by Patricia L. Dickson 9/21/15
I made it my goal upon my return to the United States to get involved with the politics in my city, county and state. I hit the ground running my first week back in the US by attending my city council meeting. Since then I have attended the first GOP debate party at the local GOP headquarters where I ended up on the local 10pm news (my colleagues told me that they were shocked but not surprised to see me on the news). However, my real introduction to local politics happened this weekend at the California Republican Party Convention held at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, CA September 18-20, 2015.
The first thing that I learned was that I had to register as a guest because I was not a delegate, associate delegate or some kind of VIP. After I registered and pick up my badge, I immediately walked over to the Tea Party California Caucus table, paid the yearly dues and became a member. I was then invited by fellow Tea Party members to attend the county Chairman’s committee meeting. There I learned that there are 58 counties in California. After the meeting was called to order, they asked everyone who was not a county chairman to leave the room.
After being put out of the county chairman’s meeting, my fellow Tea Party members briefed me on the California Republican Party Platform. They informed me that every four years our state platform is revisited for revision (this is the fourth year). Each county chairman along with delegates that are members of the Tea Party Caucus are allowed to submit revisions. On Friday night, the Tea Party sponsored a dinner where Larry Elder was our guest speaker.
Saturday morning, the revisions were voted on at the platform committee meeting. The conservative TPCC branch is at odds with the liberal establishment branch of the state Republican Party (which includes the Log Cabin Republicans). The Rinos outnumber conservatives by 2/3 to 1/3. The establishment liberal branch of the California GOP objects the more conservative platform on the following platform planks. Preamble (establishment republicans took out God our creator and the TPCC submitted a revision to put it in back in), The Environment, Family (the Log Cabin Republicans want to change the definition of marriage in the current platform to support the Supreme Court’s decision), Right to Life and Right to bear arms. Some of these planks were not discussed (probably to avoid a fight) or the submissions died (no motion on the floor) in the platform committee meeting, therefore, the revisions that the Tea Party submitted were not adopted. The TPCC submitted the following revisions:
U.S. Healthcare: We support the full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act PPACA.
Family: We believe that the question of marriage is a matter that should be left to the people through their elected representatives, not usurped by the United States Supreme Court; accordingly, we encourage the reversal of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
Right to Life: In addition to the ban on all-human cloning in our platform plank, the Tea Party Caucus wanted to add: Likewise, we support federal laws prohibiting the sale of aborted baby organs, limbs, and tissue and the prosecution of such public offense to the fullest extent of the law.
Taxes and Government Spending: We also support the abolition of the death tax-the government does not have the right to confiscate the wealth of the deceased.
Veterans Affairs: We support fair efforts to privatize the operations of the Veteran’s Administration in order to increase quality of care and timely delivery of medical services.
Because I was not allowed to vote, several people wanted to know why I was not a delegate. I had no idea how to become a delegate, so I asked my new Tea Party friends. I was informed that I needed to be appointed as a delegate through my assembly or council member. Therefore, I located my city council member at the Tea Party dinner and she said that she had already appointed all of the delegates, but she would appoint me as an associate delegate for our spring convention in 2016. In turn, I will help her with her campaign to become an assemblywoman (she is also an Air Force Veteran). I also paid my yearly dues and joined the California Republican Assembly. Several people encouraged me to run for local office. I was asked if I would charter an Orange County Republican Veterans chapter. They said all I needed was ten veterans that are registered Republican. That is easy. I can get half of them from work.
I attended the Sunday morning general session (the final meeting of the convention). Our California Republican Party Chairman is Jim Brulte. The Mayor of the city of Irvine (the city that I live in) just happen to sit next to me (I recognized him from the city council meeting). I introduced myself to him and told him that I would be attending this week’s city council meeting. The session began with a prayer and the pledge allegiance to the American Flag. The main business of the day was voting on the revision of the immigration platform plank (they decided not to vote on it in the platform committee meeting the day before). I must say that it was very entertaining. The only person that was against the revision was one wacko guy who was a delegate that claimed adopting the English language as the official language for all American citizens in our platform was a form of slavery. Everyone thought he was nuts. Although I could not vote, I shouted at him to sit down. The mayor and the people around me laughed (they thought I was hilarious or just as nuts as the guy). The majority of the delegates approved of the revision and it was adopted. The delegates also voted in favor of overturning the ban on the use of plastic bags in some of the counties and moved to place it on the ballot. Now that I have had my initiation into local politics, the fun has just begun.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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