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Taking Stage After Trump with Noem, Niece of MLK

Beyond partisanship, Justice Reform Talk Also Supports Final 5

Our 3-day event culminated Saturday night at the Washington Hilton, where Donald Trump spoke before 20 of us took the same stage for the final gala, as shown in the feature photo above.

At the head table with Governor Kristi Noem from right to left in the top row included myself (John Pudner), Steve Scheffler (Iowa National GOP Committeeman), and my longtime friend Frank Pavone (founder of Priests for Life). Also present in the row below us from right to left are Tim Head (Executive Director of Faith and Freedom), John Hagee (Founder of Christians United for Israel), and to the left of the photo his wife Diana Hagee and Alveda King, MLK Jr.’s niece.

As a follow-up to those of you getting updates on the reason to think outside the box on reforms, you may be interested in the topic of some other presentations during the three days …

Restoration of Felons Voting Rights Relation to Final 5

While the final three speeches of the event, by Trump, Noem then Hagee, focused on most evangelical voters nationwide not being registered to vote, other presentations included the restoration of voting rights for non-violent felons. Conservatives made compelling arguments distinguishing between the need for strong support for law enforcement from advocating for unnecessarily harsh prison sentences, especially for non-violent offenders capable of rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

In 2018, some conservatives criticized our support for Amendment 4 to restore voting rights once a non-violent felon had served their time in Florida. These critics claimed it and Final 5 were attempts to tilt states blue. Contrary to this, I emphasized the data-driven approach behind both initiatives, akin to the logic that earned me the moniker "Mr. Moneyball" on Fox News.

Critics often resorted to stereotypes, assuming most felons and therefore potential voters who could have their voting rights returned were Black, which they believed would benefit Democrats. Similarly, opponents of Final 5 ignore that spoiler candidates typically draw votes away from Republicans.

This anti-Justice reform argument can only be made if you ignore the fact that only one-third of people in American prisons are black.

The reality, therefore, paints a different picture. Post-Amendment 4 passing in 2018 to restore non-violent criminals voting rights, elections in Florida saw Republicans increase their margins in both the Senate and Governor's races. This outcome defied predictions of a liberal-leaning trend, in fact, the results were staggering in both major state races.

The Republican margin of victory increased in the US Senate race from 0.1% to 16%, and in the Governor’s race from 0.4% to 19% once felons voting rights were restored.

The additional benefit to raising justice reform as an issue this week was even more obvious when an AP reporter at the event asked me how strongly conservatives supported Trump. I replied that almost all Republicans who were lukewarm about Trump as the nominee six months ago now view his election as absolutely essential to preserve democracy. This is the result of near universal shock among center-right voters at the efforts to imprison, bankrupt and remove Donald Trump through the courts rather than allow Americans to choose the next President.

I’m truly amazed that so many white liberals continue to make fun of Trump for having so many legal fees, with absolutely no understanding that many black males who feel they have been treated unfairly by the justice system now feel they have a shared experience with Trump. In turn, these same white liberals seemed shocked at reports such as Thursday’s Newsweek report, Black Voters For Trump Will More Than Triple, Poll Indicates.

For those genuinely committed to electing conservatives rather than exploiting cheap click bait for fundraising, the results speak for themselves - and it's quite clear from the numbers that passing Final 5 in Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia and many other states would have a similar positive effect to passing criminal justice reform regarding restoring felons voting rights in Florida.

The photos at the bottom are, 1) the most impressive event of the night watching 6-foot-6 Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin taking the stage after video of him hitting a 3-pointer with as much arc as used by Marquette’s Kam Jones; 2, the panoramic view of the thousands in the ballroom as Trump spoke, and 3) the overflow crowd for the kickoff event Thursday at the US Capitol while Tim Scott spoke; and 4, the movie screening of Sound of Hope, which has many of us glad for the dark to hide our tears as 22 poor families adopted 77 children to result in no children still needing a home within 100 miles of Possum Trott, Texas.

6-foot-6 Glenn Youngkin watching his long 3-pointer descend through the basket.

Packed ballroom as Donald Trump spoke at the event before we took the stage.


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