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Posted: August 29, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Conservative group to train activists

Conservatives who want to become more involved in the national political arena can attend an activist training event being hosted by the Heritage Action for America group, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation.

Heritage Action is hosting a "Skills Clinic" from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Historic Courthouse in Covington, where the group’s Regional Coordinator Elizabeth BeShears will be recruiting and equipping conservative activists in the area.

"We will be covering the activist tool kit from social media to canvassing and issue-based town halls and home meetings," BeShears said in a Thursday email.

According to the event’s website — covingtonskillsclinic.eventbrite.com — where people can register for the clinic, it will help people "engage in national politics in an effective and time-efficient manner" by using print media, including letters to the editor, social media, and communicating with and meeting with congressmen and their representatives.

BeShears said 32 people have signed up for the event to date.

According to promotional videos on the group’s website — heritageaction.com — the mission is to increase knowledge among citizens who can then influence their congressional representatives to support conservative agendas.

One video says conservative citizens efforts will help "push back" on lobbying by liberal special interest groups.

Before people receive full use of Heritage Action’s resources, they either need to be active in their communities or take steps to develop a circle of influence as activists. Once they show that commitment, they’ll become "Heritage Sentinels" and have access to more resources.

Newton County GOP First Vice Chairman Bill Perugino is a Sentinel, which is one reason an event is being held here.n.

"We, as citizens, need to spread a positive message of preserving the Constitution and conservative values if we are to return our country to the vision of our Founding Fathers," Perugino said in an email. "There is crucial need for a true grassroots movement to hold elected officials accountable, demand fiscal responsibility, limit government intrusion into our lives, and rebuild prosperity so all can achieve the American dream."

Heritage Action’s website also contains scorecards for all congressmen. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who represents western Newton County, has a 14 percent score when it comes to supporting conservative values, according to the group, while U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., who represents eastern Newton County, has a 94 percent score. Georgia’s U.S. senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson have 55 percent and 51 percent scores, respectively.

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