Rio Arriba County, New Mexico sends employees to progressive conference using taxpayer money

This week Lauren Reichelt is heading off with coworker Erika Martinez, the county’s public information officer, to the eighth annual four-day NetRoots Nation conference.

The expense for the conference is cast on the back of taxpayers.  Luaren Reichelt is the Rio Arriba County Director for Health and Human Resources who is also the Vice Chair of the Democrat Party of Rio Arriba County, a political blogger at various blog sites including the Daily Kos and a self-proclaimed community organizer.

When registration came around again for the progressive NetRoots Nation conference, Reichelt requested that the county pay for the 2,500 dollar trip (for the fourth consecutive year and Rio Arriba’s commissioners approved the request in a 3-0 vote.

What is the NetRoots Nation conference about?

The NetRoots Nation website advertises the conference as an opportunity for attendees to learn how to get their progressive message out on the internet and network with people like-minded people from across the country:

One of the most powerful political events of the year will take place in San Jose, CA…

Join thousands of fellow bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists for four days of thought-provoking panels, practical trainings and fun networking opportunities. You’ll make new connections, improve your organizing skills, be inspired and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues you care most about. Plus, each year, some of the brightest minds in progressive politics go to Netroots Nation to speak with—and hear from—people just like you.

This convention is a time for progressives across the country to come together and build a stronger, more united movement.

 – NetRoots Nation conference description

County worker says NetRoots is a learning session for work

“It isn’t for the political stuff.  It’s the very best conference for using social media, for working with communities…They have their political track and their training tracks.” – Lauren Reichelt

After seeing this statement I did a little research and discovered that while some sessions were all about social media, blogging, putting out one’s [political] message, the majority were sessions teaching the conference attendees to proclaim their political views or attack others ideology.

Out of nearly 200 sessions I pulled a sampling of some of the blatantly partisan ones– there were dozens more:

Intolerance Abroad: Overcoming Violence and Repression and Moving Toward Global LGBT Solidarity

Organizing Beyond Elections: Judicial Vacancies are the Keys to a Generation of Change

Not Your Mother’s Abortion Fight: Millennials, Youth of Color and the Fight for Reproductive Justice

Don’t Rock My Vote: How GOP Legislators are Stealing National Elections

Not Another Newtown: Building a Movement to Prevent Gun Violence

Free your A**: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture

Laughing Liberally Presents A “Live-Riffing” Of Atlas Shrugged: Part One

Legitimate Tape: Using Republicans’ Own Words to Shut that Whole Thing Down

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6PM Friday, June 2st there are only two sessions (I included the 5PM meet and greet in my poll).  To illustrate how partisan they are I am going to share what each is about.  Which one is the least partisan, yet educational?

Screening: “Citizen Koch”

Chairman’s Pub Quiz VII: Faster, But Slightly Less Furious

How will Reichelt spend the evening?  Watching a progressive political documentary or a quiz with free [alcoholic] drinks?

This is not something that will benefit Rio Arriba County residents.  It is a paid trip focused on the whims of a liberal progressive Democrat working for the government who wants taxpayers (people like you and me) to pick up the tab.

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Cross-posted on my blog: politicalfireball.wordpress.com

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