CPAC Continues to Receive Criticism for Lack of Inclusion

Heather Ginsberg

3/3/2013 8:50:00 AM - Heather Ginsberg

With CPAC just a little over two weeks away, a new story has popped up about groups being excluded. As many of us know the group GOProud and speakers like Chris Christie have not been invited to join the Conservative Political Action Conference. The American Conservative Union (ACU), that runs the conference has now created a new line in the sand with the new panel discussion they announced on Friday.

After all the controversy over some of the speakers removing themselves from the conference because GOProud would not be there, the ACU has now announced several political leaders will take part in a panel discussion entitled “Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy”.

The ACU writes,

We are thrilled to welcome these leaders to the CPAC stage, as they discuss immigration policy reform and its impact on families and the rule of law,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “I am excited to hear what will no doubt be a lively discussion about a very important policy challenge. Each of these participants will add much value to the larger immigration debate in Congress and throughout the United States.

The panelists include Whit Ayers, the president of North Star Opinion Research; Dan Garza, the Executive Director of LIBRE Initiative; Helen Krieble, Founder and President of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation; Jenny Korn, the Executive Director of the American Action Network; and moderated by Helen Aguirre Ferré, host of “Zona Politica” on Univision Radio.

Now if you look into each one of these panelist’s opinions on immigration it shows that all of them support comprehensive immigration reform. No skeptics of reform on the panel? What kind of discussion is supposed to be had when everyone just agrees on that same opinion, especially when many in attendance may not support the reforms either?

It seems like once again the ACU has taken a bold step to make some serious policy statements. As someone who has attended the conference for many years now it seems a bit odd that the ACU is not being so inclusive. I was always under the impression that CPAC was meant to include all parts of the conservative movement, whether we all agree or not. It seems this year the ACU is instead trying to brand the conference in a certain light. It has yet to be seen if this is a positive or negative choice in terms of uniting the party and winning elections.