Even Jim Gilmore has his own think tank.

More than 400 politicians, lobbyists and former members of Gilmore’s administration packed a hotel ballroom Saturday night for the inaugural dinner of Americans for Freedom and Opportunity. Gilmore (R) is the founder and chairman of the nonprofit group, which has said it will engage in “policy discussions and persuasion.”

“We are going to find ways to advance the cause of justice and goodness for the people of Virginia and the nation,” Gilmore vowed in a speech to the group.

The invitation for the fundraiser makes plain the philosophy that will drive Gilmore’s organization: “Too often,” it says, “the liberal media, the special interests and some politicians of both parties combine to frustrate the will of the people.”

Gilmore’s former chief of staff, M. Boyd Marcus, said the organization will try to spark discussion in Virginia and across the nation about issues that the former governor especially cares about.

“We are looking at policy development, particularly focusing on reforms on taxes and spending,” Marcus said. “One of the themes the governor is going to be talking about is that the middle class is getting squeezed pretty hard.”

How are the Dems building an intellectual case for their party?