Freedom Conference kicks off

Conservative heavyweights to speak at sold-out event today


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For more information about the Steamboat Institute and the inaugural Freedom Conference, visit

— Big names in conservatism have arrived in Steamboat Springs for the Steamboat Institute's inaugural Freedom Conference, which begins today at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.

At 125 paid participants - which doesn't include volunteers, organizers and speakers - the event is full and registration is closed, co-organizer Rick Akin said. The event is intended to promote the Steamboat Institute's "five principles": limited government, lower taxes, free markets, strong national defense and individual rights and responsibilities. The speakers will touch on subjects including health care reform, global warming, economics, welfare and Hispanic voting trends. Speakers include Michael Reagan, conservative talk radio host and son of late President Ronald Reagan; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

"It's wonderful to see an organization being founded at the grass-roots level to celebrate the most basic ideas of classic conservatism," Tony Blankley, who will moderate the conference, said in a news release. "These notions of limited government, free enterprise and individual liberty may not be new, but I believe they are the most effective. I'm excited to watch fresh perspectives emerge during this weekend's discussions."

Blankley, who was former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich's press secretary, is a visiting senior fellow in national security communications at the Heritage Foundation, executive vice president at Edelman Public Relations and co-host of KRCW-Santa Monica's "Left, Right and Center."

Although the Institute's principles and the conference's speakers are closely associated with the Republican Party, organizers said the group and the event are nonpartisan. Akin said a goal of the conference is to transcend Democrat-Republican mudslinging.

Akin said about 50 percent of conference registrants are from Northwest Colorado, about 40 percent are from the Front Range and the rest come from other areas of the country. Akin said C-SPAN will cover the conference today.

"It's a very important time to be putting on something like this," Akin said. "I've never seen an assemblage of speakers like this, certainly in our neck of the woods, but also in Washington."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 367-7507 or e-mail


trump_suit 7 years, 8 months ago

I question the way the 1773 group presents itself as politically neutral while espousing every single idea of the far right and rejecting every left idea that is out there.

Come on folks, at least admit that you are trying to redirect the Republican agenda. This is not the independant group that they would like you to beleive it is.


Aspengold 7 years, 8 months ago

"Akin said a goal of the conference is to transcend Democrat-Republican mudslinging." By featuring Grover Norquist and Michele Bachman???

How embarrassing for Steamboat.


Scott Wedel 7 years, 8 months ago

This is not embarrassing for SB.

It is certainly less embarrassing than the Iron Horse purchase.

And one of the joys of being a kook is thinking that you represent the masses and not the party hacks. No crazier for them to think they represent the masses than it is for to make similar claims.

Though, I don't get why they included Michelle Bachman. I didn't know anyone considered her an intellectual force. I thought she was a joke that says stupid stuff that causes Democrats to overreact.


cara marrs 7 years, 8 months ago

I have to agree with Aspengold, no one could transend the mudslinging less than Michelle Bachman. Although I do not side with their agenda, every party has a right to meet and discuss their goals for the future as they should, but Michelle Bachman, that IS actually an embarrassing speaker.


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