Lou Zickar, the editor of the Ripon Forum, e-mails to note that the National Council for a New America "is very similar to one Haley Barbour pursued in 1993 when, as Chairman of the RNC, he established the National Policy Forum." The NPF, of course, was a fundraising, grassroots and policy idea vehicle, and the ideas developed at 70 forums around the country helped "form the foundation for the Contract with America," which was officially released two months before 1994 midterm elections. Zickar writes more about the NPF experience here.
"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."