Jon Ward: ‘Eric Cantor’s old political group regroups as a policy shop for the right’

Eric Cantor 4

Eric Cantor (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Eric Cantor’s Young Guns have rebranded and become the Conservative Reform Network (CRN), as reported by Jon Ward at Yahoo News:

It has endured — and this month it hired Neil Bradley, Cantor’s former top policy adviser, as chief strategy officer to bring more policy depth to the organization and help it reposition itself for the 2016 presidential cycle.

Their mission will continue, with leaders noting:

… the group will be focused on pushing the GOP’s national platform — particularly in the case of the party’s presidential candidates — toward a set of policies that have resonance with middle-class voters: college affordability and quality, education reform and choice, access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs, tax reform that helps families as well as businesses, criminal justice reform, housing and “urban issues too often neglected by folks on our side,” according to a memo written by Murray and Bradley.

Over the next 18 months, CRN will be meeting with the 2016 presidential hopefuls, as well as with governors, Murray and Bradley said. And one of CRN’s top officials, policy director April Ponnuru, will be an adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s likely presidential campaign starting around June.

The best news while reading this article was this:

Cantor, meanwhile, landed a high-paying investment banking job last fall and has since started to re-engage with politics, reconnecting with his political and fundraising networks. There is talk that another run for statewide or national office may be in his future.

The reference is the Politico article, “The resurrection of Eric Cantor.”

That is indeed good news. The former majority leader is a conservative leader who understands the intricate layers of government in Washington and the value of talking to everyone, even those across the political aisle, while putting the needs of the country at the top of the list. Read more here.

Update: Roll Call (see Longtime Leadership Staffer Announces Next Move(s) by Matt Fuller) highlights Eric Cantor’s former deputy chief of staff Neil Bradley’s prominent move:

One of the most respected policy minds in House GOP circles may have left Capitol Hill, but he isn’t going far.

Neil Bradley, the former deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — and for Eric Cantor before him — will help run the Young Guns Network as it undergoes an identity transformation from a 501(c)4 dedicated to conservative principles to a similar Republican group with a different name.

The YG Network, as it’s more commonly known, will become the Conservative Reform Network and Bradley, who spent 20 years on Capitol Hill, will play the “chief strategic role,” according to YG Network Communications Director Chris Bond.

It was interesting to read that Bradley shared a respect, along with former President George W. Bush, of Winston Churchill and named his new company after Churchill’s home:

In addition to his new responsibilities with the Conservative Reform Network, Bradley will also open his own consulting firm: Chartwell Policy Solutions.

Bradley said the name “Chartwell” stuck with him for a few years because of its Google-ability and because it was the home of Winston Churchill.

“I’ve always been a Churchill fan,” he said.

Chartwell won’t be a lobbying firm, and it will only be a side business, but Bradley said he hopes to help clients analyze how and why certain things are happening a certain way in Congress.

It’s a role the 39-year-old is quite familiar with: He has spent years directing much of the policy in the GOP conference, informing leadership of what is possible and helping to write some of the biggest pieces of legislation to become law, such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Read the entire article here … good stuff.


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