Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waco Hispanic Republican Club Finds Need, Fills It

They met at a TEA Party and discovered that their desire to
volunteer to help local Republican Party officials had
fallen on deaf ears.

Ann Giordini had gone to the McLennan County Republican
Headquarters on Lakeshore Drive five times.

Five times.

In each case, her inquiries went unheeded. She confided in
Bert Hernandez, a veteran of the Army's Special Forces. He,
too, felt a need to branch out and find a place to make
himself useful.

And then the conflict wound up in the columns of the local
daily newspaper. The incumbent County Republican Chairman
made remarks questioning the propriety of their breaking the
chain of command and communicating with the press - off
message. That settled it. People can work with each other
any time they choose to do it. They are forging ahead.
They seek no further approval. They're just going to do it.

Period. Paragraph.

There is a need for volunteers, people who are willing to
serve as phone bank operators, deputy voter registrars,
precinct walkers and sign committemen.

"It's going to take all of us," Ms. Giordini said. "We've
got to work together, whether we live in Woodway, Waco,
McGregor, Midway or Hewitt...It's time to get out the vote
and make this election pay."

So, along with Duke Machado and others, they formed the
McLennan County Hispanic Republican Club. Wednesday night
they met in the basement of the Waco Public Library to
discuss their plans for the future. Political candidates
such as State Representative "Doc" Anderson and Will Jones
who is seeking the nomination as the candidate for County
Republican Chairman gave their hearty approval. They are
looking for votes, wearing out shoe leather while they're at

Mr. Machado turned the program over to Mr. Hernandez. He
explained the unorthodox structure of the organization.
It's not vertical as in a conventional chain-of-command.

"We didn't want to have the kind of situation like you have
in the Army where the communication has to flow up and flow
back down," he said.

This organization is community oriented - almost tribal in
its structure. There is a lateral array of four committees
that report to a board of directors.

Volunteers handle elections, voter registration, signs, make
block walks talking to voters to make them aware of Hispanic
Repubicans, staff phone banks and data entry - who needs a
ride to the polls, who wants to vote early, who wants what
signs, and where. There is a youth outreach effort to
familiarize people who are too young to vote with the
candidates, the issues, and to educate those who do not know
how the parties select their candidates for the General
Election in November.

Marketing handles internet communications, media inquiries,
printing and production of supplies for all who do what they
do. They are the logistics experts, something like the
supply department in a military operation.

Adminisration consists of accounting and membership

Dues of $10 are to be waived, said Mr. Hernandez. "We're
not going to put up any barriers to people to want to join
the club. Frankly, in times like these, the people we want
to serve, $10 could be a little too much for them." So, it
won't matter. There's room for everyone.

Events staffers will coordinate training sessions - how to
register voters, how to take job initiatives to qualified
people who would like to work - and make the jobs
understandable and attractive to those would need them.
Fundraising is an art in itself.

Mr. Hernandez compared the approach to two very evil and
very radical organizations that are nevertheless very
effective, the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

"They're not corrupt and they're in the neighborhood doing
good things for the people who live there. The people they
serve support them..We won't be working McGregor, Woodway
and Hewitt. We'll be working where our people live."

He pointed out that every Hispanic family is usually only
three generations out of Mexico. "They can remember what it
was like to live there and they know the difference."

"People who want to volunteer are sick and tired of doing
nothing," he added. If the need arises, members of the
Hispanic club can do double duty anywhere they are needed.

"We want our members to supply services to candidates
instead of the candidates going out and spending four or
five thousand dollars on a consultant. Use our people. They
have the know how."

That's when Mr. Machado chimed in.

"How do you go in the Hispanic community and convince them
they are conservative, that they share our values?

"We want to take a video camera and go to people's houses
and interview them. For instance, a couple, they are here
for thirty years. They're Hispanic. They're as Hispanic as
anyone could be and we interview them. We go house to
house. Once that starts, it's all over," he said. "It's all

Mr. Machado operates a start-up website and video company that
specializes in musical features. Video is easily linked to

Deadline for voter registration before the primary election
is February 1. As soon as that election is over, however,
there will be more time to register voters for the General
Election in November.

"There will be plenty of time," he said, nodding. People
all over the room began to nod and repeat his words.

There will be plenty of time.

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