Alexander Hamilton, writing in Federalist 68, warned that corruption of America’s political system would most likely arise from the desire of “foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”
This article first appeared on the Flashreport on June 23, 2017.
Republicans in Congress are moving forward to fulfilling the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. The work performed by Senate Republicans revealed this week represents another step in the right direction.
Repeal and replacement of Obamacare cannot come too soon. Millions of Americans have had their health insurance policies cancelled, choices reduced, and taxes raised by the law.
In campaigning for its passage, President Barack Obama promised Americans that if they like their plan, or their doctor, they can keep both. This was flatly untrue. I know, because I’m one of the more than 1 million Californians whose health insurance was made illegal under the law. Also like many Californians, the options I had for a new plan were all dramatically more expensive than my old plan.
This is not what we were promised.
Obamacare was supposed to provide more options for people to buy insurance, but for millions of Americans the opposite has proven true. In Arizona, for example, state residents are down to just one choice on the Obamacare exchange.
One choice is no choice.
Legislating has been likened to sausage making for a good reason – it’s not a pretty process, and it’s easy to lose focus. Republicans can and must concentrate not just on repealing Obamacare, but replacing it with a law that works better.
The Senate Republican discussion draft represents tremendous progress. Collapsing insurance markets would receive a boost with a $15 billion short term stabilization fund. Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates would go, along with the law’s taxes. In fact, repealing Obamacare is a giant tax cut for the American people, doing away with all kinds of taxes that drive up the cost of everything from medical devices to prescription drugs.
The proposal would replace Obamacare’s subsidies with more market oriented tax credits benefitting people whose income falls between the federal poverty level and 350% of that rate. The tax credits are advanceable and refundable. That is, people who currently pay zero federal income taxes would receive the full amount of the credit in the form of a payment that can be used to help pay for health insurance.
Several important aspects of the current law are preserved, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, and allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan to age 26.
Several Republican Senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas, stopped short of endorsing the Senate discussion draft, looking to ensure that premiums under the new law come down. This is wise – Republicans will be held fully accountable for how health insurance markets work after Obamacare is relegated to the ash heap of history, so the insistence that rates must come down because of a better performing insurance markets is both smart policy and smart politics.
Specifically, among other reforms Cruz wants Health Savings Accounts expanded so Americans can pay for insurance premiums with pre-tax income. This is an important reform that would correct a 70-year-old quirk in the tax code that makes health insurance premiums tax deductible when employers pay for it, but not when purchased by an individual. This fix would provide a big cost savings for many families while leveling the tax treatment of employer and individually purchased insurance plans.
Tacking the lawsuits that needlessly drive up health insurance costs, Cruz wants to see incentives for states to adopt laws like California’s that cap punitive damages in malpractice cases. California’s MICRA law limits non-economic damages in malpractice cases to $250,000. Other states have no such cap – a big bonus for trial lawyers.
With the GOP in charge at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans must fulfill the promises of repealing Obamacare, fundamentally reforming and lowering federal taxes, and securing our southern border. These big ticket legislative items will have a real positive impact on Americans’ quality of life while proving Republicans can serve as an effective governing party.
Great progress has been made, negotiations continue, and there is now great cause for optimism that Obamacare’s days are finally numbered.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Citing the importance of promoting democracy and sound governance in Latin America, Republican leaders from California and Ohio will join an international team in Honduras today to observe this weekend's primary elections in that country.
"Promoting democracy, individual liberty, free markets, trade and the rule of law in Latin America is in America's national interest. This weekend's primary election in Honduras is an important event in the practice of internal party democracy and we're pleased to have the opportunity to observe, learn and report on events surrounding it," said former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring, who is leading the American team. Nehring served as the national campaign spokesman in the Presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz in 2016.
From California, former Contra Costa County Republican Chair Nyna Armstrong and former Inyo County Republican Chairman Thaddeus Taylor will join former Ohio Republican Chairman Mike DeWine to round out the four person team.
"While governments in Cuba and Venezuela continue to suppress economic and political freedoms, elections in Honduras provide its people with the opportunity to have their voices heard," added Nehring.
The four Americans will join 17 leaders from center-right parties of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, and Argentina in the observation mission, which is organized by the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Foundation) and the Partido Nacional de Honduras.
"This mission also provides us with a great opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with leaders of other center-right parties from throughout Latin America. We share a common commitment to democracy, individual liberty and economic freedoms," said Nehring.
The election observation team will receive briefings on political developments throughout Latin America, meet with government officials and candidates, observe the casting of ballots and vote tallying in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, and report on their observations during the mission, which runs from Friday, March 10 through Monday March 13. Primary election day is Sunday, March 12.
Follow the election observation mission on Twitter at @RonNehring.
Internal elections offer the members and leaders of political parties to refresh and refine their leadership at the onset of a new election cycle. There is a reason the California Republican Party holds its convention in the first quarter following a general election – leaders are put in place to move the party forward in a new cycle.
As the performance of party leadership is reviewed, some commentators and self-styled analysts get it wrong -- mixing up what party leaders can control and influence with what they can’t. The result can be incorrect analysis and bad recommendations.
Having served as a party chairman for more than a decade – six years as leader of the Republican Party in San Diego and four as Chairman of the state GOP – I’m acutely aware of what a chairman controls, versus the external factors beyond his control. Measuring a chairman’s success requires a careful examination of the areas a chairman controls, and comparing the party’s performance in those areas against the limits of what was otherwise possible.
First let’s review what a chairman doesn’t control. He does not pick the candidates – those are chosen by voters, and thanks to California’s misguided “jungle primary” system, the Republican nominees are not even chosen by the party’s own members, but rather by the electorate at large.
America’s political system is candidate-centric, not party centric. Commentators and journalists consistently gloss over the reality that the real decision-making power in any campaign lies with the candidates, who choose their own messages, staff, strategy, tactics and approaches to fundraising. If a candidate alienates key constituencies, fails to raise money effectively, chooses the wrong messages, or their mail lands after the polls close are all decisions made by candidates and campaigns, and it is they who need to be accountable.
And they are – when they lose, they’re out.
Chairmen also do not control the party’s brand, which is primarily driven by national media coverage of Republicans in Washington and on the national stage. Doubt this? Check how many minutes of coverage per day the typical Californian receives from the 916 area code versus 202. Party brands are defined nationally, and the Republican Party brand does pretty well -- nationally. A Republican President-elect, House and Senate demonstrate that.
The California electorate, however, is very different than the national electorate, with much higher Latino and Asian populations that are far less receptive to national Republican messages than whites. The state also has a much larger immigrant population which is sensitive to different issues than those whose parents were born here.
So just what does a party chairman control? Three things – personnel, finances, and programs. That’s not a big list, but it’s longer than it was between 2001 and 2009 when Republican state party chairmen in California were hamstrung by misguided rules that seriously complicated a chairman’s ability to lead the party. Since 2009, party chairmen in California can and should be held accountable for their personnel, the state of party finances, and the political programs the party implements.
In the areas he controls, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte has performed exceptionally well.
The California Republican Party staff is professional and efficient. Staff level relations with candidate campaigns have functioned well, phone calls are returned, and the staff is consistently focused on implementing the directives coming from the Chairman and Board of Directors.
State party finances are a critically important metric for me. When I became state party chairman in 2007 the CRP was in a $4.7 MILLION sinkhole. I left the chairmanship in 2011 with well over $400,000 in cash on hand, no debt, no bills and a low burn rate.
When Chairman Brulte was elected, the CRP was back in debt again to the tune of over $1 million. Yet, he quickly brought the state party back into the black and has kept it there.
This is no small accomplishment. Just like in government, all the pressure on the party coming from Sacramento can be summed up in two words: SPEND. MORE. Desperate candidates push the party to spend money it doesn’t have to help their campaigns, and consultants don’t earn commissions on money left in the bank. Brulte demonstrates the strength to say yes when he can, and say no when he must.
Finally, programs. California’s convoluted maze of campaign finance laws places a premium on raising money into the state party and then working with campaigns to the maximum legal extent to get resources where they need to be. Sometimes this involves spending the money directly on voter registration and turnout activities, while at other teams it requires making contributions to campaigns directly.
The results speak for themselves. Despite a national ticket that did not perform well in California, Republicans held a majority of the state legislative seats that were targeted by the Democrats, who spent roughly $1 million per district while every Republican member of the House of Representatives was elected to a new term. Given the political dynamics in California in 2016, this was the absolute best Republicans could have achieved.
Republicans have work to do in California, no doubt. Candidates and campaign staffs must commit to learning the skills needed to boost campaign performance in urban and suburban areas, improve performance in early voting, and build relationships across diverse communities well before Election Day.
Nationally there is much work to do as well – the messages coming out of Washington DC overpower whatever Republicans are doing in Sacramento. A goal of winning the popular vote, as well as the Electoral College vote, in 2020 should serve as a powerful incentive to strengthen the Republican brand among voters who are Republicans but don’t know it yet.
In the meantime, Chairman Jim Brulte deserves another term.
"A cause greater than our self interest."
That describes my experience serving as National Spokesman for the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz.
With this note I convey my thanks to all of the members of the #CruzCrew for the support while serving in this role.
There is no shortage of naysayers and downers in any campaign, some are real, and others are just fake Twitter bots. Nonetheless, the members of the Cruz team from volunteers out in the field to colleagues in the campaign office provider daily reminders of the nobility of this cause that brought us together.
My parents were German immigrants of limited formal education who learned English from watching cartoons on television. Although they passed away years ago, I know they would have approved of my role in such an undertaking, one aimed at preserving the America that lured them from Europe with the promise of freedom and opportunity.
The men and women of the Cruz campaign, from Ted and Heidi to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who shed sweat and tears, were, and are, united in this cause still. Because what makes America the greatest nation in the history of nations requires indeed "eternal vigilance."
Serving as a national campaign spokesman is a unique role in politics. It's like being a designated hitter in baseball -- and no matter the pitch, your only choice is to swing, and you have to hit the ball every time.
Some people don't like what's said -- and they may take shots, especially in an era when people don't always have to take responsibility for what they say. Yet, the righteousness of our cause and the support of everyone on the team -- old timers and newcomers alike -- provided the backup to keep going every day, whether it was the peak in Wisconsin, or the valley a few weeks later.
There is no doubt the cause will continue, in many forms, regardless of which candidates and which parties prevail in November. And Ted Cruz is the natural leader for that cause, for I have not met anyone else who possesses the unique combination of skills, commitment, courage and tenacity to lead our movement forward through challenging times.
Modern political coverage exaggerates the role of those at the top, while often skipping over the vital role of those working out in the fields. The most important people in the Republican Party are the volunteers who go door to door, make phone calls, and attend events. They make the party not some far off, abstract entity we hear about on TV. They make the party personal, and in a digital world, analog is king. The world's social media posts cannot compete with the power of a handshake, or the feel of a pat on the back.
For now, we have a battle to support thousands of solid conservative candidates on the ballot who need our help.
"Do not wait for orders from headquarters, ride to the sound of the guns."
Ron Nehring, August 6, 2016
118 California Leaders Join Chairman Ron Nehring
Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and Tom McClintock, Assemblymembers Matthew Harper and Shannon Grove, former California Republican Chairman Michael Schroeder, former legislator Ray Haynes and legal scholar John Eastman join in backing Cruz
HOUSTON, Texas – Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today named 118 members of his California Leadership Team.
“We have assembled a powerful team in California from the Oregon border to San Diego, and from the Pacific to the Sierra Nevada and I’m thankful for Ron Nehring’s leadership of these courageous conservatives,” said Cruz. “They have the commitment, experience, and insight to win and I look forward to working with them towards victory.”
Former California Republican Party Chairman Michael Schroeder and former California legislator Ray Haynes will serve as California Co-Chairs of the Ted Cruz for President campaign. The campaign additionally announced the endorsements of Assemblymembers Shannon Grove of Bakersfield and Matthew Harper of Orange County together with former Chapman University Law School Dean John C. Eastman. Los Angeles investor Dan Palmer will serve as California Finance Chairman and state co-chair.
The endorsements of Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and Tom McClintock were recently announced.
What they’re saying:
“Conservative leaders trusted by the grassroots of our party are uniting behind Ted Cruz for President as we build the campaign organization to win the June 7th primary here in California. Our state will send the largest delegation to the Republican National Convention and our mission is for that delegation to be a Cruz delegation,” said California campaign chairman Ron Nehring, who served as Chairman of the California Republican Party from 2007 to 2011 and as the party’s 2014 nominee for Lt. Governor.
"Ted Cruz is the generational principled conservative we have been waiting for since Ronald Reagan. A Republican will win the presidency in this election. As conservatives this is our opportunity to make a difference and make sure that president does the right thing because he is grounded in our values,” said campaign co-chair Michael Schroeder, who served as Chairman of the California Republican Party from 1997 to 1999.
“I support Senator Cruz because he proves his conservative bona fides every day he serves the people of this country. We don’t have to wonder if we will get the real thing with Senator Cruz, he shows all of us he is the real thing with every word he says and every action he takes,” said former legislator Ray Haynes, who served in the California legislature from 1993 to 2007.
“I have listened to each of the candidates and reviewed their records and Senator Cruz is the clear choice for President. He is qualified, conservative, articulate, and has a Reagan-like ability to lead. I look forward to being a part of the grassroots movement for Senator Cruz here in California,” said Assemblyman Matthew Harper.
“To me, the most important job the President of the United States has is to protect our God-given rights, hallowed in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Ted Cruz understands this. Our founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to those ideals. Most Americans, and all who wear the uniform, make that same pledge – to safeguard and keep those sacred rights unsullied by human hands. We expect the same from our president. I trust Ted Cruz to protect and defend America’s freedom, borders, and way of life from all who wish us harm, foreign, or domestic. That is why I support Ted Cruz for President without hesitation or reservation,” said Assemblymember Shannon Grove.
“I wholeheartedly endorse Ted Cruz for President. I’ve known Ted for 20 years, dating to our time as co-clerks for Judge Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia, and then at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist while I was clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas. He was then, and is still, a strong, principled, constitutional conservative. This man has the ability to win both the nomination and against whomever the Democrats put up in November, and by so doing pick up where Ronald Reagan left off in restoring limited, constitutional government to our land,” said John former Chapman University School of Law Dean John Eastman.
Ted Cruz for President California Leadership Team
Ron Nehring – State Chairman
Michael Schroeder – State Co-Chairman
Ray Haynes – State Co-Chairman
Dan Palmer – Finance Chairman & State Co-Chairman
Jason Scalese – State Director
Congressional and Legislative Endorsements
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
Congressman Tom McClintock
Assemblyman Matthew Harper
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove
Tom Canaday – Bay Area Regional Co-Chair
Mark Meuser – Bay Area Regional Co-Chair
Paul Bruno – Central Coast Regional Chair
Susan Abbott – Central Valley Regional Co-Chair
James Luellen – Central Valley Regional Co-Chair
Brian Raymond – Central Valley Regional Co-Chair
Gina Wallace – Central Valley Regional Co-Chair
Julia Flora DiBernardo – Inland Empire Regional Chair
Gary Aminoff – Los Angeles Regional Co-Chair
Maureen Johnson – Los Angeles Regional Co-Chair
John Hughes – Northern California Regional Co-Chair
Steve Thompson – Northern California Regional Co-Chair
Pamela Silleman – Northwest Regional Chair
Michael McClellan – Orange County Finance Chair
Alexandria Coronado – Orange County Regional Co-Chair
Branton Nestor – Orange County Regional Co-Chair
Camille Hald – Sacramento and Gold Country Regional Co-Chair
Tom Hudson – Sacramento and Gold Country Regional Co-Chair
Sheryl Rosander – San Diego Regional Co-Chair
Lee De Meo – San Diego Regional Co-Chair
Dave Candlish – San Fernando Valley Regional Co-Chair
Bradly Gerber – San Fernando Valley Regional Co-Chair
James Jenkins – African-Americans for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Marie Stroughter – African-Americans for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair / Social Media Director
Peter Kuo – Asian-Americans for Cruz Coalition Chair
Dave Bartels – Ballot Access Coalition Co-Chair
Mark Meuser – Ballot Access Coalition Co-Chair
Gina Wallace – Educators for Cruz Coalition Chair
Gina Gleason – Faith and Religious Liberty Coalition Chair
Kim Short – Faith and Religious Liberty Coalition Fresno Regional Chair
Stuart Weil – Jewish Coalition for Cruz Co-Chair
Dayna Titus – Jewish Coalition for Cruz Co-Chair
Hector Raul Gastelum – Latinos for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Edward Ruiz – Latinos for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Angel Cardenas – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Branton Nestor – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Julia DiBernardo – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Andres Saks – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Bay Area Regional Chair
Ashley Estebo – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Central Coast Regional Chair
Jeremiah Folia – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Central Valley Regional Chair
Viraktep Ath – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Inland Empire Regional Chair
Sara Tavakoli – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Los Angeles Regional Chair
Nick Gallo – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Orange County Regional Chair
Nikita Kostyuk – Millennials for Cruz Coalition Sacramento Regional Chair
Ashley Muntz – Millennials for Cruz Coalition San Diego Regional Chair
Sara Blicharz – Pro-Life for Cruz Coalition Chair
Lisa Harden – Pro-Life for Cruz Coalition Los Angeles Regional Chair
Alan Hall – Pro-Life for Cruz Coalition Bay Area Regional Chair
Earl De Vries – Second Amendment for Cruz Coalition Chair
Glenn Gelineau – Tea Party for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Kelly Hubbard – Tea Party for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Robert Linderman – Tea Party for Cruz Coalition Central Valley Regional Chair
Kathy Ponce – Tea Party for Cruz Coalition Inland Empire Regional Chair
Lee De Meo – Tea Party for Cruz Coalition San Diego Regional Chair
Diego Rebollar – Teens for Ted Coalition Chair
Michael Ciccerone – Veterans for Cruz Coalition Chair
Marshall Roe – Veterans for Cruz Coalition Los Angeles Regional Chair
Sherry Hodges – Women for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
Elsie Gufler – Women for Cruz Coalition Co-Chair
William Schmidt – Los Angeles County South Bay Sub-Regional Co-Chair
Kurt Schroeder – Los Angeles County South Bay Sub-Regional Co-Chair
Gwendolyn Sims – Los Angeles Congressional District 25 Regional District Chair
Ryan Bent – North Orange County Sub-Regional Chair
Cari Swan – Orange County South Coastal Sub-Regional Co-Chair
Carol Woodworth – Orange County South Coastal Sub-Regional Co-Chair
Darcy Karhoff – Orange County South Coastal Sub-Regional Co-Chair
Jennifer Shawver – Orange County Stanton City Sub-Regional Chair
Michael Ciccerone – South Orange County Sub-Regional Chair
Nick Wilson – South/Central Orange County Sub-Regional Chair
Karan Healy – Alameda County Co-Chair
Rob Maffit – Alameda County Co-Chair
Steve Thompson – Butte County Chair
Cheryl Byl – Contra Costa County Co-Chair
Lisa Disbrow – Contra Costa County Co-Chair
Edward Ruiz – Contra Costa County Co-Chair
Kimberly Castro – Fresno County Co-Chair
Martha Kistler – Fresno County Co-Chair
David Dhillon – Imperial County Chair
Jeffery Gallagher – Kern County Chair
Maureen Johnson – Los Angeles County Co-Chair
Angela Lyons – Marin County Co-Chair
Donna Pfeiff – Marin County Co-Chair
Derek Anderson – Napa County Co-Chair
Elizabeth King – Napa County Co-Chair
Marleia Sire – Napa County Co-Chair
Cyndy Taylor – Placer County Chair
Pamela McDonald – Sacramento County Co-Chair
James Ricketts – Sacramento County Co-Chair
Peter Hernandez – San Benito County Co-Chair
Karina Hernandez – San Benito County Co-Chair
Kathy Ponce – San Bernardino County Co-Chair
Earl De Vries – San Bernardino County Co-Chair
Maureen Downey – San Francisco County Chair
John Morley – San Joaquin County Co-Chair
Alma Morley – San Joaquin County Co-Chair
John Oehlert – San Mateo County Co-Chair
Glenn Gelineau – San Mateo County Co-Chair
Steve Thomas – Santa Barbara County Chair
Ed Riffle – Santa Clara County Chair
Lynn Mackay – Solano County Chair
Daniel Thomas de la Torre – Sonoma County Chair
Joseph Day – Stanislaus County Chair
Scotia Alves – Ventura County Chair
Ashley Evaro – Millennials for Cruz Biola Campus Chair
Nina Davar – Aliso Viejo City Co-Captain
Mike Munzing – Aliso Viejo City Co-Captain
Viet Hoang – Anaheim City Co-Captain
Tom Pollitt – Costa Mesa City Captain
David Pruyne – Fountain Valley City Captain
Wendy Arnold – La Habra City Captain
Patricia Evans – Los Alamitos City Captain
Anita Boyd – Newport Beach City Co-Captain
Rosita Brown – Newport Beach City Co-Captain
Roberta Turbow – Rancho Santa Margarita City Captain
Shane Campbell – Valencia City Captain
Mariah Boland – Visalia City Captain
*Public offices held are included for identification purposes only.
German foundation gives Europeans a look at the latest in politics, including the Republican campaign for President
European politicos got a rare inside view of political campaigns in Europe and the United States at a pivotal conference conducted this week by the prestigious Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin.
The International Conference on Political Communication (IKPK) brings together a mix of American and European campaign experts for a discussion on the most interesting developments in the political world on both sides of the Atlantic. For Europeans who often receive a distorted view of American campaigns through the lens of their own media, the IKPK provided the more than 300 German political observers with the opportunity to hear directly from experts working in the field.
Conducted annually, the 15th IKPK provided me with the rare opportunity to de-mystify a key part of the American political process: just how does the Republican Party nominate a candidate for President? For most Europeans, and indeed many Americans, this is a mysterious giant hairball of rules and votes that somehow, in some way, ultimately produces a nominee for President, and a Vice President.
When the Republican National Convention is held in Cleveland in July 2016, it will be the finish line in a lengthy process of 56 state and territorial votes to elect 2,470 delegates, of which 1,236 will be needed to secure the party’s nomination for President.
While Europeans may at time prefer a higher degree of uniformity than Americans in their rules and processes, the American nomination process is anything but uniform. States vote at different times, award their delegates in different ways, have an array of methods for getting on the ballot, and have different rules about binding their delegates to their stated preferences.
I spent the bulk of my presentation walking the attendees through the process, noting along the way how the process could produce a nominee as early as March, or as late as June. After doing my best to shine a light into the black box called “the primaries,” I gave a pitch for my preferred candidate for President, Ted Cruz, for whom I have the honor of serving as California Campaign Chairman. In my presentation I showed four videos: A discussion from Meet the Press about the coming Cruz Moment, an appearance by the Senator on Fox News’ Hannity, a Cruz spot called A Time for Truth, and a video compilation of the Senator’s recent campaign swing through the “SEC primary” states.
Before the official conference began, participants were given the opportunity to enhance their communications skills with a workshop the Leadership Institute hosted called "Mind the Gap," addressing how conservative communicators sometimes fail to connect with their audiences intuitively, and how to correct it.
Highlighting how the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Foundation) draws experts from multiple leading campaigns, participants also got to hear directly from Bush Campaign Manager Danny Diaz, who provided an update on how the Bush campaign sees the race, and Vince Harris, who runs the digital media campaign for Rand Paul and provided a valuable look into the techniques that work, and those that don’t, with an increasingly online voting population.
As an American of German descent who frequently visits the country of my ancestors, I’ve often been amazed by just how the European view of American politics differs from what we see here at home. Some of it is likely attributable to the fact that the entire European political spectrum is shifted somewhat to the left relative to the United States, but I suspect another contributor is how the news media covers American campaigns.
For the center-right political operatives and observers attending the IKPK, the perspective they received from this intensive two-day conference will give many some better tools with which to observe the incredibly exciting American campaign now under way.
Below you'll find some photos from the event (photos courtesy of KAS), and some slides from my presentation.
Congratulations to the outstanding staff of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for their truly world class work in bringing together an international panel of experts to raise the level of the dialogue and enhance the perspective of our German and European friends. You can learn more about the Konrad Adenauer Foundation by visiting their website. Here is an article on the conference on their site (in German).
Event photos: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung IKPK 15
Selected slides: Race to the White House Presentation
SAN DIEGO -- Former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring today issued the following statement on being named to lead the Ted Cruz for President campaign in California as state campaign chairman:
"Ted Cruz is an exciting, Reaganite candidate for President who has demonstrated the courage needed to get the country on track.
"There are few places in America that highlight the failure of the Obama 'recovery' than California, where we have the nation's highest poverty rate, one of its worst unemployment rates, and a middle class squeezed between sky high taxes and a high cost of living. People in many of our counties are struggling with double digit unemployment and opportunities crushed by bad ideas coming out of Washington and Sacramento.
"To help Californians regain lost ground, we need a President who will set a new course for the nation that will reignite our economy by expanding economic freedoms and opportunity. Ted Cruz has proven he has the courage, skill, principles and experience to make it happen and I'm proud to join his team.
News release (5/11): "Cruz for President Announces Michigan and California State Chairs."
Website: Ted Cruz for President
LONDON -- At the inaugural Ronald Reagan Lecture at the Margaret Thatcher Center in London tonight former California Republican Party Chairman and Lt. Governor nominee Ron Nehring said a new generation of leaders must learn the lessons of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in developing a blueprint to restore international security and stability in the post-Obama era.
"Thank you very much for the opportunity to join you here today for this inaugural Ronald Reagan Lecture at the Margaret Thatcher Centre. It is truly an honor to join you for an event that unites the spirit of two great leaders, each of whom had a profound effect in shaping my own views.
My parents were not born in America -- they emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1961. Growing up in America and with close relatives in Germany I took an interest in the Cold War and the division of the country where my parents were born into East and West. Ronald Reagan, to me, was a leader who called out the Soviet Union and Communism for the absurdities that they were, and the confidence and pride in America that he so powerfully conveyed drew me to the Republican Party from a young age. I joined the party of Ronald Reagan on my 18th birthday, 8 months before he would leave office.
Watching news of the Falklands War and later studying it as history similarly shaped my view of Margaret Thatcher as a powerful, determined leader who was, like Reagan, confident that western democracies would ultimately prevail in any conflict with tyranny.
Growing up in New York and later working in Washington DC, my life took a turn that ultimately brought me to California, the state that gave us Ronald Reagan, where my fellow Republicans in 2007 elected me the leader of the California Republican Party. What an honor to be chosen to lead the party of Reagan in his home state and in a post once held by Caspar Weinberger years before he became the President's Secretary of Defense.
Today, with the Soviet Union relegated to that ash heap of history, perhaps over the objection of some of today's Kremlin leaders, we face new threats to our individual liberty, national security, and economic freedom.
In facing these threats a new generation must learn the lessons of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who, together with many others, ultimately prevailed in the conflict that defined international affairs for nearly half a century.
We have heard a lot in recent years about "leading from behind" and "soft power." I can't imagine either Reagan or Thatcher believing in such concepts, for each is rooted in a lack of both confidence and realism in world affairs. For all of the characterizations of Reagan and Thatcher as ideologues, each was, in reality, deeply pragmatic. It's just that their pragmatism conflicted with how liberal commentators and academics wished the world worked back then.
For all of the high-mindedness we find coming from our liberal friends, we have seen the devastating effects of liberal foreign and defense policy in action:
The so-called "reset button" in US-Russian relations did little to stop Russia's aggression in the Ukraine and its aggressive military posture toward Europe.
The clumsy withdrawal from Iraq without a Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed for a continued American security presence in Iraq contributed to creating a powerful vacuum that allowed ISIS to rise to now control a slice of the Middle East larger than the island of Great Britain itself and now possessing far more resources than Al Qaeda ever did.
The disdain that the Obama Administration has shown Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu while at the same time negotiating with the terror sponsoring nation of Iran sends the wrong messages to jihadist groups are opposed to not only Israel, but America, the UK and the rest of the west.
Weakness, appeasement, and failing to sufficiently distinguish between friends and enemies contribute to making the world a more dangerous place. Weakness is provocative.
Victory over determined adversaries requires courage, resolve, and confidence in one's self and the righteousness of one's cause.
When Margaret Thatcher authorized the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, it was an act of courage and conviction taken over the objection of political advisers whose thinking had become so clouded that they worried the action would make Britain look like an aggressor -- never mind the fact that sovereign British territory had been invaded and taken over by a hostile force that Britain was now seeking to repel.
The west must now demonstrate that same level of Thatcherite resolve when confronting ISIS.
One leader who is doing so today is Jordan's King Abdullah II.
The burning alive of Jordanian pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasabeh at the hands of ISIS terrorists was intended to intimidate Jordan and other Arab nations out of continued military action against them. Instead of being intimidated, King Abdullah responded by immediately and sharply increasing air strikes against Islamic State targets and executing two convicted terrorists that Islamic State leaders wanted turned over.
Such bold action at a moment of crisis goes beyond mere revenge. It teaches the adversary that audacity will not be rewarded.
Egyptian President al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu deserve recognition for directly confronting, rather than appeasing, the jihadist threats to their own countries.
As conservatives, we must look ahead to creating the structures that will restore international security in the rapidly approaching post-Obama era.
While some in Europe wish for the EU to provide a new security structure, we should instead plan to reinvigorate NATO through a new round of expansion that includes strong democratic allies from outside of the North Atlantic region. The addition of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan would transform NATO into an even more formidable alliance of democracies.
Deterring aggression requires NATO members to provide for sufficient military capability to meet any challenge, large or small. Russian aggression in Ukraine should serve as a warning that European governments can no longer allow their military capabilities to atrophy. While the Russian flag may not again fly in conquest over Germany, a NATO devoid of sufficient capability or willpower may result in the same bloodshed and chaos we see in Ukraine today spreading to NATO's Baltic member states. In comments reported today, a former NATO leader warns against this very real possibility.
Bold, creative thinking rooted in a solid understanding of world affairs is needed for conservatives to lay a 21st century blueprint for a world where freedom and liberty are once again on the rise. To this end, Reagan and Thatcher can inspire a new generation to meet the challenges of a new century.
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by Josh Richman, San Jose Mercury-News