Reno Mayor Bob Cashell waited for an hour to meet Romney, who was late because of “other opportunities.” He was probably late because he had to take the long way around to avoid demonstrators, protesters and press waiting for him on the east side of the main Eaglenest entrance. Cashell, a one-time Democrat, didn’t say if he was going to ask for his money back.
The opulence of the occasion was a source of contention. One of the protesters, Julia Hammett, said the homeless shelter feeds more than 300 people a day and it “hurts to think how many people we could feed with the money that just one of these donors is giving for a photo op.” Unless you’re a Republican, you would probably have the same concerns.
But Republicans would rather feed themselves in opulence than pay their fair share of taxes to support programs that feed the poor, or provide school lunches for hungry children or health care for common folks less fortunate than themselves. As we know, Republican Christian philosophy is: only the rich should attend college; if you can’t find work — starve; if you’re sick — die; women’s rights and sexual preferences should be prescribed by law and the Church, not by personal choice; everyone should own an assault weapon; and every man should fend for himself. What is really scary is how many Americans agree with them.
Of course, Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans when it comes to lavish fundraisers for President Obama. The difference is Democrats believe in the separation of church and state; pay their taxes to provide better and more efficient services for the poor and hard-working middle-class families; support universal health care; protect women’s individual and collective rights; want reasonable hand gun control; don‘t want government or the church telling them what they can and can‘t do in their bedroom; and have an all-for-one, one-for-all political philosophy.
Democrats want to find fair and just solutions to address our illegal immigration policies. But Republicans would rather spend more than $1 billion a year incarcerating illegal immigrants and another half-billion dollars to return them to their native land rather than providing a rational social and political conduit allowing them to become American citizens. Well, not all Republicans. At least one prominent Republican’s company found a way to keep illegal immigrants in this country and on their payroll.
One of the paying guests at the fundraiser was Luther Mack. Mack Associates owned 11 McDonald‘s franchise stores in Reno. Mack Associates sold its 11 franchised McDonald’s stores in the Reno area under the cloud of a federal investigation. In September of 2007, U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents raided Mack’s corporate headquarters and 11 restaurants in Reno. Lo and behold, they found 58 undocumented restaurant workers on the payroll. They also found that fake Social Security numbers were provided to some illegal workers by managers of the company.
Mack Associates pleaded guilty to the charge and paid a $1 million fine. Mack wasn’t officially charged. McDonald’s spokesman said the sale of the 11 stores had nothing to do with the charges. It was just a coincidence I guess.
Leaving the fundraiser, Mack said Romney’s speech left him inspired. Mack’s business practices and his Republican philosophy should inspire all of us to think about becoming a Democrat. After all, political birds of a feather do flock together.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.