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Who Justin Amash is spending his weekend with?

September 12, 2011

There are numerous reasons why I don’t like the Political Polpourri section of the Grand Rapids Press. News should never be sound bites or tidbits, especially when it has to do with politics.

Yesterday’s polpourri got my attention because of the sound bite about 3rd Congressional Representative Justin Amash. The less-than 100-word blurb mentions that Amash will be a speaker at the Liberty Political Action Conference this weekend in Nevada.

The only other information shared was the naming of a few other politicians that will be in attendance and a sentence from the conference website. Oh, and one of the conference sponsors is the John Birch Society. The John Birch Society is not some wishy-washy non-profit organization, they are an anti-government “patriot” groups according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and they make one of their goals the repeal of the civil rights legislation.

But wait it gets better.

Other sponsors of the Liberty Political Action Conference are the anti-union National Right to Work Committee; Freedom Works – a Tea Party affiliated entity that has fought against health care reform, global warming legislation, immigration and taxes; the Future of Freedom Foundation and various companies.

Beyond the politicians that the Press article mentioned there are numerous speakers that are also worth mentioning. First, is Howard Phillips, one of the founding members of the Council for National Policy. The CNP has a long history of supporting ultra-conservative political and religious leaders. Both Richard and Dick DeVos have been members and financial supporters of the CNP for years.

Another speaker is Jack Hunter, known on the air as the “Southern Avenger.” Hunter is a far right radio pundit who is a favorite source for Tea Party listeners and is also a regular guest on the Michael Savage radio show.

A third speaker is Ivan Eland who is with the conservative think tank, The Independent Institute. The Independent Institute is one of those think tanks that denies global warming and has had a cozy relationship to the tobacco industry for years.

There are only a few women presenters at the conference and one of them is Nicole Kurokawa Neily with the Independent Women’s Forum. The Independent Women’s Forum is an anti-feminist entity that receives its’ funding from far right foundations and in 2004 received $10 million grant to IWF for “leadership training, democracy education and coalition building assistance” to women in Iraq.

This is just a sample of who Rep. Justin Amash will be spending the weekend with. Unfortunately, the Grand Rapids Press doesn’t think that such a line-up of far right speakers and organizations is important enough for them to inform their West Michigan audience.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kswheeler permalink
    September 13, 2011 1:14 pm

    Thanks for doing such a detailed round-up of the people presenting. Justin is Dick DeVos’s boy–remember during the campaign, the DeVos family issued a statement saying they supported him “enthusiastically” and thought he had a “strong record” of standing up for “smart but limited government.” Since he has had a political career of only a few years, it’s hard to imagine that it was a “strong record,” but it was clear they saw him as someone they could easily manipulate. And here he is, trotting off to do their bidding with the radical right.

    It was interesting, though, to note that the few comments about Amash attending this event were universally negative…so that many GR Press readers were 1) well aware of who was attending the conference and 2) even the conservatives weren’t willing to go there, support-wise. One conservative wrote, “An honest libertarian is more respectable than the wanna be Amash really is. He better be paying his own freight for this conference.”

    And another person pointed out the “blatant racism” of the agenda. A third commenter remarked that Amash’s “never-compromise, rigid ideology” was “selfish and..a waste of time.”

    Justin had better watch his step–if he steers his career on Dick’s bidding alone, he’s going to find himself as much on the outs with his key voters as Snyder has. A 70 percent disapproval rating is not going to keep a career politician seated.

  2. Patricia permalink
    September 13, 2011 4:00 pm

    Local republicans are shameless in their support of tea party radicals. This does not surprise me in the least any more. When the tea party first came on the scene I thought so called moderate republicans would shy away from them. Not so. They embrace them in my small town. They speak at tea party events and do whatever it takes to get their vote. The only moderates that I see are democrats. People like our president who is so eager to court the republican vote that he has thrown liberals and progressives to the wolves. Good luck to Obama who thinks he can win a second term without his base. He forgets that a huge majority of the people he is courting (republicans) are racists and no matter what he does they will never accept him.

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