While others are only promising change, there is a key group of Americans who are acting — now — to deliver on the hunger for real change being expressed by the American people in campaign ’08.
After all, there’s no reason to wait to have a government for the people instead of a government for the special interests.
There’s no reason we have to have an election before we can do what’s necessary to protect our American civilization.
And there’s no reason we need an election to know that America stands on the precipice of tremendous opportunity — if we have the courage and foresight to take advantage of it.
Today, I want to tell you about these American leaders — men and women who aren’t waiting to see which way the political winds are blowing before they take a chance on change. They’re not just making promises on the campaign trail, they’re expending their political capital and putting their reputations on the line now, before the elections. They’re the doers, not the talkers, of the real change movement.
Bobby Jindal Was a Tireless Advocate of Change Before ‘Change’ Became Every Candidate’s Favorite Catchphrase
The first is the new Republican governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.
Gov. Jindal was already an historic figure. As the son of immigrants from India, he is the first Indian-American governor in the nation’s history.
But more important than Jindal’s heritage is his relentless drive to change Louisiana for the better. With less fanfare than some, and more substance than most, Bobby Jindal was a tireless advocate of change before "change" became every candidate’s favorite catchphrase.
And last week, Bobby Jindal made history again.
‘The Volume of Grumbling Suggested Real Change Was Afoot’
Just six weeks since being sworn in as Louisiana’s governor, Jindal called the majority Democratic Louisiana legislature into special session to act on one of his main campaign promises: to fix the culture of corruption and cronyism that has long dominated Louisiana politics and damaged Louisiana’s economy.
Jindal put forward an ambitious ethics reform agenda. He called for transparency in the personal finances of Louisiana elected officials for the first time in the state’s history. He put forward a ban on contracts between state government and legislators and executive branch leaders. And, to show the nation that Louisiana can henceforth be trusted to spend federal Katrina recovery funds honestly, Jindal called for a ban on state officials and their spouses receiving recovery-related contracts for a year after their government service.
Borrowing one of my favorite phrases, the New York Times reported on the special session of the legislature, "The volume of grumbling suggested real change was afoot."
Next for Jindal: A Special Session on Cutting Business Taxes
But, despite the grumbling, the special session was a spectacular success.
The New York Times headlined a report on the special session "Louisiana Governor Pierces Business as Usual."
The New Orleans Times-Picayune called the special session "a triumph for reform."
And a reporter for the Lafayette Daily Advertiser wrote, "Louisiana has adopted a comprehensive plan for ethics reform, something many of us didn’t expect to see in our lifetimes."
The number and significance of the ethics reforms passed catapulted Louisiana from among the states with the lowest rankings by the Center for Public Integrity to one of the states with the highest ethics standards.
Plus, Gov. Jindal is not limiting real change for Louisiana to just ethics reform. He will soon call the legislature into special session yet again, this time to cut business taxes.
Congratulations to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for being a doer, not a talker, in the movement for real change.
The California GOP Adopts Key Provisions of the Platform of the American People
The next group of real change agents I want to tell you about is the California Republican Party.
I’ve talked to you in the past about the Platform of the American People, an agenda of solutions for America’s challenges that have the majority support of Republicans, Democrats and independents.
Last week was a very successful week for the Platform. At their convention last month, the California Republican Party adopted key parts of the Platform of the American People into their state party platform.
On Energy and the Environment and Promoting and Protecting English, California Republicans Embrace ‘Tripartisan’ Solutions
You can read the Platform of the American People here and compare it to the language adopted by the California GOP.
- Energy and the Environment: The California Republicans embraced the Platform’s belief that "entrepreneurs using technology, innovation and incentives are more likely to solve environmental problems than are bureaucrats."
- Oil and National Security: The California GOP platform adopted the Platform of the American People’s recognition that "our current dependence on foreign oil threatens both our national security and economic prosperity by making us vulnerable to the will of dangerous foreign dictators. Through private initiative and enterprise, we support the development of energy independent from foreign sources."
- Promoting and Protecting English: The California platform also took up the Platform of the American’s People’s call for English as the official language of government and the need for new immigrants to be offered intensive English language instruction.
- Supporting an Optional One-Page Flat Tax: The California GOP embraced tax simplification by supporting "the adoption of an optional single-rate system to give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with a one-page form."
The Platform of the American People is not just catching on in California.
In Pennsylvania, Congressman Tim Murphy (R.) has pledged to help incorporate various planks of the Platform into his state party platform.
And Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis says simply, "The Platform clearly reflects the values across America that we all share."
Real Change in Health: The States Leading the Way in E-Prescribing
My next example of action in pursuit of real change is a little closer to home.
This morning, as a founder of the Center for Health Transformation, I had the privilege of hosting the third annual Safe-Rx Awards.
Each year, SureScripts sponsors the awards to recognize the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation as well as others who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in accelerating the adoption of electronic prescribing technology.
The Safe-Rx Awards are based on an analysis of data from new prescriptions and refill responses electronically transmitted over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, operated by SureScripts. States are ranked according to the number of prescriptions routed electronically in 2007 as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions eligible for electronic routing.
To see the list of the top 10 E-Prescribing states for 2007 and to read more about the event or the Center for Health Transformation’s E-Prescribing Project, please visit HealthTransformation.net.
In Case You Missed It: Americans Agree — Congress Must Act
Last Friday, American Solutions released polling data that show the vast majority of Americans disapprove of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D.-Calif.) and the House Majority’s left-wing leadership going on a 12-day vacation instead of acting to renew the Protect America Act based on conditions outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill. Furthermore, the poll showed overwhelming support for a key provision in the Protect America Act that would protect American businesses that help the American government to track terrorist suspects from lawsuits related to their assistance.
You can read the full results at AmericanSolutions.com.
Goodbye to a Dear Friend: William F. Buckley, Jr.
While today’s newsletter is dedicated to those "doers" making the changes America needs today, I would be remiss if I failed to recognize the impact an intellectual force can make on our country.
The life of William F. Buckley, Jr. was a testament to this fact. It was not until Buckley founded National Review magazine in 1955 that the tide began to slowly turn for conservatives. He was a tireless, indispensable advocate for conservatism, and his work enabled the rise of Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and the Contract with America. I was deeply saddened when I heard of his passing and released a statement, which you can read here.
P.S. — Thanks to everyone who has helped keep Real Change at No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list for yet another week. There is clearly a desire by many Americans to understand how to bring about real change. If you want to learn more, please visit newt.org/realchange.
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