The GOPAC Newsletter: June 2013


GOPAC opened this summer with a bang by hosting our Emerging Leaders’ Summit. We plan to keep that momentum going through the hot summer months to ensure the Republican Party has plenty of well-trained, battle tested legislators ready and able to lead for years to come. Read on to find out what we’ve been doing and all the notice our standout legislators have been getting.

2013 Emerging Leaders’ Summit Wrap Up

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting our Emerging Leaders’ Summit in New York City where this year’s class of up-and-coming legislators gathered to learn how to become more effective leaders. From the speakers, to the legislators, to the backdrop, this event achieved new heights and set the bar for future events ever higher.

Over the course of the Summit, our Emerging Leaders received an abundance of campaign and legislative advice from esteemed panelists and speakers. They attended training on how to communicate effectively, fundraise, and reach voters through social media. They also participated in policy discussions with experts from the field and strategy talks with party leaders. Additionally, they got to network with fellow legislators from other states while taking in some unique New York City experiences. Some highlights of the week are below.

2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit Wrap Up
2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit Wrap Up
2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit Wrap Up
2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit Wrap Up
We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the event possible, including our generous sponsors and inspiring speakers. Special thanks to our Summit Co-Chairs Florida State House Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip Dana Young, North Carolina State Representative Tom Murry, Iowa House Assistant Majority Leader Walt Rogers, and Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves who provided special insights and guidance to the Emerging Leaders.

More photos of our Emerging Leaders’ Summit are available on our Flickr and Facebook accounts. You can also see highlights from the week by searching Twitter for the hashtag #gopacELS.

ICYMI: 2013 Emerging Leaders’ Summit

“It’s the Republican Party, future version – minus political glitz, and with a focus on hard work. GOPAC, the political action committee established in 1979 to groom future campaign heavyweights, is hosting an ‘Emerging Leaders Summit’ in New York City through Wednesday to herald the prowess of 20 state lawmakers and officials who are up to the challenge of a party at the crossroads.” (Jennifer Harper, “Eye on the Future: The Top-20 Emerging Republican Leaders Named,” Washington Times, 6/17/13)

“Congratulations to State Representatives Polly Lawrence and Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff for being named to GOPAC’s ‘Top 20 Emerging Republican Leaders’. According to its website, GOPAC is ‘dedicated to educating and electing a new generation of Republican leaders. We search the ranks of state and local governments for promising Republican leaders and give them the education and financial support they need to lead America.’” (“Emerging Leaders: Congrats to Reps. Navarro-Ratzlaff and Lawrence,” Colorado Peak Politics, 6/18/13)

“Two Republicans serving in the Florida House will be featured when GOPAC meets with ‘Emerging Leaders’ across the nation next week in New York. Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, will be one of the co-chairs for GOPAC’s Emerging Leaders’ summit and Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, has been chosen by GOPAC as one of the 21 ‘Emerging Leaders’ at the event.” (Kevin Derby, “Dana Young and Jason Brodeur Set to Shine at GOPAC Event,” Sunshine State News, 6/14/13)

“A freshman GOP legislator from Atoka has been named an ‘emerging leader’ by the Republican GOPAC. Rep. Charles McCall will be one of 22 young stars at the group’s annual Emerging Leaders Summit in New York City next week. … The summit’s curriculum features interactive seminars and leadership training which prepare GOPAC’s 21 Emerging Leaders for the many obstacles faced by state legislators.” (Wayne Green, “Atoka Legislator Named GOP Emerging Leader,” Tulsa World, 6/14/13)

“Rep. Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls, has been named one of four honorary co-chairs of GOPAC’s “Emerging Leaders” Summit in New York City this week…. The summit’s comprehensive curriculum features interactive seminars and leadership training which prepare GOPAC’s 21 Emerging Leaders for the many obstacles faced by state legislators. Among GOPAC’s 2013 Emerging Leaders are Rep. John Landon, R-Ankeny.” (James Lynch, “Iowa Lawmaker is GOPAC Speaker,” Iowa City Gazette, 6/19/13)

Upmeyer, Murry Join GOPAC Legislative Leaders Advisory Board

We are thrilled that Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer and North Carolina State Representative Tom Murry have joined the GOPAC Legislative Leaders Advisory Board.

Upmeyer, Murry Join GOPAC
The two are replacing Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, who has stepped down from the board as he considers running for the U.S. House of Representatives, and North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, who has stepped down from the board to run for the U.S. Senate. We thank them both for their leadership and service to GOPAC and wish them the best.

This is what Leader Upmeyer and Representative Murry had to say about GOPAC:

“I am honored to join my many distinguished colleagues on GOPAC’s Legislative Leaders Advisory Board,” said Leader Upmeyer. “I first learned of GOPAC through my father when he served as Speaker of the House and have been a supporter of the organization’s mission ever since. States like Iowa truly are the test labs for the reforms needed to move our country forward, and I’m excited to share best practices and common goals with dedicated leaders from other states.”

“As a 2012 GOPAC Emerging Leader, I saw firsthand the positive influence GOPAC has on ensuring proven and effective conservative policies are implemented across the nation by fostering young leaders and encouraging an exchange of ideas across state lines,” said Representative Murry. “I’m excited for yet another opportunity to serve the organization and the country by joining my colleagues in promoting conservative ideas that will lead to ever higher levels of prosperity.”

For more information on the two, visit our website.

GOPAC Leaders in the News

GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli

US News: Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Better Than They Look
By Kenneth T. Walsh
June 18, 2013

President Obama’s job approval ratings, though tepid and declining, appear to be good enough to keep him from becoming a lame duck any time soon.

“Obama has a very high floor and a very low ceiling,” says Frank Donatelli, chairman of the GOPAC conservative political action committee and former White House political director for President Ronald Reagan. That’s because fellow Democrats remain very loyal to Obama but Republicans view him very unfavorably, and independents are split.

The result is that Obama’s poll numbers are likely to stay about where they are for the indefinite future despite the scandals and setbacks plaguing his administration. This will give him continued influence on Capitol Hill, at least with Democrats, but little sway with Republicans. All this is probably a recipe for continued stalemate, since Congress is divided between the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House.

Read more here.

Legislative Leaders Advisory Board Member Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford

Tampa Bay Times: Act Makes Education a Path to Jobs
By Don Gaetz and Will Weatherford
June 11, 2013

While more than half of last year’s U.S. college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, the ironic truth is that there are thousands of jobs in Florida unfilled because employers can’t find workers whose skills meet industry specifications.

That’s why Florida’s education system needs to be linked to the realities and opportunities of the economy, and that’s exactly what the new law does.

Read more here.

Emerging Leader Illinois Representative John Cabello

Roll Call: Illinois Options Depend on Chicago Turnover | Farm Team
By Emily Cahn
June 12, 2013

Republicans said GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock would look at running for an open Senate seat if Kirk called it quits. …

If Kinzinger runs statewide, consultants said state Rep. John Cabello would be a strong candidate for his House seat. Cabello serves as a police detective in addition to his legislative duties.

Read more here.

Looking Ahead: 2013 State and Local Summit

This September, GOPAC will be holding our 6th Annual State and Local Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. We are incredibly excited to be hosted by Tennessee Lieutenant Governor and Senate President Ron Ramsey and appreciate all the help he continues to provide as we work to make this the best Summit yet.

This year’s theme is The Path to Job Growth and already boasts an impressive list of exciting attendees who will have opportunity to share best practices and policy ideas. Attendees will also get the opportunity to discuss policy solutions with thought leaders and national Republicans.