Recently, several members of the Liberty Republican wing of the GOP in Maine quit the state party and changed their voter registration to unenrolled. While we respect their individual decisions of conscience, we do not agree with their decision to leave the party.
Members of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) espouse many of their beliefs, and find many of their points valid. However, the RLC was formed in 1991 with the explicit mission to work within the Republican Party to bring about changes for smaller government, lower taxes and increased individual liberty. Participating within the Republican Party is an obvious prerequisite to achieving this mission.
According to Maine RLC Chair Vic Berardelli, the Maine RLC intends to stay engaged as a voice within the GOP.
“Our slogan is that we are ‘The Conscience of the Republican Party,’" Berardelli said. “We will continue to speak out against the abuses of the national and state party when appropriate. We do not expect to win every battle but we believe that if we act with civility and reason, we can express our views and try to bring the party back to its founding principles.”
RLC National Chairman Matt Nye concurs.
“Grassroots activists across the country lament the fact that establishment elements within the party would rather cling to internal power than make the substantive changes necessary, regardless of the GOP’s losses at the polls in the last two presidential cycles,” Nye said. “Many voters and party activists are leaving the Republican Party because of the actions of the RNC, but I urge all of our members to understand the task of returning the party to its roots is a monumental one, and it will not happen overnight.”
“Members of the RLC must commit to fighting the battle with patience and believe in time rational people will see and accept the principles for which we stand,” Nye said. “Our mission is not to divide the party, but to make it stronger by bringing fresh faces into the party who believe in, and can effectively articulate, those principles.”
The core of RLC beliefs are summed up in The Liberty Compact, which RLC endorsed candidates are asked to sign. It reads:
“I pledge to the citizens of this State, and to the American people, that as their elected representative I will work to: restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited, enumerated powers of our Constitution, not ignore them.”
Many prominent members of Congress and the Maine Legislature have signed this Compact and have served admirably to advance those principles. RLC members and endorsed candidates will continue to show by example that principled people and candidates can wave the Republican flag for the good of the nation and the people of the State of Maine.
“We are here to stay and will continue to fight for what we believe is right,” Berardelli said. “We will continue to blow the whistle when we believe that Republicans stray from the core values of the party or act in an improper manner. But we are registered Republicans first and we expect to be treated with an equal place at the table of ideas and in the management of the party organization.”