Will ‘birther’ Taitz be GOP Senate nominee?

May 29th, 2012, 4:42 pm · · posted by Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter

California Republicans face long odds in defeating Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, but they could find themselves with the nation’s best-known longshot nominee.

Not that party leaders would welcome that.

Laguna Niguel attorney and dentist Orly Taitz, one of 14 GOP candidates in the race, has built a reputation on a barrage of lawsuits alleging that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen. She finished a distant second in the 2010 primary for California secretary of state, but the huge Republican field this time means the vote could be split by many – allowing Taitz to win.

“It would be an embarrassment to the party,” said Allan Hoffenblum, a former political director of the California Republican Party. Hoffenblum now handicaps races but is not predicting a GOP winner in this one.

An early poll by another Republican candidate, Al Ramirez, and Taitz’s own polling show her leading the field but within the margin of error. In a field of unknowns, Taitz’s name is well enough known to attract voters – including some who aren’t sure why they’ve heard of her.

Could she ride that phenomenon to victory?

“Of course she could, especially if she’s gets these birthers, who are so intense about their issue,” said Cypress College political scientist Peter Mathews, a Democrat who is running himself in House race. “And she could get votes because her name sounds familiar.”

Republican leaders’ favorite is autism activist Elizabeth Emken, who is endorsed by the state party and led the Republican field’s fundraising with $301,000 as of the most recent reports. Dan Hughes, an Oceanside business owner, is second with $145,000. No other candidate had raised more than $57,000. Taitz was seventh in the GOP field with $14,000.

After the Emken endorsement, the anti-establishment Taitz lashed out, saying, “We have to fight corrupt and spineless party bosses on both sides.”

She again blamed “corrupt party bosses” when Ramirez won the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly.

“The party bosses running the show in both organizations are largely dependent on the marching orders from the ‘Architect,’ Karl Rove,” Taitz wrote on her blog. “He is giving directives to the party bosses to promote different candidates: more obedient, non-controversial women and Hispanics.”

All of the Republicans combined had raised $614,000, a drop in the bucket compared to Feinstein’s $9.3 million.

“Embarrassment and disaster … will befall the party if Orly Taitz becomes the calling card of the GOP in 2012,” Ramirez said in a recent press release.

Will ‘birther’ Taitz be GOP Senate nominee? - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register