The three elected officials who agreed to take questions at the Shelby GOP Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday night fielded a wide range of issues.
MC Jane Pierotti continued with good questions. She asked Rep. Stephen Fincher “how can the GOP engage more young people to work in our party?”
Fincher didn’t hesitate. “Our message works,” he said. “It’s your money, your government. We are the party of the working man and the party looking out for women. If we abandon our principles, we lose.”
Ms. Pierotti then asked if people even know what our principles are.
Tom Cotton, House representative from Arkansas who is running against Pryor for his Senate seat, said “it comes down to civics again.” He admitted that schools have not done enough to teach our children about our country. If they did they would understand that our party protects the ideals of our country, i.e. “limited government, free enterprise, traditional morality and strong national defense. No one is born a good citizen,” Cotton said.
To the discussion of how liberals are wanting to alter our government, someone mentioned that in New York, Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill for the National Popular Vote. That means that New York will give all its electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote in the entire nation. In other words, a state could vote for candidate A, but have their votes changed to candidate B.
Mark Norris, state senate majority leader, said that several attempts to do away with the electoral college have been attempted in Tennessee. He said that former Senator Fred Thompson had been a proponent of dissolving the electoral college. Norris related that after RNC Committeeman and Memphis attorney John Ryder discussed the merits of the electoral college with Thompson, the Senator dumped the idea. If that happened, Norris said, “we’d all be disenfranchised. The current state Senate will make sure it doesn’t occur.”
Fincher also said that although we need to make sure our schools teach our history, “we can’t fix the school without fixing the family. We’ve got to start local when it comes to keeping our rights. Our states are the ones now holding the line.”
Cotton added that “a Republican president can turn a lot around immediately.”
“What can our party do to encourage black voters?” Ms. Pierotti asked.
“Something other than have three white guys on this stage,” Norris replied. “We need to do outreach, talk about our relevancy and we have to matter on the ground. We have increased our outreach,” he said, mentioning our Latino candidate, Geoff Diaz, and state party liaison Victor Evans.
The floor opened up for questions and I asked Congressman Fincher what is going on in the House regarding immigration. Speaker John Boehner had recently said he was ready to push it through the House, while the more conservative wing is objecting to that.
Fincher said he likes Boehner, but that “unless we have a president who will uphold the law, we will not go down that road. We can’t make reforms with someone we don’t trust (meaning Obama). Immigration reform will not happen now.”
Then a question was asked about Benghazi.
Cotton bemoaned the fact that we have not brought anyone to justice for the death of four Americans. “Why was security so lax? Why weren’t Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton more engaged? Why the video excuse? We need a special committee. Americans don’t like it when Americans get killed.”
He then mentioned White House spokesman Tommy Vietor’s “dude” remark. “It’s that attitude that keeps it on the frontline.”
Steering Committee member Mick Wright asked the panel what the biggest scandal concerning the Obama administration is that we don’t know.
Panelists said there is more out there than we know.
Cotton said “emerging scandals will continue for Obamacare. Who got bailouts? They disobeyed the subpoenas.” He mentioned that the deadlines for parts of Obamacare get pushed back. One after Obama’s 2012 election bid and now they are trying to continue to hide the worst parts til after the midterms. “It will cost taxpayers billions next year while insurance companies are getting breaks.”
That last question was all there was time for before the dinner. Ms. Pierotti did an excellent job and it was a good new wrinkle for the format of the Lincoln Day Dinner.