Monday, April 21, 2008

Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference
- Day Two

The one thing that is true about the Civitas Institute Conservative Leadership Conference is that you are always well fed. Day two started with a really great breakfast buffett which had everything you could want except for sausage gravy for the grits.

Master of cermonies for the breakfast was Civitas President Francis DeLuca (shown above).

Keynote speaker for the conference breakfast was Steven Lonegan (shown above) of Americans for Prosperity. Steven gave a great motivational speech about protecting the American taxpayer while accomplishing the American dream.

Afterwards I attended two of the Issue Forums, and spent some time blogging in the Exhibit Hall. The two Issue Forums I attended were Education and Family Values.

The Exhibit booths were mostly for either campaigns or organizations involved in the North Carolina political process. Michelle Boorsma (shown above on right) staffed the
Senator Fred Smith booth where she is shown giving away a copy of Fred Smith's autobiography. Traci Brown (shown on left below) staffed the booth for Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina and helped people understand the need to support more options for parents if we are ever to fix the education crisis in our state.

Bob Luebka, Civitas Policy Analyst (shown at podium below), Matt Mittan (on left at table below), Talk Radio Host for WWNC and Representative Dale Folwell (on right at table below), State Legislator from Forsyth County proivided an extremely informative session on Education. A lot of discussion about the problems and opportunities, included one jewel of reality. "Empowerment of kids is the solution, not empowerment of teachers." I didn't write down who said it, but I think it was Dale Folwell. That was the theme of a lot of the conversation. Too much money and concern has been spent on teacher issues. It is time to start putting the kids first.

Francis DeLuca, President of Civitas was back to his Master of Ceremonies duties at the Saturday Luncheon. He introduce the man who introduced the Keynote speaker for the Lunch event.

The person who introduced the Keynote speaker was Art Pope (shown below).

Keynote speaker this day was John Allison (shown below), Chairman and CEO of BB&T, one of the largest and most successful financial holding companies based in North Carolina. Mr. Allison started his speech from the podium, but almost immediately moved out so he had greater contact with the audience. He never returned to the podium during his entire speech. Interesting presentation. He spoke rapidly but clearly about many of the current financial crises facing American, explaining in readily understood terms concepts such as the so called sub-prime mortagage crisis and how we got in to it. It seems to have been lost on most Americans but government actually created the problem by passing a bunch of laws to increase affordable housing. In most cases these laws had a good intention, increasing home ownership. They also had the unintended consequence of encouraging banks and realtors to approve risky loans that should never have been approved.

It was an excellent presentation on the financial markets at this time.

After lunch, I attended the Family Values Forum. This was a discussion that included such people as (from left below) Dr. David Prentice, Sr. Fellow for Life Sciences Family Research Council, Mike Long, Abstinence Education Pioneer, John Rustin, VP and Director of Government Relations for the NC Family Policy Council, and Bill Brooks, President of NC Family Policy Council.

The Plenary Session was on Illegal Immigration. It was chaired by Jameson Taylor (shown below), Civitas Institute Director of Policy.

The panel included Sheriff Daniel Beck of Allen County, Ohio, which includes the town of Lima, and Garrett Roe, Immigration Reform Law Institute Staff Attorney (both shown below).

After the rather frustrating if informative immigration session, which made it clear we still have a court system that is spending its efforts to sabotage immigration security and grant rights to those who are invading our nation, it was good that the next stop was the reception. Something needed to get our minds off the insanity of immigration in America today. At the reception I was able to spend a few minutes with Robert Novak, Political commentator, who was to be the Keynote Speaker of the evening's Dinner. It didn't sound like he was going to cover anything but Washington gossip, which was not all that interesting to me. I decided to get an early start on the long drive home so I skipped the dinner and headed out.

This years Conference was an excellent event. I highly recommend that you attend next year.


Post a Comment

<< Home