As Scott was kind enough to preview, I have retired from the practice of law and have embarked on a second career as the President of the Center of the American Experiment, a think tank based in Minnesota. I have been associated with the Center for a long time. Scott and I wrote research papers under its auspices in the 1990s, before we started Power Line. In 1995, the Center published our piece, “The Truth About Income Inequality,” which was cited and republished around the country. It led to a Center-sponsored debate between me and Congressman Martin Sabo that was televised by C-Span and received considerable press coverage. It was the Center that published our (really, Scott’s) epic takedown of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s report on racial bias in the criminal justice system. Everything old is new again, as income inequality and racial bias in criminal justice, real or imagined, are again in the news. And without the Center, I never would have met such luminaries as Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom I spent the better part of a day.
Both Scott and I have served on the Center’s Board of Directors. I chaired the Board in 1999 and 2000. More recently, I have served as the master of ceremonies at American Experiment’s annual dinner for the last 11 years. Being an MC is an easy role–the less you do, the better–so it suits me well.
Mitch Pearlstein founded American Experiment and has led it as President for the past 25 years. It is a great honor to follow in Mitch’s outsized footsteps.
Do I have plans to expand the Center’s reach and influence? Of course! Most fundamentally, I intend to get the Center into the business of mass communications, somewhat along the lines of Power Line. We will write, and contract for, intellectually impeccable research papers on important issues of public policy. Those papers are critical; they are the seedbed from which all else springs. But how many people will read a 40-page research paper? Right. Not many.
So we will distill the findings of those papers, we will extract key data points, and we will turn them into op-eds that will run in newspapers all over Minnesota. Not just the Twin Cities, but in every nook and cranny of Greater Minnesota. We will create internet videos and radio ads that convey a few key facts about, for example, the current state of Minnesota’s economy. We want millions of Minnesotans to receive our messages in these ways.
Much more could be said, but I will stop with this, for the moment: it is absurd that Minnesota is a deep blue state. Most Minnesotans are not wild-eyed leftists; Barack Obama’s current approval rating is around 35%. The surrounding states–Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska–range from purple to deep red. Minnesota is a huge opportunity for the conservative movement, and I intend to make the most of it.
What is happening in Minnesota is not just of local interest. A significant theme has emerged on the Left to the effect that Minnesota is the state that proves the blue state model can work. (Governor Anderson, land that fish!) President Obama is one of many who have asserted this claim. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. But demonstrating that fact to an audience of millions will require financial support.
If you want to contribute to what we are doing in Minnesota, please go here to learn more about the Center’s good work, and here to donate to the cause. Don’t worry if it’s just $20. We are taking on an entrenched power structure, and need all the help we can get. Of course, if you have the means to donate $100,000, don’t hesitate to do that too!
We are going to have a lot of fun in Minnesota over the next few years, and I will keep you fully apprised. More to come, soon. For now, please join our effort to turn a blue (liberal) state into a purple (moderate) one, and ultimately red (conservative).