Ridin' the Storm Out at Ohio's We the People Convention

Late Friday afternoon, a powerful storm came through Central and Southern Ohio, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands in Metro Columbus. (Update: The storm has since moved on and caused horrible damage in other states.)


At Ohio’s second We The People Convention, those who lived in the local area who weren’t staying for dinner were advised to hang around for a half-hour or so after the last break-out sessions. Internet access also went away and didn’t return to the event’s Ohio Expo Center site before it ended.

I was able to draft this post late Saturday morning on WTP Director Tom Zawistowski’s Mac, which temporarily had Net access through his phone. I intensely appreciate him providing that access.

Friday afternoon, I went to James O’Keefe’s presentation on “How Online Video Is Changing the Political Landscape.” It was very nicely done, and the packed room enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t know that his first effort occurred while he was still a student at Rutgers, where he succeeded in getting Lucky Charms cereal banned from university cafeterias because the portrayal of the cartoon character on the box’s cover was offensive to Irish-Americans. The related video he showed was predictably hilarious.

Some attendees were asking him, “Can you investigate this for us?” The real answer (as O’Keefe politely noted) is that people need to be doing more of this themselves.

The final module I attended Friday was “Investigative Reporting Skills for Citizen Activists.” Trent Siebert, who runs a Texas Watchdog.org group, did an entertaining job of letting attendees know how much info is out there for those who have the patience to do the sifting, and digging out the nitty gritty detail at the local level is how things will change from the ground up.


The key speakers at Friday’s dinner were Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, who lots of Ohioans were hoping would run for U.S. Senate this year, and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who actually is. I’m happy to report that Mandel, about whom I have had concerns about youth, inexperience, and presentation, completely dispelled those worries last night, delivering an outstanding speech that fired up and motivated the crowd.

The Saturday morning modules I attended had an upper and a downer. The upper came from the True the Vote presenter. These folks will be a force in controlling election fraud in November. The downer came from Mark Lucas. His report on how out-of-control our immigration system is was a sobering reminder of how serious and hard-fought the effort to fix the system will be.


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