The following open-letter was faxed to Patrick Guerriero at Washington, D.C. Headquarters
24 Mar 2006
I’ve spent the last several days looking at the program for the LCR National Convention; looking at Expedia and Hotels.com for a better deal on rooms….and stewing. Looking at the options and mulling whether to skip Thursday-night, or just go Saturday, etc… And part of my problem is the Agenda…or rather what’s not on the Agenda.
If your NOT a VIP or Trustee; there’s the Thurs. Reception at the Capitol Club and the party later-on at Remington’s….but if your not a VIP you’re not invited to the intervening dinner. There’s no open-attendance dinner or party Friday other than the Trustee’s cocktail hour, and the Saturday evening party is for VIP’s-only as-well. And Sunday morning is the brunch for those “available”. As I read this, that means that the general LCR members will not have an opportunity for interacting with the VIP’s at-all socially between Thursday’s reception and Sunday’s brunch. All of the opinion-shapers and decision-makers will be out-of-reach and out of earshot for the duration of the LCR Convention after Thursday afternoon’s reception.
The official program bothers me in that it’s the agenda of a gay-rights group, not a Republican electoral organization. On Friday we have;
A speech in Gay Marriage, A speech on DADT, Keynote Speech by Bishop Robinson’s speech on Faith and Sexual Orientation, Followed by a panel discussion on religious intolerance, and a “Gay Rights” panel discussion.
On Saturday is the LCR Convention: GOP Women and the Big Tent, “Insights” into 2006 ands 2008, and “immigration reform, the war on terror and the spending situation in Washington.”
I don’t see any “partisan politics” being committed…and I don’t see any accountability of LCR-National to the general membership, nor the membership assembled. There’s no General Membership Business Meeting scheduled, and I don’t see any reports being made on the performance of the National, and I would have liked to hear some reports or comments from chapters on what was successful for them and not-successful. How they went about raising funds, soliciting both for their chapters functions, but also how they raised monies that where then channeled to their local, county and state GOP organizations. You and I both know that the two things that can any political organization influence in either party is the ability to mobilize manpower and money.
Where’s the grassroots organization and activism?? No small-group discussions? I see lots of “rights activism” but little “Republican political action”…and that worries me. Why no break-out seminars on getting involved in the partisan-political process. Presentations on why a gay Republican should run for local office. The How-to of organizing and growing chapters; or how to make a difference. I don’t see anyone speaking on how their Chapter has made in-roads into the GOP establishment…nor on how chapters can synergistically aid other chapters. Where’s the “politics”? How to orchestrate a mailing campaign. How to effectively lobby state legislators without waving huge bags of money. Where’s the the real-world examples of how to be effective on a county GOP committee to gain influence with the Committee.
I would like to attend, but I figure it’s $1500.-minumum at attend; and do what? Other than sitting in the dark, I don’t see the general membership of the LCR doing-much that counts; either at the Convention, nor once they get back home. At the moment, I think I’ll just leave my options open.
Yeah… and there doesn’t look like a chance for members to vote on the Board of Directors either. Perhaps that’s because it is fait accompli by the time the “membership” gathers.
At least there is democracy flourishing in the Middle East, even if it doesn’t at our national gay organizations.