I’ve been to dozens of Townhalls in the last few months and none of them were organized by Republicans. So, I was pleased when I saw that the Republicans were having a Townhall.
My understanding of Townhalls is that they provide an opportunity for our Representatives to inform constituents of what is happening and their positions on issues, and for citizens to question, support, or oppose them. Our Constitution provides for citizens to redress their grievances to their Representatives. I’m always amused when people thank the Representatives for coming to the Townhall. It’s their JOB. We elect them to represent us and it is their JOB to come back from Sacramento or Washington and tell us that they are doing to represent us.
“Republican Solutions for California” Townhall, was not a Townhall in that sense. Nor was it what they advertised, a “dialogue, not a lecture”. The flyer said “Ask your questions, Raise your concerns”. However, they didn’t have an open mic for people to ask questions or raise concerns. They required people to write questions on cards. The Left does this all the time because they can pick the questions to ask. I expect better from Republicans. By the time everyone had spoken there was only time for a few questions. This was more of a candidates forum than a Townhall.
Shawn Steel, RNC National Committeeman, spoke first. I like Shawn and for the most part, I liked what he said. He had a power point presentation and showed a picture of highrises planned for San Francisco and explained that One Bay Area Plan was to move everyone into highrises close to public transportation. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t call it what it is, Agenda 21, but, at least, he talked about it and condemned it. He also gave us some good news. The primary season will be cut from nine months to five months. The Convention will be at the beginning of the summer, not the end. This is important because the party can’t spend money until after the Convention which allowed Obama to run anti-Romney ads for months before Republicans could run counter ads. And there will be fewer debates…..although he didn’t say anything about who would moderate them.
Next Robert Huff, State Senate minority leader, spoke. In my opinion, he is a typical establishment RINO. He spoke about how important it was to elect candidates with “R” after their names. He said we have to, at least, end the 2/3 rds majority in Sacramento. While I agree, I have to ask what good it will do if Republicans vote with Democrats. Right now there are 37 Republicans in the California legislature who support amnesty. If amnesty is passed Republicans will never end the 2/3 rds Democrat majority. In fact we will lose more seats. In a few months, Latinos become the majority in California. If amnesty is passed their majority will grow geometrically. Republicans might as well go home. Huff gave some examples of Republicans whose opinions we might not agree with. Who supported drivers licenses for illegals and the Dream Act. He explained that these Republicans had to represent their constituents, and that’s what their constituents wanted. My reply to that would be, yes, they have to represent their constituents if being re-elected is their goal. But if what is best for the state and the country is their goal, they need to support what will accomplish that. Their constituents may be more concerned with abundant social services than the Rule of Law. I think most Conservatives want candidates who care more about saving our state and country than getting re-elected.
There was a lot of talk about “reaching out to minorities”. Several of the speakers talked about what the party was doing to attract minorities. Erroll Valladares, State Chair of the RNHA, spoke about how his group was planning activities in the Latino community. Other speakers spoke of the numerous Asians that had been hired or appointed to various positions in the party and about the various Asian and Latino Republicans running for office. The elephant in the room was that there was not a word mentioned about the Black community or what was being done to include them.
A number of candidates spoke but I won’t go into what they spoke about. They mostly spoke about why they were qualified and why we should vote for them. I’ll let readers determine who they want to vote for during the election season.
The event ran very long and people started leaving well before there were any questions asked. I have to give Gary Amnoff credit, he did chose some pointed questions. In fact, the first one was mine (I didn’t think they’d read any of the several questions I asked). I asked why there were so many Republicans in our state legislature who supported amnesty. Several of the candidates gave replies, but it was a lot of political spin about the reality of them being here. The final question was allowed from the audience. My friend, Keith Hardine, asked if the Republican policies are so similar to Democrat policies, what difference does it make which party we vote for?