Republicans seem to be borrowing from the tea party playbook.
By Ambreen Ali
If imitation is a form of flattery, then the GOP just paid tea partyer Ryan Hecker the ultimate compliment.
As Hecker and the Tea Party Patriots unveiled the final version of their Contract From America , House Republicans announced a very similar initiative called the Commitment to America.
Like the tea party’s 10-point manifesto , the Republicans’ mission statement will be generated by collecting online surveys from conservative Americans.
Hecker collected more than 500,000 surveys over the past six months and recently unveiled his web-savvy strategy for incorporating the grassroots.
“I’m honored that they’re looking at the process we used,” Hecker said Thursday as he set up for a Tax Day rally on the National Mall.
“At the end of the day, if the Republicans come up with their own document and it’s a strong document, that’s good,” he added. “But I hope that our agenda is still a central part of what they’re doing.”
Hecker said the growing popularity of the tea parties is a big reason why the Republican Party is opening up their document to grassroots input.
“I think they recognize that they’ve lost some legitimacy,” he said.
The Republican initiative appears to be coming from the offices of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has tried to court the tea parties without undermining their independence. He asked Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to lead the effort.
“In ’94 there wasn’t the Internet, there wasn’t phone apps,” McCarthy told Roll Call . “We are going to make it easy so anybody from across this country from all different walks [can contribute].”
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