Manchurian Candidate for Lt. Governor?—Cole Harris—who? Editorial by Stephen Frank

As many of my readers know, I have been involved in politics since 1960—started by walking precincts for Nixon.  I have seen ideologically driven candidates, power hungry candidates, folks that wanted the “bright life”—wine, women and power (in todays world it is also wine, men and power—think Christina Garcia).  Many have studied the issues, been activists, and donated tons of money to candidates and causes.  Some folks have an issue agenda, others want to make a difference.

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Then you have the Manchurian Candidates—people who have never been involved, never took a public stand on issues, never attended meetings, never involved in government—but they have so much money, why not spend a few million and get your name on the ballot.

Who controls them?  Who is behind them?  Why won’t they speak to you , your club or Central Committee?  The “Manchurian Candidate” was a 1959 book and early 1960’s  movie about an individual who was brainwashed—we do not know if Cole Harris is brainwashed, power hungry, an ideologue (and what his ideology is) a Tim Donnelly or Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican—or a Democrat registered as a Republican.

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

Manchurian Candidate for Lt. Governor?—Cole Harris—who?

Editorial by Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 5/2/18


A few months ago I noticed that a “Cole Harris” was running as a Republican for Lt. Governor.  He appeared to be very rich.  But, after 58 years of working in politics I never heard of him.  I called some friends around the State.  No one else heard of him.  So, I did what I normally do, I called him—at his financial services company.  I called several times.  Never got a return call.

On April 18. 2018 I saw a short story in “WhatMatters” by Dan Morain in which he noted he also tried to talk with Cole Harris—to no avail—no return calls, no aide calling to say sorry the Candidate had no time to talk to journalists.

Then I went to his website to see where he stood on pension reform, cutting taxes, sanctuary cities, the issues of the day.  This is  a sample of what I found:

“Jobs and the Economy

  • Cole Harris will promote a climate that builds consensus between state government and private enterprise to foster economic growth in California.
  • Cole Harris is an international business owner and leader who has created hundreds of direct jobs, and thousands of indirect jobs in California.
  • Cole Harris will pursue eliminating red tape for small businesses.
  • Cole Harris will bring together the best and brightest entrepreneurs in California to create well-paying, sustainable jobs”

Except for the personal history this could have also been said by Travis Allen or Gavin Newsom—nothing specific, nothing to stand out from the crowd.

This was punctuated for me by his TV ads.  He is proud he was born here, wants his kids to have it as good as he had it.  Then as Lt. Governor work to “unite” all Californians.  Seriously, with a straight face—not even a mention of a single issue—just wants to unite us.  Name a candidate for dog catcher to President that doesn’t want to unite us.  President George W. Bush ran as a “uniter”, but he also had position on issues as well.

This weekend we are going to be asked as delegates to the California Republican Party to vote to endorse Cole Harris for Lt. Governor—a “pig in a poke” as they say in the South.  An Arnold Republican or a McClintock Republican—or a Republican at all?  Yes he donated, after all these years about $15,000 to GOP candidates—a man that put in $2 million of his own money in the Manchurian campaign—was a nickel and dime donor, at his level of assets.

The East County of Ventura has a similar type candidate, our own “Manchurian Candidate”, running for Board of Supervisors, but in this case he did speak on one subject–at a recent speech to the Simi Valley Womens Fed, Andy Waters, a farmer, owner and partner in eight farms in Moorpark, announced he has 1800 farm workers–of which according to him, “many do not have documents”.  Then he asked the women to keep that information “in the room”.  Waters has never been involved in campaigns, claims he is personally going to spend $250,000 to get elected.  Until his appearance at the Womens Fed, he had never attended a GOP meeting.  He claims to be a conservative, but bragged about hiring hundreds of illegals aliens.  BTW, I have a video of him saying this, and more, plus a transcript of his speech.  Manchurian Candidate, or just someone who wants to see his name on the ballot.  Wealthy like Harris, until yesterday, 35 days from the election, no mail pieces.  Spending $250,000 in 35 days in a District with 91,000 voters–of which in the primary maybe 35% will vote?  He wants to buy an election, just like Cole Harris–the other Manchurian Candidate.

What is wrong with Prop. 14, the “Top Two”?  It creates candidates that never existed in public policy or politics before.  It creates people with lots of money and no background in government to run for office, thinking that in the land of blindness a one eyed man is King.

Please if anyone has actually met Cole Harris, let me know his position on sanctuary cities, how he would solve the pension crisis, what he would do about high taxes—not just say they are too high.

Cole, I am sure your campaign team knows how to reach Dan Morain or me.  Here is a hint, my cell phone is 805-795-1271.  Call me—but if you do, I will ask the hard questions.  See you in San Diego.




About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. this is a good example of why the top two should be repealed

  2. bruceBoyer says

    David Hernandez is the Republican running. I have campaigned with him over a decade and a half. He walks the walk. He is a real 100% Republican. Wish that all were. He has earned my support. As a candidate for Ventura County Sheriff, I am proud to endorse David Hernandez.

  3. askeptic says

    Today, we obsess over the possibility of “Manchurian Candidates”;
    soon, if the Progs have their way, we will all be Manchurian’s, or at least look longingly at what real Manchurian’s have in contrast to the deprivation and poverty that will be the lot of Californians.

  4. Timothy Foley says

    You just described someone wanting to be moderate and not a hate filled trumpster.

  5. GoldenCA says

    I’m backing David Hernandez. This Mr. Nobody bought out the endorsement from CAGOP….

  6. showandtell says

    There is definitely something fishy about this candidate. First, the suspicious leftist buzzwords: “consensus,” “sustainable,” “partnering.” Then there is the vagueness. Then there is the support of state boondoggles such as CIRM (Cal Institute of Regenerative Medicine) and Ocean Protection Council. Look these up and ask yourself why they are “dear to his heart”. Listen to him (a rare appearance) on Larry Marino’s Sunday morning show on KRLA which recently covered the CAGOP convention and see what you think:
    I agree with others here who recommend a vote for David Hernandez.

  7. I am on a conference call with him right now during a Live Telephone Town Hall. He is answering all questions posed to him and is quite knowledgeable regarding economic and job growth. He has a position on Sanctuary Cities, Immigration, Taxes, Job Growth just to name a few.

    • showandtell says

      Yeah, I received that robocall invite too. Is that campaigning? I guess it is these days. Whatever. Look, I don’t have a dog in this race, but sometimes candidates with no history in politics or discernible reason for running are pushed in front of us and we as voters MUST be skeptical of them. It might be that one or two special interest issues prized by the CA establishment or opposition are hidden within the boilerplate platitudes and this explains the candidate’s presence.
      Listen to the CAGOP convention radio interview in my post above and judge for yourself. The candidate says literally NOTHING of substance. Why? Why squander this opportunity to let the electorate know why you are running, what you stand for, and what you hope to do for Californians?

  8. Nice job

  9. You were 100% wrong about President Trump and you’re 100% wrong about Travis Allen. I struggle with you site at times you seem like a conservative but I know that not to be true. Cox sucks We need to now work on getting rid of the RINO’s in California…..cough cough Steve.

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