Update: The Colorado Republican Party responses — update at the end of the post.
The head of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives called out the state GOP chairman on his radio show last weekend for giving short shrift to a constituency party leaders say they want to entice — conservative minorities.
During a segment on the weekend show where RMBC founder and black tea party leader Derrick Wilburn and cohost Robert Blaha give an “almost human” award to people who have annoyed or upset them, Wilburn turned his ire toward Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call and the party in general.
He said in the two-and-a-half years he’s hosted monthly meetings of the Rocky Mountain Black Tea Party, Call has only attended one — the one where he was the guest speaker.
And he said that during a recent closed door meeting with national party chairman Reince Priebus, Call only allowed Wilburn to speak in the 30 seconds before Preibus had to leave.
“He’s got to leave at 3:30 to catch a flight,” Wilburn said on the show. “Ryan Call goes around the room, gives the microphone to every white elected official in the state, and lets them go off for as long as they want to. Gives me the microphone at 3:29 and thirty seconds. Thirty seconds left in the meeting, and says ‘I’m sorry,’ and I get thirty seconds to speak to the man.”
Wilburn also complained about being scheduled as the last speaker at the Republicans’ State Central Committee meeting in March.
“[I’m] the guy who’s trying to reach out to the young people, whom we know we all need. He puts us up there last,” he said. “And puts the [U.S. Rep.] Doug Lamborns of the world up there first.”
“I’ve had it up to here,” he said. “Our state chairman embodies ‘the Republicans,’ whoever that is. … These people don’t get it. They’re almost human. And if we don’t get rid of some of ’em and replace them with people who do [get it], we’re in a world of hurt.”
Neither Call nor Wilburn immediately replied to emails from The Daily Caller News Foundation. Big Media Blog in Colorado first reported on Wilburn’s comments.
The website for Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives says that conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, small government and greater individual liberty “make sense and work for all people, regardless of race or ethnicity.”
But its mission statement adds that conservative leaders need to do more to reach out to minorities.
“Conservative America, we have got to change the way we operate,” it reads. “Where is the outreach, where and what is the message to ethnic minorities? Not making an effort to reach divergent groups is fundamentally flawed.”
“Our mission is to make the conservative side of the political aisle a more attractive alternative to ethnic minority voters,” Wilburn said on the show. “This has got to happen and everybody knows it’s got to happen. If it doesn’t happen, this game is over.”
Update: Colorado GOP Communications Director Owen Loftus responded to some of Wilburn’s criticism on Saturday.
“As chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Ryan receives many invitations to attend and speak at events and meetings across the state, and he does attend as many as possible,” he wrote in an email. “As Mr. Wilburn stated, Ryan has even met with the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives.”
“Chairman Priebus was in town to discuss Hispanic outreach,” he continued. “The vast majority of people at the meeting were members of the Hispanic community. We were happy to have Mr. Wilburn there to share his thoughts. Unfortunately, given Chairman Preibus’s tight schedule, no one was able to speak at length, not even elected officials like Rep. Clarice Navarro.”
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