If you're wondering how and why the GOP has effectively walked completely away from California, the biggest electoral prize in the nation and home to one in seven US voters, it probably has something to do with the candidates they have.
One of four gubernatorial candidates introduced to California Republicans recently is a registered sex offender who spent more than a decade in state prison, convicted of crimes including voluntary manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape.
Glenn Champ, 48, addressed hundreds of GOP delegates and supporters Sunday at the site of the state party's semi-annual convention. Introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte and allotted 10 minutes, Champ spoke in between the main GOP candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
Champ, a little-known political neophyte from the Fresno County community of Tollhouse, did not directly mention his criminal past during his speech but said, "In my life, I've been held accountable because of my stupidity. I do not want anyone else to be enslaved because of their lack of knowledge."
But he's a serious candidate.
Champ's rap sheet is lengthy. Court records show that in 1992, he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and as a result was placed on the state's sex-offender registry.
In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute; later that year, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to court records.
This guy is a violent criminal. I understand he's served his time, but check out his version of remorse:
Champ said his life experience could help him deal with politicians in Sacramento. He calls them criminals, saying, for example, that they routinely infringe upon constitutionally protected gun rights.
"I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it, and that's something [other politicians] don't get," Champ said.
The convicted violent sex offender and rapist is the real victim here, because anyone who wants reasonable gun safety laws is the real criminal. Please, Republicans, why would you not want to nominate this awesome human being for governor of California? He stands for everything the Republican Party stands for, after all.