Capitol Alert

Mulling another run for governor, Tim Donnelly writes tell-all book

Tim Donnelly talks to members of the press on April 28, 2014. The former Twin Peaks assemblyman talked about his bill to overhaul the handgun carry licensing system.
Tim Donnelly talks to members of the press on April 28, 2014. The former Twin Peaks assemblyman talked about his bill to overhaul the handgun carry licensing system. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Former GOP Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the conservative firebrand who ran unsuccessfully for governor and Congress, is out with his first book, a self-published tell-all in which the tea party favorite delves deeply into the highs and lows of his life and unloads on his party’s establishment wing.

In writing “Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless,” Donnelly says his goal was simple. “I wanted to tell the stories of some miracles in our life in order to glorify God,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

The 344-page book follows Donnelly from the brink of despair (he writes about a planned suicide attempt) to, as he put it, “the mountaintop – where faith, family (and) friendship weather unpredictable success and epic battles, only to be engulfed again in a massive, protracted fight for California’s top seat.”

The 2014 governor’s race, he said, revealed “the real character of many of the GOP elitists,” likening their treatment of him to many of the party faithful’s initial reactions to President-elect Donald Trump, whose victory Donnelly predicted.

The gubernatorial contest, which pit Donnelly in a primary fight with moderate Republican Neel Kashkari, left him feeling betrayed by his party.

In the book, he runs roughshod over Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment (“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”), bemoaning the “whole establishment gang” led by Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush and likening Rep. Darrell Issa to “a good little establishment stooge.”

Donnelly recalls a heated conservation with Charles Munger Jr., the wealthy GOP mega-donor who supported Kashkari, shortly after the race. Munger is the son of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger.

“You know you made a big mistake Munger, you shot me in the back of the head, but you didn’t kill me. Now, I’m going to spend my time undoing the damage you’ve done,” Donnelly recalls saying in the book. “As I walked away, I turned back,” he wrote, saying, “I bet your daddy is really proud of you.”

“As I ate my sandwich alone, I smiled,” Donnelly added. “I was proud of myself, of my restraint. At least, I didn’t strangle him with that infernal bow tie.”

A spokesman for Munger did not respond to a request for comment.

Asked if he is plotting a run for governor in 2018, Donnelly said it was “on my mind.” “I don’t believe that I am finished in politics,” he said.

For now, the former minuteman said he’s reached out to Trump officials and asked for a job in the Department of Homeland Security.

He added: “I am literally putting my future in the direction of God’s hands.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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