Friday, June 26, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at [email protected]

DENVER: As thousands of right wing activists, political operatives, and candidates for President arrived in Denver for the Western Conservative Summit, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, welcomed both their boost to the local economy and the embarrassments for conservatives likely to ensue.

“On the same day as the historic Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, an organization so intolerant they barred the Log Cabin Republicans from attending is convening a huge gathering of far-right conservatives in Denver,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “It’s a great economic benefit to Denver and our state to host such a high-profile political conference. For conservatives worried about their reputations ahead of next year’s elections, however, the Western Conservative Summit is a recipe for disaster.”

The Western Conservative Summit has grown in recent years from a relatively small gathering of regional right wing politicians and activists into one of the biggest conservative conferences in the nation. Along the way, the WCS has repeatedly brushed with scandal–from the appearance by openly racist anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders, to this year’s controversy over the barring of the Log Cabin Republicans from hosting a table at the conference. Last year, the WCS ran into trouble after a speech by one of the main organizers encouraged attendees to use code words when referring to Republicans and Democrats, in order to evade campaign finance laws against electioneering by a nonprofit charity.

“The right believes the Western Conservative Summit is good for them,” said Runyon-Harms, “but the voters of Colorado will see something very different: a gathering of activists and politicians who are out of touch with the mainstream of American opinion. In the end, it’s progressives who benefit from full exposure to the fringe right’s agenda–and that’s what we expect will happen at this year’s Western Conservative Summit.”

“On behalf of Colorado’s proud progressive majority, welcome to Denver,” said Runyon-Harms.