Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., was recently named Honorary Chairman of the Empower America Project, a nonprofit that seeks to identify, train, and invest in conservative candidates from diverse backgrounds.
At a time when conservatives have been increasingly criticized in the press for what critics say is a lack of diversity in its candidates and leadership, Scott and Empower America are drawing attention.
The organization is designed around three main ideas: the American dream is alive and well; 80% of poverty in America has been eliminated by the free market and not government programs; and that education is essential for every zip code.
The Empower America Project is a 501(c)4 that is the lineal heir of the first Empower America Project, which was founded in 1993 under the support of the late 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp and former Secretary of Education William Bennett.
Sen. Scott expanded on the designation of the c4, saying a certain percentage of funds is aimed toward social movements, and the rest toward the education of strong conservative candidates.
"I watched good candidates become unsuccessful," Sen. Scott told Newsmax recently, explaining the focus of Empower America is geared to finding strong, new candidates — preferably of diverse heritage — and working with them to structure a successful campaign for public office.
Scott also noted Republican U.S. Representatives who happen to be black have won in historically white districts, yet rarely in historically African-American districts.
"But I'm confident this will change in the near future," he quickly added.
Scott believes success of minority candidates in minority districts will come about through the "continued failures [of the] liberal leadership" in those districts.
"America is the land of redemption and second chances," Scott told Newsmax, but adding, "Your reputation has to precede your candidacy."
Empower America Project, he said, is aimed to establish roots in conservative ideals and thought in order to become successful candidates in their races for public office.
"The times will be changing," Scott predicted.
(Clare Hillen is a sophomore at George Washington University and a summer intern at the Newsmax Washington, D.C. bureau).
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