Live from Tampa: Video and updates from local delegates at the Republican National Convention

Live from Tampa: Video and updates from local delegates at the Republican National Convention-attachment0

The Mark Meadows campaign tweeted this photo Aug. 27 as the candidate rehearsed his speech at the RNC.

This is a live video stream from the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Thousands of delegates from across the country are in Tampa, Fla., this week for the National Republican Convention, including a handful from Buncombe County. They’ll be there through Aug. 30, representing their party and participating in a variety of activities, including the official nomination of Mitt Romney as their candidate for president. 

Western North Carolina will also be represented at the convention by 11th Congressional District Republican candidate Mark Meadows. The Highlands developer is the first congressional candidate from the region to be invited to speak at a national party convention in recent memory. He’s one of only 10 congressional candidates in the country scheduled to speak at the gathering.

After organizers delayed the convention for a day due to Tropical Storm Isaac, Meadows is scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 28. His address will be broadcast on the live video stream in this post, as well as on C-SPAN. (UPDATE: See his full remarks below).

Meadows is running against Democrat Hayden Rogers to represent the 11th District, which includes much of Buncombe County but not much of the city of Asheville.

Meanwhile, some of the local delegates in Tampa will be sharing dispatches from their experience at the convention with Xpress.

We’ll keep this post updated over the next few days with their thoughts as they come in.

Aug. 27

Gary Shoemaker reports:

Today, the RNC opened and closed the convention because of a lack of a quorum. There were only about 100 people present. No surprise in this, it was announced this weekend that they were not going to have a Monday convention session because of the uncertainty of the weather and possible flooding. 

It was raining several times today and slightly windy. When tropical storm Isaac got to Tampa area, it  took a north-west turn and headed straight for New Orleans. It is expected to be reclassified as a hurricane by the time it arrives in the northern Gulf.

Aug. 28

Betty Jackson says:

As you probably know, the convention opened and closed within 60 seconds yesterday, so that’s been pretty uneventful. I did, however, come to Tampa on Friday so I could be a part of the Ron Paul events. The Ron Paul “We Are the Future” Rally on Sunday was inspiring and energizing for those of us who would like to see the GOP move towards a much less domineering approach to the people.
 
Some of those highlights for me spoke to the need for vigilance regarding our freedoms – free speech, including Internet freedom is key to all of us who would like the continuance of the free flow of information without government censoring; and as always, the desperate need we have for sound monetary and foreign policy.



11th District Republican candidate Mark Meadows delivered the following remarks at the convention on Aug. 28:

You are here and I am here because we indeed do believe in America! We are at a crossroads; we have a choice to make.

We have a President who wants his party to make us all dependent on government. We need leaders who believe in the prosperity that the free market brings.



We have a President who tramples our first amendment right to religious liberty by requiring all taxpayers to fund abortions.



We need public servants who respect life and our religious freedom.



We have a President all-too-willing to lead from behind. We need a White House that will unflinchingly support our strongest ally, Israel.



We need a President who believes in America. 

We have a nation too precious to give up on. We have a history too glorious to be forgotten. We have a Constitution too noble to be rewritten. We have a God who reigns over the affairs of nations.



And we have a people who, once again, are ready to stand up as “We the People” and choose for themselves the direction of their beloved country.

 I’m Mark Meadows and I’m running for Congress. With Mitt Romney, we’re ready to take our country back.

Watch him deliver the speech:

Video courtesy of the Buncombe County Republican Party

August 29

Gary Shoemaker sent the following email to Xpress at about 4 p.m., writing that the RNC is trying “to make eunuchs of future delegates”:

The RNC, in committee, created a rule change that would castrate future grassroots delegates.  The Minority Report,  in opposition to the revised rule for 2016, was brought up for a vote of approval.  This rule change takes away local power and gives it to the RNC Committee and the next presumptive presidential candidate.

This voice vote garnered what sounded like almost equal shouts for “Ayes and Nays.  Those voting “Nay” consisted of groups such as supporters of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Freedom Works and others, as well as some mainstream Republicans.  We called for “a division”, because “voice count” didn’t work.  We were asking to actually count the votes. 

Then all hell broke lose.  The National Republican Chairman, Rience Prebius,  didn’t want a compromise.  Many of those who voted “Aye” in support of rejecting the Minority Report, seemed confused when they heard the opposition. Those who supported the RNC committee’s new rules were meerly “rubber stamping”  what was already decided .

The call for “Division” was chanted.  “Division” was ignored, so various folks tried to use “point of order” to ask why they were ignored.  Then the chants began “point of order”, “point of order”.  The chanting went on for about 10 minutes.  The chair was clearly annoyed and perplexed.  The chairman of the NC GOP scolded me about my repeated attempts at calling “Divisions”.  I told Robin Hayes that I know that he understands Robert’s Rules of Order and he knows what was going on was very wrong.  He shook his head and gave me an angry look as he walked away.

This Minority Report is about protecting counties’ and districts’ right to choose how it selects and governs its own delegates.  If the GOP proceeds with this debacle, it will have succeeded in disenfranchising its conservative grassroots.  Castration of the grassroots is not the answer. 

Aug. 30

Gary Shoemaker sends his final dispatch from Tampa. The subject line in his email to Xpress: “3 days in the RNC Gulag”

Police are everywhere in Tampa. Most of the police have been brought in from other Florida cities, counties and other states. There is also a large number of National Guards here as well. 

A portion of Tampa is walled in chain link fences.  These fences barricade streets and sidewalks. Walking through these makes one feel like a cow being prodded and cajoled into to cattle-chutes. As you walk to and from the convention, police are giving orders to pedestrians. Some are polite and others are surely.  The police are wearing military type gear. They are equipped with gas masks, tear gas, batons, automatic weapons, pistols and shotguns. 

One area is set up for “free speech” set away from the traffic and crowds. The Occupy Wall Street crowd was present, but only in very small numbers. When I asked, I was told that there were only a few OWS people present.  I guess they got the message that there is no free speech in Tampa this week. 

Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum there were hundreds of plain-clothes security guards on the convention floor, in the halls, and at the TSA guard gate. The convention was completely barricaded off from the rest of the city.  The city streets outside of the encircled convention were teaming with police and guardsman.  Everywhere that you looked downtown, there were police and military uniforms and unsmiling faces. 

I caught a glimpse of a police state this week. Police paranoia reigns supreme here. I have to wonder if this is to be our future. I will leave tomorrow. I am ready to go home.

Sept. 1: Gary Shoemaker returns to the mountains and has a few more thoughts on the RNC:

The Election, Selection, Allocation and Binding of Delegates and Delegate Alternates.

I am posting this video because this convention interruption is very difficult to explain to anyone that wasn’t there. This rule change emasculates future delegations.  In other words, all future conventions will be a rubber stamp for the RNC and the presumptive presidential candidate.

This is a very short video. The calls for “Division” and “Point of Order” were called out and went on for at least 10 minutes. The chanting was very loud. They even put the next speaker on in the hopes that the chanting would stop. It did not. 

The above was a source of irritation for grass roots factions such as,  Ron Paul supporters, Santorum supporters, Freedom Works supporters and many others. Those at the convention that day had to represent at least half of the delegates. I think it is fair to say that this portion of the delegates were not thrilled to have Romney as the Republican presidential candidate.

I have been told that the RNC is going to re-look at Rule 16. The current rules have permitted a rigging in favor of Romney. Rule 16 will give Romney, if he is elected, even more power over delegates in 2016. 

This is one of many RNC actions that has outraged the grassroots this year.  I have heard calls for a grassroots takeover of the RNC and I have heard calls for abandoning the party until it stops playing games with the nominating process. 

My favorite presidential candidate is Ron Paul. I like him because he is a man of peace, honesty and consistency. I don’t see any of these qualities in Mitt Romney.

There was no talk of bringing our troops home and ending our occupations abroad. There was no talk of ending the Federal Reserve and the banking oligopoly. There was not talk of ending deficit spending or reducing the national debt. There was not talk of limiting government to its constitutional limits. 

“Mitt Romney’s mean spirited National Convention, run by a team who has refined exclusion and pettiness to an art, will now rely more than ever on the socialism and failed economy of Barack Obama to get their man elected.  The door of their campaign is shut for anyone else to come in.  At the RNC there was no generosity in victory, no forgiveness, no open arms, no calls for unity.  Only scowls.  It is payback time.  To an unlikely combination of evangelicals, homosexuals and other targeted groups, the pain of the Romney’s will soon be unleashed upon them.

Now, more than ever, the choice between Obama and Romney will be which one do you want to ruin your country?” 

—Doug Wead

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33 thoughts on “Live from Tampa: Video and updates from local delegates at the Republican National Convention

  1. Ernest M. Hughes

    Rumor is that the Virginia and Rhode Island delegations aren’t being allowed into the Convention… Anyone have confirmation and/or a reason why?

    • bsummers

      “Ah, the Renaissance … that evil intellectualism.”

      You’re just mad because the Calvinists were persecuted during the Renaissance for trying to establish a theocracy. Wah.

  2. bsummers

    “free speech, including Internet freedom is key to all of us who would like the continuance of the free flow of information without government censoring”

    Do you really think that “government censoring” is the biggest threat to free speech on the internet? Right now, “government” regulation is the only thing preventing the corporate owners of the transmission lines from gradually (or suddenly) eradicating ‘free speech’. There is no profit in speech which is free, and a genuinely free and well-informed populace are harder to wrangle into loyal consumer puppies.

  3. Dionysis

    Updates from the RNC:

    John Boener asks “where are the jobs?” Answer: in China, where corporations continue to send them with continued help of Republicans who defeated a Democratic effort to provide tax incentives to keep jobs here.

    Newt Gingrich remarks that “the wealthy are more noble” than the average American. Got that?

    An attendee threw peanuts at an African-American photographer with CNN, exclaiming “this is how we feed animals.”

    And the theme song they adopted was “We Built This Place” in spite of the venue being built with 86 million dollars of public money.

  4. Dionysis

    More RNC and related updates…

    A Convention speaker earlier today (a New Mexico business owner named Phil Archuletta) lambasted the Obama administration for not providing his company with enough “government contracts” to grow.

    Tangentially related…Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback admitted that the Republican campaign strategy of claiming welfare reform having been ‘gutted’ by Obama was based upon a falsehood.

  5. Dionysis

    “There is no such thing as “public money”. It all comes from private income.”

    Oh, it’s the non-NC resident Travelah, come to set everyone straight…tell ya what…when taxes are next due, decline to pay any (unless you shelter it all in the Cayman Islands anyway) and tell the IRS there is no such things as public money and that you are withholding your personal “private income.”

  6. bsummers

    “It all comes from private income.”

    Which is only made possible through the creation of a society where you can profit from your labors: infrastructure has to be built, maintained & regulated (roads, utilities etc.), common currency has to be established & stabilized, order has to be established & maintained by laws, police, courts, etc.. All that was paid for by someone – in almost all cases, through tax dollars: public money.

    You’re not ‘creating wealth’ by selling rocks to yourself in a cave. You only earn income if the commons are maintained by pooled resources. And most of what that takes can only be done by government. You chip away at that concept to all our peril.

  7. mat catastrophe

    Re: The Minority Report and the shutting down of the Ron Paul Revolution….

    Face it, the GOP used you guys up to get wins in 2010 and now you’ve shown yourselves to be nothing better than useful idiots to the new commissars of the GOP.

    Too bad for the fake libertarians that you fired all the reference librarians because they could have helped you look up the history to see the impending disaster you helped plaster up on the city walls….

    Oh well, it was a fun run, you’re done. GOP RIP

    (bad poetry, for the win)

  8. bsummers

    “…useful idiots to the new commissars of the GOP.”

    But don’t despair. Mitt “Gekko” Romney will always need help wrecking the “wreckable” USA…

  9. Dionysis

    Meanwhile, Romney and his well-heeled supporters party hard on a yacht named the ‘Cracker Bay’ registered in the Cayman Islands (where Romney has reportedly 30 million squirreled away).

    Just a bunch of bon vivants.

  10. Dionysis

    Showing themselves to be sensitive and responsive to recent tragedies involving guns (the Aurora, Colorada theater killings, the ‘stand your ground’ murders), the Republican Platform endorses “unlimited bullet capacities in guns”
    and “stand your ground” rights for gun owners.”

  11. Dionysis

    Gov. Chris Christie, in yet another whale of a speech, told the red-meat crown in Tampa (that’s Florida…keep in mind) that there are two groups of greedy people with their hands always out…teachers and “elderly people in need of Medicare.”

    Clearly they plan on carrying Florida with this strategy.

  12. gm.shoemaker

    3 days in the RNC Gulag

    August 31st
    Tampa

    Police are everywhere in Tampa. Most of the police have been brought in from other Florida cities, counties and other states. There is also a large number of National Guard members here, as well.

    A portion of Tampa is walled in chain link fences. These fences barricade streets and sidewalks. Walking through these makes one feel like a cow being prodded and cajoled into to cattle-chutes. As you walk to and from the convention, police are giving orders to pedestrians. Some are polite and others are surely. (I saw two elderly couples in a car drive over to the curb to allow all but the driver to get an easy walk to the convention. The street cop lady ran down the street and pushed two ladies and a man back into the car. All this for trying to drop off 70-80 year olds that cannot wall for 8 blocks.)

    The police are wearing military type gear. They are equipped with gas masks, tear gas, batons, automatic weapons, pistols and shotguns.

    One area is set up for “free speech” set away from the traffic and crowds. The Occupy Wall Street crowd was present, but only in very small numbers. When I asked, I was told that there were only a few OWS people present. I guess they got the message that there is no free speech in Tampa this week.

    Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum there were hundreds of plain-clothes security guards on the convention floor, in the halls, and at the TSA guard gate. The convention was completely barricaded off from the rest of the city. The city streets outside of the encircled convention were teaming with police and guardsman. Everywhere that you looked downtown, there were police and military uniforms and unsmiling faces.

    I caught a glimpse of a police state this week. Police paranoia reigns supreme here. I have to wonder if this is to be our future. It is damned creepy. I will leave tomorrow. I am ready to go home.

    Tampa spent $50 million dollars for RNC security in Tampa. All of that for 5 to 10 Occupy Wall Street protesters? Somebody at OWS is laughing their @sses off.

    Tampa and RNC, get a grip!

    Gary M. Shoemaker

  13. Dionysis

    In a speech that could only really be appreciated by a crowd of septegenarians with dementia, Clint Eastwood made the GOP’s day by giving a confusing, rambling chastisment to an empty chair.

  14. D. Dial

    Old man rails at imaginary enemy on an empty chair…on the national stage. No police/military came forward to gently carry him away to a padded cell.

    Chris Christy gave a 16minute speech about how great he was…in preparation for 2016? That made the Romney’s squirm.

    End of an underwhelming story.

  15. Dionysis

    Gee, I left out that the weakest and most incompetent Secretary of State in modern American history, Condoleeza Rice, and the increasingly senile John McCain both cheerleading for wars with Syria and Iran, something that even that big room full of chicken hawks can’t come to support.

  16. bsummers

    “Gee, I left out that the weakest and most incompetent Secretary of State in modern American history, Condoleeza Rice”

    “What was the memo called? Oh, let me see if I can remember… We didn’t put much stock in it, obviously… Oh yes – I believe it was called “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US”. Nothing worth getting too concerned about, was our reaction if I remember correctly…”

    • Dionysis

      Well, Bush certaintly didn’t get too worked up over it as he left for one of his record-breaking number of vacations the very next day, if you recall.

    • gm.shoemaker

      We missed it because they did the Ron Paul tribute before the convention started on the third day. Only a handfull of delegates saw it.

  17. Dionysis

    Ron Paul’s supporters have been played like a cheap violin. As a ‘tribute’ video played, his signs and anything else touting him was removed.

    “As a Ron Paul tribute played on the large screen behind the podium Wednesday night, Paul supporters rose throughout the hall to cheer. But when one began waving a “Ron Paul 2012″ sign, then… Watch the video and see what happened.

    Security at the convention has been taking away Ron Paul signs, The Huffington Post reports. When one delegate resorted to waving a Ron Paul mouse pad at the camera, that, too, was confiscated, according to the report.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2012/0830/Is-GOP-convention-confiscating-Ron-Paul-signs

    Saps.

  18. bsummers

    Chumps. Or is the proper term “useful idiots”?:

    “We have always believed that our Party is the one who best represents what it means to be an American

  19. Dionysis

    Hey, this has been a great convention. Thanks to Clint Eastwood’s embarrassing display, that will be the most remembered thing to manner people since it was plugged directly into the peak viewing time. Nice.

    Oh, but it keeps on giving. Just this morning, former Bush chief campaign strategist Matthew Dowd called out Paul Ryan for lying about a GM plant closing being Obama’s fault (it happened before Obama was even president). That, on top of the shameless whopper about an under 3-hour marathon race (faulty memory indeed…one would remember something like that) shows the ethical bankruptcy of this ticket.

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