8/30/2013

Republicans invited to speak at "March on Washington" just days before the event, Dems appear to be playing game on delayed invitations

Did the organizers of the "March on Washington" wait until the week before the event to invite some of the Democrats who spoke?  It would be interesting to see how long in advance the Democrats were invited to speak (also here).  Some of these Democrats don't appear that obviously important.

Ohio state Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati
Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, N.J.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio
Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md

Tamika D. Mallory, national executive director of the National Action Network
Dominique Sharpton, daughter of Rev. Al Sharpton
Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evans
Simeon Wright, Emmett Till's cousin
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP
Rev. Al Sharpton
Sabrina Fulton, mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

From ABC News:
. . . After it became clear that big-name Republicans like the Bushes were not going to be able to attend, RNC officials offered help in finding one or more appropriate Republican speakers, according to Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director. 
“We were very proud of our efforts to commemorate this historic event, which we did in several ways over the last few days,” Spicer said. “Furthermore, we offered up assistance to the organizers of the event — our assistance in facilitating any Republican speakers that they would be interested in having.” 
Starting August 14 – two weeks before the commemoration — GOP officials offered help in reaching out to a range of other Republicans. That list, according to an RNC official, included Scott, who is the only African-American currently in the Senate; former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., who is black; and T.W. Shannon, the 35-year-old African-American speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. 
Organizers did invite several prominent Republicans – including both Presidents Bush, former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Sen. John McCain – to speak. They also reached out late in the planning process to the office of Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a veteran congressman from Wisconsin who has been prominent on voting-rights and sentencing-reform issues. 
All of those invited declined, however, with the two former presidents citing health concerns, and the others pointing to scheduling conflicts. Cantor was invited just 12 days before the event, and Huckabee told ABC News he was invited just last week – too late for him to juggle other commitments. 
“I was invited and so wished I had been able to do it,” Huckabee said in an e-mail to ABC. “I didn’t receive the invitation until last week, however, and it was too late for me to re-arrange things.” . . . 
Brazile said she assumed Scott was invited to speak. Other organizers said that when he didn’t respond to an invitation sent to all members of Congress months ago – to attend, though not necessarily to speak – that he was assumed to be unable to attend. . . .
Surely the organizers realized that inviting someone to sit in the audience is hardly the same as inviting them to speak.
“Overlooking Tim Scott would be like overlooking the president for the State of the Union speech,” he said. 
And looking at a speakers’ lineup that included lower-profile Democrats such as Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., there were plenty of other “nationally known” black Republicans who could have been included, he said. . . . 

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