Saturday, June 18, 2011

Highlights from first day of RightOnline 2011

RightOnline Executive Director Erik Telford
The RightOnline annual conference is being held in Minneapolis at the same time and in the same city again as the liberal Netroots Nation conference, in fact they are even sharing some of the same hotels. Probably the only thing they both have in common is unhappiness with Obama. Over 1500 are in attendance at RightOnline. Reportedly 2500 are attending Netroots, but the difference is likely due to various special interest groups paying the way of most of the Netroots attendees (sort of how they pay protesters).

Andrew Breitbart has been the hit of the conference so far, getting into heated confrontations with the Netroots bloggers.

Not all interactions between the two factions have been so heated. There was a left meets right, right meets left happy hour last night and no one appears to be feuding in the video.

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Democrat R.T. Rybak, dared to show up and speak a few words, telling us we could be conservative but to "spend liberally" in Minneapolis. He had guts considering he'd told Netroots earlier that he welcomed Netroots to Minneapolis but only "tolerated" RightOnline. And he expects us to reward his city now with our money? #Fail

Melissa Tweets--er I mean Melissa Clouthier, one of the most prominent Twitterers/bloggers on the right, surprised everyone by presenting her own award to RightOnline's executive director Erik Telford. This was pretty cool for those of us who have been involved heavily in social media on the right over the past few years, especially those like myself who got involved in it due to RightOnline/AFP.

Melissa Clouthier aka Melissa Tweets
So far Ann McElhinney from the movie "Not Evil Just Wrong" has been a big surprise as the best speaker. She began her speech, "I am a recovering European." She pointed out the immense hypocrisies of the left, such as accusing conservatives of invading people's privacy in the bedroom, while they invade our privacy in every room in our house, from our bathrooms to our lightbulbs. She had some choice words for feminists, including, "The pill didn't liberate women, the washing machine liberated women." She went off on how women are worse off in Africa because a few feminists at Harvard would rather make sure they have the pill instead of washing machines.

The breakout session on influencing the court of opinion, taught by Bob Ewing from the Institute for Justice, had some great tips on how to get the media to pay attention to your viewpoint and how to get the general public interested. Ask a reporter two things, 1) are you on deadline, and 2) do you have 30 seconds to listen to my pitch on something you might be really interested in? Ewing said that the right needs to do a better job at personalizing our arguments - showcase someone who is being hurt by government regulations.

The panel on public employee pension corruption and scandal was outstanding. Bob Williams from State Budget Solutions and Frank Keegan from the Franklin Center told us that even leftist Willie Brown is complaining that public employee pensions are bankrupting California. There are great websites that expose the cost of employee pensions and local spending like and

Andrew Breitbart with Jon Fleischman from FlashReport (left).
Breitbart is  viewing some photos of myself that I tweeted him.
I'm learning all kinds of interesting things. I met one of the writers for my website for the first time, who informed me that the Mormon Church told him that his article shows up as the ninth result for "Mormon" in a google image search. It's all about the SEO and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to attend RightOnline.

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