Thursday, October 15, 2009

LCRC October Meeting Report

LCRC held its September meeting on Monday, October 12. Though the weather didn't really encourage folks to leave the house, we still had a pretty good turnout.

Recent events make the importance of our mission even more obvious as congressional Democrats demonstrate they're perfectly willing to run roughshod over the Constitution to ram President Obama's agenda down our throats. Ignoring the will of the people evidenced by the success of the Tea Parties and 912 movements, Senate Democrats (including our own Blanche Lincoln) passed the latest version of the President's government takeover of the nation's health care system.

Now is the time to get involved, and help turn the tide of Socialism pushed by Democrats in DC!

As the 2010 elections approach, our committee is drawing a lot of Republican candidates as speakers so these meetings are a great way to get to know those running for office next year. Over the past several months we've heard from candidates for local, state, and federal office. This month Mark Darr and Colonel Conrad Reynolds addressed our group. Darr is running for Lieutenant Governor next year and Col. Reynolds is vying for the US Senate seat currently held by Lincoln.

Darr is a graduate of Mansfield High School and Ouachita Baptist University. He currently owns his own business, operating Larry's Pizza franchises. He owned his own insurance agency before entering the restaurant business and believes his experience as a business owner provides an excellent background to be a great Lieutenant Governor. Darr and his wife currently reside in Springdale where she is an elementary school teacher.

In his address to the Committee, Darr explained that he chose to run for office because he's "enjoying life, but not enjoying the status quo." He believes Arkansas currently creates an environment that's not business friendly, costing Arkansans jobs and opportunities. With Democrats holding every statewide elected office, he believes we need people in these positions to stand against DC Democrats' efforts to make it even harder for small business owners to create jobs. As it stands now, Arkansas state government is little more than a rubber stamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.

Darr opposes the Arkansas Lottery and considers it a tax on the poor. He believes our state and country need more business owners and veterans running for office and fewer professional politicians. If elected, he plans to push for the creation of a website that tracks where every dollar from the state treasury is spent in an effort to guarantee accountability and responsibility in state government.

Colonel Reynolds graduated from Batesville High School in 1978, but it was the last in a long line of schools he attended in his educational career. His father was an Arkansas State Policeman so the family moved around the state quite a bit during the Colonel's childhood. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas.

His service to the country began when he enlisted in the Army Reserves while still a college student at UCA. He was compelled to enlist by the Iran Hostage Crisis and a feeling that he "had to do something." After receiving his Bachelor's of Science degree from UCA in 1982, he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on active duty. He devoted the next 26 years of his life to the United States Army, working the vast majority of that time in the intelligence field and retiring last January.

Reynolds believes his experience as an intelligence officer in the Army will serve him and Arkansas well in the United States Senate. He pointed out that only 23% of the current members of the US Congress have any military experience, let alone 26 years as an intelligence officer. The leadership and managerial skills developed under difficult circumstances, and often in very fragile situations, provide him an insight that's increasingly scarce in the halls of Congress.

Colonel Reynolds recognizes his military career also provides him with a unique tie to Arkansas veterans. He understands the difficulties faced by today's active duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen, those faced by deploying reserve and National Guard troops, and veterans who've separated from the service. Reynolds hopes these ties will motivate Arkansas' 270,000 veterans to support his bid for the US Senate, and believes their support will propel him to victory in the Republican primary.

Reynolds claims another strength that none of the other contenders have is his lack of political ties. He stated "not one dime" he's collected for his campaign has come from a political action committee. "I don't owe anything [political favors] to anybody," he said. He believes this isn't the time for more professional politicians in the US Senate.

He also makes the case that he has no skeletons hiding in his closet, nothing for Lincoln to exploit in the general election next year. Reynolds still holds a Top Secret security clearance and his last polygraph was administered by the CIA. In other words, he has no "soft spots" for Democrats to attack. This is a strength rarely ever enjoyed by a prospective politician, and one that may help him greatly in this campaign.

You can visit the websites of Mark Darr and Colonel Conrad Reynolds to learn more about them and their plans to serve our state and country.

Join us next month on November 9 at Grandpa's BBQ in Cabot and help Lonoke County be instrumental in taking our country back in 2010!

*As always, the Lonoke County Republican Committee doesn't endorse any candidate until after the Arkansas Republican primary election. This report is offered only for informational purposes and should not be considered an endorsement for any candidate.

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