Last Wednesday night, Republican City Committee held a meeting at the United Republican Club. Since STATE REP. JOHN TAYLOR and JOE DeFELICE have assumed the roles of RCC Chairman and Executive Director respectively, the meetings have become markedly more substantive and better attended.
Before the formal meeting started, the ward leaders and other attendees met in regional caucuses representing the Northeast, Northwest, West, South and Center City areas of Philadelphia.
Taylor impressed the importance of holding regular ward meetings. He also noted that increasing Republican registration is vital and the last day to register to vote as Republican before the November election is Oct.7.
DeFelice noted the annual Fall Cocktail Party this year will be held at Hibachi on Columbus Boulevard on Oct. 29. This is a new venue and one that indicates an interest on the part of the RCC to reach beyond its Northeast Philadelphia base.
City Councilman and leader of the 3rd Ward DAVID OH was asked to address the crowd as was City COMMISSIONER AL SCHMIDT. Candidates ANNE MARIE COYLE for Common Pleas and TERRY TRACY for City Controller also spoke.
The following night, Taylor held a fundraiser/football game watch at Romano’s. The event was very well attended but unfortunately the Eagles did not contribute to the evening as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Thursday was a busy night for the Philadelphia. Oh had a fundraiser at his law firm Zarwin Baum.
On Friday, members of the Philadelphia herd headed up the turnpike to Harrisburg to attend the fall meeting of the Pennsylvania Republican Party State Committee. There are 13 members of State Committee from Philadelphia. Six men and six women are elected every four years in the spring primary. The next election will be in May 2014. The County Chairman is automatically a member of State Committee. This meeting was the first for John Taylor as RCC Chairman. Overall attendance at the meetings was somewhat light as there were no crucial votes taken at the business meeting on Saturday morning. There were a number of training and informational sessions on Friday afternoon. PAGOP general COUNSEL LAWRENCE TABAS gave a useful presentation on campaign finance. Tabas recently moved to Philadelphia from Lower Merion. DeFelice, with Taylor’s help, offered an update on the activities of the New Majority Council in the absence of NMC chairwoman RENEE AMOORE.
The highlight of the weekend was the keynote address at the Friday-night dinner by former US Ambassador to the United Nations and political commentator, JOHN BOLTON. Ambassador Bolton’s comments for the most part related to US foreign policy and in particular the Middle East. Bolton believes the current administration has engaged in foreign-policy activities that are weakening the influence of the US abroad. Like others, including former SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE, he believes a weakened US makes the world a more dangerous place. He believes the Obama Administration’s diplomatic activities in the Middle East are of particular concern. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S fractured approach to the civil war in Syria not only makes the US look inept but, perhaps more importantly, adds to the instability in the region. Furthermore, comments by the administration about the Israeli “occupation of the West Bank” undermine our greatest ally in the region (Israel) and make us look untrustworthy.