Webinar replay: effective door-to-door
Patricia Simpson
September 27, 2012
Webinar replay: effective door-to-door
The key to winning an election is much more than simply turning out more voters than your opponent. You must learn the techniques that successful campaigns have been using for years, and then adapt them to fit your winning formula.A successful door-to-door effort could be the difference you need to win!
Webinar replay: voter registration
Patricia Simpson
August 23, 2012
Webinar replay: voter registration
Voter registration is as important as volunteers and fundraising for a campaign. You can't win if you don't have the votes. Learn how to find unregistered voters and why a successful voter registration drive can lead to victory.
Webinar replay: Voter goals
Patricia Simpson
August 16, 2012
Webinar replay: Voter goals
Missed last night's webinar? No problem -- watch it whenever you have time today or this weekend. (Click "Read the full story" to get started!) You'll hear from Bryan Bernys on voter goals. Bryan is LI's Vice President for the Campus Leadership Program. Bryan came to the Institute with a wealth of campaign experience: New Hampshire Field Director for the McCain 2008 campaign, Field Director for the Tarrant for Senate campaign in Vermont, Campaign Manager for Robinson for Delegate in Virginia, consultant for the Ball for Delegate special election in Virginia, and field staff for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign in Michigan.>
Webinar replay: Campaign structure and organization
Leadership Institute Staff
August 10, 2012
Webinar replay: Campaign structure and organization
Missed last night's webinar? No problem -- watch it whenever you have time today or this weekend.You'll hear from Linwood Bragan on campaign structure and organization. Linwood began his political life in 1972. His campaign experience covers management, operations, finance, and grassroots. Twice he has been a candidate himself. He has lectured in 20 states on political activism, finance, organization and elections from New England to the Rockies and the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.You can register right now for next week's webinar: determining voter goals, which will be held live on Wednesday, August 15 at 7pm EST.
Get paid to fight the left and launch your career
Morton Blackwell
June 21, 2012
Get paid to fight the left and launch your career
It has often and probably correctly been said that there are today more convinced Marxists on American college faculties than there are in the former Soviet empire. Any conservative college student you know who is now enrolled at any but the tiny handful of explicitly conservative colleges could curl your hair with stories of leftist bias and abuses on his or her own campus. And the professors, the college officials, and the national leftist groups which pour resources into student organizations know very well what they're doing: undermining the political, cultural, and moral foundations of America under the cover of "academic freedom." The left does not take kindly to any expression of conservative principles on their campus strongholds. Over the years, the left has wiped out and excluded from many colleges and universities anything supportive of limited government, free enterprise, strong national defense, or traditional values. But our Campus Leadership Program (CLP) is over the moat and cracking their walls. Today the Leadership Institute works with 1,379 conservative student groups and publications on 658 campuses in all 50 states. In August, I will send 25 field representatives to college campuses across the country to identify and recruit conservative students and help them organize independent conservative groups and publications. Perhaps you -- or a bright, young conservative you know -- will be one of them. Employment as a field rep is resumé gold. Field reps use the experience and connections they gain to launch rewarding careers in grassroots activism, campaigns, legislative work on Capitol Hill, lobbying, and even long-term employment with the Leadership Institute or other fine conservative organizations. The positions fill very rapidly. The pay is generous; the experience is priceless. Potential field reps made 1,200 inquiries about the program last year. LI hired 20 of the best. Opportunities for full-time, paid jobs fighting for your beliefs do not come along very often. You, or a young conservative you know, can apply online right now: http://www.conservativejobs.com/fieldrep Last year, LI's 20 field reps newly identified 15,377 conservative students and helped form 205 student groups and publications. LI field reps are an essential element of conservatives' long-term struggle against the campus left across America. Independent conservative student groups and publications fight back against the radical leftists who dominate the faculty, administration, and campus life at the majority of American colleges. In many cases, CLP groups are the only manifestations of any conservative presence on their campuses. Local student leaders are often the only people promoting conservative principles at their schools. Just knowing they are not alone on campus, that other people around them on campus openly espouse conservative principles, encourages conservative students to resist the indoctrination, propaganda, and actual oppression which the left so often systematically imposes on American college campuses. With Institute training and support, young conservatives learn how to: fight political correctness and classroom bias host conservative speakers and events on campus start conservative newspapers win student government elections Thousands of them will become more effective conservative leaders and activists and stay active politically all their lives. I had thought about helping conservative students create their own campus groups for many years. Let me share with you my thinking as I designed LI's Campus Leadership Program. While College Republican clubs tend to be conservative, not all of them are. And partisan political clubs often focus on election-campaign activities to the exclusion of explicitly promoting their political principles. It happens that none of the other non-partisan conservative organizations which work largely with college students had any program to organize significant numbers of student groups on campus. The field was wide open for some conservative educational organization to take up the important task of organizing local student groups. I saw the need, and I wanted to do this for years. After much thinking and planning, I began the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program in 1997 as a pilot program with only one staffer responsible for organizing and working with conservative student groups at campuses in the D.C. area. With the generous help of Leadership Institute donors, I then gradually expanded the program to cover the nation. By 2007, after 10 years' work, 1,015 student groups were affiliated with CLP. Today that number is 1,379 active conservative student groups, a 35% increase in five years. I intended the Campus Leadership Program as a "rescue mission" for conservative students subjected to leftist indoctrination and persecution. It's working. Absent moral reinforcement, more students would be sucked into the flow and come to believe that what their families and the healthy aspects of American culture taught them is old-fashioned and perhaps evil -- that it is doomed and not worth fighting for. The last thing the leftists want is for conservatives to promote conservative principles effectively on college campuses. This August, LI will fly 25 selected field representatives to LI's headquarters in Arlington, VA for a week of intensive training. They will learn the tools and tactics necessary for their success in identifying, organizing, and activating conservative college students in their regions. They will understand how to teach conservative college students to promote their principles on their campuses. Let me share with you what I may say to this group of field representatives in the address I give to every class: You are now important parts of a project which will have significant impact on our country. You will change many lives, and some of your recruits may become your lifelong friends. You'll be able to see much of the good which will come from your activities this semester. But much more good will be done than you will ever be able to measure because when you launch people in the right direction they will do good things you may never see or hear about. Make no mistake about it: Some of the people you find, recruit, activate, and train will be fighting for conservative principles for the rest of your life. Some will outlast you and do good things for our country which you will never see, things which will make America better for your children and your grandchildren. Years from now you will look back on this period of your life as one of your most interesting and valuable experiences. Good luck. And God bless you. Please apply for the Leadership Institute's field representative program online (http://www.conservativejobs.com/fieldrep), or share this exciting job opportunity with a bright, young conservative you know. Opportunities for full-time, paid jobs fighting for your beliefs do not come along very often. The positions will fill quickly; apply right now.
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on Justin Pulliam
Abigail Alger
March 20, 2012
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on Justin Pulliam
At 19, Justin Pulliam was named the "most dangerous man on campus" by the New York Times. "I thought it was clever," Justin, now 22, said. He paused for a beat and grinned. "But true." Justin entered Texas A&M University as an 18-year-old freshman in fall 2008. A Texas native from north of Dallas, he intended to be an Animal Science major, maybe show cattle like he'd done in high school, and be involved in some campus groups. He had no idea that one year later he'd have a profile in the New York Times, a live interview on MSNBC, and a reputation as a tough, principled conservative activist and student leader. In his orientation week at A&M, Justin met up with Tony Listi, a senior, a graduate of four Leadership Institute trainings, and a future LI staff member. Tony had founded a campus conservative group, later known as the Texas Aggie Conservatives, and he wanted Justin to be involved. The two reviewed Tony's plan for the year and, in less than two weeks, Justin was the group's Technology Director, responsible for video footage and the website. At the group's first activism event in September 2008, Justin was “really timid,” as he explained. It was a counter-protest to the Brazos Valley Coalition Against the War, and he spent the time holding a camera -- not a sign. But that afternoon was the first time Justin saw the benefits of activism. "Everyone was honking at us and rolling down their windows," he said. "I got the sense that what we were doing was important." In October, Justin suggested the Texas Aggie Conservatives present a birthday cake to a Democratic congressman visiting campus. The congressman voted with Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, 96% of the time. The cake was frosted with a photo of the congressman with Speaker Pelosi, and a pretty pink heart next to “96%” written in icing. At the congressman's event, Justin manned the camera, Tony presented the cake, and the rest of the group gave a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.” “It was the craziest thing we've ever done,” Justin said. He was hooked. By his sophomore year, Justin was chairman of the Texas Aggie Conservatives, and the group was ready for its biggest year yet. Justin had attended LI's Student Activism Conference in Austin the previous year. He met with student leaders from across Texas and Oklahoma, and worked with Institute staff to get how-to lessons and create an activism plan for his campus. To finish the 2008-2009 school year, the Texas Aggie Conservatives hosted a tea party, celebrated Ronald Reagan's birthday, had conservative speaker events, and passed out flyers showing Aggie professors' endorsements of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Justin was not uncertain about being a campus activist anymore. He relished it. “I came to the realization that it's either me or no one,” Justin said. “No one else is going to stand up for the conservative philosophy on campus. No one else is going to stand up for our values. No one else is going to do it for us. I had tons of friends and allies, but if I hadn't been an organizer, all that potential would have been lost.” In August 2009, Justin's group members protested their Congressman at a health care town hall, earning media coverage in the liberal Huffington Post. In September, the group hosted a 9/11 Never Forget Memorial, planting flags for each victim of the terrorist attacks; celebrated Constitution Day by handing out pocket Constitutions; and entertained more than 200 students at “Laugh at the Left,” a comedy night with conservative talk radio host Michael Graham. But October was the best of all. On October 16, President Obama came to campus amidst the heated national debate on healthcare – and the Texas Aggie Conservatives were ready. With conservative students and activists from across the state, the Aggies held a rally of hundreds united against the national healthcare draft. Protesters held signs and chanted while group members dressed up in costume – as President Obama, as the Grim Reaper, and even as Uncle Sam – and collected petition signatures. The media was there to cover it, thanks in part to Justin's work with LI's CampusReform.org staff to publicize the event. Justin emerged as the student leader of the movement, which was covered by local, state, and national media. He was profiled in the New York Times as the "most dangerous man on campus," and even did a live MSNBC interview from the protest. The interview was supposed to be on-camera, but -- as Justin recalled -- an administrator wouldn't allow him past a security checkpoint to MSNBC's cameras, so he finished it by phone. “Activism, especially controversial activism, might seem intense at first,” Justin said. “But if you're professional and have a good message, your activism will rally the troops and get media attention for the conservative movement.” The protest was only one part of Justin's plans for the weekend, though. The next day, he hosted LI's Youth Leadership School on campus, training 48 students. His group sponsored a movie screening on Sunday and a talk with Lord Monckton, a conservative speaker against radical environmentalists, on Monday. “That's like a snapshot of four days in the life of a student activist,” Justin said. “It's intense.” But still Justin took on more. His writing for The Anthem, an independent conservative student publication which LI field staff helped students establish, piqued his interest in student government. Justin ran for, and won, one-year terms in the Student Senate in spring 2009 and 2010. “I don't think I stood up and talked at all in the entire first semester,” Justin said. “I didn't ask questions, I didn't debate, and I certainly didn't write any legislation.” Halfway through his first term, Justin asked a question in a Senate meeting. At the next meeting he debated. Before he knew it, he was writing bills, influencing the agenda, and providing live video and recordings for A&M students and for official recordkeeping. Before that, administrators would come to the Student Senate to request student fee increases – and none of the requests were on the record. Justin spent his first year in Student Senate working with friends and allies to build a conservative caucus. Together, they identified and recruited conservative students, and trained them to run winning campaigns, hosting LI's Campus Election Workshop at A&M. After his own reelection in spring 2010, Justin turned his attention to a big issue, soon to become another national story: in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Since 2001, as Justin first explained in a CampusReform.org blog post, Texas had allowed illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition benefits. Out-of-state residents paid more than $15,000 each year to attend A&M while Texan taxpayers subsidized 12,138 illegal students in the 2009-2010 school year. Justin introduced a bill to end the practice at A&M with more than 40 other Aggies. His group collected more than 500 student signatures in support of the bill, and grew a Facebook group – Aggies Against In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens – to more than 1,500 members in less than a week. The story was picked up by local, state, and national media, including a clip with the Associated Press and an interview with Fox News. “Because we worked with LI's Campus Leadership Program and CampusReform.org, we were able to be very successful,” Justin said frankly. “If not for that, we would have just been some college kids messing around, introducing bills in a Student Senate meeting. Our message would not have gotten any further than the 75 people in the Senate room.” The Student Senate passed the bill with a majority, but the student body president vetoed it. Conservatives in the Student Senate couldn't find the votes to override the veto. But the fight didn't end there. Thanks to the media attention for A&M's bill, Justin said, six bills were introduced in the Texas state legislature to end taxpayer-subsidized tuition for illegal immigrants. The bill was contentious on campus – and Justin felt the ire of the campus left personally. “It's ridiculous how much people can hate,” Justin said bluntly. He recalled reams of insulting emails and even an A&M professor who told him “go f--- yourself, Pulliam” as he collected petition signatures for the measure in November. But for Justin, the fight was worth it. “We kept the pressure on, and we kept dragging it out, bringing it up, and getting more and more press for the issue,” Justin explained. “In doing so, we advanced the conservative agenda.” Justin graduated from Texas A&M in December 2011 with a degree in Animal Science, a Senator of the Year Award from the Student Senate officers, and a lifelong commitment to conservative activism. Last month, Justin received the Weyrich Award for Youth Leader of the Year. The award, part of the Weyrich Awards Dinner, honors the legacy of leadership of the late Paul Weyrich, one of the foremost thinkers and organizers of the modern conservative movement and who was the first president of the Heritage Foundation, a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the founder and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, and the National Chairman of Coalitions for America. “I was shocked to receive the award,” Justin said. He paused for a moment and then added, “I would love to train next year's Weyrich Youth Leader of the Year. That would mean so much to me. The best success for the conservative leader is to train someone to do better.” Justin may be uniquely positioned to complete his goal. In mid-February this year, he started work at the Leadership Institute as a Regional Field Coordinator for LI's Campus Leadership Program. His job is to give conservative student leaders the support, guidance, and advice he once counted on from LI staff. “The Leadership Institute can arm you with the knowledge, tactics, tools, and training to be able to advance the conservative movement and defeat the left on campus,” Justin explained. “There's a lot to fight against, and all the resources are here under LI's roof: great people, great resources, great training, and great tools.” Whether you are a young conservative or you know a young conservative eager to do more for his or her principles, contact the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program right now. “Anyone with a motivation can do what I did,” Justin said. “By utilizing the resources available at LI, even a busy college student – a student concerned about getting a job or keeping a high GPA – can be an effective conservative student leader, can advance their cause, can build a coalition, and can even appear on national media.” There's no better endorsement than that. Please contact LI's Campus Leadership Program for you or a young conservative you know. This piece was published in the spring 2012 issue of the Leadership Institute's Leadership Memo.
Blackwell Briefing: America's Biggest Political Problem since 1860
Morton C. Blackwell
March 20, 2012
Blackwell Briefing: America's Biggest Political Problem since 1860
National recovery depends on rolling back previous leftist victories. That means giving no more gains to the left through compromises, cutting government outlays on “entitlements” and “discretionary” spending, and cutting back both regulations and the legal authority for bureaucrats to impose more regulations. That's the only way to save the economy, promote growth, and create more jobs. The pendulum of public policy must be swung back. If that is not achieved, our country is headed straight for something much worse than the similarly-caused financial crisis today in European countries. It would be worse because, unlike for Europe now, there is no source on Earth capable of bailing out a bankrupt United States. Rolling back big government is the greatest political problem in the United States since 1860. Every expenditure of government funds has a constituency to support it fiercely. And the anti-reform constituency includes more than the direct recipients of government checks. Lobbyists are a major part of the problem. Most of them make most of their money by seeking financial advantages from government for their clients. They will use their contacts and skills to prevent any reduction in government power to make decisions to favor special interests. Similarly, trial lawyers are always and everywhere the most active foes of tort reform, even though tort reform certainly increases general prosperity. Lobbyists and trial lawyers will fight conservatives in the political process, but the ideological left doesn't limit itself to peaceful, civilized activity. Let us suppose that the conservatives newly activated in politics succeed in electing a determined conservative President and a Congress with determined conservative majorities in both Houses. What would the left do? They would take to the streets, initiate violence, blame conservatives for provoking the violence, and count on their supporters in the media to raise a public clamor against the leaders responsible for each and every proposed or enacted cut in the cost or power of government. What happened in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011 was mild compared to the national disruption which would ensue. Through violence and disruption, the left would do all they could to make the country ungovernable. And I'm not certain they wouldn't succeed. Nevertheless, conservatives can do much to prevent America from continuing down the path to disaster. For me, that means doing all I can to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in government, politics, and the news media. Fortunately, thousands of Americans generously contribute to my efforts to identify, recruit, train, and place a new generation of conservative leaders and activists. In 2010, my Leadership Institute trained more than 9,600 people, a new record, and in 2011 my staff and I trained more than 11,800 people and set a new record. Since 1979, my institute has taught more than 104,000 conservatives how to win in the public policy process, including more than 13,000 who live in Virginia. Although I am quite certain that the fundamental purpose of the left is to gain power for themselves over others, I believe that conservatives should be prepared to counter the left's claim to be motivated by a noble desire to provide equally for the needs and prosperity of all humanity. There is no compatibility between financial equality and either liberty or general prosperity. For wealth to be created, some people hire other people. Where in all history has there been financial equality except where all people were equally poor? How did it hurt Americans for Steve Jobs to have, say, seven billion dollars? Would it have hurt us more if he had a fortune of $20 billion or $50 billion? As long as he did not force us to buy his products, he was entitled to the profits from his sales to willing customers. The legitimate role of government is to protect people from abuse, not to make them financially equal. That would amount to political plunder. I spent many years fighting Nelson Rockefeller's people within the Republican Party, but I never thought it would be right for government to take away his money. And conservatives like me regularly defeated the better-financed Rockefeller Republicans in College Republicans, Young Republicans, and the senior party. Unfortunately, envy is a common and strong human characteristic. Wise people eschew envy, but many others are attracted by people who promise them something for nothing, particularly when they are encouraged to believe that receiving for nothing the wealth of others is somehow achieving “justice.” None of the Occupiers understand the old story about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Perhaps their parents never read it to them. What does the gap between the richest and poorest in any country signify? Despite familiar claims to contrary, in any prosperous country, the poor don't get poorer as the rich get richer. The poorest of the poor, and there are always many of them, are flat broke and can't get any poorer. A good definition of the American Dream is when poor people manage through their legitimate efforts to become rich. With economic liberty, that happens often, but it serves the left's purposes to have many people believe that economic success is somehow immoral. The rich getting richer inevitably provides more jobs for the poor, unless the poor loot the rich and destroy the ability of job creators to create more wealth in the country. While hate and envy aren't virtues, hiring people and making charitable gifts are. Rich people notoriously redistribute some of their wealth by hiring other people who are willing to work for them. Most rich people share some of their wealth by contributing, often very generously, sometimes anonymously, to help poor people or to improve society in other ways they think are important. In contrast, when government gets involved in matters done more efficiently by private, voluntary transactions, everything is politicized. Who gets what becomes a political decision. That's a guarantee of inefficiency, waste, fraud, corporate welfare, and favoritism based on political alliances. Government never creates wealth. Government employment and government-provided “benefits” necessarily require compulsory taxation of private wealth or borrowing and leaving the bill to be paid, if it can be paid, by future taxpayers. Politicians motivated by the desire to get power or stay in power well understand, as the saying goes, “If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can count on Paul's vote.” And since Paul always wants more and more of Peter's money, many politicians spend their careers promising almost everyone something for nothing. The most effective ploy of the Occupiers has proved to be their adoption of the claim that they represent 99% of the people against the richest 1% percent. That's a modern adaptation of “Workers of the world, unite!” And it has the advantage of continued applicability. Even if all the wealth of the current top 1% were taken from them, there would still be others left to loot, those comprising the new 1%. Note that the vilification of the top 1% is pure class warfare. It makes no distinction for those who earned their money legitimately. A more relevant division would be between the Occupiers and a vastly larger group, those who aspire to be among the top 1% and work hard to provide the goods and services others want to pay for. The left cannot accept the increasingly obvious fact that big government is destroying jobs and bankrupting our country and its people. With that deliberate blindness comes a political vulnerability. The American people are waking up to the certainty of disastrous consequences for our country if big government isn't drastically trimmed. Whether or not enough Americans will wake up in time to make their weight felt in the coming November elections is an open question. But I have noticed that audiences get the point and respond enthusiastically when I ask if they've seen the new travel brochure. Its headline reads: “Visit Greece. See our brand new ruins.” This piece was published in the spring 2012 issue of the Leadership Institute's Leadership Memo.
LI Graduates of the Week: Newly Elected Virginia Delegate Mike Watson and Campaign Manager Annette James
Lauren Hart
November 14, 2011
LI Graduates of the Week: Newly Elected Virginia Delegate Mike Watson and Campaign Manager Annette James
Leadership Institute graduates Mike Watson, founder and president of Control Automation Technologies Corporation and, as of last week, newly elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, together with his Campaign Manager Annette James are this week's Leadership Institute Graduates of the Week. “Mike Watson and I met at LI just under one year ago and this past week, we brought home a victory for Mike as the new delegate over an incumbent in a district with a 53 percent Obama approval rating, and where the generic ballot test favored the Democrat,” Annette said. “It was an uphill battle, but we succeeded.” Mike and Annette met at LI's week-long Campaign Management School in December 2010. “LI is one of the best things that you can do if you are interested in politics,” Annette said. “The amount of information you receive is a bit like ‘drinking from a fire hose.'" Mike said: “I have a clear vision of goals for the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation. As I determine the route that I will take to accomplish these, rest assured, I will make a difference. Without a doubt, the knowledge and skills learned through LI will be a significant facilitator in this effort.” Mike has taken many LI trainings: Television Workshops (both introduction to techniques and also on-camera); Public Speaking Workshop; Campaign Manager School; Future Candidate School; and Legislative Project Management School. Annette too has come for lots of training, including the Event Planning Workshop; Travel-Campaign Management School; Public Speaking Workshop; Campaign Manager School; and Youth Leadership School. Mike and Annette pursued the goal of “working to preserve the American dream,” Mike's campaign slogan, and brought home a victory last Tuesday in Virginia's state elections. As Mike heads to work in Richmond, Annette is heading back to her home in Florida before gearing up for a national campaign. “Mike and I are both willing and eager to come back to LI and tell our story at any training class you would like us at,” Annette said. “Any way we can help to promote the heck out of LI through this victory, we would be thrilled to do so!” Annette added, “We will always be grateful to LI; you hold a special place in our hearts.” LI offers campaign training the first full week of every month. Mike and Annette met at one of these week-long campaign trainings. Come to a training; you just never know. To read a former story on Annette, please click here. To read a former story on Mike, please click here. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI Grad of the Week: President of New Mexico think tank
Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella
August 8, 2011
LI Grad of the Week: President of New Mexico think tank
August 8, 2011, Arlington, VA—Paul Gessing, president of New Mexico's free market think tank—the Rio Grande Foundation—is the Leadership Institute's Graduate of the Week. “LI has been a big part of my success within the free market/conservative movement,” Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said. “LI gives some of the best training in politics, public policy, and campaigns of anyone (regardless of ideology) in the nation.” The Rio Grande Foundation is “a research institute dedicated to increasing liberty and prosperity for all of New Mexico's citizens. We do this by informing New Mexicans of the importance of individual freedom, limited government, and economic opportunity,” their website says. A native from Ohio, Paul moved to the Washington, D.C. area to work in public policy in 1997. He recalls, “I was a liberal when I came to DC, but through self-reflection and a lucky connection with a Ron Paul staffer, [I] became much more liberty-minded.” Paul spent most of his professional career in DC working in government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union; however, after 8.5 years in DC he was ready to move on. “There happened to be a think tank leadership opening in New Mexico, which I took since I had significant family in the Albuquerque area,” Paul said. Paul has attended 6 trainings at the Leadership Institute. They include: Internet Activist Workshop; On-Camera Television Workshop; Public Speaking Workshop 2; Public Speaking Workshop; Grassroots Communications Workshop; and another Public Speaking Workshop in 2004. When asked how LI trainings have helped him, Paul said, “I've always been a good writer and have never struggled putting ideas on paper, but public speaking and on-camera speaking were never my strengths. I learned how to be much more poised and use [LI] techniques to make my points stronger. These techniques helped me interview for my current job and help me very day as I attempt to communicate the message of liberty to a New Mexico audience.” “The Leadership Institute is the granddaddy of conservative training organizations,” Paul said. “If you ever want to run for office, work for a political campaign, volunteer for a candidate, or want to maximize your effectiveness in working with a political party, be sure to attend [one of their trainings].” We welcome Paul Gessing as LI's Grad of the Week! Thank you for all you do to defend liberty in New Mexico. If you would like to learn public speaking and TV techniques like Paul, visit our schedule of upcoming trainings. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
South Carolina State Representative Bill Taylor: “My campaign success was fueled by enrolling in LI’s Future Candidate School”
Lauren Hart
August 1, 2011
South Carolina State Representative Bill Taylor: “My campaign success was fueled by enrolling in LI’s Future Candidate School”
August 1, 2011—Arlington, VA— Bill Taylor was never driven to run for public office. He does admit to having a keen interest in politics since his youngest days as a television news reporter. But it wasn't until he put his 40-plus year media career behind him that he discovered a true desire for public service. He credits the Leadership Institute to helping him make his full commitment to the political process. “I've always viewed life as a glorious adventure where opportunities are seized,” Bill said. “I've never felt like I worked a day in my life because I've always chosen to do what I love. Therefore, work was never drudgery; it was an exhilarating challenge.” Bill spent the first decade of his broadcasting career as a TV news reporter, producer, news director and anchorman. He covered anti-war protests and the civil rights tumult of the 60's and even interviewed Martin Luther King. He admits to being most fascinated by various politicians having had the opportunity to cover President Johnson and President Nixon and interview Hubert Humphrey in the back seat of his limo on the campaign trail. Most memorable was the 70th birthday of famed Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen. Bill went to Dirksen's home in Pekin, Illinois, where the Senator played his piano and sang for Bill on camera. For more than three decades, Bill was a media consultant. He was co-founder and CEO of media research and consulting firms based in Dallas, Los Angeles, and London. As a news consultant, he worked to maintain his political neutrality saying, “It was right and proper; I only wish fairness existed into today's media.” Bill did serve George H.W. Bush's White House as a consultant in 1991-92, but his focus was not political. He helped develop the President's Points of Light initiative which honored volunteerism. After retiring from consulting, Bill says his personal, political road trip began in January 2009 with the initial inkling he might run for the South Carolina General Assembly. Bill says, “It was an itch that needed scratching and like many conservatives I was troubled by what I saw coming from President Obama and the Democrats running Congress. It was not ‘Change' I believed in.” Bill spent the next seven months carefully considering his options and opportunities. Enter the Leadership Institute. “My campaign success was fueled by our enrolling in LI's Future Candidate's School; it was a most valuable experience. It's essential to be as knowledgeable as possible and prepared for the twists and turns of a political campaign. LI smoothed our political road to success. For that we are most thankful,” Bill says. A pivotal moment came in August 2009 when the political road led Bill and his wife, Donna, to LI's headquarters in Arlington, VA. Bill says, “My wife and I enrolled in LI's Future Candidate School. We weren't certain what to expect, but we knew we were in this political thing together as we have been during every major endeavor in our forty years of marriage. We weren't disappointed!” “We were well fed by LI, but the real nourishment came in the many hours we spent in the classroom listening and learning from the knowledgeable political experts from both inside LI and the outsiders brought in to stoke us with their knowledge and expertise,” Bill recounted. A strong family man, Bill told his adult children about the decision to run for office in October of 2009. He officially announced his candidacy in January 2010. Applying LI tactics, Bill and his wife formed a campaign team, equipped with a full-time campaign manager, volunteers and a seasoned political consultant. They canvassed door-to-door for nearly three months, walking most neighborhoods in his large House district. “I learned at LI that retail politics is essential; looking voters in the eye, discussing issues important to them, and asking for their vote is how one gets elected,” Bill said. “Besides, I found canvassing exhilarating and I couldn't wait to knock on doors most evenings.” “It paid off; we found success in the June 2010 primary election. With the help of many, I defeated the 8 year incumbent 57% to 43%. He was the establishment candidate who had lived in Aiken County all his life. I was the outsider having moved to South Carolina less than a decade ago,” Bill says. “I was endorsed by the three Aiken County Tea Parties. He was backed by the establishment. I was seen by many as bold, fresh, and accessible,” Bill says in looking back. Bill implemented the tactics and strategies from the LI's Future Candidate School on his campaign and found victory. For this, we welcome State Representative Bill Taylor as LI's Graduate of the Week. If you are considering running for office, come to LI's Future Candidate School next week. Learn more and register here. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Aleq Boyle, attending LI training since 1987
Lauren Hart
April 20, 2011
Aleq Boyle, attending LI training since 1987
Aleq Boyle attended his first Leadership Institute training in 1987 as a college student. Now he's the president and chairman of his own non-profit organization, Fremont Civics Foundation, but he still comes to the Institute for training. "My first Youth Leadership School was at Northwestern University in 1987," Aleq said. "Having already worked for the Indiana State GOP, under Gordon Durnell, LI was a way to be connected with many like-minded individuals and grow some understanding about our work." Aleq has attended nine Institute trainings since 1987, including the Campaign Management School, Youth Leadership School, International Leadership Training Seminar, Public Relations School, and Candidate Development School -- several of them more than once. Currently, Aleq serves as the president and chairman of the Fremont Civics Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission, as he explains, to "raise civics, governance, history, and political awareness among our younger citizens, leading them in healthy debate of issues facing our republic." "For anyone who seeks to improve our republic and learn about government, LI training is indispensable," Aleq said. "LI's programs lay foundations for rewarding, successful careers, be they political or in business and my personal focus, philanthropy." Aleq has also used his Institute connections to mentor a New Jersey college student, Alex Fitzsimmons. After meeting Alex at LI's 2009 gala, Aleq said, "we built a rapport and made friends. He would return back to school after the event and we stayed in touch. He shared his plans to attend GWU, where he has proved a leading student in academics, and even has served his new community as a tutor for other students. He is an exceptional young man in the conservative cause." Aleq also introduced Alex to LI training, which Aleq called a "great experience for collegiate youth and even high school would-be activists, as they were for me when I attended Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana."
And the
Lauren Hart
April 18, 2011
And the "Oscar of the political advertising" goes to LI faculty Holly Robichaud
A few weeks ago, Holly Robichaud, Leadership Institute faculty for grassroots, received the 2011 Pollie Award for campaign brochure design and was named to the 2011 Aristotle's Excellence Awards Republican National Dream Team. The awards were dubbed the "Oscars of political advertising" by Esquire. Since 2008, Holly has travelled across the country as an Institute faculty member. She has trained conservatives in school topics ranging from campaigns, communications, to get-out-the-vote efforts. This is all in addition to her work as the founder of the Tuesday Associates, a political consulting company; a political analyst for the Boston Herald; and a columnist for Winning Campaigns magazine. Tuesday Associates won the Pollie for its "Sick of Congress Barf Bags." The campaign, created for the Marty Lamb congressional campaign, propelled Lamb to a seven-point victory in a five-way GOP primary. The barf bag was both an on-the-ground and online sensation; Michelle Malkin called it the "political gimmick of the year." The barf bags were also featured on local TV and Your World with Neil Cavuto. Holly was named to the Aristotle "dream team" for her direct mail design of a talking card for the Shaunna O'Connell campaign. Robichaud's audio card featured Rep. James Fagan's infamous speech against Jessica's Law. It is credited for the upset victory for State Rep. Shaunna O'Connell. "I am honored to have received this national recognition for my designs and creative ideas. I work hard to think outside of the box to deliver a candidate's message to the voters," Holly said. Holly is one of hundreds of expert political professionals who volunteer their time and talent to train conservatives at the Leadership Institute. LI staff and supporters congratulate Holly on her accomplishments and thank her for what she has given back to the conservative movement. Find more information on your next training opportunity with Holly Robichaud or LI's other experienced faculty right now.
Washington Post: Liberals Imitate Leadership Institute Training
Washington Post
March 29, 2011
Washington Post: Liberals Imitate Leadership Institute Training
As an Institute supporter, you'll like this article from last week's Washington Post. It details a new project by liberals to copy LI's media training. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so LI grads should feel flattered. From the Washington Post: “Brenner [a faculty member] joined the other participants in a wood-paneled room on the carriage house's ground floor. A camcorder stood on a tripod in the middle of desks arranged in a horseshoe formation. Black and white boards hung on the walls. Brock, with graying hair and blue tie, offered some words of wisdom to the class. Their conservative antagonists had all gone through rigorous media training at the Leadership Institute, he warned, but now they, too, would be armed with the ammunition to compete.” If you're ready to compete in the liberal-dominated media, take a television training from the Leadership Institute. Register now for schools on Friday, April 15 and Friday, May 13.
How Could a 28-Year-Old Activist and Former LI Intern Influence the 2012 Elections?
Lauren Hart
March 18, 2011
How Could a 28-Year-Old Activist and Former LI Intern Influence the 2012 Elections?
March 16, 2011, Arlington, VA—Sunday's edition of The Atlantic featured an article by National Journal Political Correspondent Beth Reinhard where she says, “Now, potential presidential candidates know Ryan Rhodes on a first-name basis.” Twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Rhodes, a former Leadership Institute intern, is a true conservative grassroots activist, arriving here only by way of an unlikely road. To read the full article by Beth Reinhard, please click here. “Rhodes never expected to be at the forefront of presidential politics. When he started college, he was more interested in partying and going to football games. He was found guilty of underage drinking in 2002. A couple years later, he left college and floated from one job to another: chef, construction worker, clothing store salesman, pizza delivery guy.” In 2007 at Iowa State University Ryan was activated to politics after witnessing a “protest over a campus blood drive,” where “a handful of students were accusing the Red Cross of discriminating against gay men by refusing to take their higher-risk blood. To Rhodes, the protest smacked of political correctness, and he plunged into movement conservatism.” He began reading conservative books like Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative and Thomas Paine's Common Sense. “He started going to church. He interned at the Leadership Institute, a boot camp for conservative activists in Virginia” and across the world. Ryan has attended 12 LI trainings including a blogging workshop, campaign management school, future candidate school, online fundraising workshop, public relations school, advanced public speaking workshop, student publications workshop, TV trainings in techniques and on camera, and the youth leadership school, LI's flagship school. “In 2008, still in college, he turned theory into practice and ran for the Iowa House against a Democratic incumbent. He didn't have a car, so he took the bus. He wore out four pairs of shoes. The centerpiece of his platform was a plan to boost Iowa's economy by encouraging college graduates to stay in the state. If they got jobs in Iowa after graduation, the money they owed in income taxes would go toward paying off student loans.” “After he lost the election, ‘literally penniless and eating eggs,' Rhodes honed his chops at retail politics working at a Chrysler dealership and selling ads for a group of radio stations.” “On the side, he organized tea party rallies and lobbied a key Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, to vote against President Obama's health care reform. In 2010, he managed the unsuccessful congressional campaign of a retired pilot and gun enthusiast who carries a copy of the Constitution in his coat pocket.” To read the full article in The Atlantic, please click here. The Leadership Institute is proud of former intern Ryan who is doing good things. To see LI's upcoming trainings and get plugged in like Ryan, please click here. The Leadership Institute is an educational foundation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. LI trains and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media by teaching them how to succeed in the public policy process. To do that, LI offers 40 types of training programs, works with more than 1,465 conservative campus groups, and helps employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 91,600 students have been trained. Alumni include U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, city council members, local mayors, state legislators, and conservative activists and officeholders at every level. For more information, please visit: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org -30- 
Campaign Management School draws more than 40 conservatives
March 14, 2011
Campaign Management School draws more than 40 conservatives
Florida campaign manager Andrea Penton, Vancouver CEO Julian Haigh, Texan entrepreneur Trent Derr, and more than forty other conservatives came to the Leadership Institute for its Campaign Management School (CMS), a week-long, intensive "boot camp" in campaign management last week. The school teaches students the ins and outs of campaigning through intensive training and real life stories, and in doing so, give students the how-to knowledge they need to succeed. As CMS student Gus Leventis of Addison, Illinois said, "The [CMS] will teach you how to win!" The week-long school drew future campaign managers, campaign staff, and several potential candidates. Among the candidates was Lynda Fairman (photograph below), a candidate for a Virginia State Senate seat. "I was visiting our state senator and every question I asked, the current state senator answered, ‘We'll just have to disagree on that,'" Lynda explained. "I asked about an education issue, since it is a field I am well experienced in, and it was an issue I was certain everyone would agree was a state issue. He claimed it was a district issue, looked at me then said, ‘We'll just have to disagree on that.' As we are about to leave, he sarcastically says, ‘Hmph. You should run for School Board.' I turn around, and blurt out ‘Actually, I think I'll run for your job!'" Lynda laughed. "He [the senator] just looked at me, then says, ‘Get in line.' With this training, I feel I have been given the tools to succeed. Not just for my campaign but for the movement as a whole." Emily Lucier, a contract documents paralegal in Richmond, Virginia shared her experience: "This has been such a plethora of invaluable information that has given me ideas for my candidate all week." She attended the school because she'll serve as campaign manager for a local government race in Richmond this fall. "This training has helped me to first consider the skills I have and how to use them, and also has given me a strong, organizational frame in how to go about planning a campaign. Learning these tools and processes will allow me to go forward with confidence." The CMS featured experienced, expert faculty members who brought many years' experience with campaigns -- and a willingness to share their knowledge with eager students. "The campaign management training was an intense, one-week experience packed with the best practices and wisdom of the most impressive group of consultants I have met," said Trent Derr of Texas. "Just this week alone, the training has been successful," said CMS attendee Dr. Lolita Mancheno-Smoak. She teaches graduate and undergraduate business at the University of Phoenix and Strayer University, and is an at-large candidate for the Fairfax County (VA) School Board. "What [LI] teaches is not just theory, but application. When you know you can immediately apply it, you know it is valuable," as she had already put the training to use by crafting a coalition of support for her candidacy. Lolita praised the training as teaching "the good, the bad, and the ugly of real campaigning based on real-life experiences." She added "fundamentally I think everyone should take this school. Not only campaign managers, but candidates, as well. I am ecstatic! We learn the right questions, the proper techniques, and bottom line you could never get this from a book. This is good!" Sharing this sentiment, Lynda Fairman added, "And not only is the training itself good, but the dinners at night and being able to stay in the dorms allows us to network and connect with each other. This is definitely worth my -- and the donors' -- money...Most of the lasting connections are made after class." After a week at the Campaign Management School, the more than 40 students are ready to contribute to the conservative movement as campaign managers, campaign staff, or future candidates. Perhaps Lynda explains it best: "Prior to this school, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff into a pit. Now, I'm ready!"
LI Graduate Hits Washington Post: Top 10 Staffers to Watch on Capitol Hill
Lauren Hart
January 21, 2011
LI Graduate Hits Washington Post: Top 10 Staffers to Watch on Capitol Hill
January 21, 2011, Arlington, VA—Leadership Institute Graduate Amanda Carpenter, who is currently a speechwriter and senior communications advisor to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has been named one of the Top 10 Capitol Hill Staffers to watch, according to the Washington Post. Amanda Carpenter has taken 10 LI trainings, including: Broadcast Journalism, Public Speaking, Student Publications, and Television Workshop—both introduction to techniques and on camera, and the Youth Leadership School. She has lectured as a distinguished faculty member at four LI trainings, including: Conservative Career Workshop, Advanced Student Publications School, and two Public Relations Schools. Ms. Carpenter has “achieved two of her long-term goals in 2010, when she placed op-eds in both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. But it's her digital media savvy that really distinguishes Carpenter from the pack. Among her other qualifications for the job was an enviable Twitter presence. At last count, Carpenter has well over 16,000 followers on the micro-blogging site,” The Washington Post said. To read the full article from the Washington Post, please click here. Her full story can be found here. The Leadership Institute is an educational foundation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 91,500 people have been trained (with half of those being in the last six years) in one or more of the 40 current programs offered in all 50 states and across the globe. For more information, please visit: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org -30- 
Americans for Prosperity President Praises LI at monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast
Lauren Hart
January 19, 2011
Americans for Prosperity President Praises LI at monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast
January 19, 2011, Arlington, VA—Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, spoke January 5 at the Leadership Institute's monthly Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfast. Read on for Mr. Phillips' personal comments on the Leadership Institute and to watch the video. To view the full breakfast video on January 5, please go here. At the breakfast Mr. Phillips said, “There are many reasons that I'm thankful to Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute. Some of them are personal. Twenty-six years ago I was a 19-year-old young man with not much to offer frankly, except maybe a good work ethic that my parents instilled in me. Morton trained me through LI Youth Leadership Program. He pulled me aside late on a Sunday night, it must have been about midnight. We ate a couple of Oreo cookies about midnight, and he said, “Young man, you need to go on a campaign somewhere,” as I'm sure many of you and thousands of other Americans have heard over the last 30 years. So, two weeks later I was in the coal fields of southwest Virginia, and I found my life's calling. But, he did more than that. He had a young lady working for him. She may have been the 5th or 6th employee, Morton, it was way back in 1984. And she was really pretty, I mean, beautiful, smart, just like all of your folks are. I married her about 7 months later. The bad news was I took her away from LI. We moved down to work on the next campaign, that also Morton helped me work with. So on a personal level there is a lot to be thankful for. But, the other thing I'm thankful for is Leadership Institute. I see the growth; I see the dynamic programs and the difference they're making; Morton and all the LI staff… I meet your graduates all over the country, whether it's at one of the hot air events that Abigail talked about where we're fighting cap and trade or whether it's the hands off our health care bus tour and ad effort we ran, which by the way, Rachel Maddow called “the bloody red hand” because we had this big red hand print on the side of the bus (that's actually pretty good I thought). We meet your graduates everywhere. They are the grassroots activists of America. They are the people who are organizing locally. They are the people who are helping us beat the left right now. Make no mistake. The battle in DC is not decided. But out in the rest of the country, we're beating them right now. I can tell you that with confidence having been in all 50 states in the last year, except Hawaii. Morton, I cannot get the AFP Hawaii chapter up and running. My board won't let me; it's very frustrating for me. We're going to do one day, maybe. I can tell you we're winning everywhere with the American people, and that's something LI is a crucial role in. I meet your graduates everywhere,” said Mr. Phillips. The next LI Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2 featuring guest speaker Todd Herman. To register, click here to pay online or call Joanne Bogan at 703-247-2000. The Leadership Institute is an educational foundation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 91,500 people have been trained (with half of those being in the last six years) in one or more of the 40 current programs offered in all 50 states and across the globe. For more information, please visit: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org -30- 
LI Trains Conservative Activist and President of Control Automation Technologies Corporation
Lauren Hart
January 18, 2011
LI Trains Conservative Activist and President of Control Automation Technologies Corporation
January 18, 2011, Arlington, VA—The Leadership Institute trained Mike Watson, founder and president of Control Automation Technologies Corporation, a precision instrument testing laboratory company. Read on for his personal testimony. Mr. Watson has taken many LI trainings, including: the public speaking workshop, campaign manager school, future candidate school and legislative project management school. Mr. Watson said, “I am writing to thank your fine organization for providing such a wonderful learning opportunity for conservative activists, future candidates and political professionals. I first learned of the Leadership Institute at the 2009 RPV Advance in Williamsburg during one of your lectures and followed up with you at a subsequent CARMA meeting. Since, I've completed the Public Speaking Workshop, Future Candidate School and have already benefited both personally and professionally from each. In addition, I have a clear vision of goals for the Commonwealth of Virginia and our Nation and as I determine the route that I will take to accomplish these, rest assured, I will make a difference. Without a doubt, the knowledge and skills learned through LI will be a significant facilitator in this effort.” Mr. Watson is working with a couple of campaigns now as well as serving in leadership roles with both the local Tea Party and Republican Committee. Control Automation Technologies Corporation is accredited through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation ("A2LA") and provides test equipment calibration services to manufacturing industries including pharmaceutical, power generation, chemical, automotive and many more. Mr. Watson's company was selected as "North Carolina Small Business of the Year" in 1998 and state finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce "Blue Chip Enterprise Award" in 1999. They are active in the community, frequently sponsoring or supporting various charitable causes and are the principle sponsor for the Billy Friend Endowed Educational Scholarship at NRCC in Dublin, VA. For more information about the company, please click here. The Leadership Institute is an educational foundation that has been training conservatives to win since 1979. LI's mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 91,500 people have been trained (with half of those being in the last six years) in one or more of the 40 current programs offered in all 50 states and across the globe. For more information, please visit: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org -30- 
Leadership Institute trained candidates and campaign managers have shocked the political establishment.
Lauren Hart
September 22, 2010
Leadership Institute trained candidates and campaign managers have shocked the political establishment.
When principled leaders decide to challenge establishment candidates and advance the founding principles that made America great, they turn to the Leadership Institute for the very best political training. Leadership Institute trained candidates and campaign managers have shocked the political establishment. Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware personally attended LI training. The campaign manager for Rand Paul in Kentucky and Joe Miller in Alaska are both graduates of the Leadership Institute's campaign schools. These Senate candidates and their senior staff have benefitted from Leadership Institute instruction in the areas of: • Grassroots Campaigning • Public Relations • Fundraising • New Media Communications • Candidate Preparation. Founded in 1979, the Leadership Institute is one of the nation's largest and most experienced political training organizations and is uniquely equipped to handle the challenge of training conservative Americans to directly change public policy by first winning elections and then holding politician's feet to the fire.
Dinner Honors Leader of Conservative Seniors Group
May 10, 2010
Dinner Honors Leader of Conservative Seniors Group
The 60 Plus Association will host a tribute dinner in honor of Jim Martin on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at the Liaison Hotel on Capitol Hill. Martin is stepping down after 18 years at the helm of the conservative seniors organization. Often viewed as the conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons, 60 Plus Association is a leading grassroots organization that has long supported free enterprise, less government, and lower taxes for seniors. Individual tickets for the dinner are available now as well as sponsorship opportunities. To learn more, contact Stacie Rumenap at srumenap@60plus.org or 202-248-7052.
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