Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Locals will head for Tampa
GOP convention starts Monday
Del. Danny Marshall
Friday, August 24, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Del. Danny Marshall and state Sen. Bill Stanley’s legislative assistant Brian O’Conner are among the three delegates from the 5th Congressional District making plans to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Ken Boyd, a member of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, also was selected to attend.
Marshall, R-Danville, said this will be his first time attending the party’s national convention.
He will leave for Tampa on Sunday and return Friday, Marshall said, noting that he is participating at his own expense.
Marshall said a survey was sent to him and other convention delegates asking them to select the “most important things that need to be dealt with in January when Mitt Romney takes over as president.”
Although the decision for the first and second priorities was “a little hard” to make, Marshall said, one of the primary reasons he wanted to attend the convention was to stress the importance of private sector jobs. In the end, he selected jobs as the primary concern.
“We have got to get people back to work, and that’s Number 1 in my book. If you get people a job so they can provide for their families and get the standard of living going up again, that would cure a whole lot of ills,” he said.
His second priority “could almost have been a 1-A,” Marshall said of the federal budget. “When we’re having to borrow 40 cents out of every dollar the federal government spends, we just can’t keep that up.”
In Virginia, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell “made some tough calls” to balance the budget, Marshall said. Now, Virginia has “one of the lowest unemployment rates statewide. That’s not us, we’re not there yet,” he said of the 5th District.
As a result of McDonnell’s management and his budget decisions, Marshall said the state also “ended up with a surplus for the last couple years.”
Responses to the survey were used as the building blocks for the platform that delegates will consider and vote on, he added.
McDonnell and other members of the platform committee were in Tampa on Monday and Tuesday crafting a platform to be voted on.
O’Conner was a delegate during the last national convention in 2008 and noted that three alternate delegates also were selected, as were at-large delegates.
O’Conner said the at-large delegates generally include dignitaries such as former governors, lieutenant governors and attorneys general. Those delegates do not vote, he added.
O’Conner said that there may be some debate on some of the issues and planks, “but generally, the platform committee goes through some of that and comes up with a document” for the delegates to consider.
Each day will have a different theme, with speakers scheduled to elaborate or inspire on the themes, he said.
“Depending on the political environment at the time, themes may be prosperity or keeping America strong or foreign affairs,” O’Conner said. The themes basically represent the “issues (that) are percolating now.”
Officials from different states also will speak, O’Conner said. For instance, McDonnell is scheduled to speak Wednesday or Thursday — nights that are covered at length by the media.
The debate on the Medicare issue — “the Republicans plan to save it and keep it for our future generations as opposed to Obama’s plan to take it away and put into the Obama healthcare scheme” — prosperity, jobs “and getting the economy moving” are high priorities on O’Conner’s list, he said.
Online reports of the platform committee’s work indicate that one committee member referred to a draft as “the most conservative platform in modern history.”
McDonnell led the platform committee. It also included Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
The draft approved includes a stance against abortion, including cases of rape or incest; support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman; and a strong stance on illegal immigration, according to online reports.
The committee also approved auditing the Federal Reserve and a constitutional amendment that would require a super majority vote to approve a tax increase, online reports indicate.