Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute is based in Virginia. For the last six years they’ve conducted a Summit at the Reagan Center in Santa Barbara. Michelle Easton, president of CBLPI always brings along a number of young women who have or are interning with the Institute. The purpose of the Institute is to prepare young women for conservative leadership.
I have been very impressed with the work CBLPI is doing. I’ve not only attended every Summit, I visited the Center in Virginia when I went to Washington D.C. to hear the Supreme Court arguments for and against the Affordable Care Act. Michele and Camille (her right hand) treated me to a lovely lunch and tour and we talked about the inspiring women who support their efforts.
This year, Michele Bachmann was the keynote speaker. I went to Washington D.C. because Congressman Bachmann (she uses “Congressman” as that is the official term) appeared on Hannity and asked the American people to meet her on the steps of Congress, to tell them we didn’t want obamacare. She was on the forefront of every protest against the ACA, the IRS, illegal immigration, and every other assault on our liberties. The day the House passed obamacare, just as the last few of us were about to leave the tunnels that connect the Capitol to the office buildings, she came through and stopped to talk to us. And that night, as the House voted, she, Steve King, and Todd Akin came out on a balcony to tell us what was happening. When the vote was over, she told us we may have lost the battle, but we were going to win the war. And with that, at 10:30PM, she returned to her office to draft the first of many repeals.
During my entire life, women like Michele have been held up as role models, revered, and honored. Congressman Bachmann not only earned a law degree and an L.L.M. in Tax Law, she served in the Minnesota State Senate, was a tax attorney for the IRS, is a Congressman in the House of Representatives, and was a Presidential Candidate in 2012. And she did all this while being a mother to five children and a foster mother to 23! She makes me feel like a slacker.
Of course, the Left has done their best to demonize her. Michele is so beautiful, it is almost impossible to take a bad picture of her, but TIME magazine managed to find one, and used on the cover of their magazine to make her look like a crazy woman. This is what is being done to people who were once admired.
Michele, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, is privy to information we aren’t. What she was able to tell us is that she asked the FBI how many people from her state had joined ISIS, and if they were being stopped from returning to the United States. The FBI told her, if these people had an American passport, they would not be stopped. She read them the statute that prohibits this, but they said they interpret it differently. She drafted a bill that couldn’t be “interpreted” differently. She also brought to light how many people in this administration would never pass a security test. For this “impertinence”, she was roundly criticized. But don’t we want our Representatives to tell us such things? Isn’t it their job to do so??
Sadly, this is her last term. She will be sorely missed.
Another inspirational woman, Catherine Englebrecht of True the Vote, was honored by CBLPI with the “Woman of Exceptional Courage Award”. I was pleased to be seated next to her at the luncheon. She was glad to know I worked with Linda Paine on the Election Integrity Project.
Catherine spoke of the harassment she has suffered at the hands of our out-of-control government. Besides having her personal and business taxes audited and investigated several times by the IRS, she was visited several times by the FBI, ATF, OSHA, and other agencies. The government refused to acknowledge misconduct by their agencies, but never interviewed any of those who were harassed.
Another truly awesome woman who spoke at the Summit was Rachel Campos-Duffy. She’s a funny, firey, and accomplished conservative Latina. Not only is she the mother of SEVEN (her 5- month-old was with her at the Summit), she is a spokeswomen for the Libre Initiative, an organization that educates and advocates for economic empowerment of Hispanics through limited government, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance. She wrote a book called “Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-home Motherhood”, runs the TodayMoms.com blog, and regularly appears on the TODAY show, The View, Fox and Friends, and Hannity, as well as other shows. On top of that, she is married to Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy. She spoke about her illegal alien grandfather, her childhood, why she was a conservative, and how she met her husband on MTV’s Real World. For the rest of the Summit, her adorable, happy, big-brown-eyed baby daughter was strapped to her chest.
Marjory Grant Ross, Publisher of Regnery Publishing, the leading publisher of conservative books, spoketousaboutherlife,family,andhowshebecameapublisherofconservativebooks. She publishes Dinesh D’Souza’s books, Mark Levin’s, David Limbaugh’s, and others.
Debbie Saucedo, a Santa Barbara entrepreneur, told us about starting a wholesale bakery by renting a kitchen during the night until she could afford her own, and building her company, which was eventually bought by Bristol Farms.
Our own PolitiChicks, Morgan Brittany, Ann-Marie Murrell, and Dr. Gina Loudon all spoke. As usual, they were funny and informative. They have a new book ~ “What Women Want”.
What gave me the most hope was the panel of young women from the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute who spoke about what is going on at their various college campuses. We hear a lot about the leftist bias of the colleges, the communist professors, and the rampant intolerance for conservative views. But listening to these young women restored my hope for the future. Andrea Carlson from the University of Illinois, Lisa Ebiner Gavit from USC, Viktoriya Mukha (who was born in the Soviet Union) from UC Berkley, and Nicole Poole from Valdosta State University all speak up and challenge their professors and fellow students. Lisa Gavit told us about putting up a pro-life display in the middle of USC. She checked on it all day between classes, and, at the end of the day, when she went to take it down, she found a few women tearing up the materials and posters. She didn’t react negatively, she asked them why they felt as they did. She had a calm, rational conversation with them, and, in the end, they said she made some points they hadn’t thought about. Whether or not she changed their minds, she got them thinking. Nicole Poole, a passionate Black conservative, told us about growing up in a leftist family. Coming from an underprivileged background, she has ignored all obstacles to become an outstanding student and leader.
As part of the summit, the attendees got to visit the Reagan Ranch. For anyone who hasn’t visited the ranch, it is quite an experience, and a stark contrast to the present occupier of the White House. What strikes you is how small and humble the house is. Remember, this was the primary residence of Ron and Nancy for the six years between his Governorship and his Presidency, and the place they vacationed at during his Presidency. Reagan closed in the screened porch to make the house slightly bigger, and built a few guest cottages behind it, but it is very small and there is nothing fancy about it. It’s a working ranch house. Reagan said if this wasn’t heaven, it was a piece of it… And he was right!
I hope to see more of my friends join us at the next Clare Booth Luce Summit.