Sam Adams Alliance is excited to announce the winners of the 3rd annual Sammies award ceremony. The awards honor activism in six categories, and the awardees were chosen following a months-long contest and nationwide search.
The theme of this year's Sammies, "We Are All Activists Now", draws inspiration from the last year's historic burst of political engagement, manifest in tea parties, town halls, and a surge of citizen leadership at the state and local levels.
In the last year, this country has witnessed hundreds of creative citizens take leadership roles in the fight for freedom. The Sammies is our way of recognizing the best this effort has to offer, much the way the entertainment industry does with the Oscars or Grammys.
With the last year's unusually high levels of activism in support of smaller government and free markets, we had a huge pool of impressive nominees this year. We found six winners from across the country that we feel stood out, and in the spirit of Sam Adams, offer the country's best examples of effective political engagement.
Internet media pioneer Andrew Breitbart, founder of web sites Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Big Journalism will deliver the keynote address at this year's awards, which will be hosted by Guy Benson of WIND radio in Chicago.
The Sammies are awarded in six categories and include cash prizes totaling $20,000. The categories include Blogger, Watchdog, Video, Town Hall, Tea Party and the premier award, Modern-Day Sam Adams. The 2010 winners in each of these categories are:
Brian Costin of Schaumburg, Ill., won the $3,000 Watchdog Award for advancing transparency and exposing waste in the village of Schaumburg. As a result of his work, the village shut down one of the country's most lucrative red light cameras. Costin saved taxpayers $15 million after exposing a fradulent tax-break scam and, moreover, built a government transparency website when the village rejected his transparency measures. His work has been featured on the local Fox and ABC affiliates, Chicago Tonight, as well as in the Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune.
John Papola of Verona, N.J. and Russ Roberts of Potomac, Md. won the $3,000 Video Award for their video "Fear the Boom and Bust," which boils down the complex economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek into a highly entertaining 5 minute, 26 second rap anthem. With over one million YouTube views, the video has been translated into a dozen languages and won praise from PBS, NPR, CNBC, the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, among others.
Keli Carender, of Seattle, Wash., won the $3,000 Town Hall Award for challenging Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA) to personally take her $20 bill to pay for government health care, directly illustrating the demands the bill would make on taxpayers. Well-known as "Liberty Belle", Keli has also been active in the Tea Party movement from its beginnings, and regularly blogs at Redistributing Knowledge. She has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR.
Jamie Radtke, of Richmond, Va., won the $3,000 Tea Party Award for her work in creating a coalition of almost 40 Tea Party and Patriot organizations in Virginia under the banner of the Federation of Virginia Tea Party Patriots. In addition, Mrs. Radtke mobilized the Federation membership and business community to recruit backers for the Health Care Freedom Act and to secure final passage. This bill received bi-partisan support and is now being used by the Attorney General of Virginia to challenge the constitutionally of President Obama's health care bill.
David Frazier, of Boise, Idaho, won the $3,000 Blogger Award for his blog Boise Guardian, which exposes government waste and malfeasance at the state and local level. Frazier, whose suit against the City of Boise resulted in the 2006 "Frazier Decision" that requires Idaho municipalities to get voter approval for long term debt, has become the "go to guy" on issues of public debt and urban financing. His blog is cited in state and local media on a weekly basis.
Ed Osborne of Wilmington, Del. Ed Osborne of Wilmington, Del. won the $5,000 Modern Day Sam Adams award for his vigorous defense of property rights against eminent domain in Delaware. Osborne gained notoriety as an activist when he and 61 other Wilmington business owners received notification that their businesses were on the city's property acquisition list. Osborne resisted government offers for his land, and instead went on to lead a three-year battle in the Delaware General Assembly for legislation against eminent domain abuse. Despite heavy opposition and a gubernatorial veto, the legislation eventually passed, and transformed Delaware's once-vulnerable property rights environment into one that protects private ownership.
For more information on the Sammies or for ticket information, visit the Sammies website at http://www.thesammies.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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