Young Conservative Activists Make Their Home in Brookline
By Neal Simpson/staff writer
GateHouse News Service
Aug 24, 2007
Brookline – In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush, the Republican incumbent, received only 20 percent of the Brookline vote. And when Brookline voters took out their checkbooks this year, they gave more than twice as much to Democratic candidates than to Republicans.
So it may come as some surprise that some of the state’s most influential young Republicans make their home in Brookline, a liberal oasis where SUV taxes and spanking bans are given regular and serious consideration.
“I pick and choose my battles,” said Richard Wheeler, the 36-year-old acting chairman of the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans. “I’m not silly enough to think I can change it.”
Wheeler has served as a member of Town Meeting since 2003, and said he often feels like the lone voice of conservative dissent. But when he’s not defending the Patriot Act from Town Meeting resolutions, he’s defending his views from his liberal friends who wonder where he went wrong.
“I escaped the brainwashing, I tell them,” Wheeler said. …