David A. Keene – November 11, 1998


David A. Keene

A Look at Elections: What Do They Mean?

The son of two Wisconsin labor union organizers, David Keene has been active in national politics since 1968, and has worked for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole and Senator James L. Buckley. Keene served as Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU) from 1984 until 2011. The ACU organizes the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a gathering of conservative organizations that is frequently co-sponsored by the National Rifle Association.

Friends have nicknamed Keene “Baby Doc David Keene,” comparing his ability as a conservative power broker to Jean-Claude Duvalier’s iron-fisted rule of Haiti. High-profile lobbyist Craig Shirley has said of Keene, “In all those years that I’ve known him, there was never an important conservative meeting which he was not part of.” Fellow NRA Board Member Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, has called Keene “a conservative Forrest Gump. He has been in the center of all things conservative for decades.”

Keene serves as a Managing Associate at Carmen Group Lobbying, a firm that routinely collects over $10 million a year in lobbying fees. After becoming NRA President in May 2011, Keene stated that the organization’s “major goal is to defeat [President Barack] Obama [in the 2012 presidential election].

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