I have talked to multiple members, past attendees, and officers, past and present, who tell me that candidates have almost always been allowed to speak in the past. I have attended HUNDREDS of GOP events across the state, and over 400 Tea Party events in the last 6 years. I have also personally organized dozens of events myself, both for the GOP, the Tea Party, Joint events, and even for national groups and committees. The entire POINT of a pre-election event is for candidate exposure, and to promote party unity, in an attempt to bring people together during the challenges of the primary, so that we will not carry grudges into the general election.
Pay to play is expected. Those who just buy an individual ticket or 2 and show up to mingle, get what they pay for. Those who step up and pay more usually get speaking time. As to the agenda already being done, I am used to events with 400 to 3,000 attendees, with dozens of speakers, entertainers, vendors, and schedules are ALWAYS flexible, especially when dealing with politicians during an election cycle. ( I do respect your understanding of the need for face to face networking before and after the event, too often that is left out).
Case in point, If I had a keynote speaker and their representative FAIL to show, (must have left some time in the agenda) I would logically reach out to the Highest ranking Republican official present and put them front and center. The other night, that would have been Dave Agema, ( until Brian Calley showed up at the end). Even if Ruth/Barb had shown, common practice and even self interest of the Ionia GOP would be to ask High ranking Party leaders to speak for a Few Moments. ( RNC Committeeman Agema, Congressional Chief of staff/District Chair Jordan Bush, District secretary Dave Zelaya). Not only did you snub Dave Agema (I understand the word has come down from party Leadership to do so) but also Brian Calley, who I may not always agree with, but should have been given time to speak for multiple reasons.
I know that representatives of other campaigns also expected to be allowed to speak, and have also communicated their concerns. I also know that when there are incumbents being challenged people take sides, and feathers get ruffled. With the current Purge of those, who like Agema, call for Unity by promoting and supporting the party platform vs abandoning principles to appeal to the lowest common denominators, I have no intention of giving anyone specific names of individuals, who can then be singled out and targeted.
If you actually read the post you reference, my concern is not so much with the lack of speaking time, but with the mindset that those challenging the establishment choices, whether incumbent (Lisa) or challenger (Ellis) somehow have an “Agenda” which is Foreign to the Republican platform. The obvious disdain shown to Dave Agema is actually more disturbing. I can name multiple scandals and moral failings of many in leadership positions in the GOP that are far worse and have garnered more negative press for the party than Agema has. Some involving people who did speak at your dinner.
We are not the ones violating the written Platform Principles of the Party. Agema and others are trying to end the public perception that the party “Stands for nothing, and just gives LIP SERVICE to the platform during election cycles.” A sentiment we hear far too often when knocking doors and dealing with the public.
I myself put in Hundreds of hours in 2012, manning phones, training others, dropping literature, organizing events,not completely understanding those who said no to helping, but understanding their frustration. I was criticized as wasting my time, It was too late, the Party was too far gone. I rolled up my sleeves and worked with the primary winners anyways. I put my knowledge of the dirty tricks and tactics used by our own party aside, and worked for Pete Hoekstra, Lisa Lyons, (I dropped thousands of lit pieces in 2010 when she was in my district) and the ENTIRE GOP slate in Kent County. I organized rallies with national groups to endorse Pete Hoekstra and invited the GOP to attend even in 2012. We understand Unity, but we are sick of being taken for granted.
The GOP’s own reports tell them that over 2 million registered voters on our side, sat out the election in 2012. With the dirty tactics we are seeing being used from within our own party across the nation, I know it is going to be hard enough to put away the hatchets after the primary and join forces. Medicaid expansion, Common Core, increased taxes, Minimum wage, and multiple other violations of the Party Principles, may be too much water over the dam to allow us to unite. Dave Agema and others are trying to communicate the message that the Principled and moral Conservatives are tired of being taken for granted, and being expected to always be the ones who compromise. Lip service to principles is no longer enough
Lip service to principles is no longer enough. Politics is not a game to Men/Women like Dave Agema, Angela Rigas, Justin Amash, and the MILLIONS of Principled Conservatives, who made the GOP relevant again in 2010. We gave up our free time, our energy, and our labor, to put this country back on track and restore Freedom and Principled Government. We did not give our lives, our Fortunes, and our honor, to change the letter after the names of those seeking power for their own means.
Feel free to quote me on any of the above, it is PURELY MY INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE, NOT THAT OF ANGELA RIGAS. I AM NOT A CAMPAIGN MANAGER, EMPLOYEE, OR WORKER. I AM A FRIEND WHO VOLUNTEERS MY TIME. So do not use my response in any way to attack her or her campaign.
I suspect Dave Agema and Trucker Randy Bishop, would agree with my sentiments, but I will not Deem to speak for either of them.– David Wells
Why Are Republicans Upset With The Establishent
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