- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines. The season has started. By the time Sunday rolls around, conservatives in three states will be charged up, ready to rumble and eager to convince press and public that the 2014 midterms will yield some sweet victory for the Grand Old Party — 2010 style. On the radar: a trio of major political rallies in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa showcasing grass-roots “GOP rock stars” who cheerfully intend to draw attention to promising conservative hopefuls in each state.

Yes, Sarah Palin will be at all three events. And everybody has a crowded itinerary. Consider that on Thursday, the former Alaska governor was in Tulsa, Okla., for a “Rally for Liberty” with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, an event to draw support for T.W. Shannon, former Oklahoma House Speaker who’s now running for the U.S. Senate seat.

“Thomas Jefferson said when the people fear their government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. If conservatives in Oklahoma and across America will unite, we can protect our God-given liberty, and take back this country,” says Mr. Shannon.

Moving on, Mrs. Palin then journeys to North Platte, Neb., on Friday to join forces again with Mr. Lee, along with former Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr, this time on behalf of U.S. Senate hopeful Ben Sasse.


Some side trips are also tucked in Saturday. There’s an additional stop for Mrs. Palin at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, where she’ll join Oliver North and Alabama for a “Stand and Fight Rally.”

Mr. Cruz will head to New Hampshire, land of pine trees, crystal lakes and non-stop politics. He’ll attend a Lincoln Day dinner with local Republicans, this at the Grand Summit Resort atop Attitash Mountain in scenic Bartlett.

The circuit is complete Sunday when Mrs. Palin arrives in Des Moines, Iowa, for an all-female finale: the “Heels On, Gloves Off Rally,” organized by She-Pac, a conservative political action committee intent on supporting conservative women running for public office. In the cast: Mrs. Palin, Mrs. Orr, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Joni Ernst, also a U.S. Senate hopeful in the Hawkeye State.

“Republicans have a chance to send conservatives to Washington who don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk when it comes to standing up for conservative values,” says Tim Crawford, treasurer of SarahPAC, a 5-year-old political action committee that maintains the Republican Party is “at the threshold of a historic renaissance.”

AN NRA MOTHER SPEAKS

It’s going to be interesting in Indiana. Activists with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America plan three days of protest-themed events in close proximity to the aforementioned NRA meeting. On Friday, the mothers — who are affiliated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Every Town for Gun Safety initiative — will release an investigative report, along with a video spot advocating gun reform. On Saturday, they’ll stage a “stroller jam” rally to end gun violence, and on Sunday the group will display quilts made from fabrics belonging to “victims or survivors of gun violence.”

Catherine Mortensen, an NRA spokeswoman, has this response.

“I am a mother. I have children. No organization in the world does more than the NRA to promote gun safety and gun education,” she tells Inside the Beltway. “The giant share of our annual budget of $300 million is spent on programs that promote gun safety, education and training. We have 93,000 instructors, and more in the law enforcement field. We reach about 800,000 people a year for our gun safety programs.”

Mrs. Mortensen continues, “27 million school-age children have been through our Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program. That’s what the NRA does, it’s who we are. Michael Bloomberg’s efforts would leave law abiding mothers defenseless. We know that universal background checks won’t work because criminals don’t subject themselves to background checks, and they never will. We have enough laws. Now we need stricter enforcement.”

CULTURAL MOMENT

“The Barack Obama College Preparatory High School”

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