DAY 1:

Unfortunately the Convention agenda for the first day was cancelled by Tropical Storm Isaac. The California Delegation and its several hundred delegates, alternates and guests went on.

Opening Breakfast with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

The moderator for the speakers was Hugh Hewitt, conservative talk show host from LA. Meg Whitman introduced Governor Christie, who helped Meg during her campaign for Governor in California. Governor Christie will be the keynote speaker Tuesday night and some of my comments may be represented in his speech. First, he related his race for Governor to California’s situation today—a Blue State, with a large deficit (37%), high unemployment and a poor education record. He attributed New Jersey’s problems to the Teachers Union controlling the state legislator and driving the large deficits. His first task as Governor was to take on the teachers union in order to help the students. He started with a story about how his parents, when he was five years old, moved out of the City of Newark so he would get a better education in another city’s high school. The Newark schools had the worst graduation rate in the state—only 25% of the freshman ever graduated from high school. He credited his parents for making that move, feeling confident he never would have been able to be Governor had he received his education in Newark.

He discussed how he addressed the budget deficit. He presented a balanced budget to the legislature without any increase in taxes. The legislature came back with a budget that included tax increases and told him they were prepared to shut down government if he did not agree. He said he was going home to eat pizza and watch TV and they would be blamed for shutting down government. Once they realized he was serious they virtually agreed to his budget without tax increases.

Governor Christie was the first governor to endorse Mitt Romney for President because he felt Romney had the best chance of winning and was capable of changing the direction of this country. He closed by telling the California group that politics is not a spectator sport but an activist sport. He encouraged each person from California to call relatives and friends residing in the swing states—Nevada, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and one or two more and encourage them to vote the Romney/Ryan ticket to change the direction of the country. He re-emphasized the need for great leadership like his example of balancing the budget in New Jersey.


Congressman Drier from Riverside, a member of Congress’s most powerful Rules Committee, explained that he was first elected to Congress in 1980, the same year that Ronald Reagan became President, and the country was in much the same state as today. In 1980, under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, the country had 17% interest rates, double-digit inflation and unemployment over 10%. Four years later under Reagan the economy was growing at a rate of 8%, compared to less than 2% today. Drier related a story of a discussion he had with the President of Peru many years ago when Peru was a very Socialist country and asked Drier when the U S was going to get it. Peru was failing under his leadership with a large national deficit, a large government, high taxes and too many entitlement programs. He did not understand why the US was going in that direction when most of the socialist countries in the world were falling behind and some were converting to capitalism and succeeding. Drier inferred it was because of the President. He finished by encouraging the California delegation to support all our Republican Congressional candidates in the 12 contested district and the Romney/Ryan presidential candidates.

McCarthy, the congressman from Bakersfield, is the House Whip and one of the three “top guns” who recruited the 63 new Republican candidates elected to take back control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election. He also advocated for support of Republican candidates in the 12 contested House races in California. He entertained us with some priceless personal stories about how he got along with then Speaker Nancy Pelosi both before and after the Republicans took over the House in 2010.

There were many Republican leaders in the lobby of the hotel being interviewed by the press, including former Governor Pete Wilson, Congressman Drier, Congressman Bilbray from San Diego, California Party Chairman Tom Del Barcaro, US Senate candidate Elizabeth Emkin and others.


Because the Monday session of the convention had been cancelled, the California Party was able to have a showing in the hotel ballroom of a provocative documentary regarding what the state of the nation might be in 2016 if President Obama were re-elected. The producer of Schindler’s List and other successful Hollywood movies produced this documentary. I recommend it to Republicans, Democrats and independents because it is a thoughtful presentation of President Obama’s life history. It covered his father and mother and their relatives as well as some of Obama’s friends and associates prior to his becoming President. The movie was based on a book by the same name authored by Deinesh D’Spouza. He is an Indian who is the same age as Obama, with a similar background, his in India and Obama’s in Kenya. As I discussed with conservative SF Chronicle columnist Debra Sanders, I thought the movie was a thoughtful presentation of the facts that Obama had covered in his own book about his father, some in more detail, all supported by interviews with some of the people in Obama’s book or by friends or relatives of those people.

One person, Frank, was mentioned in Obama’s book but was never covered in detail. The movie identifies him as Frank Marshall Davis, who was introduced to young Obama by his step-father in Hawaii. Frank was to be a mentor to Obama since he was a black man and Obama’s step-father was white. This relationship lasted eight years, up to the time Obama went to college on the Mainland. Frank is portrayed as politically very left and someone who mentored Obama while he was in high school and earlier.

I recommend that everyone see the movie, and then based on the movie’s presentation of facts and interviews see if you agree with D’Souza’s perception of what this country would be like in 2016 if Obama were to be re-elected. I am not sure I agree with D’Souza completely but he has produced a well-developed movie to support his conclusions.


With the first day of the convention cancelled, the California Party will host a dinner at the hotel with more speakers who have not been announced.

From the Occupy Tampa Republican Movement I will try and report again tomorrow, see you then?