ICR Meets VIPs in DC

Student Republicans attend national conference.     By Monica Watson ’12

Members of the Ithaca College Republicans (ICR), a student organization, were in Washington, D.C., February 17 – 20 for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The CPAC is an annual event that hosts United States conservative activists and elected officials. ICR members have been attending the event since the group formed in 2002.

At the conference were many big-name conservatives such as former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney, Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, and former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

One event that stuck out for IC senior Scott Smolinski was the opening speech by Marco Rubio, who is currently running for senate in Florida. “He laid out all of the points we’re trying to make for conservatism — things like free market, limited government, secure borders, secure investments for everybody, and general freedom for the American people. It really set the stage for the rest of the convention.”

The group also had the opportunity to meet radio and television host Glenn Beck before he gave his keynote speech. Senior Brandon Kurtz had previously hosted Beck as a guest on his talk radio program on VIC radio in September.

“It was a very neat experience to actually meet him in person,” Kurtz says. “They say you never want to meet your heroes because you’ll be disappointed, but honestly it’s really not the case with him.”

The CPAC was filled with about 50 percent students, according to Smolinski. “It’s always great to see a mix of young and old and to interact with students from all over the country,” he says. “We were able to hear what other students have to say and share ideas about organizing on campus. It was also a good networking opportunity.”