A Brief History of COGG
The Conservative Order of Good Government traces its origins to the late 1970s when a group of Escondido residents decided to become part of the political process by inviting elected officials to speak at their monthly luncheons. They also wanted to express their views to elected officials on topics concerning the quality of life of their community.
The Escondido chapter experienced difficulty finding a facility that could accommodate more than 100 luncheon guests and the Tri-City and East County chapters were not growing at the rate that had been anticipated. So in 1989 all the chapters were consolidated into the RB chapter.
In 1999 COGG changed its name from the Conservative Order of Good Guys to the more inclusive Conservative Order for Good Government. The new name also better reflected COGG’s mission. At that time membership fluctuated between 125 and175 and attendance at monthly meetings ranged from 70 to 150.
The Silver COGG Award was established in 2004 to recognize those who had contributed the most to the quality of life of our community. The award is not given every year.
Recipients have been Ron Nehring for his work in rebuilding the County Republican Party, Congressman Darrell Issa for leading the recall election that installed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the State House, Jim Bowersox for his superb management of the City of Poway for 25 years, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for leading the city out of a financial morass and putting it on the road to prosperity, Jan Goldsmith for restoring trust, efficiency, and competence to San Diego’s Office of the City Attorney, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher who authored and had signed into law a prodigious amount of legislation that benefitted both residents and businesses of California.
In 2010, COGG closed its Political Action Committees, became a non-profit association, and wrote new bylaws that embraced a non-partisan, non-sectarian position that welcomed members and guests of all political stripes.
Notable speakers have included President Gerald Ford, after leaving office; President Ronald Reagan, when running for Governor; and Governor Pete Wilson, as Mayor, Senator, and Governor.
Past presidents of COGG include City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, former Escondido Mayor Lori Pfeiler, and former Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel.