ConservativeHQ.com Chairman Richard A. Viguerie announced that he is sponsoring "The Liberty Prize," a $10,000 contest for grassroots conservatives to submit a plan or ideas to take over the Republican Party, win the November 2016 elections, and govern America by 2017.
Viguerie (pictured) said the most important political battle in America is not between Republicans and Democrats or between conservatives and liberals.
"It is the battle for control of the Republican Party between establishment big government Republicans and limited government, constitutional conservatives. It has become clear that establishment Republican and Democratic politicians have failed America because they have both accepted big government as the solution to every problem," he said.
"The urgency of this effort cannot be overstated," noted Viguerie:
With big government establishment Republicans, led by Karl Rove, launching a multi-million dollar PAC to control Republican Primary elections, and the changes to the Republican Party rules rammed through the 2012 Republican Convention by Mitt Romney's inside-the-Beltway allies, conservatives must have a well-organized and well-thought-out plan to take control of the GOP from the grassroots up.
Otherwise, the Republican Party will continue its slow creep away from the conservative principles that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Contract With America Congress in 1994, and the Tea Party wave Congress in 2010.
In asking for ideas on how to "help save our country," Viguerie said he named the $10,000 prize "The Liberty Prize" because he wants to encourage the grassroots conservatives of the GOP to liberate the Party from the control of the Beltway insiders who are pushing the Party away from the conservative principles that win elections for Republicans.
The entire $10,000 could go to one person who writes a great plan or it could be divided among persons who submit specific ideas to advance the project.
The winning plan will be included in a book Viguerie is writing, Takeover, to be published this spring.
Plans should be submitted through the special website http://thelibertyprize.com by Friday, March 8, 2013.
In announcing "The Liberty Prize," Viguerie said conservatives at the grassroots level have the ideas and principles, as well as the numbers, political skills, and talent to govern America, "but unlike the liberals who control the Democratic Party, we conservatives don't control the Republican Party."
Viguerie said that in the 51 years he has been in politics at the national level, he has "never been more enthusiastic about our prospects for success:"
Out of the ashes of the Republican establishment's 2012 defeat, we conservatives can, without compromising our principles, rebuild the Republican Party into a strong and principled voice for the majority of Americans who believe in, and will vote for, candidates who stand for freedom of the individual, economic opportunity, and traditional values.
As of Thursday, February 21, over 300 entries had been received so far in the contest.
An article in ConservativeHQ.com attributed the response to frustration with the GOP. "Grassroots conservative Republican voters are tired of losing elections because their leaders regularly fail to run on the principles and values that they, and the majority of Americans, believe in."
WND noted Viguerie's pioneering role in the conservative movement:
The work of Viguerie, the American Target Advertising executive who pioneered political/ideological direct mail in the 1960s and 1970s, was so significant that John F. Kennedy Jr.'s magazine, George, included it on its list of the defining political moments of the 20th century.
The Washington Post has called him the "conservatives' Voice of America," and he helped form numerous think tanks, publications, and political groups.
Writing in Human Events, Neil McCabe reported on the longtime adversarial role of Viguerie and Rove, both of whom have ironically been very active at various times in Texas and Virginia politics.
"Karl and I have been on opposite sides of this political battle since 1971. Rove and I were fighting then because people like me thought the party was too liberal. It was true in 1971 and it's true now," Viguerie said.
In addition to the $10,000 Liberty Prize, all persons who submit serious plans or ideas will receive an autographed copy of Viguerie's book, Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.
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