Concerned American patriots fear not; there is a true grassroots movement of volunteer activists dedicated to drastic reduction of government involvement in our lives. The movement starts with you, the concerned citizen, and stretches across the country from Maine to California and everywhere in between.
The Republican Liberty Caucus has been providing principled leadership for the Republican Party since 1991. Since Americans have awakened in response to the Bush Administration’s crushing blows to our liberties and since the Ron Paul Presidential campaign of 2008, the RLC has seen unprecedented growth.
There’s never been a better time to become active. Here is a review of some the RLC’s most successful activities in the past year. Keep in mind that all of these successes were achieved through voluntary participation. The benefit of an organization that is operated by volunteers is that it stays true to message and principle — it can’t be co-opted by people with other interests or intents.
The RLC has had tremendous success gaining earned media over the past year. This has included several mentions in the New Hampshire Union-Leader, Village Voice (NY), Nashville Post (TN), Charleston Post and Courier (SC), and regular coverage in newspapers throughout Florida. Several of our members or endorsed candidates have appeared on “Freedom Watch” with Judge Andrew Napolitano and local talk radio programs.
RLC members and chapters leaders have had a busy but successful year hosting events. Among the speakers: economists like Lawrence E. Reed, William Sirakos, and Thomas Woods; scholars like Dr. Bob Levy of the Cato Institute; physicians/health care experts like Dr. B.J. Lawson and Dr. Rand Paul; talk radio hosts like Mike Church; financial experts like Vern McKinley and Lawrence Lepard; several judges and county sheriffs; and elected officials ranging from Florida House Speaker Mike Haridopolos to Michigan State Representative (and RLC member) Justin Amash. Additionally, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will address RLC members several times in upcoming months. We also hosted a successful RLC National Convention (see also: RLC Convention 2009 photos) in Jacksonville, FL last March.
RLC members have been working constantly to influence the legislative process. From drafting their own legislation to encouraging GOP Convention delegates to adopt RLC proposals, RLC members are making their influence known. The Texas RLC led a campaign against a proposal to give more unconstitutional authority to Child Protective Services. And the Tennessee RLC helped endorsed Representative Susan Lynn draft and pass a State Sovereignty resolution. RLC-endorsed legislators were behind many of the other state sovereignty proposals. In RLC chapters like Missouri, most of the efforts were focused on advancing pro-liberty legislation — with great success. RLC members in Missouri blasted the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), which published a report critical of Ron Paul supporters in The Show Me State. Legislators are increasingly becoming aware of our organization and the impact it can have at the state level.
Public Outreach for Liberty
The RLC has conducted public outreach for liberty at our own events, at GOP events, and at liberty movement events. Many of the liberty movement events are expensive, so we only focused on events that were not costly and could bring in new members such as the seven Students for Liberty regional conferences that took place this fall. The RLC had members or speakers (see also: this link) at five of the seven conferences; in IL, MA, NC, PA, and TX. RLC affiliates also conducted outreach at GOP State Conventions or Meetings in CA, FL, NE, NC, TX, UT, and VA. (Not all states had statewide meetings in 2009.) We also had a booth at the Young Republicans National Convention in Indianapolis. Finally, the RLC itself had some all-star events with movement leaders like Bob Levy, Tom Woods, and Rand Paul (see also: this link). These RLC photos illustrate the great meetings that RLC members participated in 2009.
Social Networking Outreach
The RLC is at the forefront of social networking, with large followings on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! eGroups, and a new YouTube channel that includes our 2009 Convention speeches and a new video introduction. View our most recent social networking report.
Our biggest electoral success in 2009 was helping Dan Halloran, a member of our National Board, gain election to the New York City Council. In addition, RLC members contributed to an electoral victory for Ken Cuccinelli (pictured, left) to the post of Attorney General in Virginia. We also helped elect or re-elect state legislators in New Hampshire and New Jersey. The RLC offered Liberty Slates of candidates at state GOP Conventions in California, North Carolina, and Utah — and several of the slate members had successes. For example, in Utah, the RLC helped Morgan Philpot attain the post of Utah GOP Vice-Chair, while RLC members in Alameda County, California were able to gain a temporary majority on the GOP Central Committee.
The growth of our chapters is the biggest news of the last year. What an inspiration! Since December 2008, we have chartered eight new chapter affiliates and re-organized or re-activated three affiliates. For all of these successes, our members/chapter officers deserve a great deal of credit. The chapter successes are a testament to the rapid growth of our movement and solidify influence at the state/local levels.
What a year it’s been for liberty. Let’s continue the positive RLC growth into 2010. There’s a lot of work still to be done.