INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Folks have asked for my opinion of the Republican Convention. I think it did all a convention is supposed to for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It gave them both nationwide free media exposure with no detractions from their opponents. However, if there was a standout occurrence, it was the magnificent speech by Condoleezza Rice. She out-Reaganed Reagan in promoting America as an exceptional land of opportunity. At her description of her parents telling “a little girl in Jim Crow Birmingham, who couldn’t even get into Woolworths to get a hamburger, that she could grow up to be President of the United States” there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.Intriguing news on the Democratic side. Former Newsweek and New York Times Editor-in-chief Edward Klein, author of the bestseller “Amateur,” recently revealed that he has reliable sources within Bill Clinton’s sphere and that Clinton himself privately dubbed President Obama an amateur and that the book accurately reflects Clinton’s private feelings. His sources said that Hillary Clinton was offered Joe Biden’s vice-presidency for the 2008-12 term. Hillary is reported to have turned it down flat, believing that the 2012 Obama campaign is headed for a train wreck, and set her sights on the 2016 election when she will be 69 years old.He further stated that Bill Clinton is writing his own speech for prime time presentation at the Democratic Convention and will not reveal its contents to Obama campaign staff. Hilary will be in Vladivostok, Russia during the event, about as far away as you can get from Charlotte, N.C. Speaker Tip O’Neil once said: “All politics is local” so let’s return to Incline/Crystal Bay. As reliably reported in the Bonanza, some 200 plus locals attended the town meeting August 28 to hear the final community assessment report from the Nevada Rural Development Council. Council staff had spent more than a week last June conducting “listening sessions” in which Incline/Crystal Bay residents expressed opinions on their visions for the future of this community. After more than 250 interviews, five main themes emerged. The purpose of the town meeting was to discuss the themes, to prioritize them by vote of participants and to organize interest groups to adopt goals and agree on action plans.The participants voted community development the most important, governance next followed by quality of life, education and mobility. I joined a group of 23 citizens at the governance table. In short order the group, identified the problem (“we do not control our own destiny”) , agreed on the factors contributing to the problem (“our unique demographic doesn’t have political leverage yet we pay an outsized share of taxes”) and identified actions needed to correct the problem (“get reliable, accurate figures on sources and uses of taxes collected in Incline/Crystal Bay, list and evaluate governance alternatives, make a political feasibility analysis and conduct a public forum to initiate action”).Later that week I attended a session of the Conversation Caf which was scheduled to discuss: “Incline/Crystal Bay — village, town, county or?” I was impressed with the knowledge and passion exhibited by the members. There is a great deal of interest in this subject and six of their members signed up with the governance committee. A couple of cogent comments were: “we are always having ‘vision’ meetings ... TRPA, the North Lake Chamber and now this one, and nothing ever happens!”, and “part of the problem is citizen apathy.” Memo to self: “Get busy.”If any readers would like to follow the actions of any of the five theme committees please send your email address to the undersigned. My email address appears below.— Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates; he has served on the Washoe County andamp; Nevada State GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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