When Mike Rump needed a featured speaker for the Republican Business Network’s inaugural Reagan Dinner fundraiser, he didn’t have to look far.
A meeting with Catherine Engelbrecht provided the key.
Engelbrecht is the founder of True the Vote, an election integrity group in Texas. Her congressional testimony and numerous public statements about IRS abuses has become a central part of the controversy surrounding the agency and its treatment of conservative organizations.
But Engelbrecht had another quality equally important, Rump said.
“She’s a businesswoman first.”
That’s crucial for a political organization whose mission – as the name implies – is as oriented toward economic success as it is a governing philosophy. And Engelbrecht, who runs Engelbrecht Precision Manufacturing in Houston with her husband, Bryan, understands the importance of both, Rump said.
And she understands the impact an overreaching government can have.
“She thought people were getting disenfranchised through regulations,” Rump said. ‘She started getting active with True the Vote, and all of the sudden she’s getting audited, she’s getting back audited. She refers to it as ‘the weaponization of the federal government.’”
And that, Rump said, “scares the hell out of people”
“I think there are a lot of guys and gals who might think about being activists but might not, based on what happened to her. It sends a chill.”
But getting active in politics while keeping a focus on business is what the Republican Business Network is all about.
The Broward County-based organization, which started in 2007, has an annual membership of between 100 and 120 businessmen and women mainly in Broward but also Palm and Dade counties and other parts of the state Rump said. It has an official political action committee – RBNPC – but the goal, Rump said, is to make political activism pay off for its members in a business sense, too.
“It’s as much as business network as it is a political club,” said Rump, president and CEO of Continental Public Adjusters in Coral Springs, who took over as RBN president in 2013.
In addition to Engelbrecht, who will talk about her own experiences with “the weaponization” of the government, bold-faced names at the RBN Reagan Dinner include Rush Limbaugh Executive Producer Bo Snerdley as emcee, conservative speaker, commentator and film producer Bill Whittle, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
The dinner is scheduled for Aug. 23 at Galuppi’s Restaurant, 1103 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach. Tickets are $150 and sponsors are still being sought. For information, call Dolly Rump at 954-478-3660 or email [email protected]
For an inaugural effort, it’s quite a lineup, Rump acknowledged.
“We’re not starting off very small,” he said.
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