Doral, Florida - Last weekend Turning Point Action, the political action affiliate of Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, held a conference in West Palm Beach for around 6,000 conservative activists. One of the chief organizers of this successful event was Driena Sixto, a street-smart political operator from Hialeah who serves as Florida Field Manager for Turning Point Action.
Chase the Vote
Charlie Kirk was the Master of Ceremonies through both days of this conference, and his first speaker was Harmeet Dhillon, a California lawyer who lost her campaign earlier this year for Chairman of the Republican National Committee (the “RNC”) to incumbent Ronna McDaniel. See: https://miamiindependent.com/ronna-is-a-loser/. Fortunately, it seems that instead of starting a third party (like the No Labels movement with Senator Joe Manchin going to New Hampshire), Turning Point has opted to engage with, and take over as much as practicable, the Republican party. Just because we cannot reform everything does not mean that we should reform nothing. We should each reform what we can, and let all our efforts add up. Turning Point stands for reforming the Republican party.
One of the breakout sessions on the morning of the first day featured a panel of about a dozen members of the RNC and some state chairmen. They confirmed that the RNC has failed to respond to the demands of the conservative grassroots, including on election integrity, voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts, and no interference in party primaries. One of the panelists admitted that the RNC, and affiliated state and federal committees, in effect operate an incumbent protection racket, and are always asking for money. The panel included Dr. Robin Armstrong, a black conservative RNC member from the Great State of Texas who often appears on KTRH 740 AM radio in Houston, and Christian Ziegler, Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Peter Feaman, RNC representative from Florida who voted for Ms. Dhillon, was not on the panel but stood up at the end to vouch for the conservative credentials of most of its members. Nevertheless, the straw poll of participants in this conference found that 65% do not trust the RNC to get out the vote.
Charlie Kirk observed that Democrats do not compete on the basis of: (1) candidate quality, with energy, intelligence and character (See President Biden, Senator Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Governor Hobbs in Arizona); nor (2) successful policies (See the Biden administration’s record of high inflation, bank failures, unsustainable debt, energy dependence, unreasonable regulations, human trafficking, street crime, warmongering and more failures). Instead, Democrats focus on: (3) electoral procedures and process, including Vote-By-Mail, voting machines, early voting and polling place breakdowns on election day.
Accordingly, Turning Point Action will focus on ballot chasing (not harvesting), especially targeting low-propensity voters. They will do this with full-time paid activists, starting in the three Battleground States of Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin. These activists will reach out to registered voters, and will also engage in voter registration when necessary. They will promote early voting, not waiting until election day, when Supervisors of Elections and other election administrators can muck up the works at the polling places and make it hard for Republicans to vote, as happened during November 2022 in Maricopa County, Arizona, and Harris County, Texas. This new initiative is called “Chase the Vote,” and they are partnering with other grassroots conservative groups, such as America First Works with Ashley Hayek and Early Vote Action with Scott Pressler, in order to expand their impact.
The speakers were headlined by Republican presidential candidates: Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson and Francis Suarez. Nevertheless, several declined invitations, such as: Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Tim Scott and Nikki Haley.
Donald Trump was the star of this conference. He spoke in the prime spot, at the end of the first day, and his speech captivated the standing-room crowd for almost two hours. He repeated many of his customary themes, and added a portion on the importance of loyalty. Trump believes that Ron DeSantis should have asked for permission to run, because Trump’s endorsement saved his ailing campaign for Florida governor in the party primary, and ultimately catapulted DeSantis to a solid victory in the primary, which was followed by a razor-thin victory in the general election against a favorite of the mainstream media and other woke progressives. DeSantis owes his initial success to Trump, and while DeSantis has made the most of his opportunity, Trump believes that he is owed loyalty.
Trump also spoke out against Fox News, with the exception of such hosts as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfeld. He also praised Pete Hegseth, Rachel Campos Duffy and Will Cain of the weekend mornings program on Fox News.
Almost half the crowd of some 6,000 activists was in standing room, filling the conference hall to absolute capacity. The audience was young, diverse and passionate, even though no affirmative action was applied in their selection. The Secret Service had to screen all participants coming into the hall, and Turning Point asked for 10 walk-though scanner. Instead, the Secret Service showed up with only two, and those operated by bureaucrats from the Transportation Security Administration. As a result, some people spent three to four hours in line waiting to enter, and many gave up and opted to watch on Internet streaming services. The Secret Service also stopped all food deliveries to the conference hall, so that participants had almost nothing to eat all day. All these coincidences point to probable sabotage by the administrative state under President Biden.
The straw poll at the end of the conference showed that over 85% of the participants preferred Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. These participants represent the conservative grassroots activists of the party, and they are nearly impossible for the establishment to beat. Megyn Kelly, former host on Fox News who who now has her own podcast, observed that Trump voters are very conservative, but they are less Republicans than they are Trumpkins. Also, over 95%% opposed any American intervention in Ukraine.
After Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy was the most well-received speaker among the presidential candidates. He declared that he loves America, but that Americans find ourselves in the midst of a national identity crisis. We must cling to the principles that have made America great: (1) meritocracy and the pursuit of excellence, not affirmative action; (2) the rule of law and not illegal immigration; and (3) the administrative state cannot be reformed, but must be ended.
Vivek added that national reconciliation requires first telling the truth about what happened in 2020: (1) the pandemic; (2) the shutdowns; (3) the election results; and (4) the Capitol riot on January 6. The American motto has long been “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one), and diversity is not our strength. Nevertheless, Vivek has close ties to Davos and received law school scholarship funding from Soros, so many questions about him remain to be answered.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, retired from Arkansas, presented the establishment positions of RINO’s (Republicans In Name Only) and was rudely received. Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, another RINO and Davos acolyte, made a fine presentation emphasizing fiscal responsibility, law and order, family fidelity and immigrant patriotism. He is our Little League candidate, with his father living out his political fantasies through his son. Neither have any chance, but both showed courage by confronting a hostile audience.
Public officials speaking included Senators Ted Cruz from Texas, Josh Hawley from Missouri, and J.D. Vance from Ohio. Other public officials included Congressmen Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna from Florida, Marjorie Taylor Green from Georgia, and Lauren Boebert from Colorado.
Congressman Byron Donalds of Florida played a leadership role in the rebellion by fiscal conservatives during the election of Speaker McCarthy. Donalds noted that it is hard for RINO’s to break their bureaucratic habits of unsustainable spending. Since Speaker McCarthy negotiated his deal to raise the debt limit around a month ago, the federal government has incurred an addition one trillion dollars in debt. That is not sustainable, and Donalds fights against it. Your columnist is a proud founder of “Latinos for Byron,” and we support him for Florida governor in 2026. He insisted that we mut not be timid, and that we must be ready for the fight and go find every vote.
Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna was elected last year in a District near Tampa, but already she has made her mark in Congress. She led the successful effort to censure Congressman Adam Schiff of California for lying about the Russia collusion hoax. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force medical corps who turned down an opportunity to attend medical school in order to pursue a career as a conservative activist. She started her activist career with Turning Point USA and represents another of their successful investments. Some say that the best response to woke progressive totalitarianism is to get married and have children, and she has done that and is seven months pregnant.
Congressman Matt Gaetz represents the Florida Panhandle, and he is a star among the Florida Congressional delegation. See: https://miamiindependent.com/congressman-gaetz-in-marathon-key/. At this conference he emphasized that Speaker McCarthy must stop simply managing America’s decline. He together with Donalds and Luna constitute part of the core group of fiscal conservatives in Congress.
Senator Ted Cruz has worked hard to soften his image since he was elected to the Senate in 2012. Your columnist and my wife arrived in Texas during the spring that year, and we immediately dove into volunteering for his campaign. In those days, he was a hard-edged conservative pugilist, but since his close re-election victory in 2018 against Beto O’Rourke, he has worked to make himself more approachable. Over the last four years or so, he has developed a very popular podcast, “The Verdict with Ted Cruz,” produced three times per week with the participation of Ben Ferguson. Their main topic at this conference was the Biden Crime Family, against which the evidence building up is overwhelming. Senator Cruz would make an excellent Attorney General in the next Trump administration.
Media personalities included Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Dan Bongino and Steve Bannon, as well as Benny Johnson and Jack Posobiec. Political advisors included Roger Stone and Donald Trump Junior.
Tucker Carlson was the star of the media personalities speaking at this conference. He came from having interviewed the night before in Iowa a handful of presidential candidates. These interviews were so penetrating that they likely ended the campaigns of Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson, who were shown to be completely out of touch with the conservative base of the Republican party. Tim Scott also did not distinguish himself with various evasive answers and maneuvers. The jury is still out as to whether he can serve an Vice President.
Tucker pointed out that the mainstream media, including Fox News, will not allow the truth to be told about: (1) the Wuhan virus; (2) the Capitol riot on January 6; and (3) Ukraine. He added that the fist step for conservatives to respond to woke progressive propaganda is not no accept the premise of their argument. Question their premise and turn it against them with the facts.
Roger Stone railed against RINO’s, who he considers the biggest opponents of conservative Republicans, and pushed to replace Speaker McCarthy with Congressman Gaetz. He also predicted that the Democrat presidential candidate in 2024 will be Michelle Obama, with California Governor Gavin Newsom as her vice presidential candidate. In that case, My Belle Moochelle may find that she cannot count on the support of black constituents in her old neighborhood of South Shore on the South Side of Chicago. These constituents have been objecting this year against all the resources directed by Democrats to illegal aliens. The resettlement of illegal aliens in South Shore is viewed by the local residents as a slap in their faces, given their existing conditions and lack of resources.
Steve Bannon observed that, for conservative activists, Trump is our instrument for righteous indignation. Trump is the champion of liberty against the totalitarian tyranny of the administrative state. We are engaged in a crusade for the American republic. Woke progressives seek to fundamentally transform America into a socialist shit hole, and Trump is the main object in their way.
Another breakout session on the morning of the first day, presented by Tea Party Patriots, which is affiliated with the Election Integrity Network, made recommendations about how Republican poll-watchers should interact with the election administrators who conduct our elections. Since the rigged and stolen elections of 2020, continuing in some cases into 2022, many conservative activists have flocked to election integrity efforts. These activists have alarmed election administrators, who have grown accustomed to operating with little or no accountability. These presenters, however, committed at least two mistakes in their recommendations.
First, they recommended that we should should avoid “anger,” but this is a normal emotion not by itself wrong. We are entitled to react with righteous indignation when confronted by lawlessness, Godlessness and deceit. The challenge for us is to channel that emotion into constructive action, but not to suppress this emotion altogether. We are entitled to get angry.
Second, they also recommended that we should consider election administrators our “friends.” This is complete bunk! They are not our friends, because they are staffed by unionized government bureaucrats who make up the administrative state, which prefers government by so-called expert technocrats with little or no accountability to the people, who are the citizens, taxpayers and voters. We have to work with them in order to operate our elections, but they have different and separate interests. See Federalist Papers, No. 51. There is no reason to be unfriendly or impolite, but they are not our friends. If you need a friend, buy a dog.
Turning Point Stars
Charlie Kirk has to be credited with mentoring several young stars in the conservative firmament. These include: (1) Candace Owens, a prominent black conservative who has created her own media platform; and (2) Anna Paulina Luna, a first-term Florida Congresswoman who was featured in this conference.
Driena Sixto is also one of those stars. Since graduating from Florida International University with a double degree in international studies and political science, she has worked as a conservative warrior with Turning Point USA, organizing college and high school chapters. She broke into digital media prominence in 2019 with her three-hour interview on the Concrete Conservatives radio program, WSQF 94.5 FM in Key Biscayne, with hosts Manuel Cambo and your columnist. See: https://music.amazon.com/es-us/podcasts/6dd5b332-a93b-4299-add0-0521d703f406/episodes/5a657061-68c9-43fb-b0a7-43bb4b4f83e1/the-concrete-conservatives-turning-point-usa%E2%80%99s-driena-sixto-2019.
She served as Miss Hialeah in her youth, and today serves as an Alternate Committeewoman on the Republican Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County. In 2024 she plans to run for State Committeewoman for Miami-Dade County. She will speak on “Chase the Vote” to the Election Integrity Brigade of Miami-Dade County, Florida, at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 8 @ 7 pm in John Martin’s Irish Pub, Coral Gables. Their motto is “Liberty under the Rule of Law.” See her there!