According to a piece in the Washington Post today, our impact on Washington politics is big. In fact, the piece refers to us as the "Clark Kent of the conservative think tank world." A straight shooting analysis reveals our rock solid foundation, having stemmed from the most prominent conservative think tank in the country, the Heritage Foundation, which produces research of the highest caliber. Combine that with Heritage Action's fearless tenacity, and it's no wonder we've come to be known as the "most significant voice on the right as far as politically active groups go."
The piece describes our powerful influence inside and outside the beltway:
Heritage Action, by contrast, has given such activists a new sense of legitimacy and an institutional base. "If you try to debate an issue and you cite as your source Heritage Action, it gives you instant credibility," says Ginny Quaglia, a 58-year-old retiree from Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., who works with one of Heritage Action's many state-based affiliates and is also involved with local tea party groups.
Heritage Action's allies in Congress similarly believe say the group adds institutional heft and sharp elbows to their own causes.
"The distinction with Heritage is that it's Heritage," says Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), former chair of the Republican Study Committee. When the group started bombarding Congress with phone calls, e-mails and text messages to defeat Boehner's plan on the fiscal cliff, former representative Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio) recalls telling his colleagues, "Uh-oh, this doesn't look so good for the home team." Boehner's proposal failed thanks to defections from conservative Republicans, a rare and embarrassing defeat for the speaker.
The left doesn't like us, and that's a sign that we're doing our job. As our CEO, Mike Needham said:
We see ourselves as being involved in a long game. And the long game is to make sure politicians feel pain for voting for special interests, not just on the big votes, but on the small ones, too.