FFM Bulletin 5/13/11

FFM Hosts Ronald Reagan Essay Contest Awards Banquet

Over 200 students, parents, and teachers were on hand last Friday night for the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota’s award banquet, celebrating the A Legacy of Leadership: Ronald Reagan Essay Contest.  Semi-finalists all across the state were recognized for their essays that sought to answer: "What was President Ronald Reagan’s greatest public policy achievement?”  We were honored to have Congressman John Kline as the keynote speaker for the evening, as he gave advice and praise for the students and shared some of his personal stories about working as the military aide with President Reagan.

Our three scholarship winners were as follows: 1
st place: Elizabeth Minneman- Lakeville North High School; 2nd place: Charles Butterworth- St. Paul Academy and Summit School; and 3rd place: Corey Stephan- Marshall College Preparatory School (Duluth). The scholarship winners received $5000, $1000, and $500 prizes, respectively.

In addition to the three scholarship winners, three runners-up received an all-expense paid trip to the 2011 Young America’s Foundation National Conservative Student Conference in Washington DC. Those winners were: Christian Lopac- Home Educated (Cokato); Scott Foley- Schaeffer Academy (Rochester); and Stacie Lewis- BlueSky Online School (Stewartville).

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota would like to thank all of the participants that made this year’s contest such a success. It is exciting and encouraging to see the next generation of conservative leaders exploring and understanding the leadership, legacy, and values of America’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan.

Watch for the featured essays on our website in the coming weeks, and be sure to check back after Labor Day to see next year’s question!

Taxpayers "Underserved" by U of M's Multi-Million Dollar Broadband Stimulus Project

The $3.6 million Broadband Access Project first flagged by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota in 2009 was featured in a recent report by KSTP-TV. This project that sought to upgrade and expand 11 computer labs has left taxpayers underserved, even after the $2.8 million it received in federal stimulus dollars and $800,000 in local matching funds. Failing to close the digital divide, the report showed that these computer labs were used even less than before the infusion of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The project led by the University of Minnesota was one of several projects on a 2009 “wish list” of broadband projects from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) obtained by FFM in a Minnesota Data Practices request.  FFM Investigative Director Tom Steward was featured in the KSTP-TV report to discuss the impact of this costly project on taxpayers.

Visit our website to read the entire Accountability Alert and see the KSTP-TV segment.

Minnesota State News: Business Alleges "Skullduggery" in MN Politics

Last week we featured Part I of a two part series on a tiny piece of plumbing equipment currently banned for use in Minnesota. This week, Minnesota State News released the follow up piece. Part II focuses on legislation that could lift the ban, and how legislative action led to a ban in the first place. The story features quotes from business leaders that say union leaders were “calling the shots” in this legislative matter, as well as alleged health concerns and a state report on the devices.  This news article shines the bright light of government transparency on how the legislative process can easily be manipulated for and by special interests.

Click here to read Part I, and here to read Part II.

Reminder: Register now for the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change

The Sixth International Conference on Climate Change will be held in Washington, DC on June 30 - July 1, 2011 and is co-sponsored by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota and The Heartland Institute.  Confirmed speakers include: Timothy Ball, Ph.D., Larry Bell, Ph.D., Robert “Bob” Carter, Hon. FRSNZ, Steve Goreham, S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., and Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.

The purpose of Heartland's International Conferences on Climate Change is to build momentum and public awareness of the global warming “realism” movement. This is a great opportunity to meet and discuss with both scientific experts and policy makers the economics of this important issue. This is the sixth time the Freedom Foundation has co-sponsored the ICCC with the Heartland Institute.

If you are interested in attending this important event, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has 20 free registrations. You would need to cover your hotel and transportation to and from Washington DC.  Please contact Evan Paskach at evan.paskach@freedomfoundationofminnesota.com or 612-354-2194 for more information on how to register for the conference.


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