Thursday, March 17, 2016


By Nancy Thorner – 

Heritage’s 11th stop in its nationwide tour to “Reclaim America” took place in Chicago on Tuesday, March 8, at the Inter-Continental Chicago, 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, and attracted Heritage supporters and friends. Featured was a 4:30 p.m. panel discussion, followed by the 6:00 p.m. main event after a short break. These four strategies were cited as the way to “Reclaim America through restoring America’s Timeless Foundation.”  

The Heritage Foundation and its sister organization, Heritage Action for America, are leading a six year, $750 million campaign to Reclaim America from the destructive dominance of the Left. Located in Washington, D.C., The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America are “in” Washington, but not “of” Washington. Whereas, the Heritage Foundation does the policy work, Heritage Action goes to Congress and further, keeps a scorecard on how each legislator votes on every bill. 

Part 1: Panel Discussion

Participating in the panel discussion were Andrew McIndoe and Paul Winfree of The Heritage Foundation and Jason Yaworske from Heritage Action. As moderator, Andrew McIndoe set the stage for the panel discussion in describing the tax code as an out-of-control 70,000 page monster, this in contrast to Heritage’s pro-growth tax policies. 

Paul Winfree was introduced by McIndoe as an economist and leading voice in Washington for free markets and fiscal responsibility.  Paul is also director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, as well as the think tank’s inaugural Richard F. Aster fellow. 

Winfree noted how tax reform is shaping up to be a big issue this fall.  Every Republican presidential candidate is talking about tax reform proposals in one form or another, unlike Democrats who are  recycling policies that received top priority in President Obama’s budgets during the past eight years. In that a page of new regulations is added every day to the tax code, there is an urgency for Republican candidates to be updated with their message presentations.

Two major tax code problems were highlighted by Mr. Winfree:   1)  Fairness, relating to the horizontal inequity issue, so what one invests in and how an individual spends his own money is not the same across  board, and 2) Complexity, which gives rise to $5 – $6 billion in lost investments every year.   Americans spend 6 billion hours complying with the tax code. This leads to tax enforcement, of which tax avoidance is paramount.

Mr. Winfree further suggested that tax reform will have to wait until another administration, hopefully a Republican one.  Furthermore, spending must be taken into consideration when talking about tax reform, as the power to tax is linked to the power to spend.  Spending, as mandated by our Constitution, is threefold:  paying our debt, funding the military, and providing for the general welfare. 

Following Paul Winfree’s comments, moderator Andrew McIndoe introduced Jason Yaworske, a legislative strategist and a registered lobbying for Heritage Action. 

Mr. Yaworske’s initial comments outlined last year’s tax reform measures on the Hill.  A Task Force for Tax Reform was set up by Paul Ryan’s Ways and Means Committee.  In the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee looked into International Tax Reform.   While some progress was made, tax proposals are too often put on hold when both sides conclude that the tax reform favored would better serve as a campaign issue.  Jason predicted that tax reform during this election year would not happen.  Although legislators do recognize a need for tax reform, especially corporate, reducing corporate tax rates hit a brick wall when opposed by Democrats.

Thinking outside of the box, Mr. Yaworske suggested that Congress must be encouraged to make changes in Congressional Budget Action personnel. Presently the Congressional Budget Office hires friends who see eye-to-eye.  New blood is needed in the agency. 

A sobering thought:  $230 billion is spent on annual interest payments. This amount will balloon to $830 billion in the next 10 years if the nation’s debt is not reduced.  Because of the way Washington operates, it means nothing to speak of the debt as half as much as it was a year ago.  Why?  Because things need not be given up.  The attitude is:  If you want something, then I want this in return.  There is only one solution:  Congress must cut spending!

Check Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance:  A federal budget for 2017”, published March 6, 2016.  It is the latest from The Heritage Foundation in its effort to present budget-cutting ideas.

Jim DeMint-thumb-200x299-10082

Part 2:  Main Event – 6:00 p.m:  Jim DeMInt, CEO, The Heritage Foundation, and Michael Needham, CEO, Heritage Action

With confidence, vigor, and enthusiasm Jim DeMint mounted the stage to the podium.  The crowd of well-wishers at the InterContinuental Chicago greeted DeMint with a round of applause that reflected their affirmation, admiration, and support of Jim DeMint as CEO of The Heritage Foundation. 

DeMint recounted his own remarkable entry into politics at age 47. Prior to his plunge into politics, DeMint had led a busy life.  A father of four, DeMint was involved in his community and with his business of 15 years. Having never thought about party labels, DeMint was a member of neither party.  At some point DeMint began reading policy papers published by The Heritage Foundation. Noting how many of the policies being put into practice were encouraging the wrong behavior, and in agreeing with Heritage on issues such as welfare and the tax code, DeMint came to the conclusion (a Don Quixote moment) that he too must be a Republican in keeping with those defined in Heritage’s policy positions.  

As a marketing guy, DeMint knew he had to run on an issue people cared about. Determining that Republicans wanted change, DeMint’s slogan became: “Bring Freedom Home.” Jim DeMint went to Washington, D.C. in 1999 to save the country, elected by South Carolina’s 4th Congressional district.   

Speaking from his knowledge and own experience, Jim DeMint revealed what happens when elected officials go to Washington. Seated in a room with other elected Congressional representatives, DeMint was asked to vote in favor of a bill because it would get worse when sent over to the Senate.  DeMint stood up and expressed displeasure, only to be told, “Don’t worry you’ll get used to it.”  The process as explained by DeMint: “You go to Washington to drain the swamp, but like a hot tub, it feels so good to join in.

Cited by DeMint was the twin threat of Progressiveness and the Establishment. Elaborating further, progressiveness involves centralized power where experts make decisions for folk who aren’t qualified to make decisions for themselves. Detroit, Baltimore and possibly Chicago were given as examples where governments under central management and control have failed. The Establishment includes those in our won party, who vilify others if they don’t fall in step with the establishment movers and shakers.

As DeMint cautioned, this nation has a $19 trillion debt.  She didn’t accumulate so much debt without partisanship to arrive at such an astronomical figure.  Government must be created with opportunities for all, but with favoritism toward none, to create a level playing field.  As to the job of The Heritage Foundation, it is not a political organization.  Rather, its responsibility is to be a light — such as the North Star — to guide the thinking of the public through research presented through written and on-line publications.  As DeMint stated, “We can’t win the battle from the inside.  The battle must be won by winning the hearts and minds of the people.

Following DeMint comments, Mark Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, addressed the Heritage assemblage. Needham’s Heritage Action organization involves citizens at the grassroots level interacting with members of Congress.  A telephone call takes place every Monday night to alert those in Heritage Action’s Sentinel Program to what will be happening in the Congress and the Senate during the week to follow. Sentinels then follow up accordingly by contacting their elected legislators. Needham believes that money must be taken away from the government and given back to individuals, and that Washington must be changed from the inside out.

Needham presented this brief history of Heritage Action:  From 1980 – 1990 Heritage made a big difference with its ideas and research papers.  But that was not enough.  As a 501(c)3 organization, The Heritage Foundation could not engage in direct lobbying, so it created Heritage Action to serve as its lobbying and advocacy arm in 2010. 

Heritage Action first went to battle with Mark Needham as CEO, over what became Obamacare, following the March, 2010, passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Republicans were warned not to campaign on healthcare.  However, In July, 2010, Heritage Action launched its first advocacy campaign  targeting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By August 2010 the organization had helped to secure 170 Republican co-sponsors for a petition by Rep. Steve King to force a vote on repealing the healthcare reform.

In August of 2013, Heritage Action went into action again with its campaign to link the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” with laws to keep the federal government open or to increase the federal debt limit.  Despite the shut-down which resulted, contradicting Republican fears, the Party gained seat in 2014.

Needham reflected whether Republicans were really serious about repealing Obamacare in 2013 when they offered up for negotiation, as a requisite for consideration, Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax which had bi-partisan support. Weren’t there far more important Obamacare issues that needed to be entertained?

There was a invitation made for those in attendance to join the Heritage Action Sentinel Program.  Noted was that citizens who are engaged and informed frighten politicians, when elected officials become aware their votes are being scrutinized by those who elect them.

A reception followed a Question and Answer session.

The first of nine town hall public meetings to be held this month by Heritage Action (, a conservative non-profit social welfare organization affiliated with The Heritage Foundation, and focusing on efforts to defund ObamaCare in the upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR), will begin tomorrow (Monday, Aug. 19) in Fayetteville, AR.
Conducting  all nine meetings are Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham; Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint; and Rafael Cruz, the Father of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  After Fayetteville on August 20 the distinguished trio will travel to Dallas, TX, then to Tampa, Florida, on August 21.  On August 22 the trio will be in Nashville, TN, followed by Bimingham, Alabama, on August 23.
Not unexpected is that “Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care” is planning to travel across the country to counteract Heritage Action’s nine-city August tour.  As supporters of the President’s ObamaCare, the ObamaCare allies will be holding their own events and speeches hours before Heritage arrive.  The group also plans to be visible at the Heritage events.
The defunding ObamaCare push is meeting resistance in both the House and the Senate by Republican leaders John Boehner and Mike McConnell, respectively, and members of the Republican establishment punditry.

A recently released poll commissioned by Heritage Action and conducted by pollster Jon Lerner of Basswood Research on August 7th and 8th of ten diverse districts should give wayward Republican representatives and senators reason to pause and rethink their opposition to signing the Meadows letter to defund ObamaCare.

1. Only 20% of the voters in these diverse districts support going forward with ObamaCare unchanged.  Notice that Representative Aaron Schock represents one of these diverse districts here in Illinois.

Steve Southerland, R (FL-2) – Aaron Schock, R (IL-18) – Leonard Lance, R (NJ-7) – Renee Ellmers, R (NC-2) – Patrick Tiberi, R (OH-12) – Greg Walden, R (OR-2) – John Barrow, D (GA-12) – Mike McIntyre, D (NC-7) – Jim Matheson, D (UT-4) – Nick Rahall, D (WV-3)

2.  A large majority, 77% favor either a slow down in implementation or an outright repeal.

3.  There is no present evidence that a move to defund ObamaCare and the potential of a partial government shutdown would harm Republican prospects of holding the House majority.

4.  Forcing a partial government shutdown over defunding ObamaCare will not be blamed solely on Republicans. Thirty-three percent would blame “Republicans in Congress” or “The TEA Party,” 41% would blame “Democrats in Congress” or “President Obama,” and 17% would blame “all of them.” Independents would spread the blame among groups on the Right, 36%, groups on the Left 30% and 26% would blame both.

5.  House Republicans should be much more concerned with the fallout of failing to defund ObamaCare than with the imaginary fallout of doing so   The poll found that a majority would be less likely to support the reelection efforts of House members who voted to continue ObamaCare funding while 48 percent said they’d be more likely to support a member who did “everything” they could to slow down implementation of the law.

It is telling that more than half a dozen possible GOP White House candidates are supporting the defunding effort, five are calling for a more nuanced approach to defunding or repealing the healthcare law, two are dodging questions, and three others are not signaling one way or another.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)
Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
Rep. Steve King (Iowa)
Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.
Sen. John Thune (S.D.)


Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Gov. Susana Martinez (N.M.)
Rep. Pete King (N.Y.)
Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.)
Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.)


Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)


Former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.)
Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.)
Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.

With Congress on summer recess, citizen action must accompany the Heritage Action town hall meetings focusing on defunding ObamaCare.

With a call to all conservative to stay on the job and to keep up the fight against what is an unconstitutional law, even though attending a town hall meeting might not be possible, we can make telephone calls and send emails and faxes letting the Republican leadership and House members know that they must stand up and fight for what is in our best interests — to defund the monster of ObamaCare.

How long will we the people be mandated to eat what Congress won’t eat!

Part 2:  Talking points to deal with recalcitrant congressmen.


Heritage Foundation’s ongoing Presidents’ Tour stopped at the Chicago Hilton Tuesday night, when the 40-year old organization’s outgoing president Edwin J. Feulner introduced their President-elect Senator Jim DeMint to over 500 Chicago area supporters.

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation has focused on generating ideas that can advance conservative policies and build national support for those ideas so our leaders will translate them into public policy. Since 1977 The Heritage Foundation has been capably and effectively led by Mr. Feulner, its third president. Three years ago Edwin Feulner told his board that he would be stepping down from his post in April of 2013, whereupon a search for his replacement was conducted. That replacement was conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMInt who resigned his Senate seat in South Carolina to take over the helm of The Heritage Foundation from Feulner. It was under Edwin Feulner’s direction that policy-making was transformed in Washington, D.C., leading the way for The Heritage Foundation to become the most influential conservative think tank in the nation.

Heritage’s Board of Trustees is confident Jim Demint is the right person to succeed Feulner, as Demint has served as the conservative movement’s standard bearer in the Senate. As an experienced lawmakers DeMint fully understands how Washington works while he strongly opposes much of what Washington does. He is also an innovator who has helped elect many of today’s younger conservative lawmakers, as well as gifted communicator and an accomplished business entrepreneur. Most importantly, Jim DeMint is a man of integrity whose commitment to America’s founding principles is unshakable.

Ten Heritage Presidents’ tours are scheduled throughout this nation to ensure that Jim DeMint’s transition to president will be a smooth one when Edwin Feulner officially retires in a few months. At each of the ten tour location — Chicago was number two on the Heritage schedule — conservative attendees will receive the assurance that Jim DeMint will continue the mission of The Heritage Foundation.

Five hundred members and friends of The Heritage Foundation filled the Continental Ballroom at Chicago’s Presidents’ tour event on a bitterly cold night, in spite of the political makeup of those who govern and direct policy in what is a left leaning state. And they weren’t disappointed. There was an element of anticipation as members and friends of The Heritage Foundation checked in and then proceeded to take their seats inside the Continental Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago waiting for the seven o’clock hour.

It was Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Charles “Cully” Simson, who welcomed all to the Chicago event, having arrived in Chicago from New York City earlier in the day where a similar morning presentation was conducted (Event #1) at the Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal. The on-going series of ten event tours will conclude in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 15.

Simson had choice words to say about the reelection of President Obama to his 2nd term of office. Predicted was that Obama’s 2nd term will usher in living under a progressive model of government. But alas, according to Simson, panic is already beginning to set in as the realization dawns in the present administration that it isn’t possible for government to tax enough or borrow enough to save the progressive model. In the meantime the American people are being asked to give up the Constitution and its “evil provisions”, as it is the Constitution that remains an obstacle to our government’s progressive agenda.

Expressed by “Cully” Simson, a similar belief was alluded to in later remarks by Edwin Feulner and Jim DeMint: Ideas to change the direction of this nation will not be forthcoming from either the Congress or universities. It is conservative think tanks like The Heritage Foundation that will save America from sinking into the intractable depth of the progressive model.

It was John Von Kannon, a key player in The Heritage Foundation’s phenomenal growth in size, expertise and influence for more than 30 years, who ushered Edwin Feulner onto the stage. Led by Feulner for thirty-six years, Heritage has shaped politics with conservative solutions for such critical issues as entitlements, national security, missile defense, health care, welfare reform, immigration, free trade, energy, and the role of the family and religion in society. Three hundred Congressional briefing were presented by Heritage last year to lead the way to an open society where liberty and freedom can remain paramount.

Edwin Feulner presented a snapshot of the progress and accomplishments made during his tenure at The Heritage Foundation from 1977 up until his pending retirement in April. It was Heritage’s first “Mandate for Leadership” published in 1980, which served as a how-to manual for the Reagan Administration and set the path for the economic growth that has come to define the Reagan years.

In March a book, “Leading The Way,” by Lee Edwards will be available for purchase. Copies can be pre-ordered at “Leading the Way” tells the story of Ed Feulner’s thirty six years at president of The Heritage Foundation and the role he played in transforming the organization into the most influential conservative think tank in the nation.

It was nineteen years ago when The Heritage Foundation produced its first “Index of Economic Freedom” which was released by the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Distressing to Feulner is that this nation has gone from #4 to #10 in the world over the past five years, as indicated by the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom. Hong Kong and Singapore are numbers 1 and 2, respectively.

More recently in 2010 “Action for America,” a sister organization to The Heritage Foundation, opened its doors in Washington, D.C. Since then Action for America, CEO Mike Needham, has fought tirelessly to retake our county and build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. Information to join the Heritage Action army to effectively pressure Washington’s lawmakers to do the right thing can be found at As Edwin Feulner stated: “To make legislators first see the light, they must first feel the heat.”

Ed Feulner also spoke proudly about the Heritage internship program where 200 young people are brought each year to Washington, D.C. to work on real issues.

Much awaited were the remarks which followed from president-elect, the Honorable Jim DeMint. With conviction DeMint dispelled the doom and gloom that has so enveloped many conservatives since the November, 2012, elections. He spook of the elections of Senator Marco Rubio in Florida, Senator Pat Toomey in Pa., Representative Ron Paul in Texas, Senator Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Deb Fisher from Nebraska, all conservatives, as being a positive sign. Additionally Republicans are also winning at the state level with governorships

DeMint spoke of the big decision it was for him to leave the Senate to head The Heritage Foundation, but he did so after rationalizing that nothing good was to come out of Washington and that he could better serve the people by heading The Heritage Foundation. Reading information about The Heritage Foundation first prompted DeMint to first run for public office, having served six years in the House before being elected to the Senate. In both his House and Senate races he ran on the same conservative issues as espoused by The Heritage Foundation. It frustrates DeMint that some of his colleagues have dropped the ball on issues that were important to them when initially elected to office.

DeMint believes that conservatives should take their message directly to the American people and that they would do well, because conservative ideas work. States also blossom when they adopt conservative policies.

Continuing, DeMint informed how in the past conservatives trusted the Republican Party to take their ideas and embrace them, but that process has not worked. DeMint recommended that we (conservatives) must stop standing on the outside hoping for good results, but that we must instead take our message directly to the American people. Ideas that work in one states are often transferred to another state. Right to work started in Indiana, spread to Wisconsin, and recently took hold in Michigan. Now there are twenty right to work states.

In going around the country as a senator fielding candidates to run for office, the most common complaint heard by DeMint from those he met along the way was that Republicans weren’t willing to fight.

Emphasized by DeMint was that it is important to work within our own states to effect change at all levels of government and not wait for politicians to come up with ideas and enlightenment, as government seldom comes up with workable or sensible solutions to problems.

A question and answer period followed.

By Nancy Thorner & Elvira Hastings –

It has already been over a month since the General Election on Tuesday, November 6, yet conservatives still find themselves depressed, sad, frustrated, and yes——leaderless!

This state of mind mostly stems from the absence of leadership displayed by the Republican Party and Republican Congressmen. A question Nancy Thorner and Elvira Hasty have considered many times since the election, “What is wrong with these people?”, has led them to further question, “What in the world are they drinking or inhaling?”

Rep. Boehner and the House leadership are still convinced that serious negotiations are possible from our class warfare-oriented president, even trying to imitate the Democrats’ mantra against the wealthy.

Elvira Hasty, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Mundelein College who lived in Glenview before moving to Florida, describes her state Republican Party, RPOF, as being no better than Republican leadership at the federal level. Elvira describes her Florida’s Chair as weak and having zero leadership skills. Florida actually had a Red State (Republican Governor, Rep. Executive officers, majority Rep. in both State and Federal legislature), and yet Florida was allowed to become “Blue” at Election time. Didn’t anyone in the Republican Party and/or the Romney campaign worry about election fraud? Instead, care about positions and titles usurped care about our nation.

Concerning Illinois, Nancy Thorner is convinced that there was never any possibility of Illinois going red. Illinois is as predictably blue as when day turns into night, and even more so, following the November election, when both houses of the Illinois General Assembly gained veto-proof Democratic majorities through redistricting which eliminated Republican seats won in 2010. Conservative candidates need not apply in Illinois and receive deplorable treatment when they do attempt to run for office, being denied both party and financial support. Will the Illinois Republican Party ever learn that given two parties where there is often little difference between the candidates slated, why should Illinoisans vote for Republican Democrat-lite candidates known as RINOS.

The Tea Party movement that worked out so well in 2010 went MIA in the 2012 election. It could be that many conservatives lacked the enthusiasm for Mitt Romney?

Conservatives need to regroup and reload in anticipation of 2014. We can only do this if we unite as ONE. There are too many Tea Party groups with their own agendas and big ego leaders, too much infighting and too much whining. Conservatives, Tea Party groups, Libertarians, and even Independents need to come together under the umbrella of our Constitution, the principles of the Founding Fathers, and our Judeo/Christian values. Our country and its principles are most important. If we fail to come together, we will all lose in the end.

A new national leader is needed. Perhaps Senator Jim DeMint can now serve as that leader? As newly appointed President of the prestigious conservative organization, The Heritage Foundation, DeMint can now concentrate on message communication. It is our hope that under Jim DeMint’s leadership The Heritage Foundation can become more of an “on hands organization.” Although The Heritage Foundation has always stood up for conservative principles, it has not been a force in educating the public as a whole, only the enlightened. Hopefully DeMint can help with the conservative message using the new media. Elvira believes Florida Tea Party leaders should approach Col. Allen West for help with unity and communication of message.

A CPAC meeting will be held in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 2013. It would be a good idea to attend if at possible and demand to be heard as conservatives who are fed up with our current administration. Conservations need to become more eloquent, outspoken, and bold in their fight for our country. We need to start telling the truth about Obama and his minions.

Why are Republican politicians and the media, including Fox News, still trying to be politically correct when it comes to Obama? Let us say it loud and clear: OBAMA IS A MARXIST AT HEART AND AN ALINSKY DISCIPLE. He and his Democratic minions are very clear on their intentions: Redistribution of wealth; Government Control of Healthcare; Government Control of Finance/Banking; Annulment of the Second Amendment; Restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion; Weakening of our Defense; Supporting our enemies abroad; and punishing our friends. And it goes on and on———–more regulations and more control of our daily lives in order to enslave us and bring power to themselves. Without question, our current administration is pushing for a Marxist-like tyranny where all freedoms and rights will be crushed.

It must also be mentioned how the current administration uses weak people, minorities, and ignorant citizens to serve their purposes. We now have American women selling out to government control in exchange for the right to abortion and some free contraceptive pills. – African Americans exchanging their human dignity for the “honor” of having a Black man as President. – Homosexuals allowing out of control spending in exchange for the promise of a “fake marriage.”

Democrats have demonstrated that they are the most racist and abusive of Americans. It is way past time that, We, as Conservatives, say loud and clear for once and to all: DEMOCRATS ARE RACIST. Democrats have been running our largest cities, like Detroit and Chicago for many years and yet, those cities have the highest crime rates and the worst Black communities.

What exactly did the “Community Organizer” do for Chicago? We need Black conservatives to speak to those African Americans and give them the facts. Why can’t the GOP talk about our wonderful Republican Governors and their successes? African Americans and Hispanic communities need to know about the differences between Democratic and Republican-governed cities and states.

The truth, the facts, and the principles are on our side. Let us not forget that God is on the side of righteousness, and that our Country was founded on Judeo/Christian values. We need to stop fearing and getting intimidated by thugs and begin to act like Christian soldiers.

God is waiting for us to say YES. Put on “all the armor of God” and take it to the enemy with God’s blessing. We must remain brave, steadfast and without fear against those who wish to rip out the hearts and the soul of this nation and its people.