|Born||Richard Art Viguerie
September 23, 1933
Golden Acres, Texas
|Alma mater||University of Houston|
|Spouse(s)||Elaine O. Viguerie|
Life and career
Viguerie was born in Golden Acres, Texas, the son of Elizabeth (née Stoufflet) and Arthur Camile Viguerie. He has Cajun ancestry. Viguerie worked for the Christian evangelist Billy James Hargis in his early career. In an autobiographical note, Viguerie wrote that in 1961 he became executive secretary of the conservative youth group Young Americans for Freedom: "Since 1965, owner of direct marketing/advertising companies such as American Target Advertising. Political/campaign strategist, activist and conservative spokesman and writer."
Viguerie founded Conservative Digest magazine in 1975 and served as its publisher for ten years. Opposing President Gerald Ford's election, Viguerie in 1976 unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination of the American Independent Party, which had been formed eight years earlier by George Wallace. The party instead nominated former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, to challenge Ford and Democrat Jimmy Carter, also a former Georgia governor.
In 1977, Viguerie worked on a project to raise money for Sun Myung Moon's Children's Relief Fund, which reportedly only received 6.3% of the $1,508,256 raised. $920,000 went to Viguerie according to New York State charity auditors.
Viguerie sought the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1985, but did not receive the nomination at the GOP state convention.
Asked by Campaigns and Elections in May 2000 what his immediate goals were, Viguerie answered:
To use the Internet to involve Americans in the political process, to help conservatives gain an advantage over the left. To fight against government's use of power, to fight for individual rights and responsibilities, and to fight to extend the blessings of liberty throughout the world.
Writing in The Nation, David Corn noted that Viguerie "raised money for Judicial Watch" and is associated with Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer and activist who had been a failed candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Florida in 2004.
According to CharityWatch.org: "[Roger] Chapin hired his long-time friend and direct mail expert, Richard Viguerie, to conduct fundraising campaigns for HHV, paying Viguerie's company $14 million between 2000 and 2005." HHV is a charity run by Roger Chapin, which according to Charity Watch has made many questionable and apparently unethical payments unrelated to its purported mission.
In January 2008, Viguerie launched ultimateronpaul.com, a website designed to promote the 2008 presidential candidacy of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, whom Viguerie described as "truly a principled conservative in the grand tradition of Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan" and who "has differentiated himself from all the other candidates, whose allegiance is to Big Government Republicanism."
Books by Viguerie include:
- The New Right: We're Ready to Lead (1981)
- The Establishment vs. the People: Is a New Populist Revolt on the Way? (1983)
- America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power (2004)
- Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause (2006)
In May 2006, Viguerie said regarding conservatives' ability to maintain a majority in the U.S. House and Senate: "There is a growing feeling among conservatives that the only way to cure the problem is for Republicans to lose the Congressional elections this fall."
Viguerie commented on the Mark Foley scandal, "This isn't an isolated situation. It is only the most recent example of Republican House leaders doing whatever it takes to hold onto power. If it means spending billions of taxpayers' dollars on questionable projects, they'll do it. If it means covering up the most despicable actions of a colleague, they'll do it."
Viguerie fought for the The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007, through his petition website known as Grassroots Freedom.
When Viguerie spoke at a conference of Libertarian Party state chairs in March 2007, he stated the following about the 2006 United States general elections: "Whenever conservatives are unhappy, bad things happen for the Republican Party."
In 2007, Viguerie co-founded the American Freedom Agenda, described as "a coalition established to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the executive branch".
In a July 2009 article written for Sojourners Magazine, "When Governments Kill", Viguerie came out strongly against capital punishment and called for a moratorium to discuss the issues surrounding it in the hope that this will pave the way for total abolition.
Viguerie claims to have raised billions of dollars for conservative causes. His clients have included:
- Judicial Watch
- The Conservative Caucus
- Help Hospitalized Vets
- American Conservative Union
- Young Americans for Freedom
- National Conservative PAC
- Christian Voice
- Public Advocate of the US
- Morton Blackwell's Freedom Leadership PAC
- National Pro-Life PAC
- American Freedom Coalition
- The Seniors Coalition
- United Seniors Association
- Sixty Plus Association
- National Center for Public Policy Research
Viguerie and his wife have three children and, as of 2011, six grandchildren.
- Edwards, Lee. The Conservative Revolution: The Movement That Remade America, p. 152. Simon & Schuster.
- "Richard Viguerie", Campaigns and Elections, May 2000.
- Bonus Books Author Information for Richard A. Viguerie
- Washingtonpost.com: Liberal Praise Drawn From Unlikely Source
- National Ledger - Immigration Compromise Causing a Split on the Right
- Bill Berkowitz, "Richard Viguerie: Still thundering after all these years", Working for Change, a publication of Working Assets, March 4, 2005
- Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, South End Press, Boston, 1989.
- Klayman Watch
- CharityWatch.org Hall of Shame: http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/CharityWatchHallofShame.html
- Richard Viguerie Goes Online for Paul | The Trail | Washingtonpost.com
- The New Right: We're Ready to Lead, Richard A. Viguerie, Viguerie Co., 1981, ISBN 0-9604814-2-7.
- The Establishment vs. the People: Is a New Populist Revolt on the Way?, Richard A. Viguerie, Regnery Gateway, 1983, ISBN 0-89526-608-3.
- America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power, Richard A. Viguerie, Bonus Books, August 2004, ISBN 1-56625-252-0.
- Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause, Richard A. Viguerie, Bonus Books, August 2006, ISBN 1-56625-285-7.
- David D. Kirkpatrick, "Conservative Christians Warn Republicans Against Inaction", The New York Times, May 15, 2006.
- Richard Viguerie, "Bush's Base Betrayal", opinion piece, The Washington Post, May 21, 2006.
- Can This Marriage Be Saved?, Foley Fallout, Says Dotty Lynch, Strains GOP-Conservative Alliance - CBS News
- Washington Times
As of 2011, the Viguerie's have six grandchildren.
- ConservativeHQ.com Web Site
- Richard Viguerie at the Internet Movie Database
- A film clip "The Open Mind - "The New Right," Part I (1981)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- A film clip "The Open Mind - "The New Right," Part II (1981)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Booknotes interview with Viguerie on America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power, September 5, 2004.