For years, California political reporters have written stories around the
state Republican Party convention centered on one basic theme, the party’s
impressive ability to consistently consume their young. Whether it’s burning
Pete Wilson in effigy, as activists did outside the 1991 state party
convention, or forcing showdowns on divisive social issues, conservative
activists have controlled the party leadership and dominated pre- and
post-convention headlines for as long as most Californians can remember.
So it comes as no surprise that as the party is set to gather in San Jose
next month, the same group of conservatives is making noise again. In a
meeting in Palm Springs earlier this month, a group of activists vowed to
force a floor fight over the governor’s chief of staff, Susan Kennedy. They
are preparing to push a resolution calling on the governor to fire Kennedy
or risk losing the party’s endorsement. The feud could have a financial
impact, too, on the governor’s and party’s ability to raise campaign cash.
Is this really the “burgeoning insurgency”