Notes from the CD2 Republican Convention
Today was the 2nd Congressional Districts Republican Party convention and I was there as a delagate from my precinct. I thought I would bring you a few notes from some of the speakers that addressed the convention.
Harold Shudlick spoke early on. Mr. Shudlick is running for the nomination for US Senate. I have seen him speak once before and I also had an opportunity to speak to him in a small group a couple of months back. This speech was much better than the first one, but I still have the same concerns about him now that I had then...that concern is that he did not discuss any issues. Oh he spoke at length about how the party was denying him his opportunity to run and how he was going up against the "big bucks" of the "rich people and manipulators". My take on the whole speech was that he felt he was "owed" an opportunity to run and he was upset that he wasn't getting it. No indications about how he would work differently than the other candidates (Congressman Mark Kennedy and John Uldrich more on these 2 later). It was a very un-Republican speech in my mind. Lots of whining about how unfair things were and little action to fix it.
Ditto the speech that Sue Jeffers gave. Sue is running for the Republican nomination for Governor even though she was endorsed by the Libertarian Party, although she has not accepted that endorsement. She spoke about how party officials "blocked" her from running against the sitting Governor (and heaven knows he needs a huge kick in the political pants). That's fine, but if she really felt that firmly about it she should have stuck with her plan to go for the Republican nomination instead of filing as a Libertarian! But then again, that's just me!
Congressman John Kline gave a rousing speech to the crowd. This was "his" party after all - his nominating convention! He spoke about how much things have changed in the last 4 years - economy recovering from the post 9/11 recession, how we are making progress in the House getting Republican ideals transformed into legislation that kind of thing. The two things that really hit with me were when he talked about what it means to really support the troops (Congressman Kline is a retired Marine) and that supporting the troops but not supporting their mission is not support at all. He said that there was a huge disconnect between the reality of what is happening in Iraq (he has been there 3 times now) and what we hear in the press. He said that President Reagan's simple solution for the Cold War (We win - they loose) is still applicable today!
Then he spoke on immigration! He said that the May 1 protests was a wake up call for the country. That people who "broke in" are demanding that we give them everything! He harkened back to the days when people came to America and learned English, embraced America and how prosperity followed. He then asked "When did learning English become an option!"
Congressman Kennedy was represented by his brother, as the Congressman was in Indiana at his son's graduation from Notre Dame! Considering I have heard the Congressman's stump speech a few dozen times so far this year, it was not big deal for me.
John Uldrich did not even bother to show up OR send a representative to the convention. How does he expect to win over delegates if he doesn't go to the conventions? I don't think he has quite the race as he had a large sign in the convention hall.
Lt. Governor Carol Molneau (Ma) spoke about the sucesses that she and the Governor have had in the last 4 years - turning a $4.5billion deficit into a small surplus in 3 years, road construction (to reduce congestion) at an all time high, "Women's right to know" bill passed, the elimination of the Profiles of Learning, etc. She also mentioned that the Governor had just signed (last night) an Eminent Domain bill that will ensure that a Kelo type situation doesn't happen here (we hope). I've seen her give better speeches - then again maybe she is aware of just how unhappy the people in this room - the Republican Party Grass roots - are with the Governor right now. His flirtations with the center/left are hurting them badly. She was being the "good soldier".
All in all it was a good convention - we didn't go into the wee hours debating resolutions, for which I am eternally grateful to the Rules Committee and the Resoultions Committee. However, I am anxious to hear what Savage American and Amendment X have to say about it as well.