LI Welcomes Congressman Joe Wilson
Danielle Saul
June 11, 2012
LI Welcomes Congressman Joe Wilson
On Wednesday, June 6, more than 100 Leadership Institute supporters, graduates, faculty, and staff welcomed South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson to address June's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Rep. Wilson is no stranger to the Leadership Institute. He is a notable graduate of LI's 2002 and 2005 One-On-One Television Workshop as well as a member of LI's Congressional Advisory Board. “The Leadership Institute has made such a difference for our country giving young conservative the skills to go home and make a difference. And you [LI] are making a difference,” said Rep. Wilson. Rep. Wilson energized the crowd with his support of Governor Scott Walker in the wake of his victory, saying, “Walker's win should inspire political leaders across the country, and it does.” Rep. Wilson encouraged young people throughout the country to get involved in this fall's election. He went on to share how proud he is of American troops, including his sons, all of whom currently serve in the United States military. He also expressed his disappointment in the current President's actions against our military. “Our military has never been more at risk. They are facing an 8 to 12 percent cut. This is the smallest our military has been since 1939,” Rep. Wilson explained. He then added, “Our troops are so dedicated and so committed...I truly believe we have got the best troops. The personnel are the best ever.” “This fall we will regain victory,” Rep. Wilson said in an optimistic closing to his talk. “We are seeing changes in our lifetime we never could have imagined 25 years ago. Below is a photo of LI's Summer Interns with Rep. Wilson. The Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends. The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is scheduled for August 1, 2012 and will feature Mallory Factor, President of MALLORY FACTOR INC. Mallory is also the founder and co-chair of The Monday Meeting, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Click here for more information and to register.
Chicago Fundraiser Saves Lives, One Child at a Time
Lauren Hart
May 29, 2012
Chicago Fundraiser Saves Lives, One Child at a Time
Next week the Pro-Life Action League will host the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in cities across America. The group's rally in March had more than 63,000 people from 146 cities standing up for religious freedom. Expectations are even higher for the rally June 8. “We hope to have 100,000 participants in over 150 cities,” Pro-Life Action League Development Director Paige Scarlett, also a Leadership Institute graduate, said. “This rally is a campaign that's sweeping our nation to build awareness about the threats to our constitutional right to ‘freedom of religion' posed by the Obama Administration's Health and Human Services mandate.” “The administration's newest mandate forces religious employers, such as Catholic hospitals and schools to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception in employee healthcare plans for free – even though these all go directly against the employer's religious beliefs,” Paige said. “We are standing up for our constitutional rights that our Founding Fathers fought and died for, and one of those is the right to freedom of religion without interference by government.” The 30-year-old organization Pro-Life Action League leads sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics, helps students start pro-life clubs, and investigates abortion clinic violations, which has led to the closing of numerous facilities. “I get to work alongside the ‘godparents' of the pro-life movement on a daily basis, Joe and Ann Scheidler,” Paige said. “I am inspired by their tireless grassroots efforts to fight abortion since 1973 and keep it a sizzling, hot-button issue in our country.” Paige has worked at Pro-Life Action League since January, but never imagined she would go to college and be working. “My girlish hope and dream was to get married young and have a big family,” Paige, the oldest of a family of seven Catholic and conservative children, said. “But God had other plans for me. He wanted me to go to college and work in the pro-life movement – and save babies before I had any of my own!” In college, Paige was asked to assist the development director at The Thomas Moore College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire, where she worked for a semester and a summer. Another summer, Paige raised money for the Crossroads Life Walk Across America, during which she walked 50 miles in five days for the cause of life. She's also been known to frequent abortion clinics and pray outside them (pictured right). Paige next became the development director for Foundation for Life in Toledo, Ohio where she served for 3.5 years after graduation before taking the development director job at Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, where she now works. “I first learned of the Leadership Institute through a friend who worked for your group,” Paige remembered. “She introduced me to LI, and coincidentally, I stayed with her a few days after my Crossroads Pro-Life Walk to Washington, D.C. – and even visited LI's office to ‘shadow' her for a couple days.” “I also knew of LI's fundraising trainings through my former job at Foundation for Life, but the Pro-Life Action League found it valuable enough to invest in sending me to it,” Paige said. “The League sent two other staff members to your direct mail school trainings a few years ago and they learned numerous best practices we have used into our communications ever since.” Paige took LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School in April, the Online Fundraising Workshop in April, and the Direct Mail School and Advanced Direct Mail School, both earlier this month. “The Leadership Institute has been a positive way to enhance my previous development know-how, hone my skills and judgment in the area of best approaches for fundraising, and boost my ability to share these successful tactics I learned with my fellow staffers, so we can make a team commitment to use LI's well-tested fundraising methods to keep our organization's mission very sustainable,” Paige said. “LI trainings are a survey in development approaches engagingly presented by a panel of experts. These professionals are dynamic, well-organized leaders in the field,” Paige said. “They're smart advocates of the conservative movement, looking to advance the cause, and are relevant and attuned to the best of current and tried-and-true styles of development.” “At the High Dollar Fundraising School, I learned that my organization needs to become ever more donor-centric – listening to the interests and desires of our donor-base and even using their wishes to shape our new or ongoing programs and just the way we pitch our message,” Paige reflected. “At the Online Fundraising Workshop, I learned new ways to tackle search engines to reach out to and hook a new audience through targeted ad spots,” Paige said. “I was enlightened on ways to go about delving into the internet market to attract and plug new supporters into our cause through the use of new media.” “At LI's direct mail schools (intro and advanced), I learned not only the importance of prospecting to find new donors, how to cultivate these new donors, and how to appeal to and engage your current donors, but how to do so most effectively, with the biggest chance of success,” Paige reported. “The key is to make all your touches (whether by mail, phone, or email) highly personal and focused on the impact that the donor makes possible. The donor needs to feel like an invested partner whose generosity truly saves lives.” And saving lives is the business of Pro-Life Action League. “In a challenging economy, it's necessary more than ever to know what works well and what doesn't as it is mission critical with fundraising. It could mean the difference between your group staying afloat, gaining momentum, or sinking. At LI's training, they give you tools and tips to take your organization's fundraising approaches from your baseline to the next level,” Paige said. Paige joins more than 107,000 alumni trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. Please welcome her as LI's Graduate of the Week. For more information about Pro-Life Action League and their rally June 8, please contact Paige at 773-777-2900. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Expert Insights: How to Make the Most of Your DC Internship by Eliza Thurston
Eliza Thurston
May 25, 2012
Expert Insights: How to Make the Most of Your DC Internship by Eliza Thurston
About Eliza: As the intern coordinator at the Leadership Institute, Eliza Thurston works with young conservative leaders from across the United States and around the world to prepare them for service in politics and public policy. Eliza came to LI from The Heritage Foundation's Special Events department where she assisted with nation-wide development events. Prior to her time at Heritage, Eliza interned at Family Research Council and Shared Hope International. A Missouri native, Eliza attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania where she graduated with degrees in French and Political Science. So you've secured a coveted internship in the nation's capitol—now what? Learn how to make the most of your time while you are here. When I first came to Washington, DC as an intern in the summer of 2008 I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Growing up in a sleepy Midwest town on the outskirts of farmland, life in the big city was a new concept to me. How I wish I knew then what I know now! The advice below, culled from my time living and working in Washington, will help you navigate your internship and make it more than just another line on your resume. In the Office What can I do to help you? This little phrase is golden. When you find yourself with extra time on your hands, don't let it go to waste! Offer to assist fellow staffers with their work or look for ways to solve potential problems before they arise. Employers look for staff who demonstrate initiative and who seek opportunities to fill the gap. The intern who makes a positive impression in the office as someone always willing to volunteer will be remembered long after the summer is over—and just may be called back when a position opens. Invest in your organization. Even if you are here for only three months, make it your goal to become an expert in your company or office. From the microscopic (When was the company founded?) to the panoramic (How does my department contribute to the organization's mission?), you should be able to clearly represent your organization to anyone who asks. The same applies to those of you working on the Hill—familiarize yourself with the district and know your boss' position on the issues. Seek out a mentor. Take time to get to know your office mates and establish relationships with them. Find a mentor in your career field (whether at your office or in another one) who can guide you in your journey. Mentors are invaluable resources who will be able to offer advice on everything from office politics to providing contacts for the future. Their experiences can guide you as you discover your own career path. Dress for success. This is critical. No matter how many times people have told you that looks do not matter, in the professional world they do. Before you pack your bags for the internship, find out what the office expectations are regarding appropriate attire. If you don't own a business suit, you should purchase one. Consider it an investment in your future. Around Town Your reputation is everything. The adage, “Don't shame the family name,” has become a classic in my family. When my siblings or I went out for the night those words trailed us out the door. We understood that wherever we went we represented more than just ourselves. While it may not seem like it, Washington really is a small town. People talk. Word travels quickly. Everyone knows everyone else. So remember when you are out on the town, you represent your organization and the principles on which it stands. Don't shame the boss' name. Network, network, network. It's been said that a DC intern could go an entire summer without spending a dime on meals. I believe it. Policy luncheons, happy hours, and conferences abound in the District (and beyond). These events are worth taking advantage of—and not just for the food. DC insiders know that the secret to landing a job here is often found through your network. Remember to follow up with those you meet, ideally within 48 hours. A follow up coffee date or informational interview could be the gateway to your next job. Expert Insights is a regular feature of LI.org that highlights important topics by industry experts. If you would like to submit an article on a particular topic, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI’s Summer Interns Arrive Next Week with Already 474 hours of LI Training
Lauren Hart
May 14, 2012
LI’s Summer Interns Arrive Next Week with Already 474 hours of LI Training
Next week the Leadership Institute will welcome 12 conservatives hailing from nine American states and two countries as interns for the summer 2012 semester. Already these 12 young people have taken 474 hours of Leadership Institute trainings in topics as various as public speaking, youth leadership, campaign management, public relations, campus elections, TV training, and fundraising. As interns, they will have the opportunity to take additional free LI trainings for the next year, be mentored by LI's staff in their departments as they complete 40-hour work weeks, stay rent-free in the Sacher Intern House just blocks from the office, attend private dinners with conservative leaders, and host a weekly conservative book discussion. “We have a fantastic group of interns coming this summer, all with very unique backgrounds and experiences,” LI's Intern Coordinator Eliza Thurston said. “I'm excited to get to know each one of them as they find their places here at the Leadership Institute." Eugenio Gómez-Chico Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Mexico City, Mexico President's Office Eugenio is pursuing dual degrees in International Relations and Law at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. In addition to his studies, Eugenio has volunteered his time extensively with a variety of international organizations including the Nosara Civic Association (Costa Rica), the World Youth Conference and the Great Basin Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno. Last summer Eugenio volunteered with the Mexican Consulate-General in Denver, Colorado with their Department of Legal Affairs. After taking the 2012 Mexican Youth Leadership School Eugenio co-founded Mas Por Libertad A.C., an organization dedicated to promoting ideas of liberty within Mexican society. LI training and events: Mexico City's Youth Leadership School in January 2012 Ryan Bolyard Hillsdale College Doylestown, OH Technology Ryan has combined his two passions, campaigns and computers, to study Politics and Computer Science at Hillsdale College. He has extensive experience in both, and had the opportunity to put both in to practice while serving as Youth Coordinator and Chief Technology Officer/Developer for a 2010 Congressional campaign. In addition, as the Chairman of the Campaign Committee for Hillsdale's College Republicans, Ryan has organized many successful campaign trips for his fellow students. While on campus Ryan served on Hillsdale's Student Government and currently volunteers with Students for Free Enterprise and the Aliaga Foundation. Through Aliaga, Ryan is working to establish an exchange program between Peruvian students and Hillsdale College. LI training and events: West Lafayette, Indiana's Youth Leadership School in October 2009 and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2011 Alejandro Capote Florida State University Hialeah, Fl Grassroots Alejandro is a rising junior at Florida State University where he is working on degrees in Political Science and International Affairs. A native of Cuba, Alejandro recently became a United States citizen, a privilege he has not taken lightly. While in high school Alejandro was heavily involved in student life and served as the president of his Student Government. Alejandro has been involved with numerous political campaigns, both with individual candidates and through the Republican Party of Florida. Last year Alejandro switched gears from the campaign field to serve as an intern in the office of Florida State Senator Rene Garcia. Alejandro is also an active member of the Leon County Republican Party. Please go here to read about Alejandro as the Institute's 100,000th graduate since 1979. LI training and events: Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in July 2011 and LI's Tallahassee, Florida's Youth Leadership School in October 2011 Braden Goodgame Georgia State University Snellville, GA Recruitment Braden is studying Political Science at Georgia State University where he is a rising sophomore. An active member of GSU's College Republicans, Braden currently serves as the club's Director of Communications. In addition to maintaining his own lawn care business through high school, Braden co-founded a Young Conservatives Club at his school. Braden has also volunteered extensively with youth, serving both as a Youth Leader at Grace Fellowship Church and as a Youth League baseball umpire. Braden is a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Georgia State and plans to become a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. LI training and events: Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Youth Leadership School in March 2012 and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Amanda Haas Liberty University Dallas, TX Campus Leadership Program Amanda recently received her degree in Government from Liberty University. During her freshman year Amanda became president of Liberty's chapter of Young Women for America (YWA), an organization she served with throughout her college career. In her role as executive secretary for Liberty's Student Government Association, Amanda organized the college's largest pro-life conference with nearly 13,000 participants. As a result of her dedication to the pro-life movement Amanda received the 2011 Susan B. Anthony Young Leaders Award. In addition to her campus activities, Amanda has also worked with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, both as a congressional intern and as an intern field representative on the Congresswoman's presidential campaign. LI training and events: Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in March 2012, LI's Public Relations School in June 2011, LI's Travel—Campaign Management School in Lynchburg, Virginia, and LI's conservative Job Fair at CPAC in February 2009 Brandon Hartness University of Chapel Hill Taylorsville, NC Events Brandon is a rising senior at the University of Chapel Hill where he is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Peace, War and Defense Studies. As the National and State Political Chair of the UNC College Republicans, Brandon frequently contributes to campus media outlets and organizes events at UNC. Brandon writes regularly for the Carolina Review, helping to expose bias and abuse on campus. He also serves as the president of Committee for a Better Carolina, another group on campus dedicated to providing intellectual diversity and a conservative voice at UNC. In addition to his campus activities, Brandon spent the past couple months interning with the Orange County Republican Party. LI training and events: Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Youth Leadership School in October 2011 and LI's CPAC Trainings—Getting Your Message Heard and Resume Consultations in February 2012 Pamela Meyerhofer Xavier University Buffalo, NY Youth Leadership School Pamela is a rising junior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH where she is double-majoring in Economics and Philosophy, Politics and the Public. No stranger to the campaign trail, Pamela has interned with local, state and federal campaigns. Last summer while working with a congressional campaign Pamela organized a Get Out the Vote initiative with over 200 volunteers. On campus, Pamela is active in College Republicans and is also a fundraiser with Xavier University's Phonathon. Since being on the Phonathan team Pamela has personally raised $27,000 for the university. LI training and events: Newark, Ohio's Youth Leadership School in February 2012, Grassroots Activism training in Buffalo, New York in June 2011, and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Caleb Parke Grove City College Findlay, OH Employment Placement Services Caleb is a rising senior at Grove City College where he is majoring in Political Science and Economics. Over the past couple years Caleb has volunteered on numerous state-wide campaigns. Last year Caleb completed an eight-month internship in the district office of Congressman Jim Jordan. In addition to his political activity, Caleb actively participates in Grove City student life. He serves as the Junior Class President, Co-President of Christians United for Israel, and the Style Editor of the Journal of Law & Public Policy. Caleb has been honored with the President's Call to Service Award for his many hours spent serving his community. LI training and events: Grove City, Pennsylvania's Youth Leadership School in March 2011, Land a Job or Internship in DC training in March 2011, CPAC training called Landing a Conservative Job: the Hill and Beyond in February 2012 Christine Rousselle Providence College Scarborough, Maine Campus Reform Online Christine is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science and a minor in French at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. On campus, Christine is the Assistant News Editor for The Cowl and Vice-Chair of the Providence College Republicans. Christine has been featured in multiple national news outlets and blogs regularly for the TheCollegeConservative. She also provides the conservative perspective for The Portland Press Herald's blog The Way Politics Should Be. Go here to read her post on LI's CampusReform.org. LI training and events: One-On-One Television Workshop in January 2012, Boston, Massachusetts' Youth Leadership School in October 2011, History of the American Right in July 2011, The Year of the Youth: Why Youth Engagement is Vital in Politics in July 2011, Campus Elections Workshop in June 2011, Student Publications School in June 2011, and another Campus Elections Workshop in May 2011. Danielle Saul Minnesota State University, Moorhead Fergus Falls, MN Recruitment Danielle recently received a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. While on campus Danielle was President of her College Republicans, a member of the MSUM Student Senate and founder of MSUM Students Against Human Trafficking. Danielle also interned with the Minnesota State Senate and the radio program We the People, hosted by Chris Berg. Since June 2011 Danielle has been a writer/contributor to BigGovernment.com. In addition, Danielle frequently volunteers in her community and has served at the Center for the Arts, the YMCA and with flood relief efforts. LI training and events: Minneapolis, Minnesota's Youth Leadership School in April 2012, Beating the Liberal Media at Their Own Game in June 2011, Moorhead, Minnesota's Youth Leadership School in April 2011, and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Katie Shupe University of Florida Tampa, Fl Department of Political Training Katie received dual degrees in Communications and Acting for the Stage and Screen from Palm Beach Atlantic University last May. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Advertising at the University of Florida, Gainesville. On campus, Katie has been involved in UF's chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and the College Republicans. While at PBAU Katie served on Student Government as the Judicial Chair. She has dedicated over 200 hours of community service, working with Habitat for Humanity, Service to the Homeless and other local projects. Katie also recruits for and travels with WinShape (Chick-fil-A) to implement day camps for youth in area communities. LI training and events: Orlando, Florida's Youth Leadership School in October 2007 and LI's CPAC 2012 Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Abbey Torkelson Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Walton, Indiana Development Abbey joined the exciting world of conservative activism after attending the Greenville, South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate last May. Since January 2012 she has been interning with Young Americans for Liberty supporting YAL's social media and donor relations outreach. Prior to coming to Washington, DC Abbey worked as the office manager for Indiana Irrigation Co., Inc. Abbey has also worked in nursing and was involved with Civil Air Patrol for nearly ten years. In 2005 Abbey was named Indiana's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year and received Commander's Commendations in 2006 and 2008. LI training and events: Campaign Management School in July 2011, High-Dollar Fundraising School in April 2012, Online Fundraising Workshop in April 2012, Political Voter Mail Workshop in April 2012, Public Relations School in March 2012, Public Speaking Workshop in April 2012, Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in March 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana's Youth Leadership School in September 2011, and numerous Wake-Up Club Breakfasts and LI happy hours. For more information about LI's internship, please click here. Please help us welcome our newest members to the team!
An All-American Woman
Lauren Hart
April 17, 2012
An All-American Woman
Peggy Hutt is an all-American woman. Born in Ohio, she was raised in Southern California, stationed to Utah by the military, then moved in 1985 with her husband to Seattle, Washington for his job, and she's been in Washington state ever since. Previously, Peggy was a U.S. Air Force fighter jets electrician, a development laboratory researcher in the Department of Defense division of a major equipment and electronics company, and a stay-at-home mom of two. Now, Peggy recruits and organizes conservatives in the state of Washington as the state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots and co-founder/coordinator of the Tacoma Narrows Tea Party. On Tuesday, Peggy and the Tacoma Narrows Tea Party (TNTP) hosted their annual Tax Day Rally in their community with around 150 people present. Peggy dressed as a peasant and greeted people saying, “Taxed enough already, me lord!” TNTP's mission is to serve the community by first, bringing candidates and elected officials together with the people; second, motivating citizens to elect their choice candidate; third, educating citizens on the process—caucuses and primaries—to get involved; and fourth, building coalitions with the community. “Leadership Institute training is a must if you want to be successful in any political endeavor, and they make it fun! One thing I learned is that a canvass is not something to paint on,” Peggy said. She continued, “Heck, I took Leadership Institute training and one week later I was asked to be a state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots! So if you hear about LI coming to your town, jump at the opportunity!” Peggy has taken two LI trainings, Fundraising Workshop in Charleston, South Carolina in January 2012 and Campaign Management Workshop in Tacoma, Washington in January 2012. She also watched training videos at LI-hosted LibertyCentralTraining.org in 2011. “The first thing I learned was that LI has wonderful instructors that make learning fun! I came away with numerous concepts to put into play such as the value of networking to grow our groups and build coalitions,” she said. In just the few, short months since TNTP's inception, the group has doubled membership each month. “Another thing we learned from LI training was how to conduct rallies. Rallies provide networking and allow us to build coalitions and work with other groups and businesses,” Peggy said. “We are now making contacts everywhere! Everything is growing and maybe even a bit faster than I thought possible.” TNTP recently hosted its first candidate forum with another group and on Tuesday organized its annual Tax Day Rally through the contacts the group has made. You too can take your life experiences like Peggy and apply them to public policy in your community. Go here for information on the dates for LI's upcoming trainings and locations. Please welcome Peggy as the Leadership Institute Graduate of the Week! To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI Welcomes President Obama’s Conservative Cousin Dr. Milton Wolf
Lauren Levy
April 5, 2012
LI Welcomes President Obama’s Conservative Cousin Dr. Milton Wolf
“I may not be the first doctor to oppose ObamaCare, but I am the first doctor from Barack Obama's own family to oppose Obamacare. In fact, I stand opposed to every part of Barack's big-government agenda.” The mother of family feuds hit home yesterday when the Leadership Institute hosted Dr. Milton Wolf, President Obama's second cousin. Dr. Wolf is a practicing diagnostic radiologist, a conservative columnist for The Washington Times, and an outspoken opponent of nationalized healthcare. “A Civil War tore our country apart, ripped families in two, and divided brother against brother,” Dr. Wolf said before the 83 guests in attendance yesterday. “Today our country is similarly divided. There is a division of worldviews between liberty and tyranny.” President Obama is a caring man and means well, Dr. Wolf, his cousin, said, but he profoundly misunderstands America and what makes us exceptional. “I'd like to believe Barack wants the best for America. I just can't accept that he wants to destroy America. But it's a matter of semantics because the things that he wants to do will destroy America.” Dr. Wolf is an advocate of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional fidelity. “I find nowhere in the Constitution the right of government to take away our right to decide whether or not we want to buy health insurance or what kind of health insurance we must buy or what doctors we must see,” Dr. Wolf said. “If government can get between you and your doctor, there's not a single area of your life it [the government] can't touch.” According to Dr. Wolf, nationalized healthcare is the defining issue of our lifetime, and will have repercussions for our children and grandchildren. “The biggest lie yet was that government could decide healthcare for you better than you could for yourself and that government can spend money more wisely than you can for yourself,” he said. With a national debt of $16 trillion, nationalized healthcare is not something America can afford, Dr. Wolf said. Besides the economic issues brought on by such a system, Dr. Wolf believes the issue also presents significant ethical problems. Too much time is spent pleasing bureaucrats instead of patients, he said. “Look at what happened with contraception,” he noted. “You not only tell a religion how it should practice, but you define what is considered religion and what is not by allowing the secretary of HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] the power to define ‘church' – be it four walls or religious institutions.” Dr. Wolf quickly dismissed any notions that this was a “Catholic concern." “In this issue, we're all Catholics,” he said. “If we don't stand with the Catholics today, no one will stand with us when government comes after us.” Further highlighting government's ineptitude in handling the economy, Dr. Wolf cited the Cash for Clunkers program. “That was one thing I absolutely loved,” he said, noting that he himself drove an SUV classified as a “clunker” by his cousin-in-chief. “I loved it not because I thought it was a worthy program, but because it was a miserable failure and economic tragedy. We got to learn just how miserable government is at managing the economy.” To make up the cost, Dr. Wolf said he simply deducted money from the extended family Christmas shopping budget the following year, which included President Obama. According to Dr. Wolf, people are often angered by President Obama's apologies for America and his willingness to bow to foreign leaders. “While I will never understand bowing to terrorists, I can understand the need to apologize for somebody you care about – after all, I am related to Barack Obama,” he quipped. “I launched my own Barack apology tour – and I think I've hit most of the 57 states.” While he adamantly opposes his cousin on policy discussions, Dr. Wolf has resolved never to attack President Obama personally. “Obama is a wonderful and gifted speaker,” he said. “I wish I could speak as eloquently as he does – but then again, I don't have a teleprompter in every room.” Focusing his message, Dr. Wolf said the solution is for government to spend less, get our country back on its feet, and trust America to be America again. “Who are we going to be?” he asked. “America is at a crossroads and we have to choose between liberty and tyranny. Are we going to be that shining city on a hill or a second-rate European-style social welfare state? To those who say we are not capable of choosing our economic destinies, I say, ‘Yes, we can.'” Those who came before us earned the right to be Americans, he said. As George Washington once referred to the “charming” sound of bullets whistling by him during war, we must likewise learn to find the charm in these bullets whistling by us today. “Those who fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War put it all on the line for us,” Dr. Wolf said, concluding his speech. “We have to decide whether we want to be worthy of being Americans and are willing to step out of our comfort zones. If we do, I promise you, we'll be just fine.” Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell presented Dr. Wolf with one of LI's famous Adam Smith ties as a token of appreciation. “Obviously this guy is not only a good writer but a good speaker and, underlying it all, he's a good thinker,” Morton said. “Now we just have to dismantle all the teleprompters that have been set up here.” LI's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends. The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is May 2, 2012 and will feature Richard Rahn, chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and formerly the chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Reagan Administration. Click here for more information and to register.
Future Candidates Flock To LI For One Week To Learn Effective Campaign Essentials
Lauren Levy
March 16, 2012
Future Candidates Flock To LI For One Week To Learn Effective Campaign Essentials
Last week the Leadership Institute's Future Candidate School (FCS) welcomed a bright, new class of aspiring candidates and entrepreneurs. Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee and LI volunteer faculty member, shared how he got involved in the public policy process. He credits LI with his start. While a college student, a conservative campus group member approached him and invited Mark to their meeting. He showed up, and was forever hooked. “I took LI's Youth Leadership School, and now I'm here 20 years later trying to impart this knowledge to you all.” Jessica Myers is a young conservative with big dreams. As a student at Thomas Nelson Community College she has participated in campaigns and events in her community, but she is frustrated with the lack of conservative clubs in her area. After attending the Future Candidate School, she plans to start a local chapter of the Young Republican club. “If I hadn't known about LI, I wouldn't have been here trying to fulfill my dreams,” Jessica said. “The fact that the training is such good quality and low cost is very beneficial and invaluable to young people passionate about the cause.” On Monday, LI President Morton Blackwell shared tips on how to create and grow an organization. “Young conservatives should consider the option of some day becoming organizational entrepreneurs themselves,” Morton said. “There are possibilities now and there will be possibilities in the years to come for creating successful public policy groups.” Other lectures focused on candidate development and explored topics such as assessing readiness to run for office, potential past or present problems that might hinder success, attributes of effective candidates, making a good impression and viewing yourself as others see you. “If people don't like you, they won't trust you,” said Stephen Clouse, founder and president of Stephen Clouse & Associates. “If they don't trust you, they won't believe you; if they don't believe you, they'll never comply with what you're saying.” Attendees made their way back to LI on Tuesday for more training, which focused heavily on coalition building and organization development. For Michael Kicinski, who is running for United States Congress to represent New York District 22 (formerly NY-24), coalition building will be an important factor in his campaign to rally opposition against the incumbent. “We need proper representation above all and the right votes in Congress,” Michael said. “Since this is new to me, I saw the advantage of getting training. This was extra helpful and necessary, and I'll be passing this information on to others in my team.” Faculty also discussed how to develop your campaign message using a Leesburg Grid for you and your opponent, the pros and cons of joining existing organizations, working with your local party and identifying key groups in your community, recruiting and working with volunteers, and using coalitions to benefit your campaign. On Wednesday, attendees learned the ins-and-outs of fundraising. Topics included maximizing fundraising potential with events, funding your cause with direct mail, the rules of campaign donations and ensuring your campaign financing and organization structure is legal, creating your “kitchen cabinet” for campaigns, strategies you need to know to succeed online, and personal solicitation for a campaign. “Give every potential donor – no matter how big or small – the opportunity to ‘invest' in your campaign,” said Nancy Bocskor, president of the Nancy Bocskor Company. “The little old lady who sends you $1 in a direct mail piece will be the first to vote for you on Election Day.” On Thursday, the final day of the FCS, faculty tackled message development. Topics included fine-tuning your campaign strategy, understanding and reviewing polling data, getting on the ballot with petitions, preparing for attacks from the left, and using the media to your advantage. “We are surrounded by media 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center. “Knowing how to navigate the media is key for survival in today's world.” Jill Upson, who is running as a West Virginia delegate for Jefferson County's 65th district, found the lecture particularly helpful. “The information is just so valuable,” Jill said. “It really teaches you how to combat the opposition. It prepares you for the bad things they'll say, but also gives you good responses.” Hoping to improve jobs and the economy in her area, Jill came to LI to get the training she needed to run a successful campaign. “There are so many speakers from so many backgrounds. . There's no way you could go to one class and learn all this,” she said. To wrap up the evening, Mark Vargas, a consultant in government affairs and international business development, gave his success story of lessons he's learned from the campaign trail. “I thought I knew a lot – till I got here,” said Thomas Spencer, who is running for city council in Claremont, FL. “There wasn't a class that didn't add to or help me perfect something. I filled up my entire notepad and needed extra sheets of paper. I was texting friends throughout the lectures about some of the things I was learning. The information was priceless!” “I loved the trainings! I already signed up to be a donor to the school,” Thomas said. “I want to sponsor a student's training fee and travel once a quarter so they can attend these trainings.” If you would like to learn more about LI's Future Candidate School or enroll in an upcoming training, click here.
Conservatives Learn to Advertise and Build Online Communities via ‘Tweets’, ‘Likes’ & the Blogosphere
Lauren Levy
March 2, 2012
Conservatives Learn to Advertise and Build Online Communities via ‘Tweets’, ‘Likes’ & the Blogosphere
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; blogs and email lists; online advertising and fundraising are just a few topics that were covered earlier this week at the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Online Activist School (COAS). On Monday and Tuesday legislative aides, interns, and Tea Party activists gathered at LI's F.M. Kirby National Training Center to learn how target large audiences through online marketing and social media. Gabriel “Scooter” Schaefer, marketing communications coordinator for Media Research Center (MRC), taught attendees how to set up a Facebook fan page and strategically increase membership. Scooter was a graduate of LI's Comprehensive Online Activist School in 2010, where he was armed with practical tools to increase an organization's social media presence. "When I took the COAS, I heard about bit.ly and it was absolutely awesome and useful to me and what I'm doing now,” Scooter said. “Now, I will share the knowledge I've acquired with you so you can strengthen the movement.” LI's Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger kicked off the training Monday with a complete introduction to online activism. “In blogging, it's not about getting noticed,” Abigail said. “It's about adding value. What topics can you uniquely cover?” For Bruce Majors, a realtor for Chatel Real Estate in Washington, D.C., the Blogging 101 lecture was particularly helpful. Bruce runs a political blog called, Tea Party – One Lump or Two? He plans to use the training to better market his blog and explore the possibility of working in new media. “This is current, cutting-edge information for targeting the groups you need to target,” said Julie Malone Garofalo, who also plans to use the training to start a blog and search for a position in communications. Other lectures covered how to create effective online videos and disseminate them over the Internet via YouTube as well as social media activism through the popular networking sites, Twitter and Facebook. Gail Peirson, a retired pediatric nurse practitioner who is part of the Tea Party movement in New Jersey, was initially resistant to social media. After the training, she now sees it as a necessary tool for mass outreach. “Being able to hear ‘the case' for different types of online marketing and getting my ideas confirmed was specifically beneficial,” Gail said. Tuesday lectures focused primarily on online fundraising and advertising. Attendees learned how to find vendors and integrate traditional and online fundraising plans, promote a campaign or organization through online marketing, build and manage email lists, use data visualization tools and location technology, and finally, how to use Google Analytics to gather crucial information about visitors to a website. Freddie Klein, a legislative aide for Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, found the lectures on Twitter and Google Analytics particularly helpful. He now knows how to analyze website traffic and use that data to effectively target ads. “The training here was worthwhile and I plan to use it to teach my employer too,” he said. “The variety of information – specifically learning how to target people using social media and track analytics – was particularly beneficial,” agreed Ryan McNulty, strategic communications intern at The Heritage Foundation. “The training was extremely informative and beneficial – a must-attend for somebody serious about politics.” If you would like to learn more about LI's Comprehensive Online Activist School or other online activism and strategy training programs, click here.
Missouri Congressional Candidate: After LI’s Campaign Management School, You’ll Be A Better Candidate and Run A Better Campaign
Lauren Levy
February 7, 2012
Missouri Congressional Candidate: After LI’s Campaign Management School, You’ll Be A Better Candidate and Run A Better Campaign
Last week 42 campaign managers, future candidates, and conservative activists of all sorts flocked to the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA to learn from campaign experts at LI's Campaign Management School (CMS). Over the course of four days and 25 training lectures, motivated conservatives acquired the tools needed to organize, finance, and run successful campaigns. Lisa Fitzhugh works for Maryland State Senator and Former Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs, who is running to represent citizens in Maryland's Congressional district 2 to defeat Dutch Ruppersberger. “I so appreciate the respect this training has for us and our ability to increase the conservative message in our communities,” Lisa said. “Campaigns are notorious for being fast-paced, and the value this training brings to our campaigns is immeasurable. It gives us the tools to get our message across.” On the first day of the CMS, attendees learned how to use opposition research to their advantage, write and develop campaign plans, finance a campaign, develop an effective message, and decipher polling data. Mike Allen is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as a command sergeant major and currently serves as a campaign manager in Georgia's district 12. Mike was asked by his candidate to become the manager of his campaign, a career shift that required him to quit his previous job. “As this is my very first time involved in campaigning, I came to this school to find the baseline for what I should be doing and implementing,” he said. “I just wish I'd come before.” On Day 2, the CMS lectures focused on targeting and calculating vote goals, building coalitions, grassroots machines, door-to-door campaigning, and contacting voters via phone banks. LI President Morton Blackwell also delivered a comprehensive lecture on handling negative information to protect your candidate's image. “To deflect negative attacks against you or your candidate, your aim is to end the usefulness of the story against you as soon as possible,” Morton said. He then proceeded to list six strategies to extinguish the negative accusations. While the CMS focuses on campaigning, the principles can be applied to other types of activism. Three attendees, Les Riley, Gualberto Garcia Jones, and Drew Hymer, work with affiliates of Personhood USA. “The lectures provide good information on grassroots mobilization and getting people involved,” said Les, who founded Personhood Mississippi and drafted the legal language for an initiative that would seek to define the unborn as “persons” in the state constitution. His “Personhood Amendment” has already amassed more than 130,000 signatures and gained the support of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Similarly, Lisa Donovan, vice chair of the Upstate Conservative Coalition in New York, is launching a grassroots effort to fight unfunded mandates in her state and mobilize people to overturn regulations that she believes are placed unfairly upon her state without proper access to funding. “The Campaign Management School gives a good overview of what's important for activism,” Lisa said. “I've been so impressed by the faculty. They're so knowledgeable and experienced.” Day 3 of the CMS covered topics such as writing a finance plan, recruiting a finance committee, asking for donations, fundraising with events, direct mail fundraising, establishing a voter registration plan, running an absentee voting program, and planning a ground game for getting out the vote (GOTV). “I think anyone who is serious about running for office should go through LI's Campaign Management and Future Candidate schools, as well as the TV trainings,” said Jacob Turk, who is running for U.S. Congress as a Republican from Missouri's 5th district. “What you learn during the CMS will help you be a much better candidate and run a much better campaign.” On the final day of the CMS attendees learned about the latest campaign technologies, implementing a voter mail program, creating effective ads for paid media, hiring and firing consultants, the procedures for buying media space, tips and techniques for handling earned media, as well as completing and fine-tuning a winning strategy. The shift toward media focus was of particular interest to Chuck Paris, another veteran of the U.S. Army who is working to bring on-camera media training to combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. “Many veterans return from war and have trouble being personable,” Chuck said. “I want to train them to handle media, and these LI courses give me the credentials. I wouldn't spend my money and time if it wasn't superb.” Chuck has taken numerous courses with LI over the years, including public relations, new media, fundraising, legislative project management, and TV trainings. LI offers campaign training the first full week of every month. Check out the schedule here.
LI’s Grassroots Training Staff on the Road Half the Year—180 Days—and Trained Record Numbers
Lauren Hart
December 21, 2011
LI’s Grassroots Training Staff on the Road Half the Year—180 Days—and Trained Record Numbers
The Leadership Institute's grassroots department of four men trained 4,127 conservatives in 103 trainings across 33 states this year in activism and candidate/campaign training. The grassroots department offers seven types of training: Campaign Management School; Communications Workshop; Custom Workshop; Fundraising Workshop; Future Candidate School; Get-Out-The-Vote Workshop; and Grassroots Activist School. “As I have traveled the country this year, I've gotten to meet so many great candidates running for office,” said Robert Arnakis, senior director of domestic and international programs. “They truly appreciate what our organization does in preparing them for effective leadership and activism.” “My best memory this year was working with my staff. Their energy and dedication to LI speaks volumes. Having traveled more than 180 days, this year was real tough, but my staff kept focused and their positive attitude got us through the months were we saw a hotel room more often than our homes. Working together we met every goal we set for 2011. This next year—2012—will be an interesting year for our department. We intend to stay very busy as the election approaches.” Grassroots Coordinator Chris Doss said, “Everywhere I go, I meet people who place great value on the history of our nation, the vision of our founders, the heritage of liberty going beyond the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence – going all the way back to Jamestown and even to the Magna Carta at Runnymeade. That is always a topic of conversation with the people who join us for our training programs.” Chris remembers one weekend where he met a descendent of Thomas Lord Fairfax, the highest ranking nobleman in British North America who he threw his lot with the Revolutionaries when the war for independence began. Lord Fairfax once owned much of what is now Northern Virginia, where the Leadership Institute is headquartered. “She took me into her front parlour, opened an old wooden box, and I was very soon holding in my own hands several 260-year-old deeds that had belonged to Thomas Lord Fairfax. The evening was an incredible lesson on America's early history, but told from the perspective of family history – by a family member of several of our nation's most notable families. I was mesmerized,” Chris remembered. Brennan Ward, grassroots coordinator, said: “This year was phenomenal; I got a chance to work with very enthusiastic and dedicated students all across the country, and a chance to teach with some of the best politicos in the business. I'm looking forward to what 2012 has in store for the grassroots department.” “Getting married was definitely the highlight of my year, but being a part of this team during this record-breaking year is a close second,” said Ryan Adams, grassroots activist schools coordinator. “My fondest training of the year was in Little Rock, AR," Ryan continued. "In the state of Arkansas, conservatives have a real chance to gain their first majority in the state government since the 1860's. I am happy to say I had some small part in that.” Robert said, “Wes Duncan, a retired Navy Jag Officer, is one of our students who attended several LI trainings. Wes is running for local office and I anticipate this will be the start of a long career in politics for him.” There are many LI graduates that go on to run for public office and run conservative campaigns. To see where LI trainings will be hosted in 2012, go here for the training schedule.
Record Breaking Conservative Students Trained Across America in 2011
Lauren Hart
December 20, 2011
Record Breaking Conservative Students Trained Across America in 2011
In 2011 the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School, known as the “boot camp of politics,” trained 1,042 young conservatives – setting an all-time LI record for this department. This two-person YLS team trained 1,042 students in 33 trainings across 21 states this year. The Youth Leadership School is an intense, two-day training that teaches students to organize and lead mass-based youth efforts for the candidates and causes of their choice. The flagship training of the Institute launches more careers in politics than any other LI program. Notable YLS graduates include Senator Mitch McConnell; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity; and Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa. The record-breaking year for the YLS department is thanks to LI's generous donors who support these programs and volunteer faculty who travel on weekends to share their expert political knowledge. “The YLS can be life-changing,” said Kent Strang, Youth Leadership School director. “I've seen former students elected to office, featured on print and broadcast media, run successful campaigns, and become colleagues. These success stories make every weekend away from my family well worth the effort.” In July, the largest in-house YLS took place with a record-breaking 129 students from 30 different states and four countries. These students represented 74 colleges and universities were represented, 20 different Capitol Hill offices, and 19 conservative organizations. "The YLS gives young conservatives a skill set of time-tested and innovative campaign and organizational techniques they will use throughout their political career,” said Daryn Iwicki, Americans for Prosperity Foundation director of training and education. Daryn, a former YLS coordinator who worked for LI now volunteers his weekend time to continue training young conservatives. “By training over 1,000 students three of the last four years, our students will be a powerful force for liberty now and in the future.” This year the Leadership Institute announced its 100,000th student trained since 1979: Alejandro Capote. Alejandro, a Florida State University sophomore and recently naturalized US citizen, graduated from LI's Youth Leadership School first in July at the Arlington, VA training and then he organized a 35-person YLS on his college campus in Tallahassee, Florida October 15. At the Tallahassee training, Alejandro was named LI's 100,000th graduate. He receives free Institute training for life and a travel scholarship to any LI training in the U.S. in 2012. Meghan Swella, YLS coordinator, said, “I watch students eyes light up as we give them the tools to win for conservative principles and candidates. I love inspiring and motivating young conservatives through the YLS training.” In January 2012 alone there are four scheduled YLS trainings in Pullman, Washington; Newark, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Mexico City, Mexico. Sign up for the Youth Leadership School. Spread the word and get involved in local politics on campus and in your community.
Ready To Run—Future Candidates Now Equipped
Mikayla Hall and Lauren Hart
December 9, 2011
Ready To Run—Future Candidates Now Equipped
Every year across America thousands of people run for public office. Many lose, and do so from common errors that can be avoided by learning from campaign experts. This week 28 conservatives gathered at the Leadership Institute's Future Candidate School to learn effective campaign techniques as they consider a bid for public office. This training helps conservatives thoughtfully consider and proactively strategize their campaign aspirations as well as encourage them to plan ahead. The training began with a day dedicated entirely to candidate development. Holly Davis, co-founder and vice president of Gauge Market Research started it off with a simple question—“Are you ready to run?” For four days attendees learned from expert faculty about what it takes to run a stronger and more effective campaign. Faculty included Stephen Clouse of Stephen Clouse & Associates, Inc., Tyler Harper of The Prosper Group, and Rebecca Norman of The Richard Norman Company. The remaining three days covered topics such as: coalitions, fundraising, polling, developing a message, and others. These lectures required future candidates to ask themselves what they can do to put themselves on the right path to get elected. John Paul Wagemann is running again for the Washington State House of Representatives in the 28th district. He lost by around 600 votes with no campaign training. “My original plan was not as well-written as it could have been. All four days of LI training reinforced the importance of having a solid plan going into a campaign,” John said. John says the lectures on the Leesburg Grid and public speaking were particularly encouraging. “I learned much more about public speaking and how to articulate what is important to me and my constituents,” John said. “We know conservatism is right, but we need to package it correctly so people will want to listen," John continued. "These lectures made it clear how skillful the opposing side is. Conservatives can often get caught up in fighting over what doesn't matter—we need to focus!” Recently elected Virginia Delegate Mike Watson, a former LI graduate who took eight trainings at the Institute, closed the training by sharing his candidacy story. “I went to the Future Candidate School first, and a few months later attended the week-long Campaign Management School. There, I was surrounded by people who wanted to be campaign managers, and I ended up hiring one of them: Annette James. We had an LI team going. We'd had the same training, so we were on the same page, and we won! You can do it too,” Mike encouraged. “I am horrible on TV, so I went to LI's workshop and the on-camera training, and improved in debates and public speeches. I was calm, cool, and collected during debates. I had a smile, my arm on the table, and was turned toward the other person when things got heated—all thanks to my training at the Leadership Institute. Go to as many trainings as you can. Equip yourself for the fight ahead,” Mike closed. Want to attend a Future Candidate School? To register for this and other LI programs, go here.
Yesterday at LI: President of the National Right to Work Committee Mark Mix Remains Optimistic about Battle Against Unions
Mikayla Hall
December 8, 2011
Yesterday at LI: President of the National Right to Work Committee Mark Mix Remains Optimistic about Battle Against Unions
Yesterday 43 people braved the wind and the rain to hear Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work Committee and National Right to Work Foundation, who spoke at the Leadership Institute's December Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Mark Mix credits the Leadership Institute's techniques with his start in politics. He said a member of a conservative campus group at his college stood in front of a table, shook his hand, and invited him to their meeting. In the following years, Mark went on to take LI's Legislative Project Management School, newspaper training, television training and other Institute trainings he could make. “I probably have more LI diplomas than most,” he joked. Standing before conservatives and supporters of the Institute, Mark spoke about his organization's efforts to establish right to work laws across the nation. “The First Amendment says you have the right to associate. Since 1935, however, we have allowed private organizations to force workers to associate as terms of employment. Having a right to associate presupposes the right not to associate. …How is it that a private organization that represents only 6.9 percent of the private sector has the loudest voice on Capitol Hill?” he said. But, Mark noted, it is important to recognize that the National Right to Work Committee is not against unions, but against forcing employees to join a union as terms of employment. “We protect the right for people to join a union. It is an important right. But we cannot give [union leaders] monopoly power,” Mark said. While a serious issue, Mark ended on a positive note, saying: “You can't overlook what's happening in Wisconsin and Ohio. Compulsory behavior is in the last throes of a [failed institution]…in ten years or so, I think we will see the end of compulsory organized labor.” Didn't make it to the Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast? Watch the video here. Next month's speaker will be Dr. Paul Teller, executive director of the Republican Study Committee. To register for this and other LI programs and schools, go here.
Watch Tonight's Presidential Debate Hosted by American Enterprise Institute, CNN, and the Heritage Foundation
Lauren Hart
November 22, 2011
Watch Tonight's Presidential Debate Hosted by American Enterprise Institute, CNN, and the Heritage Foundation
Tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy and national security begins at 8 p.m. EST. Join the conversation online here. Also at this site, you'll have access to Heritage's expert commentary and notes from behind the scenes. You can host a debate party and receive a free watch party kit here. “The timing couldn't be better. We're setting the table for some lively family discussions at Thanksgiving,” Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner said. “Nothing is more important to the future of our nation than how we approach national security and foreign policy.” Tweet with #CNNDebate, and the Heritage Foundation says they will retweet the best Debate Watch Party tweets. You can also vote in the Facebook poll.
100 People Learn About Conservative Careers at LI’s Workshop This Week
Lauren Hart
November 18, 2011
100 People Learn About Conservative Careers at LI’s Workshop This Week
One hundred people attended the Conservative Career Workshop Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at LI's Steven P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, VA. “This was some of the best advice I've received for my job search. I learned about the interview process and negotiating a salary. I had no idea how to negotiate salary prior to this! I feel more confident about tweaking my resume and going into an interview now," said Heritage Foundation Coalition Relations Intern Dixie Cline. The Conservative Career Workshop helps those looking to sharpen their professional skills and for those searching for their next career move. Attendees learned about different paths in the conservative movement from working on the Hill, in a think-tank, or for a non-profit. “I learned how to take my private sector experience toward perspective job opportunities in the conservative movement," said Robert Towner, a Government Technical Coordinator for Verizon Wireless. LI had a great lineup of expert faculty, including: -American Conservative Union Director of CPAC Chris Malagisi -Americans for Prosperity Foundation Recruiter Andrea McCarthy -Foreign Policy Initiative Director of Government Relations & Outreach Rachel Hoff -FreedomWorks Federal and State Campaigns Director Brendan Steinhauser -Global Vision Communications Principal and Founder/CEO of Ladies America Lindsey Mask -Heritage Foundation Recruiter Kristine Bramsen -Leadership Institute Vice President Steven Sutton -Leadership Institute Director of ConservativeJobs.com Emily Miller -Republican Study Committee Executive Director Paul Teller “At the conservative Career Workshop I learned to be more confident in networking and utilizing the contacts I have. It's a great workshop that will provide insider tips to finding a job in D.C.” said Kelly Cassara, the media/field department intern for Concerned Women for America. Family Research Council intern Terri Hufschmid said, “The information about propriety in networking and resume formats was extremely helpful. I will be using this for the rest of my life!” Americans for Limited Government Senior Research Analyst Richard McCarty, another attendee, said: “I have attended several LI schools, and I've always found them interesting and insightful, as well as good places to network.” During the two evenings, attendees learned to: find career paths in the conservative movement; successfully get a job on the Hill; negotiate salary; enhance resume and interview skills; and have an effective personal brand. Avant Garde Information Solutions Financial Controller Patrick Fabian said: “The Leadership Institute provides the must-have tools necessary for a conservative activist to transition to a full-time career related to public policy.” LI offers training year-around. Come get trained to be effective in public policy.
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.
Conservatives Polish their PR Skills at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School
Mikayla Hall
November 9, 2011
Conservatives Polish their PR Skills at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School
The past three evenings this week, 20 conservatives gathered in Arlington, Virginia at the Leadership Institute's Steven P.J. Wood Building to enhance their public relations skills at LI's Advanced Public Relations School. Attendees came from many backgrounds, including: non profits, government agencies, and defense contractors. The training blended the lecture style most common with LI trainings with hands-on practice. As LI's Director of Communications Training Rachel Phillips noted, “PR is about practice. You can learn these skills the more you work on them.” Attendees formed groups to practice the lessons taught by: Jessica Towhey of Dezenhall Resources; Stuart Roy of Prism Public Affairs; and Abigail Alger of LI. Each group was given a scenario, brainstormed how to respond to the crisis, and then held a mock press conference. One group represented a restaurant company with a food crisis. They had a Bird Flu outbreak and had to respond to public concerns. One person played the role of a communications director, one had to write the press release, and the third person played the spokesman during the press conference. To find out when LI is hosting more public relations training, visit http://leadershipinstute.org/training.
LI’s International Leadership Training Seminar Trains 77 Conservatives From Around the World
Mikayla Hall
November 2, 2011
LI’s International Leadership Training Seminar Trains 77 Conservatives From Around the World
Last week the Leadership Institute hosted 77 representatives from 12 countries—Bolivia, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Romani, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, United Kingdom, and the United States. The International Leadership Training Seminar (ILTS) was a week-long crash course in communications, fundraising, negotiations, and on-camera techniques. Member of the Bolivian Parliament Paola Zapata Montaño said, “The Leadership Institute has made me proud of being a conservative, and has equipped me with not only the right tools, but also the right principles that motivate me to recover the democratic lifestyle that Bolivia deserves.” Notable attendees included Armando Vera, the founder and president of the Hispanic Tea Party; Paola Zapata Montaño, a member of the Bolivian parliament; Lkhagvajav Dolgorjav, the Secretariat's manager for the Democratic Party of Zavkhan province; and Dr. Ole-Ronkei Morompi, the advocacy director at Compassion International. The training was taught in/translated into English, Spanish, and Mongolian. Those in attendance learned from experts in various fields, including: Stephen Clouse, the president of Stephen D. Clouse & Associates; Ann Fitzgerald, president of A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC; and Giuseppe Gori, the president of Central Dynamics. When asked what he enjoyed about these lectures, Compassion International Advocacy Director Dr. Morompi said, “Strategic use of social media for purposes of political mobilization, fund-raising and ultimately winning an election is certainly the highlight of the training for me at LI.” After three days of intensive training at LI, the group toured the U.S. Capitol. From there, The Heritage Foundation opened their doors and gave additional lectures on the economic index, new media, and how a think tank like Heritage and a “do tank” like LI can work well with conservative activists and officials who want to make a difference. “Graduates of The Leadership Institute go on to be amazing leaders for their cause, both here in America and back in their home countries,” said Bridgett Wagner, Heritage's director of coalition relations. Before returning to their respective countries, some of the attendees offered their kind words about their time at LI. Bolivia's think tank Funbolider's President Alejandro Barja said, “This training has allowed me to change my thinking and my behavior and it has equipped me to better solve the problems of leadership we face and fulfill the needs in my region and country in a positive way.” Interested in attending a future International Leadership Training Seminar? Contact LI's Director International & Government Training Miguel Moreno at (703) 247-2000. Other Leadership Institute training is available here.
Activists learn to run youth campaigns in two Florida Youth Leadership Schools
Mikayla Hall
October 26, 2011
Activists learn to run youth campaigns in two Florida Youth Leadership Schools
This fall has been extremely busy for LI's Youth Leadership School (YLS) department. In October alone, there have been six YLS trainings around the country. The Sunshine State is particularly popular: LI trained 56 young conservatives in Tampa and Tallahassee this month. The YLS, an intensive, two-day program known as the “boot camp” of politics, is the Leadership Institute's flagship training. Attendees learn what it takes to build an effective student organization and youth campaign. The YLS has launched more political careers than any other Institute training. In Tampa, 21 conservative activists from more than five organizations participated. “[The YLS] has been a life-changing experience for me,” said Mechelle Morgan, a University of South Florida student.“I will remember this weekend for the rest of my life.” One week later, 35 conservatives attended the Tallahassee YLS. Graduates left the training energized and ready to get involved. There were three students who had returned to take the YLS again, and others expressed interest in hosting their own YLS in their hometown. Anna Crow, an attendee and Institute supporter from Pensacola, said, “Seeing all the bright, intelligent, knowledgeable students here was the most heart-warming part—the future leaders of America.” Interested in attending the Youth Leadership School? There are still eight trainings in 2011. To register for this school and other schools, please go here.
Activists learn in-depth campaign techniques at LI’s Campaign Management School
Mikayla Hall
October 19, 2011
Activists learn in-depth campaign techniques at LI’s Campaign Management School
The Leadership Institute welcomed 41 conservative activists to LI's October Campaign Management School (CMS). Part of the LI's now monthly campaign training, the training teaches conservatives how to help the candidate of their choice run a productive and successful campaign. Craig Brandt, a veteran and candidate for the New Mexico State Senate, said, “As a candidate, before coming to LI I felt uninformed when discussing my own campaign with my campaign manager. I now have the knowledge to not only be a part of the discussion but lead the discussion.” Included in the lectures were the “ABCs of Polling,” taught by Tyler Harber, a partner with The Prosper Group, which described the purpose of polling and emphasized the importance of polling strategy. Also, Rebecca Norman, vice president of Client Services at the Richard Norman Company, broke down how to write a fundraising letter. Other faculty included Terry Campo of The Campo Group; Consultant Dave Johnson; and Dan Morgan and Todd Meredith of Morgan, Meredith, Associates, to name a few. Armed with this information, graduates of LI's Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country. David Wiesley, principal at Hispanic Voter Strategies, referred to the school as “excellent” and “not to be missed.” Didn't make it to the Campaign Management School? Campaign training is now offered monthly, with the Future Candidate School coming up the week of December 5th. To register for this training and others, click here.
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