Think Freely Media sponsored its inaugural Great Communicators Tournament in 2014. More than 150 online submissions were received and nearly 4,500 online votes were cast to help decide the finalists that would advance to the in-person rounds during the 2014 State Policy Network Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Twelve contestants were chosen to compete in Denver and participated in preliminary rounds judged by communications and marketing experts from the free market movement. Contestants gave prepared remarks on an assigned public policy issue and were then questioned by our judges, playing the role of community meeting or town hall attendees.
Three finalists advanced to the final round, held in front of 800 free market movement leaders, activists, and donors. Judged by Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, and Heather Higgins, our finalists first addressed the attendees and judges, making arguments in favor of free market solutions to Medicaid expansion public pension reform, and right to work legislation. The contestants were then grilled by our judges, this time, playing the role of the hostile media, with questions about their specific policy issues and a wide ranging group of issues such as school choice and education reform, the impact of the minimum wage, and voter identification laws.
After several grueling rounds, our judges conferred and named Chantal Lovell of the Nevada Policy Research Institute our 2014 Great Communicator.
Highlights from our Denver Tournament can be found here.