Vol. 46, No. 4

In this Edition

One of the challenges of publishing a quarterly journal is that you want to stay relevant to the issues of the moment without chasing the headlines of the day. This latest edition of THE RIPON FORUM is no different. 

“Today’s biggest problem is not ideology, but partisan politics.”

“Some in D.C. have lost the ability to disagree without being disagreeable – and that is unfortunate, because such heated rhetoric often stands in the way of compromise when it might otherwise be achieved.”

“Cooperation on issues does not mean compromising values.”

Kay Bailey Hutchison is retiring from Congress after 19 years in office leaving this word of advice for her colleagues, “You, the elected representatives of today, are just as smart, creative and patriotic as our ancestors and must take the mantle of responsibility to keep America strong.”

“There will have to be some courageous souls.”

Lugar Talks about Political Environment and Challenges Facing the Republican Party in Speech to The Ripon Society.

“Anger is not a substitute for good policy” – A Q&A with Jon Huntsman

An interview with the former governor, ambassador and presidential candidate about the current political environment and the challenges facing the country — and the Republican Party — in the coming years.

Breaking the Partisan Stranglehold

The Aspen Institute scholar and former Congressman discusses dysfunction in Washington and offers ideas for reform.

The New Electoral Math and What it Means for Polling

The man who Charlie Cook called “the one pollster Republicans should listen to” looks at the election results and what they mean for the GOP.

The GOP’s Forgotten Ones

A young Republican and former aide in the Bush White House argues that the GOP can no longer ignore young Americans.

Passing Tax Reform: The Devil is in the Deductions

“In recent days, the looming fiscal cliff has catapulted income tax base-broadening to the forefront of the tax policy debate. Fortunately, this is an area where Republicans and Democrats should be able to work together.”

The Longest War

A senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, talks on why the U.S. must not abandon Afghanistan even as it prepares to leave.

Ripon Society Marks Milestone

Coverage of a Dec. 11th reception The Ripon Society hosted to celebrate the season and mark the group’s 50th anniversary.

Ripon Profile of Cathy McMorris Rodgers

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers talks about her new job as a member of Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team.

Ripon Society Marks Milestone

WASHINGTON, DC – The Ripon Society hosted a holiday reception on Tuesday, December 11th to celebrate not just the season, but an important anniversary, as well. 

“We’re here tonight to celebrate the holidays,” stated Jim Conzelman, the President and CEO of The Ripon Society. “But we’re also here to mark a very important milestone in the history of our organization – The Ripon Society turned 50 this year. The group was founded on the campus of Harvard University in 1962. In fact, 50 years ago tomorrow night, there was a meeting at the Harvard Faculty Club, with Professor Morton Halperin as host, at which the objectives of The Ripon Society were first discussed.” 


Conzelman noted that these objectives included influencing “Republican Party policy through research and publication,” and changing “the image of the Republican Party from one of reaction to action.” Further noting that these same objectives continue to shape and define The Ripon Society today, Conzelman then introduced six founding members of the centrist Republican public policy organization, some of whom had attended the meeting at the Harvard Faculty Club a half century ago and had been invited to attend the anniversary celebration Tuesday night.

“We’re here tonight to celebrate the holidays. But we’re also here to mark a very important milestone in the history of our organization – The Ripon Society turned 50 years old this year.”

The six founders attending the reception included Gene Marans, Emil Frankel, John Topping, John Price, Lee Huebner, and Congressman Tom Petri, who as the Representative of Wisconsin’s Sixth Congressional District, represents not just the birthplace of the Republican Party, but the town from which The Ripon Society gets its name. “Gentlemen,” Conzelman declared, before presenting each with a book about Theodore Roosevelt, “as the President of the organization that you founded, I would like to thank you for your vision 50 years ago, and for taking the time to be with us tonight.”


A crowd of nearly 200 people attended the event, which was held in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. Also attending were Representatives Fred Upton, Greg Walden, Spencer Bachus, Frank Lucas, Ed Whitfield, Howard Coble, Leonard Lance, Doug Lamborn, John Shimkus, Walter Jones, Jim Renacci, Patrick Meehan, Steve Stivers, Cory Gardner, and Pat Tiberi, who serves as the Chairman of the Ripon Society’s Honorary Congressional Advisory Board. In attendance as well were former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, former Representative Bill Clinger, and former Representative Bill Frenzel, the Chairman Emeritus of The Ripon Society. 

“I would like to thank all of you for your continuing support,” Conzelman told the crowd. “Our membership is up over 200 percent since 2010, we have hosted over 100 Members of Congress the past year, and we have another full schedule of events and activities planned in 2013. In short, 50 years after its founding, The Ripon Society is alive and kicking and – true to the vision of its founders – still trying to shape and change American political thought.”