As I stated in my last article about the feuding between the Republican Party under Dennis Bailey and the Women Republicans of Cleveland County (WeRCC) under Marge Hooper, I was going to visit the WeRCC Booth at the 7th Inning Stretch, purchase some Trump campaign stuff and mostly see what was going on.
That is exactly what I did this past Saturday afternoon (August 10, 2019).
The WeRCC booth just happened to be one of the first places I saw as I entered the Court Square area from where I had parked. So, I walked right over, introduced myself and started talking to some of those Republican women that were there. Dennis Bailey was there too. And other Republicans. I asked Dennis Bailey how he was doing and he replied “Cordial.” Good for Dennis Bailey. Marge Hooper was not there right at that time. I was told that she had just left, but was to return soon. I never was able to catch up with Marge Hooper that day. That was probably my fault as I had other things, I wanted to do that day, like walk all around downtown Shelby and determine, in my own mind, distressed areas that might end up getting some funding from this new sales tax increase referendum that will be on this Novembers Elections ballot. More on that later in this article.
As for the WeRCC booth, I ended up purchasing a new Trump for President 2020 Baseball cap, a Trump T-Shirt and a Trump 2020 bumper sticker.
In regard to the Republican feud, discussions went like this: Marge Hooper had come to the WeRCC executive board with the proposition that she stay the WeRCC President, but vest many of her authorities and responsibilities to the Vice-President and perhaps others. That she (Hooper) had been appointed to the Region 10 Trump Re-election team and other Trump and Republican related responsibilities, including receiving Awards, and was requesting assistance with her WeRCC responsibilities. Everybody was happy about that I was told. Remember, Hooper was not there.
As for the feud. Dennis Bailey said there was no feud. That he had himself encouraged more women to attend WeRCC meetings. Of course, I realized that was likely “Code” for Bailey sending Republican women allies to WeRCC meetings for a “hostile” takeover if need be. But, all-in-all, my conclusion was this is win-win for everybody. Marge Hooper is now free to work in a more friendly environment doing what she (and I) thinks is in the best interest of our country-reelecting President Donald J. Trump, avoiding any potential “cat-fights” over inconsequential things at the local level and rise above it all. The Cleveland County Republican Party and some in WeRCC get to declare a victory amongst themselves. While WeRCC returns to being the working arm of Republican men who are mostly too lazy to do anything themselves. And the Republican men get to keep on being lazy while the WeRCC women folks are doing all the work organizing and carrying out fundraising, (wo)manning the polls and other activities. Cooking, cleaning washing dishes, laundry and such. You know, women’s work. Barefoot and pregnant. Gals, just joking. Hopefully.
Of course, the next day a source called to say that the WeRCC folks had been coached on how to identify me if I came to their 7th Inning Stretch booth, what to say and to be in solidarity. But, like I said before, overall, it appears that the feud between WeRCC and the Republican Party men is over and all is well. “One big Happy Family” as I said to Denis Bailey. Now, I said to myself, there are other things to talk about among all these political people. Like the sales tax increase referendum coming up in November.
I asked Dennis Bailey why he had supported the sales tax increase for Cleveland County. Bailey immediately replied “I support “the people’s right to choose” whether or not to raise taxes. Of course, the next and obvious questions was, then “why did the commissioners not put the referendum on the 2020 Presidential year ballot when way more people would turn out to vote?” Bailey Replied “All I am going to say is I support the people’s right to choose.”. My reply was, Dennis, isn’t that just an “apple pie” statement? (“Apple Pie” meaning a standard political “talking point” like “Guns, God and Country.”) Again, Bailey replied “All I am going to say is I support the people’s right to choose.” Then, why don’t we put the Casino on a referendum? I asked-since the Commissioners all support the Casing and much of the population does not, said I. Bailey said that he did not gamble but some do and they should have the right to choose. Then Bailey said we have no say in the Casino anyway and 4,000 jobs would be welcome. All-in-all I found Dennis Bailey’s willingness to discuss a political issue, such as it was, rather refreshing. His developing talent to disagree without being disagreeable. Perhaps Dennis Bailey has learned a good lesson somewhere along the line.
Not every Republican was willing to discuss the new sales tax increase referendum and related stuff without being disagreeable. One missed the mark completely. That person being Dr. Jason Hurst of Cleveland Community College. That shocking episode deserves an article all on its own. Stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, let’s continue.
Commissioner Ronnie Whetstine and his wife were also there at the WeRCC booth. Ronnie, in and out. During one of his “in’s” I asked Ronnie what the tax increase was going to be spent on. Of course, I get all the apple pie stuff that part of the money will go to CCS, part to CCC and part to the municipalities. All apple pie. I say, “no Ronnie,” in particular, what individual projects or uses will this money actually be spent on. Now and the future. Ronnie then says, we are going to “educate the public” on all the good things we are going to use this new tax revenue on. I asked, when is this educating the public going to happen, the day after the election? It appears to me that the commissioners are wanting to raise taxes and then figure out where to spend the money. Inferring, “Just like the Democrats!”