CCRP Lincoln Day Dinner a Success

Posted: April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

On Saturday the Clark County Republican Party held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner. This event typically serves both as the major fundraiser for the year, and as a chance for interaction with active Republicans in the community. It also provides an opportunity for the new Executive Board to communicate something of their approach to party leadership. The board chooses which speakers to invite, as well as the items to be procured and auctioned.

Last year, the dinner was held during a primary election cycle, and the keynote speaker was Rob McKenna, who was running for governor. His primary opponent, Shahram Hadian, was not allowed time to speak, and therefore the party choice was communicated as plain as if they had publicly endorsed McKenna on everyone’s behalf. I have spoken to several of Hadian’s supporters in the Tea Party who took this as a tremendous slight, both to their candidate, and to themselves. Whenever incidents like this occur, it provides incentive to make changes like the ones that were carried out at December’s Organization meeting.

It was no surprise, then, to learn that the new leadership, which is headed in large part by those same Tea Party folks, had chosen to ask Hadian to speak this year, along with libertarian Sheriff Richard Mack, and Dixie Kolditz, a South African apartheid survivor who recently ran unsuccessfully for LD 19 State Representative. Oh yeah, and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera got some time as well. Fresh off her vote against CISPA (a pleasant surprise for Liberty supporters), the bill that opened the door to government spying on people over the internet, Jaime is, as always, walking the tightrope between her moderate, CRC-supporting donors, and the grassroots conservatives who find her performance leaving something to be desired.

The big question for many heading into this Lincoln Day Dinner, however, was not if Herrera could reach into her bag of moderate platitudes and find something digestible for her conservative constituents as they ate their chicken dinners, but whether or not the new group in leadership of the CCRP could pull off a successful fundraiser. In many ways, the old establishment had been clinging to this last hope that the new group would fail to raise the funds necessary to run an effective party and that they would disappear soon thereafter.

I am pleased to report that these hopes have now been officially dashed. Not only was the event a success in terms of presentation, but the fundraising goals were met and exceeded. Among the tremendous auction items that these hard-working folks were able to put before a sold-out crowd were:

*A condo in Hawaii for five days
* A week at the beach in Florence, OR
*A full house painting, one inside and one outside
*A wine tour for up to 12 people in the Yamhill County area
*An AR-15 rifle and a Remington shotgun
*Various boxes of ammunition
*Numerous bottles of wine, beers, and other alcoholic beverages
*A brand new gas barbecue grill
*Gift certificates for things like meat, music lessons, YMCA membership, Mexican dinner for 8, and holsters
*1 DeWils Wine Cabinet
*A diamond necklace, and other jewelry
*A home alarm system
*3 different Hotel packages with the Hilton, Heathman, and Camas Hotels
*Various meals/private audiences with elected officials like Liz Pike, Don Benton, David Madore, and Ann Rivers.
*Lunch with Lars Larson.

The work that it took to sell tickets, procure auction donations, plan the event, solicit speakers, accommodate guests, and set up the auction itself was tremendous, but it was executed so professionally as to make one look forward to the next convention rather than dread it. In addition, it was great to see so many PCOs helping at every level. Brian Rohan, a PCO in LD 17, was even chosen to be Master of Ceremonies, and fulfilled the task with distinction. This event had a great grassroots flavor, and confirmed in the minds of many that this is a very special group of folks that have assumed the leadership of our local party.

While there is still a campaign underway to raise money from among the PCOs to match donations from a few local businesses, it is exciting to look forward to a day not far off when the party can turn its attention from fundraising to the projects and creative enterprises that this group was known for during last year’s election cycle.

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