Homeschool Mom – Online Activist
Homeschool Mom – Online Activist

Paula Bolyard knew something was wrong. 

An Ohio native and Toledo graduate, Paula got her start in online activism with her work on education.  Following a series of articles bashing homeschooling published in a large local newspaper, Paula began educating others on homeschooling through emails, message boards, and blogs. 

“Homeschooling crosses all demographic lines and there is also an incredible amount of variety and diversity in the education styles we see in homeschooling families,” Paula said.

After receiving nationwide attention, Paula launched her own blog, primarily focusing on homeschooling and education.

Eventually, the exposure she generated led to...

Sutton's Place: Predictions...Plus 10 in the Senate
Sutton's Place: Predictions...Plus 10 in the Senate

As I write this, there is exactly one week left before the 2014 election.  In the spirit of the season, it is time for predictions.
Yet rather than make any new predictions, I will simply repeat two predictions about this year’s elections, which I made last year (December 2013 to be exact).
Ten months ago I made two bold predictions.  The first was...

Hard Work: From Kentucky Tomatoes to Conservative Politics
Hard Work: From Kentucky Tomatoes to Conservative Politics

Robert Stuber has known the value of hard work since his childhood.

Currently the Director of Development and Direct Marketing at Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Rob began his career on a farm in Louisville, KY, when he was 12.  He and his father decided to grow extra tomato plants and sell them on the side of the road.  After two years of success, Rob recalls, “We were going to become rich and planted hundreds of plants and worked our butts off, but so did everyone else and the price of tomatoes collapsed to almost nothing.  I learned a lot about free markets…and never ate a tomato again.”

Since that early entrepreneurial experience, Rob has continued working hard to help the conservative movement thrive.  He was elected...

Bachmann’s Press Sec – LI Grad Goes to Capitol Hill
Bachmann’s Press Sec – LI Grad Goes to Capitol Hill

Be the change you want to see.

As press secretary for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Mikayla Hall is doing just that.

Mikayla’s earliest political memory is of accidentally voting for Bill Clinton in 1996 during a mock election at her elementary school. 

“I went home and cried because I thought my fake vote made him win,” she said.

Born in Minnesota, Mikayla also considers Washington state one of her home states, having spent a decade in both. 

While studying Communication at the University of Washington, Mikayla joined Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) as a freshman after being recruited by a Leadership Institute (LI) field rep.  Eventually, she became YAL’s first Northwest Regional Director, organizing students in 10 states.

“LI is a toolkit.  You can use its material to build yourself the steps to a career in politics, with opportunities to practice through their internship and field program,” she said.

Serving to Protect the Last Best Hope for Mankind
Serving to Protect the Last Best Hope for Mankind

For Army veteran Larry Provost, the call to action, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” was all it took for him to feel the need to get involved.

This military veteran wasn’t always a conservative.  In fact, his mother was liberal.  It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan became president in the 1980’s that Larry began to see what conservatism was really about.

“As time went on I saw that, on an overall scale, government policies were hurting, and slowly, almost imperceptibly, taking away the dignity, freedoms, and prosperity of the very people they were supposed to help.  Reagan was the first President I remember, and he shaped my idea of what a President could be,” Larry said.

In addition to his previous work in the U.S. Army, Larry also serves as an advisor to several conservative groups, and as a Chaplain for the American Legion in Washington, DC.

His enthusiasm for helping the conservative movement is something to be admired.  Larry battles the left by contributing to conservative blogging sites like  Many of his articles share his view on what makes this country great and how to preserve it.

Likely Leftist Messaging
Likely Leftist Messaging

In case you're still confused or unsure how the left will approach this year's campaigns, here's an insightful article from the LA Times

Economic populism is the polite way the left phrases their campaign of "who to blame."

The ‘Viral Genius’ Journalist
The ‘Viral Genius’ Journalist

He lives in New York City, grew up on the West Coast, and went to college in California, but Oliver Darcy isn’t your typical liberal journalist – he works for Glenn Beck.

“Oliver Darcy is a viral – twitter, facebook, social media – genius,” said fellow journalist Josiah Ryan, who worked with Oliver at the Leadership Institute’s CampusReform and now at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.

In just one month this year, Oliver drove 25 million page views to TheBlaze.

“My interest in writing was reignited while at the Leadership Institute when I started writing...


To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at

The Leadership Institute offers over 40 types of training programs, working with more than 1,441 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, more than 143,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit:

- See more at:


The Advocate
The Advocate

Chelsi Henry doesn’t view herself as a politico; she's an advocate. 

“I’ve always had an interest in being able to serve others and be an advocate for others.  Since I was a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be an attorney and be able to use my skills to help people in the public sector,” said Chelsi.

And she has definitely succeeded.

Chelsi uses her voice to advocate for others through prayer, entrepreneurship, and political involvement.  Chelsi stays busy promoting conservative values within...

Sutton's Place Returns
Sutton's Place Returns

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the return of many special American traditions...children return to school, the football season begins, leaves change color...and Sutton's Place returns from an extended summer hiatus.

The political season is upon us as well.  Rather than an occasional commentary every week or two, Sutton's Place will be very active during the next several weeks.  So expect to see more frequent observations and opinions (at least through Election Day).

Let's start with a discussion of the relatively obscure Democrat primary for Governor in Rhode Island.  Who thought RI's Dem primary would hold a valuable lesson for conservatives?

Check out this op-ed from the Washington Post.  It details the candidacy (and victory) of Gina Raimondo who championed an aggressive restructuring of public sector employee union pensions in RI.

You may recall the attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, an important campaign which drew our attention.  But on the same day that recall attempt failed, there were two very important referendums in California that deserved our attention as well.

Biggest Upset Since 1899
Biggest Upset Since 1899

Campaign Manager Zachary Werrell orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in political history at the age of 23.  

Despite being outspent nearly 40 to 1, Zach’s candidate Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor with 56% of the vote in the Republican primary.  This was the first time a sitting House Majority Leader has been defeated since the position was created in 1899.

His success is thanks to an overwhelming grassroots campaign and effective political activists. 

“It wasn’t some establishment machine kind of political campaign, but it was the people doing it,” he said.

Zach credits most of the techniques he used to pull off this upset to his Leadership Institute training.

“There is nothing like baptism through fire to fully appreciate...

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