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CPAC: Ascendant Tea Party, Declining Morale

Posted on February 13 2011 7:13 pm
J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer and former attorney in the Voting Section at the Department of Justice. He blogs about elections and the laws which affect them at
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This year I spoke at CPAC on a panel about the Justice Department with Andy McCarthy and Hans von Spakovsky.  I had never been to CPAC or anything like it, though you’d think I was on the organizing committee if you read Media Matters.  A couple of surprises:

Catherine Englebrecht and King Street Patriots won the Reagan Award. This came as a surprise to me.  I had been working with King Street’s True the Vote Project, and David Horowitz had spoken there also.

What is King Street Patriots?  A group of Houston (TX) citizens are doing what government and political parties are failing to do – police the voter rolls to ensure election integrity.  They are holding a national summit for activists who want to do something about election integrity.

Engelbrecht represents one of the most important developments in the Tea Party wave – the rise of competent and savvy operatives who know how to use federal law and election administration to make a tangible difference in fighting voter fraud.

I also spoke with a number of left wing bloggers at CPAC who described a widespread demoralization on the left.  One claimed to be flirting with abandoning the cause.  They believe Obama has been a failure on a range of issues including GITMO, Iraq, transparency and corporate cronyism.  They also revealed suspicions that right wing organizations are swimming in cash and organizational heft while the left is bankrupt and disorganized.  Even if that isn’t true, conservative organizations can dream.

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