Tonight the Sam Adams Alliance held their 2nd Annual Sammies Awards Banquet near Chicago to honor those on the forefront of defending individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom in America. About 300 attended the event.
The Sammies is a contest recognizing bloggers, filmmakers, open record champions, tweeters, and other government watchdogs committed to advancing individual and economic liberty. A total of $40, 000 in cash prizes was given to the winners.
Celebrity award presenters were the highlights of the evening, including Michelle Malkin, Stephen Moore, John Fund, Jonathan Hoenig, Vicki McKenna, Mary Katharine Ham, and Paul Jacob.
Sam Adams Alliance President John Tsarpalas introduced and gave the Microblogger of the Year Award to Dr. Melissa Clouthier.
Melissa (@MelissaTweets), from The Woodlands, Texas, received a $2000 prize for her use of social media in promoting liberty at the state and federal level.
Ruth, from Portland, Oregon, won $2500 for her work monitoring the 2008 election. She identified 44 deceased Oregonian voters, and has been instrumental in getting the Vote-By-Mail state to enact rules about how ballots are transported and counted.
Vicki McKenna, award-winning talk radio personality from Wisconsin, introduced and gave the Wikiteer Awards to Fred Baldwin (Sunshine Review award, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, schooltransparency.org), Seth Cooper (Judgepedia award, Fairfax, Virginia), and John Wynne Jr (Ballotpedia award, Sioux Falls, South Dakota). [John Wynne Jr was unable to attend the Sammies.]
James, from Lithia Springs, Georgia won $5000 for his work in defeating two sales tax increases and proposing a bill, which in 2008 became Georgia law, restricting local government from holding tax votes on special elections.
Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher introduced and gave the Blogivist Award to Elizabeth Crum.
Elizabeth from Las Vegas, Nevada won $2500 for successfully embodying the “Say Something, Do Something” spirit of Blogivists.com. Having started blogging at E!! The True Conservative Story last June, in 10 short months she received recognition from Politico, Instapundit, and National Review Online, as well as been published in Liberty-Watch, and featured on local news stations.
Michelle Malkin, best-selling author, syndicated columnist, conservative blogger, introduced and gave the Best State Blogger Award to Chad Everson.
Chad from Princeton, Minnesota won $5000 for his efforts in building a network of over 150 bloggers and 16 radio personalities on GrizzlyGroundswell.com.
Mary Katharine Ham, Weekly Standard staff-writer, blogger, Fox News Channel contributor, introduced and gave the Video Award to Caleb Brown and Austin Bragg.
Brown and Bragg from Arlington, Virginia received $5000 for their research and analysis of Virginia’s asinine, anti-competitive — and unconstitutional — liquor laws.
Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal editorial board, author, founder of Club for Growth, introduced and gave the Sunshine Award to William Carlin Walker.
William, from Liberty, Missouri, received $5000 for his work in exposing illegal retirement benefits and rampant credit card abuse by top administrators in the Liberty School District — including thousands on alcohol and parties — along with leading a successful petition drive that resulted in a state audit of the district. William’s whistle-blowing led to the resignation of two administrators, and the Missouri General Assembly has introduced four pieces of legislation in response to his investigative labor.
Paul Jacob, Charlton Heston Courage under Fire award winner, President of Citizens in Charge, introduced and gave the Modern Day Sam Adams Award to Ari Armstrong.
Ari from Westminster, CO received $10,000 for his relentless defense of free markets and individual liberty in the State of Colorado. He is author of FreeColorado.com and a columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press.
Sam Adams gave the Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Jacob for his courage in his recent battles in Oklahoma and for his many lifetime efforts to promote liberty and freedom.
This was a surprise award, which had never been given before.
Paul writes Common Sense, which which reaches a growing list of over 15,000 E-mail subscribers and is aired daily by more than 150 stations.
Paul is an American activist and defender of citizen rights. He has helped organize over 150 state wide petition drives in 47 states on countless issues. He has been in several dozen lawsuits defending citizens’ rights to petition their government.
Paul received a standing ovation for his courageous work.
Great discussions were held after the banquet.
- Blogging the 2nd Annual Sammies, Publius’ Fourm, April 19, 2009.
- The Sammies in pictures, Reclaim Conservatism, April 19, 2009.
- Sammies Awards celebrate, award liberty, Voice for Liberty in Wichita, April 18, 2009.