Republican Liberty was the official newsletter of the Republican Liberty Caucus (newsletter now in electronic format at rlc.org). The RLC and its first newsletter edition created in 1990 as a national umbrella and newsletter of state Caucus chapters. Eric Rittberg of Florida and a small group of mainly Florida libertarians (many ex LP members) were the initial nucleus of the group and Rittberg was the first Republican Liberty editor.
Roger MacBride, the renegade Nixon elector from New Hampshire who cast his electoral vote for the 1972 presidential ticket of John Hospers and Tonie Nathan, was the initial RL publisher and main financier. MacBride was subsequently elected as national RLC chair and served for several years. ALDA site owner Mike Holmes became RL Senior/Associate editor and served until 2000.
The RLC serves to recognize state affiliates who are focused on helping to elect libertarian oriented Republicans to political and party offices. Modern American libertarian movement godfather economist/historian Murray Rothbard gave the keynote speech at the inaugural national RLC convention held in conjunction with the 1992 GOP national convention in Houston. Subsequently for the last two months in 1996 Dr. Ron Paul served as national RLC chair prior to his taking office after being elected (again) as a Texas Congressman. Paul’s return to the US congress was a major project of the RLC during the early 90s.
Republican Liberty was usually a bi-monthly though sometimes appeared less frequently or in some instances, as a special edition for GOP events. The RLC and its publications focused on practical party and caucus building activities and avoided philosophical debates or rigid definitions of what constitutes a “libertarian Republican.” This non-dogmatic approach worked well and unlike the early days, today most RLC members are not former LP members but GOP activists from the outset.
Later Republican Liberty editors included Floridians Tom Walls and Phil Blumel. Internal leadership struggles disrupted regular publication of this newsletter in early 2002 and other than the ALDA PDF copies, these latter issues do not appear anywhere online. Economics/ Finance Professor Clifford Thies initiated his annual Liberty Index of the US Congress in 1989 as an early RLC related project, which continues today. (See separate link on the ALDA site.) This Index, sometimes appearing as a supplement to Republican Liberty, is the only known detailed evaluation of US House and Senate members based upon their recorded votes. The results are based upon broadly defined “Economic” and “Social” issues legislation cast in either the US House or Senate.