Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to speak at Freedom Club’s annual dinner

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaking during a panel discussion at the American Action Forum in Washington, D.C., on January 30.

The Freedom Club of Minnesota often scores bold-faced names for its annual spring dinner, but none with more currency than this year’s guest, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president.

The conservative group, whose political action arm spent $1.4 million on Republicans during the 2104 election cycle, will host Walker at a private dinner event.  

“It was quite an honor that he chose us,” said Alex Kharam, the Freedom Club’s executive director. “We certainly had a lot of folks that wanted him. He is probably running for president.”

Kharam said the event is for members only and is not a fundraiser, either for Walker or the club. There is no charge for the event.

Broadcaster John Stossel spoke at the club’s 2014 dinner and financier Steve Forbes the year before that. Other Freedom Club speakers have included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sarah Palin.

Commenting on whether is was difficult to get an A-lister like Walker, Kharam noted, “If you want to run for president as a Republican, certainly the Freedom Club is the place to go to in Minnesota.”

As in the past, Freedom Club events are not open to the public, a policy that has, in the past, cause some criticism. Former U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden was criticized by his DFL opposition for skipping public debates but appearing at a private Freedom Club forum last year with other GOP candidates for the Senate.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Bill Willy on 02/10/2015 - 12:29 am.

    None with more currency

    “It was quite an honor that he chose us.”

    Really… Interesting…

    Why is that? Is it because of his astute fiscal grasp of reality demonstrated by the current Wisconsin deficit that’s much bigger than the one the state faced when he took office?


    Or is it because of his proposal to cut higher education funding by $300 million (to help balance the budget that, in addition to the deficit, is a couple billion $ short) while, at the same time, turning the administration of the UW education system over to a handful of unelected, governor-appointed “regents”?


    (Not to mention his “drafting error” proposal to “delete and replace” the UW’s 100+ year-old mission statement in state statutes).


    Or could it be his plan to use bonding to solve the state’s short-term transportation problems (instead of raising gas taxes, of course) even though it would mean 1/5th of the state’s future transportation budget would be eaten up by debt service costs?


    (If you go there, be sure to read what his fellow Republicans quoted in the article had to say about that idea, and some of the 400+ related comments from Wisconsin citizens.)

    And no need to think about the ramifications of his health care (“ObamaCare”/Medicaid expansion – “No thanks!”) dictates, his public employee union-busting genius, or what he and his Republican state House and Senate friends have done for the state’s job and income levels, because he’s working hard as he can to turn Wisconsin into New Mississippi (“Don’t mess with our Right to Work!”). And, from what anyone can tell, he seems to be doing a pretty good job of it.

    The main thing is he’s not a Tim Pawlenty wannabee, he’s a Refreshing, Straight Talking, Straight Shooting Leader who says what he means and does what he says, and is just brimming with new and bold ideas!

    Or is he? (Someone at Forbes Magazine – of all places – differed this week.)


    Most importantly, and everything apparently factual aside, the Freedom Club of Minnesota and their friends seem to believe Scott Walker is just what America needs to save it!

    “It’s quite an honor that he chose us.”

    As mentioned above, it’s free, but you can’t get there from here. Or, as they put it, “The event is for members only and is not a fundraiser, either for Walker or the club. There is no charge for the event.”

    But don’t worry. You CAN sign up for a membership at:


    They’ve got membership deals designed to fit every Minnesotan’s pocketbook. Here are the options…

    Platinum Membership for $7,000 which includes:

    – One membership
    – One spouse membership
    – One VIP Table for 10 at Spring Dinner
    – Two guests at monthly luncheons
    – Quarterly Newsletter
    – Invitation to Exclusive VIP Receptions/Roundtable events

    Gold Membership for $5,000

    One membership
    One spouse membership
    Two seats at Spring Dinner
    Two guests at monthly luncheons
    Quarterly Newsletter
    Invitation to Exclusive VIP Receptions/Roundtable events

    Silver Membership – $3,000

    One membership
    One seat at Spring Dinner
    One guest at monthly luncheons
    Quarterly Newsletter
    Invitation to Exclusive VIP Receptions/Rountable events

    I don’t know if that’s a one-time thing (as in “Lifetime Membership” or yearly or what), but it looks like the Silver Membership is for single people only (no spouses allowed at the $3,000 level), but hey, who cares? It includes free admission to see and hear Scott Walker IN PERSON!!!!

    And oh yeah… There’s this…

    “While he’s given hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations advancing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, he’s also launched political careers. And the Freedom Club — a group he founded that gives exclusively to conservative candidates — is credited with helping fund Republican victories in 2010.”

    Who, you wonder?

    “Robert Cummins and his family have given millions to conservative Minnesota candidates over the past 15 years. And to Republican insiders they are very well known.

    “Cummins, president of Plymouth-based Primera Technology, prefers to influence politics quietly and from behind the scenes. His family’s contributions to conservative causes total $3.3 million since 1997, making him among the state’s most generous Republican donors.”

    Who says?

    Catheryn Richert and Tom Scheck over at Minnesota Public Radio three years ago, back in February of 2012.


    And speaking of Right-To-Work and 2012, how ’bout this one?

    “Mailers pressing GOP senators on right-to-work came from GOP Sen. Chris Gerlach’s mail shop

    “The recent flurry of Freedom Club-sponsored pro-right-to-work direct mail pieces sent to the districts of GOP state senators seen as potential opponents of the controversial ballot initiative were sent from a mail house owned by one of their Senate Republican caucus colleagues, Sen. Chris Gerlach.”

    (Read all about it at: http://politicsinminnesota.com/2012/03/mailings-pressing-gop-senators-on-right-to-work-came-from-gop-sen-chris-gerlachs-mail-shop)

    Kinda funny that Cyndy Brucato missed those parts of the story, no?

    Not that this article was any kind of subtle advertisement for The Freedom Club of Minnesota (where you and your (gay?) spouse can get a free ticket to see, and maybe ever meet, Scott Walker, if you’re a $7,000 or $5,000 member which you may not be at this time but it’s not too late!), but it might’ve been interesting to know who it was that was saying, “It was quite an honor that he chose us,” not to mention how much that person or persons are thinking of contributing (or already have contributed?) to Scott Walker’s presidential bid because, as Ms. Brucato put it,

    … there are “none with more currency.”


  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/10/2015 - 08:00 am.


    Nicely done, Mr. Willy…

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 02/10/2015 - 08:44 am.

    I Can’t Help but Wonder

    what definition of “freedom”,…

    the members of the “Freedom Club” are using.

    I suspect it’s quite different from my own and that of the founders of our nation,…

    nearly opposite, in fact,…

    as in the members of the “Freedom Club” want, and feel completely justified in wanting,…

    the “freedom” to create for themselves,…

    exactly the kind of oligarchy that the founders of our nation were desperately trying to prevent in their design of our Representative Democracy,…

    an oligarchy over which the “Freedom Club” members regard themselves to be completely qualified to preside,…

    an oligarchy which would look and operate a lot like economic slavery for the rest of us,…

    as in everyone ELSE works for extremely low, i.e. “slave” wages while they (legally) steal most of the proceeds which result from our labor.

    Of course Gov. Walker will tell them EXACTLY what they want to hear: that they are completely correct in their belief that their inherent superiority makes all of the above undeniably true.

  4. Submitted by Jake Holman on 02/10/2015 - 09:24 am.

    So you’re not a republican

    We get it.

  5. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 02/10/2015 - 12:05 pm.

    Walker’s Speech

    Please allow me to sum up Walker’s speech at the Freedom Club.

    “…And why do we want to enact these initiatives? Because…freedom!” (Insert standing ovation here.)

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