This is an original report from TPCC Steering Committee member Donald Jeffries. Donald lives in Turlock and is a member of the Turlock Tea Party.
The three days of the Convention was an interesting learning experience, for a lot of reasons.
It had been some time, since I have been to the Los Angels area and even longer since I have been in a 5 Star Hotel. So just walking into the establishment hosting the Convention was a pleasure that Friday morning.
I arrived early enough to walk around, exercise the escalators and elevators and discover where the Starbucks, MIX Restaurant and CRP registration was as well as our Caucus booth and rooms.
My opinion of the organizational skills, of the Republican Party, is low. They are not out there doing and accomplishing and working hard like the Democrat Party is. However, they do seem to know how to organize a convention.
Registration began on time and I was one of the first up at the counter signed for pre-registration as I had taken advantage of their on-line services.
Then I settled in, with my Starbucks, to wait for the action to begin. Since I am a member of my County’s Team Donnelly, I kept their one person company, while we both waited for our respective people to show up. One of my Team’s coordinators was the booth coordinator. I would get to meet her in person.
Once our booth was ready to present itself, my camera fun began as I began to photograph the booth, Tim Donnelly’s booth next to us and people whose voices I had only heard on the phone conference webinar calls. Even Steve Bradau I had not seen in a long time. It was going to be a time of learning about and relating to new like-minded, quality people.
My duties for that day were to help staff the booth that morning and then again in the afternoon. I also wanted to observe committee meetings and attend a workshop, that weekend.
Ron Robertson encouraged me to get my feet wet and just have fun. After a few conventions I would be more experience and know more of what was going on as I observed. As an Associate Delegate I was to have admittance to all meetings and workshops. Ron gave me a head’s up that the CRP sometimes would restrict a meeting to only full Delegates, i.e. the Rules Committee Meeting, which I was interested in. He advised me to go to it and see what happened.
I did, with my Associate Badge being reviewed, and was admitted. The room was setup in a fashion of head tables in a “U” format facing the rows and columns of seating.
Upon entering and choosing a seat, a conversation began with a middle age lady. She is a Christian lady, who taught her children the Bible and to be Conservatives. She also stated that she has known Jim Brulte, for a very long time, and he is a Conservative and a good person, who is good for the CRP. It was then her turn to be the door watcher.
The seats filled up creating a large audience.
The previous watcher sat down and another conversation began. This lady was up in age and had spent her whole adult life in the Party. She was the mental repository of its history. She talked of how the media will take what one states and turn it to their agenda.
The meeting began and I began to pay attention to it. The briefing, which Steve Frank had given on a webinar as to what to expect, served me as I began to recognize subjects and names.
Next came the Veterans Committee Meeting. There was not a door watcher, but only some people sitting at the tables. This room was for a small meeting, with tables placed side by side to create one long table the length of the room almost.
I asked if I might attend and the response that I could attend any meeting. As I was on my way to a seat I was asked if I was a Vet and replied that I was. The conversation, at that point, was that the WWII Park was once again closed, but this time with heavy equipment machinery.
After sitting, the conversation began as to who had been with what branch of the military. One man was an Army Vet and as a civilian had worked a career at the Pentagon. He had also been an advisor for Olympus Has Fallen and suggested that the North Koreans be the attackers as well as designing the attach itself.
Soon the Vice Chair arrived and introduced himself. Once the main discussion of outreach to Veterans, for the purpose of voter registration, began, I began to participate. I was not just an observer, but a participate.
The Vice Chair had passed around an attendance data sheet, for people to give such information as name and contact info. This will be used later to keep us informed and hopefully establish an organized project. So I guess that means that I am now a member of a CRP Committee?
That experience was special to me. I related. I am one of them not by Committee, but by being a Veteran. I wanted to be of assistance. I gave two inputs. One, many Posts, i.e. VFW and American Legion, will not allow anything that even seems political as it may be divisive. Two, for target marketing, a way of getting the Veteran to want to be involved, in the political process, and first register and then actually vote needs to be found. It has to be personal for the Veteran so they may relate to it, i.e. so-called Obama Care.
I left that meeting with a feeling of satisfaction.
The rest of the time until seven o’clock I staffed the booth meeting and informing people and offering our materials.
Various candidates, for a variety of offices, would come by and leave their business cards. One person was Vernon Robinson, who is the Campaign Director for the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. He and Ben are from North Carolina. Both are middle aged, Black Conservatives.
Some people thought that the Caucus had chapters in locations throughout the State and wanted information to join. They were inform of what we are and given material, including the QR code.
Seven o’clock was pizza time. Some of us walked. During the wait, for our orders to arrive, there was plenty of conversation. Steve Frank explained what was occurring with our five Resolutions, in that Committee. I had another learning moment added to the day. There was talk of Monger. Since I had observed a man, in the Rules Committee, appearing to direct by nods and looks, which may have just been his manner of agreement or disagreement, I asked Steve what Monger looked like. The description was almost the opposite of the man I had seen.
It was at the restaurant that the subject of Liz and her nomination was remembered. First it was decided to attend that meeting, after dinner and then it was realized that people to actually nominate and second her twice had to be selected. A process of elimination took place as the gears of Steve Frank’s mind went into motion to produce a satisfactory team.
Off we went to the 9:30 PM meeting. Arriving early we had our choice of seating and choose the right portion of the room. We had a large showing for her as other Liz supporters arrived. There was not that many people on the left side of the room as the nominations began late. Halfway through Liz’s presentation, the front door opens and in walked a large group of people. It seemed strange to me, but at the time I thought no more about it and continued attention as Liz continued her interrupted presentation.
All of the formalities finalized and the meeting ended. As I and others were rising from our seats, one of our ladies instructed us to remain in place. We did so and I asked why as she was sitting next to me. She would not reply and just indicate to wait.
I then heard another lady, who had arrived after we did, saying that she had seen the group that came through the front door late sitting our in the hallway before the meeting. I also discovered that Aaron Ginn himself had been in the late-comer group and that all of the group were his supporters. They had waited until Liz was in the middle of her presentation and with premeditation rudely disrupted her.
Our people were angry and disgusted that such a tactic had been used. I noticed two ladies of our group confronting Ginn and shaming him. The person who chaired the nomination had left, but the other lady who assisted was there. She had to be overhearing our feelings and comments, before she began to be approached by us as we left the room.
I overheard her replying that there is not anything about when people may enter or leave a room. As I came to her I stated that I was new to the procedures, but it still seemed very strange to me, for a large group of people to suddenly enter like that and stated that Ginn’s people play the rules, for disruption.
Saturday morning came knowing that it was going to be another long day. My first duty was to vote of Liz. California Drivers License was checked, along with the Associate Delegate badge against a registration listing. Having to show ID to vote, at the CRP Convention, was a comical point, in light of the Voter ID issue.
Afterwards I got into the Starbucks long line. While moving forward slowly, I overheard Conservative conversation behind me, between a couple of men and a lady. Turning around and stating that I had overheard Conservative conversation I asked if they would be interested in connecting to the Caucus communication via the QR code. The men were, but the lady was like me; technology inept. I gave her a Caucus business card.
Upon leaving Starbucks, I walked over to the elevators and press the down arrow button. I was going to look for the next place I was to be. A man, who resembled the description Steve Frank had given the night before, rushed up to the door as it opened. Realizing that it was going down, he give a comment of disappointment. I quickly pushed the up arrow button and stated that it was going up.
After entering, he pushed the floor button as I viewed his ID badge and stated, “You’re Charles Monger.” He confirmed the statement and I held out my hand, which he took, as I introduced myself. The conversation went something like this:
Me: This is my first convention.
C. M.: Then you are going to have an interesting learning experience. When you think you have it figured out, something changes.
Me: Then it is a progressive learning experience.
C. M.: The Monger Party is the best it has been in six years. If you think it is bad now, it was really bad then. (I assume he noticed my Caucus button.)
Me.: Do I really want to know how bad it was then?
By that time, we were off of the elevator and out into the hallway, with him going left and me going right. Really…no pun intended.
When he slipped, with the tongue, and said “Monger Party”, his face showed that he realized what he said, but he did not correct himself. I do not believe that he could tell if I had picked up on his slip or not.
I turned around and walked back to the elevator and pushed the down arrow button.
The workshop I had decided on was Ballot Integrity; speaking of Voter ID. I had no idea that the CRP was involved in counteracting voter fraud. I found seating with Norm and Mary found seating with us. It was very interesting and added to my knowledge base, of the subject. I am a member of the Election Integrity Project and have observed polls. There were many people in the room, who had performed that duty.
Returning to the Rules Committee Meeting room, I engaged in conversation with the Major of San Marcos. He expressed interest in the Caucus and I gave him a QR sticker and business card.
The meeting began, with the Chair stating that more discussion was needed, before the vote. Point, counterpoint and counter counterpoint, with back to point and over again ensued. I head was swimming with it all and, after an hour, I decided to leave and get ready for the Caucus Meeting.
Upon exiting, I found the older lady, with the Party’s mental repository, standing door watch as she had done the day before. She looked at me and stated, “Can’t take any more?” I replied that she was correct. She began to tell me about situations she remember in which people took advantage of the way a By-Law was written, with unclear or non-defining language. No wonder those people were batting the ball back and forth.
After refreshing, I walked to the Caucus Meeting room and found it occupied. Once in, I enjoyed a great meeting and got to see people, who were there just for that meeting, that I had not seen, for a while.
I did skip the Hospitality function and opted for rest and sleep.
Sunday morning I staffed the booth, while others attended the General Session. Traffic was light as most everyone was attending the General Session. I did get to talk again with Vernon. He had on a Gettysburg 150th Anniversary pull over shirt. I am interested in the War Between the States. We had a good conversation.
Soon it was time to brake down the booth and finish packing up. Good news was given of the results of our having been there. Mission accomplished. Now for the follow up. Goodbyes were said.
I went there expecting nothing. I left after a fruitful experience of engaging events and people. The history of the future is made in the present adding to the history of the past.