WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2010— -- Republicans on Capitol Hill are developing an election-year alternative to the Obama administration's agenda. But a Tea Party activist in Texas says the politicians in Washington - including the out-of-power Republicans - don't have the "credibility" to offer a contract.
His solution? Use the Internet, develop a "Contract from America," and make the politicians come to him.
"You are going to be held accountable by us," said conservative activist Ryan Hecker, offering a preview of what Tea Party activists are going to tell congressional candidates later this year. "We have a plan - a proactive reform plan - for you to follow and not the other way around."
Technically, Hecker doesn't have a reform plan yet. He does, however, have one in the works.
He says he came up with the contract idea shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008. Hecker, a 29-year old lawyer from Houston, spent the 2008 GOP primaries working as an opposition researcher for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.
To get his idea off the ground, he launched a website, "ContractFromAmerica.com," which encourages activists to offer possible planks for the contract.
From the original 1,000 ideas which were submitted, Hecker whittled it down to about 50 based on popularity. He is currently in the process of narrowing it to 20 ideas. He is being aided in this process by former House Republican Leader Dick Armey, whose conservative group, FreedomWorks, has established close ties with many Tea Party activists around the country.
When the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), convenes later this month in Washington, DC, Hecker says he will launch an on-line voting phase which will take his document from 20 ideas to the final 10 to 12 most popular.
The completed "Contract from America" will then be presented to the public on Tax Day, April 15, 2010.
Hecker wants to give all congressional candidates - Republicans, Democrats, and Independents - an opportunity to sign onto his "contract."