Faithful followers may have noticed I attracted the attention of Mr. Paul Rieger, Chairman of the Brazos County Republican Party, with a recent entry on this Examiner page.
When I saw Mr. Rieger’s comment on my article, I was painfully aware that there was a disconnect in my message and how it was received. I mentioned liberal leadership in the local GOP, and Mr. Rieger thought I was talking about him.
I am not someone who plays out miscommunications online, so I contacted Paul via email. He and I had had some passing comments several times previous and we have several mutual friends. Contacting out to him wasn’t a process of “reaching out” but simply a, “Whoa! We need to get together because we are on the same side here and we have experienced a failure to communicate! How ’bout lunch?”
Understand that Paul is a busy guy, with a real business AND a party to run. He made time for me at lunch less than two days after contacting him and we sat down for 90 minutes at, yep…Lenny’s.
First of all, there’s a lot I could share but I won’t. I’m not out to catch anyone or keep political capital in my back pocket. This was a conversation between two men who love their country, know who the enemy is, and are fighting a war from seats to the right of Attila The Hun.
The enemy of my friend is my enemy, and Paul Rieger is my friend.
I can tell you what I came away with a sense of, most of it confirming what I already knew personally or by feedback from mutual friends.
Paul Rieger is the Conservative’s Conservative. He is very anti-RINO. When I shared with him why I was concerned about the Republican liberal leadership, I explained to him that it was because of a speech I heard at a recent Brazos County Republican Club meeting, where the leader at the podium was promoting Global Warming, financial industry regulating, limiting the size businesses are allowed to grow to, and not allowing manufacturing jobs to go overseas.
Liberal causes, all…and my description of them is nothing relative to the transcript and audio of the speech in my possession.
Paul remembered the meeting well. And he interrupted me as I was getting into the description of it in such a way that I knew it stuck in his craw, too.
He was relieved to know I hadn’t been referring to him in my previous post, and very sad, disappointed, and angry that such a view was easily shared from the leadership position it was shared from at that meeting.
Paul enlightened me a bit on Republican groups in town, too. While there is the above-mentioned club, there is the Republican Women, the College Republicans, etc., that all associate together but do not fall under any jurisdiction through which the local party controls them. Were a Pachyderm Club or Conservative Republican or Log Cabin Republican organization to form locally, they would not be chartered under or only be able to organize with the blessing of the local party.
So…the Republican Club can say and do what it wants. It does not officially represent the views and platform of the Republican Party.
Than you, Jesus!
Paul and I share equal thoughts on everything we discussed. He recognizes the value of the Tea Parties and also their ability to self-destruct. He shares my appreciation for Nancy Coppock, the leader of the Brazos County Tea Party and a writer for American Thinker, and is keen to the reality on the ground with such organizations as the Waco Tea Party.
We share the idea that the NRCC coming into the TX17 Congressional race and announcing their support for a certain candidate probably does not do that candidate a service…in fact, it probably loses him 10,000 votes right off the bat.
The place where Paul and I disagree (though it is probably just in the amount of hope we place in this item) is the promise of the NRCC to deliver $250,000 to the candidate who has to go head-to-head with Chet Edwards. The NRCC has promised that every election since our district was formed, and they have never come through. Pete Sessions has said that this will be the Number Two race in the country and he is the chair of the NRCC.
I probably should have bet Paul on that. I don’t think they will come through this time as well, and he is hopeful and more confident.
One last important point: I asked Paul if he thought that I, as a citizen, shouldn’t be asking the questions I am asking of Bill Flores. He said,”No, I think you should. But I think they just need to be tempered a bit.” He then told me that when he saw the questions, he automatically thought that Timothy Delasandro and I were working together, though he knew I was no longer a part of Timothy’s campaign.
Obviously, I need to work on the wording of my questions! I have spoken to Timothy twice since I left his employ on November 30th, on an unrelated matter. The questions for Flores have been circulating amongst the campaigns since the summer, before I became involved. I probably let all the campaigns off the hook by asking the questions. I will endeavor to keep my independence clear from now on.
My lunch was very productive in terms of getting to know Paul and having him get to know me, as well as building a simple camaraderie that I hope will grow. While he remains a member of the Republican Party, I dropped my membership two years ago and remain independent in my conservatism. However, I will enjoy helping to remake Ronald Reagan’s party instead of pursuing a third party agenda, which I have never considered.
We covered topics that I have not touched upon here. We talked about every candidate: Wilson, Delasandro, McIntyre, Flores, and Curnock. I think I know who Paul favors (It’s a number of candidates, not one) but he is the penultimate leader who won’t share who has his vote with anyone except, as a husband I am sure he will with his wife. As it should be for a man in his position.
I found Paul humble and gracious, and willing to accept and embrace that we had had a misunderstanding. I did not detect deception in his voice or manner, and as I told him, the people who we share as mutual friends are people I know who don’t hang out with idipts…so he’s got that going for him, too! He’s a man of good humor and a fear of The Lord, and a genuine concern for our country’s future.
Lunch ended with Paul and me agreeing that we are both warriors in a battle for our children’s future, and, most importantly, recognizing and celebrating the fact that we are warriors on the same side.
With that, he was off to Austin, still a busy man.