Posts Tagged ‘CPAC’
February 25th, 2015 at 5:06 pm
CPAC: Patent Litigation Reform Panel Should Include and Acknowledge Both Sides of Debate
Posted by Print

This week, conservatives from across the nation and even the globe congregate in Washington for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Each year, CPAC features prominent conservative political figures, including prospective presidential candidates, as well as panels on various issues.  This year, appropriately, a panel is scheduled to address the important issue of patent reform.

We at CFIF value and advocate strong intellectual property (IP) rights, including patent rights, as much as any organization.  At the same time, we support patent reform like that proposed by Congressman Robert Goodlatte (R – Virginia).  The way we see it, the problem of so-called “patent trolls” (which can be an overused and unfair term, as non-practicing entities have every right to enforce legitimate patent rights in court) is largely one requiring legal reform, rather than one justifying weakening of patent rights themselves.  Accordingly, we favor such reforms as requiring greater specificity in court pleadings, assessment of fees and costs to a greater number of improperly-litigious plaintiffs and discovery process reform.

Opponents of patent reform legislation incorrectly claim that it will deprive judges of discretion in assessing fees, but the fact is that discretion will remain.  As we have detailed, what will change is that the presumption in awarding costs and feels will shift on the continuum toward allowing innocent victims of vexatious plaintiffs to receive compensation for having to defend against unjustified lawsuits.  Reform opponents also claim that it would improperly chill the filing of lawsuits by legitimate plaintiffs.  But as any reasonable person realizes, the overwhelming problem in our current litigation system is not reluctance by plaintiffs to sue, but rather excessive willingness to sue.

Accordingly, our hope is that the CPAC panel allows a full and fair presentation of both sides in this debate.  To do otherwise would be a disservice to attendees, the broader debate and CPAC itself.

February 14th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Fiscal Conservatism, in One Paragraph
Posted by Print

There were many fine speeches from last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that deserved the attention of thoughtful conservatives. First among equals, however, was the address that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gave for Friday night’s Ronald Reagan Centennial Dinner.

The speech — written by Daniels himself — shows that the potential 2012 presidential candidate is not only a brilliant manager and a canny politician, but also an extremely sophisticated (and subtle) writer. In its defense of a prudent conservatism, the speech demonstrated that Daniels, not Barack Obama, is the great literary talent of 21st century politics. For unlike The One, Daniels speech was drenched in substance.

As such, the speech deserves no less than to be read in its entirety. Failing that, however, no passage deserves isolated quotation as much as Daniels’ definition and defense of fiscal conservatism, a masterpiece of dictional economy:

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

That’ll do, Mitch. That’ll do.

February 11th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
GOP 2012 Hopefuls Shouldn’t Commit a False Start By Announcing Too Early

Apologies for the post-Super Bowl football metaphor, but Jay Cost’s newest commentary made me do it.  Cost argues that “The Fred Thompson Experience” proved that the right strategy for announcing a presidential candidacy is to wait until voters actually start tuning in to candidates.  That doesn’t happen 21 months before the election.  By letting his rivals expend time and money placating the media’s interest for months, Fred Thompson easily catapulted to the front of the line for one simple reason: he was new to the field.  (His failure to capitalize was another matter.)

For just about every serious GOP contender speaking at CPAC this weekend the temptation will be to ride the media wave into an early announced run for president.  After reading Cost’s analysis, perhaps they should wait until the House GOP and President Barack Obama have sparred this year to see which issues are the most relevant when voters start caring.

February 10th, 2011 at 8:08 pm
Trump on the Campaign Trail?

Though skeptical of a Donald Trump presidential administration, show me in the Yes column for a spirited campaign by the billionaire.  For rhetorical firepower and the brashness to speak truth without consequences, there may be no more entertaining presidential hopeful than The Donald.  Consider this description of his speech today at CPAC:

“The United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world,” Trump said. “The world is treating us without respect. They are not treating us properly. America today is missing quality leadership, and foreign countries are quickly realizing this.”

Trump laced his speech with heavy criticisms of President Obama and declared himself to be pro-life, against gun control and an opponent of the health care reform law. He said that Obama “came out of nowhere” and seemed to question the president’s documented personal history, claiming that people who went to school with Obama “never saw him. They don’t even know who he is.”

On foreign policy, Trump sounded particularly skeptical of the intentions of China and the OPEC nations and said that if he had “an admiral and a couple good ships” to deal with Somali pirates, he would “blast them out of the water so fast.”

The best result of a Trump presidency?  Seeing him turn around during his inaugural speech, look President Barack Obama in the eye and say, “You’re fired.”

H/T: Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics

February 8th, 2011 at 10:42 am
CPAC 2011: CFIF’s Timothy Lee to Speak on “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary”
Posted by Print

This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is set to be the biggest ever, and CFIF Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee is honored to be selected as one of its speakers.

His panel, entitled “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary,” is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. this Friday, February 11 in the Marshall Ballroom.  Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute will moderate the panel, which also includes Ken Klukowski of the American Civil Rights Union and Dan Pero of the American Justice Partnership.   Our judicial system is a primary tool by which the political left seeks to remake America to fit its distorted image, and we must remain vigilant against that scheme.  Especially with the 2012 presidential kicking off, this CPAC isn’t one to miss.

December 18th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
Pawlenty Second-Guessing Run for Presidency?

Maybe it’s the fatigue of waging an under-the-radar campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination for two years, but outgoing Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sounds like he may be second guessing opting for higher office.  Telling a Duluth newspaper that he regretted not running for a third term now that Republicans are poised to run the state legislature, Pawlenty wouldn’t be saying that if his sights were focused exclusively on running for president.

I heard Pawlenty speak at this year’s CPAC, and he seems like one of the best people to run for president in awhile.  But with the 2012 campaign about to kick into gear over the next three months, this statement of public reluctance is not what I would want to hear as a donor or staff member.

February 22nd, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Huckabee to Conservative Movement: “Drop Dead”
Posted by Print

Following up on Brother Ellis’s earlier CPAC post, the most notable fallout from the weekend confab may have been Mike Huckabee’s criticism of the conference for being “too libertarian.” Let’s call this what it is: a fig leaf.

After a dissapointing seventh place finish in CPAC’s presidential straw poll, Huckabee is looking for a way to write off the legitimacy of the whole endeavor (let’s not deny, however, that Ron Paul’s victory in the poll does look a bit … well, eccentric). But CPAC organizers are quick to point out that when Huckabee declined their offer to speak this year, he attributed it to a scheduling conflict, not any ideological differences. Thus, claiming that he stayed away from the festivities because they were a little too fervent for liberty rings hollow.

Huckabee has two positive traits to offer conservatives: a winning, optimistic personality and a consistent social conservatism (part of what puts him at odds with some libertarians).  What he doesn’t have, however, is damning enough to remove him from serious consideration as a future presidential nominee. Huckabee is a practitioner of the baser kind of economic “populism” — no one who calls the Club for Growth “the Club for Greed” has the dictional authority to be taken seriously as either a conservative or a theologian. He has also proved himself to be functionally illiterate on matters of foreign policy.

Huckabee, like every Republican candidate for the past three decades, claims to have been baptized in the River Reagan. But Ronaldus Magnus famously said “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” Indeed, I don’t know how one indicts the GOP heresies of the past decade without faulting the party for losing touch with its libertarian roots. Huckabee is a terrific guy; but I think it’s time for the movement to acknowledge that he might be a Democrat if only that party was a little less secular.

February 22nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Analyzing Ron Paul’s CPAC Straw Poll Win

According to CNN, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) winning the CPAC presidential straw poll was a surprise. Since CNN had no presence at CPAC, it probably did catch producers at the Clinton News Network off guard. But for anyone who actually attended the three day event it was anything but. By several estimates, one in five attendees were twentysomething libertarian-leaning enthusiasts. Almost all of these supported Paul, and many could be seen passing out push-cards for his group, Campaign for Liberty. To a person, they were by far the most excited, most hopeful CPAC participants, and accounted for most of the energetic turnaround from last year’s funeral-like atmosphere.

Undoubtedly, most of these would also represent the low-tax, off-my-back Tea Party movement. However, it is striking to consider that the most dynamic speakers at CPAC – J.C. Watts, Newt Gingrich, and Glenn Beck – all took turns focusing on the cultural roots of the current political crisis. Watts claimed that it is impossible to understand America without first understanding the importance of God. Gingrich reminded listeners that most of the policy problems in Washington would not be fully solved until everyday Americans took more responsibility for their choices. And Beck passionately emphasized the growing lack of hard work as the primary impediment to expanding wealth and success. While each message isn’t necessarily at odds with the individualist outlook espoused by Paul’s libertarian supporters, focusing on cultural decline implies both a hierarchy of values and the need for a communal response.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether the libertarian argument for less government can be positively fused with the conservative push for a stronger, more united civil society. If so, the Right could be on its way to establishing not just a political majority this year; it could also create a cultural one too.

February 19th, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Game On!
Posted by Print

With a growing lead in the polls and a rousing speech at CPAC now under his belt, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate is looking better by the day. And the surging would-be senator proved yesterday that he won’t shy away from taking the fight to his more liberal primary opponent, Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Consider this jab that did everything but cite Crist by name:

2010 will not be just a choice between Republicans or Democrats. It will not just be a simple choice between liberals and conservatives. It will be a referendum on our nation’s very identity.

People want leaders that will come here to Washington D.C. and stand up to this big government agenda, not be co-opted by it. The Senate already has one Arlen Specter too many. And America already has a Democrat party. It doesn’t need another Democrat party.

In the wake of that speech, Crist has now agreed to a nationally-televised debate with Rubio  on Fox News Sunday. That a primary contest is generating this kind of attention shows how important this race is going to be nationally … and how bright Marco Rubio’s future may turn out to be.

February 16th, 2010 at 2:49 pm
A Movement of Principles

During a presidency characterized by vapid rhetoric, it is inspiring to consider the ongoing discussion among movement conservatives to define themselves with statements of substance.  Glenn Beck outlined the 9 principles and 12 values animating the Tea Party set.  Newt Gingrich is calling for a new Contract with America.  Members of the Religious Right are nearing a million signatures for the Manhattan Declaration.  RNC Chairman Michael Steele is promoting a 10 point Republican checklist.  And on the eve of this week’s CPAC Convention, several prominent conservative leaders will sign and publish the Mount Vernon Statement.

All of this is good.  Each document shows that the Right is driven by ideas about the human person, society, and government.  All of these statements attempt to bring together an understanding of our nation’s founding principles with an application of them to the current era.  In its own way, each affirms the conservative belief that first principles need not be held hostage to recurring problems masquerading as new crises.  That there is disagreement, even bitterness, is good because from it comes a more definite understanding of a coherent political philosophy.  So, the next time you read about the “conservative crack-up,” read one of these documents and delight in the knowledge only one of the two major movements in this country has the courage – and the ability – to argue about first principles.