Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (right) attended a 2002 news conference with California GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon.
San Francisco Chronicle: Giuliani is wooing California’s conservatives for possible ’08 bid
He’s scheduled to be keynote speaker for state GOP convention
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a moderate Republican and possible presidential candidate, is working to strengthen his hand in California by scheduling a high-profile appearance and quietly gathering support from some of the state’s staunchest conservatives.
State GOP board members were informed by party officials last week that Giuliani is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the state Republican Party convention in February in Sacramento, sources said.
That appearance will catapult what was expected to be a fairly routine GOP gathering into a national event — and is almost certain to ramp up the increasingly active parade of presidential hopefuls of both parties coming to California to court donors in a state viewed as the wealthiest source of campaign cash.
Giuliani, called “America’s mayor” after his formidable performance in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, already has established a camaraderie with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — a Republican in the same moderate, bipartisan mold who also supports gay rights, abortion rights and stem cell research.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (C) speaks at a news conference as he is joined by Californiaâ€™s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca (R) in Santa Monica, California, August 17, 2006, urging California voters to support Proposition 83, Jessicaï¿½s Law on the November 2006 ballot. Proposition 83 calls for electronically monitoring sex offenders for life via a GPS system as well as allowing prosecutors to charge criminals who posses child pornography with a felony.
The fact that Mayor Giuliani is the KEYNOTE speaker at the California GOP organization meeting in Sacramento means that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed onto the Giuliani presidental campaign.
The Governator may not overtly endorse Giuliani over Senator John McCain but this event clearly shows the Governor’s hand.
Moreover, the Giuliani campaign has been courting other California conservative activists, like Bill Simon for fundraising
Simon has been a longtime friend of Giuliani, and worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York under Giuliani, who was then the U.S. attorney.
Simon was on Wall Street and at breakfast with Giuliani on Sept. 11, 2001, when two planes hit the World Trade Center at the start of a terrorist attack that killed about 3,000 people.
Simon — who was traveling Friday and could not be reached for comment — has been tapped to help Giuliani with fundraising in California, GOP sources said.
and….. Steve Frank for liason to conservative grassroots organizations like the California Republican Assembly (CRA) and evangelicals:
Frank, a former consultant to Simon and a conservative who publishes the California Political News & Views newsletter, and has been a harsh critic of Schwarzenegger on the right — but he confirmed last week that he also will be supporting Giuliani’s effort.
Frank said the former New York mayor is in the best position to take the White House in 2008 against a roster of potential Democratic challengers who include New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and even Al Gore, the Democrats’ 2000 presidential nominee.
While conservatives may have differences with Giuliani on social policies, Frank said, “I have no differences with a guy who, as mayor, cut or eliminated 23 different taxes, and dramatically cut crime in New York. … Like Ronald Reagan, agree or disagree, he will look you in the eye and say, ‘This is where I stand.’ There’s a trust factor.”
But several Giuliani supporters are eyeing a front-loaded primary calendar that could have big states like Florida and New Jersey – where social issues are not so weighty and security is a major concern – vote earlier, a move that is seen as beneficial to him.
If states like Jersey – where a move is afoot to move the primary to early February 2008 – and Florida hold their votes earlier, it could diminish the impact of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, both of which are dominated by social conservatives. McCain, who won New Hampshire in the 2000 election, is leading polls there.
But, where do the Democrats who control the California Assembly and Senate by large electoral margins weigh into GOP politics?
To help Hillary Clinton?
To help ease term limits with a concomitant redistricting proposal?
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