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Remember the controversial far right-wing Republican Party Platform documents from 2012 which garnered widespread criticism from the science community for their removal of previous support for addressing global warming and climate change? Or that also tried to enact nationwide"Right to Work" anti-labor laws based on the recent changes enacted in Wisconsin by controversial Governor Scott Walker?

The policy director of these documents who helped to spearhead most of these changes was none other than Elise Stefanik (R), a Washington political operative and former Bush Administration official who now is running for Congress in New York's 21st Congressional District, a large sprawling area containing most of the state's North Country, Adirondack and Upper Hudson Valley regions, including the Cities of Plattsburgh, Watertown, Glens Falls and about half of the Saratoga Springs area.

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According to an August 2012 article from Roll Call magazine, Stefanik coordinated closed door, private meetings between RNC staff and high-profile K Street lobbyists as the Republican Party Platform documents were being drafted.

From Roll Call, "Republicans Solicit Lobbyists for Input on Party Platform", August 3, 2012:

"In a series of small, private meetings, Republican officials have solicited input for their party platform from lobbyists and policy experts on Capitol Hill."

"Recent sessions held at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., have covered financial regulation, defense, foreign policy and energy, among other topics."

"Most of the attendees remain tight-lipped about the meetings. And an RNC spokeswoman, Kirsten Kukowski, said the party has no record of who has been invited and who has attended "because it's too hard to keep track of.""

"But high-profile K Streeters who have attended include Candida Wolff, Citigroup's executive vice president for global government affairs, who was the chief Congressional liaison for President George W. Bush. A Citi spokeswoman confirmed that Wolff attended a financial services platform meeting but said the lobbyist had no comment."

"Hill aides for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who co-chair the GOP platform committee, have sat in on the meetings, according to participants. Those lawmakers' offices also declined to comment or referred comment to the RNC."

"The sessions are coordinated by RNC staff, in particular Elise Stefanik, policy director for the party's platform. Stefanik declined comment through Kukowski, who said there would be more such meetings but noted they are closed to the press."

The final platform documents, which gutted much of the Republican Party's environmental plank, sparked controversy amongst the science community.

From The Washington Post, August 30, 2012:

"Over the past four years, the Republican Party has undergone a fairly dramatic shift in its approach to energy and environmental issues. Global warming has disappeared entirely from the party's list of concerns. Clean energy has become an afterthought. Fossil fuels loom larger than ever. And one way to see this shift clearly is to compare the party's 2008 and 2012 platforms."

"It may seem difficult to believe now, but back in 2008, the Republican Party's platform had a long and detailed section on "Addressing Climate Change Responsibly.""

The party platform documents were also perhaps the most anti-labor in history, expressing their support for the repeal of the Davis-Bacon Laws, which were implemented in 1932 and require all federal construction projects to pay a prevailing wage. In addition, the party platforms express support for nationwide "Right to Work" laws, effectively ending collective bargaining.

From The New York Times, August 30, 2012:

"Unlike in the past, this year’s Republican platform in Tampa, Fla., does not contain any sympathetic nods to the nation’s labor unions, which have become among the Republicans’ most formidable political foes. Instead, the platform calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions — public-sector and private-sector ones — and help speed organized labor’s overall decline."

"The 2012 platform urges elected officials across the country to change their laws regarding public-sector unions and follow the lead of Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, who spearheaded an effort to curb the ability of his state’s public employees to bargain collectively."

"The platform calls for repealing the Davis-Bacon Act, a law that Congress passed in 1931 requiring that all federal construction projects pay a prevailing wage, usually equal to or not far below union wage levels. The platform says this law “costs the taxpayers billions of dollars annually in artificially high wages on government projects.”"

Interestingly enough, a couple of days ago in a March 21, 2014 interview with the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake, Stefanik clarified her role as 2012 RNC Policy Director, claiming she helped "to provide so many interest groups" with a "mechanism to share their ideas" in the party platform documents.
Her most recent employment in Washington D.C. was after the 2012 elections as policy director for the Republican National Convention platform.

"My job was really to provide so many interest groups and delegates, who represent different states at the convention, they want to have a say in the platform and it was important for them to have a mechanism to share their ideas," she said.

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