Kemp Rouses Colorado Conservatives

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Kemp Rouses Colorado Conservatives

by Ari Armstrong, November 20, 2004

"It's thrilling to see how far a cause has come in such a short time," Jack Kemp told a sell-out crowd at the Independence Institute's 20th Annual Founders' Night Dinner, held at the Brown Palace November 19.

Kemp, a former "most valuable" quarterback in the NFL and Republican leader in Congress, gave a fiery talk about the virtues of the Declaration of Independence, the Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln, and his friends in the conservative movement.

The Institute recognized John Andrews, founder of the Institute and outgoing President of the state Senate, with the Vern Bickel Award. Also recognized with the David S. D'Evelyn Award was Marc Holzman, President of the University of Denver.

Kemp's "lodestar is Abraham Lincoln" because the first Republican President "saved the union" and held the Declaration of Independence is true for all people, for all time, and in all countries. Kemp noted Bush did fairly well with Latino voters but less well with black voters. "We've got work to do," Kemp said.

Kemp touted Bush's "ownership society" as a way to appeal to minority voters. He said the capital gains tax isn't so much tax on the rich, but "a tax on the poor who want to get rich." Workers and investors aren't two classes of people, Kemp argued, but instead the same people over the course of their lives. People want to own their own education, retirement, and homes, Kemp added; "we are the party of upward mobility."

"Class warfare doesn't work," Kemp said of Bush's victory in the election. With a huge voter turnout, "we won big," he added, predicting that Bush will "win the war on terror."

Andrews said, "I'm going to be staying in the battle, alongside of you." He said of the principles of the Declaration, "maybe they're self-evident, but they're not self-enacting." He added, "We need citizens with backbone."

The Institute also showed a short documentary of Ronald Reagan's life and political accomplishments.


Mike Rosen, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, chats with Representative Jim Welker.


Dave Kopel (right) talks politics with his daughter and Jared Polis.


Penn Pfiffner of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers joins the reception with his son Grant.


Douglas Bruce, just elected as a County Commissioner in El Paso County, meets with State Senator Mark Hillman.


Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute, greets Jessica Corry, Director of the organization's Campus Accountability Project.


Ralph Shnelvar and Doug Campbell represent the Libertarian and Constitution Parties, respectively.


Jack Kemp, John Andrews, and Jon Caldara.

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