Fort Worth police bring mementos home from GOP convention in Cleveland

Members of the Fort Worth Police bike patrol
Members of the Fort Worth Police bike patrol STAR-TELEGRAM

Some of the Fort Worth police officers who went to Cleveland to help with the Republican National Convention are bringing something home.

New wheels.

Thanks to a program through the Justice Department and the city of Cleveland, 12 members of the Fort Worth Police Department Central Division Bike Unit who helped with crowd control at the convention are getting new mountain bikes.

“We’re very fortunate that was part of the program,” Fort Worth police spokesman Sergeant Marcus Povero said. “Being able to get brand new bikes really helps our unit get contemporary equipment without having to rely on our support group or the taxpayers of Fort Worth.”

Flag burning

Speaking of the GOP convention, all the drama there wasn’t necessarily inside the Quicken Loans Arena.

Outside, protester drama centered on some activists burning the American flag to get attention.

Among the arrested: Gregory Lee “Joey” Johnson, who infamously burned the American flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, leading to a Supreme Court decision.

It was the 1989 ruling in Texas v. Johnson that protected the right to burn the American flag.

Focus on November

As Texas moves closer to November elections, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush picked some North Texans for key roles in the state GOP Victory effort, geared to help Republicans increase their numbers at the Texas Capitol.

Ann-Marie Birdwell, who lives in DFW, will be deputy director of the Victory effort. Birdwell, a TCU graduate, is a former campaign manager for state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and former Tarrant County field director for the GOP.

Mallory Coon, who grew up in Arlington, will be the Mid-Cities field director. After graduating from high school, she attended Stephen F. Austin State University and went to West Texas to work as a reporter before signing on with political campaigns.

And Jacob Velasquez, a TCU senior, is the new DFW Hispanic Engagement field director. Velasquez has interned for two senators, including John Cornyn of Texas. He also has volunteered with the Tarrant County Republican Party and served as the Tarrant County Minority Outreach director.

Newt chides Bushes

As for the Bush family, no family leaders made it to the GOP convention, which really steamed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., a big Donald Trump booster.

“The reason people nominated Donald Trump is because they weren’t happy, and frankly, I think the Bushes are behaving childishly,” Gingrich said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Jeb lost. Get over it.”

Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, lost badly to the New York billionaire in the presidential primaries and suspended his campaign in February. He only got three delegates at the GOP convention, leading the Washington Post to calculate that Bush spent $46 million for each delegate.

Baking the cake

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who is heads the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the ranking member on the subcommittee, are the best of friends.

So much so that earlier this month, before getting down to the serious business of voting on the fiscal year 2017 appropriations for those agencies, Granger said it was time to acknowledge an important event: Lowey’s birthday the day before.

And there was a cake. “It’s a homemade cake,” said Granger, “though not by me.”

It was made by Granger’s deputy chief of staff Johnnie Kaberle.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram