The Kitchen Table: Americans for Prosperity
Today, we told you about how Republicans are more energized about the governor's race this year than Democrats, in part because of disillusionment with Democratic leadership in Washington. Well, "disillusioned" is an understatement for the deep concern felt by many of the folks who attended the "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Crystal City last Saturday, sponsored by the conservative Americans for Prosperity.
The controversial group has played a prominent role at the some of the tense "Tea Party" and health care reform protests around the country, and has been among those loudly asserting that current events in Washington are leading the nation on a path to socialism.
AFP receives most of its funding from a foundation run by two brothers who control an oil-and-gas conglomerate in Kansas. A frequent target of liberal critics, AFP leaders insist that their efforts aren't mere industry-funded "astroturfing," saying that their bus tours around the country are getting an overwhelming turnout from local residents.
While gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell did not attend this year (see his speech from last year's summit here), Democrats have been quick to point out that the Republican nominee's campaign manager, Phil Cox, is on a leave of absence from the organization.
State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II, the Republican nominee for attorney general, did attend this year. He addressed the Virginia break-out group, as did state Del. Brenda Pogge (R-York) and former George Allen staffer and conservative talk show staple Kate Obenshain. Also present were Republican Party of Virginia chairman Pat Mullins and former lieutenant governor John Hager. But the list of speakers for the national portion was much longer and included the likes of Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham.
A few random observations about the conference: Much of appeared to be devoted to casting doubt on the science behind global warming. Lots of folks went home with bumper stickers that said, "Socialism Is Not Cool." And the big news that emerged from the conference was the burst of applause elicited by the news that Chicago had lost its bid to host the 2016 summer Olympics, despite a personal overture by the president.
October 10, 2009; 6:34 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar
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