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BCRW attend TFRW convention in El Paso

By Jody Brown & Karen Har

A delegation from Bandera County recently traveled to El Paso - “Where Republican Women Shine” - for the 26th biennial Convention of Texas Federation of Republican Women.

Members of the Bandera County Republican Club attending the convention included Corresponding Secretary Lila Ward, Treasurer Jackie Patrick, 1st Vice President Jody Brown and Vice President of Legislation Karen Harris. The women joined approximately 500 other TFRW members and guests gathered at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center from Nov, 8 through Nov. 11.

It seemed appropriate for the federation to celebrate 52 years of state-wide GOP activism at a time when Texas boasts more Republicans serving in office than at any other time in history. Five elected officials served as keynote speakers with 15 others presenting at various programs.

Speakers for the general sessions and banquets included Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Comptroller Susan Combs, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright and District 173 State Representative Nathan Macias, who represents Bandera County.

Calling Hutchison’s address during a luncheon meeting as “very impressive,” Harris described the senator as “regal and gracious.” She added, “(Hutchison’s) queenly demeanor was enhanced because she gave just the facts without ‘slamming anyone.’ She was a politician and still remained a lady.”

In addition, Harris found workshops conducted by the Heritage Foundation particularly interesting. Founded in 1973, the Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute that promotes conservative public policy and favors limited government, traditional American values and individual freedom.

Harris noted, “Women of every color and creed interacted and conversed about how they expected the upcoming elections, in particular, and the candidates, specifically, to impact their lives and the future of our nation.”

Another relevant workshop was on border security and immigration, Harris said. “I listened to one woman whose husband was fired after working for an American technology company for 17 years. His job had been outsourced to India.” So, according to Harris, the question became, who is really taking American jobs? 

“We left the workshop with a clear understanding of legal immigration and the sense of pride and accomplishment that has been promoted by it for so many American citizens,” she said.

“We are not anti-immigration. We are anti illegal immigration. With all its faults, America is still the nation everybody wants a piece of - on many different levels.” Harris advocated, “Make (immigration) legal and make it count toward a positive future for our nation.”

Among the new TFRW officers elected for 2008-2009 were President Toni Anne Dashiell from Kendall County and 1st Vice President Rebecca Williamson from Kerr County. Additionally, Dashiell appointed Harris to the federation board as deputy president for Senate Districts 19 and 20.

TFRW is comprised of 163 clubs throughout Texas, boasting a total membership of over 11,000 women, who donated over 110,000 volunteer hours last year. For more information on the organization, visit http://www.tfrw.org.

The federation’s next convention will be held in Galveston in 2009.

Additionally, all area women are invited to join the BCRW. Men may also join as associate members. For more information, contact Tammy Kneupper, vice president of membership, at 830-589-2380.