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December 2020 Volume 54, No. 6
WHAT AMERICANS WANT THEIR LEADERS IN WASHINGTON TO DO This and other results from The Ripon Society’s post-election survey of the nation’s electorate.
Plus: Marco Rubio shares his thoughts on the future of the GOP and the patriotic, pro-worker coalition that is emerging. www.riponsociety.org
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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 54, Number 6 Politics and Perspective
A Patriotic, Pro-Worker Republican Party Is Emerging By Marco Rubio In this age of political realignment, it is time for the GOP to embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing. The Ghosts of Budgets Past, Present & Future By G. William Hoagland Scrooge would have asserted of Congress’ budget process: “it is dead, dead as a door-nail.” In the spirit of the season, it is worth examining why the process now lies with old Marley in the graveyard. Why Macomb Stayed Red By David A. Dulio & John S. Klemanski Donald Trump’s success in Macomb County during the last two cycles may signal a longerterm partisan change in a county that was once famous for Reagan Democrats. Why Northampton Turned Blue By Christopher P. Borick Trump’s inability to repeat in Northampton County was undoubtedly affected by intense dissatisfaction with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cover Story 12
WORK TOGETHER By Ed Goeas & Brian Nienaber The results of The Ripon Society’s post-election survey reveal that voters are hungry for solutions and are looking for cooperation, not confrontation, from their leaders in Washington. Publisher The Ripon Society
Editor Lou Zickar
President Jim Conzelman
Deputy Editor Kyle Chance
Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery
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The New Guard By Kyle Chance, Kyle Schultz & Autumn Reed Profiles of 10 incoming Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who not only defeated incumbent Democrats, but are changing the face of the Republican Party and shaking things up. Those profiled include: 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28
Stephanie Bice (OK-5) Michelle Fischbach (MN-7) Carlos Gimenez (FL-26) Yvette Herrell (NM-2) Ashley Hinson (IA-1) Young Kim (CA-39) Nancy Mace (SC-1) Burgess Owens (UT-4) Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27) Michelle Steel (CA-48)
Debate - “Is it time to establish a federal standard for federal elections?” 30
Why We Need Federal Election Standards By Lee Drutman
States Should Set Their Own Election Rules to Protect Liberty By J. Christian Adams
Sections 3 34 36
In this Edition News & Events Ripon Profile - U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-6), the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
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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 Marsha Blackburn Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Co-Chair Rodney Davis - House Co-Chair Greg Walden - House Co-Chair Jackie Walorski - House Co-Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Darin LaHood - Vice Chair, Midwest Mike Kelly - Vice Chair, Northeast Dan Newhouse - Vice Chair, West Frank Lucas - Vice Chair, Southwest Mark Amodei Don Bacon Troy Balderson Andy Barr Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Buddy Carter Tom Cole Doug Collins Paul Cook Tom Emmer Ron Estes Brian Fitzpatrick Bill Flores Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Bill Johnson Dave Joyce John Katko Adam Kinzinger Bob Latta Billy Long Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers Paul Mitchell John Moolenaar John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Tom Rice Steve Scalise John Shimkus Pete Stauber Steve Stivers Glenn “GT” Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this edition
America may be a divided country, but the American people overwhelmingly want Congress and the President to do one thing in the coming year — work together. That is the finding of a post-election survey of the nation’s electorate conducted by The Ripon Society. The survey was conducted November 30th through December 2nd and is being published in this special year-end edition of The Ripon Forum. “Fully ninety-five percent (95%) of voters say they want the President and Congress to work together more closely to solve important problems facing this country, including eighty-six percent (86%) of voters who “strongly” support this concept,” write Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber of The Tarrance Group, which conducted the survey. “This is a strong indicator that voters have grown weary of divisive rhetoric and partisan squabbling. They want to see a different tone and tenor as well as real progress on the major issues facing the country.” Among the poll’s major findings: - COVID-19 (56%) and the economy/jobs (42%) were identified by voters as being “the most important issue,” followed by the budget/debt (17%), illegal immigration (15%), climate change (13%), and infrastructure improvements (11%). - Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters think the federal government has not done enough to support the economy during the pandemic, including a majority of voters (51%) who strongly believe this to be the case. - More than seven in ten voters (71%) say they know someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and almost that same number of voters (66%) favor a nationwide mask mandate. - More than three-fourths of voters (78%) support the sentiment that we are all in this together and we have a responsibility to each other versus just 14% of voters who believe their personal freedom is more important than the greater public good. “Voters want solutions that will help the economy and improve their quality of life,” Goeas and Nienaber write. “They do not want solutions that will bring about more highly charged partisan bickering.” In addition to the post-election survey, the latest edition of The Ripon Forum also includes an essay by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio on the future of the Republican Party and the “patriotic, pro-worker” coalition that, he says, is emerging in the wake of the election. “November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting,” the senior Senator from Florida writes. “To seize the realignment, we cannot simply fall back on decades-old policy white papers. We must instead embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing.” Other authors and essays featured in the latest edition of the Forum include: - Bill Hoagland of the Bipartisan Policy Center — examining the broken budget process through the eyes of Ebenezer Scrooge in an essay aptly named for the holidays, “The Ghosts of Budgets Past, Present & Future.” - Oakland University (MI) Professors David Dulio & John Klemanski — writing about President Trump’s repeat victory in the symbolic home of Reagan Democrats in an essay entitled, “Why Macomb Stayed Red.” - Muhlenberg University (PA) Professor Christopher Borick — writing about Joe Biden’s victory in another county that is considered a bellwether of the country in an essay entitled, “Why Northampton Turned Blue.” - Lee Drutman of New America and J. Christian Adams of the Public Interest Legal Foundation — writing in support of and opposition to new federal election standards. Also, in a Special Report entitled “The New Guard,” Kyle Chance, Kyle Schultz, and Autumn Reed of The Ripon Society profile 10 members of the newly formed GOP “Freedom Force” who knocked off incumbent House Democrats this year. And in the latest Ripon Profile, NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer discusses the message of this year’s election and his goals for 2022. As with every edition of The Ripon Forum, we hope you find this edition interesting and informative, and encourage you to write us with any questions you may have. Lou Zickar, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org RIPON FORUM December 2020
Politics & Perspective
A PATRIOTIC, PRO-WORKER REPUBLICAN PARTY IS EMERGING by MARCO RUBIO Political coalitions have proven to be remarkably revitalized communities and local institutions. And dynamic over the past twenty years, and November’s the freedom to practice their faith without fear of historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that shame and according to their conscience. constitute our two-party These are Republican system are once again values, even if our policies November’s historic shifting. missed the mark at times in turnout suggests the political As Republicans, we have the past. many reasons for optimism. To seize the coalitions that constitute our Across Florida, along realignment, we cannot two-party system are once the Rio Grande Valley, and simply fall back on again shifting. beyond, American voters decades-old policy white affirmed a future based on papers. We must instead shared American values. Dignified work that provides embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that stability and fair wages so they can provide for their kids. A safe neighborhood to raise their families. Robust, prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing – and become 4
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a patriotic, pro-worker party that fights for dignified finally start to put an end to the ongoing crisis. While work, strong families, and vibrant communities. the scale of Warp Speed -- the byproduct of a onceSome of our policy solutions are well-known in-a-century pandemic -- will remain unique, we need and extraordinarily successful. A lifeline to small to apply that general mindset to other industries vital businesses and their workers. School choice. Doubling to our national interest, from rare-earth minerals the child tax credit. Lower taxes. Less regulation. and advanced batteries to telecommunications and Apprenticeships. robotics. We must also recognize that at times we have These industries are not only integral to America’s considered people as inputs into our market-based national security, but they provide dignified work that system, as opposed to viewing the market as a powerful allows a mother or father to support their family. tool to benefit our citizens. The Republican vision of a pro-worker economy When the coronavirus struck in March, we requires a competitive tax code and regulatory rightly prioritized our people as opposed to market environment that is conducive to private investment. efficiency. The Paycheck Protection Program was an But it must also extend more generally to incentivizing unprecedented and wildly investment in America’s successful forgivable loan workforce, equipment, program designed to keep and land and away from To seize the realignment, small businesses open unproductive financial and employees of those engineering like stock we cannot simply fall back businesses receiving a buybacks. on decades-old policy paycheck. Voters rejected the white papers. We must We must think equally Democrats vision of creatively to address the America -- an irredeemably instead embrace a proslow-motion economic racist country that can only American capitalism – one crisis of the 21st century, be saved by a revolution that promotes the common which thus far is defined by led by radical left-wing short-sighted policymaking good, as opposed to one that activists and funded by that sent jobs overseas and wealthy elites in the media, prioritizes Wall Street caused communities to Silicon Valley, and Wall and Beijing. crumble as productive jobs Street -- and are looking for disappeared. In their wake, a home. drug use soared, and real And these voters relationships have given way to the virtual world. weren’t just the white-working class Appalachians The personal hardships are real, but the shift in our the media told us would alone shift red. They were economy -- from production and resiliency to finance my Cuban-American neighbors in my home state of and service -- creates an unacceptable vulnerability for Florida. They were Mexican-Americans in Texas. the world’s most powerful nation. When coronavirus They were Native Americans in North Carolina and struck, we found ourselves dependent on Beijing for African-Americans all around the nation. medical equipment. The Democratic Party of 2020 has alienated all If America does not correct course, we will of them. Republicans need to compete for every voter find ourselves even more dependent on the Chinese it has left behind. Going forward, the GOP must be Communist Party. a multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition of hard-working Over the last four years, the Republican Party has Americans who love their country. taken the lead in attempting to rebuild that capacity, Now, Republicans must produce the policy agenda and we cannot afford to let up. America’s future and defense of all that is great about America that we owe prosperity requires that we recognize when market these voters. Maintaining and expanding the new coalition forces place our nation at a distinct disadvantage will require making it clear that we hear their concerns. with our international competitors. And it will It will require a pro-worker, pro-family evolution of our require federal policymakers to step in and create movement that is unapologetic in its love for our way the conditions in which private investment and the of life. And it will require redoubling our own efforts to vast power of American capitalism flow into critical make sure that way of life remains accessible to many industries for the good of our entire nation. generations of Americans to come. RF This has been on full display in the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which is Marco Rubio is the senior United States Senator from poised to produce the first COVID-19 vaccine and the State of Florida. RIPON FORUM December 2020
The Ghosts of Budgets Past, Present & Future by G. WILLIAM HOAGLAND
Ebenezer Scrooge would have certainly asserted was real and meaningful. 1 of Congress’ budget process: “it is dead, dead as For nearly a quarter century, even with split parties a door-nail.” In the spirit of the season, it is worth in control of the Senate and House, and under both examining why the process now lies with old Marley Republican and Democratic presidents, congressional in the graveyard. budgets were adopted annually guiding spending and I am visited by three apparitions of the federal revenue decisions. The basic, inseparable functions of budget process. The ghosts governing and budgeting were of budgets past, present, and achieved. Only once in the first future. As one who has lived in 26 years of the Budget Act, did the past and present, “I will not Congress fail to adopt a budget. shut out the lessons that they The gentle specter of the teach” but strive to apply them past recedes as the 20th century to the future. comes to an end, and a loud and The Ghost of Budgets Past disorderly phantom approaches arrives on steady and relatively me. This is the Ghost of Budgets calm winds, landing on the Present. A chill runs down my heels of a discredited Nixon spine and “foreshadows certain Administration that historians ends,” for the bulk of the last characterized as the “Imperial 20 years, the budget process is Presidency.” An embarrassed entangled in gotcha political and weakened legislative gamesmanship. The desired branch that had relinquished its consensus-decision-making responsibilities to the executive, budget resolution is now an wakes to its constitutional instrument of party campaign responsibilities and enacts platforms, and only when one the Congressional Budget and party controls both the House Ebenezer Scrooge would Impoundment Control Act of and Senate, does a budget have certainly asserted of 1974. blueprint emerge. But even New budget committees and Congress’ budget process: then, it sometimes fails. As a result, over the last 20 years, an independent Congressional “it is dead, dead as a Budget Office are created Congress manages to agree on door-nail.” to produce an annual budget a government budget only half the time. blueprint, guiding spending and revenue decisions in an orderly When the party in control and timely fashion. The ghost proclaims it mostly of both chambers and the White House does agree on functioned as outlined in the 1974 Act. a budget, however, it is for ulterior reasons. Not to Chopping winds, sometimes quite turbulent at honestly reach even a top line blueprint on spending or times, nonetheless buffeted the Ghost of Budgets Past revenues, but to use the process to activate procedures as we venture a little forward. On the 10 th anniversary designed to enact highly partisan policies and avoid of the new law, it was observed that the process had been attacked from both within and without as 1) “The Need to Improve the Budget Process: A Republican repugnant, redundant, irrelevant, and misleading. But View”. Trent Lott, Crisis in the Budget Process, Exercising it also was acknowledged that the process provided Political Choice, by Alan Schick, American Enterprise Instia framework for congressional decision-making that tute, Washington, D.C. 1986. 6
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the challenging and difficult part of governing: finding upcoming year. Put these simplified numbers before compromise and bipartisan consensus. Thus, the Ghost all the elected members to adopt. of Budgets Present manipulates processes to guarantee Allocate top line appropriation spending to the the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Appropriation Committee and let the full committee Care Act under Democratic controlled government, or decide how it is to be allocated among its 12 siblings. in reverse under Republican control, attempts to undo After Congress agrees to the spending levels, the ability that Act and pass revenue reducing tax cuts. to filibuster the motion to proceed to the consideration Partisan posturing further results in delays in of appropriation bills is eliminated. Once the top line annual appropriations and government shutdowns debt figure is agreed to by both Houses, automatically commence, the longest in America’s history. The adjust the limit, and send it to the President to sign. specter points silently to 1995 as the last time all Set the top line non-appropriated spending appropriation bills passed (mandatory programs) before the beginning of the based on current CBO new fiscal year. In the mist, projections by committee For nearly a quarter century, “regular order” recedes. and allow them to The Ghost of Budgets determine how best to meet even with split parties in Present is lashed and their overall goal. Yes, control of the Senate and whipsawed by crises. enforce the top lines with House, and under both A Joint Committee on major voting hurdles to Budget and Appropriations overcome but always allow Republican and Democratic Process Reform is formed for unexpected, emergency presidents, congressional in 2018 and proposes disaster spending. budgets were adopted major changes but cannot “Will these changes reach the required voting if adopted, change my annually guiding spending threshold for adopting its fears of an end, and revive and revenue decisions. recommendations. The the congressional budget outgoing Chairman of the process,” I ask the specter. Senate Budget Committee “Will it result in the proposes reform legislation that is met with silence government having an annual budget once again that except for a few, brave rebellious souls. will be abided by?” The ghost, laden by the chains of failure, returns to The phantom does not respond but points quietly the grave. It admonishes me as it departs that “unless to a gravestone engraved with the words: “political these shadows remain unaltered by the Future” the will.” RF process will die. A new vision appears on the horizon, silently G. William Hoagland is a approaching, the Ghost of the Budgets Future. The Bipartisan Policy Center senior apparition proclaims, “if the courses be departed from, vice president, helping to direct the ends will change.” What changes, I ask? and manage fiscal, health, Streamline and simplify, the vision responds. and economic policy analyses. Collapse the House and Senate Budget Committees He previously served as vice into a Joint Budget Committee. Make membership president of public policy for on the Joint Committee the top representatives from CIGNA Corporation, staff the major tax and spending committees of both director at the Senate Budget chambers. Require them to agree not on every detail of Committee, and director of spending or taxes but only top lines -- total spending, budget and appropriations in the office of former Senate total revenues, and the country’s debt level for the Majority Leader Bill Frist.
“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“
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Why Macomb Stayed Red by DAVID A. DULIO & JOHN S. KLEMANSKI Upon reflection, the results of the 2020 presidential echoed much of Trump’s America First messaging election in Macomb County were not terribly surprising. that appealed to voters in Michigan including, “Make After all, this is Trump Country in many ways. Macomb it in Michigan” and “Buy American.” Biden also had has many residents (and voters) who fit into categories legitimate “pro-automobile” credentials as part of the that are part of what might be a new coalition in the Obama administration’s bailout of the auto industry after taking office in 2009. But it was not enough to overcome Republican Party. White, manufacturing sector workers without a Macomb’s enthusiastic support for Donald Trump. Importantly, Trump’s successes in Macomb during college education live throughout the county, and less than 25% of Macomb residents have a bachelor’s degree; the last two cycles may signal a longer-term partisan this compares to 28% for the entire state. In terms of change in the County. Macomb has long been considered a swing and bellwether issues that drove Trump’s county; for many victory in Macomb, 2020 elections, the County’s was in some ways a majority supported repeat of 2016. the eventual winner in Trump and his both presidential and campaign (through gubernatorial elections. ads and surrogates) Moreover, Macomb repeated the messaging has had a history of that was successful in supporting Democratic 2016 on issues such as candidates in down international trade and ballot races – even when trade deals, Michigan’s voting for Republican economy, and relations presidential candidates. with China. This worked The County was made again, but it should be David A. Dulio John S. Klemanski famous in the 1980s noted that the campaign’s with the identification messaging did not focus of “Reagan Democrats” much on what a second – voters who voted for term would include The county that was once Ronald Reagan but in terms of specific famous for Reagan Democrats then also voted for policies under President Democrats for other Trump. In the end, that may now be home to the Trump offices in those years. was not needed to carry Republicans. In 2012, Barack Obama the County. However, beat Mitt Romney by while Trump carried the four points (51.6% County again, he did so with a slightly smaller percentage of the vote and a to 47.6%) in the County and Democrats also won the tighter margin of victory (53.3% to 45.4% in 2020 vs. U.S. Senate race (by 22 points), as well as countywide 53.6% to 42.1% in 2016). He did garner almost 40,000 contests for prosecutor (20-point margin), sheriff (15-point margin), clerk/register of deeds (30-point more votes in Macomb than he did four years before. Also, while Trump improved his vote total in 2020, margin), and treasurer (16-point margin). In 2016, even Joe Biden picked up over 49,000 more votes than Hillary while Trump carried Macomb by more than 10 points, Clinton did in 2016. He did so in part by making an effort Democrats won the race for sheriff and prosecutor (the to appeal to the Industrial Belt voters that the Democrats GOP captured the offices of clerk, treasurer, and public lost in 2016. One example related to this attempt occurred works commissioner). By 2020, however, the shift to the GOP in presidential in September, 2020, when Biden visited a Warren, Michigan automobile plant to talk about the automobile years was nearly complete. In addition to Trump, U.S. industry and the need to protect American jobs. Biden Senate candidate John James carried the County by 5.5% 8
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and the GOP swept the countywide offices, with the lone exception of sheriff. The county that was once famous for Reagan Democrats may now be home to the Trump Republicans. County election results for State Board of Education seats (considered to be a good measure of “base party” voters, absent party registration figures) reveal this possible shift. When Obama won the County in 2012, about 35% of voters voted for the Republican State Board of Education candidates.1 However, in 2016 that base party vote increased to about 41%. By 2020, the base party vote increased to about 44%. Not only has the Republican base increased in Macomb over the past three elections, the current party base is very close to exceeding half of the voting population. One caveat is important here: Democrats did well in Macomb in the 2018 midterms. Gretchen Whitmer
1) This was calculated by taking the highest GOP candidate’s vote total (this is a vote-for-as-many-as-two-candidates choice on the ballot) and dividing it by the total number of votes cast in the presidential race. For comparison, Democratic percentages in the State Board races have declined to about 40% in 2020.
won the governor’s race in Macomb by about 3.5 points; Debbie Stabenow won her Senate seat by about 1.5 points. Democrats also carried the County in races for Michigan secretary of state and Macomb County executive. The GOP candidate did win Macomb in the attorney general contest. In addition, a couple of other important pieces of context are needed to qualify these results. The GOP gubernatorial candidate, Bill Schuette, was not like Trump in many ways. Suffice it to say, he was more of an “establishment” Republican; he did not generate the excitement in the base like Trump did. Looking to the future, voters in Macomb continue to worry about the decline in manufacturing jobs, but also are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic and health care in general. They are hoping that PresidentElect Biden and Congress can work together to solve these problems. RF David A. Dulio is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Oakland University, while John S. Klemanski is a Professor of Political Science at Oakland University. This is the fourth in a series of essays about Macomb County that Professors Dulio & Klemanski have authored for the Forum since the 2016 election.
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Why Northampton Turned Blue A Bellwether Tells the 2020 Election Tale by CHRIS BORICK Few things about the 2020 election in Northampton in the urban centers of Bethlehem and Easton, and County, Pennsylvania could be considered ordinary. improved performance over Clinton’s results in small Voters in this mid-sized county on the eastern edge towns (boroughs) such a Nazareth and Hellertown, of the Keystone State made their election choices in were certainly crucial in his victory, the suburbs the midst of an historic pandemic, and for the first delivered the biggest blow to Trump’s effort to repeat time since its founding in 1752, a large portion of the his 2016 success. These major gains turned out to be county’s residents cast their ballots by mail. While essential for Biden, as the President increased his yield by many standards 2020 was like no other election in Northampton’s many rural townships, elevating his experienced in Northampton County, one important overall vote total in the county by nearly 12,000 votes electoral dimension that was strikingly ordinary was over 2016. the County’s ability to serve as a Trump’s inability to repeat bellwether for how Pennsylvania in Northampton County was would go in the Presidential undoubtedly affected by intense race. dissatisfaction with his handling Since 1920, the winner of the COVID-19 pandemic. In of the presidential race in a fall survey from Muhlenberg Northampton County has also College, a majority (51%) of won the race in Pennsylvania likely voters in NorCo rated in all but one election (1944). the President’s handling of And so it was again in 2020, the pandemic as “poor.” With as former Vice President Joe this issue among the top three Biden beat President Donald concerns of voters in the cycle Trump by less than 1 percent, (along with the economy and or about 1,200 votes out of over health care), having a majority 171,000 cast. Four years earlier, of voters give the President the Trump has carried Northampton worst possible rating on his Chris Borick County by a 4 percent margin, handling of a highly salient issue becoming the first Republican clearly undercut his reelection presidential candidate to do this chances. Notably, Northampton since 1988, as he narrowly won Trump’s inability to repeat voters were largely buying the Pennsylvania and its bounty President’s economic pitch, in Northampton County of 20 Electoral College votes. with 4 out of 10 saying they was undoubtedly affected What was different in NorCo in were better off financially since 2020 from 2016, and what do by intense dissatisfaction Trump took office, compared to the results in 2020 tell us about only about 1 in 10 that said their with his handling of the politics in Pennsylvania moving financial standing was worse. COVID-19 pandemic. forward? As noted earlier, for the As was the case in much of first time in its long history, the country, suburban voters in Northampton County had a large Northampton County played a major role in flipping portion of its residents cast ballots by mail. Nearly this key region of the Commonwealth from Trump 43% of voters in this key swing county chose to make in 2016 to Biden in 2020. In highly educated, upper their choices through the mail-in method. In the past, income suburbs such as Forks and Hanover Townships, only a sliver of citizens in NorCo voted via mail. But Biden cruised to victories in areas Trump either won, or a 2019 law passed by the Republican-controlled state narrowly lost, four years earlier. While Biden’s victories legislature gave voters easy access to this method, 10
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and more than 4 in 10 local voters utilized the option. the 7th Congressional District is kept largely intact after While it’s hard to determine if all those that chose to vote the upcoming redistricting in which Pennsylvania is likely by mail would have voted in person if the mail option was to lose one of its 18 House seats. not available, it’s clear that Biden supporters turned to With its status as one of the nation’s premiere this option much more than Trump voters. Among those bellwether counties cemented for four more years, voting by mail, Biden Northampton County won by a 3 to 1 margin. enters the new decade The results in with both Democrats While it’s hard to determine if all those Northampton County and Republicans that chose to vote by mail would have also suggested the fairly optimistic that voted in person if the mail option solid performance they are primed Republicans would for a successful was not available, it’s clear that Biden have down ballot stretch. The national supporters turned to this option much across Pennsylvania, spotlight won’t be more than Trump voters. and in many other focused on NorCo states. NorCo voters in 2021, but next turned to GOP November’s off-year candidates for Pennsylvania’s Treasurer and Auditor elections may tell us more about what the lessons of the General offices, helping to secure Republican victories 2020 elections really were. RF in these seats for the first time in nearly two decades. And while Republicans were unable to knock off Christopher P. Borick, Ph.D., is a Professor of Political Democrat Susan Wild, the Lehigh Valley’s first-term Science and the Director of the Muhlenberg College Congresswomen, the GOP’s nominee, Lisa Scheller, Institute of Public Opinion. This is the fourth in a series did narrowly carry Northampton County in her narrow of essays about Northampton County that Professor 4-point loss to Wild. This tight race may have made a Borick has authored for the Forum since the 2016 2022 rematch between Wild and Scheller quite likely, if election.
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RIPON FORUM December 2020
The Ripon Society’s Post-Election Survey of America’s Electorate
WHAT AMERICANS WANT THEIR LEADERS IN WASHINGTON TO DO by ED GOEAS & BRIAN NIENABER
RIPON FORUM December 2020
In this latest national voter survey for the Ripon Society, partisan driven solutions. conducted among N=800 voters from November 30 through In fact, early collaborative policy successes will be December 2, there is one question that prompts almost universal important in restoring normalcy to our political system. agreement among voters. Fully ninety-five percent (95%) of While voters are closely divided when asked their preference voters say they want the President and Congress to work together for one party government or a power division between the more closely to solve important problems facing this country, White House and Congress (46% same party/44% divided), including eighty-six percent (86%) of voters who â€œstronglyâ€? there is a strong preference among Republicans for divided support this concept. This is a strong indicator that voters have government (57%) and a strong preference among Democrats grown weary of divisive rhetoric and partisan squabbling. They for single party rule (67%). want to see a different tone and tenor as well as real progress on Even the 2020 election results see partisans retreating to the major issues facing the country. their own corners of reality. While a majority of all voters Voters will be heading into 2021 frustrated about the (62%) and ninety-nine percent (99%) of Democrats believe political environment and wary that either political party or that Biden is the clear winner, nearly one in three voters its leaders has all the answers facing the country. A majority (31%), including sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republicans, (60%) of voters think the country believe that Biden only won is on the wrong track and there are the Presidential Election via more voters who strongly believe Fully ninety-five percent (95%) massive voter fraud. Seeing a the country is on the wrong track Biden White House deal fairly of voters say they want the (49%) than voters overall who and effectively with Republicans President and Congress to think the country is headed in in Congress would do much to the right direction (28%). On have these disbelieving voters work together more closely the images of the Presidential have more faith in our political to solve important problems candidates, President Trump is system. facing this country. upside down by eleven-points In addition, as seen in the (43% favorable/54% unfavorable) most important issue matrix and Joe Biden is right side up by in Chart 2 on the next page, ten (53% favorable/43% unfavorable). In a clear sign of how the issues of most concern to voters are issues that cannot divisive the 2020 campaign and its aftermath have been, just be solved through Executive Action alone or by legislation ten percent of voters hold the same view of both candidates (4% alone. The country needs President Biden to work with favorable both/6% unfavorable both). However, as seen in Chart Congress to help the economy recover from the devasting 1 below, voters hold varying preferences and are often closely economic impacts brought by the COVID-19 crisis. This is divided on whether they have more confidence in President-elect an economic and health crisis that continues to need bipartisan Biden or the Republicans in Congress to handle key issues. solutions. Executive orders and floor speeches are not going to For many voters, a policy solution that arises from the be enough to tackle these multifaceted issues. collaboration of the Biden White House and GOP leaders in Voters also think there is plenty of blame to spread around Congress will be viewed much more favorably than one sided for the condition of the current economy. Given four choices,
Chart 1 Issue handling
Economic recovery/job creation
Health care crisis/COVID-19
RIPON FORUM December 2020
a plurality of voters selects COVID-19 (40%) and one quarter In addition, on some actual policy proposals there is strong of the electorate selects President Trump (25%). However, majority support for concepts ranging from police reform to an the other two choices – Democrats in Congress (12%) and economic stimulus bill to rejoining the Paris Climate Accord Republicans in Congress (11%) reach double digits. to raising the minimum wage. In yet another sign of voter There is considerably less division, however, on whether weariness over partisan bickering, only the proposal to expand the federal government has done enough to support the the Supreme Court as revenge for “stolen” Supreme Court economy in the pandemic. Fully sixty-one percent (61%) of seats, as seen in Chart 4, is opposed by a majority of voters. voters think the government has not done enough, including Voters want solutions that will help the economy and improve a majority of voters (51%) who strongly believe this. Strong their quality of life. They do not want solutions that will bring majorities of Democrats (86%) and Independents (62%) about more highly charged partisan bickering. as well as 32% of Republicans One area where voters believe the federal government want action is on dealing with has not done enough. COVID-19 and its devastating More than three-fourths of Much of this frustration economic impact. Voters have voters (78%) support the is shaped by the personal seen this crisis firsthand and are experiences of voters. More than ready to support solutions. As sentiment that we are all in two in five voters (45%) indicate noted earlier, 45% of voters have this together and we have a either they (14%), a family seen their household income responsibility to each other. member (22%), or both (9%) impacted by the economic have been furloughed, suspended, crisis created by COVID-19. otherwise told not to work, or In addition, more than seven lost their job since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in in ten voters (71%) say they know someone diagnosed with March. In addition, more than one-third of voters (34%) know COVID-19. someone whose job was saved by the PPP program. Many These personal experiences lead voters to be supportive voters have suffered economically and seen that there is a of policies to stop the spread of COVID. Fully 66% of voters solution from the federal government that works and then seen favor a nationwide mask mandate. In a simulated debate, that program end. more than three-fourths of voters (78%) support the sentiment Voters were also asked to rank a series of issues on their that we are all in this together and we have a responsibility to level of importance to them personally. As seen in Chart each other versus just 14% of voters who believe their personal 3 on the opposite page, the immediate issues facing the freedom is more important than the greater public good. In a country – COVID, the economy, and health care – have the similar simulated debate, more than two-thirds of voters (68%) highest scores. However, every issue on this list has majority support providing help to those in need versus just 23% of importance when the extremely and very scores are combined. voters who think the national debt and federal budget deficit Voters are ready to see policy solutions offered and see action should be prioritized. COVID relief efforts – both economic on a wide variety of issues. and health policy related – will be met with broad support
Most important issue
Law enforcement reform
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from the electorate. The one COVID related policy where voters are divided is on which level of government they trust most to manage COVID relief efforts. Voters divide closely among state government (31%), local government (26%), and the federal government (26%). The inability of many governments at all levels to effectively manage the COVID-19 crisis has divided the electorate. If the federal government can spend the next six months effectively managing vaccine distribution, providing meaningful economic stimulus, and providing needed assistance to states, voters will be ready to place much more trust in the federal government at managing COVID relief efforts. As a new President and new Congress take office,
voters are ready for these officials to work together on the crisis facing this country. Providing these voters with bipartisan solutions to the devastation to our economic and health care systems as well as finding common ground on other issues like tax reform, immigration, infrastructure, and police reform will do immense good in improving the political climate. The last four years have been marked by partisan and often personal bickering, but there is now a tremendous opportunity for an engaged President and a motivated Congress to make substantial progress on improving the lives of voters. They should make the most of this opportunity. RF Ed Goeas is President & CEO and Brian Nienaber is a Vice President at The Tarrance Group,
Chart 3 Extremely important
Extremely + Very Important
Not at All Important
Law enforcement reform
Chart 4 Proposal
Stimulus bill to promote economic recovery
National standards for police reform
Rejoin Paris Climate Accord
Raising min wage to $15/hour
SCOTUS from 9 to 11
RIPON FORUM December 2020
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AMS proudly supports The Ripon Society. 16
RIPON FORUM December 2020
Maria Elvira Salazar
THE NEW GUARD Meet 10 Members of the GOP Freedom Force Who Knocked Off Incumbent Democrats
Since the election of 2018, House Democrats have had The Squad, a group of four self-styled progressives whose championship of liberal causes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All have made them heroes of the left and villains of the right. Now, thanks to Republican gains in the election last month, the House GOP has their own group to champion conservative causes. They call themselves The Freedom Force, and they are a group of newly-elected U.S. Representatives who are coming to Washington to stand up for the principles, they say, that have made America great. At press time, the group includes seven women, the first Iranian-American ever elected to Congress, the first female member of the Cherokee nation ever elected to Congress, and the first Korean women ever elected to Congress. The group also includes a Cuban American who spent 25 years as a firefighter before being elected Mayor of Miami Dade County, and a former star player for the Oakland Raiders who fell on hard times after leaving the league, and then later found success as a businessman and founder of a non-profit that helps troubled youth. In this edition of The Ripon Forum, we have decided to profile 10 of them, with the common denominator being that they not only defeated incumbent Democrats, but that they are part of what we are calling The New Guard that is changing the face of the Republican Party and shaking things up. RIPON FORUM December 2020
THE NEW GUARD
Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District by KYLE SCHULTZ
Snapshot of Victory: Stephanie Bice defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Kendra Horn by a vote of 52.1% to 47.9%. She is the first Iranian-American elected to serve in Congress.
beer and allowed liquor stores to sell refrigerated beer and non-alcohol items such as sodas and corkscrews. Additionally, it allowed breweries, wineries, and distilleries to sell their products onsite. This led to the creation of 5,000 jobs.
Background: Congresswoman-elect Bice was born and raised in Oklahoma City. Her father was Legislative Goals for Congress: Bice has indian Iranian immigrant who came to the United States cated that she will focus her efforts on jobs and the at a young age to study comeconomy when she takes office puter science and her mother a in January. She hopes Congress third generation Oklahoman, can pass another coronavirus making Bice a fourth generation relief package, particularly for Oklahoman. She attended Oklathe travel, hotel, and restaurant homa State University where she industries which have been hit earned a bachelor’s degree in hard by the global pandemic. marketing with a minor in interShe earned a reputation in the national business. Bice worked Oklahoma Senate for her ecofor her family’s technology comnomic development initiatives pany in a variety of areas includand efforts to curb state spending financial oversight, marketing and hopes to work on similar ing, and business strategy. After issues in Congress. Additionally, eight years of working in the affordable healthcare and immifamily business, she became the gration issues will also be priVice President of Business Deorities for her. velopment of a boutique digital marketing agency. Key Quote: “A lot of the In 2014, Bice was elected things that I’ve championed to represent the 22nd district have been bipartisan types of “Hopefully we’ll of the Oklahoma State Senate. legislation, so I think there is see, now that the During her tenure in the Senroom for negotiation, there is ate, she served on the General room for compromise. Hopeelection is over, some Government & Transportation; fully we’ll see, now that the coming together and Appropriations; Finance; Public election is over, some coming trying to actually Safety; and Business, Commerce together and trying to actual& Tourism Committees. In 2016, ly govern again. I’m going to govern again.” she was elected by her Republilisten, I’m going to take your can Senate colleagues to serve as suggestions or your input into Assistant Majority Floor Leader. consideration when I’m making Bice also played a lead role in working to mod- decisions that are in the best interest of the comernize Oklahoma liquor laws. She wrote the bill that munity, the state, or this Congressional district. was the first major overhaul of liquor laws in Okla- Certainly we may differ on how we get there, but I homa since prohibition was repealed there in 1959. will continue to be an advocate for Oklahomans.” The passage of this legislation allowed grocery (Source: November 4th interview with The Oklahoand convenience stores to sell wine and high-point man.) RF 18
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THE NEW GUARD
Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District by KYLE CHANCE
Snapshot of Victory: Michelle Fischbach defeated 30-year incumbent Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson by a vote of 53.4% to 39.9%.
with them instead of standing with Nancy Pelosi.”
Legislative Goals for Congress: The economy and job creation have consistently been priorities Background: In one way or another, Michelle for Congresswoman-elect Fischbach, but the recesFischbach has been dutifully serving the people of sion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has put even Western Minnesota for over two decades. From City more emphasis on creating a healthy environment for Hall to the halls of the State Capitol, she has advocat- economic growth. “When I am sworn in, a top priored for commonsense conservative ity is passing legislation that will solutions for the Land of 10,000 revive our economic growth, not Lakes. stifle it,” she said. Fischbach attended St. Cloud Agriculture is a particularly State University, where she earned important piece of Minnesota’s a B.A. in political science and economy. The state’s farmers received her J.D. from William and ranchers are the backbone of Mitchel College of Law. In 1996, the economy, she explained durshe kicked off her public service ing the campaign, and there are career by becoming the first womseveral ways Congress can act an elected to the Paynesville City to help these hard-working men Council – a post she would hold and women. This includes refor a year before successfully runbuilding outdated infrastructure, ning for an open Minnesota State which would expedite the process Senate seat. of getting their goods to market, Fischbach held this seat until secure and negotiate pro-farmer 2018, and during her tenure she trade deals, and create workforce made history by being the first development programs to ensure woman to serve as President of America’s workers are prepared “Families across the Minnesota Senate. In 2018, for jobs in the 21st century. she became the Lieutenant Goverwestern Minnesota nor of Minnesota following Tina Key Quote: “On the camsimply want a govSmith’s appointment to the U.S. paign trail, one common theme ernment that protects was that Minnesotans are fed up Senate. Fischbach ran for Congress our communities and with the new Democrat Party and in 2020 because she felt the vottheir far-left radical principles. spends taxpayer dolers in Western Minnesota did not From defunding the police to lars responsibly.” have a proper voice in the nation’s healthcare for illegal immigrants, capital. families across western Minne"I ran for office because it sota simply want a government was clear that after 30 years of sending a Democrat to that protects our communities and spends taxpayer Washington, the people in Minnesota's Seventh Dis- dollars responsibly. I look forward to bringing the trict wanted a true conservative fighting for them in stories of the incredible people I met while camCongress,” she said in a statement for The Ripon Fo- paigning with me to Washington, and working for rum. “I want to give a voice back to the Minnesota them and their values.” (Source: Statement to The families, farmers, and small businesses by standing Ripon Forum) RF RIPON FORUM December 2020
THE NEW GUARD
Florida’s 26th Congressional District by KYLE CHANCE
Snapshot of Victory: Carlos Gimenez defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Debbie MucarselPowell by a vote of 51.7% to 48.3%.
of county departments from 42 to 26, eliminated 1,700 positions and renegotiated contracts with public sector labor unions – all of which helped amount to saving nearly $400 million.
Background: Carlos Gimenez was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States with his parents in Legislative Goals for Congress: Gimenez has 1960 following the Cuban Revolution. Once his fam- outlined several priorities he plans to focus on once ily made it to the United States, they settled down in he takes office in January. Congress should work to a neighborhood of Miami that ensure that the U.S. economy would become known as Little bounces back from the COHavana. Since then, he has givVID-19 pandemic, he said. A en back to the community that strong economy is the founwelcomed him through public dation for properly taking on service. any other issue – including the Gimenez earned his bacheenvironment. lor’s degree in Public AdminisSpecifically, on the entration from Barry University. vironment, the CongressAfter graduation, he joined the man-elect will make sure the Miami Fire-Rescue DepartComprehensive Everglades ment and began what would Restoration Project is propturn into a 25- year career as erly funded so that the water a firefighter. Eventually, he flows can be restored into would rise through the ranks both the Everglades and Florand serve as Fire Chief, a posiida Bay. tion he held for nine years. In Gimenez has also said 2000, Gimenez was recognized that he will work hard when for his service and appointed it comes to health care. This “This country needs to start Manager of the City of Miami. means protecting the 200 milto work together. We have In 2004, he decided to run lion Americans who have prifor public office, winning his vate health insurance, but also threats from outside and race for the Miami-Dade Board making sure that quality, afinside, and for us to keep of County Commissioners. He fordable health care is availfighting makes no sense would serve on the Board unable – regardless of preexisttil 2011 before being elected ing conditions – for those who whatsoever.” Mayor of Miami-Dade County. do not have private insurance. He would go on to win reelection twice thereafter. Key Quote: “Today was a As mayor, Gimenez made government efficiency rejection of extremism. Today was a rejection of parand accountability a top priority. He balanced the coun- tisanship. Today was a rejection of socialism and the ty budget each year in office by reining in excessive evils of socialism and communism... We need to work spending and eliminating bureaucratic bloat – going so together. This country needs to start to work together. far as to cut his own salary in half when he took office We have threats from outside and inside, and for us to while also slashing the budget of the mayor’s office by keep fighting makes no sense whatsoever.” (Source: over $1 million. Furthermore, he reduced the number Victory Speech on election night.) RF 20
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THE NEW GUARD
New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District by KYLE SCHULTZ
Snapshot of Victory: Yvette Herrell defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small by a vote of 53.75% to 46.25%. Herrell is a member of the Cherokee Nation making her both the first Cherokee woman and first Native American Republican woman elected to serve in Congress.
2020 Herrell handily won the Republican primary nomination to again challenge Xochitl Torres Small for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, and won in the general election by over 19,000 votes.
Legislative Goals for Congress: Herrell positioned herself as a strong ally of President Trump Background: Congresswoman-elect Herrell was and campaigned on the issues of strengthening the born and raised in Ruidoso, New Mexico and after U.S. border, supporting small businesses, and fighthigh school attended ITT Teching overly burdensome govnical Institute in Boise, Idaho ernment regulations. Herrell where she earned a legal secrehas also expressed a desire to tary diploma. She now resides protect the oil and gas indusin Alamogordo. Herrell has try, which is critical to New worked in a variety of areas in Mexico’s economy, from burboth the public and private secdensome regulations brought tor. In addition to her work as in the name of climate change. both a realtor and real estate She believes a balance of prebroker, she also worked as an serving the fossil fuels indusinsurance adjuster and small try while also protecting our business owner. She has also environment can be found. worked on a number of political Herrell believes the fedcampaigns and served as a legeral government needs to reislative assistant for two memduce healthcare costs for the bers of the New Mexico House American family as well as exof Representatives. pand and make permanent the Herrell first ran for public Trump tax cuts. Veterans isoffice in 2010 when she chalsues will also be a priority with lenged the Republican incumwaiting periods at VA medical bent in District 51 of the New facilities being at the top of the “For far too long, Mexico House of Representalist. In a further push against we’ve seen division tives. She won the primary with government regulations, Herin Washington, and just 846 votes and went on to rell hopes to deregulate the win the general election with agriculture industry to make it the losers are the over 3,000 votes. She went on easier for farmers and ranchers people, because our to serve four terms in the New to grow and sell their products. values are not being Mexico State Legislature until 2018. During her time at the Key Quote: “This is about represented.” State House she chaired the putting people over politics, Regulatory and Public Affairs limiting the size of governCommittee and was a member of the Business and ment, and taking your values to Washington, DC. For Employment Committee. far too long, we’ve seen division in Washington, and She ran for Congress in 2018; the race was called the losers are the people, because our values are not in her favor before absentee ballots were counted the being represented.” (Source: Opening statement, Ocnext day, and she lost by less than 4,000 votes. In June tober 9th debate) RF RIPON FORUM December 2020
THE NEW GUARD
Iowa’s 1st Congressional District by KYLE CHANCE
Snapshot of Victory: Ashley Hinson defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Abby Finkenauer by a vote of 51.3% to 48.7%.
Legislative Goals for Congress: Hinson made it clear during her campaign that fighting for Iowa’s taxpayers is at the heart of why she ran for Congress. Among other things, she will work to ensure the historic 2017 tax cuts remain in place and will seek further opportunities to reduce the tax burden for families. Hinson also believes taking on China is essential for the health of the U.S. economy and financial well-being of her fellow Iowans. She would like to see Congress work to provide incentives to businesses to bring jobs back from China. And, in terms of trade, Hinson says China must be accountable – especially when it comes to theft of intellectual property.
Background: Ashley Hinson is a journalist, beginning her career in high school where she worked as a camera operator for WOI-TV 5 in Des Moines and was an editor for their evening newscasts. She received her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California and worked as the morning anchor for KJCT in Grand Junction, CO after graduation. She would later move back to her home state and gained local notoriety as a reporter and anchor for KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, where she won two Midwest regional Emmy awards. In 2015, Hinson anKey Quote: “The parnounced her intention to run tisan rhetoric – the infightfor a seat in the Iowa House ing – is unacceptable to me of Representatives. She ran and I know it’s unaccepton a platform focused around able to the voters in Iowa’s the Iowa family. This means 1st District. I’m ready to creating a pro-job climate, go to bat for Iowa families. enabling opportunities for I am ready to go to bat for “The partisan rhetoric local business, and properhard workers in Iowa who – the infighting – is ly funding education while are just tired of the governunacceptable to me and making sure schools were run ment trying to take more and efficiently. She won this race I know it’s unacceptable to more out of their paycheck. and became the first woman I am ready to go to bat for the voters in Iowa’s to represent the 67th District. health care workers and the 1st District.” She is a classically patients who want to give trained violinist who played the best care and get the best two seasons with the Des care. And most importantly, Moines Symphony Orchestra and currently plays with and I hope I’ve made it clear today, that I will the worship team at her home church. Hinson and her fight for Iowa taxpayers.” (Source: September 7th husband, Matt, have two sons. debate on Iowa PBS) RF 22
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THE NEW GUARD
California’s 39th Congressional District by AUTUMN REED
Snapshot of Victory: Young Kim defeated first-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Gil Cisneros by a vote of 50.6% to 49.4%. She, along with fellow Republican Michelle Steel (CA-48) and Democrat Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), are the first Korean-American women elected to Congress.
California State Assembly where she represented the 65th district which includes northern parts of Orange County. In doing so, Kim became the first Korean-American Assemblywoman to represent Southern California. In 2018, Kim first ran for Congress, and was narrowly defeated by Democrat Rep. Gil Cisneros. She came back for a rematch in 2020, and was victorious.
Background: Congresswoman-elect Kim was born in South Korea and later immigrated to Guam in 1975 with her family. On the island, she Legislative Goals for collected cans and bottles from Congress: Kim has vowed to the beach and gave them to her be a bipartisan problem-solver mother, who would recycle who refuses to be changed by them and donate the money to Washington. As a mother of a a church building fund for the child with pre-existing condiKorean-American community. tions, she is passionate about The small funds they were able accessible healthcare and makto collect and donate contribing sure prescription drugs are uted to the building of the first affordable. Kim is committed Korean American church on the to increasing STEM education island of Guam. This act has infunding and ensuring education spired Kim throughout her life dollars go to local teachers and by teaching her the importance classrooms, not big city bureauof serving one’s community and crats. As a proud immigrant hergiving back to others. Kim reself, she believes the system is ceived her high school educabroken and will fight to increase “For the longest time, tion in Hawaii and later moved border security while ensuring to California, where she earned those who seek to legally immithe Republican Party a bachelor’s degree in business grate are treated fairly and with has been the party of administration from the Unicompassion. As the COVID-19 opportunities, and I’m versity of Southern California. pandemic continues in our naAfter graduating from college, tion, Kim plans to combat the an example of that.” Kim worked as a financial anavirus with bipartisan legislation lyst for First Interstate Bank that will rebuild our economy, and then as a controller for JK Sportswear Manufacturing. bring back jobs, and help small businesses recover. She later opened a women’s clothing manufacturing company with her husband. Key Quote: “People are tired of the status quo in Kim also worked for then-state Senator Ed Royce and Washington and are ready for change. My message of putcontinued to do so when he was elected to Congress. Dur- ting aside partisanship and working to break the gridlock ing his tenure, she served as Royce’s community liaison that has held our country back resonated with voters in this and director of Asian affairs. She also had the opportu- election. I am going to come to Washington in that spirit nity to appear on her own television show, "LA Seoul with and work to get results to lower the cost of healthcare, help Young Kim,” and her own radio show, "Radio Seoul,” small businesses during this economic downturn and get where she discussed current events and issues that af- needed aid to our communities during the ongoing pandemfected Korean Americans. In 2014, she was elected to the ic.” (Source: Statement to The Ripon Forum) RF 24
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THE NEW GUARD
South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District by KYLE SCHULTZ
Snapshot of Victory: Nancy Mace defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Joe Cunningham by a vote of 50.5% to 49.3%. She is the first Republican woman elected to serve in Congress from the State of South Carolina.
form, healthcare, and offshore drilling, and served on the Judiciary Committee. Legislative Goals for Congress: Mace has expressed a desire to serve on the Natural Resources, Veterans Affairs, and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees, all of which are important to her constituency in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. She has identified jobs and the economy, healthcare, infrastructure, and the environment as the top issues she hopes to work on in Congress, and she believes supporting small businesses and those who have lost work due to Covid-19 is critical to rebuilding the economy.
Background: Congresswoman-elect Mace was raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina in Goose Creek just outside Charleston. She dropped out of school and worked as a waitress at the local Waffle House. She eventually graduated from high school and went on to attend The Citadel, where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business administration and was the first female to graduate from its Corps of Cadets in 1999. She would Key Quote: “My life later write about this expehas been a series of second rience in the book, In the chances. Like most AmeriCompany of Men: A Woman cans, I have been knocked at The Citadel. down time and again, but I “It is time to stop rebuilding will always pick myself up In 2004, Mace earned a master ’s degree in mass and push forward with grace the world and start communication from the and grit. This tenacious attirebuilding America.” University of Georgia. Four tude has guided me through years later, in 2008, she each obstacle I’ve faced, started The Mace Group, a both personally and profesmulti-service business consulting firm. She got her sionally, and it will continue to guide me as I fight start in politics when she ran for United States Sen- for our Lowcountry values in Washington. ate in 2014 and earned over six percent of the votes “I took on this new challenge in large part becast in the Republican primary. cause it is time to stop rebuilding the world and In 2017, Mace ran in a special election to fill start rebuilding America, and that begins right here the District 99 seat in the South Carolina House of at home. Unfortunately, South Carolinians are allRepresentatives. In the primary election, she was too-familiar with America's aging infrastructure just 13 votes shy of securing the nomination out- system. I look forward to being a leading voice in right, and the race was forced to a runoff which she doing away with the barriers faced by our local and later won. She then won the general election and state governments to bring much-needed resources earned re-election in 2018. During her time in the and innovation back home.” (Source: Statement to State Assembly, Mace tackled issues of prison re- The Ripon Forum) RF RIPON FORUM December 2020
THE NEW GUARD
Utah’s 4th Congressional District by AUTUMN REED
Snapshot of Victory: Burgess Owens defeated firstterm incumbent Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams by a vote of 47.7% to 46.7%.
eventually paid off and he went on to have a successful 25-year career in the corporate arena. Owens is a founder, board member, and CEO of Second Chance 4 Youth, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled and incarcerated youth. He is also a prostate cancer survivor.
Background: U.S. Representative-elect Burgess Owens spent his childhood in Tallahassee, Florida. It was during this time that barriers of segregation were being torn down and he learned anything is possible in Legislative Goals for Congress: From an economAmerica. Owens was one of ic standpoint, Owens has just four African-Americans stated that a top priority of who were integrated in a hishis will be to reduce busitorically white high school. ness regulations, cut taxes, He earned a spot on the footand reduce federal spendball team and found a true ing. Another top priority passion for the sport. When of his will be education it came time to go to college, and giving power back to he became one of three black states. He is also a fierce Americans to ever receive a advocate for protecting the football scholarship to the unborn. On the issue of University of Miami where he healthcare, the Congressearned a Bachelor of Science man-elect has suggested degree in Biology. He would he wants to reform Obamlater be inducted into the Hall acare and is committed to of Fame of Outstanding Colproviding coverage for lege Athletes of America and preexisting conditions. He the University of Miami’s also believes there needs Hall of Fame. to be more transparency “Now, more than ever, His football experience in healthcare costs. As the we need leaders that will stand did not stop after completing pandemic continues, Owfor their principles and won’t his college education. His imens would like to see an pressive resume on the field additional COVID-19 recompromise their values for led him to be the 13th player lief package that is more political opportunities.” drafted in the first round by targeted to the businesses the NY Jets in 1973. Here he and people who need it earned the title of Jet’s Rookmost. ie of the Year and was selected to the NFL’s All-Rookie team. Later on, Owens was traded to the Oakland RaidKey Quote: “I’m living the American Dream ers, where he led the defensive squad in tackles and cel- and have dedicated my life to helping others realebrated a victory at the 1980 Super Bowl Championship. ize the same potential. Now, more than ever, we After leaving the NFL, Owens faced many hardships. need leaders that will stand for their principles and He experienced some failed business opportunities and won’t compromise their values for political opporwas forced to move his family of six into a one-bedroom tunities. Now more than ever, we need leaders who apartment in Brooklyn, NY. To provide for himself and stand up against the lawlessness that is going on his family, Owens worked as a chimney sweep during across our country.” (Source: Closing remarks of Oct. the day and a security guard at night. His hard work 12th debate.) RF 26
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THE NEW GUARD
MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR Florida’s 27th Congressional District by KYLE CHANCE
Snapshot of Victory: Maria Elvira Salazar defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala by a vote of 51.4% to 48.6%.
Throughout her noteworthy career, Salazar interviewed prominent individuals such as U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton & George W. Bush, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Alvaro Uribe, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Augusto Pinochet, Nicolas Maduro, and Juan Guaidó.
Background: Congresswoman-elect Salazar is a prominent Spanish television journalist whose career has taken her from covering local issues to sitting down with leaders from across the globe. Her district is roughly 73 percent Legislative Goals for Congress: One of Salazar’s Hispanic and is a notable Republican pickup after political primary goals is help facilitate job growth. Since the COpundits across the country preVID-19 outbreak began, thoudicted that the district’s demosands of people in Florida’s graphics would buoy the Dem27th Congressional District ocratic incumbent’s chances for have seen their work hours reelection. reduced or have lost their jobs Salazar was born in Micompletely. She would create ami’s Little Havana neighboran employment division in hood to parents who emigrated her office dedicated to helping from Cuba when Fidel Castro those out of work find new opascended to power. They came portunities or learn new skills. to America so they could raise Salazar has also said access a family in a land where into affordable healthcare will be dividual liberty and freedom a priority for her in Washington, were not only protected but celand this includes maintaining ebrated. Salazar would go on to protections for those with prereceive her Bachelor of Arts in existing conditions and making communications from the Unisure young adults can stay on “I vow that I will versity of Miami and later earn their parent’s plan up until they her Masters of Public Adminturn 26. Furthermore, she will represent the spirit that lives istration degree from Harvard push for letting the government in this district – the ultimate University's John F. Kennedy negotiate drug prices and will melting pot.” School of Government. try to create more competition Over her three-decadeby lifting the restrictions prelong career in journalism, which venting individuals and famiwould earn her five Emmy Awards, Salazar would cover lies from buying health insurance across state lines. stories from South America to the nation’s capital. She started off by taking on local stories in Southern Florida for UniKey Quote: “As your Congresswoman, I vow that vision before moving to CNN Español, where she would I will represent the spirit that lives in this district – the cover the White House and Gulf War. After returning to ultimate melting pot. I want Washington to know that Univision, Salazar would boost her journalism credentials the American Latino Community is not the caricature through her coverage of the Salvadoran Civil War and her that they have painted in the media. We did not come to in-depth reporting in Cuba – which led to her historic one- this country to take, but to give. We want to build on this on-one interview with Fidel Castro himself. land, and we want to stay. Latinos are not victims, we She would go on to become the national news anchor- are patriots. We care. We have not only love, but we have woman for Telemundo and had her own show on the Mi- great gratitude for this country.” (Source: Victory Speech ami-based network Mega TV. on election night.) RF RIPON FORUM December 2020
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California’s 48th Congressional District by AUTUMN REED
Snapshot of Victory: Michelle Steel defeated first-term incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda by a vote of 51.1% to 48.9%. She, along with fellow Republican Young Kim (CA-39) and Democrat Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), are the first Korean-American women elected to Congress,
ic, providing support for vulnerable communities, and fighting against higher taxes. She has proven herself as the advocate for taxpayers she vowed to be by returning over $400 million to the people of California throughout her time in public office.
Legislative Goals for Congress: Steel has vowed Background: Congresswoman-elect Steel was to work across the aisle and believes Americans deserve born in South Korea and raised in Japan. Her upbring- better than partisan gridlock. One of her top priorities ing allowed her to learn and is providing America’s vetbecome fluent in Korean, erans with quality medical Japanese, and English. When care, housing, employment, Steel was 19 years old, she and education opportuniimmigrated to America with ties. She also has plans to her single mother and two repair the healthcare system younger sisters. At a young by lowering drug prices and age, Steel watched her mothhelping people with pre-exer fight an unwarranted tax isting conditions receive betbill that was issued by the ter coverage. The CongressState Board of Equalizawoman-elect is a supporter tion. Inspired by her mothof strengthened border seer’s struggles, she became a curity, including a physical fierce taxpayer advocate and border to protect our nation. in 2006 ran successfully for Additionally, she has led efthe Board of Equalization. In forts to combat the homelessthis position, she represented ness crisis in Orange County over eight million people in and plans to continue to be Southern California. In 2011, an advocate for this cause in “This vote showed that she was elected as Vice Chair the 117th Congress. minorities who may look or of the Board of Equalization. speak differently than most not During Steel’s first term, she Key Quote: “I’m a proddiscovered that the Board had uct of the American Dream: only have a place in this delayed the return of millions a first-generation immigrant Republican Party but can be in security deposits owed to who succeeded in this counelected to the United States California businesses. Betry and was given the honor cause of her leadership and to serve my community. I ran Congress.” initiative on this issue, the for Congress on my record agency refunded tax security of fighting for taxpayers and deposits of almost $50,000 each to over 5,500 small protecting public safety. I stuck to facts and common businesses. sense and worked hard to meet the residents of my disIn 2014, Steel was elected to the Orange County trict. In Congress, I’ll stick to my commonsense prinBoard of Supervisors and currently serves as Chair- ciples, seek to lower taxes, and reduce business regulawoman. Her top priorities as Chairwoman have includ- tions to help hard working Americans succeed.” (Source: ed guiding her county through the COVID-19 pandem- Statement to The Ripon Forum) RF 28
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Why We Need Federal Election Standards by LEE DRUTMAN In November 2020, America elected a new election rules and enable a new agency to enforce rules, president, a new Congress, and a new Senate. Or just like most advanced democracies. Such an agency rather, fifty states held elections, each by their own could set baseline requirements on voting registration, rules and procedures, and together they elected a new absentee voting, ballot design, district line-drawing, government. The election also generated all kinds and election security, among other areas. It could of claims about the illegitimacies and unfairness. also build out an “election forensics” team that can America’s federal system has often been a source determine whether fraud, interference, or suppression of strength, allowing states tipped the balance in a given to experiment and innovate, race. Such an agency would and giving them the flexibility protect state and local election and freedom to pursue their administrators from partisan own course. But for national meddling by state legislatures elections, federalism has, and threats of litigation from unfortunately, become a source partisan lawyers. of weakness, doubt, uncertainty, One might argue that it is and illegitimacy. It is time for precisely the diffuse nature of national standards. our federal elections that makes For decades now, Americans them secure, both because it is have been losing faith in the hard for a hacker to access all legitimacy of our national elections, and because federal elections, particularly when the power offers a bulwark against outcome is unwelcome. Between an authoritarian takeover of allegations of suppression, fraud, federal election administration. foreign meddling, and other acts This is a mis-reading of reality. Lee Drutman of malevolence, partisans on both Because we have so many sides have built strong narratives election authorities, and so America is unusual in about how the election system is many lack the resources and unfair, and have employed armies expertise to implement the not having national of lawyers to challenge any most effective security, there standards for elections. rules they think might hurt their are more vulnerabilities in our party. Meanwhile, partisan state diffuse system. And since the legislatures, convinced that the other party is trying balance of power in Washington often hinges on a few to cheat their way to victory, play their own games of thousand votes in a few key jurisdictions, just a few seeing what they can get away with by changing the weak links can undermine the entire election. rules of who can vote and when, and drawing district To be sure, a nationalized agency could be lines to advantage their party. vulnerable to centralized takeover, if not properly America is unusual in not having national standards designed. Therefore any such agency that enforces for elections. Most advanced democracies, even such rules must have a clear mandate based on widely federal ones, have a national agency that guarantees supported principles of democratic fairness, strong standard voting registration processes that make it independence, and an empowered inspector general to straightforward to vote, and ensure all votes count monitor any potential abuses of that power. The sound equally by keeping districting out of partisan politics. record of independent election administration across Congress has within its powers (Article I, Section democracies suggests this is achievable. Compare that 4) the ability to strengthen and standardize federal (cont’d. on page 32) 30
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States Should Set Their Own Election Rules to Protect Liberty by J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS The Founders of the United States distrusted reasonable list maintenance practices, so they decided centralized power, and the election of 2020 shows not to enforce that law. just how brilliant they were. Americans don’t hold At the same time, they were eager to enforce the one national election. Instead they hold 50 mini state part of the National Voter Registration Act to force elections, where each state is empowered by the states to register voters at welfare offices and even Constitution to govern their own affairs by setting the methadone clinics, the latter being part of a consent rules of their own elections. decree with Rhode Island. The Founders knew that Washington is a one-way central control and national ratchet. When Washington has rules were a threat to liberty. I power over the election process, agree because I worked as an the left wins, period. There are attorney at the Department of no exceptions. Justice Voting Section and got We already have national to know the people who would standards for election day. be managing national election Passed in 1845, the first standards – if we had them. Tuesday after the first Monday Make no mistake: any in November is election day. national federal standard — Yet now, that national standard whether it be voter ID, absentee is ignored with some states ballot availability, or even engaging in a more than a month voter qualifications — would of early voting, a Democratic be enforced with a decidedly Party priority. In 2020, we saw Democratic Party bias. Even Pennsylvania accepting ballots during the Trump administration, in the mail after the election a presidency built on “draining for days, even if they had no J. Christian Adams the swamp,” the swamp thrived. postmark. The entire culture of Washington Election day is now election Any national federal D.C. is built to lean left. The months. That national standard attorneys and staff at the Justice for election day is flatly ignored. standard — whether it be Department or any federal We also have a national voter ID, absentee ballot agency, if they had the power standard for a federal voting availability, or even voter to enforce national election form. When anyone fills out this procedure standards, would form, they must be registered qualifications — would be enforce them to help Democrats. to vote under federal law. enforced with a decidedly How do I know this? Because While the form has a question Democratic Party bias. I watched it happening live over about citizenship, non-citizens those areas where there were routinely fill out the form either national standards. For example, by mistake or intentionally. the National Voter Registration Act mandated national Those vaunted national standards, however, prevent standards for voter registration and cleaning rolls. states from verifying citizenship. Congress made Those guardians of national standards at the Justice sure of that. Local election officials have to take the Department in 2009 decided to just not enforce the law federal national form at face value and accept it. regarding keeping rolls clean. Once again, a “national standard” ends up They didn’t like the national standards requiring (cont’d. on next page) RIPON FORUM December 2020
(Adams, cont’d. from previous page)
That’s how the system was designed to work. The Founders wanted decentralized elections benefiting those who benefit from aliens voting in because decentralized control promotes liberty. No American elections. single malevolent actor can influence the outcome of Here’s the other dirty secret advocates of “national an election. The Electoral College is a decentralized standards” don’t understand. There are dozens of body that gives power to state legislatures ultimately well-funded groups like the ACLU, Common Cause, to name electors. This is and the League of Women because we are a union voters who are hyper-funded of states, not a kingdom. to enforce national standards When Washington has power Decentralized control they like and block national over election process, the left means power is diffused standards they don’t like. and citizens of each state wins, period. There are not These third parties have an are closer to the process of army of litigators to bend and exceptions. elections. I have worked twist national standards to with the people who their ideological aims. The would exercise power over right has a tiny fraction of the national election standards, and I promise you don’t resources to oppose them. And in the end, national want them in charge of anything. RF standards again become a one-way ratchet. States are sovereign over their own affairs and can adapt election systems to their own sensibilities. In Maine, they roll voting machines into the prisons. In other states, a felony conviction means a lifetime ban on voting.
J. Christian Adams served in the Justice Department Voting Section attorney, is a New York Times bestselling author, Commissioner on the United States Commission for Civil Rights, and President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation.
democracy is threatened. In order for democracy (Drutman, cont’d. from page 30) to the long record of partisan abuses in our federal to work, all parties must agree on the fairness and legitimacy of the basic rules, and acknowledge an patchwork. How might the public respond? Voters want impartial process, even when they lose. But because America’s patchwork set of partisan elections that are fair. But perceptions of fairness have become partisan, and most voters follow partisan rules means that losers can point to shenanigans on the cues to determine what is fair and what is not. Likely, other side, we all lose that shared sense of fairness on which democracy depends. any proposal to standardize One side might view a federal election rules would federal agency as a power provoke a backlash from Most advanced democracies, grab. But only by setting those who fear that national even federal ones, have clear and consistent national standards would harm their standards can we end the party’s chances at winning a national agency that partisan gamesmanship at elections, most likely guarantees standard voting the state and local levels, Republicans. registration processes that return political competition Such perceived partisan to the issues instead of the advantage may or may not make it straightforward rules, and end the doom loop materialize. Much would to vote. of state-level partisan power depend on how the parties grabs that is undermining responded to a changed our democracy. RF electoral landscape such standards would produce. If current Republican leadership believes they can only win under a system where they maximize advantages Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform in states they control, this creates a very dangerous program at the think tank New America, co-host of the strategic approach to electoral politics. When fighting Politics in Question podcast and author of the book, over the basic rules of democracy becomes more “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for important than appealing to the political center, Multiparty Democracy in America.” 32
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ROBY & BROOKS APPLAUD HISTORIC NUMBER OF GOP WOMEN ELECTED TO CONGRESS WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon our leadership will put even more of a for the future of the Republican majority Society hosted a virtual discussion on focus on recruiting and helping women and the possibility of winning the White November 18th with two Republican candidates. I want to just give a shout House down the road. I think that the leaders involved in this year’s record- out also to Cathy McMorris Rodgers decisions and the approach that this new breaking effort to get more Republican (WA-5) who always has supported and Congress takes will dictate a lot of what women on the ballot and, ultimately, in has been a leader in supporting female that looks like. the House and Senate. candidates from the beginning. She “I’ve never been here when the Those two leaders were U.S. Reps. was the one member of Congress who Democrats had such a slim majority Martha Roby (AL-2) and Susan Brooks supported me when I ran back in 2012 as they will next Congress, but I think (IN-5), who, among other things, and I’ve never forgotten it.” that it’s going to force their hand for reflected back on their Congressional Roby agreed, underscoring the governing. I have strived to work on careers and discussed why the influx of importance of having a record number of having real relationships across the aisle Republican women to work, to get things taking office in 2021 done for the American is significant to the people. Yes, we all need future of the GOP to be strong advocates -- and the country for the people that we as a whole. Brooks represent back home kicked things off by in our districts and the touching on how the priorities of our districts, movement to recruit but at the end of the more women began day, when it ,comes following the 2018 to getting things done, midterms. our work is on behalf “We had a of all of the American historic number of people.” “There’s a tremendous opportunity women who filed The two lawmakers across the country to then took a number for the Republican Party to continue to run as Republicans of questions from appeal to female voters throughout the this year,” Brooks the virtual audience, country.” stated. “I think Elise including how to ensure Stefanik (NY-21) President Trump’s Martha Roby - Remarks to really started it in the supporters remain in The Ripon Society, Nov. 18, 2020 last cycle in 2018, the party and if the GOP but we really had can make inroads with some devastating voters in America’s losses in that 2018 suburbs. election cycle, so I began working with Republican women serving in the House “We suffered pretty tremendous Tom Emmer (MN-6) and I put together and why there is a unique opportunity losses in 2018 when Trump voters a team of members who focused on electorally for the GOP heading into the didn’t come out en masse like they did recruiting women, candidates of color, next cycle. in 2016,” Brooks stated bluntly. “That and veterans. I’m really thrilled to share “Although Susan and I will be impacted our numbers dramatically. So with you that we have flipped 12 seats in leaving, I think that the Republican we’ve already experienced it once. I the House so far, and nine are women, Conference has a tremendous don’t think the President was as engaged two are male candidates of color, and opportunity moving forward and it’s my in 2018, but I think he learned and one is a veteran. That was the winning hope and my wish that they use that to indicated he was going to be incredibly combination this cycle.” their advantage, not just on policy issues engaged in races in 2020. And he and his “I think, with all of these flips, that we care about, but looking ahead team were engaged in races throughout 34
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the country this cycle. So the question the ballot helps in this endeavor. Roby Emeritus of the Franklin Center for will be whether or not he and his team emphasized the need for women to feel Global Policy Exchange and is regarded remain engaged going forward. at home within the Republican Party, in Washington as someone who always “One thing we can do is promote citing the fact that many women across chose collaboration over partisanship, the new women candidates, get them the country broadly agree with the action over rhetoric, and respect over out in front of the cameras and talking Republican message. animosity. as much as we can, and get the many “There’s a lot of women voters who “You epitomize the grace and class candidates of color out in front of the have shared conservative values, but and hard work that we know came before cameras more often to engage. We they feel a little lost right now. There’s us,” Brooks told Morella, “and yet your need to remind people what Trump’s a lot of women in our country that feel involvement, your encouragement, your economic policies were about, how and like they’re without a home because the love of the country is a great thing for why these candidates won, and why it Republican Party may not look like the Martha and I to emulate as we leave. is so important to fight socialism. Those party they signed up for. We’re lucky to be a handful of a few were the types of messages that carried “There’s a tremendous opportunity thousand citizens in the country who the day in a lot of get to come to DC districts across the and represent, but yet country.” you have been a force Roby explained in Washington after that, in order to leaving Congress. ensure continued You are always enthusiasm and so encouraging, energy into the particularly to the next election, women in Congress Republicans in on both sides of the Congress must form aisle. And I just want a unified message. you to know I’ve “I hope and admired watching pray that we do you and getting to not squander know you, and I this opportunity. hope to see you in The Democratic the future. So thank Roby & Brooks talk with Ripon Society President & CEO Jim majority here in you, Connie, for your Conzelman during the November 18th virtual discussion. the House is so friendship.” slim that it’s going Roby echoed to force the hand that sentiment. of people to work together, and the for the Republican Party to continue to “Connie, thank you for all that American people will be watching. appeal to female voters throughout the you have done and continue to do, and “It’s going to be really important country, and it’s going to take some thank you for your friendship, for all in the next election cycle for there to work and it can’t all be placed on the the work, and for blazing a path for the be a cohesiveness in message and a shoulders of just the female members rest of us. I just thank you so much.” cohesiveness in what our priorities are. in our Conference. We collectively have Morella thanked the two That has to be defined today. We can’t got to have a conversation about why Congresswomen for their own service wait until February or March to have a people, particularly women, moved here in Washington, saying the two plan about the things that we care about. away from the Republican Party.” have set the bar for those who will I think that our Conference is going to Finally, both Congresswomen follow in their footsteps. have to work together like they never closed the discussion by addressing a “I want to applaud both of you. have before. We cannot have division special member of the virtual audience You are the ones that really bring the within the Republican party on what our -- The Honorable Constance Morella. luster and strength to the Party. And priorities are. If we do, the American Morella served the people of Maryland’s I’m just so pleased that you helped people are not going to respond kindly 8th District in Congress from 1987 to bring in more Republican women, to our party or want to be a part of that.” to 2003 before her appointment as and I hope what you have done will Next, they were asked what the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization resonate with the others. Bravo, and GOP can do going forward to improve for Economic Co-operation and I wish you well, and thank you so their performance among women Development (OECD), serving in Paris much.” RF voters and if having more women on from 2003 to 2007. She is Chairwoman RIPON FORUM December 2020
Name: Tom Emmer
Occupation: Member of the United States House of Representatives for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District (I prefer the title “Customer Service Rep” for U.S. Congress). Outside of Congress: Husband to Jacquie Samuel for 35 years; Father to 7 beautiful kids (they look like their mother); dad, coach (primarily hockey); Attorney by trade, practicing of law (primarily civil trial work) for approximately 20 years. First job held & the lesson(s) you learned from it: Caddy at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota. I once caddied for a very well-to-do physician. He was a horrible golfer and his bag was almost bigger than me. I carried that thing around for approximately 5 1/2 hours only to receive a .50 cent tip. Lesson: If you’ve ever had to carry someone’s baggage for far too long and received far less than deserved, you will always remember to treat others as you would expect to be treated — no matter your/their station in life. Books you’ve read that you’re recommending to friends: I’ve read many — I enjoy books; one of my favorites of all time is The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Most recently I’ve re-read The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek and recommend it to anyone who will listen. Being an avid hockey player and coach, are there any lessons from the sport you have been able to use in Washington? Know your team and understand you are only as good as your weakest link. Every player not only has a specific job/responsibility, but each and every one of them — from the star to the spot player on the bench — will also be held accountable for their work on and off the field/ice/etc. You also need to study and know your opposition. That’s the only way to build a game plan, prepare your team, and execute. From there, it’s about following the plan. Do not concern yourself with the other bench; in-game adjustments to deal with unforeseen developments (i.e. loss of a player) are fine, but do not deviate from the plan; protect your house and be relentless about attacking your opponent through the final second. In the end, if you prepare and execute at the highest level through the final buzzer you can hold your head high, no matter what the outcome. As Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), what issue would you say resonated the most this cycle? Freedom v. Socialism. The most significant message that resonated was the true differences between our two political parties that have now spilled into the public square. My grandfather’s Democrat Party has become the Socialist Party of America dominated by self-avowed socialists and ultra-big government liberals who think Washington can and should solve the problems of Main Street, instead of giving the people the freedom and power to determine what’s best for their family and their livelihood. What does the GOP need to do to win back the majority in the House in 2022? In short, finish what we’ve started. We must continue in the next year to define the opposition and our targeted opponents while bringing a positive value proposition for the American voter in November of ‘22.
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