GOP Convention 2010–Texas

There is plenty of hard news happening, but it will have to wait until later in the week.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Texas Republican Party State Convention in Dallas.

About 14,000 people descended on Dallas. The Texas GOP Convention often gets a larger crowd than national Republican Conventions. Texans like to brag about how everything they do is bigger, but they back it up.

The expression I hear often is “American by birth, Texan by the grace of God.”

I went to this event as a vendor, not sure if I would have a speaking engagement. Yet before I even hit the ground, I had five events scheduled before the convention even started.

Every state that opens up to me does so because one person decides to take a chance on me.

In Texas, the lady who did so was Toni Anne Dashiell, the former President of the Texas Federation of Republican Women.

Normally I speak to local chapters in a state, and work my way up to a state gig. I called her out of the blue and asked to speak at their state convention in Galveston. She said yes, and my life changed for the better. I spoke in front of about 800 women, and these ladies are tough. They are also awesome.

(I innocently inquired as to what some TFRW ladies were asking Governor Rick Perry at one function. One of the ladies smiled and said, “They’re not asking the governor anything. They’re telling the governor.” I knew my place in a hurry.)

My remarks to the ladies at the state convention led all the local chapters asking me to speak at their annual fundraisers, with more still to come. Here are a couple of my remarks.

“The Dallas Cowboys are like Christian America. They wrap themselves in the American flag, have guys like Tom Landry and Roger Staubach, and represent righteousness. The Houston Texans are like the Jews of the National Football League.”

“The Texans were minding their own business as Oilers when they were driven from their homeland by an evil warlord named Bud Adams who moved them to Nashville.”

“When the Titans came back to play the Texans, Bud Adams had problems getting a good seat. This is because whether your name is Bud Adams or Yassir Arafat, there is no right of return.”

“I don’t mean to be critical of your fellow Texans, but as a Jewish guy I was real nervous driving through Palestine, Texas. I kept the windows up and did not stop driving.”

“The next time I hear that Palestinians want a homeland in Israel, I will tell them to shut up and be happy with their slice of land on the way from Houston to Tyler.”

All of this started thanks to Toni Anne Dashiell.

While Mrs. Dashiell opened up the entire state for me, one woman that saw me at the TFRW convention helped me go national.

I was lucky enough to be befriended by Borah Van Dormolen. Borah used to be the TFRW president right before Toni Anne. She asked me if I wanted to speak at an NFRW conference. Of course I did! Thanks to her, I was able to speak at the NFRW Winter Conference in Oklahoma City.

A few weeks ago I got to see Borah again when I spoke to her Republican Women’s chapter in Salado, which is not terribly far from Austin.

At that event I had the honor of meeting Ellen Staples, the club’s First Vice President. She and her husband Stan are awesome.

Other friends I made that treated me with a ridiculous amount of warmth include Rita and Jim Huggler. Their grandson is a cool little fella, and very well mannered. John and Sophia LeCour are also two of the best people I have ever met. Anita Bargas showed me around parts of Texas. She was the nicest tour guide I had ever met.

Other people I met while touring Texas included Scott O’Grady. He is an American hero, and it was humbling being in his presence.

My adventure in Dallas began the moment my plane landed. I called David Bitterman, who runs the Coppell Republican Club.

I was only calling to confirm my speaking to his club. He asked me if I was at the airport, and I confirmed that I was. By sheer coincidence, he was already on his way to the airport to pick up his wife, who was on the same flight as me. We did not know this until he arrived and the woman wondered why a stranger was getting in her husband’s car.

My first night in town was supposed to be quiet, but I ended up speaking to Mickey McGuire’s Dallas Pachyderm Club and the Dallas Young Republicans. Kat Rice is the YR club president, and accomplished well beyond her years. She recently finished her first book entitled, “The Internet is Blue.”

(My current relationship prevents me from elaborating on the fact that Kat Rice is quite hot. Then again, she is a Republican brunette. Hot Republican brunette is redundant.)

(I often decide long after my columns are written to throw in one totally inappropriate gratuitous comment that has nothing to do with anything. So let me say today that the internet is not the only thing that is blue. I really wish my girlfriend was here with me. She arrives Thursday, and that is way too far away. For those who think that “blue” means sadness, go with that and think I am sweet.)

(Ok, one more gratuitous dumb comment. “Blue” was my favorite character in the movie “Old School.” RIP Joseph Blue Pulaski. Ok, now back to politics.)

The first new friends I made at the convention were Carolee and Bob Blumin. They are Jewish Republicans. Carolee deserves a very honorable mention because at the end of the convention, my new girlfriend and I decided to give it a serious try. Carolee reminded me that the best way to focus on this lovely girl was to not focus on any others. Partying with the lovely female Dallas Young Republicans is how guys get into trouble. I partied with the Republican Women’s Federated ladies instead. So thank you Carolee for keeping me on the straight and narrow!

As for the convention itself, it was unbelievable. 14,000 people ready to get down to business and pleasure, which seemed to be sympatico.

My vendor table was flooded with people who had either seen me speak in the past, heard about me, or were just stopping by. Business was brisk, as the people of Texas embraced my book trilogy. I could barely leave my booth for a break because the traffic was high. It was a welcome problem to have.

The only downside of the entire weekend was that I did not get to meet Haley Barbour. I have met so many politicos, but never Haley. He spoke in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition Silver anniversary bash, but I was speaking at the CRA 75th anniversary convention in Orange County. This time Haley was on the stage. All I had to do was walk over and say hello. I didn’t do it because my booth was flooded with potential customers. So yes, I chose money. I hope to meet Haley at some point. I know he lit things up because I heard the applause.

One person I did get to meet was Senator John Cornyn. I let him know that he gets my award for the funniest political commercial in history, with him riding a horse to the tune of Big Bad John.

On Friday night I did leave the convention briefly to attend a religious service, as I had done a week earlier in another state at another GOP convention. Yet this service in Dallas was different. The service was still at a Synagogue that practices a liberal strain of Judaism, but the Rabbi himself left his politics out of the speech. I was in shock. The sermon was about…Judaism. How incredibly novel. Even the liberal Jews in Texas are able to shut it long enough to focus on actual religion. Then again, in Texas, even the liberal Jews are not that liberal. It was a fabulous apolitical service.

I high-tailed it back to the convention because the late Friday night speaker was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She is a goddess of brains, beauty, and brunette-ness.

(Again, a stunning Republican brunette…so redundant. I would say more but Carolee Blumin would remind me about getting into trouble. She is right.)

Michele Bachmann has a background as a tax attorney. When she speaks on tax law, she actually knows what she is talking about. She brought the crowd to its feet with a message that I have preached many times, less eloquently than her. Republicans need to stop being so polite. The left has brass knuckles. We need to stop being gracious to those who wish to rip our guts out. She offered a heaping of political red meat to go along with the literal beef on our plates.

(This was Texas. They don’t serve tofurkey. Vegans can go somewhere else. They eat meat here.)

There were plenty of political events, with the biggest action being the fight for the leadership of the Texas Republican Party. Chairwoman Cathy Adams was up for reelection, and she represented the conservative wing of the party. She faced a pair of challengers from more moderate elements of the party.

(Keep in mind that in Texas, moderate Republicans are still pretty conservative.)

It was a tough fight that lasted several hours, but the new chairman of the Texas GOP is Mr. Munisteri. Cathie Adams has been nice to me personally, but many people felt that she was just too conservative. That is the explanation I was given for her defeat.

(Every time she came on stage, the song “Eye of the Tiger” blared. I was disappointed to find out that the music and cheering was not for me. That is my theme song.)

There was action everywhere, and passions ran high. A group named Texans for Israel warmed my heart.

A Republican who happens to be black, Apostle Clayver, inspired the crowd with a talk about the real racism coming from the left. His website Raging Elephants is fabulous.

Everybody from Texas Tea Party attendees to gun owners to national politicos made the 2010 Texas GOP Convention an amazing experience. 14,000 Americans got together in a larger than life fashion.

President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were not in attendance. The again, no convention is perfect. Virtually perfect will have to do.

As I left Dallas, I left behind all the cowboy hats, belt buckles, and thick steaks. It was back to California. It may be a mess, but it is still my home.

Yet wanderlust takes me where great people are. I have several trips to Texas planned in the future.

I have seen the Texas GOP, and it is strong.

Besides, the new chairman is a man. If he messes anything up the TFRW ladies will slap him silly.


6 Responses to “GOP Convention 2010–Texas”

  1. Just out of curiosity, how do you fund this new life of your’s as a GOP circuit speaker? It must be a huge difference in income, going from finance to political speaking (?)

    Thanks, JMJ

  2. blacktygrrrr says:

    Totally fair question. I will just say I am doing just fine.

    Otherwise, no comment.

    eric :)

  3. Well, as long as you don’t do it like that guy from Breaking Bad! ;)


  4. Micky 2 says:

    What are you talking about ?

    Cranston is a genius.
    His product is no better than liberals, but, hes a genius

  5. Micky 2 says:

    Just watch out for the massuese that comes knocking at midnight

  6. Malinda777 says:

    I cannot BELIEVE you were fortunate to visit the Texas GOP Convention. You are speaking to my group Sparks Republican Women on July 14th with Sharron Angle.

    Did I fail to mention to you that I am an original Texan LOL? I cannot believe you met Borah! What a phenomenal lady. She graced the Sparks Republican Women stage last year – we Federated Women get around I tell ya LOL…

    Looking forward to next month…


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