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Dan Murphy

The Total Man Package: The Empire Strikes Back!
by Dan Murphy

January 2003

Newsflash! (Yeah, not really) The Republicans are back in charge and I witnessed their takeover in Texas at the Austin Convention Center. The Texas Republicans rented out the Convention Center as a rallying point to watch the returns come in for the November elections. You didn't think they were going to use City Coliseum, did ya?

There were about 15 trucks from the media parked in the back of the Convention Center. Some were local media and some were national (I think). I covered this event covertly for It's unlikely these Conservatives would let a guy with any affiliation with Actors cover them.

Besides, I got called the morning of the rally and asked if I would like to work the east gate (the guy in charge of letting people in and out of the service yard to the Convention Center). No, it wasn't my Heavy Republican Contacts that got me the work. I sometimes work part time at the Convention Center as a Facility Service Representative. If they found out I did a commercial for Tony Sanchez, they might have requested that I be moved. I think it shows my willingness to work for both sides. Now, that's true Bipartisanship. Anyhow, like I thought, this meager position gave me the low profile needed to get an unbiased view of this event from behind the scenes.

Actually, I was surprised at how some of these people acted. I will list the names of the positive portrayals, but I won't be listing the jerks. First of all, I can't remember the names of any of the jerks and even if I could I'm not going to give them the opportunity to knock my door down with Storm Troopers.

Yeah, I know you're saying, "But Dan, with your low profile and FBI safehouse-style efficiency apartment, they'd never be able to find you. Word on the street is that Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch doesn't have a clue as to where your low rent hideout is." Yes, given these facts and that my lifestyle is diametrically opposed to the lavish livings of most Republicans (excluding the redneck trailer park ones), I'm still not taking any chances - especially with the new radical information-gathering techniques the current administration is considering using to go after terrorists.

The general party time for the Republicans was 7 p.m., but most of the bigwigs (Governors, Senators) weren't scheduled to speak until around 10. The Imperial Battle Cruisers (Land Cruisers, Suburbans, etc.) with Republicans and media personnel were showing up intermittently from around 5 o'clock until 10:30ish.

One of the first people I met was Sergeant Shannon Wilson with the Governor's Protective Detail. When she pulled up to the East Gate I asked who she was and explained to her that we only had a certain number of spaces reserved for the Governor's people, Senator's people, etc. I told her she would have to park at the South Lot on Red River and Chavez. She had come early to run through some security protocols.

She was abundantly courteous and friendly. She must have given me about a billion "Yes Sirs" to everything I said. When she returned later in the evening, with some of the Governor's family, she was still just as courteous as before. I should write the Governor's office a letter bragging about how pleasant she was.

All the media people I talked to were also nice. They had a lot of downtime, so some of them would go outside to smoke, etc. I talked to a guy from the local Fox News affiliate who used to work with the national affiliate. I asked him what's wrong with Bill O'Reilly from the O'REILLY FACTOR. He didn't have a comment.

Security was very tight at this event. Before a car even got to my location, it was screened by the Williamson County Sheriffs who had blocked off Second through First Street on Red River. I was instructed to let absolutely no one in without proper identification. So when Walter Cronkite tried to get in on his reputation alone it wouldn't work with me. I told Cronkite to "Hit the bricks has-been! Everyone knows you're not with the media anymore." I let the 60 Minutes crew in even though they didn't have proper identification. They threatened to do an investigative piece on me if I didn't. I acquiesced fast. A couple of ladies from Texas Monthly came through the gate and were pleasant as well.

When it came time for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to show up, things didn't go as planned. The Senator's detail was supposed to drop the Senator off on the long ramp and then park. Right when I was going to explain this to the Senator's driver, one of Rick Perry's adjutants shows up, asks who it is, jumps on the side ramp of their Blazer-ish vehicle and says, "Let's go."

They then drove up the long ramp rapidly into the building. Perry's assistant's dramatic actions made it seem like there was some sort of attempt on the Senator's life. Maybe there was a threat and I was just oblivious to it. Senator Hutchison is the Intelligence Committee Chairwoman in real and fictional life. I'm watching her play herself right now on Chuck Norris's The President's Man: A Line in the Sand on the USA Network. I think she's also been on Chuck Norris's Walker Texas Ranger show as well. It's really her playing herself. It's not an actor.

Now, I've got it. It was actually one of the President's Men who jumped onto the side of her vehicle to rush her to safety. There was probably a hidden al-Kada terrorist bearing down on her with an RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) and I was worried about the fire hazard rules of parking on the long ramp. The convention center has fire code rules of where vehicles can park so access to certain areas won't be blocked in the event of a fire.
The really funny thing is that the Senator was probably breaking fire legislation laws she helped to get passed.

When Governor Rick Perry showed up, I almost had another problem. No, he didn't play the "Do You Know Who I Am Routine" like he did with the State Trooper. The Governor showed up the exact time the Senator's people were going to drive up the ramp and bring the Senator down. Fortunately, the Senator ended up walking down the ramp to her vehicle, which alleviated a potential clog up.

Now, the Republicans are happy because they've won and the Democrats are scrambling to figure out what happened. I say it doesn't really matter who's in charge. They say get the vote out, but the news tells us we have a shadow government. So, does it really matter who's in charge if we have a Covert Shadow Government really calling the shots? I thought it was my lack of interest and apathy like millions of others that probably helped bring along the Shadow Government, but to my surprise they weren't on the ballot when I went to vote?

Now, I'm not trying to be negative. You've got to look at the positives. At least, when we are all corralled on the slave trains, drinking water from the leaking cracked ceiling, on our way to the Gulag like something out of Schindler's List, those trains will run on time with The Shadow Government! If The Shadow Government would only take over Capital Metro, my life would be so much simpler.

Talk to you next month. TAKE CARE!

Dan Murphy

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