San Francisco Republican Party Chair Harmeet Dhillon made history over the weekend. She became the first woman to be elected vice chair of the state GOP. A practicing Sikh of Indian descent, she endured several racial slurs during the course of her campaign. We talk to Dhillon about her unusual career — including a stint as a board member with the ACLU — her vision for the party, and her experiences as a Republican in San Francisco.

Guests:
Harmeet Dhillon, vice chair of the California Republican Party, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party and attorney at Dhillon & Smith LLP

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    I was so offended when the Republican woman from Southern California said some horrid racist things about Ms. Dhillon and wonder when will the Republican party insist that the homophobic, racist, sexist and religious nonsense that seems to have taken over the party…STOP!
    Was a registered Republican for years and am now an Independent.

    • thucy

      “…wonder when will the Republican party insist that the homophobic, racist, sexist and religious nonsense that seems to have taken over the party…STOP! ”

      Beth, “racist, homophobic, sexist and religious nonsense” has been the GOP’s nearly official policy for the last, oh, 32 years since Reagan took office.

      It didn’t occur to you until some good-looking, fairly pale Sikh Republican lady got the sharp end of their racist cat’s paw?

    • willcommentforfood

      Beth, good for you to leave the Republican Party, but you should realize they have NEVER performed in your interest. That very notion of doing something beneficial for others is considered to be a sin by the Republican Party.

  • geraldfnord

    I might vote for a decent Republican at the local or state level, but not (as things stand) the national level, where they would inevitably assist and make more powerful the retrograde, plutocratic, blinkered, and theocratic majority in the national party.

    • willcommentforfood

      The Republican party’s core principles are bad, and their candidates have repeatedly destroyed the country. They are NEVER worthy of your vote.

  • Chris OConnell

    “Escape from Socialism… Lower taxes, less regulation…” Yawn, yawn, yawn.

  • Guest

    (comment at wrong position in thread)

  • thucy

    this Dhillon character is hysterically funny! Her ultra-consevative family was proud to be friends with the incredibly racist Jesse Helms, yet she joins the board of the ACLU post-9/11 to defend her ethnic group.

    Contradiction, much?

  • Guest

    Citing Jesse Helms as an inspiration speaks volumes.

  • Chris OConnell

    She is against federalizing everything but when asked about climate change, she says it is not a state issue!

  • thucy

    Dhillon on climate change:
    “there’s science at both sides of the issue.”

    No, Madame Dhillon, there’s legitimate scientific analysis on one side, there’s industry on the other.

  • John

    It’s not the “Democrat Party,” it’s the “Democratic Party.” You shouldn’t let your guest engage in this sort of childishness without calling her on it.

    • thucy

      eh, hardly an issue for this Democrat, I’m more concerned about the fact that my party has so betrayed its core Democratic values that the only thing it seems to stand for anymore is the missing “-ic” appending “Democrat”.

      • John

        I agree with you that the party has betrayed its core principles. But I’m really sick of the childishness, snideness and frat-boy smugness that’s become emblematic of Republicans.

        • thucy

          i hear you, John, but you see where that’s getting them. Still, I’d be enjoying my schadenfreude right now a little more if my party could find its nuts.

          • John

            I share your schadenfreude . . .

  • Barry Bruins

    Disappointed that Michael didn’t push her on the “there’s science on both sides” without getting her view on global climate change.

    • thucy

      to be fair, I was VERY impressed that Krasny called her on her attempt to deny that the racist attacks on her came from her own party’s officials.

  • Guest

    Citing Jesse Helms as an inspiration speaks volumes.

  • Mood_Indigo

    As a registered Democrat and a fiscal conservative and social liberal, I wish Ms. Dhillion can help revive the Republican Party in this state by reining in the Orange County right wing nuts in her party. If The GoP got rid of the Christian conservatives, social reactionary nuts, and add true conservationists, I would consider switching parties.

    As a Hindu-American, I applaud Ms. Dhillion for not abandoning her Sikh heritage unlike Ms. Nikki Haley.

    • thucy

      “I wish Ms. Dhillion can help revive the Republican Party in this state by reining in the Orange County right wing nuts in her party….”

      I… wouldn’t be holding my breath on that particular wish. You’re going to have to wait for a lot of older white folk to expire in their mashed potatoes before Orange County changes.

    • willcommentforfood

      I didn’t hear any moderation from her, only a facade over the same extremism of her party. If that’s her approach, not to change her party, her party won’t change. You should be ashamed of yourself to even think of voting for that party that is a cesspool of extremism, bigotry, and economic OPPRESSION.

  • Blaming unions for the problems of this state is absurd. People trying to support their family off of a five-figure salary are not the people sapping the wealth.

    • thucy

      Sam, there’s a serious problem with the police, prison, and nursing unions, which serve their own bloated salaries and overtime over the needs of the people. There’s also a serious problem with non-unionized banksters doing the same thing. No reason not to call them all out on it.

      • Call out those unions, but not “unions” in general. Most unions are good.

        Also, the problem with nursing isn’t the nurses union but the arcane and byzantine nursing credential system and the hospitals who employ them. I don’t see the nurses union as the same as police or prison unions at all.

        • thucy

          I don’t equate the CNA with the police and prison unions, however, I disagree that it is not a major part of the current healthcare dysfunction.

          Am I happy that nurses are well compensated? YES! Long time coming. Am I disappointed that the CNA hasn’t been more critical of our FOR-PROFIT healthcare system? YES!

          • willcommentforfood

            You must be joking– the CNA are the people who put single payer on the ballot in CA multiple times, if anything, the CNA is to the left of the ACA– makes me doubt any of your comments are informed.

    • thucy

      Sam,
      the average income for SFPD in 2010 was $130,000. That ain’t no five figures. Meantime, unionized teachers were holding bake sales to buy pencils and paper because the SFUSD schools and teaching salaries are being bled dry… cuz the cops hogged all the cash.
      Not all unions are created equal. Some are good, some are downright BAD.

      • Police and prison unions are uniquely harmful for a variety of reasons. Most unions do not have the kind of unquestioned support from municipal and state governments that police and prison unions get

        • thucy

          I could not agree more, Sam. I am otherwise strongly pro-union. But as a former health care worker (Go, Team Healthcare Industrial Complex!) I’ve grown skeptical about the CNA.

  • Jeff Gerbracht

    Citing Ann Coulter as a friend speaks volumes.

  • Guest

    Not a party that stifles dissent??? You’re kidding right? Tell that to Rand Paul.

    • pastramiboy

      my only issue is that Rand Paul needs to be stifled, by everyone.

      • Guest

        I meant to say Ron Paul (as I do in a corrected post above), but thank you for underscoring my point with your own political bigotry.

        • pastramiboy

          yes as far as Rand Paul goes, i am a bigot. He is a poor excuse for a senator-his poor ideas on many many subjects makes me yearn for an intelligent sensible Republican. It is senators like Dr. paul that make effective governance and compromise impossible.

  • Chris OConnell

    Wow, that Southern caller… what a treat.

    • willcommentforfood

      “Yayuh, them unions, I done resent them ’cause they so entahtled, they paid moh than mah minimum wage.”

  • Ramona C

    Last I checked India was a democracy….Citing Jesse Helms….egads and being recruited by the rebub party….sad you chose to pony up as their TOOL to dupe women and minorities.

  • Guest

    Ron Paul, who ran a respectable campaign, wasn’t even accorded the courtesy of letting his delegates have a voice at the convention. And your guest can say with an apparently straight face that the Republicans are not a party that stifles dissent?? Ha.

  • Louise Drinkwater Christy

    What an articulate and intelligent person. I hope she has a strong influence on the GOP both in the state and nationally. Perhaps with leadership like this we can finally get some sanity into the party.

    • Chris OConnell

      Did you listen to the program?

    • pastramiboy

      yeah, did you listen? this person was legitimately crazy-proud of her family’s association with Jesse Helms? WTF?

  • Selostaja

    When she said Obama was the cause of the problems, I stopped taking her seriously.

    • thucy

      he’s not the cause, merely the continuation

  • thucy

    I have to admire Ms. Dhillon’s strategy.

    Were she in the Democratic Party, she’d be one fish in a sea of ethnic diversity.

    Positioning herself in the GOP makes her stand out like a cinnamon stick in a bowl of tapioca – and at just the moment that the reality that white folk are demographically becoming a minority has been recognized as the GOP’s greatest vulnerability.

  • Just heard Harmeet on NPR. How in hell did someone this gifted ever get elected to anything in California? I left the state years ago when it became apparent I would forever be in the (frustrated) minority there.

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