One can dream. Promoted. -Patrick
Update: As many people have pointed out, the surname Wong is inherently Chinese. That said, I chose a Korean deliberatey. Thus, I'm changing the candidate's name to Rob Ho Park.
This entry is intended to illustrate the type of Republican that could win a House seat in San Francisco. It is not intended to describe a real person. Imagine this as a future Weekly Standard/National Review profile.
Who is he: Rob the Custom Bicycle Store Owner.
Rob Ho Park is a second generation Korean American whose parents immigrated here in the 1950's during the War. He is married and has three children. Growing up in San Francisco, he was the first person in his family to go to college, graduating with honors from Cal in 1991. That fall, he enrolled at a Masters Program at Stanford only to drop out six months later to join a Silicon Valley start-up. After 5 1/2 years of 90 hour weeks, the company went public and Rob became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams.
Rob survived the dot com bubble intact but shaken. He decided to return to work only to learn that steady work is less available. He accepted several consulting jobs and continued with his life.
Then came 9/11....
Rob was in the 7-11 in Palo Alto the first time he heard it. About six hours after the attacks he was in line paying for his gas and coffee when the woman behind him said "we sponsored bin Laden in the 1980's so this is really our fault." Rob was flabbergasted and sickened, yet he chose to write it off as an isolated incident.
Rob moved on with his life only to find consulting unsteady and inconsistent. This became even truer in 2002 when Congress passed (and President Bush signed) the Sarbanes/Oxley act, which drove technology venture capital overseas. Rob was once explaining this to a friend when the friend said: "Yeah, that [censored]hole Bush can't do anything right." Rob was shocked by this, even though he didn't say anything at the time.
In 2003, Rob landed a 2 year consulting contract that put him back on easy street for the first time in several years. This time, however, Rob decided to save most of the money so he could start the business he's dreamed of owning since he was a small child. This decision infused him with a new passion as he threw himself back into his work.
In 2005, Rob's diligence allowed him to finish his project a month early. At this point, Rob sold the house in Palo Alto (for a surprisingly large profit) and moved the family back to San Francisco where he planned to open a custom bicycle shop. For the rest of the year, the bike shop consumed Rob's life. He was surprised by how difficult it was to open a business in San Francisco (not to mention the rents...), but he was determined. He jumped through every hoop and cut through every piece of red tape the city and state could throw at him. He even took out a loan when his savings proved insufficient. Finally, in March 2006, Rob opened his store!
2006 and 2007 were, by most measures, the best years of Rob's life Running the bike shop was better than Rob had ever imagined and his wife gave birth to their third child. At the same time, several things beneath the surface troubled Rob deeply. San Francisco had changed since he moved away twenty years before. While he'd always considered San Francisco's cultural foibles amusing, they'd now crossed an unspoken threshold of decency. Aggressive homeless people started living in front of his store and in the parks where his children played. Rob tryed to take this in stride, but can only take so much public consumption of HARD drugs and public fornication. Making matters worse, the Mayor seemed more concerned with Gay Marriage than doing anything after his store was broken into in March 2007.
2008 was the final straw for Rob. Rob had survived a recession and prepared early to weather another one. He prudently ordered less overhead and installed solar panels (at an out of pocket cost of $10,000) to take advantage of a loophole in California's tax code.
It wasn't enough. In March, Rob let his first of five employees go. Then, the city raised his taxes. This forced Rob to lay off two more workers. Then the state ended up even deeper in the red than people had thought and the state threatened to raise his taxes. While the tax hike isn't official yet, Rob is terrified because he knows this next tax hike will be his last.
At the same time, this Gay Marriage stuff has gotten under Rob's skin. While he has gay friends, and doesn't really have a problem with Gay Marriage, he was appalled by the arrogance of the CA supreme court decision and quietly voted against Prop 8. He thought that was the end of it. He was wrong. Nothing prepared him for the circus following Prop 8.
All this has left Rob Ho Park livid and ready to take it out on the incumbant leadership in his home city. He's decided to run for the House and he needs your help.
Again, Rob is not a real person (or, if he is, I'm WAY better at this than I thought). He's meant to represent the type of person we should seek out if we want to seriously contest a U.S. House seat in San Francisco.