Can Mission Viejo’s Divided Republicans Unite?

A new Mission Viejo Republican group has formed with an aim to unite the city’s Republicans and conduct a get-out-the-vote drive.

The new group calls itself the Mission Viejo Republican Club. Frank Fossati, the club’s publicity coordinator, didn’t provide specifics on how the new group plans on bringing the city’s increasingly fractious Republicans together. He did say that a starting point might be focusing on their agreement on national issues like healthcare, deficit spending and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Uniting Republicans in Mission Viejo seems like a lofty goal given recent schisms over local issues. GOP Mayor Lance MacLean was barely recalled — losing by a slim 19 votes — back in February, and the Right to Vote initiative special election in June has been the center of a prolonged battle between Republican city council members Cathy Schlicht and Frank Ury.

Also, there have been allegations that a few Mission Viejo Republicans had their applications to the Saddleback Republican Assembly rejected because they voiced opposition to the recall effort. The SRA backed Dale Tyler — a proponent of the recall and an author of the Right to Vote initiative — as MacLeans replacement.

When asked if the club would ever consider rejecting a membership request because of a difference in opinion, Fossati said the club is still new and hasn’t come up with criteria for membership. Fossati said the club’s focus will be “getting to work” on putting voters into voting booths.