Sam Kephart in RC Weekly news on his amendment and it's disposition at last week's GOP Convention
Although I’m descended from three generations of successful and well-liked Republican politicians in Pennsylvania, and despite the fact that I excitedly interned for two summers in the late ’60s with the late Minnesota Gov. Harold Stassen, I’ve never really been very political.
I’m a dedicated conservative and have always voted since I was old enough to register. However, I’ve never really felt comfortable with the party thing ... that is, until I moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota and met some of the people who both run and support the Lawrence County Republican Party. They’re solid folks and devoutly patriotic Americans who want good government and are willing to work for those who can make it happen. So, since moving here in January 2004, I’ve gladly assisted the local GOP with a variety of small projects and one long day of being a precinct captain during the November 2004 election.
Last month, our county party chair asked me if I’d be willing to be a delegate to the 2006 South Dakota GOP Convention, which was held last week in Watertown. I jumped at the chance, particularly since I’ve never experienced the process. About a week prior to the convention, the executive director for the state party called and asked if I would sit on the Resolutions Committee. I agreed and was flattered to have been invited.
Last Thursday, my job, along with eight other volunteers from around the state, was to sort through various proposed party resolutions, decide which warranted a formal floor vote for adoption and to then simplify and grammatically correct them prior to submission to the full delegation. Overall, we had about 20 resolutions to consider and our committee and its chair were great to work with. However, one resolution in particular was troubling to me. It was Resolution 14, which had the state GOP unequivocally endorsing HB 1215, the controversial anti-abortion bill that our Legislature passed by a two-thirds margin earlier this year. From my perspective, the resolution was unnecessary.
The Legislature had already spoken and our state’s voters will have their say this November, when they will either adopt or reject the measure. Our committee voted to allow the resolution to proceed to the floor for a formal vote during last Friday’s general session.
I really struggled with Resolution 14 internally Thursday night through early Friday morning. My anxiety had nothing whatsoever to do with the topic, as I am pro-life. What was bothering me was the wording of the resolution. It totally ignored anyone who might be confused, hurt, undecided, or moderate regarding this highly charged topic.
Read the rest of it here. Sam uses some pretty strong language with regards to the party, and I don't agree with some of it, but I do greatly welcome him and his opinion in the party - because to me, the Republican party is a big tent, with plenty of differing opinions.
Yes, at this moment, at convention much of the delegations agreed on abortion - but I'd remind everyone that it's only one issue. As I've warned before, we need to remember that it is only one issue. I'd prefer to have Sam with us on issues of fiscal conservatism and less government than against us because he might disagree with many party members on one issue that people have been debating for thousands of years.