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Posted on 08/18/2002 5:18:22 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
I just returned from the First Annual Free Republic Network Convention in Las Vegas.
The Free Republic Network Cruise last October was the most fun I've ever had in my whole life. The Free Republic Network Conference I just attended was the most informative and inspiring two days I've ever had in my whole life.
The Free Republic Network is stretching its muscle, not by talk, but by action. The Free Republic forum is liberty's college. The Free Republic Network is liberty's workplace.
If you attended, please use this thread to post your observations, comments and highlights of the conference. I will give mine below. But before I do, I'd like to take this time to thank Bob Johnson and the FRN board for putting on this conference. It's hard for me to find the words to adequately describe how great this experience was--and how much I learned.
The Hotel: The Treasure Island Hotel has to be the best hotel experience I've ever had. It wasn't the size of the rooms that made it great, it was the people, from check-in, to food servers, to security, to the pit boss at the blackjack table, to the dealer, to the girl cleaning ashtrays on the casino floor, we were treated to smiles and kindness and courtesy.
The Freepers: The best of the best is the only way to describe them. Those that made the conference are dedicated in their beliefs and it shows. I had the privilege of dining last night with two freepers I've never met before, Maceman and Strela. Talk about interesting people! I also dined with Taxman, Dixie Sass, WIMom, Badjoe and One Particular Harbor (who got in trouble for talking during Rich Galen's speech, but don't worry, Mr. Galen very nicely put him in his place and left us laughing hysterically at the same time). My only regret is I wasn't able to spend even more time with freepers. Next year I will add a day onto the front and back of the conference for socializing and hope others will, too.
Friday night reception: As you all know, Laura Ingraham spoke at the Friday night reception. She's beautiful in person! Pictures don't do her justice. She's also not on a star trip and very approachable. She was extremely polite to everyone. We already know how funny she is and she didn't let us down during her talk.
The Leadership Institute: This was the meat of the conference and it was almost too intense. Matt Lewis of the Leadership Institute spoke and this young man is not only well trained, he's got a talent for what he does. A little meat for you--he recommends reading Carville and Begala's book, said he believes in reading the opposition and this book is very good for what it is and if you want to understand how Clinton did what he did. There was substance here, folks, and the work they do is not for the weak. I found myself taking notes furiously. The Leadership Institute will have one more person--me--the next time they put on a seminar in my area. Every single freeper, and every single person interested in furthering the conservative cause and every single person interested in bettering themselves needs to participate in the programs offered by the Leadership Institute. I know I will. Perhaps at a later date I, or someone else, will go into depth about what we were taught by the Leadership Institute on Saturday at the Friva conference.
Chuck Muth: What a dynamic man! I love this guy! He, too, was full of tips and tricks about activism. Just a little tidbit for you--he says the best way to influence Congress these days are telephone calls, they block email but do log telephone calls. On the local and state level, emails will work. He stuck around for much of the conference and also spoke again later in the day. He had a very interesting take on abortion and I found myself thinking, "Yes, that's what I think, too, but I've never been able to articulate it before!" This man is completely honest and outspoken. There is no spin. He says what he thinks and he's not afraid. Mr. Muth has a newsletter that I will be signing up for forthwith. If you EVER get a chance to hear this man speak, do yourself a favor and go. You will be inspired.
Rich Galen: Wonderful speaker, funny, interesting, smart, and real treat to hear. We as freepers need to hear what he has to say as often as possible.
Nancy Bocskar: Ms. Mocskar is an expert in fundraising, event planning and political training. This woman is not only a dynamic speaker, she is a pro and knows how the game is played. She told us how to keep fundraising costs down, how to go about fundraising and setting up a fundraising committee. Here's a tidbit for you--Personal solicitation is the best way to raise money for a political candidate, not direct mail. All politics is personal in fundraising. This is another speaker you should run, not walk, to hear if you ever get a chance.
There were many many handouts and several speakers were generous with their email addresses and invited us to email them if we need help or have questions.
Don't miss next year's Free Republic Network Conference. The entire conference was about $200 and the value was in the thousands, if it can even be measured monetarily.
The conference was more, much more, than I expected.
I've been to lots of conferences and this was the most well done, most interesting, program I have ever had the good fortune to attend.
Thank you Free Republic Network! I'll see you next year!
P.S. There are some who would like to see the Free Republic Network disbanded; there are some who would work behind the scenes to destroy its effectiveness; there are some who think that the Free Republic Network and the Free Republic Forum are not two fingers on the same hand.
For those who think that way, you are going to be disappointed. I was there this weekend and saw the Free Republic Network in action. It is powerful and it is growing. And everybody who participated is a Freeper. It will not be stopped.
I'm doubly shocked...LOL
This is exactly the type of thinking that will be needed to affect change.
We just got back in PHX a bit ago, and we're road-burnt. We'll get some pics over when we get a chance....