inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

‘We Call Him ‘Shrek:’ Fetterman a Popular Target at Montco GOP Dinner

Enthusiasm ran high among the 250 committee people, elected officials, and candidates at the Montgomery County Republican Committee’s Fall Dinner last week at the Normandy Farm Hotel in Blue Bell. The event both honored outgoing state Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Bucks/Montgomery/Berks), who is retiring, and gave the GOP faithful a message for the upcoming midterm elections.

County Republican Chair Liz Preate Havey and state GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas rallied the Republican troops, with some help from special guests Matt and Mercedes Schlapp of CPAC fame.

“These two people are the hardest working people,” said public relations pro Alexandra Preate who moderated the event. “You can’t imagine phone calls at 2 o’clock in the morning or text messages. They never say no. They travel all around the country. They have a young family,” Preate said.

53rd District state Rep. candidate Jennifer Sodha with Nancy Becker, vice chair Montgomery County Republican Committee.

“Mercedes and I are 1,000 percent behind Doug Mastriano and 1,000 percent behind Dr. Oz,” Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, said. “Dr. Oz is a rare politician. He called us to say, ‘Can I take you to breakfast?’ He took us to the Royal Restaurant, which is kind of legendary in Alexandria (Virginia). He did something that Donald Trump did. He asked questions, and he didn’t talk. He listened.”

Usually, “politicians always talk the whole time until you think, ‘I’ve got to get out of here. My ears are going to bleed pretty soon.’ Not Dr. Oz.

“The other thing he did, he’s a famous guy and he was so nice to people. People were pouring out of the kitchen. Everybody wanted to meet Dr. Oz. He’s exactly what we need in our politics today.”

On current political conditions, Matt Schlapp said, “Our country has a virus, and it’s not COVID. We have a virus called self-loathing. We’re teaching our kids to hate our country. We’re teaching our kids to disrespect their parents. We’re teaching our kids that God is an old-fashioned value.”

“America is under attack by a virus that wants to undermine her. And I think we all get it. We’ve woken up from our slumber and our stupor. And I think Pennsylvania is going to lead the way,” he said.

Schlapp, a regular on Fox News and other conservative media outlets also turned his sights on the Democrats.

“I often think when I walk our city streets, especially Washington, D.C. with double-digit increases in murder, violent crime ever since they… started to say that cops were bad. I’ve often said, it doesn’t make much sense that the Democrats say, ‘I have a policy solution. Let’s legalize all drugs.’”

“Look at your lieutenant governor or whatever you refer to him as–”

Preate cut in, “We call him Shrek, sometimes.”

“The idea that just listening to him, the idea of legalizing all drugs seems insane,” he said. “I feel like we’re in an insane moment.”

Mercedes Schlapp said she believed GOP success in November centers around the Keystone State. “Pennsylvania is the epicenter of this red wave. We are going to make Pennsylvania red again. It will happen in our lifetime, I promise you. People are fed up.”

And, she argued, it is not just because of inflation.

“I know we talk about the economy that’s putting so much pressure on families, but it is these cultural issues,” she said. “It is the fact that you have these schools, these leftists pushing sex changes at the age of 5 or 6, that they are normalizing the use of puberty blockers for our children. This is disgusting, and this is what we have to stop. And I have seen parents, the ones that didn’t want to get involved in politics, have had to rise up. And I see that so much here in Pennsylvania where moms have said, ‘I’ve never done that before, but I’m going to get active, and I’m going to make sure we make a difference in our local school boards.’”

Liz Havey and members of the Lower Merion High School Conservative Club

There were also kind words from Havey for guest of honor state Sen. Bob Mensch.

Mensch brought performance-based budget to the state, transforming the budgeting process, so every line item and department is reviewed yearly “like a business,” Havey said.

“His second huge accomplishment, in my view, you know his wife passed after fighting a really long battle with cancer,” she said. “And Bob made sure in the legislature over the last many years that women with breast cancer have the testing and insurance coverage that they need,” she said. “He really impacted thousands of women across this commonwealth, twice receiving the prestigious Pink Ribbon Award, the only person in Pennsylvania to get the award twice from the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.”

She said Mensch has also been “a true friend” to many Republicans. He mentored her, helped her become the party chair, and helped many candidates.

Mensch, who served for 16 years in the legislature, thanked the audience for supporting him and supporting the Montgomery County Republicans.

“I truly appreciate the recognition,” he said. “We need candidates to run and run and run to get elected. We have some great candidates. We can’t just cede all of this to the Democrats.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about (Democratic Senate candidate John) Fetterman here,” said Mensch. “I worked with Fetterman for four years. As the lieutenant governor, your biggest responsibility is to run the Senate. You’re the president of the Senate. It’s scripted. Literally, and to his left is the parliamentarian. If there’s any question, she’s there for his help, and she’s dynamite. And he can’t read the script. He can’t do the job. So, what does that say? He says he transformed the job of lieutenant governor. If you can’t do the job, he’s transformed it.”

Havey, who joked about living in the very Democratic town of Lower Merion, welcomed a group of Lower Merion High School students who are members of a student Conservative Club.

Senior Andrew Coyne, 17, said he founded the club last year because “conservatives needed a space to talk about their opinions without being called racist. Lower Merion High School always talks about diversity and inclusion but not so much diversity of thought.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Hoping to Make Inroads with Black Voters, GOP Opens Philly Community Center

Paris Dennard was among the Republican luminaries who attended a rally to open a new Republican National Committee (RNC) Community Center in Philadelphia’s Germantown section.

The center, which opened last week, is one of three new RNC community centers around the country, part of the party’s outreach to minority community voters. It will house ward leader meetings, social events, community gatherings, and voter registration drives. At the opening, the late Daphne Gibbons, a Philadelphia ward leader, was recognized with a plaque presented to her sons and grandson.

Dennard, a GOP strategist, commentator, and writer, is currently RNC director of Black media affairs.

Asked by the Delaware Valley Journal about Democrat politicians who seem to believe they can use the name “Trump” and claim Republicans are for voter suppression to win this fall, Dennard cited Republican wins last November in Virginia.

“How they tried to insert President Trump’s name as a negative factor, and it backfired,” said Dennard. “And you have Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who won with 13 percent of the Black vote, and Winsome Sears become the first Black immigrant, as well as veteran (and) Black woman, to become lieutenant governor, winning 17 percent of the Black vote.

“In places like Georgia, they tried to lie about the laws, saying that you can’t get food and drink in lines,” Dennard said. “They said things that were just absolutely not true, which led to Georgia losing $100 million in revenue when they removed the (2021) All-Star game from there. I think the Black community is smart enough to understand what these laws are doing and differentiate between the tried and true liberal rhetoric of division and race-baiting versus the actuality of what Republicans are trying to do, which is to make it easier for people to vote and harder for people to cheat.”

Dennard worked in the White House for President George W. Bush.

“It was the great honor of a lifetime,” he said. “I was 24 years old and right out of college. And being there at so many historical moments in a Republican administration was truly humbling and something I’ll never forget.”

The Republican Party has welcomed him and is inclusive, he said.

“I’m living proof of the inclusivity of our party,” said Dennard. And he said more than 80 Black Republicans are running for Congress this election cycle.

Philadelphia ward leaders, candidates and public officials, as well as community members, packed the new RNC Community Center on Wayne Avenue, listening to speakers, then enjoying a dinner that featured fried chicken and cornbread.

Lawrence Tabas

“This office is just a first step. It is a step that will be critical and important,” said Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas.

All Republicans “need to begin a listening tour so that we can start to work together and build a partnership. And I don’t mean just when the cameras are rolling. I don’t mean just during an election cycle like this. I mean, all throughout the year…the ideas and the programs and policies that you can talk to us about so we can put them into action will be critical.”

Calvin Tucker, deputy chairman of the Pennsylvania GOP, said, “We’re standing here in the heart of Germantown. We are steeped with history and culture. I just want to go back to 1688 in our community, here in Germantown. The Germantown members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), they were the first group in this nation to stand against slavery. That’s an investment they made at that point, in human nature. Today the RNC, the Pennsylvania GOP, and the Philly GOP are making an additional investment in who we are because it’s important.”

Calvin Tucker

While we had record low unemployment for everyone, including African Americans, under President Trump, now there is ‘Bidenflation.’ We have invasions. We long for those days when we had strength.”

State Rep. Martina White, chair of the Philly GOP, gave a rousing speech.

“We know what we’ve been through in these past 60 years of Democrat rule in the city of Philadelphia,” said White. “And while they may call it progress, I’ll tell you–” The crowd laughed. She told them it was important to talk to their friends and relatives about politics.

“Homicides are at historic highs in our city,” said White. “Criminals on our streets are stealing the lives of our youths and ripping away any comfort and safety for our families and business owners that they did at one time have in our neighborhoods. We believe in fully funding law enforcement so they can provide community policing. We want the district attorney to prosecute criminals who are breaking our laws and terrorizing our communities.”

Rep. Martina White

She also touched on school choice so students can get a “quality education regardless of their Zip code,” saying Democrats are in the “pockets of the teachers’ unions.”

Dennard also spoke to the crowd, saying that besides the new community centers, the RNC made “a five-figure media buy” on Black news stations for Black History Month, honoring Black Republican elected officials.

RNC Co-Chair Tommy Hicks rallied the audience.

“We’ve all got to do our part to make sure the 21st century is the American 21st century,” said Hicks. “And unfortunately that is not a given. It’s clear that our nation is suffering under the failed leadership of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the Squad who rules all of them.”

He added, “Inflation (at) 40-year highs, the price of everything from food, transportation to heating oil is going up. This is a hidden tax on the American people esp. affecting the middle class and lower-income Americans. You name it, it’s going up…And this sagging economy is a direct result of the Democrat Party, their failed policies are making life harder on all of us.”

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or