There are a host of upcoming Republican Liberty Caucus events that we want you to be a part of!
• San Jose Area RLC Monthly Meeting
June 20, San Jose
• Utah RLC Convention
June 21, Draper
• Los Angeles RLC Chartering Meeting
June 22, Los Angeles
• Virginia RLC at TV Filming Tutorial
June 22, Fairfax
• Minnesota RLC Meeting
June 22, S. Saint Paul
• Arizona RLC Meeting
July 9, Tucson
Contact us for details.
• Lake County (Indiana) RLC Meeting
July 16, Schererville
• Arizona RLC Social
July 19, Tucson
• Heartland Liberty Conference
(Sponsored by the Nebraska RLC)
August 6, Omaha
• Central Texas RLC Meeting
August 12, Austin
• Gary Johnson at the National Press Club
Topic: Social Issues and the Republican Party
August 19, Washington, DC
• Calvin Coolidge Clambake with Gov. Gary Johnson
(Sponsored by the Maine RLC)
August 26, Portland
Republican Party of Bloomfield Hosts Rep. Justin Amash
(Sponsored by the Michigan RLC)
August 29, Metro Detroit
You are cordially invited to join us at our next event. The details follow. An RSVP is appreciated and may be made by email or via our Facebook event. Also, you are welcome to share this invitation with others and we’re grateful for any help to promote it.
I hope you can join us.
On behalf of the Board,
Wednesday, June 22 · 6:30pm – 9:00pm
756 3rd Ave South
South Saint Paul, Minnesota
Join us at the picnic shelter for food, fellowship and a lively conversation on the National Popular Vote initiative. Former Rep. Laura Brod and Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (25A) will be our guest speakers.
RLCMN will provide pork chops, soft drinks and dessert. Guests are invited to bring a side dish to share.
$5 members and Legislators
$10 non-members and guests, children free
(family limit of $20)
Please note: There will be a softball tournament on the same evening as this event. Parking may be tight.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota’s Greg O’Connor testified before the State House in support of legislation from RLC-endorsed legislator Mary Kiffmeyer to implement VOTER ID for Minnesota.
View a brief excerpt from his presentation before the House and read this article about the legislation: Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s voting bill advances in the House.
Additionally, Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota Chair Norann Dillon addressed the Young Americans for Liberty in Minnesota at their first annual convention in early April.
Students gathered to hear from pro-liberty speakers.
Norann addresses the YAL-MN students.
From the New Hampshire Union Leader‘s John DiStaso:
“Tea Party leader and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s schedule for Saturday, March 12: Bachmann will attend a coffee sponsored by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire for lawmakers who are members of that group. It will be held at the new Liberty Harbor Academy, a new conservative educational institute in Manchester. The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire is expected to become an important stop on presidential candidate schedules this year.
We will post additional details as they become available. This event will mark the first time the RLC has hosted Michele Bachmann at any event.
The state chapter has already hosted Governor Gary Johnson and Sharron Angle. They will again host Governor Johnson in late April.
On Saturday, February 5, the Minnesota RLC hosted its annual Convention in Golden Valley.
The Minnesota RLC elected the following individuals to officer positions: Norann Dillon, Chair; Terry McCall, Vice Chair; Tom Willenbring, Treasurer; and Rudy Takala, Secretary. And the following folks were elected to At-Large Director positions: David FitzSimmons, Andy Lindberg, Neil Lynch, Sue Jeffers, Greg O’Connor, Grant Cermak (Alternate), Bill Paulsen (Alternate), Ebenezer Howe (Alternate), Adam Weigold (Alternate), and Mike Cummins (Alternate).
Senator Rod Grams, Assistant Minority Leader Matt Dean, Rep. Tom Emmer, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, David Strom, Krysia Weidell, Chairman Tony Sutton, Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb, and National Committee candidates all spoke at the Convention.
Minnesota RLC 2011 Convention
Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Brookview Community Center (next to the golf course)
200 Brookview Parkway, Golden Valley, MN 55426
2:00pm – Registration Opens
2:30pm – 4:00pm – Convention
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Social Hour with refreshments and appetizers
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Panel Discussion with former and current legislators (TBA)
6:00pm – 6:30pm – Q&A and Wrap-up
The business of the convention shall be to:
1. Nominate and Elect the Board of Directors*
2. Approve any changes to the Bylaws and Rules*
3. Transact other business as may properly come before the convention.
*Members in good standing of the RLCMN, as well as supporters who are in accord with the principles and positions of the RLCMN are invited to unite under this call. To be eligible to vote or seek office at this convention, you must have paid your dues pr ior to the beginning of the Convention.
The cost is $40 per person ($70 per couple) and includes membership, social hour and discussion. Attendance for the social hour and discussion only is available for $25. Checks may be made to RLCMN and mailed to PO Box 14244, St Paul, MN 55114 (preferred method).
Audience participation is requested! Submit your panel discussion topics and questions with your reservation! E-mail us with topics and questions, or for more information.
Triangle Area (North Carolina) RLC Hosts
State Representative-Elect Glen Bradley
Friday, January 21 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
at Oh’ Mulligans (100 Jerusalem Dr., Morrisville, NC)
The NC GOP State Convention is coming up and we have Precinct Meetings right around the corner (Wake is Feb. 8 at the fairgrounds Kerr Scott Bldg). Now is the time to start recruiting and preparing for the delegate process. We will be electing a new NCGOP State Chair at the State Convention (in Wilmington, NC) this summer. We need a strong presence at this convention and the Precinct Meetings are the first step in the delegate process. If you can’t make it to the Precinct Meeting we can help you get your name on the list to the county and district conventions. We will be going over all of this at the meeting. Becoming a delegate to the State Convention is a must for anyone concerned with the future of our nation. It is extremely easy to become a delegate! You must be registered as a Republican prior to January 31 and we can assist you in registering at this event.
Joining us at this meeting will be State Representative Glen Bradley. Glen was an RLC endorsed candidate who recently got elected to the NC General Assembly representing NC 49 District. He is a huge asset to the liberty movement currently working within the NC GOP. He has a lot to talk with us about in regards to what he is working on and what we need to be doing as a movement within the GOP, i.e. working to reduce government, protect individual liberty, get like minded Republicans elected, and to defend free markets economics.
Utah RLC Monthly Meeting
Please join the Utah RLC Executive Board this Saturday, January 8th, from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Murray Library for our monthly meeting. Your input will be very valuable as the new Congress begins to take charge and the new legislative session proceeds here in Utah. We will also be formulating our state liberty index, so be sure to bring your thinking caps!
The Murray Library is located at 166 East 5300 South in Murray, Utah.
See you there! RSVP on Facebook.
ARLINGTON, VA — The Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC), a membership organization that exists to promote the principles of individual liberty and limited government, has six endorsed Congressional candidates who are on paths to victory this November as evidenced by poll numbers and leading experts in the field. The candidates include Justin Amash of Michigan, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Doug Cloud and John Koster of Washington state, Chip Cravaack of Minnesota, and Steve Chabot of Ohio.
“With the exception of 1994, the Republican Liberty Caucus has never seen a slate of candidates who have the potential to knock of incumbents like this slate,” said RLC Chair Dave Nalle of Texas. “These candidates are principled and committed to the Republican Liberty Caucus vision of a free nation with limited, efficient government,” said Nalle. In addition to a full slate of endorsed Congressional candidates (including many not mentioned above), the RLC has also endorsed incumbent members of Congress Jeff Flake (AZ), Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Adrian Smith (NE), Scott Garrett (NJ), Jim Jordan (OH), John Duncan (TN), and a slate from the Texas Congressional Delegation.
According to RLC Vice Chair Aaron Biterman, “Justin Amash is a conservative Republican running in a right-leaning Grand Rapids district; Mick Mulvaney is polling even with incumbent John Spratt (D) in South Carolina 5; Steve Chabot is polling even or ahead of Steve Driehaus (D) in a suburban Cincinnati district. Spratt and Driehaus rubber-stamped the entire Obama Big Government agenda and will have to face the voters on November 2.”
Additionally, a Public Opinion Strategies poll from early October showed RLC endorsed candidate Chip Cravaack at 42 percent to incumbent Democrat Jim Oberstar’s 45 percent. RealClearPolitics ranks John Koster’s bid against incumbent Democrat Rick Larson a “toss up” after several polls showed them within 3 points of each other in Washington’s 2nd District. Finally, a Wenzel Strategies poll released last week shows Democrat incumbent Norm Dicks trailing RLC candidate Doug Cloud in Washington’s 6th District.
“If Doug Cloud and Justin Amash in particular advance to Congress, they will be RLC Advisory Board member Ron Paul’s foremost allies in Washington,” said Biterman, adding that, “If our other candidates — Mulvaney, Koster, Cravaack, and Chabot — also succeed, there will be a significantly larger coalition for limited government in Congress.” The Republican Liberty Caucus is urging its members to volunteer for and donate to these candidates in particular.
The Republican Liberty Caucus, founded in 1991, exists to promote individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise within the Republican Party. The RLC will hold its 2011 Convention in Arlington, Virginia on February 12, 2011 and encourages media, liberty-minded citizens, and other interested parties to attend. Learn more about the organization at http://www.RLC.org/. A full list of endorsed candidates is available at http://www.rlc.org/endorsed-candidates-2010/.
President Obama counted on Midwestern states to deliver his 2008 Presidential victory. His popularity in the Midwest was high, having won by large margins in states like Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Clearly Midwest voters were interested in change and a new direction for the country.
But with less than two weeks until the 2010 mid-term elections, the Midwest has become the President’s biggest problem area.
The President’s party is poised to lose at least four Senate races in the Midwest (IN, MO, ND, OH) while two others remain tight contests in which the GOP candidate has been consistently leading (IL, WI). Of the four open Midwest gubernatorial contests, the GOP is posting solid results in three of them (IL, OH, WI) with another, Minnesota, still up for grabs.
Looking at swing Congressional races is where you really get an idea of the Democrats’ Midwestern problem. States that rarely have competitive races like Minnesota and Missouri each have several vulnerable incumbents in 2010. Missouri Blue Dog Democrat incumbent Ike Skelton, who has represented central-west Missouri for more than 30 years, is facing perhaps his toughest challenge yet. A similar situation is facing U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who represents northeast Minnesota. Oberstar has been in Congress consistently for nearly 40 years and is in the race of his life. Tim Walz, a second term Democrat from a southern Minnesota swing district, is facing a tough reelection battle as well.
Wisconsin — which is thought to be liberal but is more accurately categorized as a swing state — currently has only three Republicans in its eight member Congressional delegation but may have just two Democrats in its delegation by January, 2011. Vulnerable incumbents there include Reps. Steve Kagen (D) in the northeastern part of the state and Ron Kind (D) in the west.
Illinois and Ohio have between five and six seats each that are extremely competitive House races while four Michigan and three Iowa and Wisconsin seats are up in the air.
Illinois’ western-most district, represented by second term Congressman Phil Hare, was a seat pundits never thought would be in play. But the rural, gerrymandered district is now a national target of Republicans, who have an excellent candidate in businessman Bobby Schilling. Mark Kirk’s vacated seat in the moderate northern Chicago burbs is also up for grabs and is really the Democrat’s only pickup opportunity in the Midwest this cycle. Reps. Melissa Bean (D) in the western Chicago suburbs, Bill Foster (D) in the southern Chicago suburbs, and Debbie Halvorson (D) in central Illinois are also in tough reelection battles. Halvorson, who doesn’t shy away from any of her votes or support of the Obama agenda, has been down as far as eighteen points in recent surveys.
In Iowa, all three of the incumbent Democrat Congressmen, Reps. Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack, and Leonard Boswell could lose. Indiana’s Joe Donnelly (D) and Baron Hill (D) are facing tough challenges and Brad Ellsworth’s open seat in southern Indiana is poised for a Republican pickup.
The upper Midwest is heavily in play, too. Bart Stupak’s open Michigan upper Peninsula seat is leaning Republican, as are the two northern Wisconsin seats held by the retiring Rep. David Obey (D) and second term Democrat Steve Kagen.
The Democrats are losing rural voters who are deeply concerned about the economy and didn’t see any added benefits after the stimulus and Obamacare.
Voters in rural Ohio districts like the eastern-most districts of Reps. Zack Space (D) and Charlie Wilson (D) may be poised to boot out the incumbents. The same is true of swing districts in Ohio like that of northeast Ohio’s John Boccieri and central Ohio’s Mary Jo Kilroy, first-term Democrats who rubber-stamped the entire Obama agenda. Suburban districts represented by Steve Driehaus (D) and Betty Sutton (D), which are centered around Akron and Cincinatti, are also in play.
Both the North and South Dakota At Large seats are up for grabs for the first time in many years, too. All told, the entire region is in play — from Skelton’s seat in central Missouri to Wilson’s seat in eastern Ohio and from Kagen’s seat in northeast Wisconsin all the way westward to the Dakotas.
A recent Rasmussen poll showed that voters are angry with Members of Congress who voted for Obamacare, the auto bailout, or the stimulus package. By significant margins, voters do not want to reelect incumbents who voted for these unpopular parts of the Obama agenda.
The Midwest’s economy is suffering and people are out of work. Jobs is the main topic of most Congressional debates in the region. Midwest voters are likely to make significant changes in who represents them in Congress. Whether those changes will help the struggling economy recover and foster job creation in the region remains to be seen.
But one thing is for sure: the Democrats have a Midwestern sized problem.
Campaign strategist Dick Morris recently blogged about focusing support on ten key house races where he believes money and personal effort will make the most difference for Republicans in November. While I agree with the concept of focusing support on key races, there is a fundamental problem with the list Morris has put together. Instead of focusing on the best candidates, it is a list almost entirely composed of establishment candidates. It focuses on winning seats and ignores the imperative to change the focus of the party and the Congress in November.
While Morris’ candidates may have a good chance of winning, they are mostly not the kinds of candidates who will move the GOP in a positive direction or take roles as principled leaders in Congress. They may end up being helpful votes as part of a future coalition, but they are not the right candidates to form the nucleus of a new and better Republican majority.
It’s much more important in this key election to put your money and support behind GOP candidates who are both able to win and also dedicated to Constitutional principles and restoring the core ideals of the GOP. To redo Morris’ work from the perspective of a pro-liberty activist rather than a political hack who used to call his pal Bill Clinton while he was in bed with a hooker and Clinton was playing hide the cigar with an intern, I offer my list of the ten house candidates who really deserve your help and your money. They are listed in order of my somewhat subjective assessment of their need and worthiness.
Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)
A principled constitutional conservative who is running in a tough blue-leaning district against an incumbent he has done the near impossible to come up tied at 46% to 46% with his opponent in the latest poll. He needs any support he can get in a critical race.
Find out more about his campaign at www.mulvaneyforcongress.com
Jason Levesque (ME-2)
Trailing in the polls, but working very hard to catch up. He’s a committed Liberty Republican and is trailing 7 points in the polls. It’s a deficit he can make up by November. He has the energy and needs your support.
Find out more about his campaign at www.levesqueforcongress.com
John Koster (WA-2)
A principled constitutional conservative who is leading by about 4 points in the latest poll. He needs to widen his lead to secure an important upset win.
Find out more about his campaign at www.kosterforcongress.com
Delia Lopez (OR-3)
A promising and hard working Liberty Republican who speaks out strongly for Constitutionally protected rights and civil liberties. She’s a real anti-establishment candidate who is running a very active campaign, but has an uphill battle.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.dlopezforcongress.com
David Ratowitz (IL-5)
One of my favorite Liberty Republicans running this year. On the right side of just about every issue. Strong on individual liberty and fiscal issues. He has a tough but winnable race, but needs help to pull off an upset.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.ratowitzforcongress.com
John Dennis (CA-8)
One of the most high profile Liberty Republican candidates in one of the most challenging races in the country, taking on Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. Yes, he’s down by more than 20 points in the polls, but there are still enough undecided votes that he could win. He might be able to pull off a miracle with your help.
Help him beat Pelosi at: www.johndennis2010.com
Chip Cravaack (MN-8)
A strong fiscal conservative with integrity and a background as a navy pilot. The kind of principled leader we need in Congress. Not much polling information, but his fundraising is strong and he seems like a potential winner.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.chipcravack.com
Gary Clift (CA-10)
A strong Liberty Republican in a race that is under the radar in northern California. The incumbent was elected in a special election and did not beat Clift by wide margins in that race, so there is potential for an upset with your help.
Find out more about his campaign: www.cliftforcongress.com
B. J. Lawson (NC-4)
One of the most respected Liberty Republican candidates, he has surprised many by taking a small lead in the latest poll. He needs to widen that lead to secure the seat and put another principled spokesman for liberty in the House.
Find out more about his campaign at www.lawsonforcongress.com
Lee Byberg (MN-7)
Coming off a very strong primary win, but the race hasn’t gotten much media attention. Internal polling suggests that he can win with enough support and exposure. He’s a strong constitutional conservative with civil libertarian leanings.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.bybergforcongress.com
These are hardly the only deserving candidates, but Morris picked ten so I limited myself to that. I eliminated great candidates with races which were too hard to assess like Bill Gunn (MA-1), Dan Sebring (WI-4) and others. I also passed over candidates who are running away with their races like Justin Amash (MI-3) or some who just seem too far behind to be saved.
There will be many turnovers in the House this fall. There’s not one candidate Morris and I agree on, but there’s room for his less inspiring candidates if we can put my 10 pro-liberty, pro-constitution Republicans in the House to show them the way.
Check out the websites of the candidates from both lists and think about which group of 10 you’d rather have shape the future of the Republican Party.
In the course of researching this article I found TPM’s new Political Tracker beta site very helpful.
A version of this article appeared previously on Blogcritics.