Sunday, July 15, 2012

Charles Parker: BREC Picnic Thoughts

Random thoughts from a picnic: Republican-style.

What Not To Do: One
As I wandered around Wickham Park Pavilion during the Brevard Republican Executive Committee event on Saturday, I noticed a large picture of President Obama.  After my double-take, I took a closer look.  Obama had a long Pinocchio nose – I thought that was cute.  He also had a target/bulls-eye on his face - I thought that was wrong.

I tracked down the owner of the photo - Regina A. Weiler – candidate for Republican State Committeewoman. I’m not sure what that job entails, but I’m sure I will not vote for Ms. Weiler.

I told her the photo should come down as I believed it was disrespectful.  She disagreed.  She said it began as a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game, but now is used as a campaign prop.  I said it was dangerous.

This is kind of stuff that liberals love to use to make conservatives look like yokels.  This is the kind of stuff the Secret Service loves to investigate.  This is the kind of stuff that moderates and independents hate.  This is the kind of stuff that needs to stop.

What Not To Do: Two
I met a candidate for the Brevard County School Board while I was in line to get a hamburger. She said her name was Keri Lewis.  Evidently she is running for District 4 against incumbent Karen Henderson. 

I told Ms. Lewis that I was a part-time reporter for and I might like to interview her before the primary.  She said that she didn’t do well talking in front of groups and didn’t do well on radio interviews. I said we could have coffee. She said she would love to get some advice from me.  I told her again I was a reporter.  She said I would probably be able to give her a lot of tips on campaigning.

Ms. Lewis – tip number one – when you are asked to give a quick speech to a group of Republican faithful four weeks before your primary – don’t read it off of a memo pad.  I’m not in Karen Henderson’s district – but if I was – I would be voting for her.

What Not To Do: Three
You should show up if you are an incumbent for a constitutional office.  Shame on Mitch Needelman and Jim Ford for being no-shows.  I’ll even give benefit of the doubt that they had conflicts. At least they should have had a booth with some supporters there.

The last time I checked, there were no ivory towers in Brevard County, fellas. 
Romney showed up at the NAACP for goodness sake – not exactly a friendly crowd there.  Show some backbone…

You can follow Charles Parker on Twitter @cpbrevard and on BlogTalkRadio from 8:00 - 9:00 pm Sunday evenings -


  1. Brilliant commentary Charles. You are exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. Rather than focus on what people say and what they stand for, you focus on HOW they say it. That's how we ended up with Obama in the White House. That's why you have a school board that just voted to put a half cent sales tax on us. But let's vote for the tax and spender because the opponent used her notes... Arghhhh!

    1. Since you want the WHAT to be paramount - let's clarify a couple of things.

      1 - I am a registered Republican, but have little to do with the party.

      2 - You made the same mistake that Ms. Lewis made. The School Board did not vote to tax us. They voted to put a proposed tax hike on the ballot. I am opposed to the tax hike and have written previously that it probably didn't have a chance.

      So if you're going to promote the WHAT (and chastise me using incorrect statements to boot) - then you Ms. Lewis need to get the WHAT right.

    2. I agree - brilliant commentary! First, Mr. Unknown, school boards cannot raise taxes; they can only put it to the voters. The citizens of Brevard will make that decision. Second, Ms. Lewis uses notes because she must -she knows nothing. Each time I have seen her, she reads! For that reason, I doubt she even writes her own commentary. Her boyfriend seems to be the one in the know (although his knowledge is limited mainly to budgetary issues). Aside from the picnic, I have heard Ms. Lewis speak twice and have been dismayed that someone with so little knowledge wants to be a decision maker for the schools in Brevard County. On Bill Mick Live, she knew very little about schools, has not visited any of them, she has no children and cannot see issues from parents' perspectives... her decision to run is perplexing. Look, the last thing I want is an increase in sales tax, but I will have my say on that at the polls. However, Ms. Lewis needs to address issues other than "living within our means". I got that message loudly and clearly - and I agree. However, as a parent I want a board member who knows about schools, teachers, FCAT, etc. If I lived in her district, like Charles Parker, I would also be supporting her opponent at the polls.

  2. Well said Charles. It is the contentious negative campaigning that I cannot stand anymore. The four candidates I have been helping have stuck to the strategy of remaining positive, and professional. Wayne, Dana, Scott, and Blaise all now agree, dirt is for the dirty. As our lord spoke to Matthew, Mark, & Luke, we are taught in Mark 3:25 "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" It is a true shame when an incumbent asking for your vote, will not attend to ask for it, and earn it! And now you know my name!! :)

  3. So Charles, did you disagree with any of the SUBSTANCE of what Ms. Lewis said or not?

    1. There was not a substantive conversation - except that she mischaracterized Karen Henderson's position (as stated in an earlier comment).

  4. Mr. Parker, I was at the picnic also and I saw the photo you are referring to. I am not going to comment on the context of it because it is my opinion, like your opinion is yours.

    However, you stated "I tracked down the owner of the photo - Regina A. Weiler – candidate for Republican State Committeewoman. I’m not sure what that job entails, but I’m sure I will not vote for Ms. Weiler."

    Mr. Parker, with all due respect, I would hope you are not voting for ANYONE running for that position as you freely admit you do not know what the job entails and therefore you can not possibly know who is qualified and what their intentions are if elected.

    There was literature available on both of the attending candidate's table. They were both there for you to speak to, ask questions of, and (presumably) begin to form an opinion based on the platforms presented.

    Want to know about the position? Check for an explanation of the role of State Committeewoman.

    Too bad you couldn't see past your, er...I mean *the* nose.

    1. Clever last line.

      I don't want to know about the position. Been involved in politics for 40 years - rearely though with internal party stuff. I generally don't vote for those positions. But if I did...

    2. ...if you did, as a responsible American citizen, you would research it properly. Right?

      Seriously, check the website:

      I think you will be pleasantly surprised by your similarities both professionally and politically.

      I think Regina Weiler wins the election in August. Even if it is only by...a nose!

    3. As I stated in my opnion piece, this election (and many to come) are about the 7% in the middle. (I recently had a conversation with Karl Rove about this very thing.)

      Ms. Weiler's website shows an impressive resume for such a young woman. However, her use of and resulting flippant attitude about that sign shows that while she might have a great future, she is not ready for primetime.

      That display will not "sway Independents and NPA voters" - it will drive them away.


  5. if you do not have anything to do with party politics, then why do you criticize needelman and ford for not attending? you were a hypocrite to attend yourself. and why do you not bother to inform yourself about the candidates or the offices they seek? you are a dangerous man to be spouting opinion about things you know nothing about.

    as for needelman and ford, i believe they both disagree with what BREC has become, and therefore chose not to attend. i would not attend an obama rally, either, because i do not agree with him. this country is about freedom of choice, and everyone may choose where to be on a given day. needelman, coincidentally, knocked on my door that day and explained his positions to me personally. i believe that was a more important "function" for him than attending a puffery, hot dog fest with a bunch of whackos with whom he does not agree, either morally or philosophically. you, sir, have no right to criticize anyone, and if you are a reporter, you need to try to remain a little objective. nothing of yours i have ever read came down in the middle. you are consistently biased. therefore serious voters ignore your work.

    1. I wonder why Mr.Needlement felt compelled to knock on your door to explain his position to you. Could it be, he too, felt he should have attended the picnic and tried to smooth over his absence? Perhaps knocking on your door was important to him (and to you it seems), but that will not help him win votes. BTW - not everyone at the picnic was a wacko, and some of us intend to vote for the person we feel best represents us. I am no fan of Scott Ellis, but Mitch was a no-show. I agree with Mr. Parker, he should have attended.

  6. Okay - I'll take the bait, Anonymous - AKA "I don't want people to know who I am"

    First - yes, I am very dangerous man. I also teach English and that, my friend, is called "hyperbole." That's pronounced with a long "e" in case you didn't know. If Needelman and Ford want the Republican nomination, they have an obligation to attend events like these.

    Second - I know a lot.

    Third - I went as an observer and the candidates who were there were more than happy to speak with me. I ate a puffery hot dog too along with some puffery beans, puffery potato salad and a bunch of puffery ice cream.

    And just to explain this one more time to any more yahoos who don't get it - I occasionally write straight news stories, but mostly I write OPINION. When I write OPINION, I do not have to be objective. I call them as I see them.

    BTW, I sent Mr. Needelman an email that day asking for an explanation and he has chosen not to provide one. He has emailed me many times in the past - in fact complimenting me on my objective reporting in straight news stories - but this time no reply. I'm glad you got a reason.

    The last two straight news stories I wrote were criticized by all sides - sounds pretty fair to me.

    You might want to try some capitalization sometime...


    1. i see all those puffery hotdogs also made you puffery. you are what you eat. 'glad to hear you have a backup plan (teaching) 'cause you clearly need a safety net. take a hint from all those criticisms you got from your last two "straight" news stories. you are pretty full of yourself, and i guess it is important to be a legend in your own mind, "Mr. Hyperbole". get over it.

      thanks for confirming you "know a lot". i will sleep better at night now, secure and comforted by that.

      boohoo, needelman did not answer your email. maybe he had something important to do.... like meeting the voters?

      i still maintain you have no business criticizing others for their choice of where to be at any given moment. to base your vote on who decided to pander to the party or go out and meet the constituents is the worst kind of hypocrisy. but as you point out, you are entitled to your opinion. thank goodness nobody cares.....

      and i do not capitalize on purpose. it is my CHOICE, you see.... oh, wait, i forgot. the only choices that count are yours!

  7. Bravo Charles! I, too, was at the picnic. Like you, I am a Republican super-voter. Your comments concerning Ms.Weiler's bull's-eye on Obama have restored my faith in my fellow party members. The display reminded me of my 10-year-old son's Halloween costume (Justin Beiber with bull's-eye t-shirt). Of course, HE was only 10! The picture was tasteless and disrespectful, and it saddens me that a few party members approved of it. Ms. Weiler's display choice is a testament to what I consider poor judgement and immaturity. As a parent, this is not the model I will support in August!