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I came to Minneapolis a week before the GOP Convention in St. Paul to assist in forming the Republican platform.

It is very quiet on the south side of Minnesota's largest city with 369,000 residents. The scenery is like downtown Baltimore, with tall, large office buildings.

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Yet it is very quaint. Homey almost. Kinda like Carroll County in the years of old.

Not many cars on the road, very few people are walking around on this sunny afternoon. Almost total silence, as I sit outside the hotel and enjoy a little bite to eat before the first gathering of the Resolutions Committee.

Breaking the quiet after almost two and a half hours into my arrival there is a squealing – a siren in the distance. An ambulance rushes by.

As I enter the revolving door of the hotel, there is a sign "No Guns are Permitted on the Premises." Revelation: Minnesota is a right-to-carry state. The only policemen I see are in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

I am told there are about 50 murders a year in this city of peacefulness; so unlike Baltimore. I wonder: Does the right to carry a concealed firearm have anything to do with the low crime rate ?

By the third day, everything is on schedule; we worked Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., crafting the platform which articulates the philosophies and positions of the Party of Lincoln.

It was rewritten from top to bottom, going from 40,000 words to about half the size, with the hope that being so concise would convey a clearer understanding of what being a Republican means, and would encourage folks to register and vote Republican.

Our co-chairs, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-SC) were very patient in allowing each of the 106 members to debate and amend the document that will be the basis for Senator John S. McCain to accept his nomination as the next president of the United States.

Maryland House Republican Leader Tony O'Donnell and I had front row assignments in the full committee, which was televised live by C-SPAN. It was truly an honor to be a part of this historic process. It is a document that should be read by anyone who is interested in the governing principals of the GOP. I am proud to be a Republican, and an American, where I know I am free to have a voice in the process.

-- Carmen Amedori

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