August 16, 2009

Rhode Island Republican Assembly "Victory Over Statism" BBQ Speeches

Justin Katz

Per our usual practice of reinvesting just about every dollar that we take in, for Anchor Rising, we're expanding our capabilities to include video, and the collection of short speeches presented at the Rhode Island Republican Assembly's Victory over Statism Barbecue presented a fantastic first run. Videos (with quotes and commentary as I'm inspired) for the following speakers may be found in the extended entry:

  • Erik Wallin, Candidate for Rhode Island Attorney General
  • Bill Felkner, Executive Director of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute
  • Mark Zaccaria, Candidate for United State Congress
  • Helen Glover, 920 WHJJ Radio Personality
  • Rep. John Loughlin, Candidate for United State Congress
  • Terry Gorman, Founder of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement
  • Colleen Conley, President of the Rhode Island Tea Party
  • Barth Bracy, Executive Director of Rhode Island Right to Life
  • Travis Rowley, Chairman of the Rhode Island Young Republicans
  • John Robitaille, Communications Director for Governor Carcieri
  • Dan Reilly, Candidate for Rhode Island House
  • William Sousa Grapentine, Candidate for Rhode Island House
  • Robert Paquin, Candidate for Rhode Island House
  • Kathleen McCurdy Dennen, Candidate for Rhode Island Senate

Rhode Island Attorney General Candidate Erik Wallin

"I'm ready for a fight to crack down on public corruption."

Executive Director of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute William Felkner

"These are pieces you need to fight the Left. They showed us the blueprint on how to do it; we need to replicate it."

Congressional Candidate Mark Zaccaria

"We have allowed our representatives to start working for somebody else, working for a select group, working for special interests, but not working for all of the people of the district or the state."

WHJJ 920 Talk Host Helen Glover

Funny thing: Driving to a job site in Newport, on Friday morning, I passed by a topless Richard Hatch trying to jog off (one imagines) the extra pounds put on during idle jail time. Hearing Helen giving an entertaining and encouraging talk the subsequent afternoon really highlighted the contrast between these two of the local celebrities emerging from Survivor. Considering how blue Rhode Island is, politically, it's interesting to note that the state's third Survivor star, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, is now the token conservative on The View.

We're fortunate, on the RI right, that Glover found herself on the path that she's currently traversing.

Congressional Candidate RI Representative John Loughlin

I don't know that I've ever heard Loughlin give this sort of a speech before. He's often been the guy I've chatted with while others spoke or another of the local politicians making the rounds, but it shouldn't be surprising to learn that he gives an entertaining talk.

When I was in my late teens, I crossed the bridge onto Long Island to catch a performance by George Carlin, and something about the performance gave the impression that he was working out material for an HBO special or some other major production — seeing what fell flat and what got laughs. (I wonder to this day whether he kept the joke that drove a dozen overweight women to get up and leave en masse.) I get something of that sense from Loughlin, and with so much rehearsal time, as it were, there's reason to believe he could be a successful candidate even against Patches.

Somebody with a familiar name in the Rhode Island media (other than my friends on WPRO) asked me, the other day, what I thought of John's viability, and I wasn't sure what to say. Based on his speech and off-camera conversation, this event may prove to have been the moment that began to push me toward a more favorable view.

Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement Founder Terry Gorman

In the first of the following two clips, Gorman runs through some relevant facts and figures: "In Rhode Island, there are approximately 21,000 illegal aliens that have jobs, while 66,000 Rhode Islanders are unemployed."

In the second clip, Terry adds anecdotes to his data. The first is about teachers and school counselors who require interpreters to communicate with English-speaking children. "Providence had to hire a lot of Spanish-speaking teachers, but they hired them under the guise that they were bilingual. When they got in the classroom, nobody could understand the bilingual part of their teaching, so they had to hire interpreters to teach the kids in English." Others involve healthcare and incarceration.

RI Tea Party President Colleen Conley

"We're at a defining moment here in America, and I think that, when we look back in retrospect in twenty or fifty years, we are going to be amazed at the danger that our republic faces at this point in time. Because we're going to look back, and it's going to be evident to us that, what we're facing, now, is really a war. We are at war. It's not a war violence, but it's a war of words; it's a war of ideas; and it's a war against an ideology that, if it continues to blossom, will swallow this country whole and spit it back out, and we will not recognize it for what it was in the past."

Rhode Island Right to Life Executive Director Barth Bracy

Bracy makes a very strong case for the importance of the pro-life cause to any conservative or Republican movement, tracing threads through the judiciary, marriage, and even healthcare.

"The most insidious, pervasive, despicable and destructive form of statism occurs when government declares itself as the arbiter of which human beings are entitled to fundamental human rights, which human beings are entitled to the right to life, and which are not."

"Constitutionalism, conservatism, and capitalism are simply not enough. Left to themselves, without the guiding light provided by the Declaration of Independence, they can be perverted to exploit, oppress, impoverish, and even enslave the very human beings that they're intended to serve. A fiscal conservatism that is not rooted in a deep commitment to the social values on which our nation was founded and which have inspired the whole world is like a body without a soul."

Rhode Island Young Republicans Chairman Travis Rowley

"The Left's number one talent is that they're able to make themselves seem bigger than they are and conservatives seem smaller than they are."

Rhode Island Office of the Governor Communications Advisor John Robitaille

"This is not a church revival; this is about winning elections. Because I've got to tell you, unless we win more seats locally, at the General Assembly, in Congress, nothing is going to change."

That said, Robitaille argued that the RIGOP's branding problem is that it hasn't branded itself. Neither raw ideology nor raw logic is adequate without the communication of those principles to the practical needs and desires of constituents.

"I've learned in the last eighteen months that mainstream media is not your friend. I don't care what they tell you; I don't care what relationships they try to build with you. They are liberal, and most of them are guilty of journalistic fraud."

Rhode Island House Candidate Dan Reilly

Rhode Island House Candidate William Sousa Grapentine

Rhode Island House Candidate Robert Paquin, III

Rhode Island Senate Candidate Kathleen McCurdy Dennen