Well, it was just over a year ago, last March to be exact, that I plus Norm and Lydia Thompson attended our first CRP (California Republican Party) Convention in Sacramento . We three were brand new delegates from San Luis Obispo County and local Tea Party members.
To say Convention was uneventful is an understatement. There was a lot of backslapping and social imbibing going on but not much political activity other than behind closed doors. Oddly enough, it seemed when Lydia or myself would raise questions at the end of meetings on stated platforms or CRP positions, folks would come up to us and want to know where we got our info or inform us that they too were Tea Party members throughout the state.
Well, fast forward to our inaugural Tea Party California Caucus (TPCC) meeting in Anaheim a short seven months later. This Convention was quite different. Energy abounded, free speech and opinions were flying the entire weekend and the social meeting atmosphere changed to one of a political event. CRP Chairman Jim Brulte welcomed us with open but slightly tentative arms. I don’t think he or the “establishment” (CRP Republicans) knew quite what to expect. Oh, there were rumors of planned disruptions, mass dissent by Tea Party members and an overall negative expectation from our first CRP Convention.
Needless to say, none of this came about. Tea Partiers, as always, were respectful, reverent of the surroundings we were invited to and supportive when they agreed and challenging when they didn’t. Looked kind of like a Political Convention.
Oh, some of the CRP “old guard” pulled some shenanigans but all in all Tea Party and CRP went away with a positive feel.
2014 CRP Convention in Burlingame was more of the same with great success and a new set of road blocks by folks that think new energy, new blood and a revitalized Republican Party in California is not necessarily a good thing. The weekend started out with Chairman Brulte again doing all he could to make us feel welcome and part of the new CRP. We asked for and received great placement on the floor for our TPCC table and booth. TPCC again was next to Tim Donnelly (our next governor) and we both fed off each others energy. Chairman Brulte graciously invited my wife Mary and me to sit at the head table at Condoleezza Rice luncheon and was attentive host all weekend. The one hiccup TPCC had was in submitting our latest set of Resolutions (5) to CRP Resolutions Committee. New resolutions were on stiffening up last resolution on Voter ID and making Photo ID mandatory, Outsourcing government services, Green Code and other costly regulations in the workplace, Public employee pension reform and last resolution but probably most timely, restoring water to Central Valley to keep farms and jobs from disappearing here in California. This last resolution was co written by Madera Supervisor and, Tea Party member Rick Farinelli.
Passage of this resolution or even discussion would have opened doors for Supervisor Farinelli with Hispanic groups not normally vocal on this subject. This resolution was not only important but necessary. Well, with twenty three members on resolution committee, it took just twelve (12) to make a quorum and proceed.
CRP Resolution Committee could only muster nine (9) members and our resolutions were tabled till next convention. Even when long time CRP member Steve Frank gave Resolutions Chair a way to proceed, it was stymied.
All in all Convention was a huge success for CRP and Tea Party alike. Tea Party and conservative supporters staged an “old fashioned rally” (approved by Chairman Brulte) on the exhibit floor and our two keynote speakers, Catherine Engelbrecht from “True the Vote” and staunch Conservative Assemblyman Tom McClintock made for a lively and informative TPCC Meeting. We had seats for 150 with over 220 in attendance inside and outside the room.
TPCC stands for Tea Party principals of :
- Constitutionally Limited Government
- Free Markets
- Fiscal Responsibility
These are TPCC’s only goals and objectives.
I believe firmly that if we moved this state more toward these three tenants instead of away from them, more not less conservatives would flock back to the Republican Party and California could once again take its place as our nation’s leader.
Fear and misinformation seem to be the only tools liberals have to use against Tea Party but true Conservatives see through this smoke and mirror show.
See you all in LA for Sept Convention.