The Ripon Forum

Volume 48, No. 3

September 2014

In this edition

By on September 19, 2014
In this edition

by Lou ZICKAR

Twenty years ago this fall, 367 Republican candidates from all around the country gathered on the West Front steps of the U.S. Capitol and signed the Contract with America. At the time, it was an historic moment because it helped give Republicans control of Congress for the first time in four decades.

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The Contract with America: Where It All Began

By on September 19, 2014
The Contract with America: Where It All Began

by ROBERT S. WALKER

The Contract With America is a story of political perseverance. Its real antecedents were in the formation of the Conservative Opportunity Society in 1983. That group, brought together by Newt Gingrich, had as its mission the transformation of the House Republican Conference and ultimately taking control of the House.

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The Contract with America: The Power of a Positive Message

By on September 19, 2014
The Contract with America: The Power of a Positive Message

by DAVID WINSTON

In the months leading up to the 1994 Contract with America, then Republican House Whip Newt Gingrich used the pollster he trusted most to develop the content – himself. Yes, the Gingrich team conducted a handful of focus groups but the bulk of the public opinion input that drove the Contract’s 10 major points […]

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The Contract with America: A Model for Campaigning… and Governance

By on September 19, 2014
The Contract with America: A Model for Campaigning… and Governance

by BARRY JACKSON

Shortly after more than 350 men and women from around the country joined together to sign the Contract with America, a panicked House challenger phoned me. He had just received a call from the political director of the RNC telling him that embracing the Contract was a sure path to defeat and if he wanted to win and continue to […]

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“It gave people something to vote for.” – Q&A with Haley Barbour

By on September 19, 2014
“It gave people something to vote for.” – Q&A with Haley Barbour

When Haley Barbour became Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1993, the prospects for the GOP’s future looked rather grim.

The party was coming off an election that saw it lose the White House for the first time in 12 years, and Democrats were led by a charismatic young President who came to town armed with hope and a theme song by Fleetwood Mac.

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“A Contract for Today”

By on September 19, 2014
“A Contract for Today”

When 367 Republicans signed the Contract with America on September 27, 1994, they were not only signing onto a document that would help guide them in their campaigns, they were also signing onto a governing agenda that would help guide the party after the election. At the time, providing such an agenda was important. After all, it had been four decades since Republicans had last controlled Congress. The American people had questions about what the party would do if it won a majority. The Contract helped answer those questions.

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Republicans, Energy & the Environment

By on September 19, 2014
Republicans, Energy & the Environment

by ROB SISSON

At a time when Republicans are being criticized for showing indifference toward the environment, it is worth noting that the party has a rich legacy on the issue on which party leaders can build.

The GOP’s great conservation legacy began with the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who set aside the Yosemite Valley for the enjoyment of future generations of Americans.

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The President’s Shortsighted Policy on Coal

By on September 19, 2014
The President’s Shortsighted Policy on Coal

by PHIL FLYNN

As the Environmental Protection Agency wages its war on coal, it seems that the U.S. is exporting hypocrisy. With U.S. greenhouse gas emissions plunging due to our abundance of cheap natural gas, the dirty little secret is that coal exports are beginning to boom.

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The Red Tape Factory

By on September 19, 2014
The Red Tape Factory

by FRED UPTON

Since President Obama moved into the White House in 2009, his administration has been churning out spools of red tape. The Environmental Protection Agency is the administration’s biggest red tape factory, issuing more economically significant rules than any other agency and contributing to making energy prices more expensive.

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Leading from the Front on Energy

By on September 19, 2014
Leading from the Front on Energy

by AMY MYERS JAFFE

Recent events such as the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the crisis in Ukraine demonstrate that it is in our national interest to assume global leadership. The idea that “energy independence” would somehow free us from global responsibilities and promote the benefits of isolationism now ring hollow as the security risks become clear of removing ourselves from global problems.

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