April 12, 2011
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and three reform-minded conservative governors galvanized Heritage Foundation members at our Annual Leadership Conference this past weekend.
Limbaugh, who delivered the event’s keynote address, addressed a wide range of issues facing the conservative movement and the United States as a whole. He was introduced by a last-minute guest: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose fight for budget and labor reforms has inspired conservatives.
Heritage also presented Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes with the Clare Boothe Luce Award, our highest honor. The award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the conservative movement.
In presenting the award, Heritage Chairman Thomas Saunders said Fox News has demonstrated the growing power of conservative ideas in the media:
Today, the marketplace has rendered its verdict. Fox News attracts ever-larger audiences. And that fair-shake coverage has made American politics and culture more hospitable to conservative ideas.
Heritage members also had the opportunity to meet Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Rick Scott of Florida. In separate speeches, they explained the challenges facing each of their states. Like every governor in the country, Haley and Scott must tackle rising entitlement costs that are contribute to budget crunches. These conservative governors are blazing a trail of conservative solutions to correct the course before it is too late.
Other highlights included a panel discussion featuring Fox News’ “All Stars,” where Heritage members heard from and asked pointed questions of Fred Barnes, Monica Crowley, Dana Perino and Juan Williams.
Many Heritage Foundation members at the event also support Heritage’s sister organization, Heritage Action for America. This month marks the first anniversary of the activist organization, which was created to ensure that Heritage’s conservative policy solutions directly influence legislation in Washington. Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham and his team briefed Heritage Foundation members on their successes and plans for the coming year.
At the end of the program, Heritage member Andy Wilson of Virginia praised the event for its political candor:
My wife and I felt so comfortable. We wouldn’t even feel that comfortable at a family reunion or a meeting of friends, because we always have to watch what we say about politics. This was a unique event because you could approach anybody and start a conversation. Right away you felt like dear close friends because we were all on the same page.
Heritage Foundation Associate-level members are invited to the Annual Leadership Conference. Learn more about our different membership levels.