Monday, July 18
The long wait is over as the Republican National Convention starts today.
This morning the Texas Delegation attended the first of our four state breakfasts, and the room looked great with hundreds of us wearing our Texas flag shirts, blue jeans, boots and of course our Larry Mahan Milano hats. Texas Pride was visible as we heard from several speakers, including Dinesh D’Souza, Congressman Roger Williams and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. We also heard from Governor Greg Abbott, who talked to us by telephone while recovering from his recent injuries.
While speaking of the need for party unity Governor Perry had the best line of the day…”Donald Trump was not my first choice, I was my first choice!!’ This generated a good laugh and roar of applause from around 400 attending our breakfast.
Around 11:00 we took the RNC Express to the Quicken Loans Arena. After passing through security we walked around the arena to Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, where we had our delegation picture taken while sitting in the left field stands. This is the only time we felt the heat, as the temperature was 82 and the humidity was 71%……still, it was cooler than you are experiencing now in Texas.
After the picture we came back to the arena for the only afternoon session. We heard from numerous speakers, including RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour. We also did some business, reviewing and voting on the reports of the Credentials, Permanent Organization, Rules and Platform Committees.
The vote that will receive the most press was the vote on the Rules Committee Report, and the push by some of the delegates to do away with candidate pledges and their call for a roll call vote. Collin County Chairman George Flint has written an excellent write up on the issue, which follows my report.
We adjourned at 5:00 PM and traveled to the Powerhouse, a former utility plant converted to a multi-entertainment venue. AT&T threw us a ‘Grand Ol’ Party’, complete with excellent food, sinful deserts and good drink as well. The live band played a mix of music spanning many decades, and delegates were dancing while the Powerhouse was rocking.
The evening session started at around 7:50 PM. While there were no reports or voting tonight, we heard from a great list of speakers from a variety of fields. They included Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, actor Scott Baio (Happy Days), Mark Geist and John Tiegen (portrayed in the Benghazi movie 13 Hours), Senator Tom Cotton, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Senator Joni Ernst, and many more. The highlight was when Donald Trump walked out on stage, and introduced his wife, Melania, who gave a great speech supporting her husband and stating what we will do for America.
I also gave three interviews to the press today. Two were to freelance journalists; for the third, all three CD 3 delegates (George Flint, Carroll Maxwell and myself), were interviewed for Australian television. The reporter so enjoyed talking with us he even took a selfie.
Our security is fabulous. I have talked with many officers during this Convention, from several departments. George, his wife Juanita and I met five Austin police officers near the Arena, and thanked them for their service.
One aspect of the convention that I didn’t expect was finding out how much delegates from around this country admire our delegation. While Montana has vests and some others t-shirts, our flag shirts and hats show unity, which they appreciate. Many other states charge their delegates a ‘Delegate Fee’, our state does not. Many cell phone cameras, as well as press cameras, were trained on our delegation as we stood up and danced to the band during breaks, waving our hats in unison. Reporters from Fox News and many local stations spent large amounts of time in the Texas delegation – we are definitely where the action is.
Neal J. Katz
Collin County Republican Party
Commentary from Collin County Chairman George Flint
The news report said that “chaos broke out on the floor of the convention.” Nothing could be further from the truth. There was a motion to approve the rules and a large number of delegates said no. This was initially ignored but, after a short period of consideration, the chairman of the rules committee again asked for a clear voice vote. As a result of the voice vote, the chairman felt that the “ayes” had it. There was then a motion from the floor for a roll call vote. In order for this to occur, at least seven states had to, prior to the start of the convention, submit the proposal in writing. Nine states did that, but between the submission of those nine states and the making of the motion, three states withdrew their support, leaving the number of states short to bring the question to a vote. It therefore died.
This is not chaos. This is the people acting, according to the rules and the law, to change something which they felt was improper. Yes, the measure failed, but the effort to bring it to the floor is not chaos – it is America in action.
I am proud to be here. Thank you for the opportunity.”