Ripon Society Expands Honorary Congressional Advisory Board

Also announces new advisory board of former House and Senate Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ripon Society announced today that it has expanded its Honorary Congressional Advisory Board for 2010.

This year, the Congressional Advisory Board includes a total of 50 Members of Congress.  This is an increase from 2009, when the Board consisted of 24 members.  The 2010 Honorary Advisory Board Members include:

Senators: Pat Roberts (KS), Richard Burr (NC), Susan M. Collins (ME), Judd Gregg (NH), Orrin G. Hatch (UT) and Olympia Snowe (ME); and, Representatives: Thomas Petri (WI), Steve Austria (OH), Spencer Bachus (AL), Judy Biggert (IL), Roy Blunt (MO), Mary Bono Mack (CA), Charles Boustany (LA), Ginny Brown-Waite (FL), Vern Buchanan (FL), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX), Ken Calvert (CA), Dave Camp (MI), Eric I. Cantor (VA), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Michael Castle (DE), Howard Coble (NC), Ander Crenshaw (FL), Geoff Davis (KY), Charlie Dent (PA), Vernon Ehlers (MI), Jo Ann H. Emerson (MO), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Jim Gerlach (PA), Kay Granger (TX), Wally Herger (CA), Darrell Issa (CA), Walter Jones (NC), Leonard Lance (NJ), Steven LaTourette (OH), Chris Lee (NJ), Jerry Lewis (CA), Kevin McCarthy (CA), Thaddeus McCotter (MI), Candice Miller (MI), Todd Platts (PA), Adam Putnam (FL), Dennis Rehberg (MN), Aaron Schock (IL), Mac Thornberry (TX), Pat Tiberi (OH), Mike Turner (OH), Fred Upton (MI), Greg Walden (OR), and Edward Whitfield (KY).

In addition to expanding its honorary advisory board of current Members of Congress, The Ripon Society also announced today that it has created a new advisory board comprised of 20 former Members of Congress.  These Members include:

The Honorable: Bill Frenzel (MN), Bill Archer (TX), Henry Bonilla (TX), Mike Ferguson (NJ), J. Dennis Hastert (IL), David Hobson (OH), Nancy Johnson (CT), Sue Kelly (NY), Jim McCrery (LA), Robert H. Michel (IL), Susan Molinari (NY), Don Nickles (OK), Michael G. Oxley (OH), Deborah Pryce (OH), Tom Reynolds (NY), Tom Ridge (PA), E. Clay Shaw (FL), Gordon Smith (OR), Don Sundquist (TN), and Robert S. Walker (PA).

“We appreciate these Members for lending their name to our honorary advisory board,” stated Jim Conzelman, the President and CEO of The Ripon Society.  “To the extent we are a centrist Republican organization, I think our advisory board reflects that in that it includes members from the left, right and middle of the GOP.”  In that regard, Conzelman noted that the average score of the current House Members on the Ripon honorary advisory board is 76.05 (based on National Journal’s 2010 composite conservative vote ratings.)

Conzelman further noted that he hopes to tap into the issue expertise of the various members of the Ripon advisory board as much as possible this year.  Last Thursday, for example, former Louisiana Congressman Jim McCrery moderated a public policy conference Ripon hosted on the looming pension crisis, while this coming Friday, former New Jersey Congressman Mike Ferguson will moderate a panel discussion Ripon is holding that will focus on health care.  The Spring edition of the Society’s quarterly journal of thought and opinion, The Ripon Forum, also includes essays by four members of the advisory board – Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, Texas Congresswoman Kay Granger, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and Texas Congressman Mac Thornberry.

“It is important that Republicans inject new ideas into the public policy debate so we aren’t just perceived as the party of ‘no’,” Conzelman concluded.  “With the help of our newly expanded congressional advisory board, I am hoping we can do just that.”

Founded in 1962, The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 — Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s past success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.