campaigns for about 12 years. For
example, I was deputy political director for Arnold Schwarzenegger during
the recall, field director for the Victory 2000 and campaign manager for Tom
McClintock’s return to the state Legislature. And everything in-between,
from judges to supervisors to Assembly. Most recently our company won the
first California election of 2006–a $2 million brawl to elect a GOP reform
candidate to a Democrat city council seat in San Diego.
CW: So given all your jobs and titles, do you do anything outside of work?
DD: I don’t have any hobbies, unless you count Republican politics. Maybe
writing for the Flashreport. Otherwise it’s family, my wife Valerie and my
one and a half year old daughter, Ella. I try to spend a lot of time with
them. Ella’s nickname is “Onesey”.
DD: My family is Orange Irish and English, and there have been a lot
eccentrics. I had a relative back in mid-century who didn’t name any of her
children until they were five or six. Before that they were Onesey, Twosey.
I just kind of picked up it.