Let Republicans Decide Who’ll Run

* Prof. Mark Petracca’s letter regarding Bruce Herschensohn’s potential bid for south Orange County’s 47th Congressional District (“We Don’t Need a Carpetbagger in House Seat,” Sept. 12) contained several misleading accusations.

He complains that Tom Fuentes’ invitation to Herschensohn to enter the primary is somehow undemocratic. This is nonsense. Anyone can ask anyone to enter a primary. As the elected chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, it is Fuentes’ function to recruit viable candidates. Petracca’s accusation that Fuentes is circumventing the primary system is ridiculous. Herschensohn must still run in the primary, and qualified candidates are free to oppose him.

It is interesting that Petracca quotes James Madison in his diatribe against carpetbagging.

As Petracca taught me in his classes, it was Madison, the father of the Constitution, who is responsible for the constitutional requirements that make carpetbagging legal.


In his letter, Petracca asks the question: “Whatever happened to the idea of the people deciding who is the most magnificent candidate the party could offer the people of Orange County?” Herschensohn, if he runs, cannot hide his residence status. Knowing his policies, he will probably promise to vote in the best interests of the nation, not the district (a policy Petracca hopes term limits will promote).

However, if, aware of this, the citizens of the 47th District still think Herschensohn is “the most magnificent candidate,” then he should represent them in Congress.

As a potential constituent, I prefer the carpetbagging Herschensohn to any longtime resident on the horizon. I certainly do not appreciate Petracca, a member of the Democratic Party, complaining about who should run in a Republican primary.