The Convention is over and I’m a bit surprised that no one has launched a more comprehensive discussion of the winners and losers, observations, discussion of Erick’s challenge to talk to Linder, or the surprising intensity about the feelings on immigration.
I’m going to attempt to start the conversation here in a constructive manner and I hope all others will join in.
Convention Winners: A tip of the hat from Bull Moose to the organizers (national and local) of the draft Fred Thompson effort. Kudos to the efforts of the Cagle team and Presence with a Purpose. Classy act award to Karen Handel for really recognizing and respecting the people who helped her get elected. Refreshing sincerity from Sue Everheart. Another class act award to Buzz Brockway. And triple crown awards to the brave House Members for promoting “Real Republicans Cut Taxes” effort. And double tip of the hat to Alec Poitevint for his tireless service to Georgia Republican Party. Demonstration of political courage awards to Senators Isakson and Chambliss. Young Republicans, The Republican Liberty Caucus, and the Conservative Bloggers of Peach Pundit for being the conscience of the Georgia Republican Party.
Funny Moment Most Talked About: Mitt Romney recognizing his good friend Gary Bauer (Ralph Reed).
Convention Losers: Sonny Perdue may be the Governor, but I don’t know what his talk was about on Saturday. Just because our Congressmen and constitutional officers have 5 minutes to speak, doesn’t mean they have to take 7 minutes to drone on about who knows what.
Corruption: Bull Moose took the challenge and spoke to John Linder about Ken Calvert and his elevation by the House Steering Committee to the House Appropriations Committee (Debbie was a witness). Not only did Linder refuse to answer how he voted, he got very testy, said his vote was a secret, and that Calvert has done nothing wrong, is not under investigation and that I didn’t have my facts straight. I was actually very shocked at the rudeness of Mr. Linder in addressing the matter. Someone is cracking under pressure a little bit it seems! Keep up the pressure Erick, maybe we’ll have an answer one day as to how he voted.
Immigration: It’s odd that some were attacking Saxby and Isakson over the immigration deal even though none had likely read any part or portion of the bill and were only trusting rhetorical talking points in their opposition.
This bill is NOT amnesty. Illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law, pay a $1,000 fine, and undergo criminal background checks to obtain a Z visa granting temporary legal status. To apply for a green card at a date years into the future, Z visa workers must wait in line behind those who applied lawfully, pay an additional $4,000 fine, complete accelerated English requirements, leave the U.S. and file their application in their home country, and demonstrate merit based on the skills and attributes they will bring to the United States. Workers approved for Z visas will be given a temporary legal status, but they will not enjoy the full privileges of citizens or Legal Permanent Residents, such as welfare benefits and the ability to sponsor relatives abroad as immigrants.
This bill SECURES the border. Border security benchmarks must be met before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect. These triggers include: constructing 370 miles of fencing and 200 miles of vehicle barriers at the border and increasing the size of the Border Patrol to 18,000 agents.
This bill will STOP the rush to the border. To be eligible to apply for a Z visa, illegal immigrants must prove they were in the country prior to January 1, 2007. Anyone caught crossing the border after the new law passes will be fingerprinted and permanently barred from receiving work or tourist visas from the U.S., creating a strong disincentive to illegal immigration.
Those are just a few points in regards to the convention.