There's a Grand Old Party going down in Indian Wells this weekend as California Republicans meet for their biannual state party convention.
As colleague Jack Chang reports in today's Bee, Republicans are hoping opposition to President Barack Obama's health care proposal and continuing concerns over the economy will rev up Republicans in the run-up to the 2010 election.
"What's unique and exciting about this convention is the party now has a lot of momentum going into next year," Brent Lowder, the California Republican Party's chief operating officer, says in today's story. "This convention is going to be a nice focal point to take that momentum out there as seen in town halls on health care and channel it into 2010 in victories for the Republican Party."
All three GOP gubernatorial hopefuls are scheduled to speak, with former Rep. Tom Campbell taking the stage today, followed by speeches from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Saturday.
Other familiar names on the speakers' schedule include GOP legislative leaders Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee and Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth; state Sens. Jeff Denham and Sam Aanestad, both candidates for lieutenant governor; Assemblyman and U.S. Senate hopeful Chuck DeVore; as well as Rep. Mary Bono Mack, state Sen. George Runner and Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes.
Now, back to today's happenings:
The governor will start the day at Southern California's Twentynine Palms Marine Base at a signing ceremony for AB 717 , a bill to designate a day honoring Vietnam veterans. This isn't the first time Schwarzenegger's pen has touched the proposal -- he vetoed an identical measure a few weeks ago because he was unhappy with the speed of end-of-session progress on top issues such as prisons and water.
The bill's author, Republican Assemblyman Paul Cook, who said before he was "ready to go to war" over the vetoed bill, will join Schwarzenegger for his John Hancock photo-op.