Newt Gingrich to speak at Lincoln Day Dinner

first_imgNotre Dame College Republicans (NDCR) has invited former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for its annual Lincoln Day Dinner and Speech on April 15.“The Lincoln Day Dinner is an annual event that most Republican organizations hold,” NDCR president, senior Mark Gianfalla, said. “For us, we’ve had one as long as I’ve been here. … I think continually for the last 10 years our club has done it.“In the last few years we’ve really picked up the fundraising aspect of it and basically increased our budget for the event 500 times what it was two years ago.”Last year, the club invited Fox News contributor and conservative political pundit Ann Coulter to speak at the Lincoln Day events, drawing harsh criticism from several student groups and inspiring a series of protests on campus.The Lincoln Day celebrations include a speech, which is free but ticketed and open to the public, that will be held April 15 at 6 p.m. in Washington Hall, and the dinner that follows is for members of the club and community members.Gianfalla said he anticipates 250 attendees at the dinner, a dramatic increase from last year’s 85 attendees and 30 the year before.“Anybody who has an affiliation with the club is invited — dues-paying members obviously have first access, and then faculty and staff who want to attend,” Gianfalla said.“We have some alumni … but also a large portion of the local community that is supportive, both financially and through campaign efforts and club events — we invite those people as well. This year, a large portion of the attendees will be community members,” he said.To fund what Gianfalla described as a “$25,000 event,” the club has turned local party affiliates and national organizations for assistance. In particular, NDCR formed a partnership with the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a group that describes itself as “the principal outreach organization for the conservative movement.”“We started a partnership with the Young America’s Foundation, which is a group that supports collegiate efforts to bring in conservative speakers,” Gianfalla said. “[YAF] negotiate the contracts with the speaker. They have existing relationships, and they contribute financially to bring in that speaker.“… They contribute thousands of dollars to our speaker fees every year; this year they’re contributing a large portion — at least half — and the rest of that is coming from the local Republican Party … and individuals in the community such as local party members and people who have supported us in the past who live locally. We also get some money from the University as a club, and a small portion of that comes from dues as well,” Gianfalla said.In choosing the Lincoln Day speaker, Gianfalla said budget limitations played a role in the decision but that the speaker’s “notoriety” and ability to draw a crowd was also a factor.“We want someone with good name recognition, who can fill a 650-person auditorium,” he said. “We also want [someone] who can add quality discussion, quality commentary during the speech.”NDCR secretary, sophomore Dylan Stevenson, added that Gingrich proved a good choice for the dinner because of his unique perspective and experiences in government.“To mention that Gingrich was Speaker of the House [of Representatives], House Minority Whip and that he was Time’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1994 would be to mention just a few of his many achievements,” Stevenson said in an email. “He served over 20 years as a Representative in the House and had the ear of Presidents Reagan and Clinton.“One of the main reasons we invited him was to hear him reflect on these experiences and really give the club a good idea as to what it’s like to have access to the corridors of power. As a former Presidential candidate, he can provide a really unique perspective about that process as the two parties gear up for primaries.“I think one of the big things that he’ll do to help dialogue is draw attention to the Party and its principles. I think that, by highlighting how Conservative principles would help this country, he’ll get the proverbial ball rolling, and I think we’ll see intelligent discussion about these principles filtering through the student body. Moreover, given that we’re already seeing potential 2016 candidates make themselves known, I think he’ll add fuel to the fire of presidential intrigue that is starting to grow here,” Stevenson said.According to Gianfalla, Gingrich will speak on “domestic and foreign policy” in his speech, in line with the events that NDCR has participated in and hosted so far this year.“This year, we wanted to choose someone who would follow the theme of our programming,” Gianfalla said. “We had a big Rick Santorum speech at the beginning of the year, and we’ve had a lot of political discussion at our meetings and as well as a lot of debate.“We really wanted to engage the knowledge base of the student body … to broaden that base on issues. I think [Newt Gingrich] will foster that aspect of our programming this year very well.”Tags: lincoln day, lincoln day dinner, Mark Gianfalla, newt gingrich, Notre Dame College Republicanslast_img read more

July 1, 2006 Letters

first_imgJuly 1, 2006 Letters Letters Civics Education Kudos to Alan Bookman, Rep. Curtis Richardson, Sen. Ron Klein, and all the concerned citizens of Florida for their support of civics education.Before I became an attorney, I was a social studies teacher in Florida middle schools for several years. With a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education, I went confidently to my first interview for a teaching position. Imagine my shock when the principal told me: “Social studies isn’t important. Can you coach?” Unfortunately, I came to discover that this was a routine question in interviews for social studies teachers.Later when I was working as a social studies teacher, I was saddened to learn that the period for social studies classes was the standard time period to distribute yearbooks, have assemblies, and disseminate flyers on cheerleading. While all those things have their value, I was never able to persuade the school administrators that learning about the Constitution was at least equally important.In this post-911 world, there is a more urgent need than ever for civics education. Thank you for seeing the value in this and helping Florida’s children become effective citizens. Janet Allard Wilkerson Jacksonville Mr. Ethics On Monday, May 26, 2006, I lost a great friend, the Judicial Qualifications Commission lost a great advisor, and the Florida Bar lost one of its most valuable members. Thomas Cook MacDonald, Jr., was the long-time general counsel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. The obituary in the Tampa Tribune referred to him as “Mr. Ethics.” The St. Petersburg Times stated, “He made it right when Florida judges do wrong.”Some judges disliked Mr. MacDonald because of the strong stands he took concerning violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. These judges misunderstood the mission of the commission. That mission is to protect the public from bad judges and to protect good judges from themselves. Mr. MacDonald worked tirelessly to achieve both of these goals. His tough stand in many instances reflected the will of the commission or was necessary to maintain confidence in the judiciary.Behind the scenes Tom strived as hard to ensure judges were not subjected to baseless charges as he did to see corrective measures were taken when the code of conduct was violated. It’s through his efforts that members of the Florida judiciary continue to be held in such high esteem.It is not only the Bar and I who have lost a great compassionate friend, but also the members of the judiciary who have sustained an immeasurable loss.Judge James R. Wolf Chair, Judicial Qualifications Commission July 1, 2006 Letterscenter_img Page Remembered Longtime Madison County attorney Ernest Page, Jr., passed away recently. At the time of his death, Page was a practicing attorney logging 58 total years of practice.A graduate of UF law school, he was the past president of the Third Circuit Bar Association, former attorney for Madison County, and North Florida Community College (f.k.a., North Florida Junior College). He served as counsel to Tri-County Electric Cooperative for 40 years, a tenure that was a record for representation of electric cooperatives. He is survived by his son, Ernest Page III, and grandson, Ernest Page IV, both of whom are assistant state attorneys in the Third Judicial Circuit.Greg Parker Perry Joint and Several Liability Having read attorney Joe Little’s letter in the May 15 News, I felt I should make my own contribution and state my view of the issues involving the most recent legislation eliminating joint and several liability in tort actions.The real issues behind the legislation have nothing to do with “right,” “fairness,” or “equity.” The real issue is as it has always been: money. And that singular issue involves insurance companies “capturing” (a more polite term for a more disreputable activity) Florida legislators to compel them to push for legislation favorable to them economically. There is no basis upon which a “fairness” argument can be made when applied to innocent injured parties. Any legislator who attempts to make a fairness argument of this legislation as it affects innocent injured persons is either stupid or thinks the public is.I would submit an anecdotal offering of the following: A few years ago during a meeting of “bigwigs” when I was then an “in house” managing attorney for a large insurance company, I had the temerity to question their position that Florida’s (then) joint and several liability was unjust and unfair, I proposed to them the following scenario:“Suppose your 12-year-old grandchild (all three had one) was standing on a street corner at an intersection controlled by a traffic light. Two vehicles collide in the intersection and one careens off and runs over your grandchild who suffers injuries resulting in her being a cripple requiring continued medical care the rest of her life and has incurred $100,000 in medical bills. It is without dispute that your grandchild is not in any way negligent. Consider that the jury awards $1 million in damages, and upon conflicting testimony as to which vehicle had a green or a yellow light, the jury found the vehicle with unlimited resources and/or insurance to be 10 percent negligent and the owner of the 10-year-old vehicle with no liability insurance or assets to be 90 percent negligent. Would it be fair that your grandchild, a wholly innocent bystander, receive only $100,000 for her injuries?”Of course, they could not make a response without revealing the effect on them personally.As the old adage says: Right and fairness and one’s view of what is right or fair depends upon whose bull is being gored. Insurance companies and their mentors consider only money. “Right” or “fairness” has nothing to do with it. It is intellectual hypocrisy (and in our case professional hypocrisies) to argue it involves anything but money. What is determined by legislation to be “right” or “fair” on this subject depends upon what legislators your viewpoint controls (or owns).Millard C. Glancy Coral Springslast_img read more