Republican Activists Hold Summit to Reform State GOP

Local leaders will gather to offer vision for rebuilding the collapsing
state party with eye on future elections and viability of the NY Republican Party

          WHEN: Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 8 p.m.
          WHERE: Belle Harbor Yacht Club
                             Beach Channel Drive (bet Beach 126th and Beach 127th)

On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 a group of grassroots republican leaders
from across New York City and surrounding areas will gather to discuss
the future of the New York Republican Party. After the debacle of the
Mills campaign - with the GOP's hand-picked nominee giving Sen. Charles
Schumer the largest margin of victory in a Senate race in NY History -
the Democrats gaining control of many former Republican strongholds
like Nassau and Westchester counties, and the state GOP's disconnect
with local activists, many leaders have come to the same conclusion -
that a major shake-up is needed to the get the party back on track.

The Rockaway Republicans has organized and agreed to host, in
cooperation with the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, the New York Young
Republican Club, the Regular Republican Club of Woodside and the New
York chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a downstate grassroots
summit aimed at reversing this alarming trend. Other participating
groups include the newly formed conservative issues-oriented PAC, Save
New York, chaired by former Republican contender for the U.S. Senate
nomination, Michael Benjamin of Brooklyn. To date participants have
indicating they will be coming from the New York City metropolitan area
and from as far away as upstate New York.

"Local Republican organizations can't afford to sit by any longer and
watch as our party continues to lose ground in election after election
in this state, even while Republicans are demonstrating their ability
to connect with the electorate across the rest of the nation," said Tom
Lynch, president of the recently formed Rockaway Republicans. "We can't
just roll over and play dead anymore as the recent U.S. Senate
race clearly demonstrated. Schumer owes his historic win less to his
own strengths than to the near total surrender of the state GOP. If we
keep this up, there won't be much of a party left and New York State
elections will be no different from the kind of votes held in the old
Soviet Union."

Lynch notes that his own group has been troubled, since its formation
in March 2004, by a lack of feedback and direction from the party's
official leadership. "We have to wake them up," says Lynch, "and the
way to do it is by reviving political interest and activism at
the local level in each of our communities." Lynch's group first
proposed a summit of local level party leaders and activists in
November and offered to host the event. Since then a number of other
Republican groups have signed on to co-host the gathering.

The event will feature a series of speakers, that have been deeply
involved in grassroots republican politics, to discuss the problems and
opportunities now facing the New York GOP. Featured speakers include
Michael Benjamin who will be discussing opportunities for statewide
revitalization, Robert Hornak of the New York Young Republican Club and
the Urban Republican Coalition discussing strategies and techniques
available to party activists in upcoming elections, Ed Coyne, First
Vice-Chair of the Queens County Republican Party and local district
leader, who will be discussing the increasing fragmentation and
isolation that afflicts local clubs in his borough and beyond. Other
speakers expected are John Fleming, who ran for Guy Vellela's recently
vacated Senate seat, and Steven Shaw, candidate for the Republican
nomination for Mayor in 2005.

Many party leaders and elected officials have been invited to
participate. Currently, Councilman Dennis Gallagher and former Council
Minority Leader Tom Ognibene have both indicated that they will attend.

According to Patrick Hurley, President of the Regular Republican Club
of Woodside, "the number one problem preventing Republican growth in
our state stems from the ever increasing isolation and inwardness
that's come to characterize our party's political activities in New
York. Our leadership's afraid to risk what little they still have in
the way of elective offices by challenging the status quo. They've
accepted a virtual non-compete clause with their Democratic rivals. The
result is that we run fewer and fewer candidates against the Democrats,
making our political demise almost a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Luke Vander Linden, President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club,
sees light at the end of the tunnel. “The numbers don't lie," he
said. "There are many areas in the city where the President got 50, 60
– as much as 70% of the vote.  That wasn't a fluke. In those same
areas, Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, as well as Governor Pataki,
received that much and more. These results suggest a tremendous
opportunity for the Republican Party in New York.”

Vander Linden pointed out that local candidates for City Council,
Assembly and State Senate have been faring far worse. “It's rare for
them to break 20%," he pointed out. "But sadly, the real problem is
that much of the time there aren't any local Republican candidates at
all. We can't expect to be a viable party if we don't focus on building
at the local and grassroots level.” Vander Linden notes that he's
hopeful the upcoming summit will start the needed rebuilding process.
"This is an opportunity to wake the Republican Party up and get it
moving again." he says.

After the scheduled speakers an open discussion will be held at which
all participants will be invited to air their concerns and offer
solutions in a broad ranging, no holds-barred discussion. "One of the
most important things that needs to be accomplished, said Paul
Rodriquez, President of the New York Young Republican Club, "is putting
the different people and groups in our party together so they can start
talking to one another and know who their counterparts are in other
areas of the city and state. Besides all the ideas for turning things
around that we hope to generate, we also want to help our
different factions get to know one another again, so they can learn to
join forces and support one another in upcoming election cycles."


By Public Transportation

Take A Train (Mott Ave-JFK Airport) to Broad Channel.  Take Shuttle (S)
to last stop Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street.  Take Q-35 (Green Bus on
corner of B116 and Newport Ave) 10 blocks to Beach 126th Street, and
walk two blocks north from Newport Ave to Beach Channel Drive.


Take #2 or #5 to last stop Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College.  Upstairs,
take Q-35 (Green Bus) to Beach 126 Street, and walk two blocks north
from Newport Ave to Beach Channel Drive.

By Car

Directions to the Belle harbor Yacht Club
Beach Channel Drive Between 127th & 126th Street
Entrance to parking lot on 126th Street

From Queens: (Heading South) Woodhaven Blvd. Turns into Cross Bay Blvd.
Stay to Right after toll bridge, exit sign, Reis Park \ Breezy Point,
your on Beach Channel Drive make a left on 126th Street one block make
left, one block, make left on 126th Street last big house on left,
parking lot.

From Brooklyn: (Heading South) Flatbush Ave. after toll bridge bear
left on to Beach Channel Drive make a right on 127th one block make
left, one block, make left on 126th Street last big house on left,
parking lot.

From Manhattan: Brooklyn Battery Tunnel or Brooklyn Bridge to Belt
Parkway (East) to exit 11S Flatbush Ave. (south) after toll bridge bear
left on to Beach Channel Drive make a right on 127th one block make
left, one block, make left on 126th Street last big house on left,
parking lot.