- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Al Cardenas is stepping down as chairman of the American Conservative Union after spending more than three years leading the nation’s oldest grass-roots conservative organization.

Vice Chairman Tom Winter will step in to serve as an interim replacement.
Mr. Cardenas announced his decision in a letter he sent to board members Tuesday, saying he needed to focus more of his time and attention on his day job after the recent death of a law partner.

“I have had to devote the bulk of my energies to a merger with the international law firm of Squire Sanders LLC and looking after my colleagues and clients in the process,” Mr. Cardenas said in the letter. “It is now evident that my new responsibilities at Squire Sanders LLC will require more travel and allow even less time to dedicate to our beloved ACU.”

Mr. Cardenas said, “I have advised the executive committee, and now you, that I will be stepping down as your chairman effective June 1, 2014.”

Mr. Cardenas took over as head of the ACU in 2011 after David A. Keene, who had held the post since 1984, left the job.

The letter follows announcements this week that the ACU had named nine new members to its board of directors and that the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) had also added four members to its board of directors.

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On Wednesday, the ACUF also is poised to announce that it is rolling out a Center for Criminal Justice Reform, the first of a dozen centers that the group plans to unveil over the coming weeks.

Pat Nolan, the head of the Right on Crime campaign, a conservative group that advocates for prison reforms, has been tapped to serve as the group’s director.

“Criminal justice reform has become a top issue for conservatives, and we are proud to have Pat Nolan, a nationally recognized leader leading our center,” said Carly Fiorina, chairwoman of ACUF. “He brings experience as a legislator and expertise in criminal law. We are looking forward to his leadership of the foundation’s first dedicated policy center.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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