Who Is Charles Munger, Jr.?

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Undermine a conservative? I can write a check for that.

So, just who is Charles Munger, Jr., the bow-tied source of a blizzard of money that has blanketed California politics, and Republican politics, in particular?

Professionally, Munger is a physicist by education and employment.   He received a Ph.D in Physics from Stanford University, and plies that trade at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center., But that isn’t where he came to his great wealth.

Politically, he is a Republican of the moderate persuasion, and chairman of the Santa Clara County Republican Party of Silicon Valley (Is that anything like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Is there another Santa Clara County Republican Party?).

Biographically, he is the son and namesake of Charles Munger, Sr., “an American business magnate, lawyer, investor, and philanthropist.”

Charles, Sr. is, to put it mildly, fabulously rich. Like, “rich as Croesus rich.  He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet is the chairman) with an estimated net worth of $1 billion dollars, which is why Jr. is so rich: the apple didn’t fall far from the family money tree (except that Sr. made his money whereas Jr. had it handed to him).

It would be an understatement to say Munger Jr. makes a lot of political contributions. According to California Watch, between 2000 and 2011, he made political contributions totaling $14,093,488.

But that was just a warm-up. Since january 1, 2012, Munger has plowed $42,698,795 into his political projects.

Literally, a mountain of money.

Munger, Jr. would maintain he is trying to build a Republican Party that can compete in California. Or to re-structure California politics so that the state GOP can be competitive. Maybe both.

A compelling case can be made, and will be made right here, that the application of the Munger Jr. bankroll has accomplished the opposite. Munger’s successes have actually diminished the party.

Proposition 20, his attempt to create a fair re-districting process, would up creating a “non-political” citizens redistricting committee that the Democrats had no problem politicizing and imposing legislative and congressional districts that helped Democrats and hurt Republicans.

Another big idea was to replace the traditional primary system where political parties chose their own nominees with the jungle primary system used in Louisiana, in which the top-two vote getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

In its first outing last year, Munger’s scheme led to several November races in which limited party resources were wasted in general election battles between Republican candidates in districts that were going to elect Republican anyway — and correspondingly starving resources from competitive races.

While Munger’s top-two folly wasn’t the sole reason in Republican ills last November, it has created tilted an already-uphill playing field even more steeply against Republicans.

In last year’s primary, Munger — an elected county GOP chairman, mind you — spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat an incumbent Republican Assemblyman (Allan Mansoor). Quite an accomplishment for an elected county Republican chairman.

We could go on. And we will in the weeks and months ahead.

An important question on the mind of many California Republican activists is whether they agree with all or some of Munger’s goals? For some, especially current and potential candidates, it’s a more practical consideration than philosophy.

We are in favor of an informed debate on the outsize role this single individual is playing in determining the destiny of the party. Those who cast their lot with him should do so knowing who they are allying with — and other party leaders and activists should have the same awareness of who those individuals are.

8 thoughts on “Who Is Charles Munger, Jr.?

  1. Pingback: Meet Harmeet | The Munger Games

  2. Peyton Nander

    I find this article to be ill informed at the least.

    1st – Redistricting – if not for the left leaning commission Republicans would have had the far left leaning democrat legislature gerrymander Republicans away.

    2nd – Open-Primary – yes some Republican wasted some of their raised money (and some IE money) in battling each other – the Democrats had 2.5 times as many races were there were wasting their money against each other.

    Mr. Munger spent money the last cycle against Prop 30 tax increases, for Prop 32 (curbing union power), for Republican Party Voter Registration (financing the vast majority of what the Republicans did) and some targeted IE efforts. The first three of these things (which was the vast amount of his spending) was instrumential in funding the core efforts of Republicans in 2012. And they have nothing to do with moderate or conservative – they are good for Republicans.

    So why would we throw arrows at the only one spending large sums of money to help Republicans win CA again? And who cares where he got his money or not – the point is it is his and he is spending his to help us all.

    That is just part of who Charles Munger Jr. He is also a smart, kind, gentlemanly and very generous man.

    Reply
  3. Jerome Stocks

    I respect that Mr. Munger puts his money and his name where his mouth is. Heck, I may even disagree with some of his politics and may actually align more closely with your positions, but I’ve had my fill of anonymous “I’m real good at calling people out as long as I stay hidden in the shadows like a cockroach” know-it-all blog-sites.
    You are a nameless faceless coward.

    Become a real person, or kindly remove me from your distribution list.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. Admin Post author

      Everyone has an opinion, as they say, along with certain other attributes.

      Have we said anything about Munger that is UNTRUE?

      Reply
  4. Poornima Wagh

    Read my lips: The Republican party in California is VERY dead. Whether Charles MungerJr. or some other idiot tries to resuscitate it, it will be a total waste of time and resources. The metamorphosis of California into a fascist marxist regime has been accomplished. The Republican party in its own interest should go elsewhere and not waste anymore time and energy fighting a losing battle.

    Poornima Wagh
    Santa Barbara GOP

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Katy Grimes on the Munger-Maldo Embrace | The Munger Games

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