Mack speech goes off without incident - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Mack speech goes off without incident

Controversial speaker addresses Republicans at fundraiser

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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Richard Mack felt apprehensive about coming to Coeur d'Alene.

Speaking moments before he was to take the stage as the controversial keynote speaker during the Republican party's primary fundraiser, Mack said he never felt as unwelcome as he did before coming to Coeur d'Alene.

"This has never happened to me before," the Republican candidate in Texas for the U.S. House of Representatives told The Press about the decision by the local party to bar him from speaking.

But the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee re-invited Mack to speak at its Lincoln Day Dinner and Mack said he was glad to accept it - again.

"After I saw the crowd and talked to the people I felt good," he said. "I guess I didn't hurt attendance any."

Approximately 400 people attended the dinner Saturday at The Coeur d'Alene Resort, around the normal amount the event brings in, organizers said. Mack's speaking didn't prompt a staged walkout or organized protest either. Rather, the former Democratic sheriff in Arizona and one-time Libertarian-candidate preached that the Republican party should adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

"(I find it) deplorable at times that those of us who quote the founding fathers and the Constitution are labeled as racist and extremist and bigots," he said. "I was raised in a home where racism and bigotry were absolutely forbidden. That's not who I am and never have been. My mom taught me to stand for what is right. And that is also something Abraham Lincoln said. He said 'put your feet in the right place and then stand firm.'

"No matter where I've been, no matter what party I've belong to, my feet have always been firmly on American soil, on American ideals and fully and entirely in support of the United States Constitution. I will never waver from that."

Prior to Mack's arrival, the KCRCC had voted to rescind its invitation based on Mack's past, which included his stance that he's against the drug war, which he called a failed endeavor. Some members had said he didn't represent the views of the Republican party. But the vote was overturned by the party leaders after an allegedly illegal proxy vote was included in the original vote count.

The back and forth didn't dissuade hundreds who turned out to support the dinner.

"I really don't think there should be any controversy. He's not running for office as far as our county goes," said Brad Salie, precinct committeeman from Rathdrum. "He's here to speak on conservative issues."

Those issues included gun rights, about which Mack recently wrote a book, controlling the federal deficit and the intrusion of federal government on personal lives.

Mack, who successfully sued the United States government, said that the federal government is a greater threat to the Constitution than terrorism.

"We are the generation that will decide, are we going to continue as a Constitutional Republic, or are we going to continue to compromise freedom for supposed security that we already know will never happen," he said.

Mack's words were met with applause. Attendees included dozens of elected state, county and municipal representatives as well as 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador, who echoed some of Mack's stances during his own speech.

Tightening an even harder fiscal line on government spending is paramount in getting America running again. To do that, Labrador said, Republicans need to be elected. And to get elected, Republicans need to stand together.

"If you don't support a nominee, just keep your mouth shut," Labrador said. "Let's stop the fighting and let's start defeating Democrats."

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  • capnbutch posted at 7:54 pm on Mon, Mar 26, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    I am delighted to see that this discussion continues for a second day... and graciously, too!

    I don't feel that we are really picking on Mr. Hasslinger so much as we are looking all media in the eye from little Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Tom will remember this story in a positive way, knowing that he caused people to realize their own importance and to jump in to important political questions.

    Things have cropped up on this page that you do not see elsewhere. One of the items that caught my attention is that folks seem to be making the point that a Republican event is not really made just for Republicans but for anybody to have questions answered.

    If we can keep the main thing the main thing, we will never again see cruel and irrational attacks like the one on Oath Keepers that calls them "anti-government patriots." If the thing that was started here continues, the whole nation will begin speaking and thinking positively and always with the hope of making all things and all people better.

    I think that this is new territory for recent times. Perhaps Coeur d'Alene will take us to an era in which people care only about honesty, integrity, service and about each other. A party is just a name for a group that gathers in spirited competition like that of a football game. When each event is over, we remain friends.

    Thanks to absolutely everyone for your positive contributions. I am a better person for what I found here. I hope that you feel the same.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 7:05 am on Mon, Mar 26, 2012.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 373

    Mack was a great speaker and I really don't understand what all the hubbub was about in having him there. He brought us the message that we, the common man, need to stand up to the Fed's and this tremendous out-of-control bureaucracy that currently exists.

    Our great nation was formed by freedom fighters and we have slowly become a nation of sheep and this cannot be tolerated unless you are ready to embrace SOCIALISM!

    I have lived in Idaho since 1987 and got politically involved in 1989 at first by joining and helping to form a motorcyclists rights organization that would stand up to state and federal laws that threatened our freedom. In 1991 we motorcyclists defeated legislation in Idaho and challenged the Federal Highway Act, which was nothing but a blackmail bill! I lobbied our legislators for motorcyclists for years and in 2006, along with my partner, initiated legislation for motorcyclists that allowed them to proceed through a red light after one complete cycle if the sensors did not recognize the motorcycle. Idaho was the only the 4th state in the nation to pass such a law. Check out our website for more info on this.

    We need to return to true GRASS ROOTS activism. Idaho is a Great State and since I have lived here i realize that our legislators are for the most part conservative and freedom lovers.

    We the people of Idaho can do it better without federal intervention. Right now we are dealing with a water issue with downstream Washington state. They, the liberal leftist state of Washington, have determined that the water in the Spokane River is not clean enough for them and they have made standards that are far more stringent than EPA's standards and want us to comply. Ironically, their own water quality doesn't meet the standards that they require from us but the EPA is going to try to enforce those unattainable standards.

    Mack made one thing very clear in his presentation and that was that the sheriffs and the county commissioners can mount a powerful defense against our federal bureaucracy if necessary.

    As an old 'biker' activist i am up for the challenge if elected!

    After that and once I was active in real estate, I went through many tax appeal hearings to challenge the assessor's office on my property values. One thing

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 5:19 am on Mon, Mar 26, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    It's sad that a national Crisis usually is needed to wake up those that are able to take a stand for or against our Union. It was being sucked in and seeing the disasters of the Carter fiasco that proved to me I had to stand for our liberties or they would be taken from us, and that when Government was allowed full reign America suffers.
    Democrat's take the other side but at least they stand for something. I can disagree and fight them with some respect for their honor if not their position. But the moderates that have weaseled into the Republican party and call themselves independents? They will sell out anything to get some concession, how can anyone respect that. Since Reagan the Republican party has place such high value on the power of the office of president that they have sold out their base values for the votes of the wishy washy sellouts.
    'If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything' and 'He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.' These 2 quotes best represent the current path and agenda of the RNC and Independents. That is why we are faced with Obamacare, the patriot act, and the take over of so many industries by government regulations or laws and why we are seeing a world of war and strife.
    Sorry Mary, I know you think you and the RNC mean well, but staying together just to defeat a democrat with BAD convictions and instill a man with NO convictions is not a help. If I am faced with Obama which is forced to either move to the right to get anything done, or stay stagnated into the slow growth of a 100% immovable congress, or another 8 years of trading more social spending programs for security like Bush did. I will chose Stagnation and an open presidential election in 2016.
    If I have to chose between a republican party that sells out its core values for A few more years of security, I will chose to let the world fall apart so we can fight for what is right instead of forcing that ugliness on another generation.
    'Give me liberty or give me death.' a pretty good battle cry for 2012 just as it was in 1775. To bad the RNC and So many RINOs have forgotten or are willing to sell out such great ideas.

  • Mary Souza posted at 5:50 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 798

    I don't really care what Mr. Mack did back in the day. He was only a speaker last night. Even though I've always been a Republican, I became more serious and conservative after 9/11/2001. I've also become more attentive, involved and more willing to question government. We all react and change as life goes on. It seems a waste to fritter away energy on personal disagreements when there's so much important work for concerned citizens to do. Come on, let's get over the fighting already! (Mister d, Wiseguy and Ancient...are you listening? Rise above it and move on, please.)

    Ok, because Captnbutch asked so nicely, I did notice that someone at a table right near us had a small video camera on a tabletop tripod and taped the Mack speech. You might call Tina Jacobsen and ask her if she knows who it was and how to get a copy.

    My quick overview of his speech was that he talked predominantly about his case ('96?) that went to the US Supreme Court and he won. There were 7 other sheriffs in on the case by the time it got going. Mack was a sheriff in Arizona when the Brady Bill passed congress. The ATF, I think, or Justice, told every sheriff in every county that they had to do all kinds of record keeping and reporting on every gun purchase and much, much more. Mack thought that was wrong; that the Feds should not tell sheriffs what to do in their counties. He contacted the NRA and they provided him with legal help. It was a 10th amendment states' rights case and they ended up with a win. He quoted many important passages from the decision and talked extensively about standing firm on the grounds of the constitution, no matter what the government of the moment tries to make you do.

    His speech was good, as was Congressman Labrador's.

  • mister d posted at 5:13 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    ancient, you disgust me. Is that position enough for you little sheep boy.

  • ancientemplar posted at 4:35 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1229

    Wiseguy, the vote was 30/30 without the cheating. It was a full house so you and your ilk lost. Get over it.
    The nation is changing and either you get on the bus or you're left at the curb.

  • Wiseguy posted at 3:43 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    Wiseguy Posts: 77

    Why Mack was a controversial speaker had nothing to do with his views "supporting freedom, liberties and our constitution." The controversy was that he was speaking at a Republican fundraiser and he has for years continually opposed the Republican Party and it candidates.

    If you hire a commencement speaker to speak at the U. of I. graduation, it doesn't matter if he believes in college education, if he constantly tells everyone that Boise State is a much better school than Idaho. He would be an inappropriate speaker for that event at that school. Just like Constitution/Libertarian Party advocate Richard Mack is at a Republican fundraiser.

  • justbecause posted at 3:06 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    justbecause Posts: 56

    Since when did supporting freedom, liberties and our constitution become so controversial?

    It is now "mainstream" to rid US citizens of privacy and rights in the name of "terrorism" and "safety". I don't know about you, but I'm not afraid of terrorist. But I am afraid the Al - CIAda and our government.

  • capnbutch posted at 1:58 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Ms. Souza,

    Can you suggest where we might find a fair report on the Mack address. Or, for that matter, would you care to write your own report here?

    Did he say anything about the value of media attacks made against him or how such attacks might be used to advantage? Does he give any advice to young people seeking careers in politics?

    Granted that such things offer no meaningful wage, is there a person or persons who might write such stories for the CdA Press without any bias at all? Could you and I push the paper to a neutral position without appearing to whine or to look like we want right-views only? How would we make such a request? How might we make such a request public so that it would appear in other media?

    Whether a person is a Mack fan or not, every citizen has a need to know the pertinent points of this or any political address. The need is becoming far more urgent than it used to be.

    Thanks for your input (below).

  • babydriver posted at 12:41 pm on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    I'm with Mack

  • Mary Souza posted at 11:17 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 798

    The Lincoln Day dinner was very nice. The room was full, people were friendly and the main speaker, Mr. Mack, delivered a thoughtful, strong message for constitutional integrity.

    Congressman Labrador's speech was highly informative about the economic difficulties in our country but he also offered some hope for improvement if we all stand together.

    That's the key: Even if we don't all agree on everything, let's be strong, together, on those we do. We can't let our differences get personal, we have too much important work to do!

  • IChoseNID posted at 11:17 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    IChoseNID Posts: 83

    The Republican party is doomed until they stop clinging to failed policies, such as the "war on drugs". Mack is exactly right about that. We should legalize many drugs for adults and tax them, taking away organized crime's profit. Then enact zero tolerance laws, and concentrate enforcement on those who abuse drugs and hurt others.

    I'm a conservative, I don't use drugs, and wouldn't if they were legal. But the way we've tried to control them has failed, and cost us billion and billions, while making South American drug cartels and the politicians they own rich.

  • ancientemplar posted at 11:15 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1229

    Seems as though the middle of the road, spineless, wishy washy, fence sitting, blow with the wind independent that doesn't have the self fortitude to take a position, has spoken up.

    I don't care which position you take mister d......... just take one. Pretty pathetic.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 10:59 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969


    Well said.
    He could have sent the same message in less space by just making the headline:
    The Press Predictions of a Grand Fiasco

    And the article would read:
    Fell flat :( no Protests :( No Riots :( No Arrests :(
    We refuse to report more :)

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:50 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1229

    Capn' I couldn't have said it any more plainly, Great sarcasm. The place was packed full of Republicans supporting Republicans.

  • mister d posted at 8:37 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    I sure hope Labrador had more to say than the quoted item. If I don't agree with the party - keep my mouth shut. Rediculous, if a candidate is not to my liking, I have a right to voice my opinion. Thats the joy of being an independent, I can talk about and vote for whoever I want.

  • WilliamWMiller posted at 8:15 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    WilliamWMiller Posts: 106

    I ended up attending because I became curious about what all the drama in this paper was about. I must say we had the most pleasant evening. After listening to Mr. Mack speak I fail to understand why any one would think about boycotting his message, it makes no sense. His message was follow and stand on your consitiution, nothing more nothing less. Thanks Kelly Palmer for getting this old guy off the couch and more involved.

  • capnbutch posted at 6:01 am on Sun, Mar 25, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    There are ways to write a newspaper headline and story that push the public toward needless bigotry. You can do it entirely without (direct) dishonesty. Let's show you another way to do it wrong, a way that is just like the story above:

    Coeur d'Alene Press editor, Mike Patrick, came to work today sober and off of all drugs except for several over-the-counter medications that are 'alleged' to be harmless. "Work is hard and sometimes I'd rather stay home," the famous editor said while assiduously not beating his spouse.

    Corporate employee, Alecia Warren commented, "I didn't see him do anything wrong at all today."

    Another employee, Maureen Dolan said, "Traffic on the way to work was miserable this morning. I didn't feel like coming in, either."

    Mr. Patrick's skilled leadership of one of the few genuinely independent news sources in the western United States has been noted worldwide. Success of Patrick's work is of deep concern to a larger newspaper west of Coeur d'Alene. Joe Bloh of the Spokane newspaper said, "I just wish Mike would come down with consumption or something so we'd stop losing readers and advertisers. Shoot! Next thing you know, we'll have to start being a little more fair (but only a little) like Mike."

    Bloh had one word to sum his commentary on Patrick's sobriety, "Jerk!"

    Perhaps the above mock news story suggests why a good reporter and editor would rework Mack Without Incident and adjust the same to show why Sheriff Mack came to town and what he had to say. Readers do expect that the money they pay for subscriptions will yield such information. They don't care to hear that somebody famous had no trouble. Barbara Streisand has no trouble and you don't write about that. After all, win, lose or draw, Sheriff Mack's thoughts will color all of this year's elections nationwide. You are not obligated to agree or disagree with any of it. Mack's contributions are big news. No trouble is not news at all.

    By the way, Mike, we're proud of you and pleased to know that you are sober, avoiding drugs and not beating your wife on this very pleasant day. Keep up the good work!

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