AFP “Defending the American Dream” summit, Part 1, Friday Oct 10th

Close to 1,800 “free market” activists swarmed the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel in Arlington, VA this past weekend to attend a wide selection of informative sessions and to hear from media powerhouses and elected officials presented at the 2nd annual “Defending the American Dream” summit.

This event is sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a “grass roots” family of 250,000 plus concerned citizens from 23 different states. Our purpose is to “send a message to the politicians to put an end to wasteful pork-barrel spending and make sure that Global Warming Alarmism means higher taxes, lost jobs and less freedom.”

Friday morning began with three parallel classes specifically designed for bloggers and e-activists concentrating on the powerful role of modern media and the tools for successfully reaching your target audience. That data will be shared with Juice founder Art Pedroza off-line. With close to 80 bloggers from around the country attending this summit I was happy to represent the Orange Juice and our state.

These sessions were presented by the Leadership Institute, the Sam Adams Alliance and the Lucy Burns Institute. I found the materials presented, and the networking with other bloggers in the “SamSphere” session, designed for existing bloggers, to be very informative.

While you can bury yourself with information overload you should never ignore opportunities to gather ammunition for future activism. Case in point was my decision to attend a Wisconsin luncheon. Larry, you live in California. Why go to Wisconsin? Brett Favre is no longer the Green Bay quarterback!  I can answer that question in two words. “Property rights.” Priceless!

Fred Kelley Grant, President, Stewards of the Range, shared his coordination efforts (with Dan Byfield) to block/delay the state of Texas Trans Texas I 35 corridor transportation system. This quarter mile road is the first link in a massive Interstate project run from Mexico to Canada. What is unique is that Cintra-Zachary, a 75% Spanish owned Corp will collect the tolls, lease income and fees generated for 50 years. Containers coming from China to a Chinese port in Mexico will be loaded onto sealed Mexican trucks that will drive north and pass scanners in the “Smart Port” terminal in Kansas on their way to Canada. The breakthrough in delaying this project was buried in Chapter 391 of Texas Local government Code which mandates if local governments formed a sub regional planning commission, state agencies must coordinate their plans for projects like transportation. The Texas department withheld documents resulting in four individuals being indicted for perjury.  While I never heard this name before I will surely recognize the name of Holland, Texas in the future as I discuss this successful “grass roots” activism.

Following Fred was real estate developer/property rights expert Don Corace who discussed some eminent domain abuses that I was not familiar with. He has appeared on the FOX Hannity and Colmes program. Don gave each of an us an autographed copy of his paperback book entitled “Government Pirates, The Assault on Private Property Rights.” In his presentation Don shared some horror stories involving the “Endangered Species Act” such as protecting the “Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat” in southern CA or the “Delhi Sands flower-loving fly” for a project in the city of Colton, CA. And I thought the “endangered species” was our private property.

Following lunch we boarded busses to meet at our rally being held at the Grant Memorial in front of the Capitol reflecting pool. The rally was to show Congress that we are united in our efforts to defend the free market and block any big government power grab.

My next post will cover the Friday night Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner where we heard from George Will, David Koch, Dinesh D’Souza, US Senator James Inhofe (OK), Ed Meese III and Dr. James Miller III.
Although the entire weekend activities were not televised, we did have C-SPAN coverage of a segment of the Saturday Oct 11th presentations that you can view, for free, at any time of your choosing, at the following link.

This two hours of video include opening remarks from Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips. It also includes speeches by John Stossel, co-anchor of ABC 20/20, Fred Barnes, Editor of the Weekly Standard  and Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform

This has been a whirlwind weekend including this morning where I appeared on the ACRU cable TV program that can be viewed anywhere Time Warner broadcasts in southern CA. Most of that 30 minute program was a recap of major topics from the AFP Summit. Unless changed, the schedule for airing is next Monday at 7 a.m. and rebroadcasts at 7 p.m.
While this schedule may not be accurate you should be able to watch this program as follows: Channel 97 in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Channel 98 in Yorba Linda & Villa Park, Channel 65 in Fullerton & Placentia, Channel 55 in Buena Park, Channel 17 in Brea & Channel 53 in Santa Ana.
ACRU is the abbreviation of the American Civil Responsibility Union whose founder and program host is Dr. Howard Garber. They have been on the air for over 10 years.

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