Friday, April 27, 2012
True the Vote 2012 National Summit - Opening Night
The second annual True the Vote National Summit kicked off Friday evening in Houston with a slate of fired up, righteously indignant speakers. Some new faces are on the list this year.
After the opening remarks by True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht, the first speaker was Anita MonCrief, known as the ACORN whistleblower and current Emerging Corruption publisher. She was followed by Han Von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow and Mgr, The Heritage Foundation and a former Federal Elections Commissioner. I have heard both Anita and Hans speak at previous events - including last year's True the Vote National Summit - so I knew they would be delivering good speeches.
Hans did something a little different as he did a bit of a live rebuttal to taped remarks delivered by liberal, anti-Voter Id surrogates in television interviews. It was both informative and entertaining. It is important to know what the other side is saying.
For me, the best were the two that I have never heard speak in person - Rep. Artur Davis, former Alabama Congressman and current Fellow, Harvard Institute of Politics and Pat Caddell, FOX News Contributor and political strategist. Both are Democrats and both speak truth to power.
Artur Davis, a black American, remarked that "I see a lot of diversity in this room" and that this issue may be the only one that everyone in the room had in common but that is a good thing. Voter identification laws are not a party issue, they are an American issue. The slurs that only white Americans support voter identification requirements - to bring back Jim Crow days - is an insult to all those who fought in the Civil Rights movement. Davis held up his drivers license and said that "this is not a Billy club, this is not a fire hose. This is not Jim Crow." He said that for those claiming that having the right to vote doesn't require personal responsibility is like a homeowner claiming not to have to mow his lawn. There is no auto-enroll for voter registration. Rights don't mean a person has no responsibility in the process. Registering to vote is an affirmative event.
Davis said that politics is why this uproar over voter identification laws is happening. He referenced that back in 2008, everyone responded favorably to the speech with the talk of "no red states and no blue states only the United States", regardless of whom you would be voting for. Now, four years later, those same people (specifically Barack Obama) who were talking about uniting the country are the ones who put voters in a box and separate all of us. This is why young people, in particular, are so disillusioned. They are demoralized by the broken promises.
To become a whole America, those in top leadership must stop acting like the country is made up of different labels for people, stop putting people in separate baskets. "I see Americans". "You cannot let the insiders run this game".
Pat Caddell was the evening's final speaker. He remarked that he was the only speaker tonight that wasn't a native of the state of Alabama. He is a native of South Carolina. He is a fiery speaker and is not afraid to call out both political parties. He had some great insight into the 2000 election results and the Florida re-counts, in particular. He said the Gore campaign flat out intended to steal the election and that the Bush campaign missed opportunities to prove that Bush won the state of Florida handily and that went on to haunt his presidency.