College Conservative Runs State GOP, Activating many into Politics
May 21, 2014 | By Lauren Day
New Orleans will host the annual Republican Leadership Conference May 29-31.
The Republican Leadership Conference has “become one of the premier Republican events in the country – it attracts key activists, consultants, elected officials and donors from across America,” conference organizer Charlie Davis, also a Leadership Institute graduate and faculty member said.
The conference will host many notable politicos including: Rick Perry, Reince Priebus, Phil Bryant, Ron Johnson, Marsha Blackburn, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, Haley Barbour, Ted Cruz, David Bossie, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Lee, Allen West, Tony Perkins, Michele Bachmann and Elbert Guillory, their website states.
The Leadership Institute will host four trainings for conference attendees. The topics include:
- Engaging the Youth - tactics to get your voice heard
- Increasing your Online Presence - tips and techniques
- Conservative Comeback: how video activism is making a difference
- Building Your Sphere of Influence – growing your organization
But Charlie’s relationship with the Leadership Institute didn’t begin here. It goes way back.
While in college at Louisiana State University, Charlie took the Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School, the flagship training nicknamed “the bootcamp of politics” in 1995 or 1996, he says.
At this training, Charlie learned how to organize a mass-based youth campaign for the candidates and causes of his choice.
“I often tell others that the Leadership Institute is one of the most important organizations in the conservative/liberty movement today. There is no doubt that Morton Blackwell has had a profound impact on the majority of political organizations in our country and therefore the Leadership Institute and its graduates are shaping the future of America,” Charlie said.
Shortly thereafter, he became state chairman for the Louisiana Federation of College Republicans.
Later, Charlie ran for national chairman of the College Republican National Committee in 1997 and then moved to Washington, D.C.
That’s when Charlie took a job at the Leadership Institute as the director of the Campus Leadership Program. He developed a plan to establish conservative student-run organizations on college campuses across the country. Check out all the resources LI’s Campus Leadership Program offers students now.
Shortly after, he became the executive director and deputy chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana. And, he’s been organizing the Republican Leadership Conference since 2010.
More recently, Charlie served as the Louisiana state chairman for Ron Paul during the 2012 presidential election and led the effort to win more than 60% of the delegates elected to the state convention.
“I hope the various factions in the party can get together,” Charlie said. “I think it not only makes the most sense philosophically but it is also probably the only way to win.”
Currently, he’s a partner at Gatorworks, an award-winning digital advertising agency in Louisiana, and since 2000, he’s been president of Liquid Ventures, an association management and strategic consulting firm that specializes in mass-based organizing, major events, media relations, technology and fundraising.
“I’ve worked for numerous conservative and liberty organizations over the years and I even met my wife while she was an intern at the Leadership Institute,” Charlie said.
His wife Ellen is equally impressive. She’s worked as the political director of GOPAC and the executive director of the Republican Party of Louisiana. But now, she spends most of her time homeschooling their four children: William 6, Sarah 5, Anna 3, and Charles Jr. 10 months.
“I think that the Leadership Institute is one of the most important organizations in the conservative/liberty movement today,” Charlie said. “I rarely meet a senior person on a campaign who hasn’t been through one of Morton’s classes.”
Charlie has two pieces of advice for young activists looking to make a difference in politics:
“First, go to every LI training you can. Second, choose the positions that offer the best opportunities to learn new things and meet new people,” he said.
“The lessons that I learned on campaign technology have had a huge impact on my business ventures and political causes,” he said.
Please congratulate Charlie Davis for his consistent efforts in activating conservatives into the political process and please applaud him for receiving LI’s Conservative Leader Award.
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 Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.