Ripon Forum Fall 2013

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House GOP Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins discusses why more women are needed at the Leadership table

Fall 2013 Volume 47, No. 4

role models Winning the Hispanic vote: What the GOP can learn from Susana Martinez and Chris Christie by Leslie Sanchez

Plus: Tim Penny on the rise of John Kasich, Kim Alfano on closing the gender gap, and Liesl Hickey on the NRCC’s strategy heading into the mid-terms

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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 47, Number 4 Politics & Perspective

Cover Story (cont’d.)


The Conservative Proposal to Reform Health Care By Steve Scalise Beyond calls for repeal exists a Republican alternative to replace the Affordable Care Act.


Boot the Zombies! By Kim Alfano One of the GOP’s top strategists argues that the party will not close its gender gap until it fills its deficit of new ideas.


Getting Smart on Crime By Henry Rosen and Mai Tran A look at how community workforce development programs are increasing public safety.


The Decline of Parties and the Rise of Dysfunction By Mark Braden A veteran election law expert looks at the growing influence of special interest groups, and the impact on parties -- and the nation.


May the Best Candidate Win By Dan Schnur Can two laws to end gridlock in California serve as a model for nationwide reform? This respected political observer thinks so.

Cover Story 8

ROLE MODELS Winning the Hispanic Vote: What Republicans can learn from Chris Christie and Susana Martinez By Leslie Sanchez Amid soaring approval ratings and a vast crossover appeal, these two Governors are reaching out to America’s new electorate and coming away with their support.


Behind Kasich’s Rise By Tim Penny Twenty years after they served together in Congress, a former colleague of John Kasich’s looks at his record as Governor and explains why he is not surprised by his success.


“Democrats have every reason to be worried.” A Q&A with Liesl Hickey The Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee weighs in with a preview of the 2014 mid-term elections. Publisher The Ripon Society President Jim Conzelman Editorial Board William Frenzel Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Michael Oxley Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha

Editor Louis M. Zickar Deputy Editor Jarrad Hensley

News & Events 23

Ripon Society Hosts Breakfast Meeting on Expanding the Base of the GOP Reps. Ellmers, Blackburn, Black & Roby headline discussion


“Great things have always been done at the intersection of principle and compromise.” Reps. Renacci, Kelly, Delaney and Barr Discuss Bipartisan Effort to Find Common Ground

Sections 3

In this Edition


Ripon Profile House Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins

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THE RIPON SOCIETY Honorary COngressional Advisory Board U.S. Senators: Pat Roberts (Senate Chairman) Roy Blunt Richard Burr Susan M. Collins Orrin G. Hatch U.S. Representatives: Thomas E. Petri (House Co-Chairman) Pat Tiberi (House Co-Chairman) Spencer Bachus Marsha Blackburn Charles Boustany Vern Buchanan Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Dave Camp Eric I. Cantor Shelley Moore Capito Bill Cassidy, MD Howard Coble Tom Cole Ander Crenshaw Rodney Davis Charlie Dent Sean Duffy Renee Ellmers Rodney Frelinghuysen Cory Gardner Jim Gerlach Kay Granger Sam Graves Tim Griffin Richard Hanna Darrell Issa Lynn Jenkins Dave Joyce Mike Kelly Adam Kinzinger Leonard Lance Frank Lucas Kevin McCarthy Patrick Meehan Candice Miller Randy Neugebauer Erik Paulsen Tom Reed Jim Renacci Reid Ribble Peter Roskam Jon Runyan Steve Scalise Aaron Schock John Shimkus Bill Shuster Lamar Smith Steve Stivers Lee Terry Glenn Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Greg Walden Edward Whitfield Retired Members of Congress: Bill Frenzel (Chairman Emeritus) Bill Archer Henry Bonilla Michael Castle Geoff Davis Mike Ferguson J. Dennis Hastert David Hobson Nancy Johnson Sue Kelly Scott Klug Bob Livingston Jim McCrery Robert H. Michel Susan Molinari Don Nickles Michael G. Oxley Bill Paxon Deborah Pryce Tom Reynolds Tom Ridge Gordon Smith Don Sundquist Tom Tauke Robert S. Walker

In this Edition

The famed screenwriter William Goldman once wrote a book about Hollywood called, Adventures in the Screen Trade. In it, he discussed his career working in the film industry and his experience as the creative force behind such hits as Marathon Man and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He also offered up what remains one of the most widely quoted observations about moviemaking today: “Nobody knows anything,” he wrote. Goldman was talking about Hollywood and, specifically, the inability of filmmakers to figure out what American moviegoers wanted to see. And yet if there was ever a quote that could be applied to Washington, it is this one. Time and again over the past several years, it seems, conventional wisdom has been turned on its head about what is going to happen next in politics and what the American people want in their elected leaders. Remember Hillary’s inevitability in the 2008 presidential campaign? Or the impossibility in late 2009 that Obamacare would actually be approved? Just over a year ago, nearly every top Republican thought Mitt was a cinch, while just over a month ago, nearly everyone thought Republicans were toast. Nobody knows anything. That is why predictions about the 2014 election are so futile. It’s also why, in this latest edition of the Forum, we don’t focus on predictions about next year’s midterms. Rather, we focus on the trends that may shape the results. Trends such as: • The importance of Hispanic Americans in the nation’s political process and why, in their efforts to reach out to and connect with this growing part of the electorate, Governors Chris Christie and Susana Martinez are providing a model that other Republicans should follow. • The gender gap that continues to plague Republicans and why, in addition to their efforts to close this gap by recruiting more women candidates to run for office, the party also needs to look at filling the ideas deficit that is turning so many women away. • The growth of special interest groups, and why, by filling the role that has historically been played by political parties in elections, these groups are fueling the political dysfunction that has brought governance in Washington to its knees. We take a look at these and other trends with some of the nation’s leading thinkers and strategists, including NRCC Executive Director Liesl Hickey, GOP media gurus Leslie Sanchez and Kim Alfano, and veteran election law expert Mark Braden. This latest edition of the Forum also features a profile of House Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins, an op-ed about the conservative solution to health care reform by Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, and an essay by respected political observer Dan Schnur about two laws passed in California that could serve as a model for election reform nationwide. As with every Ripon Forum, we hope you find this edition informative and interesting, and encourage you to contact us with any comments or questions you may have. Lou Zickar Editor The Ripon Forum



Politics & Perspective

The Conservative Proposal to Reform American Health Care Steve Scalise The centuries-old oath taken by health care Republican Study Committee (RSC) is proud to lead the professionals reads, “Do no harm.” It is time for charge to replace President Obama’s health care law and Washington lawmakers to take a similar approach when rejuvenate the American health care system by bringing working to fix the problems that exist in our health care forward the American Health Care Reform Act. A commonsystem. sense, practical, and portable free-market alternative to the Unfortunately for hard-working Americans and their current health care system, our bill reforms health care in families, President Obama’s signature health care law, the America without the unworkable taxes and mandates in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), fails to meet the promise of Affordable Care Act. the Hippocratic Oath. Drafted by an Insurance premiums are engaged cross-section rising, access to health of the RSC, including care is more limited, and several medical millions of Americans professionals and small are losing the health business leaders, our bill care plans that they repeals the President’s had and liked. And yet law and replaces it with in spite of all of the commonsense reforms problems and broken that put patients back promises, including the in charge of their health delays of key provisions care decisions so we can for big business and lower costs and increase insurance companies, access to the highestand the failed rollout quality health care for of the health insurance all Americans. At its exchanges, the Obama core, our reform bill Administration remains promotes programs that Congressman Scalise questions Health & Human Services fixated on barreling have proven successful Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during an Energy & Commerce forward with this fatallyat lowering costs, levels Committee hearing on Oct. 30th. flawed law at any cost. the playing field for Republicans, like individuals and families, the majority of the American people, see this train wreck and increases access to affordable health insurance. coming and continue working to counteract the harmful Arguably the greatest inequality in the health care effects of the Affordable Care Act before it is too late. market today is the unfair tax treatment of health insurance, However, there were problems in our health care system which currently favors individuals who obtain health prior to the ACA. Thus, simply repealing the law and insurance through their employer over those who purchase returning to the old status quo is not enough. insurance on their own. It is time to level the playing field That is why Republicans have not only voted to by offering a standard tax deduction to any taxpayer who repeal and delay the President’s signature law, but we purchases health insurance. This ensures that all Americans have also proposed our own solutions. Conservatives will have greater choice when choosing the best health plan recognize that patient-centered reforms rooted in free for their family, while protecting the incentive for employers market principles that put patients and their doctors back to provide health insurance to their employees. The result in charge of health care decisions are the best way to lower will be a net tax cut for the vast majority of Americans and costs and solve problems in our health care system. The increased health options for their families. 4


conditions have access to affordable health insurance. We The American Health Care Reform Act encourages put our money where our mouth is by bolstering existing free-market principles by expanding access to health state-based high risk pools and reforming current HIPAA savings accounts, which have proven extraordinarily requirements. successful by allowing individuals to contribute preEach day, the economic fallout from President Obama’s tax dollars to an account which they own. Additionally, health care law gets worse, as even union bosses are now our bill allows small businesses to pool their resources complaining that the ACA is destroying the 40-hour work through Association Health Plans, giving businesses and week and the Senate author of the ACA has called it a ‘traincommunity groups, such as local Chambers of Commerce, wreck’. Businesses of every size are cutting employee the chance to offer their members the same buying power hours and are dropping coverage for families as uncertainty as large corporations. Additionally, the bill provides greater in our health care system increases. Unworkable mandates, flexibility by allowing people to purchase health insurance taxes, and federal control across state lines, just are the wrong answer to like they buy most other A common-sense, practical, and solving the health care products. These sensible crisis that looms over our provisions will greatly portable free-market alternative to the nation. increase access and allow current health care system, our bill We can lower health families to purchase the care costs, increase highest-quality health reforms health care in America without access to health care, care that they choose is the unworkable taxes and mandates in and fix real problems best for them, and all at the Affordable Care Act. without a governmentlower costs. run system that puts One of the greatest unelected Washington drivers of health care bureaucrats and IRS agents between you and your doctor. costs today is the practice of defensive medicine, and our It starts with repealing President Obama’s unworkable plan reforms medical liability laws. Maintaining a high law and replacing it with real reforms that have been standard of protection for patients, while guarding against proven to work in the real world. With more than 100 frivolous lawsuits by overzealous trial lawyers, is a crucial cosponsors, the RSC’s American Health Care Reform Act step to lowering insurance rates while providing doctors the is a better way. RF ability to practice medicine without the enormous burdens of a broken malpractice system. Steve Scalise represents the 1st District of Louisiana in the We recognize that we have a duty to protect those U.S. House of Representatives. He serves as Chairman of with pre-existing conditions, and the RSC’s bill provides a the Republican Study Committee. practical solution to ensure that Americans with pre-existing

American Health Care Reform Act Key Provisions

• • • • • •

Fully repeals President Obama's health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs. Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations. Reforms medical malpractice laws in a commonsense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients. Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance. Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses. Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.



A New Strategy to Promote Safety Through Employment Henry Rosen and Mai Tran Every year, approximately 650,000 people across the recidivism, research shows that simply placing someone in a United States leave prisons and reenter their communities.1 job does not guarantee successful reentry.6 Criminal behavior 2 An estimated 40 percent return to prison within three years. is often the result of several characteristics and circumstances, Millions more cycle through jail every year. These numbers such as having anti-social attitudes, associations with antiraise public safety concerns, as well as concerns over the cost social peers, poor relationships with family members, and to taxpayers. In 2011, the total cost to taxpayers was $38.8 negative perceptions about school or work. Without first billion on corrections,3 making corrections, on average, the addressing these underlying challenges, little can be done to fourth largest item in state budgets behind health, education, improve an individual’s ability to stay crime-free and keep and transportation.4 a job. What is needed is an The high rate of integrated approach that recidivism is caused in part by corrections, reentry, and Although employment can the difficulties of reintegration workforce development play a critical role in reducing in the community, such systems can use to triage recidivism, research shows that as securing employment. their resources in ways The U.S. Department of that reduce recidivism and simply placing someone in a job Labor estimates that the improve employability does not guarantee successful unemployment rate for people among their shared with criminal histories is populations. reentry. between 25 and 40 percent Recognizing this need across the country.5 Without a for an integrated approach, job, these people are unable to support themselves and their the Council of State Governments Justice Center — with families or pay taxes, and are more likely to reoffend. support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Although employment can play a critical role in reducing Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and with guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration — has released 1. “Prisoners and Prisoner Reentry,” U.S. Department of Justice, accessed Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing November 7, 2013, available at Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness (Integrated progmenu_reentry.html. Strategies). Integrated Strategies features a new framework 2. The Pew Center on the States, “State of Recidivism: The Revolving that brings together the latest research in reducing recidivism Door of America’s Prisons.” (Washington: The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the best practices in workforce development. 2011), available at wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/sentencing_and_corrections/State_ Integrated Strategies helps policymakers, program Recidivism_Revolving_Door_America_Prisons .pdf. administrators, and practitioners maximize their investments 3. Christian Henrichson and Ruth Delaney, “The Price of Prisons: What to improve reentry and employment outcomes for people with Incarceration Costs Taxpayers,” (New York: Vera Institute of Justice, criminal histories. The paper offers guidance on how to create 2012), available at effective programs, and recommends using evidence-based 4. Public Safety Performance Project,“Public Safety, Public Spending: assessments of individuals’ risk of reoffending, job readiness, Forecasting America’s Prison Population: 2007-2011,” (Washington: and related needs to ensure an individual is placed in services The Pew Charitable Trusts), available at that are tailored to meet his or her needs. This approach can uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/State-based_policy/PSPP_ prison_projections_0207.pdf. help decision-makers triage and allocate resources, promoting 5. U.S Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, “Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications of Ex-Offenders (RExO) Adult Generation 5,” (Washington: U.S. Department of Labor, 2012), available at py_11_02_final_1_11_2012.pdf.


6. Edward J. Latessa, “Why Work is Important and How to Improve the Effectiveness of Correctional Reentry Programs that Target Employment,” Criminology and Public Policy 11, no. 1 (2012): 87-91.


an efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Around the country, corrections and workforce development agencies in several jurisdictions — including New York State and Montgomery County, Maryland—are implementing integrated initiatives between corrections and workforce systems to promote employment among adults with criminal records. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Work for Success Initiative is a first-ofits-kind statewide effort to improve employment outcomes and reduce recidivism among individuals with criminal histories. This initiative involves a dynamic partnership of the state’s Department of Labor, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Office of the Deputy of Civil Rights, and leading workforce practitioners in New York. Work for Success will soon launch a coordinated system to match an individual returning to the community to workforce development services according to the individual’s assessments of his or her risk of reoffending, job readiness, and related needs. Montgomery County, Maryland is also incorporating elements of the integrated approach to serve the needs of adults returning to the communities from custody. The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation’s Pre-Release and Reentry Services (PRRS)

Division operates a residential work-release facility for individuals who are within 12 months of release. Using information from risk and job-readiness assessments, case managers and staff work with each individual to create a comprehensive, tailored reentry plan. PRRS partners with Montgomery College and the workforce development organization MontgomeryWorks to prepare individuals to obtain and maintain a job, with a focus on helping them to avoid recidivating and remain committed to their long-term career goals. While many agree that having a job is a key element for successful reintegration back to the community, the corrections and workforce systems will need to collaborate and integrate services to implement effective strategies to reduce recidivism and joblessness. Integrated Strategies is an important step in this direction. By placing the right people in the right services at the right time, corrections and workforce agencies can help ensure their limited dollars have the maximum impact. This is a benefit beyond fiscal responsibility and smart public policy — it is critical to communities and families across the nation. RF Henry Rosen and Mai Train are Program Associates with the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

RIPON FORUM Fall 2013 Job Number



whatever it takes-friendly


Cover Story

role models Winning the Hispanic vote: What the GOP can learn from Susana Martinez and Chris Christie by Leslie Sanchez



In a state where 18 percent of the population is “While we may not always agree, we show up Hispanic, the residents of Union City are 85 percent everywhere,” he said. “We just don’t show up in the Hispanic or Latino -- more than any place in New places that vote for us a lot, we show up in the places Jersey. It was no coincidence that Governor Chris that vote for us a little. We don’t just show up in the Christie chose Union City as the site for the last rally of places where we’re comfortable, we show up in the his successful re-election campaign, an event that also places where we’re uncomfortable.” featured the only out-of-state Republican Governor he It took a lot more than “showing up” -- and therein brought into the Garden State to campaign for him -- lies the lessons for Republicans who seek to regain the New Mexico’s Susana Martinez. trust of America’s fastest-growing community. Christie’s choice True, “showing of Union City and his up” can represent a selection of Governor powerful message Susana Martinez as to a community so his surrogate go a long long isolated from way to explaining how the political process. he won an outright At the Union City majority (51 percent) rally, Democrat of the Hispanic vote, Blanca Diaz told a the first Republican reporter, “the other Governor in three governors, they decades to do so -- but never come here.” it’s only part of the “The governor story. has built inroads In 2011, nearly twointo the Latino thirds of Union City community for the voters were registered past 11 years, going as Democrats, back to his days as compared to 6.5 percent a U.S. Attorney,” Republicans. Just last observes Christie year, 81 percent of the campaign advisor city’s voters supported Michael Duhaime. President Barack But it is Obama. what happens Yet on the night after Republicans before New Jersey show up that SOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER voted, Governor matters. Christie Christie and Governor has governed as a Martinez were talking fiscal conservative Christie’s choice of Union City and his up a raucus crowd of 200 and he has been a mostly Hispanic voters sworn enemy of selection of Governor Susana Martinez who had waited in the the Garden State’s as his surrogate go a long way to cold to cheer them. powerful teachers’ explaining how he won an outright Martinez delivered half unions. In Union her remarks in Spanish. City, however, he’s majority (51 percent) of the They were joined remembered for Hispanic vote. onstage by the City’s working diligently Democratic Mayor and in good faith Kevin Stack, and by Celin J. Valdivia, the Democratic with community leaders and Democrats in City Hall candidate for Commissioner of the Department of Parks on issues ranging from education reform and charter and Recreation. The entire Union City Democratic schools to property taxes and public safety. Committee had crossed lines to endorse the Republican His success is also a matter of tone. Calling Christie Governor, as had many of the city’s other municipal “plain spoken” is putting it politely, and yes, he can officials. come off as brusque -- but it is impossible to doubt his Christie borrowed from Woody Allen in his victory sincerity or the quality of his intentions. That’s how speech, attributing his success to “showing up.” to build bridges with 51 percent of Hispanics, not by RIPON FORUM Fall 2013


insulting their intelligence or pandering. Albuquerque station KOB, Martinez enjoys the support Hispanics want what everybody else wants: a good of 66 percent of New Mexico’s voters, including 70 job, a nice place to live in a safe neighborhood, and percent of women, 64 percent of independents and for our kids to have a better life than ours. Christie 44 percent of registered Democrats. (While crossdelivered that, and New Jersey’s Hispanic voters tabs were not provided, given that nearly half of New returned the favor by trusting him to continue to do so. Mexico’s population is Hispanic, it is reasonable to It certainly didn’t hurt that Christie has wisely believe that her approval numbers are consistently rejected the shrill anti-immigration rhetoric of some high within those communities as well). Republicans. It offends and alienates Hispanics -Martinez, too, has built support by reaching immigrants and nativeacross party lines to seek born alike. Late in the compromise wherever campaign, citing an possible and by consistently improved fiscal climate in putting the needs of the state, he even reversed her state’s hard-pressed his position on a state population (New Mexico’s version of the DREAM poverty rate is second only Act that will allow to Mississippi’s and fully undocumented students to 20 percent of the state’s take advantage of in-state population is without health tuition rates. care ) ahead of party politics The Christie and ideological conformity. campaign’s reported Like Christie, she has $1 million in Spanishworked with a Democraticlanguage TV (from a controlled legislature to warchest that allowed him fashion a workable agenda to overspend his opponent that governs from the by a margin of 10:1) was center-right. Like him, likewise clearly a factor. she rejected the GOP’s It’s important to note, prevailing ideology to too, that New Jersey’s expand Medicaid under Leslie Sanchez Latino population is much ObamaCare. more diverse than in As Republicans and many parts of the country. Democrats alike study the Martinez, too, has built support Assimilated Cubans and lessons of Chris Christie’s by reaching across party lines Puerto Ricans make up stunning victory among fully 50 percent of the Hispanics, each side should to seek compromise wherever Garden State’s Hispanic consider the words of possible and by consistently electorate, and neither Martin Perez, President putting the needs of her state’s group directly faces of the Latino Leadership the broken immigration Alliance of New Jersey: hard-pressed population. system that motivates “In the past,” he said, so many other Hispanic “what has happened is that communities toward the Democrats (Puerto Ricans the Democratic Party that we have endorsed a lot of enjoy U.S. citizenship due to the island’s being a times has taken us for granted, and the Republican U.S. Territory, while Cubans have refugee status). Party didn’t pay much attention. We have to look New Jersey also boasts significant populations beyond labels and look at what is in the best interest of assimilated Brazilian, Spanish and Portugeseof community. He [Christie] tries to find common Americans, who tend to be more fiscally conservative ground.” RF than other Latino groups. Nevertheless, the lessons of Christie’s tenure and his campaign should not be lost on Republicans Leslie Sanchez, author of “Los Republicanos: Why elsewhere. Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other,” Governor Martinez, too, has maintained (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), was Director of the astronomically high approval ratings in a blue state. White House Initiative on Hispanic Education and is According to a poll last month by Survey USA and a Republican political strategist. 10



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Kasich’s Rise TIM PENNY Twenty years ago, I teamed up with my then- program by utilizing more coordinated and communitycongressional colleague, John Kasich, to draft a bipartisan based care have produced both savings and better quality. deficit-reduction plan. Dubbed Penny-Kasich, our proposal Education reforms – including special efforts for Cleveland offered sensible reforms and savings in every part of the and Columbus advanced in partnership with those cities’ federal budget – domestic, defense and entitlements. We Democratic mayors -- are improving opportunities for took on the spenders on Capitol Hill – and the interest students. In addition, Kasich insisted that the higher groups who always demand more government spending. education establishment spend money smarter and respond Our focus was not only to cut the deficit – but to challenge more quickly to job-training needs – and it is happening. the false assumption that Governor Kasich is more spending leads to also accelerating muchbetter results. needed transportation Today, it is no improvements. By surprise to me that my leveraging profits from friend, now-Governor Ohio’s turnpikes, he Kasich, is applying those closed a $1.6 billion same principles to state highway budget deficit government in Ohio. and dozens of new road Three years ago, he projects will soon be inherited a budget deep in underway – many of the red and an economy which would otherwise that had lost 350,000 jobs. have waited for 12 As a way back, he offered years or more. These Ohioan’s an agenda that investments will pay combined fiscal prudence dividends in improving with an emphasis on Ohio’s infrastructure measureable outcomes. to the benefit of By almost any measure, Without raising taxes, Kasich turned businesses and citizens he has since delivered on alike. an $8 billion shortfall into a surplus, his promise of a “new Based on a banked away a $1.5 billion budget day” for Ohio. friendship of nearly Let’s start with the three decades, none reserve, and improved the state’s big picture. Without of these achievements credit outlook. raising taxes, Kasich come as a surprise turned an $8 billion to me. I have always shortfall into a surplus, banked away a $1.5 billion budget known John Kasich to be focused on getting things done. reserve, and improved the state’s credit outlook. With $3 Most politicians are content to tinker around the edges or billion in tax cuts and an ongoing regulatory overhaul, he offer symbolic solutions – and often flee at the first sign of has helped create a pro-growth climate in which Ohioans opposition. John is impatient with the status quo, however, have created more than 160,000 new private sector jobs and willing to take on the tough issues – and that sets him while reducing the unemployment rate from 9 percent to apart. John’s style may seem at times intense or even brash, just over 7 percent. but I came to learn – as Ohioans are now learning -- that his Equally important as these accomplishments, however, intensity stems from a passion to do the right thing and help is Kasich’s constant focus on getting better results from solve tough problems. government. His efforts to restructure the Medicaid Here is something else I have always known about 12


John. Though a highly successful Republican leader, John is guided by sound fiscal and economic principles -- as well is not afraid to reach across the aisle to get things done. as a good heart. He is more than willing to partner with Democrats when President Reagan found common ground with common ground can be found. While in Congress, I Democrats on a range of issues -- saving Social Security, observed and admired John as he tag-teamed with liberal simplifying the tax code, enacting immigration reform – California Congressman Ron Dellums to limit the B-2 while still adhering to principle. Similarly, John is not afraid bomber. Then, as previously to partner with other people of cited, he partnered with me on goodwill whenever possible and Like Reagan, John is an able the Penny-Kasich budget. More when it makes sense. significantly, when chairing His ambition and passion and pragmatic leader, and is the U. S. House Budget is to get things done that need guided by sound fiscal and Committee, he partnered with doing. It all adds up to leadership President Clinton to produce that is making a positive economic principles -- as well the first balanced budgets in difference for the people of Ohio as a good heart. three decades. and an example from which Now, not surprisingly, as Washington could learn a thing governor, John has reached or two. RF across the aisle to enlist support for school reforms, expand efforts to combat drug and alcohol addiction, and ease the ability for felons to re-enter the workforce. Most recently, he Tim Penny is President and CEO of has won praise from Democrats, while rankling many within the Southern Minnesota Initiative his own party, by supporting the expansion of Medicaid to Foundation. From 1983 to 1995, he cover more low income families – something his political served as a Democratic Congressman hero President Reagan himself did at least four times. representing the 1st District of Like Reagan, John is an able and pragmatic leader, and Minnesota.

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“Democrats have every reason to be worried.”

A Q&A with Liesl Hickey Shortly after Liesl Hickey was named Executive took over as NRCC Chairman last November, he made Director of the National Republican Campaign Hickey his first hire by elevating her to her current role. Committee for the 2014 election cycle, Roll Call published “Liesl Hickey gets it,” Walden said in a statement a story about her that discussed her background in announcing her appointment. “She understands how politics and the skills she was bringing to the position. Republicans can win in competitive districts. She has The story quoted former colleagues and coworkers sharp political instincts and led our Patriot Program to who offered their thoughts on the woman who had help the House retain the second largest GOP majority been hired to hold and build the House majority in the since the 1940s. With this solid base in place, she will coming year. lead our team forward to gaining ground in 2014.” “When she speaks, The Forum spoke you better listen,” said with Hickey recently one. about her job as NRCC “She doesn’t get Executive Director, the rattled easily,” said mood of the electorate, another. and the Republican Party’s In reading these and prospects in the mid-terms other observations, a next year. common theme emerged – the new NRCC Executive Director is a no-nonsense ***** individual who has been tested under fire and RF: How do you view is more than up to the the political environment job. But one other thing for Republicans heading emerged as well – Hickey into 2014? is an individual who LH: The political not only understands environment looks favorable the importance of the for Republicans in 2014. Liesl Hickey, speaking at a Nov. 18th Ripon Society Republican base, but Voters have a clear choice discussion with House staff leaders. understands that the base between a Democrat controlled must be expanded if, in the Congress that prioritizes long run, the GOP majority is to grow and endure. top-down control to protect Washington’s interests or a She cut her teeth on Capitol Hill as the Chief of Republican controlled Congress that supports bottom-up Staff to then-Representative Mark Kirk of Illinois. In solutions for hard working Americans. Voters have seen what this role, she was the architect of the Suburban Agenda, happens when Democrats have sole control of Washington a positive, issue-oriented plan that was geared around and they understand the need for a strong check on the the lives of once-reliably Republican suburban voters Obama administration. Washington Democrats promised who had become turned off by the GOP’s message in accountability and transparency in government that they have recent years. not delivered. From the IRS scandal, to soaring deficits and After spending the 2008 campaign managing the wasteful spending, and not to mention all the Obamacare ONE Vote’s presidential advocacy initiative, she joined shenanigans, voters are tired of the Democrats’ business-asthe National Republican Senatorial Committee to serve usual Washington approach to solving problems. as an advisor during the elections of 2010. She was Our Republican Members are committed to staying on recruited by the NRCC to serve as Director of Incumbent offense in 2014. Romney won 227 congressional Districts Retention in 2012. When Oregon Rep. Greg Walden to Obama’s 208 in 2012. Thirty-one districts flipped back to 14


voting Republican after voting for Obama in 2008. With 190 seats in deep Republican territory after redistricting, the House is well-aligned and in strong Republican hands. Democrats have every reason to be worried ahead of the elections next year. They are unable to campaign on Obamacare since it’s incredibly unpopular, especially in the Republican-leaning Districts where 15 Democratic Members currently reside. Their caucus is built on shaky ground. Just earlier this year, the DCCC was forced to release a list of 26 vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and it’s clear that with a year to go before the elections, the Democrats are having trouble defending the seats they already have – let alone gain the 17 seats they need to win. RF: How is candidate recruitment coming? LH: Thanks to our dedicated team of Members who serve on our recruitment committee, we have an excellent recruitment class this cycle. We also have one of the most diverse recruiting classes to date. Our candidates are community leaders, business leaders, local elected officials, veterans, mothers – all with a strong desire and commitment to making Washington work. They are impressive and respectable individuals who will serve as a stark contrast to their Democrat incumbents who have supported the failed policies of the Obama administration. We have more women candidates in competitive seats this cycle than in previous ones. We launched a women’s outreach and recruitment initiative this year called Project GROW to ensure our women recruits are equipped with the tools and training they need to win. RF: One of the storylines that came out of the 2012 election is that the GOP needed to broaden its base. What is the NRCC doing to reach out to women and minorities to win their support? LH: This cycle, the NRCC has been working hard to expand our outreach across the country to a number of different groups and coalitions. We have spearheaded a woman’s-based initiative called Project GROW, which aims to mentor, recruit and increase involvement with women leaders and voters across the country. Additionally, we’ve hired a National Coalitions Director who is working to create a clear roadmap to expand Republican engagement efforts in Hispanic, Asian and other demographic groups across the country. She is also helping to strengthen our coalition groups and boost grassroots support for all of our candidates, and has become a crucial part of our team. Contrary to what the Democrats will say, the Republican Party has the right message and path forward to problems facing women and minorities. We now are focused on effectively communicating those principles in a way that resonates with all Americans while reminding them why the Democrat agenda isn’t going to make their lives better. RF: One other storyline in recent years is the

political decline of the GOP in the Northeast. What is the NRCC doing to elect more Republicans and strengthen the party in that region of the country? LH: The political climate in the Northeast may differ from other regions across the nation, but the frustrations with Obamacare and Democrats’ tax and spend agenda is toxic with these fiscally conservative voters. Republicans will compete in the Northeast and we have top candidates, including Elise Stefanik in NY-21, Richard Tisei in MA-06, and Lee Zeldin in NY-01, whose values and priorities will resonate with voters in each of their districts. Like voters across the country, voters in the Northeast are still waiting for the Obama promised solutions to their problems to appear and every day they become more disenfranchised with Democrat controlled Washington. RF: Talk for a minute about the role of outside groups. How do they affect your planning, and do you expect them to be more of a positive or negative for Republicans next year? LH: We are focused on our efforts here at the NRCC and are grateful for any groups that join us in the mission to ensure that Nancy Pelosi never becomes Speaker of the House again. RF: With 2014 being a mid-term election, what does the party need to do to get its voters to the polls? LH: The destructive policies of the Obama administration will be a motivating factor to large portions of the voting electorate next year. To capitalize on this frustration and use it to our advantage, this cycle we created a Strategy Department to make sure our campaigns are data driven so that we can create sophisticated ground games by modeling our targeted voters, persuading them to vote for our candidate and then turning them out to vote. We’ve created distinct voter profiles for our targeted districts and will also use this data to run more effective and targeted paid media campaigns. RF: Speaking of polls, what steps has the party taken to make sure it has a clearer reading of the electorate than in 2012? LH: After the 2012 elections, it was clear to many of us that our strategy and voter outreach needed to be reworked. Our newly-created strategy department, which works directly with our polling director, has taken a forensic look into what went wrong with polling in 2012 and have developed standards for polling in Congressional races. We are also employing microtargeting more often and earlier this cycle to make sure we are effectively reaching our targeted audiences. We already know more about these seats and the voters than we did in 2012. RF: If you had to pick an upset special right now, which race would it be? LH: FL-13 (Bill Young’s seat) will be a very competitive special election next year. The primary is January 11, 2014 and the general election on March 14, 2014. RF



Boot the Zombies! KIM ALFANO This article is supposed discuss how Republicans can days, yet it isn’t cutting edge at all – it’s been around since win the women’s vote given their cavernous gender gap. the ‘80s. And now, Democrats have pretty much stolen it Well, I am one of those stubborn women and, as we often from us anyway. do, I’m gonna change the subject. Contrary to the RNC’s infamous “autopsy” following First, it’s important to know this is mostly a federal last year’s election, the Republican Party doesn’t have problem. There are many a voter contact, or GOTV, or Republican Governors messaging deficit. We have an enjoying just super approval idea deficit. As far as voters go, ratings, including New Jersey’s Washington has become a bunch Chris Christie (54% approval), of Keystone Cops achieving New Mexico’s Susanna nothing. And Republicans? Martinez (60%), and Terry We’ve become a caricature of Branstad of Iowa (54%). our ideals, believing our core They know what principles are our big ideas. Washington politicians don’t. The Republicans’ This is not a fight for this central problem is not faulty demographic or that. It’s organization or ham-handed a fundamental structural communications – it’s that we problem. We’re crumbling are devoid of a fresh, modern under the weight of policies view of the future, and can’t that haven’t been updated since begin to articulate what it takes poodle skirts. And it’s not just to get there. You can’t lead women. We stink with all people with a bunch of moral kinds of voters, from minorities values and rules – those are to millennials. (I think there what we’re supposed to use to Kim Alfano are still 714 old white guys that come up with the paradigmare very happy with us.) And shifting ideas. The principles of THAT’s the problem. Contrary to the RNC’s small government or personal Republicans address infamous “autopsy” following liberty are nothing even each little demographic as if remotely new. And offered last year’s election, the it exists only in its own tiny alone, they don’t actually box. If you’re Hispanic, your Republican Party doesn’t have achieve anything. They remain issue is immigration. If you’re our rock solid foundation, but a voter contact, GOTV, or young, it’s jobs. Women only are lying there begging for some care about abortion. Yikes! messaging deficit. We have an new construction. Folks, this is NOT your The Big Innovation idea deficit. mamma’s electorate. Do you Center in the United Kingdom know what the top issue is proclaims their mission this for all three of these demographic groups? It’s education way: “Turn zombies into innovators.” That pretty much reform. To young parents, women, and immigrants, this sums up the challenge facing Republicans today. You want issue -- above most others -- is transformative for their to close the gender gap? Boot the zombies and bring on families and future. Sadly, education reform is probably the innovators. Women, imagine if we had a government the most “cutting edge” idea Republicans can offer these that looked like this: 16


As President: Steve Jobs. fiscal policy? Or Isaac Newton and Jack Kemp working to Vice President: Ronald Reagan. overhaul entitlements? White house spokesman: George Clooney. (Because who Smaller government. Entrepreneurial freedom. Job wouldn’t tune in to see George Clooney?) creation. Schools where parents and local communities Senators: Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Walt hold the power. This stuff is not new. It’s the ideal world Disney, Oprah, Bruce Springsteen, Milton Friedman, Billy Republicans have always fought to create. Graham… But if we want to convince women, not to mention In Congress: Michele Rhee, minorities and millennials, to join our Isaac Newton, Jack Kemp, Newt movement, we’ve got to actually have Gingrich (the 90s version) Mother one. People won’t follow the party of You want to close Teresa, Justin Bieber (yes the Biebs -the government shutdown, or of 1950s the gender gap? Boot Bieber fever = next generation), Ted views on “women’s” issues. They will Turner, Coco Chanel, Colin Powell… follow hope. They’ll follow strength the zombies and bring There’d be no shutdowns from and confidence, and the party with a on the innovators. these folks! On day one, they’d lay broad, optimistic vision, and with a waste to every institution and policy new way -- a better way -- to get to that created before cable TV and start “shining city on a hill”. over. Until we are that party -- the NOT undead party -- we’d Wouldn’t it be nice to hear President Jobs explain better get used to women coming at us with torches and groundbreaking new technology that’s transformed education pitchforks instead of votes. RF by delivering 100% customized curriculum directly to every child in America? (And is, by the way, much, much cheaper.) Kim Alfano is the President and CEO of Alfano Or to watch Warren Buffet and Oprah hashing out new Communications, a Republican media consulting firm.

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The Decline of Parties and the Rise of Dysfunction by MARK BRADEN

As with most American political trends, any single invention. Parties were not accidents of history. factor is seldom the exclusive cause. While the 24/7 Our earliest political leaders realized that they were news cycle and increasing use of social media provide essential in bringing order to America’s tripartite a fragmented environment for political communication, form of government. Thomas Jefferson and James one of the principal Madison devised them reasons for the present as means of changing rise of special interest the policy directions of groups’ influence on the government. Andrew political process is our Jackson and Martin Van monumentally irrational Buren revised them as campaign financing a means of expanding system. popular participation in The Federal government. Election Campaign Since the earliest Act, as amended by the days of our Republic, Bipartisan Campaign they have, albeit Reform Act and in imperfectly, continued conjunction with state to serve these ends. campaign finance rules, Parties are the only has made it much more broad-based, multidifficult for political interested organizations party organizations in this country that can to raise funds and nominate candidates for support candidates office, mobilize popular than any other groups. support behind them, and Mark Braden Super PACS, tea party organize those elected organizations, trade into a government. If we understand the essential role associations, unions Unlike specialand wealthy individuals interest groups, parties of healthy parties in our political can raise and/or spend must appeal to majorities system, then at the very least one money outside of many in the electorate if of the legal limits placed they are to win; and of the goals of campaign finance on political parties. unlike single-candidate regulation should be preserving the The restrictions organizations, they must vitality of our parties. imposed exclusively win many races if they on party organizations are to govern. Parties, have resulted in campaign support that otherwise would moreover, give coherence to American politics. We have have gone to the party being sent instead to independent a constitutional system and a political culture dominated groups or spent independently. If we understand the by dis-unifying forces – separated powers, federalism, essential role of healthy parties in our political system, pluralism, and individualism. Parties have been a then at the very least one of the goals of campaign unifying force in this system, cutting across the branches finance regulation should be preserving the vitality of and levels of government as well as across voting blocs our parties. to aggregate interests, build coalitions, and make mass Political parties, as we know them, are an American democracy possible. 18


Individual candidate campaigns and special interestthat party support corrupts candidates runs counter based groups do not provide the men and women they to virtually every theory of political party functions support with wider programs or principles required in the United States. One of the major purposes of to govern. Single-issue groups lead to fragmented political parties is to sponsor candidates who represent government, the neglect of broader policy needs, and the diverse, but coherent, ideas encompassed in party the neglect of needs of citizens not represented by philosophy. groups. Broad-based political parties, on the other Parties are not the same as interest groups. For a hand, can compromise and incorporate the wishes of a party to function, it must speak for broader concerns, wide range of citizens in programs that encompass a for some combination of particular claims, for some multitude of issues and stretch across a greater timespan overall approach to public issues. Parties must raise than a term of office. They can marshal the resources money to speak and must listen to contributors, but they and develop the strategy to recruit, train, support, and must listen to majorities rather than exclusively to any guide a succession of individuals to advance those particular contributor or group of contributors. Listening programs during their terms in office. They are able to to majorities is what we call democracy. Political parties put forward a broad panel of spokespersons in defense are the most comprehensive and most effective form of of their programs, informing and educating the citizenry political association through which ordinary Americans in a debate that extends well beyond the short-range can influence the direction of their government. We electoral prospects of particular candidates. should prize them as the cornerstones of representative In short, only political parties can provide us with democracy and work to assure their vitality. the cohesion, continuity and accountability necessary As a source of campaign funds, American parties to make our democracy work. constitute the “cleanest” money in Political parties are the only broadpolitics. Recognizing that political based, popular intermediaries parties are large aggregators of When political parties between the people and their many contributions diffuses any work, government government. Voters use them to real or perceived undue influence steer government in directions that might arise from a financial works. When they do they wish it to go. When political contribution. Most politicians not, government falters parties work, government works. are honest. However, most are When they do not, government also distracted, some appear and drifts – witness falters and drifts – witness influenced, and a few may even Washington today. Washington today. be corrupted by the demands of Our present failure of fundraising. Parties are too large governance in regular order is and too diverse to be controlled by a failure rooted in the corrosion of political party any special interest. The old rule of sanitary engineers power. Congressional and party leadership can no applies: the solution to pollution is dilution. longer provide or withhold a significant tool of political There is no basis in American political theory or success – money. Special interests do not occupy a practice for any limit on political party contributions or legal level-playing field with political parties, but a expenditures. Unlike Super PACs, corporations, trade superior legal position unbound by most campaign groups, unions or even wealthy individuals, there is no finance prohibitions which, when combined with their risk of a party corrupting a candidate by giving him or lack of responsibility to actually govern, magnify their her a large sum of money. The party and the candidate influence. clearly share a common interest in the candidate winning Why does the “reform lobby” still argue to limit the election, and they presumably also share a common political parties? The only basis recognized by the interest on at least major questions of public policy. Supreme Court for any restriction of political money is To permit greater party fundraising and enable corruption or the appearance of corruption. parties to fund candidates at higher levels, tamper the Political party support is not corruptive, nor does it fragmentation of our political process. An enlarged appear to be corruptive in any reasonable interpretation role for parties is the most practical way to check the of the concept. Corruption is an impairment of integrity growing influence of narrowly based special interest or the exercise of improper and undue influence – the organizations. RF explicit exchange of contributions for votes. A political party’s financial support to its candidates does not constitute corruption. Parties and their candidates Mark Braden is currently Of Counsel at share an identity and self interest in elections – this is BakerHostetler. He previously spent ten years as a symbiotic, not a corrupting, relationship. The notion Chief Counsel to the Republican National Committee. RIPON FORUM Fall 2013


May the Best Candidate Win Can two laws to end gridlock in the Golden State serve as a model for nationwide reform? DAN SCHNUR term electoral strategy. In any stadium, the loudest voices are in the bleachers. But there are remedies at hand, and the state of Therefore it’s only natural that most politicians set up in California, which for years has been the nation’s poster child the end zones, closest to their parties’ most ideologically for dysfunctional governance, is demonstrating that small driven fans but a hundred yards away from the other team. but important changes in the rules governing elections can In politics, though, unlike football, the work gets done and have a marked impact on the accomplishments happen candidates who run under in the space between the those rules once they’ve taken forty-yard lines. And in office. recent years, the political The two most important space closest to midfield changes that we’ve has become increasingly implemented in the Golden deserted. State are reform of the manner The result is polarized in which our legislative and and hyper-partisan politics congressional districts were and governmental gridlock, drawn and the implementation where the two parties point of a top-two primary. Taking fingers and hurl epithets at the redistricting process away each other, but are less and from the state legislature has less likely to work together led to the creation of genuinely to solve problems of mutual competitive congressional concern. Not surprisingly, and legislative districts. voters become increasingly Meanwhile, the top-two disenchanted with their primary creates an incentive elected leaders. Popular for candidates in strongly support for Congress dropped liberal or conservative districts to nine percent in November Dan Schnur to talk to voters in both parties polling. rather than relying solely on The Republicans’ the most ideologically extreme difficulties are more The state of California ... is members of their own party apparent. Increasing numbers demonstrating that small but for support. of business leaders, whose important changes in the rules Under the old rules, economic interests have those that are still in place historically aligned them governing elections can have a in most states across the with the G.O.P., are viewing marked impact on the candidates country, a politician in either the government shutdown party could be confident that agenda of the party’s most who run under those rules once there was almost no possible conservative members with they’ve taken office. way that he could ever lose alarm. And an electorate that a general election campaign is much less white, much in a gerrymandered district. The only way he could ever lose less religious, much less straight, and much less old creates his job, therefore, was in a primary contest to an even more even greater challenges for Republicans going forward. But ideologically extreme member of his own party. the Obamacare debacle has diminished Democrats’ standing Our elected representatives learned very quickly that with voters as well, and now both party’s leaders seem to have these seats were theirs for life, that they could lie, cheat or steal decided that being the most popular 8-track tape store at the and still be assured of re-election. The only action for which local shopping mall is an adequate replacement for a long20


from a single-minded focus on the ideological extremes within there was no forgiveness would be compromise, or looking their own parties to a broader awareness of the priorities of for opportunities to cooperate with members of the opposing larger swaths of the electorate. Because it has become much party. That instinct would quickly be punished by a primary more difficult for candidates to rely solely on their party bases opponent backed by or the Tea Party. Even those to win election, they have begun to look for opportunities for officeholders who might be inclined to work across party lines bi-partisan cooperation. This past year we saw politicians of on occasion had a powerful disincentive not to do so. both parties finding ways to work across traditional partisan But the combination of redistricting reform and a top-two boundaries. Several Republican primary has reversed this incentive legislators advocated for system. The result has been to This past year we saw immigration reform and many of dramatically improve the prospects their Democratic counterparts voted for not only centrists of either party, politicians of both parties for environmental deregulation. but principled conservatives and finding ways to work These reforms do not liberals as well who demonstrate magically overcome a state’s an interest and ability to cooperate across traditional partisan political, governmental, and policy across party lines. Under California’s boundaries. challenges: all they could do is new rules, politicians who reach out create opportunities for smart men across the aisle are less exposed to and women to work together to solve them. As has been the pressure from their own party’s base, because that pressure case with many other policy and political reforms in the past, can be mitigated with increased support from independent California is once again poised to lead the way in creating a voters or centrists of the other party. Conversely, candidates more cohesive and productive means of governance. RF who won their campaigns by attracting support from voters of other parties would be more likely to seek out opportunities to Dan Schnur is the director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of cooperate across partisan boundaries after taking office. Politics at the University of Southern California. He was the The predictable partisan voices fought hard against the national communications director for the 2000 presidential new redistricting and primary rules. But the combination of campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain. these two essential changes has been to reorient legislators

The Ripon Society

Ideas that matter since 1962. “Over the course of the 50 years that Ripon has existed, it really has been very helpful in terms of shoring up our party – frankly helping to broaden our party.” Speaker John Boehner

Founded 1962.

January 22, 2013 RIPON FORUM Fall 2013


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News & Events

Ripon Society Hosts Breakfast Meeting on Expanding the Base of the GOP Reps. Ellmers, Blackburn, Black & Roby headline discussion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After recent GOP losses among eggs when you go to the grocery store.” women, The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast meeting on Blackburn – who is serving her 6th term in office and October 4th to discuss what can be done to reverse that trend. The helped co-found the RWCP last year -- echoed this sentiment discussion featured four members of the Republican Women’s and pointed to a set of statistics that helped bolster her case. She Policy Committee, who are spearheading an effort to not only also pointed out that the group’s purpose is not only to help GOP recruit more women to run for office as Republicans, but to women, but GOP men. make sure the message the party is communicating does not turn “When you look at what’s happening in society,” the women away. Tennessee lawmaker stated, “women are now 53 percent of The members included Reps. the electorate. Women hold 52 Martha Roby (AL-2), Diane percent of all jobs. Forty-seven Black (TN-6), Marsha Blackburn percent of all households are (TN-7), and Renee Ellmers (NCheaded by female breadwinners. 2), who chairs the RWCP and Women make 54 percent of all opened the discussion by talking car purchases. Most importantly, about the challenges before them. when you look at who pays “The Republican Party as a whole the family bills, 75 percent of all households report that the has got to do a better job reaching checkbook is managed by the out to women,” Ellmers stated. “There are only 19 of us in the mom. And 80 percent of all Republican Conference. We’re health care decisions are made by only 8 percent of our conference, women. So it is imperative that we continue to help and assist -and we need to get more women through the Republican Women’s here. That’s one of our objectives. Whether it’s Project GROW or Policy Committee and Project the Republican Women’s Policy GROW -- our male colleagues Committee, we’re highlighting who are seeking to get a footing all of the work that our colleagues with how they appropriately are doing every day, working on communicate in a current, important issues.” concise, succinct method with “There are only 19 of us in Ellmers, who worked as a all of those women, their female the Republican Conference … constituents.” nurse for more than two decades prior to her election, is serving Black – who was elected in and we need to get more her second term in the House. 2010 and also helped cofound women here.” In addition to her role as Chair the RWCP last year – expanded Rep. Renee Ellmers of the RWCP, she also oversees on the importance of finding Project GROW, an effort qualified Republican women to launched by National Republican run for office, describing it as an Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden to recruit effort that not only requires persistence, but may also take a few more Republican women candidates, and one which Ellmers years. also discussed. “We’re working hard to get more women “We are trying to recruit good female candidates,” she elected,” she said. “Recruitment is a big part of that. But we also stated. “And as Renee has always reminded me, women have need to make sure that we’re going out and meeting with women to be asked. Not like males who will make that decision on their and helping them understand that it’s not just about birth control own. Women want to be asked. We know that, and we want to and abortions. Women are worried about how they’re paying the ask the right women to come and join us to fight on the Hill. bills, why gas prices are so high, and the price of groceries, milk, But the other thing we are doing is not giving up when we find RIPON FORUM Fall 2013


a good woman who says the time is just not right. Because they do make decisions differently. If I have kids that are 10 and 13, even though their husband says, ‘Go and do it honey -- I can take care of it,’ I’ve had them say to me, ‘It’s not that everything won’t be okay without me being there -- it’s what I will miss that will make the difference.’ “What we are trying to do is keep those women engaged, so that when the time is right, we will have already cultivated them. They are who we are. We keep in contact with them. We ask them to help us in their communities to help identify other women who the time is right for. We’ve got to do that, so we don’t come up on every election and go, ‘Oh boy, who are we going to call this time?’ We need to cultivate those women, so when the time is right, they can come and join this fight.” Roby – who also was elected in 2010 and served on the Montgomery City Council prior to her election to the House – discussed the pitch she makes to prospective candidates, as well as some of the personal joys – and considerations -- that must be made. “What I tell young ladies is that you don’t have to wait your turn,” the Alabama Republican stated. “You don’t have to sit down and take a number and wait until somebody else tells you it’s your turn. It’s not a DMV line. We’ve got to encourage young women to laugh in the face of the adversity and the good old boys network and say, ‘No, I’m going to do this. It is my turn and I don’t have to ask permission from anybody.’ But the other thing is the balance that comes from women believing in their minds that they have to choose between running for office and being a mom and a mother. You don’t have to choose. You can do both, and it’s hard. “Margaret, my 8 year old daughter -- on her own, without any influence from her mother directly -- decided that she’s running for student council today, and she’s giving a speech

today in front of the entire student body. She practiced for me over FaceTime last night, while her brother was in his Spiderman costume running around. You know, it’s hard, and being away from your kids is tough. But the fact that my daughter -- on her own -- wanted to be a leader in her classroom, in the third grade at Forest Avenue Elementary, means we must be doing something right. So when I speak to young women, the message is that you don’t have to choose. You got to have a good support network -- here and back home. You’ve got to have people that will help you. Hillary Clinton got it right when she said it takes a village. But choose your village. Make sure you’ve got people around you that you want.” Roby concluded by talking about three lessons she believed that all Republicans should take away from the last election. “We have to start listening,” she said. “I don’t think we spend enough time listening to the people we are trying to draw in to our party and our beliefs. We’ve got to listen. Number two, we have to stop blaming the other side. We have to be the party that we are -- that is, the party of ideas and solutions. When we go out there and say Obamacare is wrong, we have to say what’s right. And we have to make sure it resonates with the American people. Lastly, I believe we have to preach beyond the choir. We all thought we were going to win the election. At least I did. And I think part of the reason we lost is that we only hear each other. We’re not speaking to the people in the grocery store line that may have different political views than us. So we need to engage in that conversation.” The October 4th breakfast meeting was the third discussion The Ripon Society has held in recent years that focused on broadening the base of the Republican Party by increasing the number of women who join, run for office, and play a leadership role in the GOP. RF

Reps. Martha Roby, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, and Renee Ellmers at The Ripon Society breakfast on Oct. 4th.



“Great things have always been done at the intersection of principle and compromise.”

Reps. Renacci, Kelly, Delaney and Barr Discuss Bipartisan Effort to Find Common Ground WASHINGTON, D.C. – With partisan to get the information, you want to get many other members of the group are tensions running high on Capitol Hill in something done.’ driven not just by their shared interest the wake of the government shutdown, “So John said, ‘Why don’t we have in bipartisanship, but by their shared The Ripon Society and the Franklin breakfast one day?’ And that was the business roots. Center held a breakfast discussion on start of the breakfast group. I went out “Jim and I are both car dealers so October 24th featuring a bipartisan and grabbed a few of my colleagues, we really hit it off right away,” stated the working group of House Members who John did the same, and we started having Keystone State lawmaker, who employs have been meeting on a regular basis in meetings about every two or three weeks over 100 people at his own auto dealership an attempt to put politics aside and find ... In the first two years, we introduced in Western Pennsylvania. “But what common ground. he’s talking about is something The Members included so common in the private Reps. Jim Renacci (R/OH-16), sector. There’s nobody who Mike Kelly (R/PA-3), John looks at what we’re doing Delaney (D/MD-6), and Andy and says, ‘This makes sense Barr (R/KY-6). Renacci is one -- I can run my business this of the organizers of the group way.’ Yes, you could -- but and talked about its origins in only for a very short period his opening remarks. “I’ve of time … I cannot run my been a businessman for 28 business without negotiating years and always thought that’s and without compromising what you normally do,” stated and without having a common the Ohio Republican, referring goal. And I think sometimes it’s to bipartisanship and the so polarized right now. I think importance of talking with that we’re not really Democrats those on the other side of the versus Republicans, or vice aisle. “I never knew if there was versa. We’re two parties doing a Democrat or Republican in my the best thing for this country. business. You just had a common “I played on sports teams “I said I’m not throwing any goal and you got it done. all my life, and I would say hand grenades. I thought it was “When I got here, I went that there is no team where the a committee meeting.” to my first Financial Services offense criticizes the defense, Committee hearing, and I or they forget that right across Rep. Jim Renacci remember the opening statements the field is the team you’ve got started by throwing a hand grenade over five pieces of legislation and actually got to beat. So if we’re together as a group, to the other side, and the other got a hand something through last year, which was as legislators, trying to do the best thing grenade and threw it across the aisle, and reforming the unemployment insurance for America, that’s easy. Who has more back and forth. It finally got to me and I part of the big payroll tax extension. So assets than we do? There’s nobody in said I’m not throwing any hand grenades. I we were able to work together, and we’re the world who comes close to who we thought it was a committee meeting. And still meeting. We’ve added, of course, are. The only thing that’s missing is our people kind of looked at me like, ‘What’s some people. We went from six to 10 to ability to work together to get it done.” this guy talking about?’ But it actually 12, and now we have a group of about 20 Delaney, who is also a successful worked out because a Member from the members. It’s ultimately where we need businessman, agreed. other side, John Carney, walked over to to go. And I’ll tell you -- not only are we “Working with people on the other me and said, ‘One thing we notice about colleagues, but many of the members side of the aisle comes naturally to people you is that you don’t throw any hand have become my closest friends.” who have a business background,” stated Kelly echoed Renacci’s comments, the Maryland legislator, who founded grenades, you don’t talk about the other party, you want to get the facts, you want and touched on the fact that he and two New York Stock Exchange-listed RIPON FORUM Fall 2013


companies before the age of 40. “I know I speak for Jim and Mike when I say this: in my business career, someone’s political persuasion was the least relevant thing in any kind of relationship I have with them. In fact I have done business with people for 10, 12 years sometimes, and I know a lot about them, I know a lot about their family, we trust each other, and I would never know their politics because to some extent it wasn’t even polite to bring it up. “I think that we have moved from a world where principles used to matter to a world where ideology matters. One of the problems with ideology is that people go to the answer before they look at the facts. And I think that’s a really troubling trend, because we all have high principles -- things we really care about -- and traditionally speaking, great things have always been done at the intersection of principle and compromise. The problem is when you move from principle to ideology, you almost definitionally lose the ability to compromise because it’s never a fact-based discussion.” “People ask me, ‘How do you get people to work on these things in a bipartisan manner?’ And I say that my first rule is I try not to say bad things about them. Because in the private sector, it was hard to do things with people when you constantly said bad things about them. So it’s a rule of thumb -- I try not to say bad things about people. The second

thing I try to do is actually come up with ideas that I think are receptive to their perspective. In other words, I come to the debate and I say I’ve got an idea and I’ve actually formulated it in a way that I think should be appealing to you. And then I try to spend a lot of time with them. I’ve got a large infrastructure bill. We’ve got 24 Democrats and Republicans on the bill. Andy Barr is on the bill. It funds infrastructure and it uses a tax break on repatriation on overseas income to fund it. I had 90 meetings in Republican offices for the first five months I was in Congress. I set up an appointment with Andy and got on his calendar. I had a little presentation and I went through it. And it was surprising to me how little of that actually goes on -- people going to the other person’s office, sitting down, and actually working through something. I think we need more of that.” Barr, an attorney from Lexington who was elected last November, concurred. “John is exactly right,” the firstterm lawmaker stated. “We don’t really have as much interactions in the office as we should, but I give John so much credit for reaching out to Members like me -- freshman colleagues who are new Members, who are still trying to find our way around. And when he presented his idea to me, I was struck by his intelligence, I was struck by his thoughtfulness, and when you strip away

any preconceived notions about political party affiliation and you just look at the ideas on the merits, I recognize what a powerful argument and how persuasive he was at presenting the idea. So I give great credit to him and it taught me an important lesson in my Congressional career, and that is that you’ve got to have an open mind. You’ve got to listen to one another and you’ve got to recognize that there are a lot of bright people up here who have really good ideas. Don’t come to these things with partisan glasses on. Take a look at the idea.” “I come from the district of Henry Clay. Henry Clay was known as the ‘Great Compromiser.’ What I hear from my district – from people who are paying their taxes, paying their bills, trying to save for college for their kids – is that they don’t understand why the politicians in Washington are putting political agendas ahead of solutions for the American people. They really do want us to solve the problem, which is why I believe that, in the spirit of Henry Clay, the only way forward is through negotiation and compromise.” Also appearing at yesterday’s breakfast discussion was former Ambassador and Congresswoman Connie Morella (R/MD-8), who introduced Renacci and talked about her own experiences working across the aisle to open the event. RF

Reps. Andy Barr, John Delaney, Mike Kelly and Jim Renacci at The Ripon Society breakfast on Oct. 24th.



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RIPON FORUM Fall 2013 Twitter feed: @philipspr


Name: Lynn Jenkins Occupation: Kansas’ 2nd District Before your election to Congress, you served in the Kansas State Legislature, and were the State Treasurer, as well. What prompted you to run for public office in the first place? I saw an opportunity to make a difference for folks in my community, because I wasn’t particularly pleased with how either party was handling fiscal matters. I wanted to make things better for Kansas families, and help provide a secure future with more opportunities for my kids and their generation. You’re one of only 10 Certified Public Accountants currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. How has your training as a CPA shaped your perspective in office? As a CPA, and a former state treasurer, I’m a numbers nerd, and I know when the math doesn’t work. Racking up trillions of dollars in debt has grave consequences for our nation’s economy, and we cannot afford to continue to ignore our unsustainable spending problem that is largely driven by mandatory spending programs. If we want these programs to be around and adequately provide for future generations we must start fixing them now. You’re also one of only 19 Republican women serving in the House. Why do you think there are so few of you, and what do you think needs to be done to reverse that trend? Women generally tend to be more hesitant about running for office, and oftentimes simply need to be asked. It’s important to help utilize and support our current Republican congresswomen, while encouraging other ladies to step up and join our strong conservative voice. I enjoy working with several organizations who reach out to women, recruit them for public office, and support them once they win like Maggie’s List, VIEWPAC, the National Federation of Republican Women, and the NRCC’s Project Grow. As the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, how important do you think it is to have a woman at the leadership table? It is incredibly important. Women bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the work environment – especially moms – who tend to be great listeners, consensus-builders, and problem solvers. These qualities are what make us an asset when you need someone to get the job done. Having three women in House Republican Leadership is a big step forward, but we still have strides to make. I am confident as more women succeed and achieve, they will motivate more women to follow. Let’s talk about issues. As a member of the Ways & Means Committee, are we going to see a tax reform bill this year? It has always been my hope, and the committee’s goal that we would see a bill this year, but we are in a challenging environment. Those of us on Ways and Means have been working for the last few years talking with our constituents and colleagues in an effort to lay the foundation to move forward on comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. I applaud Chairman Camp for his leadership on this truly vital economic issue, and the committee remains committed to making sure we get the job done. How about the Farm Bill – how important is that legislation to the people you represent back home? Considering Kansas is the bread basket of the world, the Farm Bill is imperative to Kansas, and not only the farmers and ranchers. Agriculture commodities alone bring $15 billion in economic benefits to Kansas. We need a five-year Farm Bill, to give folks some certainty, and help them plan for the future. Our agriculture and nutrition policy both need serious reforms to work better for Kansans and the American people.


RIPON 2013 RIPON FORUM FORUM Winter Fall 2013


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