Society Notes Corner: Rick Berg and Jack Dalrymple Discover Treasure On The Gulf Coast

The cream of North Dakota Society has been whisked away by jet plane to the glorious shores of the Gulf Coast of the state of Florida. Mr. Rick Berg, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, and Mr. Jack Dalrymple, the interim Governor of the State of North Dakota made passage to the sunshine state for several days on a peninsula adjacent to Tampa Bay that goes by the delightful name of Treasure Island.

The region was named Treasure Island after developers hatched a scheme to boost sales of their beachside properties on the island by first burying and then pretending to discover two wooden chests on the beach around 1915. After claiming the chests were filled with gold and treasure, the news of the discovery quickly spread – and people began calling the breakwater Treasure Island. Of interest in this regard, Mr. Berg himself made his millions developing properties in North Dakota, and many would claim that he’d tried the old ‘bait and switch’ with the YWCA project… and probably with the Ryan Budget (saying one thing in Washington and another in ND).

The official occasion of note in central Florida is the Republican National Convention, the quadrennial gathering of right-wing elite which has become THE place to see and be seen in the company of Billionaires – and the people they own. Most in attendance are sure to be of European descent, as the base of the ‘Grand Old Party’ is predominantly Anglo. In that vein, Mr. Berg and Mr. Dalrymple have chosen and ideal location to hide away: according to the United States Census, Treasure Island’s racial makeup is 97.69% Caucasian. We hope they brought sunscreen!

Early dispatches home made note of a threat of hurricane approaching the region, causing the Republican brass to forgo the first day of the festivities! But that inconvenience hasn’t dampened the spirits of right-wing party crowd. Messrs. Berg and Dalrymple are joined at their posh hotel by several members of the east coast upper class – including Mr. Jerry Farrell Jr., a lawyer and former state Commissioner of Consumer Protection of the Wallingford, Connecticut Farrells. Also hoteling with the North Dakotans are two other convention-goers from Wallingford, Connecticut – Town Clerk Mrs. Barbara Thompson and Connecticut Republican Chairman Mr. Jerry Labriola, Jr., – a Christian married couple.

The hamlet of Wallingford, Connecticut is itself a bastion of conservative ideology, and has a rich history of producing both wealth and civility. It was proudly the birthplace of Aaron Jerome (1764–1802), the great-great-grandfather of Mr. Winston Churchill, as well as that of conservative talk show host Mr. Morton Downey, Jr. (1932–2001).

While camping out in the comfortable confines of their hotel, and hiding from the rains, Messrs. Berg and Dalrymple entertained their east coast guests with a presentation that, by all accounts, was delightful and well received. The Wallingford contingent said they were impressed by the governor and his growth strategies.

“Their unemployment rate is 2.8 percent,” said Mrs. Thompson of  the state of North Dakota, comparing it with Connecticut’s at 8.5 percent in July. Mrs. Thompson acknowledged that much of North Dakota’s growth has come from oil – but not all she said, “they’ve got a lot of manufacturing going on.” Manufacturing attack ads has become something of a growth industry for Mr. Berg and his many moneyed friends.

Beyond the wrath of the Almighty, in the form of a hurricane, there are other real security concerns for the travelers. While Treasure Island itself is a somewhat gated community, the town of Tampa, where the main convention activities will take place, is simply awash with all manner of common people. In light of this unfortunate reality, the group will ride buses that will disembark into a secure valet area – to avoid contact with the town’s more undesirable residents and those who may exhibit views that would be seen as disagreeable.

“Security’s very tight,” Mr. Farell said, adding that a police officer will accompany the group on their bus.

Mr. Berg, originally scheduled to speak on Monday, will now give his Chautauqua on Tuesday afternoon. We’re sure he’ll be received by the elderly residents of Florida just as warmly as the ones he’s spoken to back home – when he told them he was a proponent of taking away their Medicare and Social Security. What a glorious adventure for sure!