What is the RLC?
What does the RLC do?
What is the RLC’s platform?
What are the RLC’s principles?
What types of people become active in the RLC?
Do you really believe politicians can make a difference?
Do I have to be a member of the GOP to join the RLC?
How can I join the RLC?
Is there a RLC chapter in my state?
Does the RLC have National Conventions?
What social networking sites does the RLC use?
Are any elected officials members of the RLC?
Where is the RLC located and who are its officers?
I’m a student – how can I get involved?
I don’t have a lot of money – how can I help?
POLITICAL ISSUES & CANDIDATES
How does a candidate receive support from the RLC or RLC-USA PAC?
Will the RLC support a Libertarian or Independent candidate?
Won’t your economic policies put people out on the street?
What is the RLC’s position on drug policy?
What is the RLC’s position on abortion?
Why don’t RLC members simply join the Libertarian Party?
What is the relationship between the RLC and the Republican Party?
How can the RLC be allied with the Republican National Committee?
What do RLC members think of the neoconservatives?
What do RLC members think of the religious right?
How can the RLC be aligned with the “far right”?
Are any other groups affiliated with the RLC?
Is there another Republican group called the RLC?
Is the RLC affiliated with “The Liberty Committee”?
The Republican Liberty Caucus is dedicated to restoring the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free market economics to America through the Republican Party. RLC members in all 50 states serve in their local or state Republican parties and are working around the clock to implement the values we cherish — freedom of the individual, personal responsibility, and small government — into law. The RLC endorses candidates and provides a centralized vehicle to for coordination, collaboration, and communication among pro-liberty Republicans nationwide. We invite you to participate in our organization if you agree with our Statement of Principles.
The RLC is not a debate or philosophy club. Although we strongly cherish ideas and principles, our members are concerned about implementing our values — fostering change in the political system. Political victory means less talk and more action!
The RLC is currently an all-volunteer organization. Our office is located in Melbourne, Florida. Our Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis and our By-Laws (PDF) and Statement of Principles are available at this website.
We welcome the involvement of new members who share our vision for a free and prosperous America. We invite you to Join Us.
The Caucus is a 527 “action caucus” dedicated to promoting the ideals of individual rights, limited government and free enterprise within the Republican Party by:
· Promoting RLC principles among Party officials and its various organizations;
· Identifying and supporting candidates sympathetic with these ideals;
· Developing Caucus membership among Party registrants, officials, and officeholders.
The RLC works to expand our nationwide base of pro-liberty Republicans and work to establish active state/local chartered RLC affiliates and contacts throughout the country. We provide our members with information about campaigns, issues, and events of interest.
Republican Liberty Caucus members are active in grassroots campaigns and legislative initiatives across the nation and seek to push our candidates and issues to the forefront. Our members also attend GOP conventions and gatherings to identify like-minded individuals in the Republican Party and subsequently cultivate relationships with those individuals. We also maintain relationships with various single-issue groups (such as gun owners and home schoolers) in order to collaborate on issues of mutual interest.
A list of the RLC’s primary programs and activities is listed at our “About” page.
The organization’s primary internal communication vehicle is the Internet. Our members use state-based eGroups to communicate, collaborate, and vote on organizational issues. We also use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to disseminate information to our members.
Once a month the RLC newsletter is released. We encourage you to subscribe to our monthly e-mail newsletter.
The RLC is an independent political membership organization that is not officially affiliated with the Republican National Committee.
In the Republican Party, candidates consistently run on issues at odds with the official party line. In same cases, the GOP has even endorsed candidates who support the opposite party’s Presidential candidate.
Our members work to leverage support for “small government” candidates in Republican Party primaries and general elections.
The RLC has officially adopted a Statement of Principles and Positions that guides the organization.
In addition, various issue Resolutions have been adopted by the National Board and Convention Delegates.
In summary, the RLC supports:
· Lower and fewer taxes for individuals and businesses
· The right of privacy for individuals
· The right of law-abiding individuals keep and bear arms
· Balanced budgets through spending cuts
· Educational choice
· Freedom of speech for individuals
· Protection of property rights for individuals and businesses
· Market-based health care
· Alternatives to the federal War on Drugs
· All-volunteer armed forces
· Sound monetary policies
· Phase-out of foreign aid
· Phase-out of federal welfare
· Private options for Social Security
· Free trade
· Privatization of government functions
Politics and economics depend on more foundational issues in ethics and epistemology. As limited government Republicans, we believe that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. This requires that we accept the right of others to choose for themselves — that is, if we are to have that same right.
Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. In a just and moral society, individuals must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
As a result of our belief in these principles, we seek to repeal all laws that presume government knows better than the individual how to run each person’s life. We believe government exists to protect the rights of individuals against fraud, abuse, and misrepresentation.
The Republican Liberty Caucus is a political organization focused on a specific strategy in the pursuit of liberty. As with any organization, we don’t choose our members — they pick us.
The RLC is “big tent” in the sense that we don’t have any “litmus test” for members. If members agree to ~80% of our Statement of Principles and Positions, they’re welcome to discuss and debate the points where they disagree.
Overall, our members believe in limited government and are focused on grassroots activism and participation as vehicles to attain real political change through the Republican Party. The RLC does have some members with views that might be considered “conservative”, “centrist”, or even “paleo-con.”
We hope that their presence in the RLC will help them come to fully understand and appreciate the foundational principles that shape a free society.
By relying on citizen legislators who have core principles — yes, a few do exist — we believe that policy will be steered in the right direction: toward free markets and limited government. We look to our incumbent legislators and endorsed candidates to lead the way on reducing government’s size, increasing transparency, and eliminating the special interest stranglehold.
While the vast majority of politicians do not have the best interests of their constituents in mind when they vote, our endorsed candidates and incumbent legislators are different.
Why? Because they mean what they say and they say what they mean. They have common sense and an understanding of the Founder’s intent when they drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
By adhering to America’s Founding principles and the U.S. Constitution, RLC-endorsed legislators are guided to defend individual rights and work to create a more efficient government.
Charles de Gaulle once wrote, “I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.”
We agree. If politicians are going to have an influence (which they will, because they craft and control policy), then we want pro-liberty politicians to be leading us in the direction of our Statement of Principles.
We certainly encourage RLC supporters to become active in their local and state Republican Party organizations, but it is not a requirement for RLC membership.
The RLC does not implicitly support all of the positions or policies of any Republican Party office holder or party official. We do not implicitly endorse all of the platform positions of national or state Republican Parties.
We explicitly encourage Republican Party adoption and support of the principles and positions expressed in the official RLC Statement of Principles.
To join the RLC, simply make a monetary contribution:
* Contribute online by credit card or electronic check through our encrypted secure Membership Section; or
* Print out and mail this Donation Form to the RLC; or
* Make a monthly pledge through PayPal.
Individuals who make large contributions to the organization are automatically considered members. For example, if you sponsor a RLC booth at a local or state Republican Party function and the booth cost is $250, you are automatically enrolled as a RLC member as long as your name is forwarded to our Treasurer.
Please visit our “Ways to Give” page for additional donation options.
Most states have RLC chapters or contacts. Our chapter development has greatly expanded since 2005; we now have contacts in nearly all 50 states. Visit the State Chapters section of our website to contact your state contact.
If you would like to help Charter a state organization, you will need a copy of the State Charter Application and Sample By-Laws. The Charter Guide available at our site provides useful information about forming a RLC affiliate.
For additional information, please contact us.
The RLC has a convention every two years. Our next Convention will be on February 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. Speakers include members of Congress and state legislators, leaders of public policy organizations, and communication experts who can help the RLC achieve electoral success.
At the RLC’s biennial business meeting, RLC officers for the following two years are elected. It also provides an opportunity for RLC members to meet like-minded individuals from around the country, compare notes on political and policy issues, and socialize with friends new and old.
1994 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
1996 – Alexandria, Virginia [RLC 1996 Convention Video from C-Span]
1998 – Las Vegas, Nevada
2000 – Atlanta, Georgia
2002 – San Antonio, Texas
2004 – Fresno, California
2006 – Orlando, Florida [Summary and Photos available]
2009 – Jacksonville, Florida [Summary and Photos available]
2011 – Arlington, Virginia [Summary and Photos available]
The RLC officially uses YahooGroups as our primary online communication method. We do so for several reasons: first, the service is reliable; second, we have used this service for many years as a networking and communications tool; third, it is a free service that is easy to manage. We have several YahooGroups for members, including:
The RLC has many state and local groups built at YahooGroups.com. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a Yahoo! subscriber to join any YahooGroup. To join a Yahoogroup, simply send a blank e-mail to [name of group]-email@example.com and you will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription.
Additionally, the RLC has many state groups as well as a national group on Facebook as well as many state and local groups on Meetup.com.
Yes. Our members in Congress include Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Justin Amash of Michigan, Ron Paul of Texas, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Adrian Smith of Nebraska, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Doug Lamborn of Colorado.
Although these members don’t necessarily agree with the RLC on every issue, they are our representation in Congress and offer the best hope we have of returning our country to limited, constitutional government.
The RLC also has many elected members in state legislatures across the country. The RLC’s elected members of State Senates include Thayer Verschoor in Arizona, Shawn Mitchell in Colorado, Mike Haridopolos in Florida, David Shafer in Georgia, Sam Slom in Hawaii, Bob Hedlund in Massachusetts, Joe Balyeat in Montana, Greg Hinkle in Montana, Mike Folmer in Pennsylvania, Mae Beavers in Tennessee, Frank Lasee in Wisconsin, and Cale Case in Wyoming.
The RLC also has many elected State Representatives, representing our values in state legislatures in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington state.
Our Advisory Board includes college professors, members of Congress, state legislators, and a former Governor.
All of our members and advisors share a common goal: Returning the Republican Party to traditional American principles of limited government and restoring/protecting the rights of the individual.
Republican Liberty Caucus
P.O. Box 410045
Melbourne, FL 32941-0045
Click here for officer information.
The RLC also operates a Political Action Committee:
Alan H. Cousin, Treasurer
Republican Liberty Caucus PAC
185 Main St., Apt. 14
Malden, MA 02148
The RLC has a Campus Coordinator, an eGroup for students, and a section at our site called RLC on Campus that is devoted to students. We also have a Facebook group, RLC 20s Coalition, for those in the 20-30 age range or thereabout.
If you’re a student interested in working to limit the size and scope of government, the RLC is here to support your efforts.
Students activists in the RLC should are steered to focus on (1) recruiting members from your state, (2) hosting OPH booths at Republican events on campus, (3) disseminating information about Republican/RLC principles on campus, (4) getting involved in GOP campus leadership, and (5) getting involved in your state RLC chapter.
Please contact the RLC’s Campus Coordinator for additional information on becoming active.
Money is the lifeblood of politics, but volunteers provide the sweat. There’s a great deal you can do.
We encourage those without money to substitute their time. Please get in touch with your State Contact and join your state’s eGroup. Ask your state contact or other group members how you can help. If you know about a piece of legislation that no one seems to be talking about, contact any of the e-mail addresses listed at our site.
RLC Advisory Board member Congressman Ron Paul tells the story of how one vote in Congress was 432-3. He knew on principle the bill was bad, and talked the two people sitting next to him into voting against it. You could be telling an even better story.
If enough people take action, you can tell the story of how you helped stop a bad bill from becoming law. By involving yourself in the RLC, you will become a part of a group that takes politics seriously. We look forward to your active participation.
POLITICAL ISSUES & CANDIDATES
Our section on Candidates will be useful to any candidate seeking the RLC’s support.
RLC National and Chartered State Boards review and may endorse candidates for public office at every level. Preference is given to Republican candidates who are RLC members or who have signed the RLC “Liberty Compact”, but neither qualification is required and preference does not guarantee a RLC endorsement.
A RLC endorsement is simply advice to our members that a candidate is worthy of consideration for their support and assistance — It does not require members to support or contribute to any endorsed candidate. The RLC itself never contributes any dues or contributions directly to any political campaign or ballot proposition.
RLC National has a separate, affiliated, federal, multi-candidate political action committee, RLC-USA PAC, and encourages members to contribute to the PAC in support of RLC-endorsed federal candidates. The RLC Political Action Committee (PAC) assists pro-liberty Republicans running for office who have been official endorsed by the RLC. The PAC is registered with the FEC and all contributions are subject to limits and public disclosure.
Please contact us if you would like to receive our endorsement.
The RLC does not support Libertarian Party or Independent candidates in a race where there is a Republican Party candidate. This does not mean that individual RLC members are party line voters.
An individual’s personal choice with regards to voting is not a litmus test for participation in the RLC. In several instances, the RLC has endorsed LP and independent candidates, as well as candidates in non-partisan races.
RLC members generally believe in principle and country before party. That means the organization and our membership sometimes break from the Republican Party establishment.
The RLC believes that individuals should be allowed to keep the fruits of their labor, and thus opposes direct forms of taxation in principle. We view indirect or voluntary forms of taxation, such as excise taxes, sales taxes, user fees, and lotteries, as better vehicles for government to generate revenue.
As advocates of the free-market enterprise system, we don’t believe that the government is best equip to solve the socio-economic problems faced by individuals. Instead, we believe that individuals are best equip to solve their own economic problems and, to some extent, the economic problems of those who they value (such as friends, families, neighbors, etc.).
We do not believe that individuals should be punished for earning or production by having their money taken from them and redistributed through force to someone who they have never met for “the good of society.”
The individual who is given a free handout by the government has two problems as a result of the handout. First, he or she will no longer have an incentive to work, and, second, he or she is more likely to become dependent on handouts. The government has created and fostered a deep-rooted dependency system that punishes innovation and wealth for the “good of society” (as determined by politicians). We believe the current system is unjust and thus seek to change it through the political sphere.
Unfortunately, there are many Americans living on streets and parks throughout the country. The government has never been a problem-solving agent for these and other individuals in need.
The moral system that can help individuals who believe in taking personal responsibility is free-market capitalism, a system in which individuals are allowed to consume, trade, and produce.
The RLC supports alternatives to the War on Drugs. Specifically, we have supported medical marijuana and have opposed mandatory minimum sentences.
Our members hold varying views on the topic, but the overwhelming majority believe that the War on Drugs — like most government programs — is a failure.
We have signed on to letters with the Marijuana Policy Project and several former RLC National Board members are involved with Republicans for Compassionate Access and Law Enforcement Officers Against Prohibition.
Our official position is neutral. RLC members hold both pro-life and pro-choice views on the issue, as well as those who are “in between.” The RLC, like other libertarian-leaning advocacy groups, opposes all federal funding for abortions.
As far as libertarian groups go, you’ll find that we are probably the most tolerant of the pro-life viewpoint. Our past Honorary Chairman, Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX), is extremely pro-life. Many other RLC members are pro-choice or choose to keep their views private.
There is no litmus test on the abortion issue. Most of our members prefer not to discuss the issue at all because it is not a “size of government” issue.
Many RLC members have once participated in the Libertarian Party as either officers or members. For example, past RLC Chairman William Westmiller was LP National Secretary and California LP Chair while past RLC Chair Cliff Thies was previously the Treasurer of the Libertarian National Committee.
Congressman Ron Paul, an early Honorary Chair of the RLC, was the LP presidential candidate in 1988. Another past Treasurer, Mike Holmes, was a founding member of the LP. Another Honorary Chair, the late Roger MacBride, cast the only electoral vote the LP ever received and was the LP candidate for President.
Everyone in the RLC joined for their own reasons, but it can be presumed that all RLC members agree that in most political races, the Republican Party provides the best opportunity for libertarian-leaning candidates to attain electoral success.
In fact, it is common knowledge that the LP was founded as an educational vehicle, not as a vehicle to win campaigns. David Nolan, LP Founder, acknowledges this. Additionally, there are many in the LP who want to remain “big fish in a small pond” and will do what it takes to assure that the LP does not achieve political success.
In short, we want to win. We believe that our principles are correct. It would be a shame not to transfer our cherished principles into public policy, or at least work as hard as we can to do so. Thus, the RLC hopes to impact future policy by electing candidates and reshaping the Republican Party leadership to represent our values.
We only endorse the most libertarian-leaning candidates. As you can see, we have achieved great results already. We believe that libertarian solutions will contribute greatly to solving America’s problems. Thus, we want to achieve electoral success, and are excited to work within the Republican Party framework to achieve real results.
Membership in the RLC is not restricted to Republican Party members, but Regular Members must indicate an “intent to affiliate” with the Party in order to hold Caucus office or act as convention delegates. Since some states do not have party registration, the Caucus does not attempt to certify affiliation. Those who have publicly affiliated with another party, or as independents, are classified as Associate Members.
We encourage all of our members to become active in local, county, state and national party divisions, but the National office does not recommend that RLC state chapters seek official auxiliary or affiliated status with their state party. The reason is that there are common restrictions placed on auxiliary groups within the GOP, such as restrictions on primary election endorsements, conformity with party platform positions, loyalty oaths, and other items that contradict the goals and purpose of the Caucus (see Article II of the RLC’s By-Laws).
The RLC holds all collective membership mark rights to its name, or any derivatives, under federal Patent and Trademark law. The use of the word “Republican” in our name does not mandate conformity with Republican Party rules. Neither the RLC nor any of its chapters makes any claim to rights or powers that might be extended to the Republican Party or its officials by state or federal law.
The RLC does not implicitly support all of the positions or policies of any Republican Party office holder or party official. We do not implicitly endorse all of the platform positions of national or state Republican Parties. We explicitly encourage Republican Party adoption and support of the principles and positions expressed in the official RLC Statement of Principles.
Republican Liberty Caucus members likely share many of your concerns about the national leadership of the Republican Party. The RLC is not the Republican National Committee.
If you have a complaint about the direction of the Party, please take it up with the Republican National Committee and become involved in our efforts to change the direction of the party.
We share your distrust of the party leadership and are working to enact a bold vision for a reinvigorated Republican Party in 2010 and beyond.
“Neoconservatives” is a false title, as it implies there is something conservative about those in the category. In fact, there is nothing conservative about neocon policies put into practice. In fact, neocon policies advocate increased government meddling abroad and increased government meddling domestically.
Thus, most of our members are at odds with neoconservative policies and are not trusting of those who have implemented them.
Moreover, the neocons have captured the Republican Party leadership on the Republican National Committee and have control of many state parties. We seek to eliminate any success they have in the future, as our members don’t consider neoconservatives part of a winning equation for the Republican Party. Instead, we believe they are largely responsible for most of the problems the Republican Party currently is confronting.
The RLC supports individual rights and believes that all voluntary, consensual conduct should be permissible in a free country. We seek a Republican Party of tolerance and a strong commitment to protect the rights of individuals.
Many of our members are religious; other members are not. We view religion and spirituality as a personal endeavor that should not impact public policy decisions.
“The religious right” encompasses a very large segment of the voting population, many of whom may consider voting for libertarian-leaning Republican candidates. Therefore our members are open to exchanging ideas with individual members of “the religious right.”
That said, the RLC does have disagreements with some factions of the religious right on particular social policies, such as the Federal Marriage Amendment, the War on Drugs, or foreign policy. On occasion, we also disagree with members of the religious right, such as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, on core economic principles.
Consistent with the RLC’s goals, we try to build bridges to as many groups as is reasonable. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes not. However, in many areas, the religious right can find common ground with libertarian-leaning Republicans, such as on eminent domain, school choice, or spending limitations.
We try to persuade as many Republicans as possible that the best ideas rest in small government solutions. The fact that libertarianism is a unifying vision is proven in that the RLC shares members with both the Christian Coalition and the Log Cabin Republicans.
The Republican Liberty Caucus has an affiliated Political Action Committee (PAC), the Republican Liberty Caucus USA PAC. The PAC assists pro-liberty Republicans running for federal office. If you would like to directly support these pro-liberty Republicans, please visit the PAC website.
There is another national Republican group that goes by the initials RLC, the Republican Leadership Council. The Republican Liberty Caucus was formed before the Republican Leadership Council and the two groups are not affiliated with one another.
No. The Liberty Committee is a group that only includes members of Congress, organized by RLC Advisory Board member Dr. Ron Paul. The Committee is sometimes referred to (mistakenly) as the Republican Liberty Caucus. The Liberty Committee meets periodically to discuss legislation. Often the media confuses The Liberty Committee with the Republican Liberty Caucus. They are two separate groups with two very distinct purposes. There is no affiliation.
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