- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When Republicans gather in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena for their national convention in 18 days, they will encounter a fabulous stage with a sweeping American flag backdrop, two grand staircases and a 1,711-square-foot screen, deemed “one of the most advanced stages ever put together” by organizers who unveiled their plan during a cordial press tour Tuesday. That will be inside.

Outside the arena, however, the 50,000 GOP attendees may encounter more hostility. Earlier this month the ACLU sued the city of Cleveland on behalf of 27 activist groups irked that their designated “protest area” was not to their liking. A federal judge ordered the city to re-evaluate their rally regulations. The result: On Wednesday, city officials agreed to relax the offending rules. The size of a “heightened security zone” will be downsized. Protesters can now assemble closer to the venue; larger groups will be accommodated.

“The new rules ensure that people have meaningful opportunities to express themselves,” said ACLU representative Christine Link in a statement.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is battening down the hatches. On opening day, the city will deploy 3,000 police officers drawn from units around the nation. All will be in full-body riot gear; most will wear body cameras. And one more thing: Officials voted Wednesday to take out a $50 million “protest insurance” policy for the convention — five times the previous amount that originally had been approved.

DARRYL GLENN MAKES A FIERCE DEBUT

He is a former Air Force officer, a collegiate powerlifting champ and a man who describes himself as “the Democratic Party’s absolutely worst nightmare.” That would be Darryl Glenn, who won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Colorado on Tuesday night with 37 percent of the vote despite a scanty $50,000 campaign budget. Mr. Glenn is now set to oppose Democratic incumbent Michael F. Bennet.

“I am a black conservative Republican running for the United States Senate against one of the most vulnerable Democrats in America in 2016. This race is the best chance Republicans have to pick up a seat and keep control of the Senate,” declares Mr. Glenn in a new message to voters.

He describes himself as an unapologetic pro-life Christian and a constitutional conservative. He has already won endorsements from Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, Senate Conservative Fund president Ken Cuccinelli, plus talk radio mavens Mark Levin and Erick Erickson.

“I am going to beat Michael Bennet like a drum,” Mr. Glenn predicts, adding, “For many years now, the Democrat Party has sold the black community a bill of goods. Every single year, they know they cannot run on their record, so they try to make these campaigns about identity politics. I have had it with the Democratic Party and the extreme liberal activists that run it. The policies liberals have advocated for the past 30 years have not helped African Americans one bit. They haven’t helped any Americans.”

EMPLOYMENT IN MANHATTAN

“Well, that was fast. I moved to NYC for a dream job and that’s not what I got. I tried to stick it out, but it was impossible. I don’t even know the word quit, but for the sake of my health and my sanity, I decided I needed to do just that. Now, for the first time in my life, I’m unemployed.”

— Facebook post from Scott Kleinberg, the former social media director for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. Kleinberg resigned his post Tuesday night after only eight weeks on the job.

EVANGELICALS PONDER MR. TRUMP

Donald Trump appears to be tender to things of the Spirit,” writes James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a powerful force in Christian talk radio programming who is one of 25 well-known evangelicals who are now advising the likely Republican presidential nominee.

“We’ve all agreed to serve. How will that play out if Trump becomes president? I don’t know. It is a good start, I would think. If anything, this man is a baby Christian who doesn’t have a clue about how believers think, talk and act,” Mr. Dobson continues. “All I can tell you is that we have only two choices, Hillary Clinton or Donald. Hillary scares me to death. And, if Christians stay home because he isn’t a better candidate, Hillary will run the world for perhaps eight years. The very thought of that haunts my nights and days. One thing is sure: we need to be in prayer for our nation at this time of crisis.”

THE AFFECTIONATE NEWS MEDIA

The liberal news media has supported Hillary Clinton for a quarter of a century, according to a new study by Newsbusters.com, a conservative press watchdog.

“Far from impeding Hillary Clinton’s career with hostile coverage, the establishment media have enabled her political rise with what amounts to a 25-year-long infomercial on her behalf: admiring testimonials about her greatness, and nasty slams against her critics,” writes lead author Rich Noyes in the report.

Mrs. Clinton, he says, is often cast as a victim, then transformed into a heroine in many press accounts.

“The liberal media establishment has spent years celebrating Clinton as an ‘icon of American womanhood,’ while fiercely attacking those who would challenge her ethics,” Mr. Noyes said, citing Newsweek — which once called Mrs. Clinton “the most fabulous woman in history” — and Time magazine, which gushed, “Hillary Rodham Clinton will define for women that magical spot where the important work of the world and love and children and an inner life all come together.”

POLL DU JOUR

98 percent of small business owners are registered to vote; 97 percent vote regularly in national elections.

65 percent are “conservative” on social and fiscal issues, foreign affairs and national security.

50 percent are Republicans, 21 percent Democrats, 19 percent independents, 6 percent unaffiliated and 2 percent Libertarians.

46 percent say the Republicans Party bests represents small businesses; 40 percent say neither party; 14 percent say the Democratic Party.

Source: National Small Business Association survey of 890 small business owners conducted April 4 to 13 and released Wednesday.

Ballyhoo and balderdash to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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