SHARE
Did Fort Worth Republican leadership hear lots of honking cars Monday? Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

Like Didi and Gogo in Waiting for Godot, protesters waited. And waited. They were on the sidewalk by Blue Mesa Grill in the West 7th corridor on Monday. Like bird watchers, straining for a glimpse of a rose-throated becard, they were eager for that most rare of Fort Worth sightings, the fabled, never-appearing Republican Rep. Kay Granger.

Rumor was she would attend the monthly Cowtown Republican Women’s Club to take part in a candidates’ forum with her primary challenger from the right, former Colleyville councilperson Chris Putnam. Too bad.

Granger was a no-show. No surprise, really. Kay has not held a town hall with her constituents since around the time Donald Trump became president, complaining that some of her constituents are dangerous.

FW Weekly Rectangle Gif

“Do I look dangerous?” asked Lisa Gowan from the Sierra Club contingent protesting Granger’s lack of action on climate change. “I’m a teacher. I’m not dangerous.”

We were told that Granger had to fly back to Washington.

“It’s not surprising,” said Robert Vann, a Fort Worth resident holding a sign with the handwritten message “Kay, Where have all the children gone?”

Vann said he and others sometimes hold their signs near Granger’s Fort Worth office near University Drive.

“It’s kind of hard to do too much when she never does show up to talk to her constituents,” he said. “She doesn’t hold town halls or anything of that nature.”

Among those holding signs was former Texas Rep. Lon Burnam.

“Every one of these people here have tried to get in to see [Granger] and visit with her,” he said. “They are all here because they thought Kay was going to be here.”

Burnam seemed surprised that she cancelled the visit with the Republican Women’s Club. A well-funded opponent is presenting a “very real challenge” to her attempt to win a 13th term. 

After March 3, Granger will “either be defeated or be the Republican nominee, and then she’ll be hard to find again,” Burnam said. 

Granger’s absence didn’t seem to dampen the mood of the band of protesters that numbered to about 30. Holding signs that addressed such diverse issues as climate change, a possible coming war with Iran, and the separation of families at the border, the protesters enjoyed conversing among themselves and waving at the mostly positive drivers who motored down Carroll Street, honking and shooting thumbs-up signs. Some weren’t so friendly, such as the driver of the pickup truck who gunned his engine loudly and squealed his tires in protest of the protesters, and the occasional thumbs-down sign or obscenity shouted from a few cars. But more than one protester shared with me, with some surprise in their voices, that even in red Tarrant County, a lot of people are no longer afraid to express their resistance. Or, perhaps, as one protester posited, the Trump supporters are not quite as super-confident of their man as they were.

One feisty elderly Republican woman most certainly did not keep a low profile. In her motorized wheelchair, she confronted Ernie Moran, a Fort Worth schoolteacher holding a sign that read, “Close the Camps.”

“Why are y’all out here?” she said. “Democrats have lied for three years. We are trying to solve all these problems you have on your posters, except climate change. We can’t do anything about that. That’s up to God.”

Then after taking a long look at Ernie, she said, wagging a finger at him, “I can tell. You don’t believe in God or anything.”

After that, she exited, puttering toward Blue Mesa’s entrance.

“For the record,” Ernie Moran shared, “I went to a Jesuit high school, and I do believe in God.”

So was all this protest for naught, since Granger hadn’t bothered to show?

“No,” said Thomas Torlincasi, co-organizer of the regular Friday protest in front of Granger’s office. “Upstairs,” he continued, pointing at the second story of the restaurant, “a big group of Republican leadership heard all these cars honking” in support of us and against them.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION (1-13-2020):

The protest was organized after a rumor spread that Rep. Kay Granger would attend the Cowtown Republican Women meeting along with Chris Putnam, her Republican primary opponent. A handful of Granger’s dissatisfied constituents gathered to let the former Fort Worth mayor and longtime congresswoman know they don’t appreciate her lack of accessibility or her political party’s direction. We heard about the protest underway and stopped by to check it out. By the time we arrived, the protestors had learned that Granger was not scheduled to appear after all. They stayed anyway and continued waving their signs as traffic passed by on Carroll Street. We went inside the women’s club meeting to ask about Granger and were told she was tentatively scheduled for a February meeting.

After our story was published, Charla Brotherton, president of Cowtown Republican Women, called to express her dismay and ask for a clarification. She said our story, which referred to Granger as a “no show,” made it sound as if the politician had canceled even though she was not set to appear.  Also, Brotherton disliked that we quoted an unidentified woman in a wheelchair who chastised one of the protestors. Brotherton said the context made it sound as if the woman belonged to the Cowtown Republican Women. (We did not identify the woman as a member of the group.) Brotherton said her group would never “be ugly” to a protestor.

“They have the First Amendment right to stand out there all day if they want to,” she said. “We were not upset that they were there. Not a single one of our members said one unkind thing to them because we don’t do that. We are in the business of respecting all voters.”

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Our Representative, Kay Granger, was never scheduled for this event. It was a chance for other Congressional Candidates to speak to us about their platforms and why they are seeking office. It seems you spent a great deal of time speaking to protesters on the street with a very negative message about Ms. Granger and the women meeting “UPSTAIRS”. I was there and wanted to know why you walked in and did not register at the front table where I was registering each person in attendance. When one of our staff asked, you informed us you were a reporter. That was fine with us. However, if you had bothered to ask questions about our evening forum and agenda, we would have been glad to help you. You did not. Your article “Granger The Stranger” is not only unfair and biased Liberal reporting, you just maligned a great, lovely group of women, Cowtown Republican Women, that meet because they are concerned and want to take an active role in making the future better for their children and grandchildren. The next time you pick up your pen to write in a negative slant, please ask questions and get the whole story first!

  2. Also, your portrayal of the Republican Woman in a Wheelchair is totally disrespectful. She was not a member of our group, “Upstairs”…. but she certainly has a right to her opinion and free speech just as the other people on the street have a right to express their views.

  3. Ms. Hunn, I see no where in this piece where your group is maligned. It’s only named and described as “a big group of Republican leadership,” which, I think, would be a positive. No protester that I spoke with ever spoke ill of your group, I might add. Also, the woman in the wheelchair is never described as a member of your group, and I fail to see how quoting her accurately is “totally disrespectful.” She is described as elderly and feisty, neither of which are pergoratives. In fact, if I were you, I’d try to find her. That woman had enough guts to go into enemy territory and speak her mind. She’d be a great asset to any group.

  4. So the FW Weekly runs an article about how Congresswoman Granger cancelled a visit with a group for fear of protests. Only now we find out that Granger was not even scheduled to appear at the event she supposedly backed out of.

    So, are these reporters just incredibly incompetent, or is the Weekly just intent on printing FAKE NEWS when it suits their political purposes?

  5. Sore loser Lon Burnam tried to interfere with the up and coming young Hispanic fellow who beat him in an election for state representative a few years ago, by claiming the election was “stolen”. I guess Lon felt “entitled” to be that district’s state representative for life. Ironically one of the constituent complaints about Burnam was his inaccessibility. His aloofness, (ie “snottiness”) and penchant for being a preening Leftist media darling while keeping the people in his district at arms length was another problem.

    I have a problem with erstwhile protesters who claim that they “have tried to contact Ms. Granger” but show up and raise a stink at a local restaurant where she is not present and never intended to be present. This suggests an element of mendacity combined with confusion if not outright hypocritical malevolence. The climate change woman, for example, who is a little too eager to grace us with her prior Christian grade school creds, seems oblivious to the fact that most of us wonder why she burned fossil fuel to show up at the wrong location, and yet remains unapologetic towards those innocent civilians she is nastily confronting.

    Finally what is with this unpleasantness directed towards a group of nice middle class Republication tax payer ladies quietly exercising their constitutional and political rights? Why was this article so slanted?

    The title should have been “Former State Representative With No Current Visible Means of Support Stalks and Harrasses Fort Worth Ladies Outside Local Restaurant”.

    Blue Mesa, BTW seems to be an enjoyable popular spot welcoming to every Ft. Worth citizen. They have a wonderful weekend brunch…

  6. Your “update/clarification” says protesters were Granger’s “dissatisfied constituents.” How did you know they were local constituents and not professional bused-in protesters? Did you ask to see their ID’s?

  7. Fakery bakery, you are so perceptive. You’re onto us, sir. Yes, we’re all being paid by George Soros. You, too, can make the big bucks if you’re willing to hold a pinko sign. I can teach you the passwords and our secret handshake, too. How could anybody locally be against Kay and the American Way? Now that you mention it, I think I did hear some “protesters” speak with funny accents. Probably Yankees. No, everybody here thinks the same. We’re all glad Kate’s Panther Island boondoggle has taken forever and makes it hell to get around town. And who wants their legislator to hold town halls, anyway? BORING. All true Texans and Americans love seeing our constitutional go down the toilet and the most corrupt President in the history of the Republic get a carte blanche from the spineless U.S. Senate. Thanks, Fakery bakery, for showing us your “thinking.”

LEAVE A REPLY