What is the RLC?
The Republican Liberty Caucus is the oldest continuous operating organization dedicated to working within the Republican Party to restore the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free market economics. The National RLC was founded in 1991 and has state chapters throughout the country.
All officers are volunteers who work without compensation to help elect Liberty Republicans to county and state GOP committees and to municipal, state and federal offices.
It is a 527 grassroots organization. The RLC endorses candidates and provides a centralized vehicle to for coordination, collaboration, and communication among Liberty Republicans nationwide. It also has a Political Action Committee to contribute to RLC-endorsed candidates’ campaigns.
We welcome the involvement of new members who share our Statement of Principles and who want to work to change the GOP. We invite you to Join Us.
What does the RLC do?
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 RLC-endorsed 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 liberty groups, like the Tea Party, in order to collaborate on issues of mutual interest.
What is the RLC’s platform?
The RLC is an independent political membership organization that is not officially affiliated with the Republican National Committee.
The RLC has officially adopted a Statement of Principles and Positions that guides the organization.
RLC principles are best summarized in The Liberty Compact, which we ask candidates seeking RLC endorsement to sign:
I pledge to the citizens of this State, and to the American people, that as their elected representative I will work to: restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited, enumerated powers of our Constitution, not ignore them.
What types of people become active in the RLC?
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. 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 to attain real political change through the Republican Party.
Does the RLC really believe that politicians can make a difference?
Americans seemed locked into a two party system. Based on the RLC Statement of Principles, we believe working within the Republican Party is the best direction toward limited government, individual liberty and free markets.
The best way to bring about change is for RLC to increase membership so that the GOP sees a critical mass of Liberty Republicans who are the Conscience of the Republican Party.
These RLC members then work for candidates to city, county and state committees where they can steer the GOP toward those principles.
Then chapters can endorse candidates for public office with the assurance that those candidates are principled because they signed The Liberty Compact and they will listen to RLC members.
Do I have to be a member of the GOP to join the RLC?
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. However, RLC can only endorse Republican candidates so it makes sense that a registered Republican who cares about liberty would a logical candidate to join RLC.
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. RLC will take sides in primaries and endorse the more liberty-oriented candidate.
We explicitly encourage Republican Party adoption and support of the principles and positions expressed in the official RLC Statement of Principles.
How can I contribute to the work of the RLC?
Your monetary contribution will help support the outreach of RLC.
There are three ways to make a donation:
* 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.
Is there a RLC chapter in my state?
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 the appropriate Regional Director listed on the web site. He or she will help you get started to organize a chapter if your state has none or put you in touch with the state officers.
Does the RLC have National Conventions?
The RLC has a convention every two years. Our next Convention will be on April 18-19, 2015 in Portland, Maine. 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.
Prior Conventions: 1994 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee; 1996 – Alexandria, Virginia; 1998 – Las Vegas, Nevada; 2000 – Atlanta, Georgia; 2002 – San Antonio, Texas; 2004 – Fresno, California; 2006 – Orlando, Florida; 2009 – Jacksonville, Florida; 2011 – Arlington, Virginia; 2013 – Austin, Texas.
Are any elected officials endorsed by the RLC?
Yes. Our members in Congress include Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Justin Amash of Michigan, 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.
The RLC also has many elected members in state legislatures across the country, the Maine State Republican Party chair is an RLC member as is the Republican National Committeeman from that state.
Where is the RLC located and who are its officers?
Republican Liberty Caucus
P.O. Box 410045
Melbourne, FL 32941-0045
NATIONAL BOARD SERVING THROUGH 2015
Chair Matt Nye of Florida
Vice Chair Ed Lopez of Connecticut
Secretary Laura Ebke of Nebraska
Treasurer Norann Dillon of Connecticut
At-large Board members:
Sandi Belcher of Washington State
Matt Dubin of Washington State
Levi Lippincott of Nebraka
Regional Directors with Board votes:
Northeast Vic Berardelli of Maine
Atlantic Stephanie Butcher of West Virginia
Southeast Steve Hoffman of South Carolina
Central Jason McClanahan of Michigan
South Central Dave Nalle of Texas
Great Plains Tony Kirk of Missouri
Northwest Cornel Rasor of Idaho
Southwest Matt Heath of California
Alternate members of the Board:
Marie Lopez-Reyes of Connecticut
Jason Robinson of Idaho
The RLC also operates a Political Action Committee:
Republican Liberty Caucus PAC
Alan H. Cousin, Treasurer
3734 43rd St, #6
San Diego, CA 92105
POLITICAL ISSUES & CANDIDATES
How does a candidate receive support from the RLC or RLC-USA PAC?
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.
Candidates for Federal office (President, US Senate, US House) are endorsed by RLC National, with input from the states. The campaign contribution comes through the national RLC-USA PAC and is reported to the FEC.
Candidates for state offices (Governor, legislature, municipal) are endorsed by the RLC State Chapter. The campaign contribution comes through the state PAC and is reported to the appropriate state election oversight commission.
For most federal and state offices, candidates fill out a survey of their positions and submit it with links to their web sites, position papers and other pertinent background. Once reviewed by the members, a vote is taken on whether to bestow the RLC endorsement.
Republican presidential candidates are reviewed by a national RLC Endorsement Committee which submits a list of acceptable candidates to the national Board. If the National Board chooses to recommend an endorsement, it must be ratified by two-thirds (2/3) of the states in order to be an official RLC presidential endorsement.
Will the RLC support a Libertarian Party or independent candidate?
The RLC cannot endorsed 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. That means the organization and our membership sometimes break from the Republican Party establishment.
What is the RLC’s position on abortion?
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.
What is the relationship between the RLC and the Republican Party?
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 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.
How can the RLC be allied with the Republican National Committee?
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. In fact, an RLC member who is a Republican National Committeeman from his state waged a campaign against a sitting incumbent for GOP National Chair.
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 at the local level.
What does the RLC think of the religious right?
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.”
Are there other Republican groups called the RLC?
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.