Page 1

Name: Kay Granger Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas Current job: U.S. Member of Congress representing the 12th District of Texas.

Hobbies: Painting, reading. Songs on my playlist: All the songs by the Four Seasons from the Broadway hit “The Jersey Boys.”

Books that I’d recommend: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell and What’s Right About America: Celebrating our Nation’s Values by (surprise!) Kay Granger.

Political Inspiration: The women serving in office in Iraq. They are some of the bravest women I have ever known. They risked their lives to serve their country. Most important issues facing America: Terrorism, border security. Why I am a Republican: From 17 years in office, I know that the principles of smaller government, less regulation, accountability, local control, free trade and a strong defense are right for our nation. Republicans are the ones willing to fight for those principles.

RIPON FORUM December 2006/January 2007

December 2017 Volume 51, No. 6

A Decade of

RIPON PROFILES 2007 - 2017

Jenniffer A. González-Colón

Name: Doug Ducey

Occupation: Governor of the State of Arizona (2015 - current) Previous jobs held: Treasurer, State Of Arizona (2011 - 2015); Chief Executive Officer, Cold Stone Creamery (1996 - 2007) Biggest difference between being an entrepreneur and an officeholder? There are two “CEO rules” in the private sector: No excuses. No distractions. When you’re running a company, it’s very likely you’ll face problems caused by decisions and circumstances out of your control. Employees and investors expect you to take responsibility and address them Too many lifelong politicians respond by saying, “Well, I had nothing to do with this so why should I stick my neck out?” We’re changing that. When I entered office, we were facing a $1 billion hole in the budget. We didn’t complain. We fixed it, and with money to spare. We inherited a funding lawsuit that was threatening our education system. We built a bipartisan coalition, won approval from Arizona voters, and invested $3.5 billion in our teachers, students, and classrooms. The bottom line: Sometimes it rains. Lifelong politicians look up at the sky and run for cover. Entrepreneurs get an umbrella and keep moving forward. How about the similarities -- how is being a Governor similar to being a CEO? They’re both incredibly humbling experiences. You’re offered an amazing opportunity, and then you’re held accountable for your choices, either by investors or by voters. At the end of the day—in both the public and private sectors—you need to deliver results for the people who count on you. I made it clear from day one that one of my goals was to make real improvements to the quality of service that state government provides our constituents, and I think we’ve done that in spades. It was wonderful working as a CEO. But serving as the governor of the state I love is another level entirely. It is an immense and unbelievable privilege to know that millions of people have entrusted you with making decisions that will affect their future and the future of their families, and I take that responsibility very seriously. What are your priorities as you move forward in your third year in office? Our priorities will remain the same as they’ve been the past few years, with investments to match: Expanding opportunities, giving a hand-up to our most vulnerable citizens, growing the economy, strengthening public safety, and generally guaranteeing that we have a bright future, especially through education. People outside of Arizona forget how hard our state was hit by the recession. We had to make some very hard choices in order to get our finances in order, and we only recently recovered all of the jobs we lost. Because of that work, the budget I signed in May was able to invest $163 million into K-12 schools above and beyond previous investments. That was the first time in a long time our state was in a position to talk about adding money to education. I’m very proud of that accomplishment—and, as long as we remember the fiscal prudence and long-term thinking that got us here, I’m confident we’ll be able to continue focusing on these priorities with financing to back it up. Finally, a prediction – how are the Cardinals going to do this year? As a huge Cardinals fan, I’m very excited about this season. Young guys like David Johnson at running back are poised for breakout years. Larry Fitzgerald is hungry for a championship. Carson Palmer is an incredible leader, Michael Bidwill is a terrific owner, and coach Bruce Arians, who’s one of the toughest guys I know, knows what it takes to win. We could see big things from them this year. I’m predicting a 13-3 record, NFC championship, followed by a Super Bowl victory.

RIPON FORUM Aug/Sept 2017

www.riponsociety.org

Occupation: Lawyer by training, Legislator and Public Servant by calling

It’s been over a month since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. How are the people that you represent doing? My 3.4 million constituents are still struggling from the unprecedented catastrophic impact of both Irma and Maria. At the beginning of November, we were still 70% without electricity; 20% without water service; half the road network still needing clearing and over 20 bridges were either gone or closed for major repairs; only around 150 of the over 1,300 public schools had resumed classes. How about the economy. What was the impact of the storm on Puerto Rican businesses, and what is going to be needed to help them get back on their feet? The destruction of the utilities and transportation infrastructure and of the supply chain of goods and services paralyzed the economy. Industry could not receive raw materials, run machinery, ship out their products; workers cannot reach their places of employment. This has a huge impact on manufacturing which is 42% of our economy, mainly in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, representing 70% of the island’s exports, a 15-billion-dollar market. This is causing national disruptions in supply of everything from cutting edge biologicals, cancer and HIV drugs, some of them only produced in Puerto Rico, to things as basic as IV bags. Closer to Main Street, the Retail Association projects losses of over a billion dollars in business and the potential closing of up to five thousand businesses. Agriculture was devastated with a loss of production of over 80% and recovery times that may extend for years. This is leading government agencies to project at least a 43% loss in revenues due to the lack of economic activity. What is your top priority now as their Representative in Washington – what would you like to see Congress and the President do, both in the short term and long term, to help Puerto Rico recover? We need to ensure that both short term relief AND long-term rebuilding are addressed. We must make sure the Congress and Administration focus on the real needs of 3.4 million American citizens. We must avoid being distracted by media-driven controversies. There will be more emergency relief appropriations and we need to make sure the agencies are given the flexibility to target the funds where they will do the best job. Legislatively, for FEMA, FHWA and other programs where there are cost sharing or fund matching requirements for rebuilding we need these to be waived or suspended. Housing subsidy requirements need to be flexible to consider the lack of a functioning power grid. Longer term, we need to give the different agencies the mandate to not just patch up what was there, but rebuild to standards of resiliency. Addressing Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding cliff, the Island’s inclusion in in national tax reform, and addressing the government’s liquidity problem will also be priorities. Most importantly, however, we will need to address the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status, which is the main culprit of many of the Island’s longstanding struggles. What about individuals. If the American people want to help Puerto Rico, what’s the best way for them to do so at this point in time? Contact your most trusted charities and see if they are engaging in Puerto Rico relief efforts. If wishing to make donations directly, Unidos por Puerto Rico is the locally established 503(c) clearinghouse for donations from citizens: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en. Call upon your Representatives and Senators, and upon your professional associations and business organizations, and ask them to work together with me to supports measures to make sure that the recovery effort is sustained and responds to the real needs of Puerto Rico. And last but most important, keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

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RIPON FORUM November 2017

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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 51, Number 6

A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30

Jenniffer González-Colón - of Puerto Rico Doug Ducey - of Arizona Bill Cassidy - of Louisiana Pat Meehan - of Pennsylvania Todd Young - of Indiana Mimi Walters - of California Jeff Flake - of Arizona Susan W. Brooks - of Indiana Orrin G. Hatch - of Utah Elise M. Stefanik - of New York Carlos Curbelo - of Florida Larry Hogan - of Maryland Cory Gardner - of Arizona Renee Ellmers - of North Carolina Mia Love - of Utah Mike Pence - of Indiana Kelly Ayotte - of New Hampshire Adam Kinzinger - of Illinois Lynn Jenkins - of Kansas Pat McCrory - of North Carolina Deb Fischer - of Nebraska Brian Sandoval - of Nevada Cathy McMorris Rodgers - of Washington Luis G. Fortuño - of Puerto Rico Dean Heller - of Nevada

Publisher The Ripon Society

Editor Lou Zickar

President Jim Conzelman

Editorial Assistant Stephen Jackson

Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery

Advertising Coordinator Asher Kaithern

© Copyright 2017 By The Ripon Society All Rights Reserved

31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Kristi Noem - of South Dakota Bill Haslam - of Tennessee Nan Hayworth - of New York Ron Johnson - of Wisconsin Susana Martinez - of New Mexico Timothy E. Scott - of South Carolina Charlie Dent - of Pennsylvania John Hoeven - of North Dakota Jo Ann Emerson - of Missouri Jason Chaffetz - of Utah Janice K. Brewer - of Arizona Lisa A. Murkowski - of Alaska Richard Burr - of North Carolina Meg Whitman - of California Tim Pawlenty - of Minnesota Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. - of Utah Michael Steele - of Maryland Shelley Moore Capito - of West Virginia Charlie Crist - of Florida Judy Biggert - of Illinois Chuck Grassley - of Iowa M. Jodi Rell - of Connecticut Kevin McCarthy - of California Linda Lingle - of Hawaii Kay Granger - of Texas

One Year Subscription: $40.00 individuals $15.00 students The Ripon Forum (ISSN 0035-5526) is published by The Ripon Society. The Ripon Society is located at 1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20005. Postmaster, send address changes to: The Ripon Forum, 1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20005.

Comments, opinion editorials and letters should be addressed to: The Ripon Forum, 1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20005 or may be transmitted electronically to: louzickar@riponsociety.org. In publishing this magazine, The Ripon Society seeks to provide a forum for fresh ideas, well-researched proposals, and for a spirit of criticism, innovation, and independent thinking within the Republican Party.

RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017”


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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer Orrin G. Hatch John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Pat Tiberi - House Co-Chair Susan W. Brooks - House Co-Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Erik Paulsen - Vice Chair, Midwest Bill Shuster - Vice Chair, Northeast Greg Walden - Vice Chair, West Mark Amodei Don Bacon Andy Barr Mike Bishop Diane Black Marsha Blackburn Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Tom Cole Barbara Comstock Ryan Costello Carlos Curbelo Rodney Davis Jeff Denham Charlie Dent Dan Donovan Sean Duffy Tom Emmer Bill Flores Rodney Frelinghuysen Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Randy Hultgren Darrell Issa Evan Jenkins Lynn Jenkins Dave Joyce John Katko Mike Kelly Adam Kinzinger Darin LaHood Leonard Lance Billy Long Frank Lucas Tom MacArthur Tom Marino Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers Patrick Meehan John Moolenaar Kristi Noem Bruce Poliquin John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Jim Renacci Tom Rice Tom Rooney Peter Roskam Steve Scalise John Shimkus Lamar Smith Steve Stivers Glenn Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Jackie Walorski Mimi Walters Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack

In this Edition

For just over a decade now, the one recurring feature in every edition of The Ripon Forum has been a profile of a prominent Republican on our back page. The first of these Ripon Profiles, as we have called them, appeared in February 2006 and featured former Pennsylvania Congresswoman Melissa Hart.  Additional profiles that year featured Maine Senator Susan Collins, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and an up-and-coming Member of the House from Virginia named Eric Cantor. To the extent that the Ripon Profile has been one of our most popular and consistent features over the past 10 years, we thought it would be a good time to publish a compilation of every profile that has appeared in our pages during that time.  Between 2007 and 2017, we profiled a total of 21 members of the U.S. House, 12 members of the U.S. Senate, and 15 Governors from around the country.  We also profiled the Chairman of the Republican National Committee (Michael Steele), and a business executive who was running for governor of California at the time (Meg Whitman).  Some of these individuals, such as former Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell, are no longer in public office, while others, such as former Indiana Governor Mike Pence, have gone on to bigger and presumably better things. The goal of these profiles has been to mix policy with personality – to be a sort of Dewar’s Profile for the political set.  Most of the time, we succeeded; other times, we may have come up a bit short.  The profile of Congressman Pat Meehan from this past April is an example of what this feature is intended to be. It is a mixture of humorous life lessons from Meehan’s first job as a caddy (“Stay clear of the golfers that throw clubs”) and sober observations about one of the great challenges facing America at this time (“The opioid crisis nationwide and in Pennsylvania in particular is staggering.”) Our profile of Congressman Kevin McCarthy from April 2007 is similarly notable because it captured the future Majority Leader at the beginning of his House career.  When asked who inspired him as a child, the then-freshman lawmaker said: his mother (“because she is a strong Italian woman with an infectious laugh”); Satchel Paige (“because he not only was a pioneer for ending segregation in Major League Baseball, but was also one of the greatest pitchers in history”); and, Teddy Roosevelt (“because he was not afraid to lead.”)  As for the issue facing America that no one was talking about at the time, the California Republican and one-time small businessman sounded many of the same themes he is sounding today.  “Our innovators need less Washington regulations,” he declared, “and a tax code that keeps us competitive in a free market economy.” If there has been one other goal of the Ripon Profile over the past decade, it has been to show that the Republican Party is, for the lack of a better term, not just a bunch of white guys in suits.  That clearly has been an ever-increasing challenge in recent years.  But at a time when men make up 91 percent of the House GOP Conference, 44 percent of our Ripon Profiles — or 22 out of 50 — were dedicated to women. The start of a new year is always a time for resolutions. So as we close out 2017 and look toward 2018, let all Republicans resolve to do more to reverse this trend and increase the number of women serving in the GOP. Politically, it will strengthen the party and make it more diverse. More parochially, it will provide this journal with a new generation of leaders to shine a light on in the years ahead. As always, we appreciate your readership throughout this and every year, and welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have. Lou Zickar Editor of The Ripon Forum louzickar@riponsociety.org RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017”

3


NOVEMBER 2017

Jenniffer A. González-Colón Occupation: Lawyer by training, Legislator and Public Servant by calling

It’s been over a month since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. How are the people that you represent doing? My 3.4 million constituents are still struggling from the unprecedented catastrophic impact of both Irma and Maria. At the beginning of November, we were still 70% without electricity; 20% without water service; half the road network still needing clearing and over 20 bridges were either gone or closed for major repairs; only around 150 of the over 1,300 public schools had resumed classes. How about the economy. What was the impact of the storm on Puerto Rican businesses, and what is going to be needed to help them get back on their feet? The destruction of the utilities and transportation infrastructure and of the supply chain of goods and services paralyzed the economy. Industry could not receive raw materials, run machinery, ship out their products; workers cannot reach their places of employment. This has a huge impact on manufacturing which is 42% of our economy, mainly in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, representing 70% of the island’s exports, a 15-billion-dollar market. This is causing national disruptions in supply of everything from cutting edge biologicals, cancer and HIV drugs, some of them only produced in Puerto Rico, to things as basic as IV bags. Closer to Main Street, the Retail Association projects losses of over a billion dollars in business and the potential closing of up to five thousand businesses. Agriculture was devastated with a loss of production of over 80% and recovery times that may extend for years. This is leading government agencies to project at least a 43% loss in revenues due to the lack of economic activity. What is your top priority now as their Representative in Washington – what would you like to see Congress and the President do, both in the short term and long term, to help Puerto Rico recover? We need to ensure that both short term relief AND long-term rebuilding are addressed. We must make sure the Congress and Administration focus on the real needs of 3.4 million American citizens. We must avoid being distracted by media-driven controversies. There will be more emergency relief appropriations and we need to make sure the agencies are given the flexibility to target the funds where they will do the best job. Legislatively, for FEMA, FHWA and other programs where there are cost sharing or fund matching requirements for rebuilding we need these to be waived or suspended. Housing subsidy requirements need to be flexible to consider the lack of a functioning power grid. Longer term, we need to give the different agencies the mandate to not just patch up what was there, but rebuild to standards of resiliency. Addressing Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding cliff, the Island’s inclusion in in national tax reform, and addressing the government’s liquidity problem will also be priorities. Most importantly, however, we will need to address the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status, which is the main culprit of many of the Island’s longstanding struggles. What about individuals. If the American people want to help Puerto Rico, what’s the best way for them to do so at this point in time? Contact your most trusted charities and see if they are engaging in Puerto Rico relief efforts. If wishing to make donations directly, Unidos por Puerto Rico is the locally established 503(c) clearinghouse for donations from citizens: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en. Call upon your Representatives and Senators, and upon your professional associations and business organizations, and ask them to work together with me to supports measures to make sure that the recovery effort is sustained and responds to the real needs of Puerto Rico. And last but most important, keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

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RIPON FORUM RIPON“AFORUM Decade ofNovember Ripon Profiles: 2017 2007-2017”


SEPTEMBER 2017

Name: Doug Ducey

Occupation: Governor of the State of Arizona (2015 - current) Previous jobs held: Treasurer, State Of Arizona (2011 - 2015); Chief Executive Officer, Cold Stone Creamery (1996 - 2007) Biggest difference between being an entrepreneur and an officeholder? There are two “CEO rules” in the private sector: No excuses. No distractions. When you’re running a company, it’s very likely you’ll face problems caused by decisions and circumstances out of your control. Employees and investors expect you to take responsibility and address them Too many lifelong politicians respond by saying, “Well, I had nothing to do with this so why should I stick my neck out?” We’re changing that. When I entered office, we were facing a $1 billion hole in the budget. We didn’t complain. We fixed it, and with money to spare. We inherited a funding lawsuit that was threatening our education system. We built a bipartisan coalition, won approval from Arizona voters, and invested $3.5 billion in our teachers, students, and classrooms. The bottom line: Sometimes it rains. Lifelong politicians look up at the sky and run for cover. Entrepreneurs get an umbrella and keep moving forward. How about the similarities -- how is being a Governor similar to being a CEO? They’re both incredibly humbling experiences. You’re offered an amazing opportunity, and then you’re held accountable for your choices, either by investors or by voters. At the end of the day—in both the public and private sectors—you need to deliver results for the people who count on you. I made it clear from day one that one of my goals was to make real improvements to the quality of service that state government provides our constituents, and I think we’ve done that in spades. It was wonderful working as a CEO. But serving as the governor of the state I love is another level entirely. It is an immense and unbelievable privilege to know that millions of people have entrusted you with making decisions that will affect their future and the future of their families, and I take that responsibility very seriously. What are your priorities as you move forward in your third year in office? Our priorities will remain the same as they’ve been the past few years, with investments to match: Expanding opportunities, giving a hand-up to our most vulnerable citizens, growing the economy, strengthening public safety, and generally guaranteeing that we have a bright future, especially through education. People outside of Arizona forget how hard our state was hit by the recession. We had to make some very hard choices in order to get our finances in order, and we only recently recovered all of the jobs we lost. Because of that work, the budget I signed in May was able to invest $163 million into K-12 schools above and beyond previous investments. That was the first time in a long time our state was in a position to talk about adding money to education. I’m very proud of that accomplishment—and, as long as we remember the fiscal prudence and long-term thinking that got us here, I’m confident we’ll be able to continue focusing on these priorities with financing to back it up. Finally, a prediction – how are the Cardinals going to do this year? As a huge Cardinals fan, I’m very excited about this season. Young guys like David Johnson at running back are poised for breakout years. Larry Fitzgerald is hungry for a championship. Carson Palmer is an incredible leader, Michael Bidwill is a terrific owner, and coach Bruce Arians, who’s one of the toughest guys I know, knows what it takes to win. We could see big things from them this year. I’m predicting a 13-3 record, NFC championship, followed by a Super Bowl victory.

RIPON“A FORUM Aug/Sept 2017 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM Decade of Ripon Profiles:

5


JUNE 2017

Name: Bill Cassidy

Occupation: U.S. Senator (LA) & Physician First job & lesson(s) you learned from it: Mowing grass. I learned if you work hard you can do well. Book you read that you’re recommending to friends: The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder by Peter Zeihan. Challenge facing your State that you’re working to address: Better jobs for working families. Priorities in the United States Senate that you hope to achieve this year: Replace ACA with a plan which meets the needs of working families. Reform National Flood Insurance Program and reauthorize it for 10 years. Finally, finish this sentence: “If I could reform one agency or department in the federal government, it would be…” The Army Corp of Engineers.

6

RIPON FORUMRIPON “A Decade of Ripon 2007-2017” FORUM June Profiles: 2017


APRIL 2017

Name: Pat Meehan Occupation: Congressman (PA-07) Attorney, Prosecutor, Lawmaker First job & lesson(s) you learned from it: I started caddying at age 13. Some of the lessons you learn quickly: What they say on the course, stays on the course. Don’t talk to the golfer unless he talks to you first. Stay clear of the golfers that throw clubs. They exist, but there are fewer of them than you’d might expect. More broadly, it taught me at a young age how to talk to adults. And the importance of a hard day’s work. Book you read that you’re recommending to friends: Any historic biography. History is my outlet. I’m currently enjoying Nathaniel Philbrick’s “Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution”. It gives terrific insight into how tenuous our nation’s fate truly was, and how vulnerable yet remarkable Washington was in his persistence and accomplishment. Challenge facing your District that you’re working to address: The opioid crisis nationwide and in Pennsylvania in particular is staggering. It’s a challenge that even now we continue to struggle to address, and there’s no “silver bullet” solution. But by working on a bipartisan basis to advance prudent, responsible policies, we can make a real dent in this crisis and ultimately save lives as a result. Priorities in the House of Representatives that you hope to achieve this year: As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I’m focused in particular on reforming our broken tax code and making it work better for American families and job creators. We continue to work to repeal and replace Obamacare with measures that will make quality care more affordable and more accessible for Pennsylvanians. And we’re looking at ways we can make better, stronger trade deals that promote job growth here at home, protect our workers and make it easier to sell our products around the world. Finally, finish this sentence: “If I could give the President one bit of advice, it would be to…:” Take a break from Tweeting. RIPON RIPON FORUM “A FORUM Decade of April Ripon2017 Profiles: 2007-2017”

7


FEBRUARY 2017

Name: Todd Young Occupation: Proudly representing Hoosiers and the state of Indiana in the United States Senate Previous jobs held: I have worked as a management consultant, attorney, Marine Corps officer and, my first job, as a janitor at my family’s small business. What was the message of your campaign & why did it resonate with voters? Hoosiers want someone who is going to fight for them. In recent years, too many people have gone to Washington D.C. and forgotten about the people they represent and the challenges that folks at home are experiencing. I work every day to make sure that Hoosiers know they have someone in this position who will work for them and fight for the interests and needs that are unique to our state. That was the message of my campaign, and that will continue to be my mission. How does having a 6-year term affect your perspective and the goals you set for yourself in office? My perspective is now statewide, as opposed to just district-wide. There are unique needs and interests in other parts of the state, not just Southcentral and Southern Indiana – which I used to represent – that I’m coming to learn about so that I may better represent all Hoosiers. To that end, a six-year term affords me a longer work-horizon that does not exist in a two-year term in the House. I am looking forward to the opportunity to having more time to understand a need and work on long-term policy prescriptions that actually address that need. Are there any specific challenges or problems facing the people of Indiana that you plan to address? We need to make sure that every Hoosier – every American – feels like they can rise with the tide of a growing economy. One way to do that is to make sure that people have the opportunity to acquire new skills through higher education or a trade program. I also want to be a part of the solution on infrastructure. Indiana is the “Crossroads of America”. Our logistics economy is important as a standalone, but Indiana is the second largest manufacturing economy in the country and we’re also a major agriculture producer; we need to be able to bring those goods, food and fiber to the market. In order to do that, we need to repair our infrastructure and invest in 21st century infrastructure where possible. I have a personal mission to help the neediest among us. Before serving in Congress, I worked with an organization that helps homeless veterans, I offered pro bono legal services to couples looking to adopt, and in the House of Representatives, I worked on solutions for the opioid epidemic that is, unfortunately, plaguing too many Hoosiers and families across America. These are some of the seemingly intractable issues we grapple with as a country, and, despite our best intentions, never seem to make enough of an impact. America marks another President’s Day this month. If you could sit down with one President in history, who would it be and why? Abraham Lincoln. He saw that government really could be a force for good. In addition to significant legislative achievements such as, the Morrill Land-Grant, Colleges Act – which allowed for Purdue University – and bringing the Trans-Continental Railroad to life, for him, politics was tied to fundamental principles, eternal truths, and inarguable facts. It was perhaps most stark during his presidency that politics is not just about winning, it’s really about advancing fundamental, timeless principles like, “all men are created equal,” and he was willing to fight harder than anyone for that.

8

RIPON FORUM Decade February of Ripon 2017 Profiles: 2007-2017” RIPON“A FORUM


NOVEMBER 2016

Name: Mimi Walters Occupation: Representative for California’s 45th District First job & lesson learned from it: My first job was working at Disneyland, where I had the opportunity to work with people from around the world. I learned a great deal while working there, but the most valuable lesson taught me how to work with people with very different perspectives and backgrounds. This skill has been invaluable throughout my career, especially since coming to Congress. The people I represent expect me to work across the aisle to find and implement real solutions that will better their lives and this nation. Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: I am reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It is an excellent book detailing his life and the tremendous role he played in the founding of our country. I highly recommend it. Top issue(s) in America that no one is talking about: While cutting government spending may be difficult at times, it is imperative that we put an end to reckless spending and focus on fiscal restraint. As it stands now, two-thirds of our budget is dedicated to mandatory spending programs like Medicare and Social Security. This means that this spending is locked in by existing law. If we continue this unsustainable trend, by 2022, 100 percent of our budget will be dedicated to entitlements and servicing the national debt. That means zero dollars for defense, intelligence, or any other program. Our children and grandchildren will be left holding the bag if we do not start addressing the significant fiscal issues this country is facing. Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: The state of our economy is a topic that comes up in nearly every constituent meeting. It is vital that Congress addresses this issue. At a more local level, the state of transportation infrastructure throughout Orange County and California is an issue. As a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I am pleased we now have a long-term surface transportation bill that will help address some of these issues, but more work – particularly in terms of finding a long-term, sustainable funding source – is needed. Finish this sentence: “If I could set one goal for Congress in 2017, it would be to…” implement our Better Way agenda, particularly the economic growth proposals, which generate a pro-growth environment, revitalize the economy, create jobs, and increase wages.

C1

RIPONFORUM FORUM November 2016 2007-2017” RIPON November RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon2016 Profiles:

9


SEPTEMBER 2016

Name: Jeff Flake

Occupation: U.S. Senator from the State of Arizona First job held & lesson that you learned from it: Milking cows. I learned I didn’t want to milk cows for the rest of my life. Proudest achievement since your election to the Senate in 2012: Playing a role in restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba after 54 years of isolation. Challenge facing the people of Arizona that you’re working hard to address: Making sure that Arizona’s rights regarding Colorado River water are respected. Finish this sentence: “If I could change one thing about American politics, it would be…” That we could treat those across the political aisle as often wrong but rarely evil.

10

RIPON FORUM Decade of Ripon Profiles: RIPON“A FORUM September 2016 2007-2017”


JULY 2016

Name: Susan W. Brooks Occupation: Representative of the Fifth District of Indiana Previous jobs held: Senior Vice President of Workforce Development and General Counsel at Ivy Tech Community College, U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of Indiana, Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, Criminal Defense Attorney Book(s) on my summer reading list: The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies by Janet Robertson Proudest achievement since coming to Congress: I continue to be proud of the work my colleagues and I are doing to address the heroin and opioid epidemic that is claiming 78 Americans every day. This epidemic is sweeping across the country, and as a member of the conference committee tasked with developing a final, comprehensive package of solutions, I’m confident that we can help people struggling with addiction and their families, and ultimately, save lives. Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: Curbing heroin and opioid addiction is critical to the future of our country, and to my district. I’ve been focused on finding the root of the problem, which I believe is the culture of over-prescription that exists in this country. More than 80 percent of heroin users start with a legal prescription opioid, and we have to change patient expectations, prescriber guidelines, and pain management strategies to make sure that people are getting the care and treatment they need without creating an environment that can, in many cases, lead to addiction. Finish this sentence: “If I could give the Republican nominee one bit of advice, it would be…” Policies and ideas that isolate us or discriminate undermine our leadership in the world and divide our country. As we look towards November, it’s important we focus on what we’re for, rather than what we stand against. Our ‘A Better Way’ policy agenda is a great start, and I hope it’s an agenda where we can all find some common ground on the best way forward for our country.

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APRIL 2016

Name: Orrin G. Hatch Occupation: United States Senator Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: The Book of Mormon Top issue(s) in America that no one is talking about: The need for a Balanced Budget Amendment. The federal government will handle the American people’s money responsibly only if the Constitution requires it. Every other approach has failed. The Constitution is the American people’s rulebook for government, and a Balanced Budget Amendment is the only way to ensure that elected officials prioritize spending and stop mortgaging our children’s future. Challenge facing your state that you’re working hard to address: Approximately 67 percent of Utah lands are owned by the federal government and managed by bureaucrats in Washington. Unfortunately, this distant federal control can burden taxpayers, lead to poor management, and even silence the voices of the people most affected by federal land policies. That’s why I’m working to return management of these public lands to the state officials who know it best. Finish this sentence: “If I could change one thing about the tax code, it would be…”… to repeal the Obamacare tax increases. But when it comes to taxes, I have more than just one objective in mind. I’ve led a number of tax efforts in recent years, including the Finance Committee’s “Blank Slate” exercise in 2013, our Working Groups last year, as well as the law we passed in December making a number of important tax provisions permanent—including the R&D credit and Section 179 business expensing. I have done all of this with an eye toward building momentum for comprehensive tax reform. 12

RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017”


FEBRUARY 2016

Name: Elise M. Stefanik Occupation: Proud Representative of New York’s 21st District in the House of Representatives

First job & lesson learned from it: Growing up in my family’s small business, Premium Plywood Products, the first job I can remember doing is helping my Mom and Dad with filing at the office, as well as answering phones (no more than two rings was the rule!). On the day after Thanksgiving each year, I would help organize the coupon mailing for the annual holiday discount to our hundreds of loyal customers. In high school, I also worked part time during the school year and summers in retail at Old Navy and became lead register during the holiday season and head of the Sunday weekly cleaning crew with the title of “Captain Clean.” These early jobs helped me understand that “no job is too small,” which I think every business owner and entrepreneur understands. I work to instill this value in my Congressional office. Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: Instilled by my mom and teachers growing up, my love of reading has been an important part of my life. I frequently post what I’m reading on Instagram (@EliseStefanik) and have loyal followers who seem to look forward to my recommendations. And I love their feedback. In 2015, one of the highlights of my reading list was Champlain’s Dreams: The European Founding of North America by David Hackett Fisher. It is an incredibly vivid history of Champlain’s discovery and commitment to the settlement of North America -- much of it set in my district NY-21! Currently I am working through Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels (I just finished Book 3!) which have captured the literary world by storm. They are excellent. Top issue(s) in America that no one is talking about: Rural broadband. In my district, one of the main concerns is access to rural broadband. In order to have access to compete in the 21st century economy, you have to be connected. Rural broadband should be viewed as part of our nation’s fundamental infrastructure. Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: I continue to focus on economic growth and job creation in my district. We have growing sectors such as tourism, clean tech start-ups, agriculture, trade with Canada, medical device manufacturers and transportation parts manufacturers to name a few -- but we need to promote federal policies such as tax reform and regulatory reform to allow and encourage these sectors to grow. Finish this sentence: “If I could reform any agency or department in the federal government, it would be…” Every federal agency and department needs to be reformed. I am the youngest Member currently serving in Congress and part of my goal is to rethink the way government work by bringing positive, disruptive solutions that provide more transparency, accessibility, efficiency and accountability across the federal government. Let’s start at the VA so our nation’s heroes get the care, benefits and services they have earned.

RIPON FORUM February 2016 RIPON FORUM February 2016 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles:

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VIDEO GAMES BRING THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY

TO ALL OF AMERICA

Video games are growing the economy for all Americans – from California to Kansas. With locations in all 50 states, the US video game industry provides more than 220,000 American jobs and pays its employees an average of $97,000 per year. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) proudly works with our nation’s leaders to ensure video games continue to be a source of economic growth, job creation, and innovation for the digital economy of the 21st century. Visit www.areweinyourstate.com to learn more about how video games are growing the US economy and providing Americans with high-paying jobs.

ESA supports the mission of the Ripon Society to advance the development of a sound, growing economy.

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DECEMBER 2015

Name: Carlos Curbelo Occupation: U.S. Representative (FL-26) You started a media relations firm right out of college. How has owning your own business affected your approach in public life? Owning my own business instilled in me many life-long lessons which have proven indispensable throughout the years. One important skill that I regularly find myself practicing is time management. As a family man who balances working in Congress and spending time with my two very young daughters, I use this skill on a daily basis. As the grandson of a man who was once a political prisoner under Fidel Castro, why is it a mistake to renew relations with the people of Cuba today? As the son of Cuban exiles, I am proud of our nation’s rich ethnic diversity. I know, from first-hand experience, the great and generous spirit of the American people and the opportunities our nation provides to all who are willing and able to work for it. Regarding Cuba, President Obama has ignored the realities and the ruthless and violent nature of the Castro regime. Unfortunately the President is putting American national security interests at risk and prolonging the suffering of the Cuban people living under the oppressive dictatorship. It is crucial to remember that the men in power of Cuba today are the same men who had nuclear missiles pointed at the United States in the Cold War. The Administration has afforded the Cuban dictatorship a myriad of unilateral concessions while receiving little in return. America must once again take up the mantle of the protector of human rights and the promoter of democracy; however we cannot accomplish this as long as we confer legitimacy on military dictatorships. I will continue to work to restore our place as a leader on these issues. As a Cuban-American, do you believe the Republican Party is doing enough to broaden its base? We have to do a better job of sharing our story with young and minority voters. The Republican Party led the reform movement that has saved U.S. public education. I’ve seen this firsthand in Miami-Dade, where we rescued public education from mediocrity. That’s important to a lot of Hispanic families, in particular, because they know that their children will need the best education possible to move up in life. Young people want higher education to be more affordable, and we’re working on that. Republicans also want to save Social Security and Medicare for young people. I’m 35, and I know that many people my age don’t believe they’ll ever get benefits back from those programs. Democrats don’t even want to acknowledge that those programs face a long-term funding crisis. Republicans want to make the reforms that are necessary to ensure those programs will still be around in the future. As your first year in Congress is coming to a close, what has proven to be your greatest legislative success so far? I am proud of H.R. 1386, the Small Entrepreneur Subcontracting Opportunities (SESO) Act which is my first piece of legislation to pass both the House and Senate and be signed into law by the President. Also, as a former Miami Dade School Board Member, I am proud of our recently passed bill in the House, the Every Student Succeeds Act which will replace and improve upon No Child Left Behind. This bill included my provision which grants English Language Learners additional time to become proficient in reading and math and puts children, not Washington Bureaucrats, at the center of America’s education system. On the other hand, what has been your greatest legislative challenge? Though this year has been filled with great moments, I have also experienced some challenges. I’d say that one of my greatest legislative trials has probably been finding common ground to update our current Cuba policy, while still making the changes that are necessary to have productive reform. This has been one of my top priorities this year and something I will continue to fight for.

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SEPTEMBER 2015

Name: Larry Hogan

Occupation: Governor of Maryland What does the fact that you’re only the second Republican governor of Maryland in over four decades mean to you? It’s pretty special, but I don’t think of it in terms of Republicans and Democrats. It’s much more important than that. This election was about change because Marylanders were fed up with politics as usual. Did you anticipate your campaign to repeal the rain tax would resonate with Marylanders as well as it has? When I coined the term “rain tax,” I wasn’t surprised it resonated so well with Marylanders and I’m still not, because it’s ridiculous. We were the only state in the nation that taxes the rain. I made it a priority when I came into office to stand up for the taxpayers who elected me and stand up to repeal the rain tax, and that’s exactly what we did. In June, you announced that you were battling stage III non-Hodgkin lymphoma. How has this affected your daily outlook on life? This new challenge has further reminded me how blessed I am to have an incredible family – a loving wife, three wonderful daughters, a strong extended family, and many devoted friends. I am constantly comforted by the outpouring of support not only from the people of our state, but people from every state sending thoughts and prayers my way. Since my diagnosis, I have realized just how short each day is, and every day that I am strong is another day I get to spend with the people I love and another day I can work to change Maryland. I hope that in being candid about my battle with cancer, I can help bring awareness to the disease and comfort others affected by it as well. Your wife, Yumi, is a first-generation Korean immigrant who is an artist by trade. How has her diverse background influenced your political career? Well, I’m not a career politician so my political career is really only seven months long. My wife is the first Asian First Lady in Maryland and the first Korean-American First Lady in the history of the United States. The first economic development mission trip of my administration was a 12-day trip to Asia. We met with government officials and business leaders in China, Japan, and South Korea. A lot of the officials now joke that I’m a “Hankook Sawi,” or “son-in-law of South Korea.” I hope that building strong relations with our overseas partners will be an economic driver for our state, and the First Lady will play a key role in that. As the son of former Congressman Lawrence Hogan Sr., how has his political legacy influenced your desire to serve the people of Maryland? My dad is my biggest role model. During the Nixon administration, when he was a member of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate scandal, I watched in awe as he became the first Republican to vote for President Nixon’s impeachment. I often say that I learned more about integrity from my dad during that single moment than most people learn in a lifetime. That’s when I learned that it’s not about party politics and partisanship. He taught me firsthand the importance of reaching across the aisle and doing what is best for the people of this state. And finally, who would you root for in an Orioles-Nationals World Series? Orioles! I’m gonna have to go with the Birds!

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MAY 2015

Name: Cory Gardner Occupation: United States Senator from Colorado

How has your life changed since election night? Most importantly, my daughter Caitlyn was born just a few weeks after election night, in December of 2014. She was just days old when I was sworn into office. Keeping up with her, in addition to my two other kids, has been the biggest change for me over the past few months. And that’s to say nothing of going from representing my Congressional district to representing the whole state! In addition to your victory in November, Republicans took over the state Senate and won nearly every statewide office. What did election night say about Colorado voters? As I said on election night, the people of Colorado are not red, are not blue, but they did deliver a message that was crystal clear: that they want their elected officials to get the job done and get out of the way of the American people. I believe voters were fed up with the inactivity and bickering in Washington, and they elected people to get stuff done and let America work. Colorado is now one of 23 states that have legalized marijuana in some form. Is this a trend limited to these states, or something that reflects the changing demographics of America? I think that Colorado and these other states are functioning as the Constitution intended for states to function: as laboratories of democracy. I’m closely monitoring what’s happening in each of these cases, and I think all Coloradans and Americans are trying to figure out where exactly the right balance lies between personal responsibility and personal freedom. Along with you, 52 current Senators have also served in the House. How do you believe bicameral experience will help your time in the Senate? It’s great to be able to build on the progress I made on various issues in the House while in the Senate, and to rely on the relationships I developed there to help craft legislation here. While the Senate and the House are obviously quite different institutions with different rules and traditions, I believe that the time I spent in the House helped me develop knowledge on a variety of issues, and certainly gave me a chance to engage in frequent collaboration with my colleagues. You successfully fought off the left’s “war on women” attacks against you during the last election. What can other Republicans learn from your response? I think voters around the country are searching for a positive message. They want to hear what your plan is, and they want to hear how you’re going to get it done. The constant negativity, the personal attacks, all of those things eventually just turn voters off. If Republicans are able to get their good ideas out, refuse to let their opponents define them, and keep up a relentless positive message, voters will respond. Staying on offense, not on defense, helped us fight back when our opponents “jumped the shark.” Let’s talk about issues for a moment. What are your top three priorities for the coming two years? I have just one more than three; I’m going to continue to pursue the Four Corners plan that I presented during the campaign. My focus is going to be Economy, Energy, Education, and the Environment. And if you could have the President sign any piece of legislation today, what would it be? A balanced budget that, of course, would repeal and replace Obamacare.

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FEBRUARY 2015

Name: Renee Ellmers Occupation: U.S. Representative (NC-2) You’ve been in office for four years now. What’s been the toughest part of the job during that time? As a former nurse, when I see a problem, I work quickly to fix it. But by design, this is not how our government was created to operate. Our government was deliberately structured to move slowly, and that has definitely taken some time to get used to. Oftentimes, I find that Congress is focused on “checking the right boxes” instead of addressing the real issues of the day. As Republicans, I’d like to see us be more proactive and results-oriented – similar to how nurses operate in their day-to-day. And the most rewarding part? Is there a victory or experience you’ve had that has made it especially worthwhile? A recent victory that I was particularly proud of is when my legislation, the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act, passed the House by unanimous consent. This bipartisan legislation will educate healthcare professionals so they can recognize signs of human trafficking and intercede on the patient’s behalf early on. I know that it will play a crucial role in stopping the heinous crime that is human trafficking. How has your background as a medical professional and intensive care nurse shaped your perspective as a Member of Congress? My healthcare background has given me the knowledge needed to implement better healthcare policy for our country’s citizens and it has given me an “insider’s perspective” as to what truly needs to be addressed in order for our country to receive better healthcare. Having dealt with the administrative hurdles that come when working in a hospital setting, I couldn’t have had a better career to prepare me for the political environment. You’ve been outspoken in your support for immigration reform. What are the key principles and elements that must underlie any reform plan? Regardless of where one may stand on the specifics of this issue, we can all agree that there are problems with existing immigration policies in the U.S. We must address the immigration issue in three areas – first, we must secure our border. Once this happens, we need to reform our current legal immigration system, as most would agree it is not consistent or reliable. Once these two issues have been tackled, we should address those who are living here illegally. You’ve also been critical of President Obama, saying recently that his State of the Union Address was filled with “empty promises and over-blown rhetoric.” If you could send one bill to the President’s desk for him to sign tomorrow, what would it be? My Human Trafficking bill because it implements sound healthcare policy and it is a complete bipartisan effort. More importantly, this will assist in eliminating the pervasive crime that is human trafficking. What about your other priorities over the next two years? Healthcare has been and will always remain a priority for me, especially in this new Congress. It’s the reason I came to office, and I will continue to prioritize and advocate for patient-centered healthcare. In fact, I look forward to working with my colleagues on an upcoming bill that will seek to replace the Affordable Care Act in order to promote consumer-centered healthcare. Another priority of mine will continue to be Energy & Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative. I am pleased to say that I have two items included in the legislative package emerging from this initiative. Additionally, last Congress, I launched a Grid Innovation Caucus with Congressman Jerry McNerney of California. It is a goal of mine to grow this new caucus and work to educate members about issues related to grid innovation.

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DECEMBER 2014

Name: Mia Love

Hometown: Saratoga Springs, Utah Professional Experience: Flight attendant, Continental Airlines, 1997-1998; Technical support team lead, Sento Corp, 1998-1999; Marketing manager, Echopass Corp, 1999-2000 Past Political Activities: Saratoga Springs City Council, 20042010; Mayor of Saratoga Springs, 2010-2014 Why did you run for Congress in the first place? I ran for Congress because I believe this country is in real trouble, and it’s up to We the People to fix things before it’s too late. The people of America want a government that is transparent. Our citizens deserve to know and understand the “hows and whys” for decisions made at every level of government. The people also want to see a government that is accountable for the decisions it makes. Cities, towns, and the state of Utah operate budgets that must be balanced each year—and so should Washington. Sound financial management is essential to preserving opportunity for future generations. Who is the Member of Congress you admire most? I am still getting to know many of my colleagues in Congress. Two leaders who have been great mentors for me thus far are Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy. There is virtually no one I agree with 100% of the time, but I will support anyone committed to fighting for transparency, fiscal discipline, and the Constitution. What are your top three legislative priorities in Congress? First, quality education -- as a mother with three children enrolled in public schools, I believe that Utah—not the federal government—knows what is best for Utah’s students. I trust Utah teachers and Utah parents over Washington bureaucrats, and I want to give our parents and teachers as much flexibility as possible when it comes to making education decisions for our children. Second, improving the economy -- during my term as mayor of Saratoga Springs, I focused my time and energy on economic development. To promote job creation, I understand the importance of keeping taxes low and eliminating unnecessary red tape. Third, repealing Obamacare -- like the vast majority of Americans, I oppose Obamacare, but more importantly, I have a plan for what to replace it with. My health care plan calls for common sense solutions that empower patients and doctors, reduce costs, increase competition, and place more freedom and health care options back into the hands of the American people. What was the most unexpected question you encountered on the campaign trail (and what was your answer?) A couple months ago I was at a cottage meeting in my district, and a man asked me whether there’s any real hope for the future of America. I pointed out to him that there is great cause for optimism because real hope lies in the people, not the government. Yes, these are tough times, but I remain confident that America will come back stronger than ever—just as we have always done when faced with difficult situations. What would an ideal day off entail for you? An ideal day off is one that I spend with my husband and my three children. Our family loves spending time in the outdoors, so my ideal day would include camping or hiking with my family in one of Utah’s many beautiful state or national parks.

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SEPTEMBER 2014

Name: Mike Pence

Occupation: Governor, Indiana

As Governor, you’ve been successful at providing private, marketbased Medicaid reforms for Indiana’s low-income adults. Can this become a national model? As national leaders in healthcare innovation, Hoosiers understand that empowering people to take greater ownership of their healthcare choices is better than government-driven healthcare. I have long advocated for the repeal of Obamacare, but any sensible repeal must be accompanied by market-based reforms and a flexible block grant program for states to administer Medicaid as they see fit. The Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, also called HIP 2.0, is the closest thing America has seen to a Medicaid block grant program that works and will serve as a model for the nation in future debates about heathcare reform. With Indiana being the first state to withdraw from Common Core, what kind of role should the Department of Education have in formulating curriculum? I’ve long held that education is a state and local function. Accordingly, decisions regarding standards and curriculum are best made at the state and local levels. State governments should be responsible for the creation of high standards with individual schools and teachers responsible for designing curriculum best suited to meet those standards. We achieved this in Indiana. More than 150 educators worked for more than 6,000 hours in an open and transparent way to create standards that we believe are better than Common Core. And, because we have opted out of Common Core, if we want to modify those standards in the future, we can – because we are free to do so and not bound to a national organization. Earlier this year, Indiana was recognized as a top 10 state for its business tax climate. What can Washington learn from your progrowth agenda? In order to keep Indiana’s economy growing, we work to keep the state’s fiscal house in order. Fiscal discipline is an essential foundation to a growing economy. In Indiana, we have an honestly balanced budget that kept our spending increases at 2.5 percent annually, which matches the average inflation rate of the past ten years. Over the next two years, our state’s surplus is in excess of $100 million each and has reserves that will average more than 12 percent of the spending. Looking ahead to this November, what do you think the Republican Party’s message should be heading into the general election? We Republicans need to offer a positive alternative to the failed policies of President Obama and the Democrats. We need to be “solutions conservatives.” We need to showcase constructive solutions that will lead to more economic opportunity and upward mobility for everyone. This includes fixing our broken tax code, reforming health care in a way that lowers costs and gives families greater ownership of their healthcare choices, reducing job-killing regulations and changing our safety net programs in ways that truly help people move up out of poverty. Ronald Reagan once said his experience as a radio broadcaster helped prepare him for public life. As a former broadcaster yourself, do you agree? I think Reagan’s fresh perspective, optimism, and commitment to principle made him a great public leader, both as Governor of California and as President. I have tried to emulate those qualities since before I entered public life – even while I ran my radio show. As a broadcaster, I learned to listen to people as they called in from across the Hoosier state and expressed their concerns, shared their ideas, and asked questions. Listening to the common wisdom of good, hardworking people teaches you a lot – and helps you be a better elected leader. Do you think America will see another broadcaster in the White House any time soon? What’s most important is to have another Republican in the White House sometime soon.

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SPRING 2014

Name: Kelly Ayotte

Occupation: U.S. Senator, New Hampshire

As a former New Hampshire Attorney General and now U.S. Senator, you’ve had the opportunity to see our crumbling justice system from multiple perspectives. How do Republicans keep the “tough on crime” mantra while addressing critical funding issues and high recidivism rates? For starters, with over $17 trillion in debt, we need to get our fiscal house in order. Spending on wasteful or duplicative programs diverts money from more urgent priorities. I’ve worked at the federal level to address a problem that we are seeing all across the country – the fact that our nation’s jails are becoming de facto mental health facilities. Having worked as a prosecutor and as state attorney general, I know that there are gaps in both our existing mental health and judicial systems – which is why I’m co-sponsoring the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act. This bipartisan legislation would help ensure law enforcement has the tools they need to identify and respond to mental health issues. It would also continue support for mental health courts and crisis intervention teams – getting defendants the treatment they need and stemming recidivism.

Some credit you as replacing Sen. Lieberman within the “Three Amigos” as the newcomer to this prominent gathering of Senate foreign policy titans. What have you learned from your short time working with Senators McCain and Graham? No one can replace Joe Lieberman! He was one of my designated mentors when I arrived in the Senate, and I benefitted tremendously from his guidance. Senator Lieberman, Senator McCain and Senator Graham are deeply respected on matters relating to national security and foreign affairs. They bring decades of experience to these issues, and they have tremendous credibility. When it comes to our national security, they understand that we’re Americans first, and I’ve admired each of them for their tireless work to keep our country safe. Most pundits in 2012 pegged you as a potential running mate for Romney due, in part, to help combat the “war on women” notion perpetuated by Democrats. How would you characterize the Republican Party’s understanding of women’s issues today? The Republican Party cares about issues that matter to all Americans – women and men. Contrary to what the Democrats seem to think, women aren’t monolithic voters. Among other issues, we care about jobs and the economy, fiscal responsibility, a strong national security, and school choice. These are issues that are a priority for Republicans, and we’re on the right side of these issues. Recently, the Senate passed your bipartisan bill to address military sexual assaults by a unanimous vote, 97-0. What does this rare, but sweeping support suggest about this issue? It shows that Congress rejects the status quo. We passed unprecedented reforms in December, and the legislation I helped author and pass enhances those reforms to further protect and empower victims by increasing reporting and prosecutions, demanding accountability within the chain of command, and assuring victims have a say during the prosecution process. Even one sexual assault is too many, and we’re going to hold military commanders accountable for changing the culture. And finally, what advice would you give to your potential Senate colleague, Scott Brown, as he begins his first attempt to court voters from the Granite State? The same advice I’d give anyone who runs for office in New Hampshire: there’s no substitute for grassroots campaigning. Spend as much time as possible in people’s communities, neighborhoods, and living rooms.

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WINTER 2014

Name: Adam Kinzinger Occupation: U.S. Representative, Illinois’s 16th District

You became an elected county official at the ripe old age of 20. What did this early experience teach you? Being elected to a local office at such a young age taught me the importance of being accessible to my constituents. I saw just how important it is to bring the government back to the people and to be a valuable resource for the same folks who elected me. I believe this philosophy allows me to make a positive difference in people’s lives and enables me to well serve the people of the 16th District. Your desire to serve others is evident in your distinguished public service and military record. What advice would you give to those seeking to give back to their country? If you believe in what you’re doing, it’s worth it. Giving back to your country, or community, is simply one of the most rewarding experiences one can do with their time and energy. When I speak to high school students trying to figure out what to do with their lives, I always tell them to chase their passion, not a paycheck. I hope everyone can find it their duty to in some small way improve the lives of those around them. With 24/7 news coverage and social media everywhere in our lives, why do you think Americans feel so disconnected from Washington these days? What can be done to reverse that trend? You’re right. It seems that we are more heavily bombarded with information these days than ever before. With one news story after the other focused on the latest crisis, it is easy for the average person to feel disconnected and disenchanted with Washington. But, I hope people can find optimism in their own representatives; to know that they are being heard and that it is worth being engaged. I think a way to reverse the trend is to be more selective of the information one consumes. I promise not every headline is bad, and there are plenty of good people doing great things out there. If you look for the good, you’ll find it. A question about foreign policy -- amid increasing violence and reports of a resurgent Al-Qaeda in Iraq, what do you believe America’s role in that country should be moving forward? Al-Qaeda is the #1 enemy to the United States; as such we need to ensure that Al-Qaeda does not feel safe wherever it operates. Our country has sacrificed a lot in order for a free Iraq, and now we must protect it. If we are going to live up to our commitments, we need to push Al-Qaeda back. I believe by using limited airstrikes, and by allowing our strong intelligence assets to work with the Iraqi government, we can ensure Al-Qaeda has no significant presence in Iraq again. As Americans, we must keep our commitments to the world to regain the trust of our allies, and for our enemies to fear us. You have been targeted by some special interest groups for not being conservative enough. Yet, in a divided government, the need for compromise has never been greater. How have you tried to strike this careful balance? I serve the people of the 16th district, not special interest groups. As representative for the people of the 16th district, I try to serve as humbly and honorably as I can, regardless of politics. I believe we can stand firm in our principles while also recognizing the need for incremental progress. No deal will ever be perfect. In divided government, it is easy to vote no; getting to yes is the hard part. Finally, many have tabbed you as an up-and-comer in the conference. How do you manage these lofty expectations with the basic challenges of a second-term Member? My focus in Congress is getting the folks of the 16th District back to work, reigning in government spending, and ensuring we pass down to the next generation a country stronger and more free than the one we were given. I believe that if I stay focused on those important issues and vote my conscience, I will be able to consider my time in politics a success, no matter what happens.

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FALL 2013

Name: Lynn Jenkins

Occupation: U.S. Representative, 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.

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SUMMER 2013

Name: Pat McCrory Occupation: Governor of the State of North Carolina You were mayor of Charlotte for 14 years. What was your biggest accomplishment? Setting a vision for job creation, transportation and affordability and successfully implementing that vision within a transparent, ethical and inclusive governance process that led to putting more money in the pockets of hardworking people. During your record seven-term tenure as mayor, Charlotte became one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. through burgeoning transportation, banking, energy, and manufacturing sectors. How have you tried to replicate that success for the entire state? It’s my job as governor to make every county, city and town successful on its own, not to replicate Charlotte. North Carolina has the private, public and human capital to be the most successful state in the country. Central to the many reforms we’re making in transportation, education, economic development and so on, is a collaborative and systematic approach to everything we do. One product of this approach is a 25-year transportation plan that will connect small towns to the centers of commerce across the state. You’ve been praised as a “smart growth” Republican, especially with regard to business development and recruitment. How important is tax reform in your state toward this goal? The tax reform we achieved was central to leading North Carolina’s economic comeback. Our tax structure is now competitive again with our neighboring states. With the tax obstacle off the table, North Carolina will lure more job creators to the state because of our quality of life, education system and business friendly culture.

Recently, the prospect of offshore oil and gas exploration near Cape Hatteras has been increasingly raised. What are you doing to bolster the state’s energy production capability in this capacity? I have joined the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition which is advocating directly to the federal government opening up more of our waters to domestic exploration. North Carolina is moving judiciously in pursing the exploration and extraction of the state’s shale oil reserves. North Carolina must get more deeply involved into energy production and that includes renewables which have enjoyed robust growth in this state.

With your victory last year, Republicans took over control of the governor’s office and state legislature simultaneously in North Carolina for the first time in over 100 years. How does this super majority affect your legislative agenda? My legislative agenda would have been the same, regardless of which party held the majority in the General Assembly. It was an advantage to work with Republicans, but the Executive and Legislative are two different branches of government and natural tension between the branches is inherent. That said, I was very fortunate to work with leaders of both Houses and together we got a lot done for the people of North Carolina. And finally, who is another GOP governor you are emulating or look to for advice? Each Republican governor has qualities to emulate. The Republican I admire and try to emulate is President Dwight Eisenhower. He was one of the greatest leaders America has ever produced. And he was a builder. He understood the connection between infrastructure and economic growth. And he understood the importance of thinking for the long term.

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SPRING 2013

Name: Deb Fischer

Occupation: United States Senator for the State of Nebraska How much has your background as a rancher shaped your political career? I think it’s maybe not so much my background as a rancher, but I was born and raised in Lincoln. I met my husband at the University. I fell in love with a rancher, married a rancher, and that’s how I’ve ended up in the Nebraska Sandhills for the last 41 years. But I think it’s more a combination of things that influence us and make us who we are. Part of it is being in agriculture. Part of it is living in rural Nebraska and being a mother to three sons who are now back on the ranch. You have a connection and a sense of community when you’re living in a rural setting, a small town. You’ve gone from serving in a unicameral legislature to a bicameral legislature that is plagued with stalemate. What has been the hardest thing to adjust to? I think it’s an interesting process here in Washington. I find it frustrating that so much of what happens here is scripted. I’m used to – as you said – being in a unicameral legislature. We didn’t caucus. We were on the floor every day. We had an agenda. We went through the bills that were on the agenda. Anybody could hit their light, get in the queue and be able to stand up and debate. Anyone could file an amendment, either right there on the floor or write one up ahead of time to be taken up. It was a little more impromptu at times in Nebraska -- it’s how we operated. It’s just more scripted here. Democrats tried to paint you as a Tea Party candidate, yet you were the only Republican in your primary not to receive the Tea Party endorsement. How would you characterize your political ideology? Well, you are exactly right -- I did not receive the Tea Party endorsement. As I said, I served in the legislature. I was chair of an important committee – the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. I was chair of that for six of my eight elected years in the legislature. I think everyone knows that I’m conservative. I believe in limited government. I believe in government -- you must set priorities, and then make tough decisions on how to fund those priorities. You have been an outspoken supporter of the Keystone Pipeline. Why is it so important to the people of your state? Well, I think the Pipeline is important for our country. In Nebraska, we set up a process during a special legislative session that we had that put in place -- a siting process. We followed that at the state level; the Department of Environmental Quality had public hearings. They issued a report, the Governor made a decision, and it is now up to the President and his administration to decide if they’re going to approve the Pipeline. All of the reports that have been put out there so far, whether at the state or federal level, have shown that there is limited environmental impact -- which I think is very important. It’s time for the President to make a decision. And finally, a question unrelated to politics. The Cornhuskers have one of the richest traditions in college football. What has been the secret of their success? At Nebraska, we honor tradition. We of course have huge support for the team across the state. And I think it’s that feeling of family and the feeling of community and support for that team. Go Big Red!

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WINTER 2013

Name: Brian E. Sandoval

Occupation: Governor of the State of Nevada Where and when was the first speech of your political career, and how many people were in the room? My first political speech happened around the time I ran for the state Assembly in 1994. I remember giving a speech to the GOP Central Committee in a theater at Wooster High School in Reno. There were probably about 50 to 100 people in attendance. Thinking back on that speech, have the issues you talked about changed, or have the basic themes and priorities you first ran on essentially remained the same? The basic themes and priorities I first ran on have essentially remained the same – Nevadans, and I think all Americans, want economic opportunity, they want responsible government, and they want a better future for their children and grandchildren. I think then, as now, it’s about the quality of life. As you enter the third year of your first term in office as Nevada’s Chief Executive, what has surprised you most about being Governor? I haven’t been surprised so much as reminded of the resiliency of people and the love Nevadans have for their state. From my weekend travels to Elko and Ely in rural Nevada to reading to 1st graders at schools in Las Vegas and Reno, and the Nevadan who stops me in the grocery store to ask how they can support our troops, my fellow citizens share a deep and profound love for our state. From the thousands of miles we’ve put on the car to the hundreds of businesses I’ve visited, I’ve never once ceased to be amazed by how much we can – and do – accomplish together. How has being a former state legislator and federal judge impacted and informed your approach to the job? My experience has helped me exponentially. As a former state Assemblyman, I understand the Legislative process, I’ve sat on the committees, and I’ve moved bills through. As a former federal judge, I’ve evaluated all the facts. My training as a judge built on my experience in the Legislature – I’ve heard from lawyers and I hear from constituents and I listen to the facts. I want to make the best decision for the people of my state and my experience across all three branches of government helps me do that. You are considered one of the rising stars of the Republican Party. What does the party need to do to expand their constituency and broaden their base? The gloomy predictions remind me of something President Lincoln said: “No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.” Some observers look at the catfights only and tend to miss the evidence of success and strength. We’ve got a Republican House of Representatives and 30 Republican Governors. And we debate. All across my state and our county, we debate. We do not believe in exactly the same things, or support the same solutions to problems large or small. But I believe that by reminding our friends, families, coworkers and neighbors of the values of the Republican Party, we will win. I see it in the waves of immigrants who have come to our county for more than 200 years. I see it in the stunning success of small business owners in my state. I see it in families, where parents strive to secure the future hopes of their children. And I find it when I remember that each one of us deserves the right to pursue our dreams. There is much to be built upon and I look forward to the days ahead.

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FALL 2012

Name: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Washington’s 5th District

As the new Chairman of the House Republican Conference, you have been a strong proponent of new media. In 140 characters or less, explain why Twitter is so important in American politics today? Twitter allows us to engage, innovate and transform the way Americans interact with Congress by directly connecting us to those we represent. How many members of the GOP Conference are on Facebook, and how has that helped House Republicans get their message out? Upwards of 90% of Republican Members are on Facebook. The network enables Members of Congress to stay connected with the people we represent on a scale never before possible. Whether it’s an important vote coming up on Capitol Hill, or a significant event happening back home, Members can utilize Facebook to engage with constituents in realtime. That feedback and conversation is incredibly valuable, and helps House Republicans be better representatives of the people. Looking back on the past few years, can you point to any one issue or vote where new media made the difference in the debate? Health care. New media not only dominated the healthcare debate; it transformed it. Never have I received so much online feedback from my constituents as I did during the initial health care votes in Congress and in response to the Supreme Court’s decision this summer to uphold the Affordable Care Act. I heard from patients, seniors, physicians, nurses and health care providers who wanted their voices to be heard on this landmark legislation. The overwhelming feedback I received only reaffirmed my opposition to a government takeover of health care and strengthened my resolve to fight against its implementation. New media was an instrumental part of this very contentious debate. Looking ahead to 2013, what role will new media play in setting the agenda and in reaching out to the American people to find out what they think? There’s no doubt in my mind that new media will play a pivotal role in the 113th Congress. Regardless of the issue – health care, energy, tax reform, debt reductions, entitlement reform – it will continue to shape the debate in ways we’ve never seen before. New media usage is no longer limited to a single demographic; its presence is widespread and its influence is immeasurable. As we look ahead, we will rely heavily on new media to take the country’s “pulse” on the most pressing issue of all: jobs and the economy. We want to hear how current policies are affecting everyday Americans and what they want Congress to do to help them create jobs. Getting Americans back to work is our top priority, and we’ll use every new media tool we can to get their feedback about how best to achieve it. Finally, a question related to the season -- with the holidays approaching and as the mother of two young children, what do you believe is the best way for parents and children to communicate with Santa in this new digital age? As the mother of two small children – one of whom has special needs – I’ve discovered that nothing excites them more than the iPad! Not only do they find it entertaining and user-friendly, but it’s been an educational tool as well. And especially now that Cole knows his ABCs, I think my kids will use a new handwriting app – like Penultimate or Noteshelf – to send their digital (handwritten) letters straight to the North Pole!

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SUMMER 2012

Name: Luis G. Fortuño

Occupation: Governor of Puerto Rico You served in Congress before being elected Governor. What are the main differences between the two jobs? Service in Congress provides the opportunity to contribute to an historic and vital national process that helps shape our public policy and discourse. The best aspect of my current job is the ability to drive results, and I would say that is a belief shared by other governors around the country. As Governor, I can brain storm with my team on a problem in the morning, announce a plan of action that day, and implement solutions immediately. This type of resultsdriven government is why you see a lion’s share of the fiscal reforms and economic innovation happening at the state level. As Governor, you’ve had considerable success reducing Puerto Rico’s budget deficit. What advice would you have for your former colleagues in Congress as they work to achieve that goal? The solutions to the fiscal challenges we face, both as a nation and as states and territories, are not easy but they are absolutely necessary if we are to correct our country’s trajectory. I think we need to give the American people credit for understanding that big problems require tough decisions, just as they sit around the kitchen table and make similar tough calls about their family budgets. So level with them. Explain exactly what we face and what must be done. Act quickly and comprehensively. Most importantly, lay out a clear vision of where these tough decisions now will lead – a reinvigorated future for America. How would you rate Republican efforts to win the support of Hispanic voters? What more would you like to see the party do in this regard? Hispanic voters make decisions in elections the same way as every other American voter – ideas, principles and leadership. We are socially conservative, fiscally conservative, and we want lower taxes. Education is key to us, and we want our small and medium size businesses to flourish. Those are Republican values. Our party doesn’t have to run away from these values and principles; in fact, we must underscore them. But we also need to tame the tenor used in the public discourse, especially on some issues like immigration, that pushes away the Hispanic community. We must talk to Hispanic voters about our ideas and principles, about the kitchen table issues and the aspirations of every American family for good jobs, a strong economy, lower taxes, a solid education system and the best possible future for their children. What’s more important in politics -- the power to persuade or the ability to inspire? One without the other is a common shortcoming in the current state of American politics. True leadership lies in the ability to articulate an aspirational vision and mobilize people toward the pursuit of that vision. When both abilities converge, true transformation is possible. Who is your hero today? Even today, I remain a student of Ronald Reagan, just as I was in 1980, when I was attending college in D.C. and stuffing envelopes in his campaign. At the time, he said that Hispanics are Republicans, they just don’t know it. He actually brought many of us into the party. In my first year in office, when we had inherited a government teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and the toughest fiscal choices had to be made, I remembered how tough it was for President Reagan at the beginning of his presidency. But he made principled decisions and stayed the course -- and led the country into an unrivaled era of prosperity. That is why his example of leadership has and will continue to inspire so many in public life.

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SPRING 2012

Name: Dean Heller

Occupation: United States Senator for the State of Nevada Your father, Jack “Blackjack” Heller, was a famed stock car driver, and you are an accomplished driver in your own right. What lessons from the racetrack apply to politics today? Racing is a competitive sport that requires hard work, but most of all it’s fun. Politics is similar. You always try to stay ahead of the pack. It is a privilege to represent the State of Nevada in the U.S. Senate, and I enjoy what I do. It requires hard work, but traveling the state, talking to Nevadans, and meeting new people every day really is a part of what makes this job so great. You’ve been in the Senate now for almost a year. What has surprised you most about the job? I was really surprised with the partisanship in the Senate. Neither side wants to work with one another, and it’s more about a press release than solving our nation’s problems. What are the main economic pressures people are feeling in your state? No state has felt the brunt of the economic downturn more than Nevada. My state continues to lead the nation in unemployment and struggle with a crippled housing market. Burdensome regulations and a healthcare law no one can afford are making it difficult for small businesses to get up and running and hire new workers, all while gridlock in Washington and big-government policies impede recovery. It’s time for a new direction in Washington. What are three things Washington should be doing to help people deal with these pressures? It has been three years since the Senate passed a budget. Our government has no direction or long term fiscal plan. This creates uncertainty and contributes to the anemic economy. Step one would be to pass a long-term budget that places our nation on a sound fiscal footing. The next step would be to pass comprehensive tax reform that broadens the tax base, brings down rates, and simplifies the tax code. This would set the foundation for long term growth and provide stability for our nation’s job creators. Finally, we need to tear down the barriers to economic growth by removing excessive regulations that have stifled growth, created instability, and increased costs to small businesses across the country. Harry Reid is not just your fellow home state Senator, but he is also the leader of the Democratic opposition. Is it difficult to set politics aside when it comes to acting in Nevada’s best interests? The Nevada delegation has a long history of setting our differences aside when it comes to fighting for our state. While I disagree with Senator Reid on a wide range of national issues, when it comes to Nevada, we have no problems working together. Finally, when you leave office, what do you hope to be remembered for? I’ll let history decide that. What I want be remembered as being is a good husband and a good father.

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WINTER 2012

Name: Kristi Noem

Occupation: Congresswoman (R-SD) Who were your heroes growing up? I truly admired my father. He was a hard worker and never shied away from a challenge if it was the right thing to do. He taught me the value of responsibility, integrity, and pride in a job well done. We did everything together as a family and I especially enjoyed working by his side on the family farm and hunting trips to the mountains. How did your upbringing as a farmer and rancher in South Dakota shape your view of Washington and the federal government today? When my father passed away in a farming accident, I was only 22 years old. Our family was immediately confronted with the burden of estate taxes. Trying to deal with the tragic loss of my dad and figuring out how to pay that bill to the federal government changed me forever. I saw how policies can dramatically change lives and threaten family owned businesses. I started to get active in the policy making process so that the everyday person who knew how to put together a budget and stick to it could have a voice in such decisions. You’ve been in office now for just over a year. What’s been the toughest vote you have cast and how did you explain it to the people back home? Voting for the Budget Control Act was not an easy choice for me. I believe that the people sent us here to govern so I didn’t think shutting down the federal government was the right answer. But I came to Washington to help stop the spending spree that is bankrupting our country. The BCA wasn’t perfect by any means but I believe it has helped shift the focus in Washington from spending to responsible cutting and gave us the opportunity to put words into action. The provision requiring a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is an essential component of the Act. When you return home and hold town hall meetings, what one question are you are most commonly asked? When I’m back in South Dakota traveling around the state, folks often ask me “is it as bad out there in DC as it seems?” Often, my answer is “yes.” When you leave office, what do you hope your greatest accomplishment will be? I hope I will be remembered as someone who always worked for what was best for South Dakota and our great country. I want them to remember that I was a common, ordinary person who would do whatever I could to help them succeed. Finally, 17 years after leaving college to run the family business in the wake of your father’s death, you’re about to receive your degree. What one lesson do you hope young people take away from your journey to earn your college diploma? Earning my degree has not been an easy journey. I turned in my final paper in December and received word that I will graduate with the Class of 2012 from South Dakota State University in May. I had always wanted to go back to finish my degree but marriage, children, businesses, public service and life always convinced me that the time would have to be “later”. One day my sister told me she was surprised I had never finished my schooling because I never quit anything. That was the trigger that got me back on track again and hitting the books again. Life was never going to slow down, so it was time to just make a little more time in each day. I hope young people understand that life is full of surprises which may change your current plan for your life. It’s okay to do things in a non-traditional manner. Don’t be afraid to pursue an opportunity. Continue to grow in knowledge, expand your horizons, and be a life-long learner.

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FALL 2011

Name: Bill Haslam

Occupation: Tennessee’s 49th Governor What was your first job and what lesson from it sticks with you today? I pumped gas at one of my father’s gas stations. I wasn’t very good at it at first, but it taught me the importance of good and genuine customer service. At 16 years old, I also had the chance to work for former U.S. Senator Howard Baker. As a businessman, what principles of the private sector have you tried to bring to your job as Governor and instill in the Government of the State of Tennessee? When you own a business you constantly evaluate if you are offering the services people expect in a customer-focused way and as effectively and efficiently as possible. Also, the most successful businesses employ the best and brightest people. I brought those experiences with me to state government. Setting priorities and measurable outcomes matter. It also matters who you hire. Our administration is accountable to the taxpayers of Tennessee.

Business owners also look for opportunities to promote their product or services. As Tennessee’s governor, it is my job to tell our story, and it’s a good story to tell. We are well positioned with low taxes and low debt. In the economic climate we are in taxpayers want their elected officials to be thoughtful and strategic in making budget decisions and to be good stewards of public dollars.

You’ve been in office now for almost one year. What has surprised you most about the job? This may sound funny, but what has surprised me the most is what a big deal it is to be Governor. Not the actual job itself but how Tennesseans feel about and respond to the office of Governor. I had the opportunity to visit Iraq and Afghanistan over the summer because as the Volunteer State, Tennessee has one of the largest contingents of guardsmen and women serving overseas. In having the opportunity to spend time with our troops, I was so moved at how much it meant to them, not to meet Bill Haslam but to meet the Governor of Tennessee. I get the same response as I travel the state, and I’m humbled by the excitement and support of our citizens.

What’s been the toughest decision you have had to make, and how did you explain it to the residents of your state? In Tennessee, we have a Constitutional obligation to balance the budget each year. When we’re putting the budget together, we’re usually making choices about funding or not funding good programs and initiatives, not a bad program and a good one. There are a lot of meaningful programs and important services out there, but when you lose a billion dollars in federal funding, like Tennessee faced this past year, it isn’t possible to fund everything you want to and balance the budget. However, the General Assembly, who also represents our stakeholders, agreed with our approach by passing our budget unanimously this year. When you leave office, what do you hope your greatest accomplishment will be? I hope that we help Tennesseans to expect more. We haven’t set the bar high enough when it comes to education or when it comes to the health of our citizens. Let’s aspire to be more. Let’s raise our expectations for our children. Tennessee is a great place to live, work and raise a family, but we can and should be even better. Finally, your brother is part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who do you root for when they play the Titans? Without a doubt, Tennessee Titans.

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SUMMER 2011

Name: The Honorable Nan Hayworth, M.D. Office: Member of Congress, 19th District of New York Before entering politics, you were an ophthalmologist. Was it difficult transitioning from a profession with very precise solutions to a profession where solutions are often hard to come by and anything but precise? Medicine is a servant profession in which one has to listen carefully to the patient, develop a shared understanding of the problem at hand, and craft a solution that will work for all concerned. It’s thus quite similar to being a Representative--though there’s clearly a big difference in scale and scope, which makes Congress all the more challenging, and I welcome that. On your Facebook page, you say you are a fan of the comedian and film producer Mel Brooks? Which Mel Brooks movie does Congress resemble most? Remember in “Blazing Saddles” when they erect the toll booth in the middle of the desert and the guys riding toward it actually go back to get dimes instead of just going around the barrier in the wide-open space on either side? No common sense. That’s how the federal government was run by the last Congress, and that’s what we’re fighting in this Congress. You’ve been in office now for nearly eight months. What has surprised you most about the job? I had only limited specific notions about what serving in Congress would be like, so there haven’t been surprises as much as there have been realizations. The best one is that Washington does have a lot of people with good minds and hearts who are doing their best to serve the public honorably, and that’s a great positive that we can build on. What’s been the toughest vote you have cast so far, and how did you explain it to your constituents back home? Voting to increase the debt ceiling was the toughest, and I began explaining the grim necessity, and the reasons for it, back in January. The constituents I serve expect the federal government to live within its means, just as they do, and therefore I also emphasize that we’re working to bring deficit spending down now and for the future. When you leave office – whether it be at the end of your current term or at the end of another term somewhere down the road – what do you hope your greatest accomplishment will be? To have served the citizens of New York’s 19th District, and of the nation, honorably and well; to have modeled--despite all obstacles!--the kind of positive and constructive behavior that will transform our politics from its current sorry state of polarization, vitriol, and class warfare. Finally, a question close to home: you live the historic town of Bedford, about an hour north of New York City. If people were going to visit your District this Fall, what three things would you encourage them to do and see? Ride along the designated Scenic Road through Bedford, which was founded in 1680, and savor the village’s historic charm; drive north along the Hudson through Putnam and Dutchess Counties and stop for a kayak ride from Beacon’s new Long Dock Park; then head west through Orange County to see West Point and stop in our Black Dirt region for some great local food.

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SPRING 2011

Name: Ron Johnson

Occupation: U.S. Senator (WI) What was your first job, and what lesson did you learn from it that sticks with you today? My first tax-paying job was at Walgreens. I started at 15, as a dishwasher – then soda jerk, fry cook, and finally night manager before I turned 16. This is your first elective office. Did your decision to run for the Senate come to you gradually, or did you have an “aha” moment that convinced you to launch your campaign? The decision came when people came up to me after my Tea Party speech. I would say the passage of Obamacare from the Senate - the initial passage - is the one that put me over the edge. It’s a huge assault on our freedom. Non-politicians had to step up to the plate.

You’ve been in office now for nearly five months. What has surprised you most about the job? What’s most surprising to me is that there are actually people here in D.C. who still don’t understand how urgent the debt problem is. Way too many are only now understanding how urgent it is. We have a $1.65 trillion deficit this year. We have amassed $14.3 trillion in debt that will crush the hopes and dreams of future generations unless we take action now. What’s been the toughest vote you have cast so far, and how did you explain it to your constituents back home? The toughest vote so far was probably the FAA vote. Part of it modernized the Air Traffic Control system. I support both that and other elements of the bill. I felt I had to vote against it because it rejected the proposal to bring spending back to 2008 levels. We’ve got to learn how to make government more efficient and effective. We’ve got to learn how to live within our means. When you leave office – whether it be at the end of your current term or at the end of another term somewhere down the road – what do you hope your greatest accomplishment will be? I hope I can say I contributed to actually saving this nation from bankruptcy – to bringing us back from the tipping point. I hope to help start us down a path that reverses a culture of entitlement and dependency.

Between you in the Senate, Paul Ryan in the House, Scott Walker in Madison and Reince Priebus at the RNC, Wisconsinites are rattling political cages at every level of government and political office. How do you explain this? Is there something in the water, or is there something else about the politics – and politicians -- of the Badger State? In many respects Wisconsin is a microcosm of America. America is divided along a very deep ideological divide - right down the middle - and that’s being played out in Wisconsin. I also believe the folks here are down-to-earth, honest, hard-working people. Finally, every Wisconsinite has a favorite Vince Lombardi quote. What’s yours? “People who work together will win.” We could use that attitude here in Washington. It’s certainly the attitude I bring to this town.

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WINTER 2011

NAME: SUSANA MARTINEZ OCCUPATION: GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO HOMETOWN: LAS CRUCES, NM What is your greatest achievement in the 14 years you spent as a district attorney? The greatest achievement was making a difference in the lives of victims and their families and being a voice for those who did not have one. For example, one of my greatest achievements as district attorney was prosecuting and convicting the man who killed Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was brutally raped and murdered in 2003. Subsequently, I fought for the passage of Katie’s Law in 2006, which allows for the collection of a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a violent felony in New Mexico. Katie’s Law has gotten results, putting some of society’s most egregious criminals behind bars and preventing them from causing harm in our communities. What issue more than any other contributed to your election victory last Fall? New Mexicans are tired of politicians who refuse to shake up the system and demand bold change. Whether it was securing our borders, reforming education, ending corruption, or making New Mexico more business-friendly to help create jobs, my platform was one of challenging the status quo to end politics-as-usual in New Mexico. Now that you’re Governor, how do you plan to stay in touch with the people of your state? During the campaign, I spent 16 months traveling across New Mexico and listening to the concerns of people who were tired of what was going on in state government. I will continue to visit every corner of the state and listen to the people. But I’m also encouraging people to get involved in the process. We set up a tip line and asked every New Mexican to submit their ideas for cutting waste in state government. I have posted videos of committee hearings on our website and encouraged citizens to contact their legislators. I promised during the campaign to bring the people with me to the Roundhouse and I am keeping that promise. If you could have Congress solve one problem affecting New Mexico, what would it be? We cannot let New Mexico become a haven for crime and illegal activity because we have failed in our most basic duty of protecting our border and keeping our citizens safe. We are working very hard in New Mexico to secure our border, but we can’t do it alone. Border security requires the correct approach at both the state level and the federal level. What else should the Republican Party be doing to win minority support? As governor, my first concern is creating a better New Mexico for all of our citizens. The way Republicans win support among minorities is to lose the rhetoric and labels and talk honestly about the issues that minorities care about. Issues like responsibly balancing the budget, eliminating wasteful spending, ending corruption, improving education for our children and rebuilding our economy around a vibrant small business community will help create a better life for all New Mexicans and that will earn their support. What one lesson for success do you always try to pass along to kids? I truly believe that by working hard and setting your goals high, there is no limit to what you can achieve. I grew up in a very modest home and both of my parents worked very hard to provide for our family. They never accepted our financial situation or working-class background as an excuse for anything. I had teachers who taught me to always set the bar high and that attitude helped me succeed. I believe every child can succeed, and that’s why we must end the culture of low expectations.

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FALL 2010

Name: Timothy E. Scott

Congressman-elect, South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District Hometown: Charleston, SC Professional Experience: Tim Scott and Associates (Allstate Insurance Agency); Pathway Real Estate Group (Partner) Past Political Activities: Charleston County Council 1995-2008 (Chairman for 4 years); SC State House of Representatives 2009-Present Why did you run for Congress in the first place? I believe that South Carolina and Washington need a conservative voice in the House of Representatives. My commitment to cut spending, reduce taxes, fight against nationalized health care, reduce government bureaucracy, and grow our economy compelled me to run for Congress. In the last 225 years, who is the Member of Congress you admire the most? Jack Kemp What was the most unexpected question you heard on the campaign trail (and what was your answer?) “Why are you a conservative?” My answer to those who inquire is that I firmly believe in the conservative values of hard work, religious faith, limited government, and giving back to the community. I believe that the people should control their own destinies, not the federal government, and I will fight for the fundamental values and rights on which our country was founded. What are your top three legislative priorities looking ahead to next year? The top three legislative priorities for me as I look ahead into the next year are cutting spending, reducing taxes, and fighting against nationalized health care for a more sensible approach to our nation’s health care system. If you ever get a day off, what are you going to do? Take my mother to dinner after working out. 36

RIPON FORUMRIPON “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017” FORUM Fall 2010


SUMMER 2010

Name: Charlie Dent

Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania Occupation: Member, U.S. House of Representatives Previous Jobs: Pennsylvania State Senator; Pennsylvania State Representative; Development Officer, Lehigh University; Industrial Electronics Salesman Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: Growing up in a traditional Pennsylvania home, I was inspired by the honesty, compassion, work ethic and thrift of my parents and extended family. My hope is that in embracing these values, I have inspired my own children to live productive and compassionate lives. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. Both Lincoln and Churchill guided their countries through supreme national emergencies with courage and conviction. Had they not played pivotal roles in determining the outcome of the American Civil War and World War II, today’s world would be dramatically different. Defined by their outstanding judgment and unparalleled communication skills, both Lincoln and Churchill provided future generations with extraordinary and timeless insights. Their commitment to the rights of the individual, free enterprise and democracy has certainly shaped my approach to serving the people. Issue facing America no one is talking about: As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I have heard the troubling predictions of many counterterrorism and intelligence experts that future terrorist attacks against our nation are probable and imminent. Because of these sobering assessments and an increase in domestic, homegrown radicalization, the American public must remain vigilant that the threat of terrorism on our shores remains very real. While we certainly do not want Americans to live in fear of potential attacks, we must not allow the nation to become complacent, because this will simply enhance our vulnerability. What the Republican Party must do to be successful in the elections this year: As Republicans, we must present a concise and understandable agenda that speaks to the economic and fiscal issues that are currently the greatest concern to the American public. The core values of the Republican Party – fiscal discipline and limited government – still resonate with the people of this nation. If we are able to demonstrate to voters that our principles will reinvigorate the economy and restore their confidence in government, I’m confident we’ll experience great success this November.

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SPRING 2010

Name: John Hoeven Hometown: Minot, North Dakota Occupation: Governor of North Dakota Previous Jobs: President, Bank of North Dakota; Executive Vice President, First Western Bank & Trust. Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My parents. They truly inspired me and have always been people of great character. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: George Washington. He epitomized true leadership in so many ways and more than any other single figure, he led the way forward in the founding of our great nation. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: We must create more legal, tax and regulatory certainty, so that businesses can invest and hire people. Right now, investment by business enterprises both large and small is held on the sidelines because business leaders face an unfriendly business environment. One example is in the energy industry, where utility, energy and venture capital companies are holding off on investing in new technologies that could produce more domestic energy with better environmental stewardship. They do not know what the rules of the road are for recoupment of their investment. We must do better in creating a responsible, dependable business environment at all levels of government to get our economy moving again, and get people back to work. What the GOP must do to reclaim its majority: Republicans must present our solid solutions for growing the economy, reforming health care and reducing the deficit in a strong and positive way, and act on them. 38

RIPON FORUM “A Decade RIPON FORUMof Ripon SpringProfiles: 2010 2007-2017”


WINTER 2010

Name: U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson Hometown: Cape Girardeau, Missouri Occupation: Member of Congress Previous Jobs: Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, American Insurance Association; Director of State Relations and Grassroots Programs, National Restaurant Association; Deputy Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My father, Ab Hermann, who was the executive director of the RNC in the 1960’s. He was charged with the task of uniting our party and redefining the Republican Party to a new generation of conservatives using new technologies and media – our challenges today are much the same as the ones he took on 50 years ago. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln – he had to fight to preserve our Union and, though the challenges are different today, we have to stop runaway federal spending and work harder to preserve individual freedoms in order to guarantee the blessings of liberty for future generations of Americans. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: People may be talking about how the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy is hurting, but no one is talking about the changes we must make. For starters, we should expand tax incentives for American businesses to invest in modernizing equipment and to expand R&D efforts. We should also emphasize business expensing for all kinds and sizes of American businesses, instead of depreciation, to speed the benefits of tax treatments to the U.S. economy at a critical time. Finally, we must make wise choices in government to curb wasteful and redundant spending in favor of investments in public infrastructure – chiefly transportation infrastructure – to create lasting, stable jobs in America. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: Simply put, but not so simple to do, we must return America to the days when an entrepreneur could make his idea a profitable reality entirely within the United States. Today, great business and manufacturing ideas from America are assembled in Mexico using labor from Central America, capital from Japan, energy from Brazil and the Middle East, and packaging from China. The call centers to answer questions about the resulting product are in India, and the only thing made in America is the credit card transaction to buy the thing. Public-private partnerships to achieve this goal should be a staple of a smaller, more streamlined government that encourages American economic productivity.

RIPON RIPON FORUM “AFORUM Decade ofWinter Ripon 2010 Profiles: 2007-2017”

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FALL 2009

Name: Jason Chaffetz Hometown: Alpine, Utah

Occupation: Congressman, Utah’s Third District Previous Jobs: 16 years in the local business community; Small business owner; Chief of Staff for Governor Huntsman (Utah); Trustee, Utah Valley University Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My parents, Ronald Reagan, and my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Kobiashi Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Winston Churchill Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Prison reform is one of them. The lack of personal respect, civility, and accountability is another major issue facing America that no one is talking about. What the GOP must do to recapture its congressional majority: Return to our true conservative principles such as a strong national defense, limited government, accountability, and fiscal discipline.

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SUMMER 2009

Name: Janice K. Brewer Hometown: Glendale, AZ

Occupation: Governor of Arizona

Previous Jobs: Arizona State Representative, Arizona State Senator, Maricopa County Supervisor, Arizona Secretary of State

Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My mother really inspired me as a young girl. After I lost my father, my mother worked very hard to provide for my brother and me. She owned a small franchise dress shop, where she taught me important life lessons. I was able to help her in her shop throughout my childhood, which not only taught me about basic business principles, but also about life. She taught me about the value of hard work and financial responsibility. She taught me the importance of treating others with honesty and integrity. My mother really helped shape my values that I have maintained throughout my life. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: I have always been very interested in the life and mind of Abraham Lincoln. In such a time of turmoil, he was able to stand up for what he believed was right and stand firm in his convictions. Against all odds, he was able to keep our nation together. His ability to lead in such a critical moment in history truly is inspirational. I think we could all learn much from Lincoln, and I know that I benefit from his ideals, wisdom and humility as I continue to work through difficult economic times in Arizona. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Although immigration remains an important topic in our national debate, public discussion on the true cost of illegal immigration enforcement needs more emphasis. The financial and personnel burden for Border States is much larger than most people imagine. The costs to educate the children of illegal aliens, the costs to provide health care to illegal aliens and their families, and the costs to incarcerate illegal alien criminals are draining the pocketbooks of all Arizonans. It is an issue we must not ignore and one that our entire nation must address and resolve. What the GOP must do to win its way back in the polls: Our principles have not changed, and I think, for the most part, they mirror the values of the American – and Arizona – family. We need to continue to focus on those Republican ideals, including limited government, free enterprise, and individual initiative. Of course, there will be disagreements; every family has them. But, in the end, these spats are only background noise, and we need to listen, instead, to the voices of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan and follow the lessons they taught us.

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RIPON FORUM Decade Summer of Ripon 2009 Profiles: 2007-2017” RIPON“A FORUM


SPRING 2009

Name: Lisa A. Murkowski

Hometown: Born in Ketchikan, AK; raised in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Southeast, AK; currently residing in Girdwood, AK. Occupation: United States Senator from the State of Alaska.

Previous Jobs: Anchorage District Court attorney, 1987-89; Attorney, 1989-98; Alaska House of Representatives, 1998-2002; U.S. Senate, 2002-present.

Individual who inspired me as a child: My earliest inspirations were the teachers in my life, starting with my grandmother who was a second grade teacher in Ketchikan. I have strong memories of all the teachers during my elementary school years. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Buness, made a huge impression on me and my love for learning. I didn’t realize it at the time but she was trained in the Montessori method. So we touched, smelled and tasted, engaging not only our minds but all of our senses. It was active and fun learning. Mrs. Buness made education come alive for me. Had I not studied law and served in elected office, I would have followed my dream to teach. Historical figures I would most like to meet: I’ve always loved stories about female aviators, such as Amelia Earhart and Beryl Markham, the great British female pilot. They were real aviation pioneers and their daring-do has always appealed to me. I would also love to have met the great explorers of the Arctic: Men such as Admiral Richard Byrd and Roald Amundsen as well as countless others who braved the challenges of Arctic exploration. I am fascinated by pioneers of last frontiers, and Alaska has lured many of them.

Issues facing America that no one is talking about: Youth suicide is an area I have focused on as a member of the Senate Health Committee. Alaska’s youth suicide rate is three times higher than the national average. While it’s a very serious problem in my state, it’s not just an Alaskan issue. It’s a national crisis as well – especially in rural America and among our native populations. What’s fueling this crisis? Is it a disintegration of the family, a failure to inspire kids in school, the easy availability of alcohol and drugs? I suspect it’s a combination of many things. I don’t have the answers to this problem; perhaps more mental health professional intervention in our high schools and screening programs are good places to start. I do know that we just can’t leave struggling kids to deal with emotional crises alone.

What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: The Republican Party needs to better reflect the diversity of our nation. We need to improve our outreach to women, Hispanics, African Americans and Native Americans. If people feel that we are the party of only a select constituency, we will remain in the minority. If they recognize that we’re the party that will help their small businesses to succeed, that cares about reducing costs for their family, whether for health care or energy or housing, then I think the GOP can regain the majority.

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WINTER 2009

Name: Richard Burr

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina Occupation: United States Senator from the State of North Carolina

Previous Jobs: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing North Carolina’s Fifth District; Sales Manager, Carswell Distributing Company

Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My father has had the most influence in my life, both in my childhood and now. Serving as a pastor is one of the highest callings a person can have in life, and the positive impact he has had on so many lives continues to serve as a source of inspiration for me.

Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: One of my favorite historical figures is Teddy Roosevelt. His personal story as well as his presidency showed that he was a man of action, which I admire. He tackled the tough issues of his time including helping to mediate the Russo-Japanese War, stopping a potential disaster by helping resolve a coal strike, as well as his efforts to construct the Panama Canal, which was arguably one of the more important achivements for American growth in the last century. He also loved the outdoors and worked to conserve our land so future generations could enjoy it. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Education is one of the most important issues facing our country, in particular, the graduation rate for our nation’s high schools which is abysmally low. In a competitive global marketplace, it is imperative that our children be given the tools they need to succeed, and the first step is for every child to have a high school diploma. If someone doesn’t graduate from high school, they’ll be able to fill out an application, but they won’t be invited in for an interview.

What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: For the GOP to be competitive nationally, we must offer up our vision for America that offers solutions to the myriad of problems we’re facing. It’s not enough to be the opposition; we must have solutions that are based on our conservative principles. From the current financial crisis to the looming crisis of an unsustainable entitlement program, from health care to education, the country is facing some very tough challenges in the coming months and years, and we must offer viable alternatives based on the strength of the free market and the power that the American taxpayer knows best on how to spend their money, not the federal government.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

Name: Meg Whitman

Hometown: Atherton, California

Occupation: President and CEO of eBay Inc. for 10 years; retired in March 2008. National finance co-chair for Mitt Romney during primaries. During the general election, national co-chair of Senator McCain’s campaign. Previous Jobs: General manager of Hasbro Inc.’s Preschool Division, responsible for the marketing of products like Arthur, Barney, and my favorite, Mr. Potato Head. Prior to Hasbro, President and CEO of Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD). I have also held leadership positions at Stride Rite and Disney. Individual who inspired me as a child: No question, my mother. When I was growing up, she told me I could achieve anything I wanted to as long as I worked hard and always delivered the results. She instilled in me a desire to win and never give in. She is an amazing person and an intrepid innovator. My mom has accomplished really extraordinary things in her life. Historical figure I would most like to meet: Teddy Roosevelt. He was a fearless leader. He was a progressive thinker with a wonderful long-term vision. Many of his ideas, especially regarding our environment and natural resources, still benefit the nation to this day. He was determined to do what was right for the people and took on the tough issues that mattered most to Americans. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Education needs to be considered a national security issue in America. Without a renewed commitment to improving our schools, we will not be able to produce the strong, educated workforce America needs to compete in the global economy. Our ability to innovate and create the next generation of jobs goes hand-in-hand with the quality of our schools, especially in the areas of math, science and technology. We must make America number one in education again. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: Republicans must provide real solutions to the problems facing Americans in every walk of life. We must develop specific proposals to encourage the next generation of high-paying jobs, make education reform a top priority, commit to energy independence, and end the escalating costs of health care that are crushing families and small businesses. Republicans also need to put forward plans that will significantly reduce government spending. We must walk the walk on fiscal discipline.

RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM November/December 2008

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2008

Name: Tim Pawlenty

Hometown: South Saint Paul, Minnesota Occupation: Governor of Minnesota Previous Jobs: Attorney; Majority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives. Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My parents. My Mom was a strong believer in the value of education while my Dad taught us the importance of hard work. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln. He successfully led our country through an epic challenge with great courage, foresight and skill. His will, wisdom, communication skills, and trust in the goodness of people made him one of the most impactful leaders ever. His commitment to liberty, prosperity and equality was world changing and remains incredibly inspiring today. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Education. The improvement and reform of our system of education must be addressed with the sense of urgency and boldness that it deserves as a key factor to our nation’s continued success. The current system is outdated and it does not produce the results needed for far too many of our children, particularly the disadvantaged. Changes to the system must include increased parental involvement and school choice, higher academic standards, greater decision making at the school and classroom level, performance pay for teachers and staff, greatly enhanced teacher training, better use of technology, high school redesign, better alignment between our K-12 and higher education systems, more rigorous and relevant class offerings and more. Successfully improving our system of education is strategically, economically, socially and morally critical to America’s future success. What the Republican Party must do to be successful in the elections this year: Republicans must present ideas and solutions that address the concerns of Americans in a positive, hopeful and pragmatic manner, while remaining faithful to our principles.

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RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles:2008 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM August/September


JUNE/JULY 2008

Name: Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Occupation: Governor of the State of Utah

Previous Jobs: U.S. Trade Ambassador (2001-2003); U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, (1992-1993); Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Trade Development Bureau (1989-90), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asia and the Pacific Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My Uncle Hal Robison gave me better perspective about the world around me. He was a humble prairie philosopher and World War II veteran who believed in the role of the individual in our society. I learned from him that the value of our government resides with the people it serves. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: President Theodore Roosevelt. He was so many things, as a great head of state, philosopher, peacemaker, environmentalist, father, Nobel Prize recipient, just to begin. He managed to accomplish everything one could ever want to do in life, all before the age of 48. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: The most fundamental of all issues for government is to provide support for basic scientific research. It is research that will ultimately address our needs in transportation, environment, medical science and health care, and by doing so we will spawn the new generation of jobs and economic success for our country. Government should engage in partnerships with the private sector to fund strong research institutes to focus innovation and creativity around the big issues affecting us. We need to invest in a nationbuilding exercise, in the form of basic and advanced research, in our own country. What the Republican Party must do to be successful in the elections this year: We need to reestablish our foundation as the Republican Party, focusing on our commitment to free markets, a strong defense system and confident foreign policy. The existence of our party rests on actively listening to the voter and providing equal doses of inspiration and solutions.

RIPON“A FORUM June/July 2008 2007-2017� RIPON FORUM Decade of Ripon Profiles:

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APRIL/MAY 2008

Name: Michael Steele

Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland Occupation: Partner, Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP and Chairman, GOPAC Previous Jobs: Lt. Governor of Maryland, 2003-2007 Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My mother, Maebell, who was a sharecropper’s daughter with only a fifth grade education. As a mother, she raised her children to believe in the American Dream even though much of that dream had been denied to her. She also taught the lesson of legacy and the value of having one. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln, because the unfolding of his views on Race, war and the Union are a lesson in self-awareness, political gamesmanship and perseverance. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: Education. It’s not so much that we aren’t talking about it, we are. It’s that we’re not doing anything about it! Graduation rates, test scores, school management, teacher training, “teaching to the test” among other issues confront not just school boards and superintendents, but most especially parents and students. While principals must be empowered to manage their schools and teachers empowered to teach their students, it is the parent who must be reengaged in the education of their children. Children need many kinds of support as they mature, but parental support is the most important. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: As the party of Lincoln stood with those whose hands and feet were shackled over a century ago, today we must stand with those who are shackled by a poor education, the corrosive effects of addiction and the hopelessness of lost opportunity at the hands of an opportunistic government. For Republicans, the promise of America is the promise of endless possibilities; the promise of limited government so that it never becomes powerful enough to infringe on the rights of the individual and lower taxes so that individuals might keep more of their own money. Through our words and deeds, we must show them we are leaders who are in touch with the values of their community; leaders who will bring us together; leaders who will turn hope into action.

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008

Name: Shelley Moore Capito Hometown: Charleston, West Virginia

Occupation: Member of Congress, West Virginia’s Second Congressional District Previous Jobs: Member, West Virginia House of Delegates 1997-2001 Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: My parents have always been – and continue to be – my inspiration. My mother taught me to listen and to be true to myself. And as the daughter of a Purple Heart-veteran and three-term governor, I witnessed first hand my father’s commitment to serving the people of West Virginia and am grateful for that opportunity. I only hope that I’ve been able to pass that dedication to service on to my three children. Historical figure (s) I would most like to meet: Without a doubt, Abraham Lincoln. He served our nation in the hour of its greatest peril, and with his signature, West Virginia became our nation’s 35th state. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: With a keen eye to the future, we must address the ballooning costs of our nation’s entitlement programs with out-of-the-box thinking and a Republican message that empowers individuals to make choices in their own lives. We must also take real steps toward energy independence by investing in promising technology that enables the clean use of domestic resources like coal. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: It’s important that we adhere to our core principles, demonstrate fiscal responsibility and drop the hyper-partisanship that has created unnecessary deadlock in Washington. West Virginians – and the American people – are looking for pragmatic solutions that transcend needless bickering.

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DECEMBER 2007/JANUARY 2008

Name: Charlie Crist

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida Occupation: Governor, State of Florida Previous Jobs: Attorney General, State of Florida 2002-2007; Commissioner of Education, Florida Department of Education 2000-2002; Senator, Florida Senate 1992-1998 Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: I am inspired by my grandfather Adam Christodoulos, who came to this country in 1914 from the island of Cyprus. He arrived nearly penniless at Ellis Island in New York City and worked hard as a shoeshine boy in Altoona, Pennsylvania. My grandfather’s legacy and love of freedom remind me that future generations in Florida will be shaped and inspired by decisions made today by state and community leaders. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln. He understood leaders must stay focused on serving the boss – the people. His words, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” have timeless purpose for all who serve in a position of public trust. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: While some are calling for action on climate change, I believe we must focus more on renewable sources of energy. During a recent trade mission to Brazil, I learned about the ways the country has reduced their reliance on other nations through ethanol production. Ethanol is cheaper and cleaner and can be produced in Florida from sugar or citrus waste. We can do more with less if we place more emphasis on alternative fuels. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: We must govern with common sense, understanding that we are here to make a difference, not to mark time. If we listen to the people who have given us their trust, we can do good rather than divide, and we can restore confidence in our party and the path we believe is best for America.

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2007

Name: Judy Biggert Hometown: Hinsdale, IL

Occupation: Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 13th District of Illinois Previous Jobs: Member of the Illinois House of Representatives, 1993 – 1998; Attorney specializing in real estate, estate planning, and probate, 1975 – 1998; Clerk to The Honorable Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1963 – 1964. Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: When I was very little, my father told me that with a good education I could be anything in the world I wanted to be. Though I did not achieve my dream of becoming a ballerina, I truly believe that almost everything good in my life has come to me as the result of his encouragement and a good education. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln for his courage and Socrates for his wisdom. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: We could be losing our edge in the physical sciences and R&D, threatening our position as the most creative and innovative nation in the world. According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow, at least half of the total growth of the U.S. economy since World War II was brought about by science and technology innovations. To stay ahead in the global marketplace in the years to come, we must maintain a robust national investment in basic scientific research and encourage creative thinking and innovation now. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: We must work very hard to earn back the respect and trust of the American people. We will if we can demonstrate a renewed and unflinching commitment to fiscal discipline, economic growth, and the security of our nation. We can succeed if we return to the principles of our party: personal responsibility, less government intrusion, lower taxes and opportunity for all. FORUM October/November 2007 RIPONRIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017”

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2007

Name: Chuck Grassley Hometown: New Hartford, Iowa

Occupation: United States Senator, Family Farmer Previous Jobs: Member of United States House of Representatives (1958-1975), Member of the Iowa House of Representatives (1975-1981), Assembly Line Worker (19611971), Sheet Metal Shearer (1959-1961) Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: I give my mother a lot of credit for my interest in government and history. Both were always an active interest of hers. She talked about issues and encouraged us at home to pay attention, develop points of view and stand up for what we believed in. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln Issue facing America that no one is talking about: the solvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: Put forward a couple of new ideas, get back to our basic principles and convince the public that we’re going to stick to them this time.

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RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles:2007 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM August/September


JUNE/JULY 2007

Name: M. Jodi Rell Hometown: Brookfield, Conn. Occupation: Governor, State of Connecticut Previous Jobs: Lieutenant Governor, January 1995 – June 2004 State Representative (107th District), 1985 – 1995 Individual(s) who inspired me as a child: I have always had a great deal of admiration for my step-mother: Anyone who could manage a large, blended family and keep house so well was a hero in my book. Historical figure(s) I would most like to meet: I would love to meet Amelia Earhart and ask what drew her to aviation. Being married to an airline pilot (now retired), I understand the thrill of flying. But she must have been a remarkable woman to have entered into such a career in an age when women pilots were all but unknown. Issue facing America that no one is talking about: The growing use of alcohol and drugs among the very young. It isn’t just teen-agers we have to worry about anymore – these days it’s 7- and 8-year-olds as well. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: The party must move to the center – cease polarizing every issue – and listen more closely to everyday people.

RIPON“A FORUM June/July 2007 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM Decade of Ripon Profiles:

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APRIL/MAY 2007

Name: Kevin McCarthy Hometown: Bakersfield, CA Occupation: Congressman representing the 22nd District of California Previous Jobs: Assemblyman in the California State Assembly, Republican Leader in the California State Assembly, Trustee for Kern Community College District Board, District Representative for Congressman Bill Thomas, and owner of Kevin O’s Deli. Individuals who inspired me as a child: 1)

My Mom because she is a strong Italian woman with an infectious laugh and a personality that makes everyone feel like they are a part of the family from the first time they meet her.

2)

Satchel Paige because he not only was a pioneer for ending segregation in Major League Baseball, but was also one of the greatest pitchers in history.

3)

Teddy Roosevelt because he was not afraid to lead.

Historical figures I would most like to meet: 1)

The Founding Fathers because they created a government of individual liberty and freedom that defeated every obstacle of tyranny threatening our way of life over the last 230 years and represented a force of good in the world.

2)

Abraham Lincoln because he never gave up and brought the country together by finding the best in people at a time when he was distrusted and disliked by millions of Americans. In the end, even with all the hatred, he won because he stood for a vision that was good and worthy.

Issues Facing America that no one is talking about: Global competitiveness. We lose sight of the big picture and get caught up in single issue debates when we should be analyzing more broadly how to win the future. To continue great American prosperity, our children need to be able to compete with China, India, and the European Union. Our innovators need less Washington regulations and a tax code that keeps us competitive in a free market economy. What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: Earn back the trust of the American people by revitalizing our status as the party of bold ideas and Washington accountability. 54

RIPON FORUM Decade of Ripon Profiles: RIPON“A FORUM April/May 2007 2007-2017”


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007

Name: Linda Lingle Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri Current job: Governor, State of Hawai`i. Hobbies: Swimming 3,000 yards, four times per week and walking regularly, reading and watching movies.

Songs on my playlist: Primarily Hawaiian music, including “Just Along

for the Ride”, by Na Leo, a trio of local women. I also listen to rock n’ roll and country music.

Books that I’d recommend: I enjoy reading biographies – in

particular, I would recommend: Japanese Eyes American Hearts: Personal Reflections of Hawai`i’s World War II Nisei Soldiers, by the Hawai`i Nikkei History Editorial Board; Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin; and The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman.

Inspiration: My grandmother had a profound influence on my life. I greatly admired her wisdom and love for seeing the “good in people.”

After graduating from California State University – Northridge with a degree in Journalism, I moved to Hawai`i, where I had the opportunity to cover the political landscape and become involved in my community. I saw the difference one person could make in the lives of others, and was drawn to public service.

Most important issues facing America: It is

essential that we equip and significantly increase the number of secondary school graduates with world-class analytical and problem solving skills developed through science, technology, engineering and math education. In Hawai`i, my Administration is proposing specialized math and science programs for junior high and high school students designed to prepare Hawai`i’s youth to succeed in an increasingly global economy. We will also incorporate business internships in our education system to expose our students to a variety of career choices. Along the same lines, my Administration is proposing several initiatives to help Hawai`i’s existing workforce quickly acquire the skills needed for gainful employment in emerging, innovative industries. Through these proposals, we hope to cultivate a quality 21st century workforce.

FORUM February/March 2007 2007-2017” RIPONRIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles:

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DECEMBER 2006/JANUARY 2007

Name: Kay Granger Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas Current job: U.S. Member of Congress representing the 12th District of Texas.

Hobbies: Painting, reading. Songs on my playlist: All the songs by the Four Seasons from the Broadway hit “The Jersey Boys.”

Books that I’d recommend: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell and What’s Right About America: Celebrating our Nation’s Values by (surprise!) Kay Granger.

Political Inspiration: The women serving in office in Iraq. They are some of the bravest women I have ever known. They risked their lives to serve their country.

Most important issues facing America: Terrorism, border security. Why I am a Republican: From 17 years in office, I know that the principles of smaller government, less regulation, accountability, local control, free trade and a strong defense are right for our nation. Republicans are the ones willing to fight for those principles.

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RIPON FORUM “A Decade of Ripon Profiles: 2007-2017” RIPON FORUM December 2006/January 2007


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Ripon Forum December 2017 - "A Decade of Ripon Profiles"  
Ripon Forum December 2017 - "A Decade of Ripon Profiles"  
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