Watchdog training in Boca features conservative heavy-hitters
A two-day summit that starts Friday is aimed at a topic that all sides of the political debate would claim to hold dear: Holding government accountable.
But the Citizen Watchdog Summit in Boca Raton features some big hitters from the conservative side.
The summit presenters include representatives from Houston-based True the Vote, who will be at the Boca Marriott holding training for citizens on spotting voter fraud, including a presentation by its president, Catherine Engelbrecht. The group is non-partisan but has filed a memorandum in support of Gov. Rick Scott‘s voter roll purge, which is now the subject of a federal lawsuit.
Another guest is Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute in an undercover, on-camera 2009 sting that made the activist group ACORN infamous enough that the U.S. Census severed ties to it. On Saturday she’ll be presenting on “Exposing the Establishment Media.”
Slade O’Brien, the state director of the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity is going to be talking Saturday on understanding Florida’s upcoming legislative issues. The group is nonpartisan, but funding for the national organization comes from David Koch of Koch Industries who has donated millions to the Republican Party, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org.
O’Brien said while it’s true his group holds to many beliefs that resonate more on the Republican side, there are ways his group doesn’t line up.
At the Marriott, they have room for about 100 people. As of Wednesday, about 50 had signed up for the event, according to the hotel.
O’Brien’s organization and the Franklin Center held a similar event earlier in Orlando with the same aim, although this event has a different emphasis on voter fraud issues because of True the Vote’s participation.
“Giving people the proper tools to report the right way is a great service,” Slade said, pointing to how blogs are filling in the void left by the decline of political coverage by newspapers.