The 47th Annual Conservative Party’s Political Action Conference (CPPAC) begins on Sunday, January 26, 2014 in the Holiday Inn (205 Wolf Road, Albany, New York). Registration begins at Noon, and State Chairman Mike Long will kick things off at 12:30 PM.
Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan is the featured luncheon speaker. A Brooklyn native, Ms. Noonan graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and got her start in journalism as a “graveyard shift” news writer at WEEI-AM Radio in Boston. A recipient of the Tom Phillips Award for broadcast commentary, Ms. Noonan worked with Dan Rather at CBS News in New York, writing and producing daily commentary for CBS Radio. From 1984 to 1986, she served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. She quickly became a celebrated political speechwriter, and was the chief speechwriter for George H. W. Bush’s 1988 presidential bid. She is the bestselling author of seven books on American politics, including When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, The Case Against Hillary Clinton and Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Currently, Ms. Noonan writes a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal.
New York’s budget is always a challenge, but the upcoming elections make the budget especially interesting since many elected officials want to be very generous with the money they blatantly take from you through taxes and fees. This year’s budget will be especially difficult, since newly elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be looking to Albany to help him keep his promise of Universal pre-K (also a pet project of Speaker Sheldon Silver). Budget expert E. J. McMahon will join us at CPPAC to help us sort things out and tell us how we can prepare for the budget showdown.
Former ACU Chairman David Keene, who also served as President of the National Rifle Association and is currently the Opinion Editor at The Washington Times, will bring his respected conservative voice to Albany. Mr. Keene is a longtime champion of personal liberty, and will bring his unique insight, earned through years of being a trusted advisor to presidents, on how we can prevent further erosion of the God-given liberties outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
New to our conference this year is Thomas King, President of the NYS Rifle and Pistol Association and current board member of the National Rifle Association. Mr. King will bring us up-to- date on the legal challenge to the New York SAFE Act that passed by the state Legislators in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. This one piece of legislation, passed with no public hearings and very little input from law enforcement officials around the state, has been a contentious subject since it was hastily signed into law.
Also new to the conference is John Burnett, who ran a valiant race for New York City Comptroller, in a city with 2.9 million registered Democrats and less than 500,000 Republicans and Conservatives combined. John is the epitome of the American Dream, but it is best for you to hear for yourself what this young man has to say — you won’t be disappointed, and you will be eager for him to carry our banner as a future candidate.
Did you know that Rich Lowry began his career as a research assistant to Charles Krauthhammer? And that at the tender age of 29 became the Editor of National Review? Mr. Lowry has been editor since 1997 and is quite outspoken when appearing on various national news programs. Just this past August on Meet the Press, Lowry said this regarding Hillary Clinton’s possible run for President in 2016: “I think although Hillary has quite the résumé, I’m not sure she has much substantive accomplishment to back it up.” Mr. Lowry is another speaker you really want to be in the room to hear for yourself his quotable golden nuggets.
Speaking of quotable quotes… Carl Paladino, who is considering another run for Governor on the Conservative line, will be another one of our speakers. Mr. Paladino has continued to be active in politics since his run in 2010 and has made a positive difference in Erie County and the surrounding area of New York State. Mr. Paladino never disappoints and will have plenty of red meat for those who still relish a good, straight from the heart approach to New York’s problems.
Our very own George J. Marlin returns to CPPAC this year. Mr. Marlin is frequently a guest on the Fred Dicker Radio Program and always makes dry subjects like financial planning (or more often, the problems that occur when financial planning runs amuck) understandable to those of us who do not hold an MBA.
Do you ever think that your one vote does not count in deciding who will be President? Are you discouraged that only voters in swing states have the ability to attend town halls or rallies for the candidates? Do you want to know how to change the current system without ending the wisdom of the Electoral College? If so, you want to be there when Saul Anuzis discusses the importance of adopting the National Popular Vote as the mechanism to elect the next president.
The economy in New York State would benefit from hydrofracking, which has been extremely successful and safe in areas around the United States fortunate enough to contain natural gas. Karen Moreau, the executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, will discuss the future of hydrofracking in New York State.
Congressman Tom Reed, who represents the 23rd Congressional District in western New York, will update us on what to expect from the House of Representatives. Congressman Reed is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the oldest Congressional Committee and the chief tax writing committee in the House. Congressman Reed also sits on three subcommittees — Human Resources, Oversight and Select Revenue Measures.
Elise Stefanik, who is looking to join Congressman Reed in the House of Representatives, is another new participant at our conference. Ms. Stefanik hails from the Northern section of New York State and is a Harvard graduate and small businesswoman and entrepreneur. She served in the West Wing of the White House for President George W. Bush on the Domestic Policy Council Staff and in the Chief of Staff’s office where she assisted in overseeing the policy development process on all economic and domestic policy issues.
Lee Zeldin, a State Senator from Long Island who is seeking a seat in the House of Representatives, will also be speaking. Lee spent four years on Active Duty with the U.S. Army and served in different capacities including as a Military Intelligence Officer, Federal Prosecutor and Military Magistrate. In the summer of 2006, while assigned to the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, Lee deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of fellow paratroopers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jay Townsend, who ran a valiant race against Senator Charles Schumer, will be back with his keen understanding of the current political scene.
Another new participant is James Cultrara, Co-Chair of the New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools. Education is always in the news, especially with all of the controversy surrounding Common Core. Mr. Cultrara will educate us on Common Core and some other legislation working its way through the Legislature.
Former Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey will be back with her thoughts on the debacle known as Obamacare (AKA the anything but Affordable Care Act). Ms. McCaughey is a renowned expert on health care, a regular on many of the national news programs that discuss the numerous problems with Obamacare and will advise us what we can and must do to protect our health care system.
Fresh from his re-election as Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino will return to partake in our conference. Mr. Astorino is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor in 2014 and his decisive win in a county with a two-to-one democratic enrollment edge proves with the right message you will win elections.
Representing the Frederick Douglas Foundation, Ayesha Kreutz will discuss ways to connect conservative ideas with African-American audiences. That’s the goal of the Frederick Douglas Foundation — a public policy and educational organization that brings the sanctity of free market and limited government ideas to bear on the hardest problems facing New York and our nation.
Kathleen Gallagher will return to bring us up-to-date on the Governor’s Program Bill that seeks to expand abortion in New York State. As the Director of Pro-Life Activities and the Catholic Action Network, Mrs. Gallagher brings a special brand of humor to her presentations on a very serious topic: The expansion of abortion in a state that already holds the dishonor of being the abortion capital in the United States.
As you can tell, we have a full agenda, one that will prepare you for the upcoming elections and legislative sessions. Register today, because you really do not want to miss this year’s conference!