Friday, October 30, 2009

Interview with S.E. Cupp

Interview with S.E. Cupp
S.E. Cupp is a phenomenal author, columnist and political commentator, and it seems as though she's everywhere these days. She's written for a number of publications, everything from the Washington Post to Sports Illustrated, on topics ranging from Sarah Palin to NASCAR. She's appeared on a number of television programs and radio shows, including regular spots on "Hannity," "Fox and Friends," and "Red Eye." According to her website, she is working on her second book (her first, Why You're Wrong About the Right, was published in June 2008). We had a chance to talk with Cupp about everything from what the GOP can do to attract more young people to what she likes to do when when she needs a break from the world of politics and news. Here's what she had to say:

1. How did you become interested in politics?

SEC: I was interested in everything when I was young. Politics, history, art, science, culture...I was always a really curious kid. When I was 10 I wanted to be "Ambassador of France" when I grew up...but more because Shirley Temple had become an ambassador. Then it was an astronomer. Later I considered going to Annapolis. Then I wanted to be a foreign service officer. Eventually I settled on a writing career, but I always knew I'd continue to be curious about the world around me. And that included politics.

2. What makes you a conservative? What issues are most important to you right now?

SEC: I'm a conservative because I find a few central tenets really compelling: strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, limited government and lowering taxes. These are things that affect my daily life. I believe conservatism has come up with the best answers for those issues. And I'm incredibly uncomfortable with the malleability of liberal philosophy, its moral relativism, its reliance on the zeitgeist as cause creator, its antipathy toward religion, and its inherent elitism.

3. You are often mentioned as a voice for young conservatives and the future of conservatism. What do you think the right can do to get more young people interested and involved?

SEC: The GOP needs to embrace young, new messengers that can deliver our message in more interesting, relevant, and creative ways. Sometimes the party clings to the old guard and the party's anointed patriarchs at the exclusion of everyone's turf war, and it is what will make conservatism staid and stale for the younger generation. We need our veteran leadership -- but we also need fresh voices.

4. What about women? How do you think conservatism relates to women's issues?

SEC: Conservatism is better for women because conservatism is better for everyone. Conservatism is better for minorities and the youth, as well as middle aged white guys. Conservatism fosters ingenuity, self-reliance, innovation, independence, strong family values, and a sense of purpose. It creates jobs, boosts capitalism, defends freedom, and spreads democratic values to the rest of the world. When you start to use identity politics as a way to appeal to certain demographics, you become a cheap pander. Conservatism's benefits are self-evident -- my uterus has nothing to do with it.

5. Are there any women in politics (in or out of office) whom you admire?

SEC: I admire plenty of women, but certainly not because they're women. I admire Condoleeza Rice's intellect. I admire Laura Bush's quiet dignity. I admire Judith Sheindlin's decisiveness. And I admire Sarah Palin's tenacity. But those are all qualities I've also found in many of the men I admire.

6. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date?

SEC: Being someone my parents are proud of.

7. Do you plan to run for office in the future? If not, is there anyone you would like to see run for office?

SEC: Absolutely not. I enjoy my journalistic freedom to write and say what I want.

8. Finally, I know you're a big NASCAR fan - what else do you like to do when you need a break from the political world?

SEC: I love shooting. I own a .12 gauge shotgun, and am partial to skeet shooting. I enjoy fishing as well. I've recently taken up knitting, which is very relaxing. And I travel as much as I can. Day to day though, it's always a nice escape from news when I can squeeze in an hour of mindless television.

Thanks so much to S.E. Cupp for taking part in our interview. To learn more about her, you can visit her website: Red S.E. Cupp

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interview with Noelle Nikpour

Interview with Noelle Nikpour

Noelle Nikpour is a Republican Strategist and Consultant, who is often featured on television programs such as "Fox and Friends," "Red Eye," and "Good Day New York." We had a chance to ask the Arkansas native a few questions on everything from why the Republican Party is important to women's issues to why she thinks the GOP needs a makeover! Here's what she had to say:

Why did you decide to get involved with politics?
NN: I decided to get involved in politics because I wanted to make a difference and be a part of a greater good!

What do you think is the most important issue currently facing the country?
NN: The economy and its future is the most important issue at hand for this country. With unemployment at an all time high, foreclosures on the rise, and our dollar appearing weaker, we must address this and turn it around.

You say the GOP needs a new image - what do you think needs to be changed and how can it be accomplished?
NN: The GOP needs a new image by way of how we are viewed, especially by young adults and college Republicans. The Dems have done a great marketing job in order to capture these important groups. We need more young Republican role models that they can relate to and need to show more diversity in a "less sterile" environment.

How is the GOP important to women's issues and what can be done to help the party relate to women better?
NN: Be it a mom, a wife, a working woman, the GOP aligns with many women on such issues from anti abortion, lower taxes, and basic conservative values. As more moms and wives go into the work force to make ends meet, they begin to see the importance of why our party lobbies for less government and lower taxes and they can relate to it first hand!

Are there any women in politics (in or out of office) whom you admire?
NN: Sarah Palin is a woman to admire! Like her or not, she is the epitome of the modern day woman! She holds a job, is a mom, a wife, and takes care of herself. She wears many hats and must be Webster's definition of multitasking!

Would you ever run for office? If not, is there anyone you'd like to see run in the next few years?
NN: I would never seek to run for office due to the fact I'd rather be behind the scenes making it all work for a great man or woman who is willing to put it all on the line for public office. There are so many great candidates that would possibly consider a run for office and it will prove to be an exciting time for the GOP. With that said, I'd like to see a candidate that has strong experience in economics by way of education or experience! I mean, really, we need to see a proven "job history" on the next President we elect! I'm just sayin'...............

Big thanks to Noelle Nikpour for taking part in our interview! You can learn more about her at her website: Noelle Nikpour.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Virginia Foxx: One of Congress's Most Conservative Members

Virginia Foxx of North Carolina's 5th District

In 2008, Dr. Virginia Foxx was reelected to her third term in Congress, representing North Carolina's Fifth District. During that time she's been controversial, yet conservative. The non-partisan magazine National Journal has ranked her the most conservative member of Congress. She is also one of 38 Republicans to score a perfect approval rating from the American Conservative Union. Let's take a look at the life and accomplishments of one of Congress's most conservative members.

Foxx was born in The Bronx, New York, on June 29, 1943. She went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters degree in Sociology. She earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching/Higher Education from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Foxx began her professional career as a research assistant and secretary at UNC and later moved on to teach at Caldwell Community College, eventually becoming a sociology instructor at Appalachian State University. At Appalachian State, she worked her way up through several positions, holding several administrative positions and eventually becoming the Assistant Dean of the college. She went on to serve as the Deputy Secretary for Management in the North Carolina Department of Administration, under Governor Jim Martin, and served as President of Maryland Community College for seven years.

Congresswoman Foxx has served on a number of state and national committees and has been active in a number of civic and business affairs. She has served on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, the Watauga County Board of Education, she was appointment to the National Advisory Council for Women's Educational Programs, she's served on the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Advisory Panel. In addition, she has served the Board of Directors of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, Board of Directors of the N.C. Center for Public Research, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors, National Conference of State Legislatures' Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Child Care, was a Charter Member of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, and the Foscoe-Grandfather Community Center Board.

Some of Foxx's most notable work as a Congresswoman has been dealing with military and veterans' affairs. In 2006, her first bill was signed into law by President Bush. The Hero Act allows troops to increase retirement savings by investing some of their combat pay into Individual Retirement Accounts. Foxx is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, which, according to her website, is the "world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization." She currently serves on the Committee on Rules and has recently been outspoken on health care, saying, "Republicans have a better solution that won't put the government in charge of people's health care" and "[the Republican plan] is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."

Congresswoman Foxx is married to Tom Foxx and they currently reside in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Before becoming a member of Congress, she and her husband owned a nursery. She is also a lay leader at her church and enjoys reading, gardening and being a grandparent.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Liz Cheney Launches Keep America Safe

Liz Cheney Launches

Her father may have been Vice President of the United States for eight years, but these days it's Liz Cheney's name you often hear in the news. The former Deputy Secretary of State has been doing everything from standing up for the Bush administration's tactics in the War on Terror to speaking out about national security, leaving many Americans to wonder if she will be running for political office in the near future. One of Cheney's latest projects, along with Weekly Standard founder and editor William Kristol, and former attorney and CourtTV producer Debra Burlingame, is launching Keep America Safe.

The website is designed to keep Americans updated with information about critical national security issues, encourage dialogue between citizens and elected officials, and influence public policy that is critical to the national security of the United States. The website appears to be a result of the current administration's stances on foreign policy. From their mission statement,

The United States remains a nation at war. We face a growing threat from rogue regimes that seek or have already obtained nuclear weapons. America’s interests are challenged by an authoritarian China, a resurgent Russia, and dictators in our own hemisphere who ally themselves with our adversaries. Amidst the great challenges to America’s security and prosperity, the current administration too often seems uncertain, wishful, irresolute, and unwilling to stand up for America, our allies and our interests.

The statement goes on to talk about how the Obama administration is going against policies that have kept the country safe since September 11, 2001, talks about how America is an unparalleled positive force in the world, and talks about how Keep America Safe will make the case for an "unapologetic approach" to fighting terrorism, victory for wars in which the country fights, democracy, human rights, and a strong military.

The website features a number of resources that help support Keep America Safe's mission. Resources include a former CIA director's letter to President Obama, the 9/11 Commission Report, recent news stories on Pakistan from the New York Times and the Associated Press, letters from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi, along with critical thinking and commentary pieces from the likes of Time Magazine and Debra Burlingame.

A special "Spotlight" section highlights a photo and information about "high value" Gitmo detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Under the "Take Action" section, there are ways for the American public to get involved with Keep America Safe's mission, including ways to contact your legislators, write to news editors, call talk radio, join the website's emailing list, or make a financial contribution.

Keep America Safe is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, according to the website. You can keep up with the organization via Twitter, Facebook or their special Youtube video channel, or visit the website for more information: Keep America Safe.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marsha Blackburn: Tennessee's True Conservative

Marsha Blackburn: Tennessee's True Conservative
Marsha Blackburn has never been one to stay quiet when it comes to politics, whether it be at the grassroots level or during her career representing Tennessee's 7th Congressional District. At the age of 25, she founded the Williamson County Tennessee Young Republicans and in 1989, she served as Chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party for two years. In 1992, she took her passion to a new level by running unsuccessfully for Congress. Despite the loss, she would go on to serve as the chairwoman of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission in 1995 and become elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1998. During that time she led the effort to prevent the passage of a state income tax and to protect the state's Second Amendment rights.

In 2002, Blackburn decided to make another attempt at running for Congress, successfully becoming the first female to represent Tennessee based on her own merits (three other women have represented the state on behalf of their deceased husbands) and the first Republican to represent the Nashville area since Reconstruction. Some consider her a potential candidate for governor of the state in 2010. Since entering office, Blackburn has proven that she is a true Conservative, both on fiscal and social issues and has become a mainstay in the media, frequently appearing on television shows such as Fox News' "Hannity."

As a member of Congress, Blackburn has worked tirelessly to pass tax relief, promote an "ownership society," create health care legislation for small businesses, restore concurrent receipt for Veterans, increase pay for members of the military, prohibit partial birth abortion and reform the personnel system of the Department of Defense. She currently serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Blackburn has also served in a number of leadership roles including her roles as Communications Chair of both the Republican Study Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee, as Deputy Whip, and as co-founder of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus. In 2008, she signed on as a senior advisor to Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign but resigned to endorse former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson for president.

Most recently, she has been a strong proponent of "Czar" accountability legislation. In a recent appearance on "Hannity," she had this to say on the matter,
"...the more people know about this and the more they realize that this administration has put in place as many 'czars' in eight months as the Bush administration did in eight years. And that is of concern. And the other thing is the lack of transparency. We think, when individuals are going to act with this authority, that a Cabinet secretary has, or be placed between the administration and the Cabinet secretary and be outside of that line of congressional oversight, that, indeed, the American public needs to know."
With a 100% pro-life voting record, Blackburn has been heavily praised by the National Right to Life and has been honored by several fiscally conservative groups such as the Americans for Tax Reform who called her a "taxpayer hero" in 2003. The National Journal has called her a "top House Conservative" and she received the "true blue" award from The Family Research Council. She has also received 100% approval from the U. S. Border patrol.

Congressman (as she prefers to be called) Blackburn was born June 6, 1952 in Laurel, Mississippi. She received her Bachelors degrees from Mississippi State in 1973. She has been married to Charles "Chuck" Blackburn for over 30 years. The couple has two children, Mary Morgan Ketchel and Chad Blackburn, and one grandson, Jack Ketchel.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: The First Hispanic Woman in Congress

When it comes to Republican Congresswomen in the news, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen isn't a name you hear often, but she has definitely made an impact on the party and the country. Not only is she the most senior ranking Republican female in Congress, but she's the first Republican female to represent the state of Florida in Congress, as well. A Cuban immigrant who has truly paved her own way to live the American dream, she is also the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress. Throughout the twenty years she's spent representing Florida's Eighteenth Congressional District, she has been a driving force for a number of issues and like any prominent politician, has not been without controversy. Here is a look at the life and career of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was born July 15, 1952 in Havana Cuba to businessman, activist and author Enrique Ros and his wife Amanda Adato. At the age of eight, her family was forced to flee Cuba and they moved to Miami, Florida. Ros-Lehtinen received an Associates Degree from Miami-Dade Community College, both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Florida International University, and her Doctorate Degree in education from the University of Miami. She eventually took her passion for education to a new level and started and ran Eastern Academy, a private elementary school in south Florida.

According to her website, in 1982, after listening to many of her friends and neighbors complain about the issues facing their lives, she decided to run for the Florida House of Representatives. Her bid for a seat was successful and she went on to serve a second term in 1986. One of her most notable achievements during that time was the creation of the Florida Pre-paid College program which allows parents to lock in college tuition rates.

In 1989, Ros-Lehtinen ran successfully for her current seat in Congress. Even though she is a Republican and holds a number of strong Conservative stances, she often sides with Democrats on the issues of gay rights. She is currently the only Republican member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and believes gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military. She also voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment which would have restricted marriage to be only between a man and a woman. She has also fought to keep oil drilling off the Florida coast (though she does support drilling in ANWR), co-sponsored the Coral Reef Preservation Act, and co-founded the National Marine Sanctuary Caucus.

On many other issues, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is a staunch Conservative. She was a strong supporter of the war and subsequently the surge in Iraq. Ros-Lehtinen, whose maternal grandparents were Jewish and very active in Cuba's Jewish community, is also a strong supporter of Israel. She supported President Bush's tax cuts, supports free trade, voted against the estate tax, and signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. She has also voted against stem cell research.

Ros-Lehtinen is perhaps one of the most prominent members of the Cuban-American lobby and is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus. Her strong views have led her to lobby against ending the United States embargo against Cuba and she has worked to prevent United States banks from doing business with the Cuban government. She has referred to the country as "that system of godless communism," was instrumental in the failed attempt at allowing Elian Gonzalez to stay in the United States and even attempted to block Jimmy Carter's visit to the country in 2002.

Ros-Lehtinen's humanitarian work doesn't just stop in Cuba. As the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, she has worked on behalf of human rights in a number of other places including Tibet, Iran, Haiti and Darfur, and she has been a loud voice for free trade with Columbia, as well as an advocate for democracy in Iran and Venezuela. She is currently traveling to Honduras, in an effort to convince her colleagues that they must restore aid to the nation.

Upon being re-elected in 2008, she made headlines after hanging up on both President Barack Obama and his chief o staff, Rahm Emanuel who were calling to congratulate her. She has also been accused of wishing for the assassination of Fidel Castro, something she strongly denies. Ros-Lehtinen was recently inducted to the Florida Women's Hall of Fame.

Ros-Lehtinen is married to Dexter Lehtinen. She two daughters, Amanda and Patricia, and two stepchildren, Douglas and Catherine.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Get Your Great American Conservative Women 2010 Calendar

Get Your Great American Conservative Women 2010 Calendar
Yes, you read right. The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute (CBLPI) has put together the "Great American Conservative Women" 2010 calendar and has already sold out the initial 25,000 copies of its first printing. This is the fifth such calendar released by the the CBLPI.

According to Alyssa Cordova, spokeswoman for the institute, the calendar is meant to celebrate conservative women and encourage young women to follow in their footsteps. Though she wouldn't name names, Cordova also mentioned that several journalists turned the institute down, fearing that they would lose credibility after appearing in anything labeled "conservative." She also mentioned a desire for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to make an appearance in 2011.

Of course, as with anything conservative, liberals are already making the calendar a target, "The left is petty. They go for the cheap and easy…whether that’s attacking Sarah Palin for spending money on a wardrobe, or calling Obama’s opposition racist, or attacking a calendar of conservative women," said Miss December and columnist S. E. Cupp. Even so, the Huffington Post has already put together a "help make a liberal women calendar" effort.

The calendar features conservative women including former Miss California Carrie Prejean, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, former U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan, author and activist Star Parker, former chairman of the Virginia GOP Kate Obenshain, Regnery Publishing president Marji Ross, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, pollster Kellyanne Conway, Cupp and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. It cost $25 or for students, it's free.

According to their website, the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute is dedicated to the "power and potential of conservative women" such as "Clare Boothe Luce, Margaret Thatcher, and Sarah Palin." Founded in 1993, their mission is to prepare women for effective leadership and to promote leading conservative women. Their programs stress the importance of moral values, strength of character, academic integrity, strong work ethic as well as pro-American, pro-business, and pro-family ideas. Learn more about the institute or order your calendar at their website here: CBLPI Home

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sue Lynch to Lead the NFRW

Sue Lynch to Lead the NFRW

The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) has elected a new leader, but she's no stranger to politics or the GOP. Wisconsin's Sue Lynch currently serves as the First Vice President of the national grassroots political organization and just last month was unanimously elected to head the group. Lynch spoke with a La Crosse, Wisconsin news station (WXOW) about her new position, saying she would be moving to the Washington D.C. area. The move allow her to work closely with current Republicans in Congress and the Senate and enhance NFRW visibility. Her two year term will begin in January, 2010 - just in time to help the GOP take back Congress and the Senate.

In addition to her current positions as the group's First Vice President, Lynch also currently serves as Director of Region 1 (which includes Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington), and as an adviser to both the NFRW Leadership Development Committee and the NFRW Special Events Committee. She has also served as second and third vice presidents and chairman of the Nominating Committee at the federal level. At the state level, she served as President of the Wisconsin FRW for four years and President of two local-area groups.

Lynch, a mother of two daughters, has been involved in Republican politics for over 30 years, having worked as chief of staff and office manager to three members of Congress and serving a number of gubernatorial and presidential campaigns. During the Reagan administration, she worked as the staff assistant to then Secretary of Agriculture John Block as well as holding other positions within the Department. For over twelve years, she taught campaign schools and did field work for campaigns for the Free Congress Foundation. She also lectured for the Krieble Institute.

In addition to her professional work, Lynch has been involved in a number of community activities. She served as president of the Franciscan Skemp Auxiliary-Mayo Health System, the state public policy chairman for the Partners of Wisconsin Hospital Association, she served the committee on Volunteer's Board Member for the American Hospital Association, and as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. In 2007, she was named the Grassroots Volunteer of the Year for the Midwestern Division. She was also chosen as an outstanding volunteer for the West Salem Village People in 2007 for her work securing a building for a local Boys and Girls clubs. In 2006, she was chosen as one of the Most Influential Women of the Coulee Region. In 2001, she received the Caring for America Award for Community Service.

The NFRW is one of the largest and most influential women's political organizations in the United States. It recruits, trains, and elects candidates, advocates the GOP's philosophy and initiatives, and empowers women of all ages, ethnicity, and backgrounds in the political process. You can read more about the group here: History of the National Federation of Republican Women

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" Already Number One

Sarah Palin's
Republicans, Conservatives and Sarah Palin fans flocked to online book sellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble this week to pre-order the former governor's book, Going Rogue: An American Life. As a matter of fact, the book, which will not be released until November 17, 2009, quickly became the number one selling book on both websites last week, beating out the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and books by several top authors including Dan Brown and Mitch Albom.

The book's release date was originally scheduled for sometime during the spring of 2010, but Palin, along with author Lynn Vincent, completed the book in just four months after signing a deal with with publisher HarperCollins. HarperCollins plans to release an initial 1.5 million copies of the 432-page book and book sellers are already competing for even more sales. The book, originally priced at $28.99 is being offered at $15.45, a 45% discount, at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble's websites and Wal-mart is offering the book for a mere $13.50.

According to Amazon, the book will be a, "personal and political chronicle of her life." HarperCollins would not release any clues about of the book's contents but claimed it is full of "fascinating details." The title of the book is said to refer to the 2008 Presidential election when Palin, the GOP Vice Presidential candidate, supposedly strayed from McCain's campaign message. Many McCain staffers accused Palin of "going rogue."

Palin's book is just the latest is best-selling Conservative reads: Michelle Malkin's Culture of Corruption spent weeks on top of the New York Times nonfiction list. Glenn Beck's Common Sense and Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny have also been big sellers over the last few months.

Pre-order your own copy of the book here: Going Rogue