To be a Golden Bear of the California Republican Party is to give $10,000 (regular membership) or $25,000 (founder) to the party. The mood Saturday was ebullient as the Bears gathered at the Sheraton Grand for cocktails and lunch with administration officials and members of Congress.
"It's California, it's our era still," said founder Parker Montgomery, chairman of Cooper Laboratories Inc. "We want to keep the momentum going. We just want the East to realize we're here to stay!"
"We've had a great leader in Ronald Reagan, but now we've got to start building for the future -- no, make that have a great leader," said the group's co-finance chairman, Randy Stockwell, president of Community Bank. Founder Hendy Henderson Jr., president of Henderson Investment, said there is great spirit in the party, even though "we have a terrible gerrymander in California . We only elected 18 out of 45 congressmen, although more than 50 percent of the vote was Republican."
Guests included Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.), the former mayor of San Diego; Comptroller of the Currency Todd Conover; the Secretary of Energy-designate, John Herrington; and Clinton Dan McKinnon, chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and his wife Janice.
McKinnon said he is now, in fact, unemployed. "I came here three years ago to close down the CAB, which I did Dec. 31. It was the first government regulatory agency ever closed." He smiled and added: "Which is in line with the president's philosophy."