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craft corner - Sisyphus Shrugged
Lasciate ogni speranza and put your feet up.
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Well, that's one way to go about it. There are certainly others.

For instance: yesterday, Steve Gilliard posted this
We've learned of a major shake-up at the Washington-based National Black Republican Association, with six of the 10 NBRA board members resigning in recent days over various disagreements.

"The organization and its current leadership is heading down a much different direction than was envisioned by myself and the other board members," says Christopher R. Arps.

Similarly, the Rev. Eric M. Wallace, chairman of the African American Republican Council of Illinois and a candidate for lieutenant governor, writes in a resignation letter obtained by Inside the Beltway:

"If you guys decide to formulate another organization based on actually helping our people, let me know. If you choose people with a servant's heart, then I am in. I serve because of my relationship with my Savior. I am a Christian first, a father second, a minister and scholar third, and a black man fourth, and then a Republican. Heaven help me if I ever get these out of order."

Three resigning board members, we're told, frowned on signing a "statement of commitment" sent to them by NBRA Chairman Frances Rice, concluding with: "My failure to sign this statement confirms that I am not a member in good standing of the NBRA and am not eligible to be an officer in the NBRA or a member of the NBRA Board of Directors."

Board member Bill Calhoun, in a memo to Ms. Rice also obtained by this column, wrote: "Regarding your request for me to sign a letter of commitment, is this being requested of all board members? This appears discriminatory."

So here is me all confused, because I try to keep up, and I've never heard of this "grassroots" group. Unfortunately, their web page is no longer active, and Google didn't cache it before it became inactive.

Luckily there are other sources.

First off, I hadn't heard of NBRA because they only actually filed with the FEC in June. Pretty nice address for a startup, neh? My favorite quote from the rollout, FYI:
This will be the first time that black Republicans have organized under one house in the party's recent history, said Deborah Burston-Donbraye, an Ohio-based political consultant and deputy director for public affairs for the Justice Department under President Reagan.

"We're getting to that younger generation that is not as knowledgeable...

Meet Mrs (er, Lt. Col) Rice
Frances Rice is an attorney and an African-American woman who served in the Army for 20 years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. While in the Army she served as a company commander, an adjutant in a basic combat training brigade and a prosecutor in courts-marital.

Upon retiring, she was awarded the Legion of Merit. She is currently serving on the Board of the Military Officers Association of Sarasota, the SaraMana Black Republican Club and the SaraMana Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that helps low-income residents become homeowners and small business owners. In these positions, she puts both her Juris Doctorate and MBA degrees to good use.

She was recently appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the Medal of Merit Board for the state of Florida. Frances is married to Peter Rice, a retired diplomat from the U.S. Department of State.

as reported by the lady herself.

Of course, she left a few things out.

For instance, Husband Peter? Is also the treasurer of the NBRA, as well as the Secretary of the Republican Party of Sarasota (Mrs. Rice was also on the board of that organization at one time, before she formed her "independent" black Republican political group, the Saramana Republican Club. The Saramana Republican Club shares Mrs. Rice's personal e-mail address, which is also used by NBRA and by RPOS as a contact address for "Republicans seeking elected partisan political office" to "provide brief information for our email newsletter about their events and their campaign office (and other contact information)."

So, OK, the Rices are apparatchiki of Jeb Bush's political organization. Surprise surprise. There was, though, another familiar name on the Board of Directors page. From the bio of young Mr. Arps, the Communications Director who just quit
His political experience includes a stint as a St. Louis Field Representative for U.S. Senator Jim Talent of Missouri, and as an appointed aide to the St. Louis County Council. Mr. Arps was also a consultant to the 2002 successful campaign of Missouri State Represenatative Sherman Parker. He served in a patronage position with the St. Louis County Board of Elections during the contentious 2000 Presidential elections. Mr. Arps is divorced and has an eleven year old daughter.

That name, Sherman Parker, sounds awfully familiar (Mr. Parker is also on the Board of Advisors of NRLA)

Well, I found him.

Mr. Parker was the politician of color featured on the webpage of the The African American Republican Leadership Council. The African American Republican Leadership Council had their moment in the sun a few years ago when they were dragged forward by the GOP to support Trent Lott against any accusation that nostalgia for segregation was in some way unsupportive of people of color.

Mr. Parker, you will be amused to hear, was later named Chair of that seemingly moribund organization. He prides himself on his work with Mr. Ashcroft.

So you see? Sock puppets are not only relatively cheap and easy to make with materials you already have sitting around, you can recycle them.

Side note: you might have noticed that NBRA co-founder Mr. Sidney F. Dinerstein is not pictured on the meet the Board page.
Conceived around the time of last year's presidential election, the black Republican association joined the activism of Cadogan and Roberts with the fund-raising ability of county Republican Chairman Sid Dinerstein, who also is a member of the new group's board.

Dinerstein espouses the view that there isn't a person alive who wouldn't be better off as a Republican, and enthusiastically goes prospecting for converts among long-standing Democratic constituencies.

"Palm Beach County happened to have the right people at the right time. You're not going to find a group of black activists and a white, Jewish county chairman who are going to sit down and put the time in everywhere," Roberts said.

Maybe they couldn't find a picture.
ahhhs. -- hmmm?
temima From: temima Date: September 19th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
"You're not going to find a group of black activists and a white, Jewish county chairman who are going to sit down and put the time in everywhere"

Except when protesting barriers to black and old Jewish Floridans' votes?

When I read the first sentence, I wondered how much of the split was due to Katrina. I mean, Florida was hit by its hurricanes, but recovery was relatively fast. OTOH, the only black Republican I heard speak on the subject blamed those darn poor black folks by not pulling themselves by their bootstraps and out of the swamp or whatever.

I guess some of them didn't buy that. Of course, I could just be too optimistic.
jmhm From: jmhm Date: September 19th, 2005 01:48 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
Oh, see, you don't want to assume - a former neighbor of ours, who I cordially loathe, is a great friend of my mom's, and she's a fundamentalist african-american Republican lesbian.

I've never been able to quite figure her out, but believe me, she exists.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC) (linkie thing)

impressed with your mom...

How did she meet Condi Rice much less become her "great friend"????;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC) (linkie thing)
A nice picture of Mr. Dinerstein:

ahhhs. -- hmmm?