The Lincoln Club of Orange County, through its Political Action Committees, has helped shape California and national politics for five decades.
The Club's founders include many of the most prominent businessmen in Orange County history, including Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, founder of Beckman Instruments, Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, and Si Fluor, founder of Fluor Corporation. President Richard Nixon and John Wayne were once members. To this day, Club membership includes the most public-spirited and prominent business and professional men and women in Orange County.
Throughout its history, the Lincoln Club has stayed true to its founding principles and continues the important work of fighting to reduce the power and scope of government, advocating for free markets and lower taxes, and more freedom for all.
A HISTORY OF ACHIEVEMENT
THE SPARK THE IGNITED THE LINCOLN CLUB - 1962
The Orange County business community was unhappy with the results of the 1962 gubernatorial election, in which Richard Nixon lost to Pat Brown. The Club began with a letter from Robert Beaver asking Dr. Arnold O. Beckman to employ his leadership skills to build a strong Republican organization in Orange County. Beckman responded to Beaver: “I am willing to do what I can to help start an organization in Orange County.” Shortly thereafter the Lincoln Club was incorporated and Beckman is elected the Lincoln Club’s first President.
GOVERNOR RONALD REAGAN - 1966
Members of the Lincoln Club ask Ronald Reagan to run for Governor of California. The Club pledges early support. The Lincoln Club sponsors “Cal Plan,” a state-wide long-term effort to recapture the California legislature for Republicans. By 1969, Republicans held a thin margin of 40 to 39 over the Democrats in the Assembly and an edge of 21 to 19 in the State Senate.
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON - 1967
The Lincoln Club delivers important early support for Richard M. Nixon’s run for President. Club member Herbert Kalmbach becomes vice-chairman of the Nixon national finance committee.
PRESIDENT NIXON JOINS THE LINCOLN CLUB - 1974
President Richard M. Nixon joins the Lincoln Club following a breakfast at his San Clemente estate.
PROP 13 - 1978
The Lincoln Club provides early support for Proposition 13, setting off a property tax revolt which swept the nation.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN - 1980
Lincoln Club members provide early support for Ronald Reagan’s run for the White House. Ronald Reagan is elected 40th President of the United States.
GEORGE DEUKMEJIAN - 1982
The Lincoln Club takes an early role in supporting George Deukmejian for Governor.
Lincoln Club Milestone - 1984
Athalie Clark, the Irvine Ranch heiress, is the first woman to join the Lincoln Club, and today women comprise approximately 40 percent of Club membership.
CALIFORNIA REDISTRICTING - 1991
The Lincoln Club organizes funding for the development of a Republican redistricting plan at the request of Governor Pete Wilson. Without the Lincoln Club-coordinated plan, Democrats would have imposed an unfair reapportionment plan that could have frozen many Republicans out of office through the 1990s.
NEWT GINGRICH - 1993
House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich addresses the Lincoln Club and outlines his Contract With America plan to gain a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Orange County business leader Doy Henley is elected President of the Lincoln Club.
RECALL GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS - 2003
Partnering with Congressman Darrell Issa, the Lincoln Club engineers the successful campaign to recall Governor Gray Davis. The Lincoln Club was the only statewide organization to fund Rescue California, the effort to qualify the recall of Governor Davis on the October 2003 ballot. Orange County business leader Tracy Price is elected President of the Lincoln Club.
GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER - 2004
The Lincoln Club provides Arnold Schwarzenegger critical support in his run for Governor. The Club's early endorsement and widely-publicized call for the other candidates to withdraw from the race, gave evidence to the press that conservatives would support Mr. Schwarzenegger.
REPUBLICANS WIN THE U.S. SENATE - 2014
In 2014 the Club played a crucial role in supporting key battleground Senate Races leading to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate. The Club is proud to have directly supported the successful elections of Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Cory Gardner, and Senator Bill Cassidy.
Education Reform Revolution in Orange County - 2018
In 2018 the Club spearheaded an effort to elect a pro-charter school majority on the Orange County Board of Education. The Club successfully elected two Lincoln Club members to the Orange County Board of Education establishing a strong pro school choice majority. The Board of Education plays a key role in the expansion on Charter Schools in Orange County.