Reps at RNC give their opinions on Palin

Chuck DeVore and Tom Harman have stayed in California, while Van Tran is in Minnesota, ‘on a short leash.’

September 02, 2008|By Alan Blank

A few notable local Republicans have shipped out to Minnesota to attend the Republican National Convention this week to see presumptive vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin speak and participate in a variety of other functions.

Even though California still doesn’t have a budget, Assemblyman Van Tran went to the Twin Cities as a delegate, while fellow state politicians Sen. Tom Harman and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore stayed home. Tran said that even though the budget is a pressing concern, he is not on the budgetary committee and therefore not intimately involved in drafting it; when one is drafted, he will return to vote.

“I’m in constant communication with my Sacramento office, so I’m on a short leash,” he said. “Once we have something to vote on, I’m on a plane.”


DeVore stayed behind to attend a budget hearing today and continue negotiations.

“My highest priority is getting a budget passed in California that does not include tax increases,” DeVore said. “I really need to make sure I stay in California and am a part of the solution that makes that happen.”

Although he couldn’t be there, DeVore’s mother is attending as a member of the rules committee. He said she is giving him daily updates on the happenings at the convention.

The talk of the convention so far has been the controversial selection of Alaska Gov. Palin as Sen. John McCain’s running mate.

Costa Mesa City Council candidate and Republican activist Jim Righeimer, who flew out Tuesday to watch Palin speak, said that although he was hoping Mitt Romney would get the spot, he has warmed to Palin.

“I think when the public looks at her I think they see their sister, their cousin, their relative running for V.P.,” Righeimer said.

Tran echoed these sentiments. He said the news made by Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, who is having a baby out of wedlock, is “more of a sideshow for gossip columnists than anything else.”

“She speaks a language common people understand and has problems like everyone else,” Tran said.

Scott Baugh, chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, is also at the convention.

ALAN BLANK may be reached at (714) 966-4623 or at

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