By Dennis “DJ” Mikolay
When Scott Sipprelle, a successful Princeton businessman and conservative activist, decided to run for Congress as a Republican last year, he had no idea he would be so inspired by the dedication, selflessness, and patriotism displayed by his volunteers. His candidacy mobilized supporters from all walks of life, and even attracted voters who were traditionally apathetic towards the political system.
Sipprelle’s populist appeal gave Rush Holt the toughest re-election campaign he has ever faced, and while that November the Democratic Representative ultimately won re-election, one can’t really say that Sipprelle was “defeated.” His campaign inspired hundreds of conservative and libertarian activists, many of whom were unwilling to simply surrender to the Democrats following the election.
“I met a lot of great friends and supporters during the campaign,” said Sipprelle. “So I was looking for a way to keep the glue together…I thought: why not start a political club?’”
And so Sipprelle began seeking a way to transition his existing political base into a new organization.
“I thought it might be better to work within the context of something already set up,” said Sipprelle. “We had a small club called the Republican Association of Princeton, but we weren’t generating a whole lot of traction.”
Sipprelle had a vision for the Republican Association’s future, one that was largely out of step with its existing ideals. He decided to change the organization from within; he ran for, and was ultimately elected to, the position of president. He submitted a new constitution and bylaws, and broadened the mandate to appeal to a wider array of supporters.
Thus, as the Republican Association of Princeton faded into the history books, the Lincoln Club of New Jersey, a unique and innovative organization, entered the fray.
Unlike most political clubs, Sipprelle is proud to point out that the Lincoln Club is an independent entity that doesn’t answer to any political party. Thus, members don’t have to take orders from the traditional Republican chain of command.
“We answer only to our membership,” said Sipprelle. “Nobody is going to dictate our governance.”
Sipprelle believes that the Lincoln Club can unite not only former volunteers and Republicans, but also conservatives from all walks of life, to address issues that are largely ignored by the political establishment.
“There are a few issues we are keenly focused on,” said Sipprelle. “What can we do to improve the climate for job and economic growth in New Jersey? How do we fix the imbalance between revenue and expenses? How do we control government debt?”
The argument has often been made that the majority of Americans are actually fiscal conservatives. The problem lies in the fact that such conservative often become disenchanted with party politics, and find themselves without any means of influencing the national political discussion. With a dedicated organization like the Lincoln club, Sipprelle believes he can awaken this traditionally apathetic and forgotten majority, and provide them with the infrastructure needed to actively combat the danger presented by over-spending, big government, and the rising debt.
“The stakes are really high,” said Sipprelle. “These are important arguments to have, and we need to have them now! The main issue is whether we address these problems, or wait until they future when they become bigger. I have never encountered a problem in my life that became easier to deal with by ignoring it.”
Sipprelle ‘s organization is open to all conservatives who are interested in combating big government, over-spending, and the impending debt crisis. He urges those interested to look up the Lincoln Club of New Jersey on Facebook, or to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Both parties are playing with fire by ignoring these problems,” said Sipprelle. “America is ready to have a real debate on these issues.”