*Glen Bradley commenting under his username “GunnyFreedom” *
The following post was written by Guest Contributor: Verne Strickland
The North Carolina Republican Party will be holding the 2013 State Convention the weekend of June 7th-9th in Charlotte, North Carolina. Expecting over 1,600 GOP activists from across the state to attend, the first annual “Governor’s Reception” will be taking place on Friday night, June 7th.
North Carolina was one of the few bright spots for Republicans in the 2012 presidential election. Mitt Romney turned the state red again after President Barack Obama’s victory here in 2008, and Republicans won the Governor’s office, Lieutenant Governor’s office and the state legislature – giving the GOP complete control of the lawmaking process for the first time in a century.
Early fireworks have lit up at least one convention tradition, which is usually a yawner, but not this time – election of the Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Candidates include GOP stalwarts Major Dave Goetz, Marcus Kindley, and Joyce Krawiec, who agree that the party must fight to retain its brand as the statewide political party that supports the US Constitution and fights for God, traditional families, fiscal restraint, leaner government, and other social and pocketbook issues.
There’s no question that these will be among the bedrock issues tackled at the 2013 event in Charlotte. But a tablespoon of oil has been poured into the bucket of clear pristine water that will be brought to the Republican convention this year. And, as we know, oil and water won’t mix.
That dollop of oil is being administered by candidate Glen Bradley. The other candidates want it strained out before anyone gets to drink the water. Setting the scene for the clash at the convention is this exclusive report from NCConservative.com which was published June 2, ran under this banner headline: “Special Report: Unmasking Hidden Agendas“.
The Exclusive feature was written by popular conservative Christian blogger Verne Strickland of Wilmington. Response to it has generated record traffic on this statewide and national website.
Candidate Glen Bradley, a newcomer to the front ranks of the NCGOP, has sparked debate with his comments at a recent Monsanto rally. We asked the other three candidates to weigh in and give their thoughts on the direction of the GOP. Responses were welcomed from Marcus Kindley and Major Dave Goetz. Joyce Krawiec was also invited, but has not yet responded. We are attempting to reach her and will post her commentary once we get in touch.
Now will move to statements received.
Glen Bradley stated this at a Monsanto rally on May 25, 2013 in Greensboro:
“Occupy America calls the Tea Party right wing nut theocratic fascists and Tea Parties call Occupy left wing nut hippie communist and we are all too busy hating each other to recognize that we all have more in common than we have against each other.”
VS: Do you agree with Glen Bradley’s comment that Occupy and Tea Party have a lot in common?
Major Dave: Yes and no. Occupy primarily targets big business and the Tea Party primarily targets big government. Since for many it grows increasingly hard to distinguish between government and corporations these days and their influence over each other, there is some common ground in their interests. Most of the Tea Party folks I have met and worked with over the last three years are social conservatives, although their ranks have been filling with more libertarian-leaning people in certain groups, but even with that, I don’t see much common ground, and especially any significant level that would justify the risk inherent in any attempt to merge the two. I do believe that most of the Tea Party would reject such a notion on any substantive basis.
Marcus Kindley: No. Having been confronted by the Occupy Washington DC while attending an American For Prosperity Conference( I had organized a bus of people to attend), where they attacked individuals, attempted to break the Conference Center’s windows and personally threatened me, I can see where I have nothing in common with their political or activist ideals.
VS: Do you agree with Glen Bradley’s suggestion that Occupy and Tea Party should work together? Is this an idea you support?
Major Dave: Again, yes and no. I take exception to Glen’s use of the term “unite” when discussing the relationship between the two. There is a difference between “unity of effort” and uniting to become one, and to the broader public who only knows of these organizations from what they learn in the mainstream media, use of that term creates a false impression of just what is being proposed. Glen represents the Republican Liberty Caucus, not the NC GOP as a whole, and embraces their “Statement of Principles” found here (http://www.rlc.org/about/statement-of-principles/) which differ markedly from the duly adopted party platform in several key instances. I say this to point out that even the Tea Party is not homogenous in its beliefs among the many dozens of different groups that exist in this state. Lacking such a singular identity beyond the common name also adds to the confusion about just who is working with whom, should they engage in collaborative activities. It can have an adverse impact on the effectiveness and integrity of those Tea groups who want nothing to do with Occupy, and on the willingness of many in the GOP to work with the Tea groups who do.
Marcus Kindley: No. Occupy groups will not compromise their goals, but would insist we should.
VS: Do you think it’s important for candidates to stick with the party platform?
Major Dave: Yes. I support the method of submitting resolutions as provided for in the Plan of Organization to make changes to the party platform, but firmly believe that any elected party official and those seeking to be one have an inherent duty and obligation to be advocates for the existing platform, not for changing it. The notion that the NC GOP needs to be “fundamentally transformed” to remain viable, or needs to be more “tolerant” on social issues to attract more voters is exactly the kind of pandering for votes, saying or doing whatever is needed to win elections, that we decry in our elected officials who do exactly that. What the party needs is leadership that will stand firm behind our traditional conservative values so that the rank and file voters can have the confidence of just what they are supporting with their membership, their donations, their vote and their time. That leadership needs to be the public “face” of the party that dissolves controversy, not creates it by differing publicly with the majority of it. Frankly I see little difference between those wanting to change the party platform and those in the party in office who vote against it, and it is generally the former that is the most vocal critic of the latter. Our durability and our credibility as a party rests with our consistency in that platform and our adherence to it at all levels.
Marcus Kindley: Yes, it is important that Candidates for Public office “stick” with the Party Platform. A question then arises: How many planning to run for office are familiar with our platform? Have we educated not only prospective candidates but members of our local GOP parties and the auxiliary groups as to what the Platform states? Are we communicating our platform to the general public? I believe that we have not done a very good job in this respect. This is just one of the many challenges we face in 2012. This will have to be a priority in the coming months as we reach out and engage others to support our ideals and goals.
In addition, Candidates for Party Offices should adhere to the platform they will be obligated to uphold along with following the Plan of Organization as currently written.
VS: Are you concerned about the possibility of radical factions infiltrating the GOP?
Major Dave: My concern for this has been growing steadily over the last two years as we have seen former Libertarian candidates change party to run under the Republican banner when they could not succeed under their own. While there is general agreement between us on many fiscal issues, there is general disagreement on key social issues. None are more stark that the right to life and marriage. We have also seen the rise of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) that grew out of the Campaign for Liberty (C4L) begun by Ron Paul back in 2008 and that exists today as the remnants of his campaign organization. The Statement of Principles of the RLC as mentioned in the previous question bears a much closer alignment to the platform of the Libertarian Party than the Republican Party as I read it and as such, it has made the Liberty Caucus ripe for exploitation by those libertarians seeking to take advantage of the NC GOP’s organization and capabilities. Glen has been endorsed by the NC chapter of the RLC to lead the party in spite of his opposition to the recently passed Marriage Amendment which roughly 80% of the GOP favored. He was my Representative in the NC General Assembly and did vote for the bill that put the measure on the ballot on the first two readings as he promised us he would even over his own objections to it, but then simply didn’t vote on the third and final reading, much to the dismay of myself and most of his constituents here in Franklin County. That he thought the Amendment was a bad idea then and a bad idea now remains very troubling because it is not consistent with the majority of the party, and attempting to steer the party in a minority direction on that issue is not leadership. You can read more about his opinions on this subject at www.glenbradley.net/share/marriage.pdf and a copy of the speech he made on the floor of the Legislature against it can be found here http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?282567. It remains difficult to characterize such a movement within the party as an infiltration when it takes on such an overt and blatant nature. It is difficult enough for the party to take on the progressive liberals but also having to battle such things within the ranks of the party distracts us from that primary mission and confuses the general public about just who we are and what we stand for as a party.
Marcus Kindley: Yes.
This interview was conducted by Verne Strickland, a conservative Christian blogger, and leading voice among conservatives in the Cape Fear Region and beyond. Strickland, formerly with WRAL in Raleigh, where he worked with conservative icon Jesse Helms. He later worked as a media consultant in Helms’ successful re-election campaign in 1982. Now retired, he and his wife Durrene live in the Historic City of Wilmington, NC. He currently writes for USA Dot Com.
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