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870 Attend American Experiment’s Annual Dinner

The Center’s 2016 Annual Dinner was Saturday night at the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis. Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was the keynote speaker. The dinner is always a highlight, but this year’s was particularly enjoyable.

There were 870 in attendance, including several Minnesota Congressmen (John Kline, Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen), Senator Tom Cotton, and other dignitaries. It is impressive to see such a large group gathered to celebrate conservative values and ideas:

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Dana Perino did a great job as keynote speaker. She held an unscheduled meeting with a group of young women before her speech, tailored her remarks skillfully to the occasion, conducted an impromptu question and answer session at the end of her speech, inscribed and signed dozens of books, chatted with countless attendees after the dinner, and spent an hour at the Young Leadership Council’s after-party. Everyone who interacted with Dana found her delightful, as was her husband, Peter McMahon.

Dana Perino addressing the crowd

Dana Perino addressing the crowd

I also spoke for around 15 minutes, describing some of the Center’s major successes and initiatives during the first months of 2016.

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The list is impressive. These are some of my Power Point slides:

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In addition, I played two internet videos on Minnesota’s economy that were produced by American Experiment. You can play them in the right sidebar on the main page of this site. I also played a radio ad that we are currently running in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota, on income migration due to Minnesota’s high taxes.

Finally, I reviewed statistics on the Center’s outreach efforts through a variety of media. From January 1 through May 16, we estimate that American Experiment had 3.9 million contacts with Minnesotans in newspapers, on radio and television, on the internet and through our magazine, Thinking Minnesota. For example, we estimate that around 545,000 Minnesotans read our 26 different op-eds in 34 Minnesota newspapers. (This includes duplicates, i.e., one person may have read two or three op-eds.)

In sum, it was a great evening. The audience heard an entertaining and informative speech (I mean Dana Perino’s, not mine) and learned about the extraordinary impact American Experiment is having on Minnesota’s civic culture.