Dana Rohrabacher – The Last Reaganite Battles the “Resistance,” George Soros and Never Trump

Dana and ReaganOne early morning in the Spring of 1966, Ronald Reagan walked out the front door of his home at 1669 San Onofre Drive in Pacific Palisades. Wearing pajamas, bathrobe and shaving cream on his half-shaved face his purpose was to find the morning paper. He also found a young fan who became a lifelong friend, supporter and co-worker – Dana Rohrabacher.

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Dana had spent most of the night camped out on Reagan’s front lawn, determined to save the newly formed “Youth for Reagan.” The gray beards in the gubernatorial campaign had determined that having an official youth arm would be too much trouble and ordered it disbanded. Rohrabacher, then chairman of Los Angeles Harbor College Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), was determined to save it.

Happily, Reagan was chairman of the California YAF Advisory Board, knew of the effective campus activism of its members and agreed with Dana that an energized youth arm would be an asset to his campaign. A few days later the campaign’s elders mysteriously changed their mind and reinstated the youth operation – staffed mainly by YAF members and serving as a huge recruiting tool for YAF throughout the campaign.

This was just the first of many times through the years that the Reagan-Rohrabacher collaboration worked together to accomplish good things. From Dana’s work in the ’76 and ’80 presidential campaigns to his seven years as a Special Assistant and speech writer in the Reagan White House to his clandestine trip to Afghanistan to help the anti-communist Mujahedeen to his career as one of the most reliably conservative, Reaganesque members of Congress it has always been clear that Dana and the Gipper had the equivalent of the Vulcan mind meld.

This has not gone un-noticed by friend or foe. Dana’s political profile – among other things lifetime ratings of 95% from the American Conservative Union, 97% from the National Tax Limitation Committee and A+ from the NRA – has long put him at the top of the Left’s enemies list. This year, energized by the “resistance” movement and funded by admitted former Nazi George Soros, the far left sees its chance to get revenge. Soros is spending millions of dollars in California to elect candidates who will implement his far-left ideas.

Concentrating on congressional and district attorney races, Soros is replacing the Left’s pink “pussy hats” with his green financial resources. Laundering money through various front groups and PACs he has helped target congressional seats in Orange County currently held by conservatives. Taking down Dana is at the top of the Left’s wish list.

Sadly it is also at the top of the wish lists of some Never Trump die-hards and a political huckster named Scott Baugh. As I wrote previously, Baugh is a former legislator, former lobbyist and full time self-promoter. He doesn’t talk much about his legislative career, and with good reason. The two “achievements” that stand out are his vote in favor of giving illegal aliens “in state” tuition to the U.C. System and twisting arms in the Assembly so other Republicans would join him in supporting the disastrous 1999 “pension spiking” legislation. That bill today is bankrupting cities and has left the state with hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. Thanks, Scott.

Neither does he talk about his public promises of two years not to run against Dana and to refund contributor’s already-given contributions. He has done neither, so on top of everything else, Baugh is also a liar. We have enough of his kind of creature in the D.C. swamp already.

Unable to talk about his own record, his campaign against Rohrabacher has been scurrilous, duplicitous and truth challenged. Given Baugh’s refusal to be photographed with President Trump during a recent presidential Orange County visit, it is not surprising that his campaign is receiving support from local “Never Trump” bitter-enders. These folks thought the country would be better off with Hillary Clinton as president. They now think the country would be better off with Scott Baugh in Congress. As John Wayne said, “Life is hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.”

Baugh’s main critique of Dana is that he hasn’t passed enough bills during his time in Congress. Baugh may not know that when Obama left office there were 95,894 pages in the Federal Registrar. Because of President Trump’s regulation cutting and Dana Rohrabacher’s refusal to add new laws solely for the purpose of “doing something,” the number of pages has been reduced to a mere 61,950. Baugh thinks it’s the duty of congressmen to endlessly add more pages. Donald Trump add Dana Rohrabacher think 61,950 is still too many, but at least headed in the right direction.

Unlike Baugh, President Trump and Rohrabacher agree with Barry Goldwater, who in “Conscience of a Conservative” wrote: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” Someone needs to send Baugh a copy of “Conscience” and explain that passing more laws is in neither the conscience nor definition of a conservative.

A common question about Baugh’s campaign is “why now?” It is widely believed that this will be Dana’s final re-election. His service to the conservative movement, the Republican Party and the country have more than earned him the right to retire on his own timetable. Millions of dollars will be spent in this race that could have been saved for the November battles against the Democrats. Why? GOP activists have been divided. Why? Why can’t Baugh do the decent, honorable thing and wait until 2020?

Because of a diminutive, conservative tiger named Michelle Park Steel. A member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Korean by birth, Steel is wildly popular with both the GOP rank and file and the county’s Asian community – which just happens to be the fastest growing demographic group.

She has become a major leader in the statewide pushback against the insane “sanctuary” state and city laws. There are now 40 cities and 10 counties officially resisting the state’s “all criminal illegals welcome” sanctuary policy. She was at the White House last week meeting with President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to brief them on the burgeoning anti-sanctuary movement she is helping to empower.

Steel would obliterate Baugh in a 2020 primary election, and that is why he cannot do what even he and his most fervid supporters must know in their heart of hearts is the right thing – wait for two years. Personal ambition apparently trumps all in Baugh-world.

Dana’s and my mutual friend Ed Meese is likely the proper owner of the “last Reaganite” title, but Dana can easily claim it for members of Congress. From the half-shaven candidate meeting the teen-aged acolyte on the front lawn grew a lifelong association that spanned decades – on the campaign trail, in the White House, on Air Force One, at State of the Union speeches and so much more.

I know these are memories Dana cherishes, as the last Reaganite fights on. He is in a two-front war against the Soros-funded “resistance” and the blind ambition of a conservative poseur with a campaign fueled by Republicans who still hate President Trump. Orange county was pivotal in launching Ronald Reagan’s political career. County voters who want to win one more for the Gipper have an opportunity to do so – by re-electing Dana Rohrabacher.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.


  1. Really??? says

    Politics is politics…. regardless where it is.

    He has not presented or had passed enough bills therefore he is not qualified? Unfortunately both parties play this game. Republicans instead of looking at merit based upon rational outcomes play the same game far too often because it would draw from a constitute money base.

    The Democrat players do the same thing but they depend on Utopian concepts and sell them without rational merit.

    Why do Dem’s seem to win so often? Because their deep pockets are willing to fund a shotgun approach to see what sticks. The Republican side says “but” and then refuse to fight for smaller government outside of the Boardroom.

    Talk to most people about how they run their lives and wallets and then tie them to government spending and the Conservative side wins far more then the tax and spenders. Wake up … just because a concept is outside of the establishment (Regan) doesn’t mean it is doomed.

    Don’t grasp defeat out of the mouth of Victory.

  2. Dennis Johnson says

    Dana is a conservative warrior. Shame on Baugh for letting blind ambition over rule good sense.

  3. Jerry Todd says

    Cultural Democrats

    I told a group at a parish meeting last night that one problem we Catholics have is too many have morphed into cultural Democrats – including clergy. It was the Democrat Party that worked with Pope St. Leo XIII to bring humane working conditions into the thriving Industrial Revolution. Unions grew out of that, but slowly became mob or communist run.

    That was over 120 years ago, and few, except men like Ronald Reagan, the only union leader to become President, JFK Transition Team member, Morton Downey, Jr. left when Jimmy Carter wouldn’t take a stand against abortion. Both said they didn’t leave the Party, the Party left them.

    They have no idea how much more the Party has left the current loyalists. Reagan’s reasons were mild compared to the radical progressive – communist – eugenic – feminist mess the Party is today.

    Thank God for Donald Trump draining the Swamp over the “Resistance” of the rage of the demons of hell which have the ear of traitors from both parties.

  4. Matthew Cunningham says

    The fact that Scott did not vote for SB 400 (the bill you reference in your article that he supported), the fact that Scott did not twist any arms for the passage of SB 400, and the fact that nobody has done more to fight the abuses of SB 400 than Scott tells me all I need to know about your entire article. It is filled with lies.

    In fact, Scott has endured great pain from Public Employee Unions for refusing to support Republican candidates who take money from them. Sure, some Republicans could take their money and vote against them but most do not. Many Republicans were taking the money from the unions and then voting for pay raises. Scott was courageous in this fight.

    Bill, it would have taken you less than a minute on Google to see that Scott did not support SB 400. Presumably, this line was fed to you and you repeated it unquestioningly. That’s your credibility taking the hit.

    As for your attempt to use the classic “Conscience of a Conservative” to defend Rohrabacher’s inertness as a legislator: how do you propose to reduce the size of government absent legislation? It’s terrific that President Trump is undoing the Obama regulatory legacy by slashing the Federal Register – which is also a reminder that the next Democratic president re-start the executive regulatory regime.

    Permanence in the rollback of the Leviathan takes Congressional action. It takes legislation. And that takes members of Congress who have the capacity and ability to pass legislation. Otherwise, the federal government will just continue to grow.

    It’s a shame you didn’t stick with defending Rohrabacher’s record, such as it is. You demean yourself with the false and scurrilous personal attacks against Scott Baugh.

    • Sorry, Matthew, but your defense of Baugh doesn’t come near to justifying his poaching actions within a badly challenged Republican Party. What your guy is doing is monstrous, and he should be ashamed of himself. I sincerely hope that enough pro-Trump (or at least the superb Trump policies & judicial picks) Republicans will vote for Mr. Rorabacher, whose legacy and lifetime of support for Reagan and his conservative policies that Mr. Baugh will be left in the dust.

      • Bill Saracino says

        Matt – you’re a good man, but in this instance also a flack – doing what you’re paid for, even though your responses bear little relation to reality. Ginny Sand says it very well, but there are a couple of additional points that need to be made.
        In re: the pension spiking bill, I spoke to both members and staff who were in the Capitol at the time – all of whom had the same story of Scott twisting arms to get votes for the bill.
        In re: Dana not introducing enough bills, the same criticism was constantly leveled at John Lewis and Dennis Brown, so I assume you would have supported primary challenges to them.
        You avoid the central question about Scott’s campaign – which is “why?” Why not wait 2 years when the seat will be vacant? Why cause millions of GOP dollars to be spent against other Republicans, when those dollars should be saved to use against the Democrats in the fall? Why cause divisions and wounds – many of which will be long lasting – among the conservative rank and file? We all know the answer – because Scott is afraid of Michelle Steel, The honorable thing would have been for Scott to keep his promises of two years ago and not run. Shame on him for putting personal ambition above the good of the conservative movement, the GOP and the country.

  5. Go Dana!

    That’s all I have to say.

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