Sep 212015

(Written by Aaron F Park in first person as a personal opinion piece)

I’d rather win elections while admitting fault than be a perfect loser.

If you have a few extra minutes, visit my friend Arthur Schaper’s excellent Townhall piece on the convention.

Everyone has a different way of doing the above, but with the exceptions of a few people that refuse to play ball, the other 98% of the CRP delegates appeared focused in a unanimity of purpose.

This is the legacy of Jim Brulte and Harmeet Dhillon. Maybe the CAGOP finally hit bottom and they were able to get people to focus on what was necessary?

I can’t make that assertion with certainty, but what I heard all weekend were some of the most honest self-evaluations I have ever heard at CRP Conventions, ever.

My convention started with a chance meeting with some Tea Party leaders in Placer County. It was like we had been friends for years! I was blown away but thrilled to be able to interact with this group on such a level. I knew this weekend was going to be a good weekend with that start.

With the exceptions of CRA types, the interactions I had this weekend with everyone I saw were very cordial. People like Mitch Zak, David Stafford Reade and Mark Spannagel were very polite and friendly. I had conversations with all three. Reade looked comfortable and relaxed, Zak was as outgoing and polite as I ever remember him being.

On a personal note, I found out that Mark Spannagel’s wife Emily was able to get “everything she needed” and has been able to recover from her major illness. That was really cool to find out.

I had several interactions with Kathy Arts and Kim Pruett from Tom McClintock’s Office (Arts is now retired). They were really positive as well.

None of the interactions were fake or forced, either… quite a departure from Pre-Brulte Era Conventions.

Statesman State Senator Gentlemen Jim Nielsen was at the convention. He was on his game charming everyone he came in contact with. George indicated that he thought Senator Nielsen was “a really nice man”, while there is a lot of water under the bridge, Nielsen has shattered any paradigm we ever had of him both by his personal conduct and rock solid conservative record in the Senate.

When you can have positive and polite interactions with people once (or still?) considered mortal enemies – it should tell you everything you need to know about the hope for the future.

As with any convention, I met several people for the first time, and re-acquainted with others.

A couple of notes. This was the “Platform Convention”. While many were worried and concerned, with emails and letters flying around about nefarious plots, nothing happened. Only a wholesale re-write of the immigration plank to language that is much better in my opinion and just as strong as it was before. Some may disagree with me and certainly some did on the floor as the debate lasted for 30 minutes or so.

The CAGOP Platform is still Conservative. It was not “gutted”.

There was also an attempt to scuttle the amendment reducing the number of conventions from the floor after the same attempt was defeated in the Rules Committee. The only possible motive for picking a floor fight on that amendment could have been the personal egos of Adam Abrahms and Tom Hudson who attempted procedural tricks to attempt to fool the body in the course of losing the argument badly. I saw no attempt by the “liberals” to “screw” conservatives here.

The GOP is a party of individuals, focused on individual liberty. These sorts of public arguments happen (that should not) when you add ego.

Everyone there had a “different convention” for sure. What I am sure of is that the bleeding of the CAGOP has been stopped.

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