Reagan’s Disciples Plan Relaunch Of Conservative Movement

Fed up with neocons, theocons and convict cons, a group of former aides to Ronald Reagan want to reanimate the Republican Party by reviving the organization that brought Reagan to power.

The revitalized Citizens For The Republic -- or CFTR -- has already secured $17 million in solid financial commitments, according to an official involved in raising money for the organization.

Craig Shirley, a Republican strategist and historian, has agreed to serve as chairman of the board. Others who will participate or who have agreed to raise money are Paul Laxalt, the former Nevada Senator and close Reagan friend; former Reagan attorney general Richard Allen; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and conservative activists Brent Bozell and Gary Bauer.

The original CFTR was funded with seed money from Reagan's failed 1976 presidential bid and supported his political travels over the next several years. Its PAC doled out tens of thousands of dollars to conservative Republicans across the country.

The new CFTR is predicated on the belief that "the conditions of the party today are almost identical to what they were in 1977," the official said. "By 1977, the party had been betrayed by corruption and betrayal of conservative principles."

CFTR won't have any official sanction from Nancy Reagan or the Reagan Library, but the official involved with CFTR hinted that they would not have proceeded if those entities objected to the idea.

CFTR plans to launch before the presidential primaries. The official would not provide any details as to how it would spend its money or whether it planned to try and influence the presidential nomination contest.