“We’re proud that one of our RLC members has stepped forward to challenge the inept management of the national GOP under the reign of Reince Priebus. But this endorsement is not just because he is one of our own, it is because he is eminently qualified to lead the resurgence of the national Republican Party,” said RLC National Chair Dave Nalle.
Willis is the Republican National Committeeman from Maine and a member of the Maine Republican Liberty Caucus. He is one of the elected delegates from Maine who were unseated by the RNC Credentials Committee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa under the watch of Priebus. He said he saw how the heavy-handed tactics of the national party organization impacted the morale of grassroots which helped lead to the defeat of Priebus’ hand-picked presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“In the case of Maine, we came home heroes due to the fact that we never gave in as a delegation and even though half our duly-elected delegation was unseated, we refused to take the deals that were offered. We stood up for what is right and never wavered,” Willis said.
Willis said delegates from throughout the country were “outraged” at the fast gavel tactics endorsed by Priebus that enacted rule changes which take control of the 2016 presidential nomination process away from the state parties and the grassroots and put it under top-down control by party insiders.
Rule 12 gives unprecedented power to the RNC to change party rules without input or approval of state parties and Rule 16 removes the rights of states to choose their own delegates, forcing all state parties to allocate and bind the state’s delegation to the Republican National Convention based on presidential preference polls.
Willis said his first act as national GOP Chair would be to repeal the rules adopted at the 2012 Republican National Convention and “apologize to the GOP grassroots for being overzealous and promise that such behavior will never happen again.”
Willis said the GOP can regain regain the confidence of the voters if its top management listens to the grassroots.
“If we are truly the party of liberty, equality and favoritism for none, then let’s start acting like it by embracing the grassroots once and for all! Welcome them, don’t push them away, discourage them and then expect their vote in November,” Willis said.
Nalle said the national Republican Liberty Caucus had been one of the first GOP organizations to condemn the rules changes and Willis shows courage by taking a stand for the grassroots members of the party.
“No one came forward to challenge these rules until state committees started passing resolutions from the grassroots. Mark Willis is demonstrating leadership by stating upfront that hard working local party members should have a strong voice in guiding the party instead of a handful of Establishment elitists trying to shove decisions from the top down,” Nalle said.
Willis holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and a Doctor of Law degree from George Mason University. He also has a Masters in Information Technology from Bowie State University. He was a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in Haiti and Bosnia and was a senior software engineer at the U.S. Army Security and Intelligence Command (INSCOM) and was INSCOM liaison to the National Security Agency. He is currently Applications Security Manager for a Fortune 100 corporation and runs a family Icelandic sheep farm in a small town in eastern Maine, where he is also serves on the local Board of Education.
We thought the NDAA was fixed. We thought we had won the fight. Between a court injunction and the hard work of Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul to pass the Feinstein-Lee Amendment, we thought that the issue of indefinite detention of US citizens without trial had been laid to rest and that the NDAA was finally fixed. We saw the bill pass the Senate and celebrated a major legislative victory.
Then it went to a conference committee chaired by John McCain which was tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions, and despite all good sense and the cries of the people, the final version which will be voted on by both Houses on Thursday has had the strong language against indefinite detention taken out of it and replaced with redundant and watered down platitudes.
At this point the only viable course of action is to tell the House and Senate to vote down the bill and insist that it go back to committee and have the Lee-Feinstein Amendment wording restored to protect the rights of our citizens against unprecedented abuses of their most fundamental rights.
The big challenge here is that both houses will vote on the bill sometime Thursday, so you need to take action right now. Use the handy tool below to email your Senators and Representative and tell them you want them to stand up for liberty and the Constitution and vote down the conference committee version of the NDAA and send it back to be fixed.
John McCain is the Chairman of the Conference Committee. He’s the one who put indefinite detention back in the bill. In addition to emailing, take a few minutes to call him and tell him what you think of Republicans who don’t believe in the rule of law and the Constitution at (202) 224-2235.
Make sure to customize the language of the email to make it unique and in your own words.
|“For a party that’s trying to expand its base and make sure that it reaches out to young people and new groups, I think it’s pretty outrageous frankly. It’s pretty clear I come from a more libertarian wing of the party – this is the growing portion of the Republican Party. And, really, it’s a slap in the face of all young people who are out there thinking about being Republicans, want to be part of this party and are being told ‘well, if you disagree with leadership just a couple times, we’re going to send you home and we’re going to tell you you’re off the committee and you don’t get to participate.” — Justin Amash|
In the midst of the most important budget negotiations of our lifetimes, House Speaker John Boehner has removed the four most fiscally conservative house members from two key committees because he is afraid that they will lead resistance to his plans to sacrifice cuts and compromise on tax increases in the budget negotiations with the Obama administration.
Justin Amash (R-MI) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) were removed without notice from the Budget Committee on Tuesday and Walter Jones (R-NC) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) were removed from the Financial Services Committee. All four had records of opposing past budget compromises and were reportedly ranked below other Republican representatives on a loyalty index put together by the house leadership, because they were more likely to vote based on principle and constituent requests rather than in lockstep with the leadership. These removals were made over the objections of the chairmen of the committees.
|If you want to send more fiscally conservative representatives to Washington to challenge the establishment, please support the RLCUSA PAC with a contribution. Even a small amount will make a big difference!|
We believe that these four representatives have been outstanding advocates for the concerns of grassroots Republicans and all Americans who are worried about this nation’s dire financial condition. They should be looked to as leaders in determining fiscal policy, not cut out of the process. We hope that you will join us in a three-phase campaign to pressure House leaders to reinstate the “Fiscal Four” and stand firm for a budget which is fiscally responsible.
First: Use the form below to email your representative and request that they contact the party leaders in the House to ask that the Schweikert, Jones, Amash and Huelskamp be given back their committee assignments.
Second: Call Speaker Boehner’s office at (202) 225-0600 and tell them you want the Speaker to speaker to listen to grassroots Republicans and listen to strong fiscally conservative voices in the budget process and give the four Congressmen back their committee assignments.
Third: Get on twitter and send a comment to @SpeakerBoehner asking that Huelskamp, Amash, Shweikert and Jones be given back their assignments. Tag it #FiscalFour. Something like “@speakerboehner Please give the #FiscalFour back their committee assignments and stand firm for spending cuts” works great.
When you use the email form below to email your representative, take a few minutes to customize the message with your own words.
Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania
Contact: Lois Kaneshiki, Interim Chair FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylavnia
Urges Governor Corbett:
“Refuse to Set Up Healthcare Exchanges”
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania (RLCPa) passed a unanimous resolution on December 4, 2012, requesting that Governor Corbett refuse to set up the healthcare exchanges.
“Obamacare is bad for America, and it is certainly bad for Pennsylvania,” stated Interim Chair Lois Kaneshiki. “We urge the Governor and the General Assembly to refuse to set up the healthcare exchanges and fight this destructive legislation.”
“We urge all freedom-loving citizens to contact the Governor and their representatives in the General Assembly before the December 15 deadline and ask them not to set up these exchanges.”
Citizens should call the Governor’s office at 717-787-2500, or email him at email@example.com.
The full text of the resolution is below:
Whereas the Affordable Care Act (AFA) is a federal government takeover of our healthcare system, and
Whereas, we believe it is an individual right and responsibility to choose and contract with one’s healthcare provider for services, and
Whereas, the AFA does not allow markets to function more efficiently, but will prevent them from doing so, and
Whereas, federal funding for the healthcare exchanges will end in 2015, and will cost Pennsylvania’s families $3,000 extra per year, and
Whereas, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming have all declared they will not implement the exchanges:
Resolved, that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania requests that Governor Corbett refuse to set up the healthcare exchanges; and
Resolved, that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania requests the state Assembly to pass legislation that would prevent Pennsylvania from setting up healthcare exchanges.
On Thrusday an amendment authored by Senators Mike Lee (RLC-UT) and Daine Feinstein (D-CA) which alters the NDAA to protect citizens from arrest without a warrant and guarantees the right to a trial was passed 67-29 by the Senate. This came after an impassioned speech in support by Sen. Rand Paul (RLC-KY) on Wednesday in which he said:
“If you don’t have a right to trial by jury, you do not have due process. You do not have a Constitution. What are you fighting against and for if you throw the Constitution out? When zealots of the government arrest suspects or radicals without warrants, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.”
Paul had also threatened to put a filibuster hold on the NDAA bill if an attempt was made to pass it with the provisions allowing unconstitutional detention of citizens without a trial included. Since the passage of an earlier version of the NDAA more than a year ago, grassroots groups like the Republican Liberty Caucus have been calling and emailing members of the House and Senate relentlessly expressing opposition to the detention provisions in the bill and it appears that for once our legislative leaders actually listened to the people. Sadly about half of the Republicans in the Senate voted against the amendment.
While the Lee-Feinstein amendment is not as comprehensive as Rand Paul’s version which has had trouble passing the Senate, it does address the most fundamental civil liberties concerns with the NDAA. The substandive part of the Amendment reads:
“(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.
“(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2013.
“(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.”
The final clause of (b)(1) has attracted some criticism, including from Representative Justin Amash (RLC-MI) who whote:
“The Feinstein amendment to the 2013 NDAA does NOT protect you from indefinite detention without charge or trial. In fact, it explicitly permits such detention so long as the detention is approved by an Act of Congress . . . such as the 2012 NDAA.”
Prior to the amendment the NDAA permitted detentions solely on presidential authority, but Amash and others are concerned that Congress could use the option provided in the amendment to reverse the protection at will, or that courts could interpret the NDAA itself as such an authorization. However, Senator Lee has issued an explanation of how the amendment works in context which makes very clear that no existing legislation including the NDAA itself would negate the protections in the amendment, hailing it as “a clear victory for civil libertarians and should be celebrated as a strong step forward in protecting due process rights for all Americans.”
However, a federal court did already grant an injunction against the detention provision in the NDAA and it is likely that if it were further tested in the courts it would be found unconstitutional. In addition, changes to the main text of the 2012 version of the NDAA which actually expand detention authority beyond earlier versions demanded that some response be made to protect civil liberties
While this is not a perfect victory, it remains a major win for civil libertarians who do not believe that the people should have to sacrifice their most sacred rights, nor should the nation abandon the rule of law, even in a times of crisis or war. If the Bill of Rights can be discarded just because we feel threatened, then we have already thrown away the very values for which we fight as a nation.
I hope that most people reading this are very familiar with the abuses of process, fraud and violations of party rules which marred the Republican National Convention in Tampa. From the start of the committee meetings to the final gavel there was a pattern of behavior from the party leadership which made very clear that control of the party had been taken away from the body of members and the delegates representing them at the convention and seized by a small cadre acting on behalf of the Romney campaign and powerful special interests. They sacrificed the best interests of the party and the rights of party members to take control of the convention and restructure the party rules to reduce the influence of the grassroots and of state parties in the future.
The national media gave this story of what went on behind the scenes at the convention very little coverage, but you may have followed some of the developments here on this site. If you didn’t follow the story or wanted to know what was behind some of the protests you may have heard about, the best way to catch up on what went on is to read our archive or view the outstanding video reports from Ben Swann on WXIX in Cincinnati.
The result of these events is that a convention which should have been designed to build unity behind the presidential nominee instead helped to unify grassroots Republicans against the small group of opportunists who seem to have taken over the party. The events at the convention finally made many average Republicans realize that what was going on was not an attempt to stop Ron Paul supporters from being disruptive, but a much larger powergrab directed against all of the traditional constituencies of the party except for a small group of insiders. Republicans are starting to realize that after Tampa it is no longer our party, but one controlled by powerbrokers who plan to use the party and use us for their own ends.
In response it is essential that the base of the party reassert itself and that we demand a return to bottom-up organization where authority derives from the members through their county and state parties and is not imposed from above by the dictates of a small elite. The first step in doing that is to assert clearly that we do not accept what happened in Tampa, that we condemn the methods used and we reject the rule changes which resulted.
This petition directed at state party leadership and the Republican National Committee is based on the resolution proposed earlier this fall by a working group of RLC delegates and precinct chairs, but does not represent an official statement of the RLC or any of our chapters unless they choose to pass it as such – which many have done. This petition is your chance to personally show your support for reversing these rule changes and restoring popular control of the Republican Party.
This is a great chance for Republicans nationwide to make their objections to these rule changes and the abuses at the convention very clear in this petition which will be sent to all state parties and the Republican National Committee before it meets in January.
Audit the Fed is now in the Senate and it’s the lame duck session and the Democrats are doing everything they can to stop it. We need to get all the sponsors on board that we can, particularly Democrats and the few remaining reluctant Republicans.
Right now Audit the Fed (S. 202) is still being held in the Senate Banking Committee after 2 months, and Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) is under orders from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) not to let it out of committee. If it doesn’t get out of the committee it never even gets a chance for a vote from the Senate as a whole. Some progress is being made. The bill now has 37 co-sponsors, even including one Democrat. That puts some pressure on the House leadership, but not enough.
Experts are declaring Audit the Fed to be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, but if our government works at all, if there is enough grassroots outcry for the Senate to take action on the bill, we ought to be able to pressure Reid and Johnson to release the bill for a fair vote on the floor.
Making this happen requires a two phase plan of action.
First, you have to call Reid and Johnson directly yourself. They’re Democrats and they may not represent your state, but they should still take your call because of their leadership positions. Don’t necessarily tell them you’re not a Democrat. Just make very clear to their staff member who answers the phone that you’re concerned about Audit the Fed (S.202) and would like the Senate to have a chance to vote on it. Point out the strong bipartisan support in the House and the wide popular support in polls. That might help.
Call Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) at 202-224-5842
Call Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) at 202-224-3542
Second, use the form below to write your Senators and urge them to join as sponsors of the bill and to contact Reid and Johnson and ask that they bring the bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote. If enough people contact them about it they will reach out to these two powerful Democrats and if enough Senators take action it might wear them down. Use the text entered in the email form or it might be even better if you customize it to express your concern in your own words.
Here is the current list of sponsoring Senators. If yours are not on the list, you absolutely must email them and urge them to sponsor it.
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] – 9/10/2012
Sen Barrasso, John [WY] – 10/6/2011
Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 9/12/2012
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] – 10/6/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] – 5/24/2011
Sen Brown, Scott P. [MA] – 9/19/2012
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 10/6/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 7/25/2011
Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] – 10/6/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] – 7/25/2012
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 11/13/2012
Sen Cornyn, John [TX] – 3/28/2012
Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] – 9/6/2011
Sen DeMint, Jim [SC] – 1/26/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 8/2/2012
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] – 7/17/2012
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] – 10/31/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 5/24/2011
Sen Heller, Dean [NV] – 6/22/2011
Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [TX] – 9/12/2012
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] – 10/6/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 9/10/2012
Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 7/31/2012
Sen Lee, Mike [UT] – 3/1/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 10/31/2011
Sen Moran, Jerry [KS] – 9/10/2012
Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] – 7/23/2012
Sen Portman, Rob [OH] – 11/13/2012
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] – 10/6/2011
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] – 11/13/2012
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 10/6/2011
Sen Sessions, Jeff [AL] – 9/19/2012
Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL] – 8/2/2012
Sen Thune, John [SD] – 10/6/2011
Sen Toomey, Pat [PA] – 8/1/2012
Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 1/26/2011
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] – 10/6/2011
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required. Two choices are available.The problem with the Republican Party is very simple: for the entirety of my life, they have been pretending to offer government number 1, but in reality, they have given us a whole load of number 2. As a result, we have seen tumultuous times, with financial booms and busts, a major shift toward government dependency, and never-ending international conflicts. People are not stupid, and they can see through this. Even the people who might not explicitly identify this, still have the natural instinct that something doesn’t add up. It all started with Ronal Reagan, who sounded a lot like Ronald Paul when giving his speeches, espousing the merits of freedom and the libertarian soul of conservatism, yet ended up growing the government dramatically. To his credit, Reagan tried to hold the line as much as possible, and he was a great speaker on the merits of liberty, but the end result is still undeniable. Since then, the party has been slowly but surely abandoning its principles, and it’s liberal governing style has been steadily accelerating. George W Bush campaigned on the merits of the free market and non-interventionism, but claimed to be a “compassionate conservative” who supported government forced charity for certain causes. As it turned out, he governed to the left of Bill Clinton, instituting the largest entitlement program ever, taking over control of education from the states, and launching an Orwellian, perpetual war on terror. Now we find ourselves in a state where the Republicans are raising spending by over 10% per year, and fighting to raise our taxes, while doling out special incentives and favors to certain (well lobbied) businesses. We find ourselves defeated nationally after running a presidential candidate who supposedly supported free markets, but also supported a state-level individual mandate, and made the ridiculous assertion that “a free market requires government regulations,” and supported the tyrannical policies of the Democrat incumbent. (Indefinite detention, Internet snooping, Assassinations, etc) Yet somehow, some people think the problem is that Republicans are “too conservative” and not “big-government enough.” How can any rational person hold such a belief, after simply observing recent history? How can any person who isn’t a Democrat think that it would be a good idea to move even farther to the left at this point? The reality is that people are thirsting for a real choice, a real answer. Even people who aren’t politically interested have the feeling that “they’re all a bunch of crooks” and are looking for someone to tell them the truth. This is the opportunity that the Republican party needs to take advantage of: distinguish yourself from the Democrats once and for all. Adopt the message of liberty and work towards achieving the government outlined in option number 1: the defender of individual rights. Stop sending mixed messages by taking inconsistent and hypocritical stances on things like national defense, taxes, prohibition, subsidies, etc. Start working towards real change and real reform in the direction of liberty. The alternative is to fade away into the history books and become largely irrelevant. The reason for this is simple: nobody wants a cheap imitation. We already get enough of number 2 from the Democrats, and so if that is the solution you offer, you’ll never win again. (Image courtesy: ernstl) Update: Video of Full Speech!
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
- A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
- A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
At a post-election event for members of the Republican Liberty Caucus, National Chairman Dave Nalle made the following remarks on the state of the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Romney defeat.
“If you nominate a candidate who has a position to please every constituency you run the risk that voters will decide that this is the same thing as having a position to alienate every constituency and respond by not turning out to vote. The party has lost its way because of lazy leaders who have ignored the sensible voters who make up the base of the party and have instead given too much influence to outside interest groups who bought their loyalty with the promise of easy votes.”
“It is time for fundamental change at the top of the party. Leaders who basically rigged the nomination process to force Mitt Romney on the party gambled their legitimacy on his success. They put the entire party at risk with a candidate whose failure dragged down other candidates including promising newcomers and incumbents whose seats should have been secure. They lost us seats in the Senate where we could have won a majority and even weakened our position in the House. They must pay the full price for their poor decisions and be stripped of any position of leadership in the party.”
“It is time for the Republican Party to return to the control of the grassroots and to a simple, ethical agenda of limiting the size and power of government and protecting the rights of individual citizens. The practice of giving special influence to outside groups whose first loyalty is to their own interests and issues must stop. Our allies should be drawn to us by our principles, not by our willingness to sell influence and trade favors.”
“The party is aging and becoming isolated from the people. Republicans have forgotten how to be activists and stir up popular enthusiasm for our cause. We have lost touch with the younger generation and we have abandoned minority groups which ought to share our principles. In too many counties and too many states the Republican Party has become an exclusive private club rather than the inclusive political movement it was meant to be. This is the course of extinction for a political party. If we do not grow and embrace new members and new strategies we will continue to stagnate and age into irrelevance.”
“The voters we need to attract to revitalize the party want less government on their backs and more liberty in their lives. They do not want to live in fear of external threats or internal security. They do not want to see the fruits of their labor seized by government or devalued by irresponsible policies. They do not want government in their businesses, their schools, their churches or their bedrooms. The Republican Party of the future should be young, entrepreneurial and inclusive. There is no hope for a party which is not strong enough to preserve its core principles while still embracing change.”
“This is the vision of the Republican Liberty Caucus. It is a challenge to the Republican Party to become a better party, rededicated to its founding principles. This election must be a turning point for the party and if we do not pick up the banner of leadership and embrace the changes which must come, then the GOP will fade away lnto whiggish obscurity.”
This has been a long campaign for liberty and many people have earned our thanks. Republican Liberty Caucus members played leading roles on every front in 2012 – running for office, working on campaigns, donating unprecedented amounts of money to our federal PAC, helping to promote and fundraise for candidates and serving as delegates to state conventions and ultimately the national convention in Tampa where we were witnesses to the beginnings of the events which culminated in this week’s historic defeat for the Republican Party establishment. You worked hard with little respect or reward for a cause whose victory sometimes seemed distant and in peril.
There are many who are claiming that this election was a massive defeat for the Republican Party, but after studying the results for two days I’m surprised to be able to report what looks like some major victories for the liberty movement within the party. Yes, the party took it on Mitt Romney’s chiseled chin, but the party’s losses are not necessarily our losses and while I certainly would have liked to have done better, in comparison to the party as a whole our candidates and our issues fared remarkably well.
Perhaps the most significant victory is a sign of change to come While the party lost seats in both houses of Congress, the balance of power shifted and liberty candidates gained seats while the party was losing them. Our endorsees and other sympathetic candidates now control a larger number of seats in both houses of Congress than ever before. We lost only one incumbent House member and gained at least two solid seats in the Senate while the party lost 3 and gained more seats in the House than the party as a whole lost, effectively doubling the significance of our wins. The failure of the party leadership and the Romney campaign did suppress turnout and that flowed down to races at lower levels, costing some of our most promising candidates wins they might have had in better years. Yet 2014 is just around the corner and I expect many of those same candidates to run again and in an off year election we can anticipate the same kind of strong results we had in 2010 and more.
Two RLC candidates won new seats for liberty in the Senate, Ted Cruz (TX) and past endorsee Jeff Flake (AZ). Four new liberty candidates took seats in the House, including RLC endorsees Steve Stockman (TX-36), Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11), Thomas Massie (KY-4) and Ted Yoho (FL-3) who was overlooked for endorsement. Many previously endorsed candidates won reelection in the House, including Justin Amash, Tom McClintock, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mick Mulvaney and others. Perhaps most significantly hundreds of our endorsees won or held onto seats in state government, giving us a very deep bench to run for higher office going into the 2014 election. Many other great candidates ran strong campaigns and came awfully close to winning, but the weakness of the national campaign and lack of support from state and national party organizations were challenges they couldn’t overcome. With more independent funding and resources we expect them to do much better in 2014.
We also saw victories on key issues in several states. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington and decriminalized in Massachusetts, which is likely to lead to a very important showdown over state sovereignty as the Obama administration and the DEA crack down on those states attempt to form independent drug policy. In addition, Washington, Maryland and Maine voted to legalize same-sex marriage, a clear challenge to the unconstitutional federal Defense of Marriage Act, and while we prefer a non-governmental solution to the marriage issue, the passage of these propositions was at least a politically achievable step towards greater liberty for more people. Less publicized but possibly equally important, Alabama, Montana and Wyoming voted on initiatives to nullify aspects of Obamacare within their borders, another development likely to provoke a constitutional showdown with the Obama administration. It’s not going to be an easy four years for the president or his unconstitutional abuses of power.
Finally, after the attacks on the grassroots of the party launched by the Romney campaign, party leaders and special interests, in many ways a Romney defeat is a victory for Liberty Republicans. In the long term it may benefit us more than defeating Obama would have. The party establishment and the special interests which back them placed all their bets on Romney and his failure was their failure as well. They have lost credibility with all the grassroots groups in the party and they are saddled with the blame for the abuses of power and bad choices which led to this debacle. Now everyone knows what we have known for years. If the Republican Party is to survive it needs a substantive change of leadership and a return to principles which can win elections.
After this election it is much more likely that our next presidential nominee will have strong liberty principles and Rand Paul’s stock as a presidential contender is way up. We should also expect to see the party distance itself from single issue voters on the religious right and a deemphasis of divisive social issues. This might well be the jolt the party needs to become the fiscally conservative and socially tolerant party which it needs to be in order to win and if it doesn’t happen quickly, we’re here to give change a push.
While this may not be the time for open celebration, this election has created many opportunities to expand the liberty movement within the Republican Party and our voices will be stronger and our opponents weaker than every before as we start a new political cycle. We have more members with substantial campaign experience, we have better campaign funding channels and we have more experienced candidates. Plus the Obama administration will supply us with plenty of opportunities for issue activism which can raise the profile of RLC leaders and our pro-liberty, small government agenda.
I’m looking forward to two years of great opportunities for growing liberty and winning key victories in the ongoing campaign to reclaim the Republican Party and make it the vehicle for the restoration of the Republic.