A lot of organizations are celebrating Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, which falls on Sunday, Feb., 6, 2011. GE has a nice video, reminiscing about Reagan's days as a GE spokesperson. The Republican National Committee, of course, is commemorating the day, and even the NFL will be doing a tribute for Ronald Reagan before Sunday's Super Bowl game.
Here at PLF, we are also celebrating the day and celebrating Reagan himself in this, his centennial year. But for us, the tie is very personal. Ronald Reagan is the reason PLF exists. Literally!
You see, when Ronald Reagan became the governor of California, one of his biggest priorities was overhauling California's wasteful and abused welfare system. When he succeeded in getting his reforms passed and implemented, a number of "special interest" groups came out of the woodwork, challenging various aspects of the program in court. Governor Reagan complained: how come there was always a legal organization (usuallly taxpayer funded, by the way) to help these special interests to keep or gain government concessions? How come there was no legal organization to support the interest of citizens and taxpayers who wanted efficient, good, and limited government?
The complaint was an inspiration. Several members of Reagan's staff met over the course of several months to turn Reagan's idea into a reality, and PLF was incorporated on March 5, 1973, in Sacramento, California. Eleven of PLF's first employees had worked on Reagan's welfare reform team. And while PLF went on to litigate in other areas, and Ronald Reagan, of course, moved on to greater things, PLF has remained true to Reagan's vision of promoting limited government and free markets, and protecting private property rights and individual liberties.
Today, there are a several public interest law foundations that promote some of these same ideals, but PLF was the first. You might say that Ronald Reagan is the Founding Father of our little group of liberty-loving organizations, that fight daily in our courts to make sure that the Constitution remains the touchstone for legitimate government. And for that, we all owe Ronald Reagan a debt of gratitude.
Here's to you, President Reagan!
If you would like to add your comments to our tribute, please visit www.HappyBirthdayGipper.com.