- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pro-life investigator David Daleiden was the big winner at Wednesday’s 2016 Weyrich Awards Dinner, picking up honors in three different categories at the high-profile conservative event.

Mr. Daleiden, 27, won the Youth Leader of the Year award and the Courage in the Face of Power award for his bombshell undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s involvement with fetal-tissue sales for medical research.

His California-based advocacy group, the Center for Medical Progress, won for Grassroots Organization of the Year.

Hidden-camera footage released by the center starting in July led to a dozen state probes into Planned Parenthood, as well as congressional hearings and an ongoing House investigation by the Select Panel on Infant Lives.

Planned Parenthood officials, who have denied any wrongdoing, point out that none of the state investigations have resulted in charges against the organization’s affiliates, while Mr. Daleiden and a second investigator, Susan Merritt, have been indicted in Harris County, Texas.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges of creating fake driver’s licenses, which is a felony in Texas, for purposes of their investigation into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston. Mr. Daleiden is also fighting a charge of attempting to obtain human organs, arguing that Planned Parenthood was not charged with attempting to provide them.

Also honored were radio talk-show host Mark Levin as Media Person of the Year; Rep. Joseph Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, as National Legislator of the Year; Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as State or Local Elected Official of the Year, and Little Sisters of the Poor as Faith Community of the Year.

Mike Mears, Republican National Committee coalitions director, received the Capitol Hill Staffer of the Year award, and Tom Minnery, president emeritus of CitizenLink and longtime Focus on the Family official, won the Conservative Hall of Fame award.

Keynote speaker was former Attorney General Ed Meese, who served under President Ronald Reagan.

“These individuals reflect the beauty of the conservative movement,” Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, said in a statement. “Their work in the trenches is an inspiration to others in the movement, and we are pleased to honor their work.”

Paul Weyrich, who died in 2008, was a prominent conservative activist and key figure in the New Right movement of the 1970s and 1980s. He helped found the Heritage Foundation, Free Congress Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

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