By Paul Bremmer
GOP presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump will be taking his seemingly bulletproof campaign to Scottsdale, Arizona, in March for the Western Conservative Conference, where he has been confirmed as a speaker.
Others expected to address the sessions during the March 18-19, 2016, meetings include former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., former NRA president Sandy Froman, and Scottie Nell Hughes of the Tea Party News Network.
Reps. Matt Salmon and Paul Gosar, both Arizona Republicans, will serve as co-chairs of the conference, and previous GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain will deliver the opening keynote address.
The Western Conservative Conference is described as the “premier gathering of conservatives in the western U.S.”
It follows a format similar to CPAC or the Values Voter Summit, featuring plenary sessions with guest speakers and panels, breakout sessions covering specific issues, book signings, exhibits, a luncheon, and a dinner reception.
In fact, the WCC used to be called Western CPAC, according to Floyd Brown, president of the Western Center for Journalism. Brown will serve as one of several co-hosts of the conference, as he has in the past, and the WCJ will be one of many sponsoring organizations.
“Traditionally we’ve had conservatives come from all over the country to these conferences, and they’ve been well-attended (usually 500 to 1,000 people), and it’s a great place for conservatives to network and get to know other conservatives and to discuss the issues that are going to really impact this presidential election, and also the congressional races in 2016,” Brown told WND in an interview.
Planned topics for panel discussions include the media, immigration, taxes, Second Amendment rights, free speech, threats to freedom of religion, and more.
Brown, the author of “Killing Wealth, Freeing Wealth: How to Save America’s Economy and Your Own,” also said he will speak at the conference, but he does not yet know what his topic will be.
Brown noted the conference will be held in Arizona the weekend before the Arizona primary. As such, conference organizers have invited most of the current GOP presidential candidates to speak, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. So far only Trump and Huckabee have confirmed.
Brown said the idea is to let ordinary conservatives influence the eventual nominee.
“We always believe that the more conservatives can have direct interface with the eventual winner, the more likely he or she is to pursue a conservative agenda,” Brown said.
Other invited speakers include Ann Coulter, Sheriff David Clarke, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, Katie Pavlich, Judge Jeanine Pirro, and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint.
In addition, WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah will receive the Western Center for Journalism’s Hero of Freedom Award during a dinner gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of Farah’s founding of the WCJ. Rush Limbaugh has been invited to present the award.
Brown praised Farah for his “unwavering commitment to news without bias and an agenda.”
“I think, of anybody in the modern conservative movement, he typifies what I think you should have in journalism, and that is an aggressive watchdog of government,” Brown stated. “Journalism traditionally has had that role of being government’s watchdog, and too often in modern journalism, the mainstream media has become more of a lapdog than a watchdog of government.”
More information about the Western Conservative Conference is online at the official conference website.