While President Obama drops by the Highland Park home of lawyer Russell Budd this evening to raise dough and break bread with local Dems, Republicans are rallying at Franklin Stadium next to Hillcrest High School to ... well, to do what?
"It's not just complaining about the Democrats," says Dallas County Republican Party chair Jonathan Neerman. "A lot of it will be, but it will also be talking about what we need to do in the fall to elect conservatives."
Fair enough, we suppose, but that has its price: $3,000 as it turns out, which is significantly higher than the $500 allotted for the previous "Freedom Rally" planned at Goar Park much closer to Budd's place. However, Neerman says once Republicans and tea partiers from Tyler and other surrounding areas called him and said they were planning to bring busloads of folks this evening, he had no choice but to change the location. And now that more than 1,000 attendees are expected, Neerman had to pay for DISD police officers and janitors, which are included in the price tag, in addition to the $750 for the space.
The rally begins at 5 p.m., and speakers are scheduled from 6 to 7, highlighted by Neerman (who says he'll be telling everyone to vote straight-ticket Republican in November), conservative talk-show host Mark Davis, state Representative Linda Harper-Brown, Pastor Stephen Broden (who's running against Eddie Bernice Johnson) and Tea Party leader Katrina Pierson. Dr. Jim Mitying will also discuss the impact of ObamaCare, and Neerman says Jason Villalba will address the importance of Hispanic outreach and "lack of coherent immigration policy coming from the White House."
The expected attendance swelled thanks to efforts by area Republican Party and Tea Party leaders and the utilization of social media.
"It's all over the intertubal network and this thing called Facebook that I'm learning about," he says.