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Home / News / Politics / GOP candidates, including Trump, in Anaheim for state convention

GOP candidates, including Trump, in Anaheim for state convention

by City News Service
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By Paul Anderson

Most of the attention at the California Republican Party Fall Convention will be on the GOP presidential candidates — including former President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to speak Friday and is one of four hopefuls set to attend the weekend gathering in Anaheim.

But behind the scenes, there’s a potential battle brewing over the party platform.

John Moorlach, a former Orange County supervisor and state senator, is on the platform drafting committee, and he said there has been a lot of hashing back and forth over the past couple of months.

At one meeting, he said, “We were given over 100 pages of amendments.”

When someone announced there would be a break at 2, Moorlach raised his hand and asked, “Is that 2 a.m. or 2 p.m.? Because this is going to take all night.”

Then, “all of a sudden they come in with a one-pager,” Moorlach said. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s 5 o’clock and they’re saying we have to get out of this hotel room. So the committee eventually came up with this (draft) document that is now four pages instead of 31. Maybe that’s the answer, to keep it simple.”

Now, however, some party members are saying, “We don’t like that, let’s stick with the old one.”

Two issues that appear to be in dispute are the party’s stances on abortion and gay marriage.

Under “right to life,” the draft states, “We value protecting innocent life and want to see the number of abortions reduced. We support adoption as an alternative to abortion and call on lawmakers to reduce the bureaucratic burden placed on adoptive couples.”

Meanwhile, the current platform declares that marriage should be defined as a union between a man and woman, while the draft sidesteps that under a section titled “Family.”

The draft reads, “We support the family unit as the best environment for raising children, but most importantly affirm that a loving, safe home for all children should be our society’s top priority. Religious institutions play a pivotal role in strengthening both traditional marriages and families. Families should be protected and empowered to make decision that are consistent with their values, beliefs and faith.”

Orange County GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker said he is pushing for the party to just adopt the current platform so the focus can stay on the presidential candidates.

“We shouldn’t have platform fights in the middle of a presidential election,” Whitaker said.

Many party regulars are signing on to a letter saying, “We should readopt our platform and keep our party united,” Whitaker said. “I’m very optimistic the platform committee will in the end dump the draft and re-adopt the platform and have no floor fights on Sunday.

“If they come out of Saturday with a wonky platform, then Sunday will be mad and that will be bad for the party. If we do our work right it will all be behind the scenes and there will be nothing to give (reporters)  much to talk about.”

Most of the other convention excitement will be on Friday, when Trump is scheduled to speak at a noon lunch banquet.

Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president despite facing four criminal indictments. A New York civil fraud trial of the former president and his company is set to begin on Monday after an appeals panel lifted a temporary stay on the start of the trial.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said she plans to call Trump and his three adult children as witnesses at the trial in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Arthur Engoron, the trial court judge in the case, found on Tuesday Trump, his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, the Trump Organization and other defendants liable for fraudulently inflating the values of properties and other assets.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who is also seeking the Republican presidential nomination, will conduct a “fireside chat” with California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson at 3 p.m., according to Matt Gorman, the Scott campaign’s senior communications adviser.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to speak at a dinner banquet at 7:30 p.m.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is set to speak at a luncheon banquet at noon Saturday.

“I think it’s going to be a very exciting convention,” Whitaker said. “Obviously there’s the four presidential candidates attending, so attendance will be through the roof.”

Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Jon McClintock said city officials are prepared for all the extra traffic and expected activism drawn by the convention.

“We handle large-scale events basically every week and we have a lot of history of that,” McClintock said. “We’re well prepared and ready to go. Our mission is to provide a safe place for the attendees, and anyone exercising their First Amendment rights that we provide a safe place for that as well.

“We’re working with our state and federal partners and we’ll have a significant amount of staffing dedicated to the event.”

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