- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Now underway at a splashy hotel in the glittering city of Las Vegas: The Libertarian Political Expo — LPEX — a fierce four-day event meant to ramp up the libertarian skill set in a complicated political marketplace.

“On the national level, we’re not as effective as we could be. We have not had the proper tools, but that’s all going to change,” Brett H. Pojunis, the founder of LPEX, tells Inside the Beltway. “This is a coming-out party for libertarians. We’re not just all about legalized marijuana or running around in Birkenstocks and long beards. This is a serious training event, with organizational help from American Majority, the same grass-roots conservative group behind CPAC’s training.”

Forty organizations and 30 speakers will articulate basic libertarian tenets, such as small government and tax reform, for voters who increasingly describe themselves as independent or unaffiliated; attracting the attention of small business owners is another goal. The varied speakers’ roster includes Republican Reps. Joe Heck and Cresent Hardy of Nevada, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, radio host Larry Elder, poker kingpin Frank Kessela, Leadership Institute founder Ron Nehring, multiple state and local elected officials, Libertarian Party heavyweights, media strategists, investment advisors, grass-roots activists — the list does go on. The organizers consider the event nonpartisan.

“For too long, the liberty movement has played defense. It’s time to take control of the narrative, make our message clear, and win. We’re not going to let the Libertarian Party get hijacked, either. We’re into training. That’s the single biggest reason why we’re here,” says Mr. Pojunis, who is also chairman of the Nevada Libertarian Party — adding that the emphasis in on basic political organization — running a winning campaign, raising funds and communicating the takeaway message.

Sponsors include the national Libertarian Party itself, the Heartland Institute, Eventbrite, Gary Johnson’s Our American Initiative, George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and WeedTV.com. Find them at LPEX.org.

BUMPER PATROL

“The only problem with political jokes is that some of them get elected.”

— Bumper sticker spotted “on Independence Avenue, near the U.S. Capitol,” according to the source.

UNHAPPY WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mohamed Tawfik, Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S., has sent a letter to The New York Times, which says in part:

“To the Editor: The New York Times May 19th editorial ‘In Egypt, Deplorable death Sentences’ starts with yet another outright fabrication.”

“It claims that an Egyptian court has sentenced Mohamed Morsi and others to death. Had the editorial board chosen to apply basic standards of journalism, they would have disclosed that the judge actually set a date in early June to pronounce his sentence. Until that time, any reports as to what that sentence may be amount to nothing more than conjecture. Faithful to what has become its established policy, the Times again goes out of its way to absolve the Moslem Brotherhood of their crimes. At a time when the Brotherhood’s official media outlets are openly instigating their followers to violence and terrorism, this newspaper makes the claim that the Moslem Brotherhood ‘renounced violence in the 1970s’ without providing a shred of evidence to that effect, and brushing aside the ample evidence to the opposite that has surfaced in recent years.”

Mr. Tawfik later concludes, “To say that one court case will further inflame radicalism neglects the stark reality that terrorists in Egypt and across the region are already inflamed by a deadly hate. Asserting that decisions in Egypt’s legal system will breed more terrorists ignores the thousands of Western fighters who are flocking to join ISIS. According to the skewed logic of the New York Times editorial, who should bear the blame for the Oklahoma or Boston bombing?”

GETTING GUTSY WITH THE WALKER MESSAGE

“After 6 miserable years of Obama’s wrecking-ball of a failed presidency, isn’t it time for a conservative American president with the guts and courage to make America great again? America is at a point that we need a president like Ronald Reagan again and there is a man that can live up to this challenge. Scott Walker.”

— Public outreach from Go Big Go Bold, a political action committee founded by supporters of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, due to reveal his presidential intentions in late June.

ALL ABOARD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

How quickly the attention shifts from one state to another. On Friday, the GOP presidential hopefuls roar back to New Hampshire with gusto. Of note: the aforementioned Scott Walker, George Pataki, John Bolton, Bob Ehrlich and Jim Gilmore will board the “First-in-the-Nation Presidential Sunset Dinner Cruise” aboard the 230-foot long Mount Washington, which will cruise about scenic Lake Winnipesaukee as dusk falls, courtesy of the Belknap County Republicans. They advise the gentlemen will dine upon chef-carved roast sirloin, stuffed chicken breast and strawberry shortcake.

The busy Mr. Walker will also have his say at Politics & Pie at the historic Snow Shoe Club in Concord followed by a GOP Freedom Founder’s Dinner in Manchester. The sort-of-busy Texas Sen. Ted Cruz meets on Friday with business owners in Manchester and local voters in Rindge, after which he’ll hold forth at town hall in a gym in Manchester and a house party in Mont Vernon. Following his big presidential announcement, the getting very busy Mr. Pataki has seven events on his Granite State agenda through the weekend, including door-to-door visits in Seabrook and a social hour at Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton. Mr. Gilmore will stage a townhall gathering in Brookline.

But look out. The Democrats begin arriving Sunday: Fresh from his own presidential reveal in Baltimore on Saturday morning and two stops in Iowa to follow, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, the party’s he-man, arrives in Manchester for a meet and greet at the Goldenrod Drive-in Restaurant, and two more private events in Gilford and Hanover.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For Sale: “Magnificent Greek Revival home” built in 1838 in Norwich, New York. Five bedrooms, three baths; 3,634 square feet; original four-story staircase leading to Belvedere cupola. Completely renovated, new windows and HVAC systems, formal living room, parlor, dining room with fireplace, gourmet kitchen, sitting room, reader’s nook, walk-out basement with studio apartment. Private gardens, “majestic views” of surrounding hills, heated outdoor swimming pool, private gardens, tree-lined street.

Priced at $149,000 through NortheastRealty.net; enter 99087 in MLS search function on left side of page.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of Americans support U.S. drone strikes that target Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; 74 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent are concerned the strikes could endanger “innocent civilians;” 32 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

31 percent overall are concerned the strikes could lead to retaliation from extremists; 27 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent are concerned the strikes “are conducted legally;” 25 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent overall are concerned the strikes “could damage America’s reputation;” 17 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 U.S. adults conducted May 12-18.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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