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At this year’s annual CPAC conference in Washington, DC, FreedomWorks had the unique opportunity to host a special grassroots training session that specifically addressed the issue of combating the forces of the organized Left, such as the unions and radical environmentalists, within the context of state tax battles.
FreedomWorks Director of Federal and State Campaigns, Rob Jordan, began the discussion with an overview of FreedomWorks history and basic philosophy. Jordan stressed the importance of activists getting involved with FreedomWorks to tap into the extensive and sophisticated nationwide network of activists that they have built over more that 20 years. Moreover, Jordan talked about how activists could use FreedomWorks as a service center that could offer press, grassroots outreach, fundraising, and general campaign support in fights they were engaged in at the state or local level.
FreedomWorks Director of Policy, Max Pappas, followed Jordan with an in depth discussion of past and current FreedomWorks tax battles. Pappas highlighted specific examples from FreedomWorks’ Alabama, Oregon, and Washington victories over record-breaking tax hike attempts to illustrate how, through real shoe-leather grassroots tactics, FreedomWorks demonstrated that the Left could be beaten in spite of their bloated budgets. Pappas’ analysis included a discussion of the tactics employed in each of these campaigns.
FreedomWorks Midwest Director, Randall Thompson, spoke next and walked through the “tax cuts are cool” campaign that he ran in 2005 to combat Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s tax hike proposal. Attendees benefited greatly from Thompson’s practical example as he walked through the entire campaign from the planning stages to actual execution. The event concluded with an energetic question and answer session during which many of the more than 40 participants in attendance gleaned useful advice on how to proceed with issue debates that they were engaging in, or interested in getting more involved in. After the event, FreedomWorks talked more with individual activists interested in starting a FreedomWorks volunteer chapter in their area.