Dem club claims WeHo Term Limits group goes hard right

September 24, 2012

The group seeking to put term limits on the West Hollywood municipal ballot in March, 2013, last week enlisted the help of the hard-right wing of the Republican Party.

The WeHo Term Limits group invited Orange County Republican Jon Fleischman’s California Term Limits Political Action Committee (PAC) to put paid signature gatherers on the ground in West Hollywood.

The WeHo Term Limits group wants to be certain it gains enough signatures to qualify their measure for the WeHo municipal election, so has allied itself with Orange County Prop 8 Republicans to flood the city with paid signature gatherers.

The “little read but much feared” right-wing blogger, publisher of the FlashReport, Mr. Fleischman was recently  awarded the Andrew Breitbart award by the Tea Party organization, Americans For Prosperity.

“We’re grateful for the support of California Term Limits to help us qualify our initiative for the ballot in West Hollywood,” said Log Cabin Republican and WeHo Term Limits co-founder Scott Schmidt. 

“Their support is a vote of confidence in our volunteer effort,” he said in a press release.

California Term Limits is funding the NO on 28 anti-term limits push against the initiative that would change term limits.

The new initiative would lengthen term limits to 12 years for both Assembly and Senate, but put a cap of a dozen years on their legislative service.

Jon Fleischman is an Orange County Republican who fought for Prop 8 and publishes a hard right wing blog said to "keep the GOP politicos in line."

The change is meant to smooth over the problems term limits causes governance in California by members seeking their next job.

CA Term Limits PAC says that to change term limits in the State of California undermines their intent.

According to Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Fleischman, “understands that whether it is in West Hollywood or Sacramento, elected officials need an expiration date, or else they lose their focus and ambition and become too cozy with donors and lobbyists.”

“A primary goal of the California Term Limits PAC is to assist with local efforts to qualify and pass term limits at the local government level all around the state,” said Jon Fleischman, President of California Term Limits. 

“West Hollywood is a classic example of where you have a small group of city insiders who have been serving on the council, in most cases, for decades. 

Local politicians and political activists, however, are less than sanguine about the prospect of Republican activists knocking on WeHo doors as paid operatives.

The West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club released a statement slamming the group for hiring Tea Partyers and anti-gay, Prop 8 supporting political operatives to sway the city politic.

Lillian Raffel and WeHo Mayor Jeffrey Prang. Photo courtesy WeHo/Bev Hills Dem Club.

Saying, “The West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club recognizes that reasonable people can differ on the issue of terms limits. The Club has not taken a position against or in favor of the measure.

“However, we are shocked and dismayed that the group, West Hollywood Term Limits, would enter into a strategic alliance with a radical Orange County right-wing Republican and Tea Party leader who was a leading voice in support of Proposition 8: Jon Fleischman and  California Term Limits. 

“[Mr.] Fleischman is an incredibly conservative leader who opposes the values that West Hollywood holds most sacred on issues such as LGBT and other civil rights, the environment, and social justice."

The press release said it “deplored [the] alliance” while urging the WeHo Term Limits group to "un-invite the cadre of Orange County Tea Party activists from being unleashed into our neighborhoods, spreading their message of hate and intolerance.”

The WeHo/Bev Hills Dem club president, Lillian Raffel, said that she finds this development disturbing and undemocratic.

“People should be allowed to vote for whomever they feel would do the best job representing them, whether that person has never held office or has been in office one week or 50 years.

“For the West Hollywood Term Limits folks to associate themselves with a right-wing organization is shameful.”