Nationally Known Speakers, Breakout Seminars & National Policy Experts Forum also Featured

Richmond, Va. – One of the first presidential straw polls of the 2012 campaign will be a highlight of the inaugural Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention on Oct. 8-9 in Richmond, Va. The straw poll, administered by leading conservative media group Human Events, takes place less than a month before crucial mid-term Congressional elections widely seen as a referendum on the direction of the country. The winner of the presidential straw poll will be able to claim an early jump start in the effort to unseat President Barack Obama.

Early potential presidential contenders include South Dakota Sen. John Thune, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Rep. Paul Ryan, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, businessman Herman Cain, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

Nationally known speakers

The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention also will feature nationally known speakers and political leaders, more than 40 educational breakout seminars focused on the Constitution, and public policy and grassroots activist training.

A number of nationally known speakers and participants will be featured at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention, including Lou Dobbs, Dick Morris, John Fund, Herman Cain, JennyBeth Martin and Virginia (Ginni) Lamp Thomas. Discussing how to restore federalism will be several leaders and experts, including Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former Virginia governor and senator George Allen.

The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention, themed “The Constitution Still Matters,” will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Oct. 8-9, 2010. The convention is sponsored by the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, a collection of Tea Party and Patriot groups from throughout Virginia who have joined together to host the event.

 “The hunger of the federal government – all three branches – is insatiable,” says Jamie Radtke, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. “Their hunger for power, for control of our daily lives and our personal choices, and most of all for our money, grows every day. At the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention, citizens who have never been a part of the political games will stand up and say, ‘Stop! No more!’”

 “Right now, this very moment, is a historic moment for our nation, and Virginia is again leading the way,” says Mark Lloyd, Vice-Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Foundation. “We the people – in Virginia’s Tea Parties, Patriot groups and 9/12 groups – are taking up the cause of America’s Founders, fighting a fiscally irresponsible, constitutionally impure government.”

 “This truly is a David and Goliath story,” says Karen Miner Hurd, Communications Director of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. “Our nation’s Founders also were up against a Goliath, and like the Founders, we are on the right side of the facts, the right side of history, and the right side of this fight.  Our momentum is growing, and the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation has not yet begun to fight!”

During the two-day convention, speakers will address the importance of the Constitution and limited government during a time of unprecedented government expansion. More than 40 breakout seminars will be offered related to the Constitution/U.S. political history, current public policy and grassroots activist training. National policy forums will be conducted. The convention will end with a presidential straw poll. In addition, a Freedom Lovers Extravaganzaevent is scheduled for Friday evening at the Downtown Marriott.

All of Virginia’s congressional incumbents, congressional candidates, state senators and delegates have been invited to attend and participate, regardless of party affiliation.

 Two-day convention tickets are $50, and one-day tickets are $40. Tickets to the Freedom Lovers Extravaganza are $20. Further details about the convention—including information about lodging and how to become a sponsor—can be found at

 Speaker Background and Tea Party Patriot Leader Quotes

Lou Dobbs – Dobbs anchors three nationally syndicated radio programs. Dobbs was voted among America’s top ten Most Important radio talk show hosts by Talkers magazine (2009). Dobbs has won a number of television journalism awards, including an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement, an Emmy Award, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Luminary Award from the Business Journalism Review. Dobbs graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics.

Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation Jamie Radtke says, “Lou has been an independent voice for Constitutional adherence, limited government and fiscal restraint for decades. Lou holds Democrat AND Republican leaders accountable when they exceed their authority. That’s why Lou is a perfect fit for the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention.”

Dick Morris – Author of Behind the Oval Office, a memoir of his role as an advisor to former President Clinton during the successful 1996 re-election campaign, where he was widely credited with assisting Clinton in articulating a middle course between Republican conservatism and traditional Democratic liberalism. Morris now is a political analyst for FOX News Channel and often contributes to FOX News Sunday. He also is a columnist for The Hill, a weekly newspaper devoted to congressional issues. Earlier in his career, Morris was a campaign consultant for Clinton’s Arkansas gubernatorial campaigns. And he has advised a wide range of political leaders, including Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., Republican Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tx and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

Karen Miner Hurd, Communications Director for VTPPF , says, “Forewarned is forearmed, and Dick Morris is going to help educate the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Convention attendees about the tricks that the D.C. politicians are trying to pull on America.”

John Fund – Fund is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, writes the weekly “On the Trail” column for, and is author of Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. Mr. Fund worked as a research analyst for the California State Legislature in Sacramento before beginning his journalism career in 1982 as a reporter for the syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. In 1993, he received the Warren Brookes Award for journalistic excellence from the American Legislative Exchange Council. Mr. Fund and former Pennsylvania Rep. James K. Coyne are co-authors of the book Cleaning House: America’s Campaign for Term Limits. Mr. Fund attended California State University where he studied journalism and economics.

Mark Lloyd, Vice-Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, says, “We’re very excited to have John Fund speaking at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention. John is a strong voice for fiscal restraint and reform in politics and government, and has been for more than 20 years. His message of demanding common sense in D.C. will really hit home with the convention attendees.”

Herman Cain is a corporate giant, author and one of America’s leading voices for fiscal restraint and limited government. During a career of more than 40 years, Cain served as president and chairman of Godfather Pizza, vice president of systems for Pillsbury Co., chairman of the board for the National Restaurant Association, member of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform (chaired by Jack Kemp) and chairman and member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Today, Herman hosts “The Herman Cain Show” on radio and is a FOX News Business Commentator. He also is president and CEO of THE New Voice, Inc. leadership consulting company and serves on the boards of directors for AGCO Corp., Hallmark Cards Inc., Whirlpool Corp., the George Chamber of Commerce and Morehouse College. In 2004, Cain ran for the United States Senate from Georgia.

 “Herman Cain is a tremendously successful corporate leader and consistent advocate for fiscal restraint, fair tax policy and limited government,” says Hurd. “Herman knows that the private sector is the true engine for American prosperity because he’s lived it.”

 Presidential Straw Poll, National Figures featured at VA Tea Party Patriots Convention

Jenny Beth Martin has risen to prominence among Tea Party and Patriot group supporters. Martin, 39, is a wife and mother of two young children. Her family was personally experiencing the effects of this recession in the suburbs of Atlanta when she helped launch the Tea Party Patriots organization in early 2009. The Tea Party Patriots’ seek to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize citizens in support of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. In April, Time magazine named Martin to the “2010 Time 100” list of “people who most affect our world” in light of her tremendous impact on the grass-roots Tea Party movement. Martin is a national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots and co-coordinator for the Atlanta Tea Party.

 “Jenny Beth Martin is a model for anyone who wonders whether one person can make a difference,” Radtke says. “Like all Tea Party and Patriot group supporters, Jenny Beth is driven by a passion for the principles our nation was founded on and that made America so successful. And, like Tea Party and Patriot group supporters, Jenny Beth is taking action.

Virginia (Ginni) Lamp Thomas, a long-time conservative advocate with a unique perspective on Washington D.C. politics. Thomas is the founder and president of the nonprofit Liberty Central, which aims to “harness the power of citizen voices, inform everyday Americans with knowledge, and activate them to preserve liberty,” according to the organization’s Web site, Thomas is a lawyer who has served in a number of roles over the past three decades, including congressional aide and policy analyst, legal advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Labor Department employee in the George H.W. Bush administration and Heritage Foundation liaison during the George W. Bush Administration. She is married to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and she was by his side during his contentious Senate hearings before his confirmation by a 52-48 vote.

“We are thrilled to host Ginni Thomas at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention,” Hurd says. “Ginni is a tireless defender of freedom and democracy, most recently as the founder of Liberty Central and we look forward to hearing her insights into how we can best focus their efforts.”

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

 Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation Charter:

Virginia Tea Party Patriots (VTPP) is a statewide federation of local, non-partisan Tea Party and Patriot groups established to advance and strengthen the founding principles and rights predicated in the U.S. Constitution and the Virginia Constitution. Our mission is to encourage and facilitate citizen participation in the political process and empower all citizens with a voice and influence in demanding Constitutional governance and fiscal restraint. VTPP will help local, independent Tea Party and Patriot groups grow in numbers and influence and nurture communication and collaboration among these organizations.