NC Political Connections By News 14 Carolina reporter Tim Boyum
(At my house, I cannot get this channel anymore, as we were forced to give up cable due to poor bandwidth issues and move to the better performing Directv. Sorry Tim.)
Fern Shubert Speaks for Us Published by admirers of former Senator Fern Shubert. Shubert served the ole' North State well, until stepping down from her office to make a run for Governor in 2004. While she is greatly missed from office, she knows where the "bodies are buried" and is still found digging up the truth.
ARRA News Service News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & country. We seek to uphold traditional family values, Republican principles & ideals, limited government, free markets to promote innovation, & individual freedom. The ARRA News Service is an outreach of the Arkansas Republican Assembly.
Crystal Clear Conservative Blogger Krystal Weeks writes about N. Virginia and DC metro area politics, as well as national issues. Check her out!
Cuba Generation Y This 30-something blogger publishes at great risk to show readers outside Cuba what everyday life is like inside the oppressive, Communist nation. Think you like Communism...read this blog and think again!
Smart Girl Politics Conservative Women bloggers, and a few men, who are here to refresh you when you are thirsty.
LadyBlog A modern take on traditional women. Classier than tea service. Like Fight Club but with better hygiene. Sightly more aggro than a cucumber sandwich.
The Political Byline One of my fellow Top Conservatives on Twitter. Check him out! He's not afraid to speak his mind. Based in the Motorcity.
Capital Letters Jordan Schrader covers North Carolina government for the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Sister Toldjah National conservative blogger who tells it like it is. She loves North Carolina and occasionally picks up items from KCC on her blog.
Called 2 Action Check out this site, run by Steve Noble. He's a member of the religious right and he tells the truth as he sees it. He calls himself an equal opportunity offender. Check out what he has to say!
NC Politics New Bern native (and your blogger's fellow high school classmate -NBSHS '85) Steve Hale writes from Pitt County about his take on the North Carolina Political scene. Check out his blog and offer up your comments.
Dateline Obamastan Cary's John Byrnes writes about national, state, and local politics. He currently serves in the Army National Guard.
Driving With One Hand Kevin LeCount is apparently driving with his LEFT hand, as this blog is written by my good friend who works for SEANC, the union of the NC State Employees. His wife, Heidi, works at my alma mater, Meredith and are good folks, despite their political leanings. Check them out.
State House SpeakerMarco Rubio (R-Fla) as he kicks off CPAC 2010. The Roman Catholic son of Cuban exiles, got most people excited and in the mood for some good old-fashioned politicking.
He said all the right things on all the right issues for hawkish conservatives, such as terrorism and standing by our allies like Israel and still lives in a working class neighborhood.
Speaker Rubio is running against Governor Charlie Crist (R-Fla) in the GOP primary for the United States Senate. Rubio is the conservative in the race, and thus the one who got the special invitation to keynote CPAC. This speech is one for the ages, and is worth watching again and again. We'll see him at the next Republican National Convention.
Enjoy the video and leave your respectful comments on the blog:
Liberal website Salon.com caught up with disgraced and censured Gov Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) as he was leaving the speaker's room at CPAC. Sanford did not appear on any invitee list and your blogger wondered how he managed how to get back there, although your blogger had access. Your blogger hates any corrupt politician and Sanford is no exception.
KCC doesn't appreciate Salon's hack-job coverage of our top political meeting of the year. Sure, we conservatives are working out growth problems but we have growth! That's always a good thing.
Here is Sanford trying to leave the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Georgetown, the same hotel where your blogger stayed, compliments of Salon.com:
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft (left, photo by Ryan J. Reilly) won the Defender of the Constitution Award Friday afternoon at this year's CPAC, right before a panel discussion, called Does Security Trump Freedom?
Moderated by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLU) Chief Counsel Dr. Jay Sekulow, panelists included former Congressman Bob Barr, California Representative Dan Lungren, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, and Georgetown University Law Professor Viet Dinh.
Barr (right, with Dinh, courtesy Washington Post) noted that when he speaks in Britain, folks there, especially their college kids, tell him that they wish the UK had a written constitution like we do. Barr maintained that Ronald Reagan would oppose any legislation that puts security over freedom.
Barr prefers civilian trials for terrorists, and considers waterboarding to be torture. I must note he had a large Libertarian cheering section in the audience, made up of mostly 18-23 year old college kids, imported in on buses. The group was known as "Campaign for Liberty" and was working hard to raise money. They even had a pep rally Friday evening, in a large private room, behind closed doors.
Rep. Dan Lungrennoted that as California Governor, Reagan supported tough anti-crime measures to preserve domestic security. Lungren argued that you can't have freedom without having to have security. He maintained Al Qaeda and its allies don't hate us because of Guantanamo Bay. They hate us because of the Statue of Liberty.
Lungren, opposing Barr, believes (as I do) that foreign terrorists should be tried by military tribunals instead of civilian jury trials. He supports waterboarding, and agrees with Katy and me in that "we must prevent another 9/11-style atrocity to prevent an inevitable backlash against indivdual freedom". He persuasively maintained that the Constitution allows us to defend ourselves. " It's not a suicide pact".
Jim Gilmore, now President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation, opposed the federal stimulus bills and auto/bank bailouts, considering them an overreach by government. However, he supports wiretaps and government eavesdropping when necessary, including those measures as laid out in the Patriot Act, as long as they are supported by judicial revew.
He opposes the government logging/tracking your Internet usage without judicial fiat. Gilmore thinks terrorists captured on foreign battlefields should receive military tribunals, but that terrorists caught on US soil should have civilian trials. He believes the Patriot Act has been effective.
Viet Dinh had served as Assistant Attorney General from 2001-2003 during the Bush administration. Born in Saigon in 1968 (in the same city I was, and one year later), Dinh managed to escape communist Vietnam and flee to America in 1978.
Dinh maintains the Patriot Act has been very successful. That's why the Act continues to be renewed. Dinh agrees that the purpose of government is freedom, not security. However, security is a needed condition to achieve freedom. Dinh asked "What is freedom? Unbridled individuality? No. It's structured liberty that achieves virtue."
He offered a brilliant analysis about how actions have consequences. Dinh insists US laws support using military commissions to try terrorists, who are akin to war criminals. Dinh said America's great gifts to the world are our institutions and principles. He related global Jihadist terrorism as today's overarching threat against freedom, like Nazism used to be in the first half of the last century.
John Ashcroft then said our Founding Fathers would be pleased by this civil, intelligent, and transparent debate. He noted how the US government tried and hanged Nazi spies who were US citizens, during WWII, via closed military tribunals. Ashcroft argued that our anti-terror laws need to be clear so that the government knows how to properly and legally keep us safe.
Rob Benningfield is loving husband of your blogger and is at CPAC helping to write stories for KCC.
He received both an undergraduate and graduate degree from North Carolina State University's College of Engineering and currently works as a senior systems engineer at an international telecommunications company, where he's been for nearly 20 years.
Thanks to: Erick Erickson at RedState, who brought you this coverage from CPAC2010. Without RedState, KCC wouldn't have been able to bring you the photos, video, and words. Check them out. They have their collective fingers on the pulse of the national political scene.
Was there a preacher in the house? There had to be, but that voice, it was unmistakably that of TV personality Glenn Beck.
The popular Fox News host started by saying how Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan are his personal heroes.
He admired Reagan's optimism. Like Reagan, Beck believes "it's still morning in America", though, he said, we may have to wake up with a hangover puking in the toilet first.
He warned that progressivism "is the cancer eating up America, and that it unfortunately not only infects the Democrat Party, but many Republicans as well."
Beck even condemned President Theodore Roosevelt (who I admire) as an early progressive. Beck argued:
"it's not enough for Republicans to just suck less than the other side. The GOP must admit its mistakes (an addiction to spending and big government) and reform itself".
He compared the GOP's failings to those of golfer Tiger Woods. Beck asserted that, like Woods, all addicts will continue their behavior as long as they do not get caught.
He then asked the same question everyone has been asking Woods, to the GOP: "You got caught! Are you sorry?"
Beck says he'd be more than happy to support the Republican Party if they only admitted their mistakes and showed genuine contrition. He wants them to do honest soul searching.
Then Beck noted that progressives are a political minority in this country, yet they keep advancing their agenda. How? Because they know how to package and sell their ideas. They've got Hollywood's help, too.
Beck stated that we have a right to fail.
Without failure, how do we learn and grow and improve? Why should a company be "to big to fail", so that it gets a taxpayer-funded bailout?
Beck cited his own battle to overcome alcoholism and the long way back. . He asserted conservatives believe everybody has the right to *pursue* happiness or success, not to be given happiness or success by the government. He insisted you don't have a right to free food, free housing, free higher education, or free medical care. You have to work for it and earn it.
Beck noted he couldn't afford to attend college, so he educated himself. He said there's no shame in being a self-made man, in showing ambition and working hard to become successful, so government shouldn't punish small businesses for working hard to be successful. Beck reminded the Marriott Ballroom crowd that business creates jobs, not the government.
Beck ended his sermon by promising that the future is not cast in stone. Our best days are not behind us. Our grandchildren do not have to have a lower standard of living than we have.
Watch Glenn's speech, as he delivered it on Saturday evening:
Editor's Note: This post, like all others at CPAC, was brought to you by our sponsor, RedState. RedState provided the Blogger's room and gave KCC the ability to cover the conference in a unique way. Not every blogger who applied received credentials, yet there were over 100 different conservative blogs represented, with a few liberals amongst us, as well. We all had a great time, and many thanks go to our fearless leader, Erick.
When the time came for conservative columnist and humorist Ann Coulter to take the stage at CPAC, the audience roared in approval. She told one liners as if she thought of them right on the spot and reminded everyone that she is truly a hard core conservative.
She mentioned, how she "loved bombs", supported national security, the defense of our allies, and she mentioned a few social issues that are important to her. (She reminded this blogger a bit of her own mindset as blogger's high school nickname was " 'Ole Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow". )
A large group of Ron Paul followers appreciated that she paid tribute to their cause by saying that she appreciated that he was pro-life and that she liked everything except his foreign policy.
She also got a lot of laughs when she weighed in on your blogger's least favorite former U.S. Senator. "John Edwards may go down in history as earning the National Enquirer it's first Pulitzer Prize." Coulter told punchline after punchline and your blogger couldn't even begin to take notes of them all. However, Coulter did close with this:
"Keith Olbermanis a girl. Yes, Keith Olberman is a girl." Yes, out of left field, but it was still funny!
North Carolinian Gets First Question
In the ten-minute question and answer session, Wake County's Jonathan Bandy (below, left in a 1998 file photo) went to the microphone asked the first question.
"I'm from North Carolina and what can we do to get more newspaper coverage of slimeball John Edwards?"
Coulter shot back, "I can't believe anyone at this conference is still reading newspapers. I'm sure the National Enquirer is available in North Carolina."
Probably not the answer the former State Young Republican Chairman was looking for. Your blogger thinks he probably meant more fair coverage of Edwards.
KCC believes that the worst culprit in the state in the John Edwards love fest, remains a Triangle-area TV station ( that streams online, for national readers).
WRAL's "Special" Relationship With Edwards?
This blogger dislikes WRAL-TV relationship with the former U.S. Senator. It has disgustingly followed Edwards around for 16 years and have covered every single move Edwards makes. When it came to Elizabeth's cancer, their marital problems, their children, his mistress, his hair, his former aide's book, or his cars, nothing was too "up close and personal" for channel 5.
Back when the former Senator was running as John Kerry's veep, people complained to the station about "too much Edwards", but co-anchor Pam Salsby, with her ever-rotating hairdos, took to the airwaves to explain that "this is a local story and people want to know".
-Another question from the audience was: "Did you ever date a liberal?" Coulter paused, smiled, and slyly answered, "He wasn't (liberal) for long".
Catch the entire speech, along with the funny Q&A session, in the videos below. You'll laugh your socks off and you'll wonder how someone could be so quick on her feet. Fellow blogger and top selling author Michelle Malkin, doesn't particularly like Coulter, because Coulter has a tendency to shoot from the hip. However, Coulter likes to make light of situations and make people laugh. She's more of a conservative comedian, while Malkin is a serious writer and conservative journalist. KCC enjoys them both.
Ann Coulter Speech Part I:
Part II of Ann Coulter Speech:
Ann Coulter Q&A Part I (after the speech)
Ann Coulter Q&A Part II
KCC picked up the nickname "ole nuke 'em 'till they glow" in 1983, when she was a Junior at New Bern Senior High School. Her Advanced United States History teacher (and the following year, her Advanced United States Government teacher) Howard Matthews, was a solid conservative, which often sparked debate in class amongst the students.
Your blogger was the hardest of the hardliners in class, regarding Communism, and the running gag in class was "why don't we just nuke 'em and be done with them"? Naturally, your blogger knew, even at such a young age that such a thing wouldn't be a practical solution, but received the nickname anyway.
She believed then, as she does now, that we should NOT negotiate with Communists or terrorists. Those people are irrational and cannot be trusted to keep their word.
Liz Cheney, the brilliant daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney and Co-Founder of Keep America Safe, was introduced by ACU & CPAC Chairman David Keene. Unfortunately, I had to leave her midday Thursday speech prematurely.
I did get to hear her lambaste President BarackObama, though. Liz said that "experts" had predicted the death of the conservative movement after the brutal 2008 elections. They were wrong. Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts shocked and frightened Obama and the Democrats, who had misjudged America's tolerance for socialist politics.
Liz decried how Obama did not govern from the center, as many people naively thought he would. Instead he raises taxes to pay for nationalized healthcare. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. Instead he traveled the world to apologize for America's perceived "transgressions." He even incredibly wants to give foreign terrorists the same constitutional rights as US citizens.
Later, Liz surprised the audience by introducing her father. Vice-President Dick Cheney, who I wish had been our former *President*, spoke briefly to a delighted audience. The senior Cheney earned a standing ovation by predicting 2010 would be a great year for Conservatives, and that Obama would be a one-term President. He even received such an ovation just for entering the room.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rob Benningfield is loving husband of your blogger. He is at CPAC helping to write stories for this blog, and seems to be having a great time. Thank you Rob for putting up with me! I love you.
Rob is an electrical engineer with both an undergraduate and graduate degree from North Carolina State University's College of Engineering.
RedState is the leading blog for right of center online activists. Established in May of 2004 by Ben Domenech, Mike Krempasky, and Josh Trevino, RedState has played an integral role in the right’s fight online against the left. RedState continues to be the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill and is the most cited right of center blog in the media.
RedState has a community of tens of thousands of readers. It has a Board of Directors of six members, four permanent and two who rotate annually. Katy's Conservative Corner is very proud to be a part of the blogging team here and thanks RedState for their help in providing access.
Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, author, speaker, and trail blazer, spoke Wednesday at CPAC. Your blogger captured most of her talk via her digital camera. (Please forgive the occasional shaky image.)
Mrs. Schlafly is a heroine of your blogger and has been since she took on 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate, George McGovern in a debate at her alma mater in the late 1980s. She virtually slaughtered him on stage at Jones Auditorium, on the Meredith College campus.
Many of KCC's classmates complained at the time, about Schlafly, saying "we aren't getting an education to stay home and cook dinner". They clearly didn't realize how educated that the lady on stage was.
Apparently her words did resonate, however, as most of those same women are proud stay-at-home moms today. In general, most are happily married, and providing their children a home with a two parent family (a mom and a dad).
Hearing Mrs. Schalfy's remarks was a true breath of fresh air. It seems as if social issues are taboo these days. In North Carolina, people are talking only of economic issues and are kicking social issues to the curb.
She was pointed, and explained how she built coalitions to achieve her goals. She also complained about the "Rockefeller Republicans", known by some as "RINOS" or Republicans in name only. (KCC doesn't like the term RINOS. She prefers the term, moderate Republicans.)
Issues Divide NC Republicans
In North Carolina over the past twenty-five years, one thing that has traditionally divided the Republican party is this failure to address certain key social issues.
Issues like two parent families, traditional marriage, and overturning Roe v. Wade should be addressed by candidates running for legislative office. In this blogger's experiences, the typical "religious conservative" will stay home and not vote if their needs are not addressed. While KCC does not agree with this tactic, she does acknowledge that it does occur. (Your blogger has had to go to the polls and "hold her nose to vote" many times, rather than just not vote.)
While these "economic only" conservatives do have many valued points upon which we agree, it is imperative that GOP candidates at least "throw a bone" to the social conservatives, to keep them coming out. To get elected, our cause needs every single voter it can get, without sacrificing major principles.
Listen to these brief remarks and continue reading below:
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her bestselling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of he pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization, now called Eagle Forum. Her monthly newsletter, The Phyllis Schlafly Report, is now in its 42nd year. She is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects on subjects as varied as family and feminism, nuclear strategy, education, and child care.
Katy's Conservative Corner has discovered that there are spies (gasp in sarcastic horror) in our midst here at CPAC. Turns out, your blogger has run into on of her favorite liberals at CPAC, here on media row.
The Back Story
Last August, your blogger arrived in Pittsburgh, where the lefties were having their NetRoots conference, described on their website this way:
"It's about taking the passion, activism and attention that we drum up each year during the convention to an area that will be a crucial region in upcoming progressive policy fights."
Your blogger was in town for another conference. The Americans for Prosperity (AFP) decided to take the same passion to conservatives and sponsored an opposing event known as RightOnline. Organized by AFP's Erik Telford, RightOnline is, each year, a great place for bloggers and newbies to get together, exchange ideas, and flood the Internet with information about the conservative movement. Both events are held in the same city. RightOnline exists, in part, to "drown out" the "progressive" calls.
In the taxi on the way to the hotel, your blogger shared the ride with a nice lady named Adele Stan. In our conversation, we realized we were both in Pittsburgh for "the conference" and chatted about it. It several minutes before we realized that we were going to different events.
Fast forward until now. A nice lady asked to plug into your blogger's power strip and KCC gladly agreed. She recognized your blogger immediately as Katy "from Pittsburgh". She handed me her card and I realized who she was. Adele Stan is the Washington Bureau chief for AlterNet.
Naturally, much of the lamestream media here are pretty liberal, but not all. For example, KCC is sitting next to Fred Lucas, senior writer at Cybercast News Service.
- There are no pure Libertarians (with a capital 'L') here, to our knowledge, but there are plenty of libertarians who have joined the Republican party.
- Conservatives often refer to NetRoots, affectionally, as "NUT roots". Not this blogger. :-)
-You can follow Erik Telford on Twitter. His user id is JoeTaxpayer You can also follow your blogger on Twitter, who goes by Katys Her tweets also appear in the right bar of this page.
More On RightOnline
-RightOnline, hosts a Twitter contest and the attendee who tweets the most about the conference, during the event, is declared "the winner". No prizes were awarded, to KCC's knowledge, as she "won" and didn't received anything.
-RightOnline, like NetRoots, will be held in Las Vegas August 2010. Your blogger hopes to attend, should the budget allow. If you are interested in starting a blog, learning to Twitter, or just meeting some of the top conservative bloggers in the nation, this writer strongly encourages you to attend. You will leave with a level of expertise on how to organize a cause via the Internet from the very best.
What we need to do is a movement is spend a lot of time on college campuses and with young professionals and get these people involved, stated Josh Mandel, a young attorney, Marine Corp veteran, and Ohio state house representative. From the Cleveland area, Mandell is used to running against Democrats.
Young Mandell's state legislative district is stacked against him: Two to one Democrat to Republican, yet they re-elected him with over 70 percent of the vote! This was despite the fact theDennis Kuninich is his Representative in Congress.
How? Mandell organized and reached out to these Democrats and explained that for reasons of economic freedom and peace throu strength, they should be voting for Republicans. He did it though old fashioned shoe leather, much like Patrick McHenry did in our own state. It's the old fashioned way, but voters appreciate being able to touch the candidate and feel like he's one of them.
Because it's such hard work, most candidates hate it, but not Mandell. In 2010, he's running for Ohio Treasurer and this blogger thinks he will make it. Go Josh!
Josh's Tips for Young People Entering Politics:
Don't follow the leader. Don't blindely follow. Stand on own principles, and don't be told to "wait your turn".
Don't ever be out worked. When he fought in Iraq, he learned what hard work was. He wore out pairs of shoes knocking on doors, which he hung up in the state house, instead of nice of the Browns or the Indians
Editor's Note: CPAC is hosted annually by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and is co-sponsored by more than 90 other conservative organizations. CPAC is headquartered at ACUF and it is the American Conservative Union Foundation's Largest annual conference.
Overhead: Your blogger hears that there are more than 12,000 people here at this event, both nationally and internationally. Last year's event set the previous record at an attendance of 8,500.