On May 20, 2013, the Dallas County Republican Party held its first meeting of the Battlefield Dallas project, an effort aimed at maximizing the turnout of conservative / Republican-leaning voters in Dallas County.
During the question-and-answer period, the following interchange took place between Bishop John Lawson, a Black pastor in south Dallas, and Ken Emanuelson, the guest speaker:
Bishop John Lawson: “What are the Republicans doing to get Black people to vote?”
Ken Emanuelson: “I’m going to be real honest with you. The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
Lawson: “Well, then what are you doing to get them to vote differently?”
Emanuelson: “That’s…that is the more important question.” [APPLAUSE] “That is the more important question.”
Lawson: “We’ve just written ’em off.”
Emanuelson: “And, again, that goes to the reason why they’ve been nine-to-one for the Democrats.”
Audience member: “I would elaborate on…”
Emanuelson: “Let me answer Bishop Lawson’s question.”
Audience member: “I would like to…I would like to…”
Emanuelson: “Let me answer Bishop Lawson’s question, and then I’ll take your question.”
Emanuelson: “Bishop Lawson, we have a lot of work to do in that community, and it has been written off and we need to change that. Now we’re not going to change that by 2014, but we might be able to change it if we start now in years…in years in the future. But it’s not going to be soon.”
Lawson: “Doing what?”
Wade Emmert, County Party Chairman: “That’s probably a question for me to answer.”
Emanuelson: “Yeah, Wade might be the guy to talk about that.”
Emmert: “Ken’s talking about grassroots and knocking on doors and cavassing. What you’re asking about is a longer-term vision for the Party. We definitely need to reach out and be more inclusive to the African-American community.”
Audience member: “Thank you!!” [APPLAUSE]
A full audio of the meeting is posted HERE.
In the wake of controversy over the above exchange raised by the Democratic Party, Emanuelson has issued a partial correction, posted HERE.
A copy of the Democratic Party’s “Battleground Texas” fundraising email is here: