Today's forehead smacking moment comes to us via a Tea Partier - a leader of a Tea Party group in Dallas. He was speaking at a Republican club meeting and yes, the ever present audio device was working just fine, thank you.
Mr. Emanuelson apparently briefly confused himself as being a Republican, or a Republican in a leadership position making claims of who and who shouldn't be within the party:
The Tea Party leader was speaking at a May 20 meeting of Republicans in Dallas. In an audio recording of the remarks, distributed to news outlets Tuesday by Democrats, an activist can be heard asking Emanuelson what the party is doing to attract black voters to the GOP ticket.The activist said he took that to mean the GOP had given up on black voters. Emanuelson did not disagree.“We have a lot of work to do in that community, and it has been written off and we need to change that,” Emanuelson said. “Now we’re not going to change that by 2014, but we might be able to change it if we start now in years in the future. But it’s not going to be soon.”So, apparently the activist asking the question was confused by Emanuelson's position and thus, the firestorm. This attention in the media - inevitable, of course - brought the next statement from the now shamed Emanuelson:
"That was a mistake," said Dallas Tea Party leader Ken Emanuelson. "I hold no position of authority within the Republican Party and it wasn't my place to opine on behalf of the desires of the Republican Party."
I would not have been aware of this unfortunate incident occurring at a Republican gathering in Dallas, where the state party chairman was speaking, but it has become a source of revenue for the group working to turn Texas into a Blue State. I received an email from Congressman Marc Veasey, Texas Congressional District 33 today. Here, read it for yourself:
Frankly, I am disgusted.
Last week, Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri flew to Dallas to support a group called "Battlefield Dallas,” an effort by Dallas Republicans to counter efforts of Battleground Texas.
After Chairman Munisteri's speech, Ken Emanuelson, a tea party leader, had this to say about African American voter outreach:
I'm going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn't want black people to vote..."
Well, I am going to be real honest with you, Mr. Emanuelson – the Republican Party discounts communities of color at their own peril and attacks like these only serve to embolden us for the long road ahead.
Don't get angry, get active. By volunteering with Battleground Texas, you can show people like Mr. Emanuelson that every Texan has a voice that counts. Sign up with Battleground Texas today.
Together, we can turn this cowardly attack into the catalyst that makes our movement stronger.
Battlefield Dallas and its tea party ilk have shown their true colors and now it’s time to hold them accountable.
Congressman Marc Veasey
Texas Congressional District 33
And, he included a link to the audio at the end.
So, kudos to those in Dallas taking the work of Battleground Texas seriously. A thump on the head to Mr. Emanuelson for playing right into their hands. It seems to be a pattern well established by conservative leaning men. I see they are branching out from disgusting remarks about women to disparaging remarks about minority voters now.
Words matter. Recording devices are everywhere anyone is speaking and they are always turned on to catch this crazy stuff. It is a huge distraction for those working to change the image of the GOP. Yes, that's right. Change the image. Change may not be comfortable for some but it is necessary for all groups sooner or later.
Tea Party members are welcome in the Republican party as voters. They are not, however, welcome to be the spokespeople for Republican policy or strategy. See, that's how that works. The Tea Party wants to tout separation from Republicans? Fine. Republicans have a long and rich history worth preserving. We choose to not write anyone off, thank you very much.