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East Texas GOP women urged to fight new disruptive movement

By Glenn Evans
Feb. 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.

Toni Anne Dashiell

One of three Texans on the Republican National Committee urged a GOP women's group in Longview on Wednesday to attend town halls to counter a rising progressive protest movement dubbed Indivisible. The movement has produced shouting matches nationwide with elected officials similar to those at the birth of the tea party.

"I'm OK with protest — just don't disrupt us," Toni Anne Dashiell told about 25 members of the Republican Women of Gregg County, who were joined at Cafe Barron's by women from the Upshur County chapter.

Dashiell, the Republican National Committeewoman for Texas, cited the 26-page Indivisible manifesto available online that outlines steps the nascent tea party took, to great success, beginning in 2010.

Democrats and independents appear to be embracing the tactic, as congressional Republicans in Michigan, Tennessee, Utah and elsewhere have been confronted by town hall audiences demanding answers — mostly regarding repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its possible replacement.

"We still have the tea party," Dashiell told her audience. "They came about in 2010; they have a purpose. The current group does not. They have a purpose, and it is to disrupt. Don't get me wrong. I'm good with protest, so long as they're peaceful."

She asked the group what conservatives are going to do in response.

"We're in the process of thinking about it," she said. "But we can't think for too long. We've got to create a movement for the conservatives that is a positive movement."

Dashiell said much of the unrest on the left arises from its disappointment over President Donald Trump's election.

And she produced a list of Trump's executive orders affecting immigration and other issues critical to conservatives.

"(Trump) is doing an incredible job," she said. "We are very proud of him for what he's doing. Does he have some hiccups? Sure, but it's OK. ... Democrats are not allowing (progress). They are doing everything in their power to destroy the Trump message."

Dashiell acknowledged that everyone in the room Wednesday likely did not agree on all issues but urged members to pick issues they feel deeply about and rally around those they do agree on.

She said all likely agree on fighting the pall of human sex trafficking and the necessity of requiring photo identification at the polls.

"We have to take that back," she said of the voter ID issue facing constitutionality hurdles, including in Texas. "We can create a movement that is positive for Texas, positive for our county and also positive for the United States."

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