- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Libertarian Party is ramping up its political clout for the 2016 presidential race. The increasingly feisty organization has already sued the Commission on Presidential Debates to gain a place on the national podium — and now bill themselves as “The Party of Principle: Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.” They’re also revving up enthusiasm for Libertarians nationwide with what organizers describe as a “weekend of inspired training,” meant to hatch successful Libertarian activists, candidates, campaigners and state party leaders.

The big doings last the entire weekend, centered at a site just outside the nation’s capital. On the agenda: drilling attendees in management, fundraising, social media, candidate recruitment and the all-important “how to control media interviews.” Among the instructors: Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee and Carla Howell, political director of same — plus Rachel Mills, press secretary for Ron Paul and creator of the Ladies of Liberty pin-up calendar, featured on both Fox News and CNN.

There’s dinner and an opening party Friday, daylong workshops through Saturday, to be followed by an evening Potomac River boat cruise — then five more hours of training on Sunday. Mind you, these are frugal-minded Libertarians we’re talking about here. Guests are advised to stay in a $99 per-night inn; the total cost for the training and two meals, the party and a boat ride is $40 each.


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AND SPEAKING OF FRUGAL

From our read-it-and-weep desk: Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Judicial Watch has obtained travel records from the U.S. Air Force which ultimately reveal that President Obama’s transportation aboard Air Force One to golf vacations and fundraisers in California and Chicago during February and March totaled $4,436,245.50. Yes, in taxpayer funds. The cost of the separate trips ranged from a low of $804,870 to $1.98 million. And those are travel costs alone.



AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS


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“The change happened in the ‘60s, when the values of this country were turned upside down. It was a very disturbing period of time. The left moved in, and when I say the left, I mean Marxism. A lot of those people who were in the streets were being manipulated by Communists. The big marches of the ‘60s, aside from the Civil Rights marches, these marches against the war were all orchestrated by Communists.”

Jon Voight, recalling the shifting of the nation’s values during the 1960s, to Glenn Beck. The actor’s latest film “Woodlawn” opens nationwide this weekend; Mr. Voight plays the character of legendary University of Alabama Crimson Tide coach “Bear” Bryant.

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

Just two presidential hopefuls are off to Iowa this weekend: The ever-industrious Carly Fiorina stops by a local high school football game in Grinnell and a chili cook-off in Windsor Heights, among seven other events in the Hawkeye State. Sen. Bernard Sanders has a Johnson County Democrats barbecue to attend in Iowa City, along with a local house party.

A gaggle of Republicans and a single Democrat will be in New Hampshire: Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki and Martin O’Malley will chat up the New Hampshire Housing Summit at Saint Anselm College; Mr. Huckabee has extra duty at the local Airport Diner, followed by an appearance at Scott Brown’s “No BS BBQ” at the former U.S. senator’s home in Rye. Sen. Rand Paul hosts “Stand with Rand” rallies in Hooksett and Ashland, along with a “Bowling for Liberty” party in Manchester. Sen. Ted Cruz hosts a lone rally in Contoocook.

And last, but never least, Donald Trump will be at one of his jumbo rallies in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts.

THAT TIME ALREADY

Wait, it’s not even Halloween yet. Nevertheless, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation is staging their annual lottery for those seeking tickets to attend the 93rd National Christmas Tree Lighting, a wildly popular and media-friendly event within close proximity of White House. The lottery itself opens at 10 a.m. Friday and closes at 10 a.m. Monday. Intrigued? Visit TheNationalTree.org and consult the “ticket lottery” heading; those without computer access call 877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777).

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Campbell House, English Tudor mansion built in 1907 in Richmond, Indiana. Six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, 5,602 square feet; 12-foot high wood-beamed ceilings. Original tiled fireplaces and doors, leaded glass windows, vintage woodworking, oak dining room with period lighting, wrought iron fixtures and built-ins, original billiards room, upgraded baths and kitchen. Slate roof; stone, brick and stucco exterior; 800 square foot carriage house, porte-cochere. Priced at $289,900 through Lingle.com; enter MLS No. 10026288 in the search function.

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of Americans say the nation is “more liberal” than it was 25 years ago; 80 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

14 percent overall say the nation is “more conservative” than it was; 7 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

14 percent overall say the nation is “about the same” as it was; 9 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

36 percent want the nation to become “more conservative” in 25 years; 70 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent want the nation to become “more liberal” in 25 years; 14 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 29-30 and released Monday.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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