2011 Sammies Honor Extraordinary Americans
The 2011 Sammie Awards were held last night in Chicago.
CHICAGO – Tonight, the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) announced the winners of the 4th annual Sammies awards. Nearly 400 guests, including John Stossel, Andrew Breitbart, and Brad Thor, took part in the celebration of ordinary Americans who take extraordinary steps to advance freedom. The winners from across the country were recognized for their engagement as watchdogs, reformers, messengers, and strategists.
“Once again, the Sammies brought together the freedom lovers and freedom fighters who love their country and, in their way, engage to advance our freedom,” said Yvonne Ralsky, executive director of SAM. “The winners tonight would make Sam Adams proud. They are creative, strategic, impactful, and tenacious.”
Winners of 2011 Sammies Awards:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. AG Cuccinelli won the Public Servant Award for challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law. Two days after it was passed, he sued the federal government over the individual mandate, and on December 13, 2010, a federal district court ruled the mandate unconstitutional. AG Cuccinelli is currently seeking to expedite a review of the health care law past appellate courts and onto the Supreme Court.
Tim Eyman, of Mukilteo, WA. Mr. Eyman won the $20,000 Modern Day Sam Adams Award for his lifetime commitment to using the ballot initiative process to shrink the size of government in Washington State. Most recently, he passed an initiative requiring tax increases be passed by 2/3 majority vote, and fee increases be passed by a majority vote. He also successfully waged a campaign to require a public vote on the installation of red light cameras in his hometown of Mukilteo, WA.
Toby Marie Walker of Waco, TX. Ms. Walker won the $10,000 Rookie of the Year Award for her work with the Waco Tea Party–one of the most thriving, creative, and impactful grassroots groups in the country. Toby has consistently rallied the residents of her community to engage and keep elected officials accountable through her tireless efforts, day in and day out. Her activism has been featured on NPR, the BBC, and in the New York Times.
Ben Domenech of Alexandria, VA. Mr. Domenech along with Brad Jackson of Austin, TX won the $10,000 Messenger Award for their original and popular daily podcast, Coffee and Markets. With over 5,000 downloads each day, Coffee and Markets has quickly become one of the most widely listened podcasts on the right.
Brad Jackson, of Austin, TX. Mr. Jackson along with Ben Domenech of Alexandria, VA won the $10,000 Messenger Award for their original and popular daily podcast, Coffee and Markets. With over 5,000 downloads each day, Coffee and Markets has quickly become one of the most widely listened podcasts on the right.
Jason Gillman of Traverse City, MI. Mr. Gillman along with the late Chetly Zarko won the $10,000 Watchdog Award for their work in uncovering evidence of a fake “Tea Party” that was set to run in 24 toss-up races across Michigan. Because of their work, the Michigan Supreme Court removed the fake “Tea Party” from the ballot and the individuals behind the scheme, two local Democratic Party officials, were charged with election fraud.
Brian Aitken of Hoboken, NJ. Mr. Aitken won the $10,000 Reformer Award for making a courageous stand against New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. Arrested for illegal firearm possession, Brian refused to accept a plea bargain on principle and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. After he and his family conducted a successful, multifaceted media campaign, Governor Chris Christie commuted his sentence to time served and refused to reappoint the judge. Brian’s ordeal has brought widespread attention New Jersey’s unjust gun laws, building momentum for their repeal.
For a complete list of finalists, please visit www.samadamsalliance.org/programs/sammies/the-finalists.aspx.