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A Weekend Blogger Event With Governor Rick Perry

Over the weekend I attended a "bloggers only" press conference sponsored by NC state Senator Fred Smith as part of his annual fundraising event, Summer Celebration. This year's event featured Texas Governor Rick Perry. The bloggers in attendance were given a private question and answer session with Senator Smith, and when Governor Perry arrived, were allowed a mini press conference with both men.

Due to a late flight, there was only time for a few questions for Governor Perry, but he gave us a good amount of time and attention considering the constraints of the schedule. I asked him what elements of an immigration reform bill he believed were most important to address the problem of illigal immigration. He said that most important, it was necessary to secure the border first. He repeated his answer at least three times to emphasize the importance of first securing the border. He said that he had spent state funds to show that it could be done, and talked about various ways, including using new technology, that it was possible to improve security, but that the federal government needed to lead on the issue. He also talked about the importance of reducing taxes to strengthen state economies and other state issues.

The bloggers were invited to attend the reception following the mini press conference. NC blogger Dean Stephens attended the entire Summer Celebration event which began with a golf tournament and ended with the reception. He has an excellent report of the event with lots of pictures of Governor Perry and the others in attendance, including former U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth. Other bloggers in attendance were Nathan Tabor of The Conservative Voice, Jason Moir of NC Rumors, and Frank Williams of NC Republican Roundtable.

Thanks to Senator Smith and his staff (especially David Smithdeal and Jonathan Hill) for the invitation and for all their hard work and hospitality to make the blogger event possible. Candidate outreach to bloggers is increasing, but is still very much an untapped resource. Smart candidates will be offering bloggers more of this type of access.

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