Monday, April 11, 2005

NFRA President Visits Rhode Island

The President of The National Federation of Republican Assemblies ( NFRA ), Richard Engle, was in Rhode Island last week to address the Rhode Island chapter. As is stated on the NFRA website:
The NFRA is an outgrowth of the California Republican Assembly and is our nation's oldest and largest Republican volunteer organization. The NFRA is the national umbrella organization for all of the nationwide state Republican Assembly organizatons.

Mr. Engle was in the region to try to bolster the New England chapters and to promote the Labor Day Republican Assembly National Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. Key speakers include: Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Bob Barr as well as Republican " everyman", Grover Norquist. Former N.Y. Mayor ( and possible Presidential candidate ), Rudolph Giuliani will also be there. In fact, many if not all of the Republican candidates for the 2008 Republican Presidential primary are expected to attend. President Engle noted that the field is wide open for Republicans in 2008, and may be the first Republican Presidential primary ( excluding 1964, and assuming that Gov. Jeb Bush does not run )since 1952 that will not have a Bush, Nixon or Dole on the ticket.

In addressing our Rhode Island chapter, Richard Engle advised members to recruit new members with conservative views by looking to places that traditional conservatives congregate. Examples include: Churches and Synagogues ( typically pro-lifers ), any tax-payer advocacy groups, small business groups etc. His thought is that if a grassroots political group can get around 200 active members, they can have a big influence in their local party.

Another piece of advice he offered was to use years that have no elections to educate the electorate about specific conservative policy ideas and to use the election years to introduce them to candidates that support such policies. In following this strategy, by the time the election year arrives, the issues are clearly defined.

The NFRA is an invaluable tool for Republicans in merging various advocacy groups into a constituency for the purpose of moving policy forward. I encourage readers to seek out their local chapter.