Summer vacation at the Leadership Institute
Leadership Institute
July 13, 2013
Summer vacation at the Leadership Institute
Tan and rested they are not. But they return home a little smarter, a lot more effective, and with many more friends in the conservative movement.For an activist like you, this may sound like a holiday.So far this summer, more than 3,700 conservatives just like you agreed -- choosing Leadership Institute training over a beach, trading swimming and relaxing for learning from experienced political professionals, and picking up pens and notepads instead of hot dogs and hamburgers.Our movement and our country will be grateful they did.As Senator Rand Paul said, "If more conservative candidates have the same secret weapon I had -- top staff and key volunteers trained by the Leadership Institute -- you and I will see many more conservative victories in the future."You can imagine how many LI staff, graduates, and donors have that line committed to memory. It cuts to the core of the Institute's mission -- and what graduates like you do every day.Just see some of the highlights from this summer.Issues That UniteSince its launch in May, LI's Issues That Unite: Latinos and Conservatism has trained 410 conservatives. At these intensive evening workshops -- held so far in Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia -- attendees learned how to welcome Latinos into the conservative movement, how to work best with Spanish-language media, and how to talk persuasively about the values Latinos and conservatives share.The influence of Latinos in business, politics, and American culture is growing at a dramatic rate. But their involvement in the conservative movement has not matched that pace. LI and partnering organizations are changing that...one evening at a time.You may register for upcoming Issues That Unite events in Orlando, Florida; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; or Los Angeles, California.Bring a conservative friend. Better yet? Bring five.Virginia: Voting Is Not EnoughIt is election season in Virginia, which means LI is training activists and campaign staff to work for the candidates of their choice. Since January, the Institute has offered custom, targeted workshops for Virginians, training 540 conservatives so far.But it's really heating up this summer, with five trainings in June, eight trainings in July, and seven trainings already scheduled in August in locations all across the state.Live in Virginia and want to get involved? Contact Christopher Doss, Deputy Director of Grassroots, who's running the show.Impressive numbers at summer trainingsConservatives are hungry to learn how to win. That's one way to explain the eye-popping numbers from trainings at the Institute this summer.In June, the Conservative Intern Workshop trained 98 interns from 30 conservative organizations in and around Washington, D.C. Interns learned how to make the most of their current internships and land full-time jobs when they graduate.In July, the Youth Leadership School, LI's flagship training, welcomed 141 young conservatives. In an intensive, two-day political bootcamp, they learned ho wto run mass-based youth efforts for the candidates of their choice. Look for them on the campaign trail.In August, just last week, the Future Candidate School hosted more than 100 conservatives who plan to run for office. In four days (45 hours of instruction), they learned how to decide when they're ready to run, how to build their networks and raise funds, and how to devise a grassroots-powered political campaign.LI grads have done great things in office. Many of these aspiring candidates will join them soon.With three more weeks of summer, Institute trainings aren't slowing down. They're just getting started.Check out LI's 2013 training calendar. If you register this week, use the promotion code LeadMemo to save 25% on your registration fee. But hurry! The code will expire this Saturday, August 17.>
LI's Newest Initiative --
Paulo Sibaja
May 9, 2013
LI's Newest Initiative -- "Issues That Unite: Latinos & Conservatism"
Issues That Unite: Latinos & Conservatism in Las Vegas, Nevada was the first city out of eight the Leadership Institute and its partnering national organizations visited. The Leadership Institute partnered with New America, a new organization in Nevada seeking to engage minorities.The event was a success; representatives from Governor Sandoval, Senator Heller, and Congressman Heck's office attended the event as did more than 100 other individuals.The event was held at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, a venue known for hosting El Dia del Niño and El Dia de los Muertos (The day of the Child and The day of the Dead). Attendees were treated to appetizers and beverages as they networked prior to the events' start.The first half of the event focused on public policy and how it affects Latinos.Isreal Ortega from The Heritage Foundation discussed economic and school public policy. Leticia Gardea, a small business owner in Las Vegas, gave her testimony as a Latina entrepreneur. Tim Mooney, representing Faith & Freedom Coalition, discussed family policy.The second half of the event tied public policy to practical training.Dan Garza with The Libre Initiative talked about messaging to Latinos while Adryana Boyne from VOCES Action discussed the importance of Hispanic Media.The day concluded with an immigration panel discussion where questions regarding immigration from the audience were answered.Highlights: 1. More than 100 attendees2. Notable guests included: -Representative from Governor Sandoval's office - Representative from Senator Heller's office - Representative from Congressman Heck's office - Other candidates for public office - Leaders from New America, Libre Initiative, Heritage Foundation, VOCES Action, Tea Party Patriots and Leadership Institute3. Red Card Solution,The Heritage Foundation, the Leadership Institute, and VOCES Action all distributed helpful materials to every attendee>
Eight Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on the Campaign Trail
Ron Nehring
April 24, 2013
Eight Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on the Campaign Trail
If you're doing your job as a candidate or party leader, you're going out speaking with a lot of people you haven't met before. When they don't know much about you, it's human nature to make quick judgments based on what little information they do have.First time candidates, particularly for local office, often send signals that undermine credibility among potential supporters, costing them votes, volunteers, donations, or all three.People make decisions based on cues and signals, and initial impressions can have a lasting impact. Here are eight unforced errors you can easily avoid.Loner = loser. Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce lunch? Showing up by yourself tells everyone you have no supporters in the room. Instead, arrive with a volunteer whose job it is to accompany you while you're chatting with people, helping in taking down notes for follow up, and carrying endorsement cards. When working a crowd and confronted with that weirdo who wants to chew your ear off about privatizing sidewalks, have your body man leading you, setting up the next person to talk to, and politely motioning you to the next person when he sees you're pinned down. Bonus: Let a member of the group you're speaking to know you're coming, and have him meet you at the door when you arrive and walk in together to show other members you have support already.Flag ties. Ronald Reagan was a great American patriot, and he didn't have to prove it by wearing a flag tie — a novelty that you should probably put up on eBay. Want to show your patriotism? Wear a small flag pin on your lapel. Cheap-o pens. “Ok, let me write your number down.” While you're writing, the person standing in front of you is looking straight at your hand. If it's holding a two year old Bic with the end chewed off, you don't look as impressive. Mont Blanc gets $450 for a pen not because it doesn't matter, but because it does. Yours doesn't have to break the bank, but a proper pen sends a subtle signal you have your act together. FREE OFFER! Business cards. Companies like Vista Print have nice offers for “free!” business cards using very generic templates that people like me who meet candidates a thousand times have seen – about a thousand times. While you're at it, have Vista put “I'm not taking this race seriously enough to invest in sending the right message to donors, volunteers, and stakeholders.” Spend a few bucks more on proper business cards that show you mean business.“I lost weight!” shirt collars. So you dropped 20 lbs walking all those precincts – fantastic! But if you don't trade in those collared shirts for ones that fit your new neck size, you're going to look like an anorexic or an addict, and your sloppy appearance will show in all those photos posted to Facebook.Bush or Clinton era shoes. Look down right now. If those shoes weren't purchased during the Obama Administration, take them off, put them in the closet, and wear them for gardening. When you're at events, it's surprising how often people are looking down. High end Hugo Boss isn't required, but they should be new and clean.Dark button-down shirts. If you're wearing a black button-down shirt, a tie and a blazer, congratulations, you look like a bouncer at a bar. Ditch the Sopranos look for now and go with a white or light blue shirt. Still have doubts? Turn on C-SPAN. See any elected officials with your bouncer costume? Exactly.Rookie@gmail.com. That's the message you're sending with your “I'm using this email address until I lose” Gmail or Yahoo account. For $10 at GoDaddy.com you can register your own private domain name, then sign up to have email to that address forwarded to your regular email address.For women candidates: no question about it, you have a tougher job than the boys when it comes to attire. The press pays more attention to what women leaders wear, just ask Hillary Clinton. Yet in most cases, the target audience consists of voters and stakeholders, and not the press, so don't worry about the writeup. Rule of thumb: middle of the road. Too flashy or too mannish and you'll turn people off. Not too much jewelry and definitely not too much perfume. If you hug someone and they can smell of your Chanel an hour later, it was too much. More food for thought in this New York Times story – The Fashion Conservatives.People are careful with where they invest their vote, their time, and their money. Switching from amateur to pro before you hit the field helps you maximize the return on every hour you're putting into your campaign. Ron Nehring is a volunteer faculty member for the Leadership Institute, where he speaks at LI campaign management schools and activists workshops all across the country. Under Ron's leadership as the former chairman of the Republican Party of California, they raised more $73 million, permanently retired over $4 million in debt, and instituted a wide array of management and financial reforms. He currently serves as a consultant and is the chairman emeritus of the California Republican Party. Read his full bio here.This “Expert Insights” article is a part of a regular series which delves into the mechanics of political technology. LI staff, faculty, graduates, and conservative friends are welcome to submit an article by contacting Lauren Day at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org>
Grassroots Lobbying
Patricia Simpson
April 2, 2013
Grassroots Lobbying
Ronald Reagan was fond of quoting Senator Everett Dirkson, who often said, “You have to hold politician's feet to the fire because that is the only way they feel the heat and see the light.”Lobbying is not just a way of changing your public official's mind; lobbying is a way to remind them that this is your democracy and you are watching. Like any great disinfectant, when elected officials operate transparently and on-the-record, it keeps politics clean.Here are some basic tips for you to remember:1. Lobbying on its most basic level consists of a simple meeting with a legislator or other official. This should be approached like any other meeting with a busy professional. Set the appointment ahead of time and be prepared to deal with inflexibility. If possible, consider meeting in the legislator's home district. 2. If appropriate, record any meetings that you have with your official. When you request a commitment from your public official during your meeting, you want to have a record of their response. This way, you have what you need if the official strays away from the truth and you can repeat your request if it is not addressed while holding them accountable. 3. Watch your representatives closely and ensure they are held accountable. Gather information and constant feedback as it becomes available, and make sure that they are aware of the fact that you want to be kept in the loop of new developments.Remember that lobbying is a year-long gig and staying active in the process all 12 months yields the best results. Check with your activists; make sure they are communicating with their neighbors and their public officials and that the right messages are flowing in the proper directions.Learn more about grassroots lobbying during the Holding Elected Officials Accountable Workshop on April 10 and 11 or during the Grassroots Lobbying Webinar on April 10th. >
Announcing Issues that Unite: Latinos and Conservatism
Leadership Institute
March 26, 2013
Announcing Issues that Unite: Latinos and Conservatism
The Leadership Institute, in partnership with The Heritage Foundation and Faith & Freedom Coalition, launched today Issues that Unite: Latinos and Conservatism (ITU). Experts in education, and economic public policy as well as Hispanic media will teach at seven workshops to engage Latinos and activate conservatives.The series of workshops will be held in six states with large Hispanic communities. You can see them on LI's 2013 training calendar.“America's emerging face requires a shift in outreach efforts,” said Paulo Sibaja, Director of Coalitions at the Leadership Institute. “Conservatives failed to communicate our proven philosophy to Latinos effectively. That is why we have launched the first phase of a long term project to reach Hispanics. Through our efforts that merge policy and practical training, conservatives and Hispanics will lead the nation hand in hand.”“Opportunity is precisely what Hispanics are looking for when we consider what's desperately needed to return America to what so many of us came here looking for,” said Israel Ortega, Editor of Heritage Libertad at The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. “Hispanics consider family and family cohesiveness a valuable pillar of their community. Our shared faiths are as diverse as the community and the desire for freedom is evident in how we live our lives,” said Gary Marx, Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. The Faith & Freedom Coalition is a non-profit organization with an avowed commitment to educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals to be effective citizens.>
A Snow Globe of Reagan’s Vision
Leah Courtney
March 7, 2013
A Snow Globe of Reagan’s Vision
On a snowy Wednesday morning, the Leadership Institute welcomed Dr. George Nash, author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, for LI's monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.Dr. Nash is an independent scholar, historian, and lecturer. He specializes in twentieth century American political and intellectual history, which includes the life of Herbert Hoover and the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Dr. Nash is also a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.While sharing President Reagan's original vision for America, Dr. Nash reminisced, "Reagan could make his point sharply without offending people. His humor had an ecumenical quality.”He went on to explain how President Reagan feared that America's memory was slipping away. Dr. Nash described the challenges to Reagan's vision of American exceptionalism.President Reagan once said, “I am not a great man. I am a man of great ideals.” Dr. Nash implied that many who intend on running for office or are in office today should embrace a similar mindset.Jean Morrow, an intern in the development department atLI, said: “It was a sobering experience listening to Dr. Nash talk about President Reagan and how he cultivated the idea that America is exceptional.”Dr. George Nash closed with the notion that Reagan had a national narrative that still resonates today: “If he can rally the city on the Hill, why can't we?” Please join LI at April's Wake-Up Club Breakfast on April 3 to hear Gun Owners of America's Executive Director Larry Pratt. Sign up here. >
80 Conservatives Now Ready to be Campaign Managers!
Ulrik Boesen
February 15, 2013
80 Conservatives Now Ready to be Campaign Managers!
Last week 80 conservative activists gathered at the Leadership Institute headquarters for an intense four day Campaign Management School (CMS).Tea party leader from Charleston, South Carolina Dean Allen said, “I have been involved in politics since I was the Galveston County youth chairman for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. I ran Ronald Reagan's GOTV operation in Galveston County. I consider myself an expert in politics who is well trained and knows the ropes very well. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of instruction, the broad scope of activities covered, and all the things I either did not know as in depth as I had thought; or, at the technology and newer methods that are more efficient. I learned a huge amount every day! I strongly recommend the educational programs of the Leadership Institute to any conservative activist who cares about the future of our republic and plans to be involved in the process of saving America.”Twenty-two of the nation's top political operatives served as volunteer faculty to these 80 aspiring campaigners. On day one Mike Rothfeld, president of SABER Communications, taught LI students the “Real Nature of Politics” and how to organize a campaign.Leah Holloway, a grassroots activist from Norfolk, Virginia said, “What a breath of fresh air! Rothfeld's delivery was awesome. His lecture was informative and truthful. I just can't get enough of this man! His insights make me question what I thought I already knew.” “ABCs of Polling,” lecture was taught by Tyler Harber, a partner with Harcom Strategies, where he described the purpose of polling and emphasized the importance of polling strategy.With 22 seasoned faculty, the lineup included: Mark Kelly, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who lectured about the importance of precinct organization; John Tate, president for Campaign for Liberty, who taught students the ins and outs about fundraising via direct mail; Terry Campo of The Campo Group who taught about opposition research; Edward King, director of programs & operations at Young Americans for Liberty, who spoke on different strategies for getting out the vote; Jordan Lieberman, president of CampaignGrid, who gave a great lecture on the newest campaign technology; Steve Sutton, former chief of staff to three freshmen Members of Congress and presently, LI's vice president of development, who spoke on message development; and many others.Elisabeth Jessop, currently a campaign manager, said, “I loved the lecture on developing your message by Steve Sutton. The four boxes was a great illustration of how to approach political opponents and how to create a positive message to your supporter!”The training saved the very best for last when Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell lectured on the handling of negative information. Amazingly, students were still eager to learn more after four days of intensive training.Personhood Florida state coordinator Brenda Macmenamin said, “My favorite was Morton Blackwell just talking to us. To realize how much impact this one man has had was very encouraging!”To see photos of the week-long training, check out the pictures on Facebook here.LI's next Campaign Management School is the week of June 3. Go here to learn more and sign up. To see what other trainings LI offers, go here to see the upcoming schedule. >
Want to Win Your Campaign? Learn How to Recruit Your Volunteers
Heather Homan
January 18, 2013
Want to Win Your Campaign? Learn How to Recruit Your Volunteers
A common misconception is to keep recruiting until you have enough volunteers. The problem is if you are running an effective campaign you never have enough volunteers. Let's face it --life happens. People will cancel and bail on you at the last minute. Unforeseen tasks come up and in the campaign world you need to learn to expect the unexpected; what can go wrong, often does.In order to save you the often avoidable stress and wasted time of having to scramble at the last minute to find enough people to accomplish your goal, make sure you never run out of volunteers with these quick tips.* Have something for them to do. If you aren't prepared with projects for your volunteers, you will appear unorganized and it will reflect poorly on your campaign or organization. Without work, volunteers will get bored and go home and may never come back.*Treat them well. Remember, your volunteers are giving up their time – and we all know time is money. Make sure you feed them and thank them for sacrificing their time. Treating volunteers with respect may seem like a given, but you'd be surprised to know how many instances I've seen where this isn't always the case.*Never stop recruiting. Recruitment is a fulltime job – it never ends. You should always be searching for new volunteers and encouraging folks to sign up to volunteer for your candidate or cause. You need to be bold and ask people to volunteer; they aren't going to be knocking at your door, so you need to find them. If you have 30 phones to fill, don't recruit 30 volunteers and think you've succeeded. Keep recruiting and constantly look for ways to bring new people on board.Give ‘em a title and get ‘em involved. There is always something to be done. If you don't have work for volunteers to do, then you need to reevaluate your campaign! Recruitment doesn't have to be a tedious task. In fact, it can be an effective tool to mobilize supporters to your campaign or cause. Volunteers are your biggest asset -- now go recruit!This article is a part of a regular “Expert Insights” series which delves into the mechanics of political technology. LI staff, faculty, graduates, and conservative friends are welcome to submit an article by contacting Lauren Day at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.orgHeather Homan is the Leadership Institute's political training coordinator and manages LI's week-long Campaign Management Schools and Future Candidate Schools. Before coming to LI she worked five years for U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) in his state office and later on Capitol Hill. She currently is the national committeewoman for the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, where she also serves as chair of the YRFV's outreach committee. Locally, Heather serves as the membership chair for the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans. Heather is a 2005 graduate of The University of Toledo, where she received a B.S. in Criminal Justice and also holds a Master's in Organization Development from Bowling Green State University's College of Business. >
Making New Year Resolutions!
Carol Wehe
January 4, 2013
Making New Year Resolutions!
We were talking about New Year's resolutions in the office today, and aside from the regular ‘get in shape' resolutions, I heard a couple of great ideas. To help you think up a good list of resolutions, and then make it easy to keep them, I'll share a few ideas with you.* Become a great public speaker – For public speaking skills, practice is key. But, practice doesn't make perfect. You can just end up cementing bad habits and embarrassing yourself. So, start by learning from public speaking experts at the Leadership Institute's Public Speaking Workshop.*Change your community – Do you want to make a difference in your community, but don't know where to start or how to be effective? Go to the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School and Political Activism Trainings in your area to learn techniques from seasoned activists. *Be more tech savvy – The internet and smart phones are taking over our everyday lives. Learn to harness technology to make your voice heard online at LI's Online Activism and Strategy Trainings.*Run for local office – Sounds scary, huh? See if running for office is for you and learn how to be an effective candidate at the Leadership Institute's Future Candidate School. Learn from the experts – former candidates and consultants.*Pay the rent – You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent. Excel at raising funds in your current position, or get a job raising money for conservative orgs or campaigns. Learn how to effectively raise money at LI's Comprehensive Fundraising Training.Hope you enjoyed the holidays, and good luck with your 2013 New Year's resolutions! >
The Fraud of “Hope” and “Change”
Lauren (Hart) Day
December 6, 2012
The Fraud of “Hope” and “Change”
The Leadership Institute welcomed Kate Obenshain, writer, speaker, and frequent Fox News guest, to its monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. More than 90 conservatives came early Wednesday morning to hear her discuss Divider-In-Chief, her latest book, and how President Obama has deceived Americans with his hope and change rhetoric.Kate specifically focused her speech on young Americans and how the Obama administration has affected them.As she wrote in her book, “Barack Obama has played young people. He reached out to them with soaring speeches championing unity, and they responded to his call to transcend differences and engage in a new kind of politics. In fact, they responded with more enthusiasm, more genuine hope than any other demographic. And the president repaid their trust with betrayal—becoming not the great united, but the most divisive president in history. He has robbed them of current and future prosperity, perverted their understanding of the value of hard work, ambition, and the American dream, and poisoned their optimism—the very optimism he used to soar to victory in 2008.”Kate has held many distinguished posts from being the first woman chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia to an appointee for Governors Allen and Gilmore on the State Council of Higher Education to chief of staff to Senator George Allen and serving as vice president of Young America's Foundation. She has four children and is a regular on Fox News and in other media.After Kate's talk, attendees had the opportunity to buy her latest book, Divider-In-Chief: The Fraud of Hope and Change, in person and receive an autographed note.To listen and watch her full remarks Wednesday, please click here for the video. >
Reviving the Goldwater-Reagan legacy during breakfast
Kate Miller
October 4, 2012
Reviving the Goldwater-Reagan legacy during breakfast
“This message is of hope—it's also of despair,” began conservative pundit Jack Hunter at Wednesday's Wake-Up Club Breakfast at the Leadership Institute. The breakfast, held the first Wednesday of each month, brings a leading conservative to speak to LI supporters.Jack encouraged the audience of 70 at this month's event to responsibly vote and hold elected officials accountable. Jack is a columnist for The American Conservative and the Charleston City Paper, and is a Contributing Editor to Young American Revolution. He also regularly appears on Sirius XM and is involved with many other organizations.“The core definition of conservatism in the United States is something I like to call—and I didn't coin this—the Goldwater-Reagan legacy. The idea that the government that governs least governs best,” Jack said. “The idea that government is bad: that is American conservatism.”Jack echoed Reagan's 1981 inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”This is the main ideological discrepancy between true conservatives and their liberal counterparts, Jack argued.“The conservative grassroots desperately want that limited-government champion Republicans have always promised—and yet so many times, time, time and again, have never delivered,” Jack lamented. “They want the real deal.”Jack wants conservative politicians who fight for a decrease in the size of the government.“I do think things are finally getting better. You know, the term ‘conservative' used to be something very unique in our politics,” Jack said. “If you go back to the time of Barry Goldwater, or even right before that, to be a conservative was something sort of out there. It meant something specific.”“Nowadays, especially in the Republican party, the term ‘conservative' is widespread,” Jack said. “Everybody, from the most moderate (or I would dare say ‘liberal') Republicans to the actual conservatives like to call themselves conservatives. It's good branding. It helps get you elected.”“The term ‘conservative' is as popular as it ever was, but actual conservatism still hasn't got the job done,” Jack said.He proposed a solution to this problem.“The Leadership Institute has been instrumental in carrying these conservative ideas forward,” Jack said. “I think, moving forward, whether it's the TEA Party, or pushing forward these conservative candidates—this is, in a large part, a youth revolution. It's just like Barry Goldwater of 1964, and Mr. Blackwell was there.”Jack continued, “We all know that those young ‘damn Goldwater people'—those kids—became the modern American conservative movement. And they changed this country, and they changed American politics. Well, I dare say it's happening again. It's not only the TEA Party, but it's sort of this youth up swell that is represented by groups like the Leadership Institute who are going to reclaim conservatism in the way that Ronald Reagan meant it, and are going to push it forward in the way Barry Goldwater always dreamed it could,” Jack said.Jack ended on a high note, “I'm so excited about the future—despite how much big government we have now. I think we can finally really begin to turn things around.”For future LI Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfasts, please go here. >
Who won more votes on Election Day: Barack Obama or John McCain?
Leadership Institute Staff
October 1, 2012
Who won more votes on Election Day: Barack Obama or John McCain?
On Election Day 2008, who received more votes? Was it Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama, who won the election?The answer might surprise you: Senator John McCain.With the rise of early voting, you must plan for a month of get out the vote efforts.As Jeremy Bird, National Field Director for the Obama 2012 campaign, told the Wall Street Journal: advantage in early voting goes to "whoever is most organized."Let's get organized.Find your state's early voting and absentee voting deadlines in the table below. Then register for LI's free, live webinar this Wednesday at 7pm EST: Early Voting Strategies to Win.You'll learn from and talk with LI faculty about what you must know about early voting -- and how you can apply these lessons to a campaign you care about.Can't make the webinar? Check back on Thursday for a replay.>
How to volunteer for the campaign of your choice
Leadership Institute Staff
September 13, 2012
How to volunteer for the campaign of your choice
As Morton Blackwell wrote, now is the time for you to work hard for the candidates of your choice. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.But if you're new to activism or brand new to political volunteering, where do you go and what do you do? How do you get in touch with a campaign and find out how to help?Follow this simple, easy, and quick five-step process -- and you'll be well on your way to helping the candidate of your choice win and spending Election Day 2012 knowing you did your part for your principles.1. Find the campaign HQ or offices online. Call the number listed, introduce yourself, and say you'd like to help.Every campaign website should have a page called "Volunteer," "Take Action," or "Get Involved" that will provide information. Alternatively, you can click on a page labeled "Contact" to get a phone number. If you'd like to volunteer for a presidential or statewide race (e.g. a campaign for governor or Senate), try to find the contact information for the campaign office closest to you.Then punch in the numbers and give the office a call. Here's a simple script: "Hi, my name is [Name]. I would like to get involved with your campaign. Is there someone I can speak with?"Your call likely will be forwarded to the volunteer coordinator, who directs the activities of volunteers like you. He or she can explain the best times to stop by and answer any questions you have.2. Walk into the office, smile (of course!), and say you want to volunteer. You'll be directed to the right person.Campaign headquarters are always in motion. Don't be intimidated, especially if this your first time walking into a campaign office.Smile and say hello to the first staff member you see. If you explain you're there and you're happy to help, you'll be welcomed with open arms.3. If possible, bring a friend or two. It's more fun for you and more help for the campaign -- win-win!Most events in life are more fun with a friend. Volunteering for a campaign is no exception.Children in middle school and high school may also enjoy volunteering with you. Check with the campaign office when you call and see if there will be age-appropriate activities. It's a free family night out -- and a great way to model civic engagement.But if you don't have friends or family to bring with you, don't worry. Volunteering for a campaign is a great way to meet like-minded, engaged people like you. Plus, spending the coming days and weeks hard at work for a common campaign will help you forge new friendships.4. Be flexible and ready for anything. The work may not be glamorous, but it's important (and you'll learn a lot).You may be asked to stuff envelopes, walk door-to-door, call voters, set up for or clean up from an event, or much more. Campaign work is as unceasing as it is varied. It will help you to be ready for anything and walk into the office with an open mind.Always give a good try at whatever you're asked to do. But if -- for example -- you've spent 45 minutes calling voters and you know it's just not for you, kindly ask the volunteer coordinator how else you can help the campaign. There's always another job that needs to be done.5. Ask questions about your tasks, especially if you're new. There's no such thing as a stupid question.No one is born a campaign pro; the knowledge and skills are built over time through political training and first-hand experience.So don't be afraid to repeat the instructions to make sure you understand. It's much better to ask questions beforehand than to apologize for a mix-up or misunderstanding later.Pass on your new knowledge with this handy graphic. Download the image, and email, tweet, share, or pin it across the web. >
Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Speaks at the Leadership Institute
Lauren Hart
September 5, 2012
Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Speaks at the Leadership Institute
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with friends and supporters of the Leadership Institute this morning at the monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Secretary Rumsfeld was America's 13th and 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense serving in the Bush and Ford administrations.“Let me just thank the Leadership Institute for all you folks do,” Secretary Rumsfeld said. “This is a terrific organization and what LI is doing is enormously important…LI is something that deserves recognition.”In his remarks for breakfast attendees, Secretary Rumsfeld gave his thoughts on current affairs and answered many questions from the audience.“I worry about intelligence,” Secretary Rumsfeld shared today at the Leadership Institute. “I worry about the fact that we live in a dangerous and difficult world and there are a number of closed societies. It's very difficult to have a good grip on what's taking place in the world. It's even more worrisome that weapons have become increasingly lethal and the proliferation of highly lethal weapons has increased.”He continued, “What worries me most is American weakness. Throughout my adult life, the United States has been an important presence in the world. The fact that we've existed and the fact that we've behaved responsibly with respect to how we've managed our economy…that provided stability in the world, a deterrent. It suggested to people that the United States was there, we were part of the rib cage in the world, the structure, and people had to take account of that.”He then recounted a phone call he received from a statesman in Southeast Asia: “Don, I never dreamt I'd live to see the day when adults in the White House would be modeling America after Europe, a failed model. And of course, that's basically what we're doing,” Rumsfeld said.“You cannot accumulate and incur, what is it today or yesterday, $16 trillion of debt and not place an almost impossible burden on the next generation,” he said. “We have demonstrated to the world and this statesman that we as a nation are not behaving in a responsible way from the management of our economy. And that signal goes out across the globe and it's registered in people's heads and it gives them the freedom to know they can do things that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do.”When Secretary Rumsfeld served in the Navy during the Eisenhower administration and then in Congress, the United States spent 10 percent of its GDP on defense, he explained. Today, we spend less than 4 percent.“The debt and the deficits have not been a result of defense budgets, but a result of entitlements,” he argued.He added, “Throughout our history, when things got bad, good people changed their priorities, got out of their chairs and did more than they were doing previously. They were energized by their concern…If there's ever been a time in my 80 years where good people needed to get out of their chairs and push that pendulum back, this is it. And it is particularly important for the coming generations that we do not leave them a country where youngsters coming along will have to look forward to a future that was not as bright and not as optimistic as it has been for each of us in this room.”Mr. Rumsfeld recently completed writing his number one New York Times bestselling memoir, Known and Unknown. The book spans his career and includes extensive primary documentation, much of which has been made public on a supporting website, www.Rumsfeld.com.To watch the full video remarks from today's breakfast, please go here.For more on Secretary Rumsfeld's bio, please go here.For future LI Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfasts, please go here. >
Now is the time
Morton Blackwell
September 4, 2012
Now is the time
Now is the time for you to work hard for the candidates of your choice. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.Here are some of the advantages to you of campaign work right now. You may be crucial to a win for a good candidate in a close race. Win or lose, you will gain valuable experience. No matter what your future activity in the public policy process, campaign work is a durable credential. It's a surefire way for you to make useful contacts.It's often a lot of fun. Be careful what you commit to do; then do it well. Under-promise and over-perform. In short, if you're not active in a campaign now, find and contact a candidate whom you like. Volunteer and follow through. This short piece was first published in a September 18, 1992 mailing to Leadership Institute graduates. >
How to stop them from stomping out the grassroots
Morton C. Blackwell
August 17, 2012
How to stop them from stomping out the grassroots
Morton Blackwell delivered this speech at the Second Annual Conservative Leadership Conference, in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 1990. Knowledgeable conservatives, in moments of candor, will admit our grassroots activity is far less today than a dozen years ago. Several causes come initially to mind:• We do not have a Ronald Reagan, persuasively reliable on all our issues, around whom to rally.• The success of conservative economic policies has brought an unprecedented period of economic prosperity, lessening our fears for the survival of the free enterprise system.• The success of conservative policies of peace through strength has helped engender the utter extinction of the Brezhnev Doctrine and hastened the collapse of much of the Soviet empire.• Our ancient liberal enemies have ceased to trumpet much of their old ideology and seem to be doing all they can to sound as if they are conservatives on many issues. Most of these causes are the natural results of successful policies of a newly formed, governing majority coalition, signs of the cyclical process familiar in a healthy, two party system. When the threat perception declines, activists tend to lose much of their old enthusiasm. Coalition members tend to start bickering. But these reasons are not sufficient to explain the extent of the current decline in grassroots activism. New governing coalitions in the United States tend to last for a generation or two. Other factors are at work. Today I intend to discuss two other factors, the increasing domination of political consultants and growing failure of conservatives to run candidates. These are factors which affect our opponents as well. But the extent of the damage done to us by these two factors is largely in our power to correct. First let us consider the career path of a successful political consultant. Here is what happens: A smart campaign staffer helps win a high visibility election and decides to become a consultant. The new consultant is soon involved in another win or two and is suddenly able to sell his services to many campaigns. While able to give his few, early clients a great deal of personal time, working through many levels of their campaign organizations, the consultant quickly finds it impossible to give the same type of service to half a dozen candidates simultaneously. Unable now to supervise detailed operations involving many layers of people in many campaigns at once, the consultant directs his client campaigns toward media-intensive, rather than people-intensive activity. Media decisions are few in number. They require skill but little time. The consultant also realizes it is very much in his own financial interest to have as much as possible of his clients' budgets spent on media. Most consultants take a 15% commission (over and above client-paid production costs and his retainer) from media vendors for all placements. The consultant knows he gets no commission for campaign funds spent on people-intensive activity, such as:• Precinct organization• Voter ID phone banks• Voter registration drives• Youth effort• The election day process to get out the vote With their budgets warped towards media spending, candidates and their in-state organizations are led to measure the progress of their campaigns only in terms of dollars raised and tracking polls. (When I ask a candidate in a close race how he is doing and he answers by first describing his fundraising progress, I know he is in trouble.) In defense of his practices, the consultant develops an outspoken contempt for any proposal, significant campaign expenditures except for paid media. Many of his clients lose due to their failure to organize large numbers of people in their campaigns. But some of his clients do win. These winners are the ones the consultant talks about as he recruits clients in the next election cycle. Having helped several candidates, the consultant is likely to be hired again to run their reelection campaigns. The incumbents have the ability to amass huge campaign funds, often from local donors. Even in the closing days of a reelection campaign where an incumbent is virtually unopposed, the consultant has a strong incentive to urge their incumbent on to raise more and more money. Never mind that conservative candidates in other contests in the area might actually win close contests but for the incumbent's having vacuumed up so much money from available donors. After all, for every additional $100,000 spent on broadcast media, the consultant will pocket a cool $15,000 plus his fees for creating any new commercials. The consultant, now prosperous and enjoying a changed lifestyle, has ready access to and influence with some incumbent officeholders. He decided to branch out into lobbying, where his influence enables him to pull down some really fat fees from major corporations, trade associations, and even foreign governments which have major financial interests in the decision of elected and appointed government officials. By now, most of the consultant's income does not come from election campaigns. But he continues to take some candidates as clients, partly to keep his valuable ties with incumbents and partly because there are in each election cycle some rich candidates and others able to raise big war chests, which will be spent largely on campaign media, still a fine source of income for the consultant. Every experienced conservative campaign activist has seen outrageous examples of this behavior. My luncheon for conservative campaign activists has met bi-weekly, without exception, since 1974. I keep close touch with the election process. I'm not raising this as a theoretical problem. Not all successful consultants behave this way. A great many do. But others, particularly those who specialize in one or more aspects of campaign technology such as direct mail, telephone canvassing, coalition building and youth efforts, do not. This growing problem with consultants has many bad effects:• The unnecessary losses of many conservative candidates each year• The looting of millions of dollars misspent on media• The suckering of many right candidates who are falsely led by consultants to believe they can win• The increasing perception that campaigning is mostly mudslinging TV commercials• Worst of all, the general decline of citizen participation as activists and, often, even as voters in the political process Historically, volunteer participation in elections is the greatest preparation for competent campaign management and good candidates in future elections. That source of new activists and candidates is drying up. Can grassroots activists do anything to limit the damage done by the increasing dominance of campaign consultants? Certainly. One big reason for reliance on campaign consultants is the increasing complexity of modern election technology. But in the years leading up to the election of 1980 conservative organizations ran massive political education and training efforts. Activists were prepared by the thousands. That grassroots infrastructure building should be vigorously resumed. If you are a donor to a conservative organization you should demand that a substantial portion of its budget should be spent on increasing the number and the effectiveness of its activists. If a group fails to do this, give to other groups instead. If you are a donor to a party organization, demand that it spends your money, in part, on a serious program of political education and training. There is hardly any area of political technology which cannot be mastered by a willing local activist. The Republican party was spending a much higher percentage of its revenue on political education and training twenty years ago than it is today. The GOP is giving only peanuts to its volunteer base. Be careful that the training programs actually teach useful skills. Many seminars which purport to teach local activists are taught by consultants not interested in preparing volunteer competitors. Such programs serve only to teach the participants that the consultant knows his topic and is worthy of hire. If you contribute to a candidate, you have the right to demand that his campaign give a healthy budget to people-oriented programs: precinct organizations, women's activities, youth efforts, etc. These activities build grassroots infrastructure like no others. Let us now turn to the problem of the growing failure of conservatives to run candidates. More and more it is proving impossible to recruit conservative candidates against incumbents or even for open seats. Challengers for even local incumbents often cannot be found. The next Congress will have only four Republicans among the ten congressman from my home state of Virginia. But ten years ago we elected nine of the ten. And the lone Democratic congressman was more was more conservative than some of the Republicans. And all six of the Virginia Democratic congressmen are quite liberal by Virginia standards. And, what is worse, far worse, is the dreadful fact that we did not run Republican challengers against any of the five incumbent Democrats. They got off scot free. But don't for a moment think the Democrats gave our five incumbent Republicans a free ride. No, there were Democratic challengers to all five of our congressmen. And the challenger who beat Congressman Stan Parris reportedly raised more money than any other challenger against a Republican incumbent in the United States this year. This problem in my state is typical of the situation in many parts of the country. In fact, there is a fundamental misconception which is shared by many conservatives and many Republican leaders. This political error is not unique to Virginia. It is, I believe, a misunderstanding of how best to build grassroots strength through running candidates. Too many of us think we should run a candidate only when we think there is a good chance we can win the election. And, since nobody believed we could beat any of the five incumbent Virginia Democratic congressmen, nobody ran against any of them. I submit that, in the case of these ten congressional races, the Democrats acted smarter than the Republicans. But not running a candidate often sounds so reasonable, doesn't it? Why spend the time and money it takes to run and almost surely losing race? Why ask a candidate to take on an almost surely losing candidacy? Why embarrass the party or the conservative cause by losing badly? Why take the chance of diverting resources from our candidates elsewhere who have a chance to win? Why anger a safe incumbent opponent? All these sound like pretty good reasons not to challenge apparently safe liberal incumbents, don't they? Many Republican incumbents, in particular, don't want to rile many of their Democratic colleagues by challenging them. And most of those arguments sound just as good as reasons not to run a candidate in an open district where the liberals seem virtually certain to win. Yet those are arguments which ultimately lead to slow growth, no growth and eventual decline of a movement or a political party. If conservatives in Virginia had operated in this fashion for the past 25 years, Republicans would not have won our first U.S. Senate race, the party would not today hold even four congressional districts and the party would not have the record strength it enjoys today in Virginia's General Assembly and in local offices. Take for example my own congressional district, the Tenth. Conservative Republican Frank Wolf was an unknown in 1976 when he first announced against the incumbent liberal Democratic Congressman Joe Fisher. Frank Wolf campaigned hard but lost the nomination to a state legislator, who was then beaten by Congressman Fisher in November. Frank Wolf again took on this seemingly hopeless task in 1978. He was nominated and did better than the state legislator had two years earlier. But Wolf lost again in 1978. Finally, in 1980, frank Wolf won both the nomination and, narrowly, the general election defeating the incumbent who very few people thought was vulnerable four years earlier. The two earlier races had so weakened the liberal Democratic congressman and so strengthened our organization that we were able to take the district. We have been winning it by convincing margins ever since. Think about this seriously. Everyone who knows much about politics knows of many cases where races against supposedly entrenched incumbents weakened the incumbents so they could be defeated in subsequent elections. Isn't that a fair situation? Isn't that a strong, solid reason to run candidates, almost an obligation to run candidates, even when there is thought to be no chance to win in the current election year? The best know political consultants, by the way, usually advise against running candidates who are very unlikely to win. But such candidates provide the big consultants with no revenue, except in case of rich, hopeless candidates. In this latter case, consultants are often willing to take them as clients. Often to "take" them in both senses of the word. Conservatives who know how important it is to build for the future also know how a losing race can soften up an opponent for future defeat, build credibility for our challengers and build strength of our own organizations. These are powerful reasons not to leave vacant places on the ballot. While we know of losing races which made possible later victories, there is another situation which often occurs. Some conservative activists can remember our Virginia United States Senate race in 1972. An unusual congressman from the Eighth District, Bill Scott, made what most so-called "experts" thought was a hopeless race against the supposedly invulnerable incumbent, U.S. Senator Bill Spong. Now not everyone thought the Scott for Senate cause was hopeless. A conservative Republican leader, Richard Obenshain, thought this so-called "impossible" race was actually winnable. So he set out to win with Scott, certainly one of the most difficult candidates our party has fielded in our lifetimes. But Dick Obenshain was a political genius who saw opportunities where others saw only problems. Bill Scott won. Six years later he turned his U.S. Senate seat over to another Republican whom many of us hoped would have been Dick Obenshain. Senator John Warner won very narrowly in 1978, winning again in 1984 by a big margin. This year Democrats did not challenge Sen. Warner, which is great for Republicans and, in my opinion, bad news or Democrats. But we should remember that almost everyone at first thought Bill Scott could not win this seat when he ran for it 13 years ago. Please think about it. How many times have you, yourself, been pleasantly surprised when a race supposedly hopeless for us has resulted in a thrilling conservative victory? Most of our best conservative members of both houses of the Congress first won in just such circumstances. Sometimes the liberal nominee self-destructs unexpectedly. Sometimes our candidate and his campaigns turn out to be much better than we expected. Surely all of us can think of predicted losers who instead became glorious winners. It that not therefore another good reason to run candidates whom we really don't expect to win? Frankly, looking at the ten congressional districts in Virginia today, how the Democrats treated us and how we treated them, it's a scandal that we have left all their incumbents unchallenged. At the congressional level, Virginia has only a one and a half party system in 1990. How about your state? This situation I call a scandal is not to be blamed on any particular party leaders at the local or state levels. The general idea of not challenging supposedly invulnerable incumbents is common almost everywhere in our country. In my home county of Arlington, our party has very often in recent years failed to run candidates against many of the worst liberals in Virginia. There is plenty of blame to go around. And I'll accept my share. What I am proposing today is not recriminations but a badly needed change of policy, a change of our behavior. Let me put it clearly. Not running candidates is almost worse than putting up losing candidates. Sometimes we produce upset victories. Sometimes we build up candidates for future victories. Always we involve new people who can later help us win future victories. Always we force the opposition incumbents to gather and spend for themselves some resources which might otherwise be spent against our conservative candidateselsewhere. Not running candidates is no way to build a movement or party. If one chooses to be active in a party structure, one necessarily must support that party's incumbents except in extraordinary circumstances. But conservatives primarily active outside a party structure are free of most such constraints. In sum, conservatives should run candidates against liberal incumbents and for open seats regardless of whether or not the potential candidates appear to be possible winners. The only two tests should be these: 1. Will the person act responsibly in the campaign? 2. If elected, would the person be a credit to our cause? If a potential candidate passes these two tests, then encourage him or her to run. Do this regardless of whether or not there appears to be a real chance to win the election.You may not happen to find or be able to recruit to run any independently wealthy, thirty-five year old conservative business leaders with degrees in both economics and political science. If not, you might recruit a politically savvy mother; we have a lot of them across America who would make good candidates. Or run a distinguished retiree. Or even a dedicated and intelligent young person. Each new candidate brings to your cause not only his own time and effort but also the resources and enthusiasm of his own circle of family, friends and supporters. And many people who don't like the liberals are happy we have given them a choice. Of course I don't advocate misleading a potential candidate to think you can provide money or manpower which aren't actually available. Already this happens too often. Give a realistic estimate of this chances of winning. Say what the limits of likely movement resources and party support. The national and state party resources will be and should be focused in the main on candidates with some prospect of election. Curiously, you will find that some people don't mind being run as sacrificial lambs in a good cause. To fill out a Republican ballot, I ran for the state legislature in Louisiana 22 years ago. I was duly sacrificed, but with no lasting ill effects. You will find that some potential candidates will respond to your less than optimistic assessment of their chances by declaring candidacy despite the long odds. Many will convince themselves that they do have a chance. And some may surprise you by actually winning. Look at this from your own experience. Aren't most of the conservative winners you know and almost all of the key workers for conservative winners you know, aren't these people experienced in prior, but losing campaigns? We are trying to build a stable governing majority. Winning today isn't everything. Losing today may open doors to victories tomorrow. Let's fill the ballot where we can.>
Quick tip videos: voter targeting technology and targeting single-issue voters
Patricia Simpson
August 15, 2012
Quick tip videos: voter targeting technology and targeting single-issue voters
It's going to take a lot more than t-shirts, bumper stickers, and yard signs to target voters. To make the most out of your voter targeting program you must determine how many voters you need to identify, then find what issues motivate them to vote, and finally think outside the box to find the votes to make it to your winning magic number. >
Voter Targeting 101
Leadership Institute Staff
August 13, 2012
Voter Targeting 101
If you want to learn more, register for the Leadership Institute's Get-Out-the-Vote Workshops in battleground states, or for a free webinar this Wednesday at 7pm EST on voter targeting. Winning an election does not require winning 100% of the vote – only enough votes necessary to win. In many cases this is a plurality of the vote. In other cases when a runoff election is involved, candidates may set a vote goal of reaching a clear majority when it would avoid a runoff election. In any case, the campaign must determine an exact number of votes it plans to reach to win the election. (Learn how to do this in a free, live webinar this Wednesday night, August 15.) Voter contact is then aimed at building to the specified vote goal. Why target? Campaign resources, particularly time and money, are limited. Voter targeting makes you more efficient and more effective. You're more effective because you get the right message to the right voters. You're more effective because you target your resources at the voters you're most likely to persuade to vote. Think of the process. You start by targeting voters who always vote, either your way or they're swing (i.e. undecided) voters. Then you target people who sometimes vote, either your way (encourage them with get-out-the-vote messages) or are swing voters (help persuade them your candidate is the one). Only after you've thoroughly exhausted your contacts with those groups of voters should you target voters unlikely to turn out to the polls. It wouldn't make sense to the do the reverse, would it? How is targeting done? One set of factors involves who exactly can vote in the election. While in a general election any registered voter may cast a ballot, different rules typically apply in primary elections (e.g. closed primary elections based on party registration). Voter contact is aimed at voters who can actually vote in the election. A second set of factors involves which voters are likely to vote in the election. Voter turnout rates are typically highest in a general election in a presidential year. General elections in non-presidential years see lower turnout rates, as do primary elections. The lowest turnout rates are often seen in special elections. Campaigns can determine how voters plan to vote through several means, each with varying levels of accuracy. Voter identification refers to the practice of contacting individual voters and asking them if they plan to support a particular candidate in the upcoming election. The practice is similar to telephone polling, but differs in two ways. First, a much larger number of calls is involved because the purpose is to identify with certainty how each targeted person plans to vote, rather than extrapolating based on a limited sample size. Second, with voter identification programs, each voter's responses are recorded and stored in a database. Polling can also be used to determine segments of the electorate that should be targeted for persuasion and turnout efforts. The practice can be less costly than voter ID programs, but accuracy is diminished because assumptions are used to determine the sentiment of large groups of voters. As the campaign engages in voter contact, the first step normally involves building a level of familiarity with voters who are part of the campaign's target universe. This involves building name recognition and credibility that is vital for future persuasion and turnout messages to be effective. Voter identification programs take place once voters have received some level of contact (or have pre-existing familiarity with the candidate). Voters positively identified as supporters become targets of future turnout messages as Election Day approaches. Voters who are in the target universe but are undecided become targets for persuasion messages. Voters who are firm opponents are usually removed from future contact. Want to learn more? The Leadership Institute will offer a free, live webinar this Wednesday at 7pm EST on voter targeting. If you can't watch it then, you'll find the replay on the website here later in the week. >
Who's Who on a Campaign
Leadership Institute Staff
August 7, 2012
Who's Who on a Campaign
Whether you're watching the news, volunteering at a local campaign office, or organizing your own run for office, it's helpful to know who's who -- and who's doing what! -- on the campaign trail. So what's the work involved? No matter the size of the campaign, it must focus on 11 key activities, some of which you'll learn about in more detail in the coming weeks: - planning and strategy- day-to-day management- fundraising- communications- research and polling- issues and messaging - voter contact- volunteer coordination- coalitions- scheduling- advance The structure of the campaign and the roles of the staff are based on dividing up responsibility for these 11 key activities. Before the campaign is underway, the leadership team must decide -- and write down in the campaign -- which person is responsible for what activities. What activity is the responsibility of a volunteer or a paid staff member? Will each activity be assigned to a different person or will one person handle multiple campaign activities? On smaller campaigns, people may fill multiple roles and volunteers may take on substantial responsibilities. But on larger campaigns, this is the general breakdown by job title. Campaign Manager The campaign manager is the CEO. He or she is responsible for all campaign activities, including management of the candidate, and making sure that daily operations and programs are completed on time and within the budget. On smaller campaigns, the campaign manager may play multiple roles: political strategist, fundraiser, media contact, and volunteer coordinator. But on larger campaigns, he or she oversees the campaign staff and consultants in their day-to-day work. Finance Director The Finance Director is responsible for the campaign's fundraising programs. He or she develops a fundraising plan and oversees the campaign's fundraising efforts through mail, online, and at in-person events. The Finance Chairman and Finance Committee support the Finance Director. The chairman is ideally a person with strong ties to the local community who can help the campaign reach beyond donors who have a direct relationship with the candidate. The Finance Committee is composed of similar people, whose networks can be tapped to raise funds for the campaign. Communications Director The Communications Director is responsible for the campaign's messaging and communication to internal groups (i.e. donors, volunteers, and supporters) and external groups (i.e. media). He or she is responsible for determining when, how, and in what terms the campaign's message is shared and spread. He or she also responds to inquiries, from the press, the community, or supporters, about the campaign. The Communications Director also is responsible for the prioritization of campaign issues. A campaign is always about the candidate's ideas and issues. The Communications Director helps the candidate determine the most important messages and the most effective way in which to deliver them. On larger campaigns, the Communications Director will work with a Press Secretary, who maintains regular contact with the media. Political Director The Political Director oversees a wide range of areas: voter targeting, outreach, and identification; coalitions; endorsements; and work with surrogates to speak on behalf of the campaign in the media. On larger campaigns, the Political Director will oversee a Field Director, who manages day-to-day voter identification and outreach efforts “in the field,” and a Volunteer Director, who recruits and deploys volunteers to support the campaign's efforts. Consultants Professional consultants may be hired to manage entire campaign activities (e.g. fundraising or research and polling) or to part of a campaign activity (e.g. producing radio or television ads). The role of consultants on the campaign should be clearly delineated in their contracts. In addition to these paid staff, campaigns rely heavily on volunteers – motivated by the candidate or the candidate's issues – to complete their day-to-day work. >
Welcome to Voting Is Not Enough
Leadership Institute Staff
August 6, 2012
Welcome to Voting Is Not Enough
What will it take for conservatives to win in 2012? It won't be how right we are. It will be how hard we work in the 90-day countdown to Election Day.Today the Leadership Institute launches Voting Is Not Enough, a special project for campaign season 2012, that will arm activists like you with how-to, practical knowledge to use for your candidate or cause this fall.As part of Voting Is Not Enough, you'll receive:- weekly live webinars with expert LI faculty- writings from Morton Blackwell, the Institute's president- informational posts on campaign and activism topics- "quick tip" videos you can use right away Plus, the Leadership Institute and the Faith and Freedom Coalition will cosponsor Get-Out-The-Vote Workshops in 14 states, starting this week. The goal is to train more than 1,000 activists to host voter registration drives and get voters to the polls on Election Day. Will you be one of them? >
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