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Posts tagged: GOP convention

Grand Old Party begins

Delegates from Texas pray during an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.

TAMPA, Fla. – The convention hall had all the trappings: Excited delegates in patriotic attire. Journalists sticking cameras in their faces. Vertical signs identifying the states. Balloons suspended high above the arena floor. But the official first day of the 2012 Republican National Convention was over almost as soon as it began.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the convention to order at 2 p.m. Two minutes later, he dropped the gavel on the day, thus presiding over quite possibly the most abbreviated convention day ever. With a worrisome storm approaching the Gulf Coast, Republicans felt compelled to cancel the first day. The session took place only to satisfy the rules.

“We’re excited. We’re getting ready to gavel in and look forward to three days of fun-packed, patriotic excitement,” said Doyle Webb, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party.

Well, are you looking forward to to 3 days of fun-packed, patriotic excitement?

Rand Paul: Audit the Pentagon

TAMPA—Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will use his prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention to urge party members to be more open to scrutinizing military spending, a position that puts him in the minority within the GOP.

Paul made the remarks Sunday when he addressed thousands of supporters at a rally for his father, former Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, at the University of South Florida.

“Because we've talked about audit the Fed so much, we're now talking about audit the Pentagon,” Paul told the crowd. “Now, because of Hurricane Isaac, it's not sure whether my message will get to the Republican National Convention, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able speak. And one of the messages that I will give to them is that Republicans need to acknowledge that not every dollar is well spent or sacred in the military and we have to look for ways to make every department accountable.” Chris Moody, Yahoo News.

Do you think an audit of the Pentagon is a good idea?

GOP covention expected to dodge Isaac

TAMPA, Fla. – His Republican National Convention curtailed by a threatened hurricane, Mitt Romney conceded Sunday that fresh controversy over rape and abortion is harming his party and he accused Democrats of trying to exploit it for political gain.

“It really is sad, isn’t it, with all the issues that America faces, for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level,” said Romney, struggling to sharpen the presidential election focus instead on a weak economy and 8.3 percent national unemployment.

His comments came as aides and party officials hurriedly rewrote the script for the convention, cut from four days to three because of the threat posed by approaching Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm is forecast to gain hurricane strength as it churns through the Gulf of Mexico but to pass well west of the convention city. More.

Will you be tuning in to the goings-on at the GOP convention?

Idaho GOP Not Confident In McGee

Idaho Republicans have approved a motion giving Sen. John McGee a vote of no confidence following a drunken driving incident but postponed indefinitely a resolution calling for the Senate majority caucus chairman to resign his leadership position. The no-confidence motion approved by the Idaho GOP's state central committee on Saturday at its meeting in Moscow has no legal effect, but some members say it sends a message that they don't approve of what McGee did. McGee, of Caldwell, on July 1 pleaded guilty to drunken driving on June 19, and in exchange prosecutors agreed to drop a felony stemming from him taking a SUV that didn't belong to him/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is this a sign that the Idaho GOP is beginning to take ethical lapses of elected leaders more seriously?

P-I: GOP Confab Was 1 Giant Tea Party

The state convention of Idaho Republicans turned into a big Tea Party last weekend, with a platform that calls for repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides for direct election of U.S. Senators. The platform also calls for state legislators and the governor to “nullify any and all existing and future unconstitutional Federal mandates and laws, funded or unfunded, that infringe on Idaho’s Tenth Amendment sovereignty.” … “If the state’s Senators had to be accountable to the State Legislators instead of to the people at large, Senators by and large would be much more in tune to the interest of the states as opposed to interest of people,” Bryan Smith, a GOP legislator from Bonneville County, told the Idaho Falls Post-Gazette/Seattle P-I Blogs. More here. (AP photo of GOP convention: Jesse L. Bonner)

Question: Who would you rather have the Idaho Legislature pick Idaho’s U.S. senator or Idaho voters?

GOP OKs Semanko For 2nd Term

When Norm Semanko was elected as chairman of the Idaho Republican Party in 2008, a deep division was created within party membership. The divide may have been closed Saturday as Semanko was unanimously re-elected to the post. Semanko faced no opposition in his re-election bid, even though delegates from each county in the state had the opportunity to nominate someone of its own choosing. Delegates had only good things to say about Semanko, who some referred to as a person who has bridged the divide between those who supported him in 2008 and those who supported former chairman Kirk Sullivan/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Has state GOP chairman Norm Semanko brought together the factions of the Idaho Republican Party? Or have the Tea Party/Libertarian/Rally Right elements united after they drove off the moderates?

Idaho R’s Consider Loyalty Oath

Friday, Dan Loughrey, a candidate for the Idaho Legislature, proposed that members of the platform committee support a plan to require Republican candidates for public office at all levels – local, state, and national – sign a pledge stating that they will govern and serve according to the party platform. If the party as a whole decides to adopt the measure, it would also require the party chairman to release a list of who signed – and who didn’t – 40 days before elections/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: What do you make of a loyalty oath that would require candidates to govern by the platform of a political party?

Adam: Idaho Doesn’t Need A Militia

Even if you believe in militias, this is a stupid move that will be misinterpreted. The term “militia” has become synonymous in the minds of quite a few voters as a bunch of crazy folks who want to overthrow the government. You pass that resolution and Democrats will be out in the streets telling all their friends, the Republicans want to violently overthrow Obama. Now, I know many people will say, “Who cares what the left says?” I’m not someone who worries that liberals don’t like us. That’s not the issue. The issue here is not whether people like us, or whether they’re saying nice things, but whether we’re handing them a stock of ammunition, standing in front of them in our skivies and saying, “Fire when ready”/Adam Graham, Adam’s Blog. More here. (SR File Photo of North Idaho militia exercise)

Question: Would the Idaho GOP become a national laughingstock, if it passes a convention resolution in support of establishing a state militia?

Spencer, Ron Paulers Control Idaho R’s?

One conservative delegate said that only Ada and Twin Falls counties brought with them to Idaho Falls members of the old-guard Republican establishment. “Other than those two counties, I’d say conservatives have been successful getting their (delegates) here without a fight,” said Larry Spencer, from Bonner County in northern Idaho. Spencer went further: U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, due to speak Saturday, “is not much of a Republican,” he said. Simpson has fallen out with hard-core conservatives over his stances on the 2008 Wall Street bailout - he backed it - and a wilderness plan for central Idaho/John Miller, Associated Press. More here. (2006 SR File Photo: Jesse Tinsley: Larry Spencer, left, and Jess Goetz)

Question: What will become of moderate Republicans, if they don’t bow to the Ron Paulers, Tea Partiers, and Libertarians who now seem to control the state GOP?

Nic: Jedi, 17th Amendment, & Idaho R’s

This morning, Governor Butch Otter told the delegation that the convention is where “magic” happens. He also rambled about the evils of big government. Here are five magical resolutions approved by the state’s GOP committee.

  • 1. They denied “Jedi” as an official religion.
  • 2. They want to repeal the 17th amendment. Keep in mind that Idaho’s GOP delegation is claiming a desire for smaller government. Repealing the 17th amendment would mean the Idaho State Legislature (big government) would select US Senators (big government) instead of letting us little people vote for them.
  • 3. They’re rejecting the federal health care bill.
  • 4. They passed a measure to support Arizona’s immigration reform law.
  • 5. The passed a resolution to define marriage. And I get what they’re trying to do - they’re trying prohibit trans-gendered individuals from getting married.
  • You can read Nic Casey’s full post here. (Also: You can read Randy Stapilus’ comment about a proposed state militia here.)

Question: My favorite action by the Republican convention delegates so far is rejection of “Jedi” as an official religion. What’s your?

Otter Denies Labrador Snub

Some GOP insiders were left wondering where Butch Otter stood in the 1st Congressional District race for a few hours Friday afternoon after he failed to mention his party’s nominee for the race, Raul Labrador, in a keynote address to delegates gathered at the state convention in Idaho Falls.  Late Friday night, in another speech to Idaho Republicans at the Melaleuca ranch, Otter said that he didn’t mean to intentionally snub Labrador. A report appearing in several media outlets, including Huckleberries Online and the Idaho Statesman Friday afternoon speculated about the snub, questioning if there is still bad blood between the two men due to Labrador’s clashes with the governor during the 2009 legislative session over Otter’s proposal to raise the gas tax and car registration fees/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (AP/Post Register Photo, at Republican state convention: Monte LaOrange)

Question: Butch Otter denies that he purposely snubbed congressional candidate Raul Labrador by failing to mention him in his GOP convention address (even though his written speech, provided to reporters, had a line acknowledging Labrador). Do you believe the slight was unintentional?

Did Otter Snub Labrador @ Convention?

Huckleberries hears … that Gov. Butch Otter may have stiffed state Rep. Raul Labrador in his lunch speech at the Idaho GOP convention in Idaho Falls today. According to my sources, Otter was supposed to bring Raul Labrador to the stage and endorse him.  But he didn’t.  He didn’t even mention Raul’s name.  Later, state GOP executive director Jonathan Parker was observed being fairly steamed about the snub. In its report, the Associated Press mentioned that Otter had mentioned U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who are also facing an election challenge, and thanked them for their service to the state. But said nothing of Labrador. You can read that report here. (AP/Post Register Photo, at Republican state convention: Monte LaOrange)

Question: What do you make of Butch Otter’s failure to mention Labrador in a luncheon speech calling for state party unity?

GOP Rejects Jedi As Party’s Religion

Idaho Republicans won’t be adopting the Jedi religion or pushing for it to becoming the official state religion. A committee at the GOP’s convention on Friday unanimously rejected a resolution recognizing the religion popularized by the Star Wars movies.  The resolution was submitted by Taso Kinnas of Boise, who didn’t speak to the committee and would not comment on the plan/Brad Iverson-Long. More here.

Question: Would Idaho Republicans make good Jedis?

Semanko: Fire Minnick, Pelosi

Via HBO Nation Twitter (in righthand rail), Idaho Reporter reports these actions at GOP convention in Idaho Falls:

  • 3:19 p.m. GOP convention events in recess for a couple hours. Dinner sponsored by Melaleuca begins around 6:45. Rich Galen to speak there.
  • 3:12 p.m. GOP adopts resolutions critical of federal government.
  • 2:58 p.m. (via Idaho Conservative Blogger): Semanko says we need to fire Walt Minnick so Nancy Pelosi can get fired.
  • 1:47 p.m. ID GOP chairman Semanko just said Hawaii is @BarackObama’s home state “supposedly.”
  • 1:09 p.m. Governor Otter speaking to the delegates at the state convention.
  • 12:57 p.m. Embattled Rep. Phil Hart is in the house in Idaho Falls.
  • 11:43 a.m. Interesting diff between GOP and Dem conventions: GOP candidates give out free lunch … Dems required donations to eat.
  • 10:17 a.m. Larry Spencer is now speaking in the platform committee at the GOP convention. I (Dustin Hurst) hear he’s a divisive guy.
  • 9:55 a.m. IDGOP committee approved resolutions supporting AZ immigration law and rejecting federal health care mandate.
  • 9:53 a.m. Idaho GOPers support language calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment in platform committee.

Question: Is this the magic that Gov. Butch Otter was talking about?

GOPanel OKs Idaho Marriage Definition

Idaho doesn’t recognize gay or lesbian marriage, but some Republicans want the state to go a step further. A panel of GOP delegates at the state party’s convention passed a measure Friday to define marriage as a bond between a “naturally born” man and woman, effectively barring transgenders. Bannock County delegate Ralph Lilling says his amendment to the state party’s platform will help further protect the traditional family unit. But Donna Montgomery, a delegate from Kootenai County, argued that the additional language was unnecessary because people from Idaho understand man is a man and a woman is a woman. The measure still has to go before the full convention for approval/Associated Press. More here. (2008 AP File Photo)

Question: Do you want Idaho Republicans to define marriage for the state?

Idaho GOP Panel Wants State Militia

Could Idaho get an all-volunteer state militia that’s out from under any federal control? A Butte County delegate to the state Republican Party convention in Idaho Falls on Friday got his compatriots on a committee to go along with the plan - at least on paper. The idea must still win full convention approval Saturday. Butte County delegate Guy Mongan says such a force could assist in the event of natural disasters and wouldn’t be subject to a military call-up, such like the Idaho National Guard/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would you like to see the state of Idaho form an all-volunteer militia? Why? Why not?

Guv: GOP Confab Where Magic Happens

“This is where the magic happens,” Idaho Butch Otter said as he got up on stage during the first day of the Idaho Republican State Convention Thursday in Idaho Falls for an event honoring GOP volunteers. He told the crowd that the goal of the convention, which lasts through Saturday, is to put together a game plan for the November general election.  “Here’s where we go forward with the principles of our party, of less government, more personal responsibility, the free enterprise system, and for gosh sakes Washington, stay out of our state,” he said/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: What kind of “magic” do you expect to happen at the Idaho Republican convention in Idaho Falls?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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