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GOP official: Early dissent is healthy for party

Local Republican director says plurality will lead to better representation in 2012 election

Posted: October 13, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: October 13, 2011 1:30 a.m.

As pre-election Republican rhetoric punctuates the 2012 race, one long-standing Republican group remains well-acquainted with dissent, division and diversity.

Bob Haueter, the California Republican Assembly’s elected senate director for its 17th Senate District, describes Republicans disagreeing with Republicans as a healthy exchange of ideas with a history of healthy disagreement as old as the party itself.

“What makes this group great is that we have a lot of diversity,” said Haueter, an elected member and chair of the 38th Assembly District’s Republican Central Committee.

“We do have our little fights internally,” he said. “Look, it’s healthy.”

He said everyone benefits from a plurality of voices leading up to the November 2012 election primary.

Once a Republican nominee for the presidency is chosen, however, then all Republican voices should sing the same song.

“After we get through the primary, we have to support the Republican nominee,” Haueter said. “We all have to get behind the Republican nominee.”

Until then, a disharmonious chorus of local Republican voices should be heard as the sound of a healthy democracy in action, he said.

Local Republicans
The California Republican Assembly is the state’s oldest and largest Republican volunteer organization.

It has 40 senate districts across the state to which it elects one senate director and one deputy senate director.

Haueter is the elected senate director of the Assembly’s 17th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

By day, he works as the deputy chief of staff for Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.

After hours, he works hard at being a Republican.

There are two officially recognized chartered Assembly units in the Santa Clarita Valley, one called the Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly and the other called the Republican Assembly of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley.

The first CRA unit, boasting 136 members, was established by chartering members Haueter and Scott Wilk in 2005, and is now headed by president David Gauny, principal and managing broker of the local mortgage company Smart Money Broker.

Santa Clarita Valley’s other CRA unit — which has more than 40 members after two months of existence — is led by President Brian E. Koegle, partner in the employment and labor law department of law firm Poole & Shaffery LLP.


On Wednesday, Haueter announced plans to transfer from one Republican unit to another.

“I am currently a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly, but I am transferring to the new unit,” he said.
It’s not the first time he has moved from one unit to another.

“There was a time in the CRA when it was extremely liberal,” he said. “And I felt very uncomfortable.”

Haueter, who describes himself as a die-hard conservative and a supporter of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, welcomes other Republican views.

“My goal is create even more chapters,” Haueter said. “We want to give new clubs a voice.

“We’re not all lock-step in this party,” he said. “We challenge our candidates.”

Other Republican views likely can be heard from other state chartered Republican camps, including: Young Republicans, TeenAge Republicans, College Republicans, the Santa Clara Republican Women Federated (of which Haueter’s wife, Lynn, is a member) and the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.

“All of theses organizations go to the state and ask to become Republican chartered clubs,” he said. “You have to find a home you feel comfortable in.”


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