REP’S TWENTY-FIVE YEAR HISTORY, PART 3
In its third phase, the REP movement sought to build on its greatest victory, only to confront its greatest challenges.
1996-2006: A DECADE OF GROWTH AND POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT (continued)
2006: Hitting its stride, reaching ever higher
In 2006, REP continued reaching out to high-level political figures at the state level.
Buddy Burke, a leader of the California Chapter, scored a major win: an hour-long private meeting for himself, Martha Marks, and two other REP members — State Sen. Tom Harman and Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian — with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his office at the state capitol in Sacramento.
It’s worth noting that at that time, Schwarzenegger was one of the brightest-green lights in the Republican world. Both national REP and the state chapter were proud to build a strong working relationship with him.
As a result of that meeting, the famous “governator” later accepted an invitation to a chapter barbeque hosted by Senator Tom Harman and his wife. Only a few REP members were allowed to attend, due to a limit from the security staff. One of them was Schwarzenegger’s own high-level appointee, California Director of Conservation Bridgett Luther.
Several people made remarks, including Senator Harman, Governor Schwarzenegger, and Martha, who said this: Thank you, Gov. Schwarzenegger. (See one more photo from this event toward the bottom of the “GREENING UP” THE GOP page of this website.)
Two other important things happened in 2006.
1. REP hired Rob Sisson, a former banker and mayor who had been a major force in building the Michigan Chapter, to serve as membership and development director. (Rob would go on to replace Martha as president after she retired at the end of 2008.)
2. REP began publishing an annual scorecard to rate the environmental and conservation votes of GOP Members of Congress. The REP Scorecard was unique in that it only rated Republicans, which allowed for an apples-to-apples comparison. It also only evaluated actual environmental and conservation votes, not votes that were only indirectly related to those issues.
- “Rep. Thielen recognized by national organization” (press release from the Hawaii GOP House Caucus, 2012)
- “Smith scores big on protecting environment” (press release from the office of New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, who is still in office as of 2020.)
Predictably, others who received low marks hated it and complained that REP had somehow fallen under the influence of liberal evildoers. (See the quotation below from Rob Sisson’s 2014 interview with NPR.)
More important, over the three years that the REP Scorecard was published, it brought the Republican Party a truly “fair and balanced” approach to environmental accountability for the first time ever… because they were being compared to one another, not to Democrats.
CLICK HERE if you’d like to inspect the actual 2006 REP Scorecard, which is still available in its entirety on the internet. Those who never saw one of our Scorecards before can judge if they were professionally and accurately researched and produced.
Policy Director Jim DiPeso‘s great work continued with op-eds…
- Fuel economy and the GOP (Albuquerque Tribune)
- Hawaii ought to be a renewable energy paradise (Hawaii Reporter)
- National Public Lands Day (Hawaii Reporter)
- GOP could boost its prospects by joining climate-change fight (Seattle Times)
- Protecting wilderness isn’t just for liberals (Everett [WA] Herald)
State leaders who were REP members increasingly spoke up as such, too, during this time. Here’s one outstanding example:
State Representative Toby Nixon proudly identified himself as a member of REP’s Washington Chapter Executive Committee when he gave this address to the Kirkland (WA) Chamber of Commerce in September 2006.
- The Conservative Branch of the Wilderness Family Tree (Spokane, WA)
- The Conservative Case for Conservation (Grand Junction, CO)
- After the Election: Prospects for Climate Legislation (Seattle, WA)
- National Parks: A Bipartisan Heritage (Seattle, WA)
- Getting Off the Oil Dependence Treadmill (Albuquerque, NM)
- Three Ideas for Our National Parks (Seattle, WA)
- Reclaiming Environmental Leadership (Buellton, CA)
- Three Principles for the Washington State Climate Action Team (Seattle, WA)
- The Farm Bill: When Water, Energy, Trade and Budget Issues Collide (Spokane, WA)
- Climate, Carbon Emissions and Energy Choices: Why States Should Act (Gig Harbor, WA)
- McCain’s Conservative Case for a Climate Policy (Missoula, MT)
- The Environment and Our Health (Kutztown, PA)
Demand grew for Government Affairs Director Dave Jenkins’ own fine speeches:
- New Energy Future (Washington, DC)
- Republicans and Global Warming: Getting Beyond the Climate of Denial (Wash., DC)
- Beyond Party and Faction (Silver Spring, MD)
- Decision 2008: Finding a True Conservative on Climate Change (College Park, MD)
- More Blue Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Green (Roanoke, VA)
- The Environmental Case for John McCain (Roanoke, VA)
REP’s new Membership and Development Director Rob Sisson joined the speaking circuit, too: Climate Crisis Action Day (Washington, DC)
And President Martha Marks kept doing what she had been doing all along… seeking out new allies and making new friends for REP:
- Bully for Courage (Doylestown, PA)
- A Time for Statesmen (Nashville, TN)
- Voyage of Rediscovery: The Republican Party’s Conservation Tradition (Cody, WY)
- John McCain’s Energy Plan and the Imperative for Stewardship (Los Altos, CA)
By the end of 2006, REP had grown into a political force. It had built up a base of credible, enthusiastic, and generous “Green GOP” members and proved itself capable of challenging the powerful, well-funded, anti-environmental, and anti-conservation special interests within the Republican Party.
And so — as its first decade-plus drew to a close — REP’s national and state leaders and the REP staff had every reason to look forward to another exceptional decade of progress.
2007-2020: A PERIOD OF EVOLVING MEANS AND METHODS
2007-2008: Pushing on, slamming into the Great Recession
Throughout 2007, nobody knew what we were facing, just that resources were suddenly harder to come by. Still, even as REP struggled into 2008, along with the rest of America, its board and staff kept promoting good legislation, opposing bad bills, and recognizing the best Republican elected officials at all levels: national, state, and local.
As shown in the photo at left, Congressman Jim Saxton clearly welcomed the “Greenest Republican in Congress” award that he received that spring for the previous year. Four REP members — Dr. Louis Harris, Doug Cowan, Michael Cahill, and Rick Kline — showed up to congratulate their representative and celebrate his achievement.
And Governor Jeb Bush also happily accepted an award from Florida Chapter President Sean Parks for his efforts to restore the Everglades. Sean bestowed another chapter award on Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton, who was himself a REP member. (And if anybody doubts the integrity of these awards, check out this local article about Jon Thaxton.)
REP also continued sounding its warning about the related problems of energy security and climate change… which in those days was still widely known as “global warming.” And throughout the increasingly difficult period of 2007-2008, REP members kept on speaking up, taking strong public positions on those key issues and others… while showing how right REP was to call itself a “grassroots organization.”
- Best policy is made at equator, not poles, by Bryan H. Davis, REP’s Minnesota Coordinator, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 2008
- Protecting NH’s forests with a national plan to cut emissions, by Jameson French, a long-long time REP member in New Hampshire, Manchester Union Leader, May 2008
- State needs to stay strong on global-warming act, by Buddy Burke, President of REP’s California Chapter, co-authored with Ray Lane, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Sacramento Bee, May 2008
- We can slow global warming and still grow the economy, by former New Hampshire State Rep. and REP Board Member Ted Leach, Manchester Union Leader, May 2008
- Risk and Opportunity: A global warming bill could give Pennsylvania a chance to be a technology leader, by Sandy Moser, President of REP’s Pennsylvania Chapter, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2008
- Legislators try to micromanage Clean Cars Program to undermine it, by Tina Beattie, REP’s Arizona Coordinator,Tucson Daily Star, May 2008
- Why is George Will against fuel efficiency? by Sandy Moser, President of REP’s Pennsylvania Chapter, West Chester Daily News January 2008
- Why I fight: The coming gas explosion from the West, by REP Director and New Mexico Chapter leader Tweeti Blancett, The Green Elephant, winter 20007
- Bold action must be taken on energy bill, by Don Thompson, a leader of REP’s Colorado Chapter, Pueblo Chieftain, December 2007
- A new spin on an old standby by Richard Stowe, a REP member in Connecticut, Hartford Courant, August 2007. Also appeared for 90 days on Government Innovations Network, a web site of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Do you care more than Gore? by Pastor Bill Vanderbush, a REP member in Maui, Hawaii, The Green Elephant, spring 2007
- Douglas should renew party’s tradition, by Denis Rydjeski, REP’s coordinator in Vermont, Burlington Free Press on May 2007.
- You’re kidding: Republicans for Environmental Protection? by Jay Newman, a REP member in Michigan, Sturgis Journal, February 2007
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: 2007-2008
In October of 2007, at its Republican Environmental Leadership Conference (photo above) in San Antonio, REP’s board again voted to endorse Senator John McCain for president, just as it had in 2000 before the GOP primaries.
The main reason for that endorsement was that McCain was the only Republican candidate for president who had ever even talked about the obviously growing climate crisis, much less shown a willingness to fight it. (Sadly, as of this writing in 2020, that statement is still true.) And the REP board also knew that — throughout their relationship, all the way back to January 2000 — McCain had turned to REP several times for trusted advice on environmental issues. So backing his candidacy was the right thing to do.
Almost immediately after receiving the news of that endorsement, the campaign asked Martha to join the McCains in Concord, New Hampshire for a press conference, which she did. (NOTE: B&W photos on this site were scanned from The Green Elephant.)
REP Director Ted Leach (a former state representative) and his wife, Beverly, graciously hosted Martha in their home and escorted her to various events, including the press conference where she gave this statement endorsing McCain for the second time.
That evening, McCain introduced Ted and Martha to the crowd at a town hall meeting, expressed his thanks for REP’s second-time-around endorsement, and encouraged members of the audience to join REP. Several of them did on the spot.
That fall, Jim DiPeso wrote Why we endorsed Senator John McCain for The Green Elephant.
In the spring of 2008, during the primary season, the McCain campaign invited Martha to join John and Cindy McCain for a small-group airboat tour of Everglades National Park. The campaign had arranged the visit to highlight their candidate’s long-time support for protecting the great marsh. Martha accepted and enjoyed her 4th round of campaign activities with the McCains.
That same spring, as if to further justify REP’s endorsement, McCain gave these two fine speeches:
- John McCain’s Speech at Vestas Wind Technology (Portland, OR; May 12, 2008)
- John McCain’s Speech on Energy Security (Houston, TX; June 17, 2008)
And at McCain rallies around the country, members like REP’s Connecticut coordinator, First Selectman Woody Bliss, proudly hoisted REP-branded campaign signs.
That September, three of REP’s staff — Jim DiPeso, Dave Jenkins, and Rob Sisson — along with both its long-time board chair, Martha Marks, and its future board chair, Tina Beattie, attended the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was the first time that any of them had ever been present at such an event. Minnesota Coordinator Brian Davis and his wife Marilyn graciously hosted Martha in their home for five nights and also provided superb on-the-ground logistical help to the whole REP team.
Thanks to the generous special gifts of dozens of REP members across the country, REP had the wherewithal not only to send all its staff to the convention but also to have a booth and host a reception that was widely advertised as open to anyone who wanted to learn more about REP. Food and drink, plus a rare appearance and speech by Theodore Roosevelt IV, a long-time supporter and lifetime member of REP, attracted a crowd and new members.
Martha spoke on It’s easy being green — and Republican! as a panelist on an energy session at the moderate-Republican Tuesday Group’s day-long forum. Former EPA Administrator and New Jersey Governor and REP Honorary Board Member Christine Todd Whitman also appeared on the dais with Martha.
Other REP members who attended the convention as delegates were Director Bill McLaughlin (CA), Director-elect Senator Sean Kean (NJ), Director-elect Bill Graham (IL), Edward Bertorelli (MA), Patrick Mara (DC), David Burge (GA), and former Congressman Rob Simmons (CT).
A week later, at REP’s instigation, Ted Roosevelt flew from New York to Virginia specifically to record a video about conservation, environmental protection, and John McCain. The McCain campaign expressed their delight at having that video for its website, and also how impressed they were that REP was able to persuade Ted to record it.
REP stepped up to the plate with networking assistance, too.
At McCain’s request, Martha recruited this stellar lineup of nationally known Republican environmental and conservation leaders to form his ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
- Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY)
- State Senator John Courson (SC)
- Mary Gade (IL)
- Robert Grady (CA and WY)
- State Senator Tom Harman (CA)
- Tom Kiernan (VA)
- Former State Rep. Edward R. “Ted” Leach (NH)
- Hunter Lovins (CO)
- Dr. Terry Maple (GA)
- Nathaniel P. Reed (FL)
- Former EPA Admin. William K. Reilly (CA)
- Theodore Roosevelt IV (NY)
- Andrew Sabin (NY)
- Dr. Andrew Sansom (TX)
- Former F&W Director John Turner (WY)
Furthermore, REP’s Government Affairs Director David Jenkins and Arizona Coordinator (and future board chair) Tina Beattie volunteered to serve as co-chairs of the McCain campaign’s superb ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP COALITION.
Tina and Dave recruited a fine team of grassroots leaders in 22 states, almost all REP members:
ALASKA Joe Geldhof
ARIZONA Tina Beattie, co-chair
CALIFORNIA Buddy Burke and Virginia Chang Kiraly
COLORADO Stephen Bonowski
FLORIDA Melissa Iglesias, Peggy Simone, and Dr. Jim Whitman
ILLINOIS Steve Langley
MARYLAND Cheryl Wilhelm
MICHIGAN Mike Gillman, Susan McGillicuddy, and Rob Sisson
MINNESOTA Brian H. Davis
MISSOURI Roy Gerdel
MISSISSIPPI Jerry Litton
NEW HAMPSHIRE Edward R. “Ted” Leach
NEW MEXICO Scott MacCurdy, Bill Wiley, and Philip Young
NEW YORK Bob Adamski, Joe Habib, Gregory Morris, and Dave Scorbati
NORTH CAROLINA Jason Gillespie
PENNSYLVANIA Sandy Moser
SOUTH CAROLINA Chester Sansbury
TENNESSEE Bob August
TEXAS Pam Ragon
UTAH Philip Carlson
VIRGINIA David Jenkins, co-chair
WASHINGTON Ed Bustamante, Jim DiPeso, and Michael Vaska
In 2008, those achievements and REP’s reliably enthusiastic members kept the organization visible and growing, thanks to individual efforts like those by Utah coordinators Philip and Sarah Carlson, Arizona Coordinator Tina Beattie, along with the friends they recruited and many others elsewhere.
But even so, during that first full year of the Great Recession, it became increasingly difficult for Martha, even with Rob’s help, to sustain REP’s funding. During the hard economic times that year and the years that followed, much of REP’s financial support, from both grassroots and major donors alike, dried up. For the first time, it became difficult to pay the existing five-person staff, much less the superbly qualified new political director hired in January 2007 to help save the remaining moderate Republicans in Congress… only to watch the promised financial support for that position evaporate six months later.
Throughout REP’s history, Martha — its co-founder and decade-long president — had always been an unpaid volunteer, so there was nothing she could give up to keep the rest of the operation going. Plus… she was tired. Burned out. After fourteen years of building and leading the organization, she needed a break.
So a month after the convention, at REP’s annual meeting and at Martha’s request, the board divided the unpaid “job” that she had been doing since 1996 into two distinct parts: board chair and staff president. She would continue as board chair for a while longer, as a transition to Tina Beattie’s assumption of that role, and Rob Sisson would take over president at the start of 2009. Read Martha’s lead article in the winter 2008-2009 Green Elephant, announcing those important changes.
How that presidential election of 2008 turned out is history now. Senator McCain showed his class — and made REP proud — by giving one of the most gracious concession speeches in American history.
Unfortunately, John McCain was not the only REP-backed candidate who lost in that wave election. Several key GOP environmental and conservation champions in Congress also lost their seats, as others had in 2006. It seemed at the time that the traditional Republican Party was crashing and burning in front of REP’s eyes… which in hindsight turned out to be exactly what happened.
Soon after the election, Washington State’s Secretary of State Sam Reed, a REP member, published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer an op-ed entitled GOP must be the change it wants to see. While he never mentioned REP in the piece, his words reminding the GOP that it was the party of Theodore Roosevelt and urging it to “be green” were a clear tip of the hat toward our philosophy.
In 2009, the loud, angry, and well-funded (by the billionaire oil-and-gas moguls Charles and David Kochs and other special interests) Tea Party arose out of nowhere. It alienated the traditional moderate and moderately conservative Republicans who had supported REP and sucked the air out of Republican politics. In the years that followed, the GOP took a hard turn to the right.
Martha Marks had retired at the end of 2008. Staff members Ruth Fish and Larry Kanz left for other endeavors.
But REP’s board members, remaining staff, and members across the country continued spreading REP’s message:
- Vice President for Government and Political Affairs David Jenkins gave Pollution, Politics, and the GOP at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Miami on October 2011.
- Vice President for Policy and Communications Jim DiPeso presented A Conservative Climate Stewardship Plan at the Pacific Northwest Carbon Pricing Conference at the University of Washington in Seattle, May 2011.
- President Rob Sisson delivered Yet, Congress has failed to act at a National Wildlife Federation event near the Kalamazoo River oil spill, July 2010.
- Jim DiPeso spoke on Republicans should get into the game to the King County Republican District Chairmen, Bellevue, Washington, August 2009.
- REP Director Pam Ragon, who was also president of the Texas Chapter, spoke on Conservatism and Energy Policy at Re-Energize Texas Summit, Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, March 2009.
- REP Director Bill McLaughlin spoke on Climate Change at the Santa Ana River Watershed Conference in Ontario, California, January 2009. (He previously had written The proper size of a Cocker Spaniel, cleverly addressing the climate issue, for the summer 2006 issue of The Green Elephant.)
Between 2010-2013, REP struggled to survive financially and underwent many changes.
Newer board members changed its name from “Republicans for Environmental Protection” to “ConservAmerica”… which previously had been the name of REP’s 501(c)(3) “sister” foundation.
In February 2012, Board Chair Tina Beattie explained the name change this way on the website of another organization:
Our name – Republicans for Environmental Protection (which incidentally is exactly what we are), had become a barrier for us. The very word environmental was cutting us off from our intended audience, Republicans. The E word closed minds to our message that the GOP has a rich legacy of conservation, and in building market-based solutions to environmental problems.
We hope our new name, ConservAmerica, conveys all that we are. Conserv–Conservatives who are for conservation and stewardship of our natural resources. America–this beautiful land, here and now, and for future generations, because we owe to them to responsibly and prudently pass down a landscape in better shape than we received it. We must work not only to pass along a robust economy, but also open spaces, clean water and air.
Along with the name, the new directors changed REP’s bylaws, mission, and methods. No longer were directors elected by the members.
They dropped the emphasis on grassroots engagement and turned their backs on REP’s official state chapters and other active non-chapter state groups. State leaders were not notified of the changes. To them, the organization just seemed to disappear.
They stopped publishing The Green Elephant, the C.E.P. Quarterly, and the REP Scorecard.
Instead of annual conferences in places with active clusters of REP members, they began hosting an annual “Theodore Roosevelt Dinner” in Washington, D.C.
In 2014, Dave Jenkins took his talents to REP’s “sister” — newly renamed as Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) — and wound up as its very successful president. (See the section below.)
Jim DiPeso left for another nonprofit and is no longer affiliated in any way with this movement… to our great loss. Fortunately, his great legacy endures on many pages of this website.
Eventually, Rob Sisson left, too — after years of struggling to keep things on track — when he received a presidential appointment to the International Joint Commission.
At some point, yet another group of board members took the organization in yet another direction.
That legal 501(c)(4) entity — which Aurie, Kim, Martha, Sam, Jim, and many others created in 1995-96 and dedicated themselves to building over the next 15 years — still exists, but almost nothing recognizable remains of the organization that once proudly called itself “Republicans for Environmental Protection.”
For years after REP vanished from the scene, people who once had been REP members — including many who persisted in calling themselves “Republicans for Environmental Protection” — reached out to Martha with a simple question that never varied: Whatever happened to REP?
Finally, Martha created a PDF that was easy to email back in answer to that question. Click the link above to download her two-page PDF response.
2014 to the present: Focusing on education and policy
Over time, the people behind the original Republicans for Environmental Protection movement shifted their focus away from political engagement toward the education and policy arena.
By 2014, REP’s non-political, non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable “sister” foundation Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) — previously known as ConservAmerica — had begun stepping up to fill the void left by REP’s departure from the scene.
Three REP leaders — Martha Marks, Jim DiPeso, and Chester Sansbury — had founded CRS in 1999, so they rejoiced now at its more prominent role. And both Martha and Chester were still on the CRS board. Martha continues serving there as of this writing in 2020.
That year, CRS’s Board of Directors brought in a new president, David Jenkins, who had served as REP’s Vice President for Government Affairs and in 2005 had proved so effective in rallying Republican votes in the House of Representatives to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In the years since then, Dave has developed sound policy strategies and reliable sources of funding. CRS has grown steadily under his leadership. In the last two or three years, it has emerged as a powerful conservative voice for smart conservation policies and initiatives. It seeks workable solutions to our most pressing environmental problems. Targets the climate crisis. Tackles air and water pollution. Addresses threats to America’s public lands and native wildlife. Dave points out that CRS is “putting the conserve back in conservative,” which is an excellent way to say it.
Several people who launched this movement or joined it later remained actively involved with CRS, even after REP went away. They kept advocating for effective pro-environmental policies and natural resource conservation from a traditional Republican perspective or from a traditional conservative perspective. (Those two things are similar but not necessarily the same.)
To offer a few recent examples:
- Protecting Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is conservative, in The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, January 2016. The piece was jointly written by CRS President Dave Jenkins and Board Chair Martha Marks, but her name appeared in the byline because of her personal experience photographing at the refuge.
- Time to end the oil and gas boondoggle, in the Albuquerque Journal on August 31, 2020. It was written by Dave Jenkins but signed and submitted by Martha Marks, because she lives in New Mexico, where the “boondoggle” in question is a hot issue.
- How Ronald Reagan saved the bathing suit, AZ Capitol Times of Phoenix, September 2020. Dave Jenkins wrote and signed the piece.
Each of these op-eds was strategically written and placed in key newspapers as part of CRS’s educational projects in Oregon, New Mexico, and Arizona.
2019 through the first half of 2020: Taking an interim step back into grassroots activism
Ten years after Martha Marks retired from REP, she was dismayed at what her party had become. No evidence could be found anywhere that its anti-environmental and anti-conservation attitudes had improved in any way.
Frustrated and angry at President Donald Trump’s non-stop assaults on conservation and environmental-protection laws and policies, she began pulling together an informal group of kindred spirits to join her in creating what she called THE GREEN ELEPHANT COALITION. Individuals in the group reached out to others. Their numbers increased.
They created a website to “raise their trunks and trumpet the terrible truth” about the president’s unacceptable actions and the Republican Party’s complicity in turning away from science and enabling Trump.
On one page of their website, These Republicans Protected America, they provided extensive documentation of the GOP’s once-proud history of accomplishments related to conservation and environmental protection, including linked pages specifically explaining the Antiquities Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
On another page, Our current president is poisoning America, they documented with equal accuracy how Trump had undermined the accomplishments of those same former Republicans leaders… and the achievements of Democratic leaders, too. (Those pages remain on the site, although the second one will be renamed once Trump is out of office.)
As the dreadful year of 2020 wore on, the Covid-19 pandemic made even more painfully clear the GOP’s disregard for science, especially as it applies to human health. The individuals involved in The Green Elephant Coalition came to the conclusion that they had no choice but to endorse the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, for President of the United States. They reached out even further to bring in former Republican elected and appointed officials who felt the same and were willing to speak out publicly.
The second half of 2020: Launching a brand-new REP
It had been a decade since the original Republicans for Environmental Protection organization began to fade away.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party was moving as far from its traditional roots as one could imagine. The terms “natural resource conservation” and “environmental protection” were barely in its vocabulary. The Republican president of the United States and the followers of the “Trumpism” that he inspired showed no interest in any of that. That sad reality is well documented on the website of our affiliated group, The Green Elephant Coalition. (See the section above.)
As a result, in the summer of 2020, some of the same individuals who had created REP in 1995-1996 or joined soon after resolved to bring it back. Martha Marks, Sam Booher, and Stan Perrin established a brand-new non-profit 501(c)(4) organization with a new “look” but an appropriate and familiar name: Republicans for Environmental Protection.
After a quarter of a century, “new REP’s” new leaders are all older. They like to think they’re wiser. They know that rebuilding REP will be as much an uphill battle as ever. But their passion for restoring the GOP’s reputation and virtue as a pro-conservation and pro-environmental protection party still burns brightly.
As REP’s twenty-five year history (to date) proves, its leaders still believe that, as with everything else, good stewardship begins at home. So now, to that end, REP recommits itself to bringing back our Republican Party’s long and proud tradition, making it once again a responsible force in safeguarding, as President Ronald Reagan called it, “this magical planet that God gave us.”
REP’S RENEWED ENGAGEMENT BEGAN TOWARD THE END OF 2020:
November 5, 2020: REP opposes seismic exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.