Category Archives: People

Values and compassion embedded in Huckabee’s remarks to WCS

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee opened his remarks with some light hearted humor about his weekly trip to New York for his Fox News television show. In response to whether or not he would ever consider living in New York, the Former Governor simply said “I’ll consider living in New York, when Mayor Bloomberg will let me duck hunt in Central Park.” Huckabee talked briefly about Continue reading

Barone, Benson, and Ham: Who Owns the Future?

Building on Friday night’s message of optimism and looking to the future, the morning panel featuring Michael Barone, Guy Benson, and Mary Katherine Ham handicapped the next few election cycles, including important gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia in 2013, as well as the 2014 midterm elections.

Benson opened the discussion noting the possible bellwether battle for governor in Virginia featuring conservative Ken Cuccinelli and his formidable foe, Terry McAuliffe. He contrasted that with New Jersey’s own race where incumbent Republican governor Chris Christie currently holds a sizable lead in his race.

Benson stressed the importance of Colorado’s September recall elections, and pointed to the strength of Republicans in the House midterm elections as positive points moving forward in the next eighteen months.

Ham pivoted to communication challenges with so-called millenials–the under-30 crowd–and the importance of acknowledging social issues, but in a constructive and meaningful way.

Ham noted the divergent views held by young people, who are moving increasingly toward support for same-sex marriage, but who are now supporting bans on late-term abortion in larger numbers. Technology plays a large part in those trends, she said.

“Thinking about which issues work for them and which do not, and the ones that do not we need to not make a barrier to joining us on other issues,” Ham said.

The “giant machinery” of government impedes the ability of government to work well, Ham said, and bridging the gap between younger voters’ expectations of government services with the reality of those services delivered on the ground, might prove a successful avenue of messaging for this important demographic.

Ham described this as “a simpler and more refined government [that] can do the things it promises it is going to do.”

Barone took a different tack, and pushed back against the notion of ownership of the future.

“No one owns the future, you get a chance to rent it,” Barone said, arguing that opportunities for conservatives still exist.

Barone pointed to pundits who have declared a permanent majority for Democrats following the 2012 elections, just eight years after pundits said that Republican successes in 2004 meant control for the GOP for the foreseeable future.

Some of those conclusions, Barone said, have come from demographic numbers that give mixed signals at best, or have been interpreted to suit one’s own conclusions.

Past voting performance was no guarantee of future voting behavior, Barone said, citing the shift of Baby Boomers’ support for George McGovern in 1972 to support for Mitt Romney 40 years later.

“I don’t think that there is anything inevitable,” Barone said. “There are challenges for Republicans but there are also challenges for Democrats.”

For Barone, opportunities could lie in the increasing libertarianism of younger voters on issues like gun rights.

Republican efforts to make college more affordable, said Ham, also makes sense in light of concerns over greater student debt due to spiraling college costs.

Ham, who is expecting her first child in August, joined the panel via Skype.

Scott Walker Addresses the Western Conservative Summit

Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K¹², introduced Friday Night’s keynote speaker for the Western Conservative Summit, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker.  Recent education initiatives were just one of many examples Walker would touch on in his remarks. School Vouchers have long been considered a touchy subject, making headlines again throughout Wisconsin as the deadline passed last week for Schools to take part in the program. Along with vouchers, and open enrollment, Walker touted Wisconsin’s recent changes to labor laws, leadership and the American Ideal.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Addresses WCS 2013.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Addresses WCS 2013.

Walker quoted Ronald Reagan as saying “The Federal Government did not create the states, the states created the Federal Government.” Listing his accomplishments in the State of Wisconsin, and highlighting some of their most innovative reforms, the Governor spoke in detail about the importance of State based reform efforts, and conservative involvement in local government.

Scott Walker began his remarks at this year’s Western Conservative Summit with an immediate reference to the now infamous recall attempts made against him. Speaking about his victory in the recall election, Walker credited his success to citizen’s desire for Leadership.  The Governor’s success was a hard won fight, and one that helped propel Walker to the top of certain conservative circles.

As the issue of education reform took center stage in Walker’s remarks, he played to the anxious crowd with a simple phrase that summarized his numerous reform efforts:  “Teachers now can be hired and fired on merit” Walker exclaimed to an explosion of applause.

The meat of Walker’s remarks, and no doubt the best received passages, were focused on American Leadership, and the American Dream. Describing the conservative vision for America and her communities as a belief that “success should be measured by how many people no longer need public assistance.”

Under Walker, the once very blue state of Wisconsin has seem a slew of conservative initiatives gain a foothold. Education reform, including voucher programs and changes to teacher’s tenure requirements, were bitter battles in Madison. The Republican Governor has been highly praised in conservative circles for his ability to connect with average voters, and make inroads in the most unlikely of areas. Walker shared with the attendees his recipe for conservative success when he stressed to the audience that conservative need to overcome their image of insincerity, adding at one point that “compassion is about giving people the tools they need to get back into the game.”

“I don’t remember growing up, hearing anyone say ‘when I grow up, I want to be dependent on the government!’” Walker circled back to the idea that Independence is rooted in an independence from Government; saying at one point that Dependence on the government should be temporary, and rare.

Walker’s remarks were well received in a crowd decidedly right of center. His success with reforms previously thought impossible, highlighted the strong optimism that was already present in the room. The Fourth Annual Western Conservative Summit was called to order as attendees cheered on one of the Republican’s most recent success stories.

Western Conservative Summit Kicks Off

For the fourth straight year, Colorado’s Centennial Institute is prepared to kick off three days of leading conservative thought. With over 2,000 attendees clamoring to hear Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Mia Love, Allen West and others, the event has been widely seen as a grassroots CPAC, in Denver, Colorado.

On Friday evening Mia Love, who originally made her big debut at the Republican National Convention, will be addressing the Keynote Dinner with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Love is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. The dinner marks the main event for the first day of the three day summit. Centennial Institute will be providing live coverage of the event.

Hickenlooper: the governor that might have been

John Hickenlooper had a chance to bring a breath of fresh air to the governor’s office.

Imminently likable and with a charmed political career, he could have been the rare maverick moderate Democrat – strong enough and bold enough to be a governor for all Colorado.  He could have been the adult in the room when liberal legislators ran amok on the lunatic fringe. Continue reading

Head On TV: Obama Messiah is no more

A leftist agenda playing loose with the law has cost Obama his messianic aura, says John Andrews in the May round of Head On TV debates. Susan Barnes-Gelt disagrees, blaming the welter of scandals on arrogance at the top and incompetence of underlings. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over immigration, school taxes, recall of legislators, and Hickenlooper’s record. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997 and a presentation of Centennial Institute since 2009. Here are all five scripts for May: Continue reading

Ethicist: World doesn’t need more Americans

“The last thing the world needs is more Americans,” asserted population-control advocate and global-warming worrier Phillip Cafaro in an Issue Monday debate at CCU on May 13.

“No, the best thing the world could have is more Americans,” rejoined his opponent, energy expert and space scientist Robert Zubrin.

The exchange went hot (with heavy CO2 emissions from both debaters) and heavy from there for 90 minutes. Continue reading

Graduates, heed Jefferson, not Obama

Thomas Jefferson said to keep a close eye on government and others chimed in that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Phooey, says President Barack Obama. He recently told graduating college students in Columbus, Ohio, to ignore those thus intervening in their snooze time.

“Unfortunately,” he said in a commencement address at Ohio State University, “you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems,” and maybe he’s right. Maybe some of those students did study the founders who told us government is necessary — but watch out. Continue reading