President & CEO Kevin Dayton has dedicated his professional career to the pursuit of essential principles of government:
- a free market economic framework
- limited and minimalist government
- economic and personal freedom
- balanced budgets
- low taxes and fees
- reasonable regulations that are few in number and necessary for public order
- adherence to the constitutional structure of American government, even when it is inconvenient, offensive, or an impediment to “solving problems”
- a proper and segregated relationship between government and the institutions of commerce, marriage, family, and church
He is determined to support his family in this manner and wants to avoid “selling out” and making a living lobbying for special tax breaks, government subsidies, or other elements of what is derisively called “crony capitalism.” Based in California, he has always had his work cut out for him.
Despite a general unease about the fearsome power and relentless expansion of government, Dayton learned the following political arts and sciences over 20 years of comprehensive and challenging work experience:
- issue research and analysis
- strategic planning and management for developing and implementing public policies
- compiling historical records of activity on public policy issues
- evaluating issues under a broad perspective of federal, state, and local government involvement
- evaluating issues under a broad perspective of legislative, executive, and judicial branch involvement
- developing and coordinating coalitions
- encouraging interested parties to communicate with their government
- public relations
- political mailer conceptual design and message content (I contract out for the actual graphic work)
- campaign strategy
- campaign and issue advocacy fundraising
After graduating from Yale University in 1992 with a B.A. in History, Dayton spent a few years in legislative branch public service analyzing federal public policies as an aide to U.S. Representative Gary A. Franks (R-Connecticut) in Washington, D.C. He then found a sanctuary for free market advocacy for more than 17 years holding various government affairs management positions to advance and defend the Merit Shop philosophy for Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) at the federal level and then at the state and local levels in California.
Dayton was a member of the post-1994 election Associated Builders and Contractors National Government Affairs Department, described by National Journal magazine in October 1995 as The Mean Team: “…it is tenacious and favors the take-no-prisoners approach to litigation and lobbying…it’s just another day at the office for the ABC’s pugnacious team.” He subsequently created and directed the aggressive and principled Government Affairs programs for what is now the Northern California Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (formerly the Golden Gate Chapter) and for Associated Builders and Contractors of California.
Dayton endured executive branch public service as an appointee to the California Wage Board and the City of Roseville Sustainable Action Committee. He is an Adjunct Fellow in Labor Studies for the Pacific Research Institute, based in San Francisco. He is on the Board of Advisors for the California League of Bond Oversight Committees.
In the first half of the 2000s, Dayton was an executive committee member of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, the Bay Area Director of what was then the Young Republican Federation of California, an officer (and editor of the monthly newsletter Pachydermia) in what was the Young Republican Federation of Contra Costa, and an alternate on the Contra Costa County Republican Central Committee. He subsequently cut back on his political volunteer activities to focus on family and church.
While Dayton has a broad mastery of numerous policy issues (and is always trying to expand that mastery), his specialties are employment and labor issues (particularly for the construction industry), environmental issues, and tax and budget issues. Dayton particularly likes labor issues because “labor issues are passionate and personal, and much more exciting than fiddling around with the tax code.”