A group of mainstream Republicans is creating a new political action committee to support “the involvement and election of pragmatic, problem-solving conservatives.”
Called the Reagan Roundtable, the organization is patterned after the old Elephant Club, an arm of the Republican Party that has lost support among many mainstream Republicans. Contributions to the Elephant Club dropped dramatically after many Republican donors were concerned their dues were helping to pay for the party’s fight against the Count My Vote effort.
The Reagan Roundtable will be independent of the Republican Party, and thus provides a channel to contribute to conservative candidates without concerns about how the money might be used. Membership dues will be donated directly to candidates supported by the group.
However, organizers were quick to point out that they still want to support the party and want it to be successful. Gov. Gary Herbert, the honorary chair of the Reagan Roundtable, has been active in raising money for the party, and has worked to bring the various party factions together.
Current GOP Chair Rob Anderson has worked to bring mainstream Republicans back to the party and has had differences with his Central Committee, which has been controlled by the party’s far right.
Besides Herbert, current officers of the Reagan Roundtable include Derek Miller, Lew Cramer, Amy Anderson and Scott Keller, according to an organizing document. An annual membership costs $2,500, but the organization is seeking “Founding Forty” members at the price of $4,000. An initial membership gathering will be held later in the fall.
Members will gather about every two months at a luncheon with state and national political leaders, who will discuss current political trends and issues. Meet-the-candidate forums will also be hosted during election cycles. Members will also help identify candidates whom the PAC will support.
The Roundtable is named after former Pres. Ronald Reagan in recognition of “his principles of individual liberty, free enterprise, and American exceptionalism,” the document says. Candidates with “the same character” will be supported. Contributions will go to electing “problem-solving conservatives who, like Pres. Ronald Reagan, want to keep the flame of freedom burning for our nation as the shining city on a hill.”