Young libertarians to convene in Iowa City Saturday
by Quentin Misiag
As the opening bell of Iowa’s next presidential cattle call convenes this weekend with the inaugural Iowa Agriculture Summit, many in the state’s libertarian base will gather for a separate two-part full-day gathering to train and mobilize activists.
Organizers of the Iowa Agriculture Summit — a political breeding ground for more than a dozen of the Republican’s rumored presidential pack that promises to hash out and demonstrate their agricultural might — and the members of the Young Americans for Liberty Iowa State Convention at the University of Iowa are determined to shape key agendas for 2016.
The convention will include keynote addresses by Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, and Matt Kibbe, a leading voice at the Washington, D.C., conservative and libertarian lobbying group FreedomWorks.
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According to event details, the meeting at the Pappajohn Business Building will provide an outlet to “equip local leaders with the tools needed to be effective in making change in their community.”
The convention will begin Saturday with a “political boot camp” from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by a “Liberty Symposium” from 1-7 p.m.
The two-part full day event is spearheaded by a group that was formed in the aftermath of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential loss. It is geared at identifying, educating, training, and mobilizing liberty activists.
National directors will guide the seminars on messaging, communications and leadership development, but little discussion is expected on the 2016 race and individual candidates, Young Americans for Liberty head Matthew Evans said.
More than 250 people — many of whom who hail from outside of Iowa — had RSVP’d as of Thursday evening, organizers said.
Noticeably absent from the Saturday event is Ron Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of Iowa’s most frequent political visitors who has repeatedly expressed interest in seeking the presidency in 2016.
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Paul, whom Republican moderates have sided with in recent months as an alternative, will remain in Kentucky for state duties, his Iowa-based strategist toldThe Daily Iowan last week.
In his place will be former Republican Party of Iowa chairman AJ Spiker, who now holds a senior role in Paul’s RandPAC.
David Fischer, who served as Iowa Republican Party co-chairman in 2013 and 2014, will join Spiker and UI graduate turned Iowa director of Generation Opportunity Ryan Flood on a panel to discuss liberty politics.
Young Americans for Liberty organizers across the nation made waves at last week’s major spring Republican confab, the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
The Young Americans, along with the Koch Brothers-backed Generation Opportunity, America Rising, and American Majority had deep influence in training activists at the conference.
Founded in 2008, Young Americans bills itself as the largest and fastest-growing libertarian and conservative youth organization in the country, with a network of more than 500 nationwide.