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Reality stars and xenophobes: Trump’s California delegates mirror their maker

Presumptive Republican nominees delegation from the Golden State is surely among the most colorful cast of characters to grace a national convention

Its not every day that billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel ends up on a list with a white nationalist. But toss in a bounty hunter, a Tea Party couple from Wife Swap, a border vigilante and a University of California Berkeley undergraduate and you have the makings of Donald Trumps California delegation to the Republican national convention.

Meet some of the cast of colorful characters who will travel to Cleveland this July to formally anoint Donald Trump as the presidential candidate of the Republican party.

[Update: late Wednesday afternoon the Trump campaign told the Guardian that an updated list of its delegates, without William Johnson and Guy St Onge, was posted on the website of the California Republican Party.]

The border vigilante

Robert Maupin has not been paying much attention to the presidential campaign this year, choosing instead to expend his energy putting up signs for a longshot Republican candidate for Congress, Juan Hidalgo Jr. Still, the 76-year-old rancher from Tierra del Sol said Tuesday that hes content to support Trump because he sure as hell wouldnt want to support any of the communists running. Maupin was profiled by the Los Angeles Times in 2000 for his daily practice of patrolling the mile and a quarter of the US-Mexico border that makes up his property line with a rifle slung over his shoulder and a Glock handgun strapped in his thigh holster. Six years later, Maupin still patrols his property every day, but hes not overly enthused by Trumps proposal of a wall. Actually, I wanted a moat with saltwater gators, he says.

The wife-swappers

John and Gina Loudon are the Tea Party power couple that never quite made it off the C-list. After John was termed out of the Missouri state legislature, where he served in the house and the senate, the couple made waves by guest-starring on reality television show Wife Swap. The family-values conservative switched spouses with a polyamorous part-time wrestler, and in the ensuing weeks Gina was thrown out of the house for her didactic judgmentalism and John grew concerned that dark forces had invaded his home, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch. Today the couple lives in San Diego, where John works in the private sector and Dr Gina, as she styles herself, hosts a conservative YouTube show.

John
John and Gina Loudon center, in a publicity photo for the reality show Wife Swap. Photograph: ABC/ABC via Getty Images

The preacher

Guy St Onge was born again in September 1995, after living a life full of drugs, motorcycles, gangs and cops and more, according to his Facebook profile. Now a pastor with a voluminous social media presence he appears to preach mostly in the church of YouTube he alternates between posts about the gospel and sharing memes offering to kill Muslims. On his Tumblr page, St Onge writes about Christianity and shares such thoughts as: Barack Hussein Obama and his tranny wife Michelle hates the U.S.A.!! Update: Pastor Onge has told the Guardian he is no longer a delegate for Trump. It was not immediately clear why or even how he had dropped out (the deadline for changing delegate lists has passed). However, he said he was no longer a delegate and had chosen to take one for the team.

The celebrity interviewer

Daphne Barak and Erbil Gunasti made their names as a celebrity interviewer and diplomatic press officer turned television producer, respectively, but the couples own foray into state politics ended up a little bit wet. Barak was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery and public intoxication in October 2015, after a fracas at a forum for mayoral candidates in Palm Springs that included Gunasti as one of the candidates. The detective who investigated the case alleged that Barak opened a water bottle and began pouring water on [another woman], who slapped at the bottle repeatedly and, at one point, struck Baraks face, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun: As the parties were leaving, Barak allegedly grabbed [another womans] cheeks with a clawing grasp. Barak pleaded not guilty, and according to her personal assistant the charges were dismissed. Gunasti did not win the mayoralty, but an interview he gave to the Desert Sun about his candidacy hints at his political affinity to Trump: Power, money, celebrity if you can bring all three in one place, you do wonders there.

Daphne
Daphne Barak in 2007 Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Asked for comment about the couples selection as delegates, Baraks personal assistant responded: Daphne Baraks lifestyle encompasses many well known names from North America and worldwide. Trump family is one of them. It is a relationship dating back two decades.

The Berkeley student

Claire Chiara may still be a senior at UC Berkeley, where shes majoring in political science and economics, but she is wasting no time embarking on her career. Chiara recently announced that she would be standing against Tony Thurmond for the state assemblys 15th district. Last time around there were no votes cast at all for a Republican in that seat thanks to Californias open primaries, both candidates were Democrats but she appears undeterred. Even if I dont win the election, I truly hope to start a conversation and remind each and every constituent of Assembly District 15 that they can ask questions, and they can decide whether they are being truly represented, she told Berkeley student paper the Daily Californian earnestly on Monday.

The bounty hunter

Clifford Jeffrey Stanley is the owner of Bad Boys Bail Bonds, a bounty-hunting and bail bond outfit with offices in San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana and Modesto. Their slogan is Because your mama wants you home!, and among the companys cars is a lime-green Hummer emblazoned with the Bad Boys Bail Bonds logo. The companys photo section implies that Stanley will likely feel at home with Trumps loud aesthetic; scantily clad girls model company T-shirts, while company outings include monster trucks, quad bikes, mini motos and large quantities of heartily barbecued meat.

Celeste
Celeste Greig, who was ousted from the state Republican Assembly in 2013 over controversial comments about rape. Photograph: Rich Pondroncelli/AP

The controversial ex-lawmaker

Celeste Greig is a former president of Californias Republican Assembly who was ousted in 2013 after making comments about rape that led many to draw comparisons with Todd Akin, the disgraced former Missouri congressman. The percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because its an act of violence, because the body is traumatized, Greig said, leading to condemnation from state and national Democratic politicians and, eventually, the delivery of a 28,000-signature petition demanding her resignation, to which Greig capitulated. Ironically, when she made the statement, she was criticizing Akin for the very comments that she immediately echoed. She now blogs about politics under the handle GreigReport.

The white nationalist

William Daniel Johnson is a prominent white nationalist who once proposed a constitutional amendment calling for all Americans of non-European non-white descent to be immediately deported. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which maintains a list of hate groups, describes him acidly as an uninspiring but determined white separatist.

William
William Daniel Johnson, described by the Souther Poverty Law Center as an uninspiring but determined white separatist. Photograph: SPLC

When press attention was drawn to his inclusion, the Trump campaign scrambled to change their delegate list to remove him, while at first categorically denying that he was a delegate. Once they were informed by the California secretary of state that it was too late to change their list, they then blamed a database error for his inclusion; Johnson offered his resignation to the Trump campaign but nonetheless he remains certified as a delegate.

The campaign director

Tim Clark is director of Trumps campaign for the California primary and as such a key figure at least partly responsible for the above list. A 49-year-old former political consultant whose list of ex-clients includes Manuel Baldzon, a failed Guatemalan presidential candidate who called for public executions in his campaign platform, Clark should have had a relatively easy job preparing for the June vote (his candidates two remaining opponents have dropped out of the race). But, critics might allege, his cakewalk to Cleveland has been complicated by the unforced error of selecting, among others, a prominent white nationalist as a delegate to the Republican national convention.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified a Trump delegate named David Horowitz as the president of the Freedom Center, who shares the same name.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/11/donald-trump-california-delegates-republican-convention

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