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(Des Moines, IA) I am at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Fall Dinner at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Former Governor Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will also be speaking.  I am live blogging the event tonight.  The program is set to begin at 6:00p (CST).  Refresh your browser for updates that will be just below (the most recent update will be at the top).

8:45p – Pastor Doug Raymond of Woodland Hills Church of Christ near Pleasant Hill gives benediction.  Live blog finito.  Thanks for reading!

8:43p – Palin: Thanks Iowa for courage and candidness.  Receives standing ovation.

8:42p – Palin: God writes our names on the palm of his hands…. which tells us that we are uniquely destined to make a difference (paraphrase).

8:41p – Palin: Playing small doesn’t help anyone.  You’re unique…. You are given the resources for the role that you’ve been given to make a difference.

8:40p – Palin: Instead of hope and change; stand for faith and freedom.

8:39p – Palin: Discusses going to Billy Graham’s 95th birthday.  Graham: “My hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is where our hope lies.  Not in the “hopey changey thing.”

8:38p – Palin: We have faith and we recognize that we don’t have all the answers… that we are fallible.  We need to have faith in the One who does have the answers.

8:37p – Palin lists what we are in favor of… applause when she said we stand on the sanctity of human life.

8:36p – Palin: Criticism as opposition and the word no is essential.  Don’t let the media shape the narrative that it is our only answer.  Bull that isn’t our only answer.  Common sense conservatism has answers.  Gives Mike Lee props.

8:35p – Palin: We need more than defense and opposition.

8:34p – Palin: Our free stuff is paid for by our grandchildren and borrowing from China.  When that bill comes due it will be like slavery.  When you’re in a hole you need to stop digging.

8:33p – Palin: Remember the other side will offer more of the same, more free stuff.  The media will go along with it.  What will you counter it with?

8:32p – Palin: Elections come and go, remember the era of Obama is coming to an end.  Huge applause.

8:31p – Palin: Keep the faith and share it.

8:30p – Palin: What is so radical to believe that we are Taxed Enough Already.  What is radical about wanting the Constitution followed.

8:29p – Palin: We need to hold politicians accountable.  “You like your government, you can keep your government if you sit on your thumbs.”  Encourages people to be involved with tea party groups.

8:28p – Palin is going after those establishment Republicans who waved the white flag of surrender on the fight to defund Obamacare and throw those who led the fight under the bus.  Standing ovation.

8:27p – Palin: Leaders who exempt themselves from the laws they enforce on the rest of us – that’s dictatorship.

8:26p – Palin: The Church of Big Government for every restriction it gives reduces our freedom.  Why should we have faith in it when it doesn’t have faith in us.

8:25p – Palin: The “best and brightest” who have been in charge have brought about poverty and rising debt.

8:24p – Palin: The focus on the Obamacare website is a distraction.

8:22p – Palin: Church of Big Government thinks that we in “flyover” country don’t know how to make decisions for ourselves.

8:21p – Palin: Highlights attack on Benghazi, closing memorials, and Obamacare.  President doing his “Sham Wow” infomercials.

8:20p – Palin: Those who attack Christianity seem to be zealous about the church of big government.

8:19p – Palin: War on Christmas is the tip of the spear. (Doing a book promo)

8:18p – Palin: How is it that a baby born in a manger is disparaged by angry atheists armed with an attorney.

8:17p – Palin: There is a war on Christmas… she has a book that will be released on this subject soon.

8:16p – Palin: Focused on faith in the public square, and how religious liberty is being attacked.

8:15p – Palin: Schlafly is the original Mama Grizzly

8:14p – Palin recognizes Phyllis Schlafly

8:13p – Palin: Iowa you are what is good about America.  You tell it like it is…

8:11p – Palin: “Didn’t see fried butter on a stick on the menu.”

8:10p – Palin is up, video introduction from SarahPAC

8:09p – Schlafly: Elections have consequences and we need to have the right result next time.

8:08p – Schlafly: Be of good heart.  Don’t be discouraged of the sad state of conservatism within the Republican Party.

8:07p – Schlafly: We are facing another “A Choice, Not an Echo” fight within the Republican party.

8:06p – Schlafly: The point – we proved that the grassroots could rise up and defeat the establishment.

8:05p – Schlafly: Giving history lesson on ERA, no talk of “ObamaCore.”

8:03p – Schlafly: We didn’t have Rush Limbaugh calling out the “feminazis,” no internet.  All we had was the telephone and the Schlafly report.

8:01p – Schlafly: ERA had numerous governors, three Presidents, passed overwhelmingly out of House and Senate, and had 30 states ratify right right away.  ERA campaign was run out of Carter White House.

8:00p – Schlafly: It seemed like defeating ERA seemed impossible because so many people were in favorite of it.

7:59p – Schlafly: Defeating ERA in the 70s shows how effective the grassroots can be.

7:57p – Schlafly: Steve King you are certainly my favorite Congressman.

7:56p – Schlafly getting a standing ovation as she is handed the award.

7:54p – King introducing Schlafly.

7:52p – Scheffler giving Schlafly receiving Iowa Faith & Family Coalition’s “Friend of the Family Award.”  Congressman King is helping present and giving remarks.

7:49p – Scheffler introducing Phyllis Schlafly – “a conservative icon.” Expecting more anti-Common Core rants Smile

7:48p – Scheffler recognizing pro-life allies.

7:47p – King: Draw your strength from the joy of the battle.  Receives loud applause and a standing ovation.

7:45p – King: If we balanced budget, abolish the IRS, and have school choice this will help bring about renewal.

7:43p – King: Discusses how values have been scrubbed out of the public school and when prayer was taken out of schools.

7:42p – King: School choice… Bashes Common Core.  We don’t need a national curriculum.  We need parents deciding what our kids are going to learn.

7:40p – King: The second: Fair Tax (national consumption tax) so we can abolish the IRS that is being used to go after political enemies & keep “political speech” in churches.

7:39p – King: Three pillars needed – the first – Pass a balanced budget amendment.

7:38p – King: Ralph Reed is the new Dick Clark heh…. hasn’t changed after so many years.

7:38p – King: One day it may be considered unconstitutional for us to say “under God” in the pledge and have “In God We Trust.”

7:37p – King: We start with a prayer and then the pledge.  God first and then country.

7:35p – Congressman King receives a standing ovation after his introduction.  He said coming to events like this is an encouragement.

7:33p – Congressman Steve King is up.

7:32p – Color me impressed, he has a great voice.

7:28p – Mark Hornback, Assistant Pastor of First Church of the Open Bible in Ottumwa is singing “God Bless the USA.”

7:27p – Reed is doing donation pitch.  “I know you will be excited to hear, there is not limit to what you can donate tonight.”  Every dollar given will be matched by national Faith & Freedom Coalition.

7:26p – Reed: Remember the sacrifice Jesus made so we can be free (spiritually) and remember those who sacrificed so we can be free politically.

7:25p – Reed: We don’t need to chase a political Messiah because we already have a Messiah.  Describes Jesus Christ.  We will not apologize for being followers of Jesus Christ – standing ovation.

7:23p – Reed: In the end ours is not a partisan agenda.  It is not about left and right; it is about right and wrong.

7:22p – Reed: Marriage’s definition is not the only crisis, but also the growing epidemic of fatherless children – echoing Sen. Lee’s remarks.

7:21p – Reed: Courts foisting a definition for marriage on the people that they would never adopt on their own.

7:20p – Reed: Our founders experiment of self government is in trouble because of moral decay from within.

7:19p – Reed recognizes Phyllis Schlafly and gets a standing ovation.

7:17p – Ralph Reed, chair of Faith & Freedom Coalition is up.  Reed: “I am not Sarah Palin.”

7:16p – Sarah Palin was scheduled to go after Senator Lee, but will be speaking later.

7:15p – Standing ovation for Senator Mike Lee.

7:15p – Lee: In today’s political climate, the road to Philadelphia is the road less traveled, but I believe if taken will make all the difference.

7:14p – Lee: We’ll always need to point out bad government and bad policy, but we must have an agenda.

7:13p – Lee: Successful conservative movements identify converts not point out heretics.  We have to do more than pick a fight, but win a debate.

7:10p – Lee: Anger, frustration and outrage is not the platform.  Outrage as a habit is not even conservative.  We must need ideas.

7:09p – Lee: The Republican Party when it is at its best is a party of ideas.  Ideas that excite and ignite conservatives.

7:08p – Lee: Republicans don’t need just one health care reform plan, but as many as we can come up with.

7:07p – Lee: We need to go beyond the Boston-style debate on Obamacare, but also need a Philadelphia-style debate on replacing Obamacare.

7:06p – Lee: We need a full, unapologetic repeal of Obamacare.

7:05p – Lee: Big government only helps middle men, not middle man.

7:04p – Lee: We need to become the party of Main Street.  We need a new conservatism for the middle class and working class.

7:04p – Lee: The left does not represent the little guy today.

7:03p – Lee: We need an anti-corruption, anti-cronyism agenda.  We also need to remove loopholes for business, etc.

7:03p – Lee: It must include welfare reform, but also include education reform, immigration reform, criminal justice reform, etc.

7:02p – Lee: Utah has a vibrant private welfare system of churches, non-profits, etc.

7:01p – Lee: We need a upward mobility anti-poverty agenda.  Designed to help people to get out of poverty.

7:00p – Waiting for him to lay out his reform agenda.

6:59p – Lee: Hole in the GOP, a gap between conservatives and establishment.  It’s the size of a conservative reform agenda.

6:58p – Lee: We need to stop and think about the type of government we want.  Things may not see so bad – if you don’t think about it.

6:55p – Lee: We need to form an agenda.

6:54p – Lee: Movement formed an agenda and had a leader in Reagan and they were successful in 1980.

6:53p – Lee: That generation of conservatives started a debate.  They started a movement.  They went beyond Boston style fighting.  They went beyond being anti-statist they were pro-reform.  They didn’t start a civil war, they started a mostly civil debate.

6:51p – Lee: Establishment Republicans called Reagan’s first campaign in 1976 against Gerald Ford a foolish failure and served to elect more Democrats.  Does this sound familiar?

6:50p – Lee: We will still have Boston moments, but we must go beyond protest.

6:49p – Lee: We’ve spent some time protesting (like the Tea Party) the type of government we don’t want, but to share the type of government we do want.  I call this the journey of Boston to Philadelphia.

6:48p – Lee: Sharing the story of the Boston Tea Party.  If they had not go forward after that it would have meant nothing.

6:45p – Lee: Sometimes we have to assert what is rightfully ours.

6:44p – Lee: Senate desks are old, 200 years old – almost as old as some of his colleagues.

6:43p – Lee: Gets carded when he goes to vote on the Senate floor.

6:41p – Lee: Impressed with the level of political organization in Iowa.  Iowa is the center of the political universe.  It is a good type of politics.  Washington politics – poly “many” tics – “bloodsucking parasites.”  He said it isn’t easy to be a conservative in Washington.

6:40p – Senator Mike Lee receives a standing ovation prior to his remarks.

6:38p – Record attendance….

6:37p – Branstad done… Senator Mike Lee is up.

6:36p – Branstad: Lauding red state governors, pointing out Illinois where President Obama is from.  “The real difference between Iowa and Illinois is this – most of their former governors are in prison.  I’m back in office.”

6:35p – Branstad: We not only passed education reform, but we passed more freedom for home schoolers and independent accreditation for non-public schools.  No tuition increase for regent universities.

6:32p – Branstad: Proud to serve state of Iowa and happy to have at least the House of Representatives.  Hard to have split legislature.  You have to do some compromising.  Have been able to make some cuts, down 1000 employees from when he took office.  Has a surplus.  Every year spends less than what they take in.  Lauds property tax decrease.

6:31p – Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is not in attendance due to an early flight to China (20 hours) for a speaking engagement.

6:30p – Gov. Branstad getting a standing ovation.

6:29p – Special election in State Senate District 13 is on Nov. 19.  Julian Garrett is the Republican nominee.

6:28p – He who’s name can not be uttered… State Senate District 13 was held by a “Republican.”  Scheffler did not say Kent Sorenson.

6:27p – Looking at the program… Phyllis Schlafly is going last.  Surprised I thought Palin would.

6:25p – Scheffler calling for people to support the reelection effort of Gov. Branstad & Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Matt Schultz, Mary Mosiman, Bill Northey, etc.  Send a conservative to complement Senator Grassley.

6:24p – Scheffler: “You need to open up your pocketbook and give to your favorite candidate.”  Delayed applause.

6:23p – Scheffler recognized Senator Lee – people like him are leading in the Senate and this is the type of leadership we are hungry for.

6:21p – Scheffler: “Even though we suffered defeats in 2012 I believe what is going on in Washington will energize us for 2014.”  He said, “who would have thought that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton would seem like a Sunday picnic compared to this administration.”

6:20p – Steve Scheffler will give an IFFC update.

6:17p – I will have audio of the primary speeches tonight up tomorrow.  I’m sitting too far away for video.

6:14p – Gopal is recognizing the special guests in the room.

6:12p – Congressman Tom Latham recognized vets in the room.  He also said “elections do have consequences and we are living that nightmare right now.”  He called for party unity behind whoever is the U.S. Senate nominee.

6:10p – Pastor Kerry Jech of New Hope Christian Church gave the invocation.  Former Misses Iowa Carolyn Haugland & Emily Gerdts sang the National Anthem.  State Senator David Johnson led the group in the pledge.

6:02p – Gopal: Let’s work to protect life, religious liberty, fight against evolution, fight against ENDA (“people who live a weird and kinky lifestyle” – oh boy), let’s move from socialism to capitalism… standard red meat fare.

6:01p – Gopal Krishna is kicking us off… corny jokes to commence.

5:58p – Politicians are shoomzing… just saw Gov. Terry Branstad, Matt Whitaker, and David Young.  Also Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker swung by to say high.

5:57p – I want you to know how dedicated I am…. I drove straight here from speaking at a Common Core event in Peoria, IL in order to cover this event.  This live blog is for you dear readers… a couple minutes until show time.

5:54p – Dave Davidson came up and told me that he is not being allowed to take pictures here tonight.  Which is odd.  He signed up for credentialing and is a very know fixture for photo journalism in Iowa.

5:49p – It wasn’t mine… same color, make and model… Oh well I needed the fresh air because it is packed out in here – 1200 have made it to the event.  I don’t know if that is a record because this has always been a pretty well attended event.  I also forgot to mention earlier that Phyllis Schafly of Eagle Forum is here this evening as well.

5:40p – Here is what greeted me when I walked up to the event this evening.

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I think I left my lights on my car so I’ll be right back.

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