This year’s We The People Convention kicked off in Columbus today. I would estimate today’s attendance at 600 or more so far, with probably several hundred more arrivals by the time all festivities conclude tomorrow.
As was the case last year, the sizzle is found in the lunch and dinner speakers, while the steak is in the morning and afternoon general sessions. Those sessions include how-to presentations for candidates, campaign managers, and activists; Ohio-specific modules on taxes, natural resources, and potential electoral matters such as right-to-work; and break-outs on national issues like immigration reform, voter fraud, environmental policy, and (oh yeah) ObamaCare, where the related Supreme Court decision is on everyone’s outraged mind.
I have audio of the lunchtime speeches today, but attempts at transcription will have to wait until I escape the cavernous echo chamber known as the Ohio Expo Center. For now, I’ll note some key and in some cases quite sobering points made by the three lunchtime speakers (mostly paraphrased):
- Former Congressman Dick Armey, whose FreedomWorks has in effect been advocating tea party values for over a quarter-century, told the audience that when he saw the tea party groups forming en masse from the group up in 2009, he felt like the cavalry had finally arrive. He emphasized that rehabilitating the Republican Party is of paramount importance. Also (no pressure — ha), Ohio activists need to recognize that the weight of that “the weight and burden” of liberty may very well be on their shoulders in November, because in his view (and of course many others through several decades, “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.”
- Kibbe, also of FreedomWorks, opined that if progressives may have thought they saw something in scary (to them) in 2010, “they haven’t seen anything yet.”
- I’ll relay more of what Fund had to say later, but here’s one key point he made — So many Republicans and (so we thought) conservatives going to Washington planning to draining the swamp (or saying they do), but they end up deciding that the swamp instead serves as a great hot tub. Obviously, that’s got to stop.
As would be expected in a state with both a significant existing coal mining operations and huge potential in fracking that is enduring Obama administration hostility in both areas, energy is also a dominant topic.
To say that the determination to make a difference in November is fierce would be a huge understatement.