Inside the Beltway: Shoring up the wobbly GOP at Values Voter Summit

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Will the liberal media heed the Values Voter Summit? The annual gathering opens Friday in the nation’s capital for three days of smart, authentic and, yes, fervent talk about faith, freedom and politics, as told by 66 speakers with much on their minds in troubled times. The opening line-up in the first hours tells all: GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas and Tim Scott of South Carolina, plus GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Dr. Ben Carson and Mark Levin.

“We have conservatives from across the nation coming, and it’s a good time for them to be here. They’re arriving at a moment when the GOP may be going a little wobbly as the negotiations unfold between congressional Republicans and the White House,” pointman Tony Perkins, chairman of the Family Research Council, tells Inside the Beltway.

“I think the message that will emerge from the summit is this: Don’t capitulate. The message will be told in strong terms to stand firm in the efforts to delay or defund Obamacare, and it will resonate in Congress, and beyond Congress,” Mr. Perkins continues. “People will leave here encouraged and informed.”

Indeed. Also among the speakers: GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, in addition to Allen B. West, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Glenn Beck, Heritage Foundation President Jim Demint and retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin.

Gen. Boykin, a former Delta Force commander, leads a session titled “The erosion of religious liberties in the military.”

There’s coverage of note: C-SPAN3 will be there for the big opening volley from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and live online at C-SPAN.org from 9 a.m. to noon. Afternoon speeches also will be covered, to be aired on a delayed basis. “And we’ll have more, to be determined,” a network spokesman advises.

CHECKING THE DONATIONS

An interesting little device debuts at the aforementioned summit. It’s the “2nd Vote” phone app, which allows curious and discerning folks to see what political causes their favorite retailers financially support.

“This allows consumers to shop like they vote. Not all charities and businesses are alike; 2nd Vote ranks companies on their commitment to conservative and liberal causes so that consumers know where their money goes when they make purchases,” a spokesman says.

The app is available for Apple products through iTunes, and for Android devices through Google. Yes, it’s free.

TRUE COST OF ‘BARRYCADES’

There may not be very much data on who’s signing on with the Affordable Care Act. But money and public interest lost in the nation’s great parks due to the federal shutdown? The 900-member Coalition of National Park Service Retirees is on it.

The group compared current numbers and revenues with those from a year ago, and here’s what they found:

The parks were down by 715,000 visitors daily, and they lost $76 million in visitor spending per day. They also figured that $450,000 in revenue was lost each day that would go directly to the National Park Service, such as entrance and campground fees or boat rentals.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona was affected the most, losing 120,000 visitors in the first 10 days of the shutdown, which translates to almost $12 million in revenue.

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