The Real Nature of Politics
Morton C. Blackwell
August 6, 2012
The Real Nature of Politics
Morton Blackwell's piece, The Real Nature of Politics, is at the core of the Voting Is Not Enough project. As he explains, the winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides. The mission of the Leadership Institute, and this project, increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists. What I am about to share with you is probably the most important lesson you will learn at any time in your life about success in the public policy process. Conservatives did not understand the real nature of politics for many years and certainly did not begin to teach it systematically until the early 1970s. Many conservatives today haven't learned it yet. Please bear with me as I begin with the important historical background. I'll get to the key concepts soon enough. What was the greatest difference between conservatives who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964 and those who supported Ronald Reagan in 1980? Most people don't know the answer. The majority today aren't old enough to remember the 1964 presidential campaign, but Barry Goldwater's book, The Conscience of a Conservative, is still available and widely read. Fortunately, most people still remember Ronald Reagan and his conservative principles. Anyone who supported Goldwater in 1964 and Reagan in 1980 can tell you that there was no significant difference in philosophy between Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. You can see this for yourself. If you read The Conscience of a Conservative, published in 1960, you will see that Barry Goldwater's positions on public policy issues then were very close to those of Ronald Reagan in 1980. I can tell you from my personal experiences in the 1964 Goldwater campaign and in the 1980 Reagan campaign that there was one great difference between the approach to politics of the Goldwater supporters and the Reagan supporters 16 years later. The difference was that we Goldwater supporters tended to believe that being right, in the sense of being correct, was sufficient to win. We firmly believed that if we could prove we were right, if we could logically demonstrate that our candidate was of higher character and that his policies would be better for our country, somehow victory would fall to our deserving hands like a ripe fruit off of a tree. That's not the real nature of politics. I call that misconception the Sir Galahad theory: "I will win because my heart is pure." Do you know what was the most used slogan of the Goldwater campaign? It was this: "In your heart, you know he's right." Unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way, as we who supported Goldwater found out when Lyndon Johnson trounced us. Johnson got 41 million votes and Goldwater got 27 million votes. To this day I'm convinced Barry Goldwater would have been a better President for the United States than Lyndon Johnson, but Lyndon Johnson won big. Some Goldwater conservatives were so shocked and disappointed that they dropped out of politics and were never seen again. But not all of the Goldwater people left. Many of us stayed involved. Lots of us travelled similar paths and wound up working together. In 1964, I had served as the youngest elected Goldwater Delegate to the Republican National Convention. The next year, 1965, I came to Washington to be executive director of the national College Republicans. Others with solid Goldwater pedigrees moved into the national scene at about the same time. A young Goldwater supporter named Richard Viguerie came to Washington in 1965 and created his direct mail firm. He soon became the nationally dominant consultant in political direct mail and is still a leader in that field today. Another notable young conservative, Ed Feulner, also came to Washington in 1965, to work for a think tank. Then he became a leading conservative congressional staffer. Now he is president of the massive and effective Heritage Foundation. Another young Goldwater supporter, Paul Weyrich, came to Washington the next year, in 1966, to serve as press secretary for a conservative U.S. Senator from Colorado. Weyrich soon became the key conservative expert on politics on Capitol Hill. He later became America's most successful organizer of conservative organizations and institutions, playing a key role for more than 40 years in founding important new groups. All of us had supported Goldwater, but none of us was prominent in his campaign. In fact, none us even knew each other until we got to the D.C. area and began to build our own national reputations as fighters in different ways for conservative principles. But in those days, our past support of the Goldwater campaign was a priceless credential among fellow conservatives. Lee Edwards, a friend of mine who served as Director of Information in the 1964 Goldwater campaign had founded in 1965 what was probably the D.C. area's only conservative public relations firm. Now Dr. Edwards, he has become the nation's foremost historian and biographer of the conservative movement. In May 1972, Edwards introduced me to Richard Viguerie. A week later Viguerie hired me away from the conservative think tank where I then worked in D.C. He said, "Morton, I want you to come help me build a conservative movement." Richard Viguerie meant what he said, and his words were music to my ears because building a conservative movement was exactly what I wanted to do. Soon, with my help as his political assistant, Richard began to gather frequently a small group of experienced, totally reliable conservatives who were serious about trying to figure out how to win for conservative principles. Included in our meetings were those I have named, including Lee Edwards, and others whom we believed shared our conservative principles and our determination eventually to win for those principles in government, politics, and the news media. We were tired of losing. We discussed what had worked well for the political left, why conservatives had lost so many political battles, and what conservatives might do to win in the future. It came down to this: What is the real nature of politics? Here was our first great conclusion: Being right in the sense of being correct is not sufficient to win. You don't win just because your heart is pure, even if you can prove logically that you are right. What, then, does determine victory? In our frequent meetings and discussions, we came to our second great conclusion: The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides. That fundamental understanding changed our thinking. It explains why the side that's right doesn't necessarily win. Next we considered the vital question of what determines the number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side. Clearly, numbers and effectiveness do not depend on which side is right. Our third great conclusion was: The number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side in a political contest is determined by the political technology used by that side. That explains a lot of political history, including why bad causes, like communism, attracted a lot of activists. The people on the political left used effective political technology. In contrast, most conservatives had relied on proving we are right. Political technology can be roughly divided into communication technology and organization technology, with no neat line of separation between communication and organization. Most political technology is philosophically neutral. Techniques which work for the left can work for conservatives. Techniques which work for Republicans can work for Democrats, and vice versa. Similar techniques can work whether a public policy battle is an election or a legislative battle over tax rates, the right to keep and bear arms, abortion, or any other issue. In the 1970s, when we made what were for us these discoveries about the real nature of politics, we saw this new understanding as a terrific insight which could lead to victory for conservative principles in the public policy process of government, politics, and the news media. But because most political technology is philosophically neutral, most people who are deeply committed philosophically tend to disdain to study or use political technology. Instinctively, people devoted to their political principles tend to think learning mere skills is beneath their dignity because techniques are philosophically neutral. Such people are, after all, thinking about and proving their wonderful, deeply held views on important public policy questions. Is abortion the murder of tiny babies? What must be done to stop the spread of worldwide communism? What must be done to keep big government from destroying economic liberty and prosperity? "They will take my gun only by prying it from my cold dead fingers. God made man, but Winchester made men equal!" Serious questions. Serious people can get very excited about issues and philosophic differences, but they instinctively tend to think poorly of the study or practice of philosophically neutral skills. Political technology is composed of a universe of specific techniques. Of course, not all political techniques are philosophically neutral. Terror is an evil technique used most commonly by the left. Communists famously and effectively use terror to grab power and keep it. But most political technology has no inherent philosophical content. How you design a piece of political literature, how you raise funds, how you organize a precinct, how you attract a crowd to a political event, how you communicate to a mass audience online -- those techniques can work for anybody. You may wonder now what I mean by techniques. Most of the most useful techniques don't involve complex computer programming. Let me use, for example, the techniques available for something as simple as a nametag. How often have you seen pre-printed nametags which begin, in big letters, with "HELLO, MY NAME IS"? That's a bad technique. The printed message is useless, and it takes space on the nametag which could be used for communication. How many times have you attended meetings where someone has thoughtfully printed nametags for everyone in advance, in letters about the size a typewriter would produce? That's a bad technique because it wastes space which be used for communication. How many times have you had to write your name on a nametag with a thin-line ballpoint pen? That's a bad technique because a name written by a wide-line, felt-tip pen is easier to read. Often people print or write names on nametags in all capital letters. That's a bad technique because capitalizing only the first letters makes the nametag easier to read. The name on a nametag should comfortably fill the entire space available. Where do you place a nametag? Most people instinctively place their nametags on their left shoulders. Wrong. The best place for your nametag is on your right shoulder, where people can most easily read it when you extend your right hand to greet them. Thousands of known techniques work. Very few techniques in politics are as complex as rocket science. Most are as simple as learning the types of print font which are easiest to read or what I have said about nametags. The right techniques can make you more effective in everything you work to achieve. Each good technique you use in politics makes it more likely that you will win. But many philosophically committed conservatives tend to believe that being right, in the sense of being correct, is sufficient to win. Those of us who began to meet in 1972 discovered the real nature of politics: The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides, and, The number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side is determined by the political technology that side employs. We knew that many of our conservative allies thought otherwise and that we would have to persuade them differently. Here is how we convinced many of them. We shared with them our analysis of the real nature of politics, and then said, "If that is true, you owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You have a moral obligation to learn how to win." If you allow your opposition to learn better how to organize and communicate than you do and they implement that technology, they will beat you no matter how right you are -- and you don't deserve to win. That is a persuasive argument. When you talk in terms of a moral obligation, you're talking in terms people can understand if they have a strong philosophical commitment. We began to have success teaching committed conservatives this, the real nature of politics, and it had a remarkable and sudden impact. New groups begin to spring up in a wide range of issue areas. A wide variety of specialized organizations: educational foundations, legal defense foundations, lobbying organizations, and political action committees. Conservatives began to study how to win. Existing conservative organizations also began to grow very rapidly. For example, in 1972, one of the biggest, most effective, most famous, most respected and even most feared organizations on the conservative side was the National Right to Work Committee. In 1972 they had 25,000 members, and they were thought of as really big stuff. Then they began to study and use communication and organization technology. They began to grow throughout the 1970s, from 25,000 members in 1972 to 1.7 million National Right to Work Committee members in 1979. Then they really were big and could affect policy in a major way. At first a handful of new conservative groups started. Then dozens. Then conservatives started hundreds of new national and local groups. Each new or newly large group contributed an increase in the number and the effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders. By 1980 conservatives had the political muscle across the country not only to nominate Ronald Reagan for President but to elect him. That wasn't the first time Reagan had run for President. I was a Reagan alternate Delegate in the presidential campaign of 1968, when he made his first, brief run for President. Again I was a Reagan alternate Delegate in 1976, when he ran against President Ford for the nomination and almost won. By 1980 the conservative movement had grown remarkably. Reagan won nomination convincingly and then won election. And I got to serve three years on the Reagan White House Staff. All of this is of central importance for you because the potential for growth of conservative political strength still exists. The rapid, spontaneous growth of grassroots conservative activity in 2009 and 2010 proves that. It turns out that the more groups you have and the greater the number of people you activate and teach how to be effective, the more power that you have to impact on the public policy process. I don't have to tell you how often Supreme Court decisions on liberal versus conservative issues are now decided on a five to four basis. The next Congress is likely to be closely divided between conservatives and the left, with many congressional elections decided by only a handful of votes. The next presidential election is likely to be very close. The margins of victory in the American public policy process may be smaller now than at any other time in American history. You can make a difference, now and in the future. The number of American conservative activists and leaders is certainly growing. To grow in effectiveness, they must study how to win. My Leadership Institute now offers 40 types of training schools in the public policy process. You can review those 40 types of schools at LeadershipInstitute.org. For the first time, political training for conservatives is available online, on demand, and free 24 hours a day. Other conservative organizations also offer worthwhile training you should consider. Nothing would be more disappointing politically than for conservatives to lose because of avoidable mistakes. So I urge you, remember the real nature of politics and the clinching argument which has revived the power of conservative principles in America: You owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You have a moral obligation to learn how to win. Morton C. Blackwell is the president of the Leadership Institute. Having worked actively in politics for more than forty years, he has probably trained more political activists than any other conservative.>
LI’s Monthly Campaign Management School Welcomes more than 50 conservatives
Braden Goodgame
June 21, 2012
LI’s Monthly Campaign Management School Welcomes more than 50 conservatives
The Leadership Institute hosted more than 50 conservatives at its rigorous four-day Campaign Management School, part of LI's monthly campaign training series. Lectures ran eight to 10 hours Monday through Thursday, covering everything from political research to buying and developing effective paid media.Adrian Guillory, who recently worked on the Ron Paul 2012 campaign in Louisiana as an intern, was one conservative who attended. The budding activist said, “This was a fun training from leading conservative campaign experts who provide invaluable lessons to achieve election victory.”Day One:Topics included: campaign research, writing a campaign plan, campaign finance, developing a message, polling basics, and campaign structure/organization.Jason Torchinsky, a partner at Holtzman Vogel PLCC, lectured on campaign finance. The lecture explored concepts such as finance-related steps to building a successful campaign, limits, rules, reporting, record keeping, and handling filed complaints.Fred Mullner, an environmental engineer with Eastman Chemical said, “Jason's experience was very obvious and lent a practical aspect to an otherwise very dry subject.” Fred hopes to use the teaching to gain knowledge on how to raise campaign funds successfully.Day Two:Topics included: vote targeting, handling negative information, building coalitions/recruiting volunteers, and contacting voters with phones.Shannon Burns, CEO of Victory Solutions, has dedicated himself and his company to developing technology that empowers conservative causes. In his lecture, Shannon demonstrated the essential nature of phones, how to set up a phone bank, and how to write scripts for volunteers to use when making campaign calls.Governor John Kasich's Regional Liaison Sandra Brasington, a training attendee, found his lecture helpful.“Shannon helped the audience understand clearly the power of phones and voter contacts in campaigns – an aspect that cannot be ignored no matter the size of the race,” Sandra said.Day Three:Topics included: fundraising with events, building a fundraising machine, writing a finance plan, funding a campaign with direct mail, voter mapping, developing a get out the vote effort, and door-to-door strategies.Dan Morgan, president of Morgan, Meredith & Associates, a full-service fundraising firm he founded in 1987, delivered the lecture titled, “Writing a Finance Plan.” During his lecture, Dan emphasized the importance of creating event committees, who to invite (as donors) to a fundraiser, and ways to make a campaign stand out.Day Four:Topics included: latest campaign technologies, compelling voter mail, new rules of paid media, hiring and firing consultants, basics of paid media, tips on handling earned media, and fine tuning a campaign strategy.Tim Wesolek, an executive account manager for NBC25/WHAG-TV, lectured on buying paid media and advice on how to do candidate versus issue ads.Tom Grimes, a Tea Party affiliate from South Bend, Indiana, is no stranger to LI trainings. “This is my fifth LI workshop,” Tom said. “I'm looking forward to building my knowledge to increase my credibility when working with candidates.”Another attendee, Jim Knowlton, said, “This is probably the best training available.” Jim plans on using what he learned to help local state senate and house campaigns. If you are interested in taking LI's monthly campaign trainings, please contact Political Training Coordinator Heather Homan at Heather.Homan@LeadershipInstitute.org>
Networking for Success: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Caleb Parke
June 20, 2012
Networking for Success: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Just like a Jillian Michaels workout, networking can be tough. Similar to staying in shape, your network is something that can whittle away if you don't actively work at it.And if you're anything like me, networking does not come naturally. I used to be extremely shy, and I didn't see myself ever changing. But I have changed, and so can you! Here are some tips I've found helpful in maximizing my networking skills.1. Practice "let's pretend."Ask yourself, "What would the ideal networker do in this situation?" Pretend that you are that person, and do it. As you consciously emulate good networkers, you can reinvent yourself. You'll never be perfect, but you can make steps that take you closer and closer to becoming a networking guru.2. Adopt a role model.Best case scenario, your role model is also your mentor, helping you, advising you, guiding you, even lending you his network as you build your own. If you can, ask her how she got to where she is now. Attend events with him and take mental notes.3. Take lessons.You're taking one now as you read this blog, but there are other educational opportunitites that are helpful for overcoming shyness and inexperience. Attend lectures and trainings, such as the Conservative Intern Workshop and the Conservative Career Workshop run by the Leadership Institute, to learn tips for feeling more comfortable in networking situations.4. Join up.Just about any group or organization offers opportunities to make contacts and grow personally and professionally, which you can tailor to your career and your personal hobbies. Join political groups, teach Sunday school, and, of course, take a fitness class at your local gym. Surround yourself with people you aspire to be more like. Networking doesn't just happen at stuffy cocktail parties. Look for fun opportunities to meet other people.5. Have a little faith......in yourself. Dale Carnegie summed it up well: "You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one." Remember that networking is a two-way street. Your motivations do not have to be selfish. Focus on establishing relationships.I send you off with a maxim from networking expert Harvey Mackay: "The more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get - and the easier networking becomes." Give yourself opportunities to practice, and have patience while learning.>
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. >
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.>
Yesterday at LI: Rep. Jim Jordan Talks About Fiscal Discipline and Great American Values
Lauren Levy
March 8, 2012
Yesterday at LI: Rep. Jim Jordan Talks About Fiscal Discipline and Great American Values
Yesterday the Leadership Institute (LI) hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4), chairman of the Republican Study Committee and LI graduate, at the Institute's monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.Rep. Jordan is one of the most conservative members of Congress, fighting for fiscal responsibility and traditional values in the House of Representatives. Upon entering office in January 2007, he first co-sponsored the Right to Life Act. He offered fiscal discipline on the House floor, opposing tax increase proposals even from within his own party. He received the Defender of Life Award from Ohio Right to Life, and last month he was the recipient of the Best National Legislator Award at the 2012 Weyrich Awards dinner.“Congressman Jordan has been called a rising star in the conservative movement, but let's just go ahead and call him what he truly is – a star,” LI President Morton Blackwell said yesterday.In 2008, during the early stages of his term, Rep. Jordan scheduled LI's One-on-One Television Workshop, a custom training in LI's studios designed to give individual attention and hands-on preparation for speaking on camera and debating live.“Thank you LI, and thank you Morton for the work you are doing,” Rep. Jordan said. “I sure appreciate the impact you've had on conservatives.”Rep. Jordan recalled some people who had an impact in his life early on, with one being his wrestling coach and his chats about the importance of discipline in daily life.“In the wrestling room hung a sign with the words, ‘Discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it.' It's doing things the right way when you want to do it the convenient way. That's what Washington needs,” Rep. Jordan said.Four months ago, Rep. Jordan and his wife Polly traveled to Israel. After talking with government leaders and officials, he was told that the best way the United States could help Israel was for America to stay strong.“When America is strong, things are better,” Rep. Jordan said. “The world is safer and better when the U.S. is the economic, military and diplomatic superpower. And you first need to be the economic superpower to be the military and diplomatic leader.”“We need to relight the entrepreneurial attitude,” said Rep. Jordan yesterday, who spoke of how government policies are stifling free enterprise. He shared a conversation he had last week with five businessmen. They all said if they knew then what they know now about government fiscal policies, they would not have taken the risk to start their businesses.“No politician can create jobs, but we can create a conducive environment to encourage entrepreneurs to grow,” he said.Rep. Jordan advocates a “cut, cap and balance” approach to managing the federal budget. “We will bring back another budget that makes the federal government do what everyone else has to do,” he said. “Everyone has to balance their budgets, everyone except that one entity that has a 15 trillion dollar debt.”In addition to a broken tax code and bad regulatory, energy, and fiscal policies, Rep. Jordan is gravely concerned about the cultural breakdown affecting the nation.“Americans are nervous about things going on in our culture, with the most recent example being the administration's attack on religious liberty,” Rep. Jordan said. “People left England for America to live out their faith the way the good Lord wanted,not the way England did. This is the essence of what this country's about, and here is this administration attacking what it means to be an American. That's what's at stake inthis election.”According to Rep. Jordan, every third generation has had to do big things for the nation.“People remember Jefferson, Franklin and Adams, but they forget the other men who signed that document,” he said. “All those men lost farms, sons, money, and put it all on the line to start this nation.”Three generations later, Americans ended slavery during the Civil War, he said. Three generations after that, they stopped the Depression and confronted Nazism.“Now, here we are three generations later and it's our turn,” Rep. Jordan said. “If you want to accomplish anything of significance, it's never easy. It's always hard. But we need to stand up. If there is not a strong United States of America, the world gets truly dangerous. Thank you LI for training young people in these values.”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 April 4, 2012 and will feature conservative columnist Dr. Milton Wolf, a cousin of President Barack Obama. Click here for more information and to register.>
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.>
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.>
A Thankful Heart
Lauren Hart
November 23, 2011
A Thankful Heart
Workaholic Washington does stop. I've witnessed it today.This morning I commuted to work in a record-breaking 12 minutes, when it usually takes 30-45. Commuters left the Beltway for the holiday.My well-attended Wednesday morning meeting in the district was sparse, and cut short. It's quiet in the office this afternoon. Many of my fellow Leadership Institute co-workers have ditched me for home (I don't blame them).But before I leave the office to start cooking for tomorrow's feast with my boyfriend's family, I pause to reflect.What a privileged joy this past year has been working at the Leadership Institute.I have met some of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate people while here.These folks I have worked alongside many an hour. They have been fellow LI employees, volunteer faculty for our trainings, and students who have given up weekends and nights to learn political technology. The donors who support our mission to train conservative activists, students, and leaders give a priceless gift, and do so voluntarily, because it's their delight.In my year here, I have seen many walk into our building with nothing more than a great passion to make a difference within the public policy process. They've left armed with the tools to make that dream a reality.Later, I find out they won their State Senate campaign. They started a conservative organization. They organized their precinct, and voted in a conservative school board member. They debated liberals on CNN and MSNBC like they've owned the airwaves forever.This place is truly remarkable. There's no place quite like it.We are a family here. Not just the staff, but the interns each semester who are valued team members in our departments and the 300-plus volunteer faculty who give their expertise and precious time to share their insider knowledge with our students. And the LI graduates, wow, they have this special nostalgia of their time here.I have met many people who, after hearing where I work, say that they've attended trainings here, or support the Institute, or taught for us in the past, or interned here. They owe their career to LI, they say. LI launched their career. LI helped them get elected. LI staffed their organization with the right staff. LI helped them start a conservative group on their university campus. And so on. I hear it regularly.Wow, what a place! What a family!While my immediate family in Austin, Texas is 1,504 miles away (and I miss them dearly), I am grateful to come each morning to work hard for a worthy purpose.But it's much greater than just LI. I am thankful for the liberty-loving, conservative coalitions, and their commitment to doing right by this country. It is an honor to serve alongside you.America is the world's last best hope. Yes, there are challenges, but we can all be thankful for being American, for we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.On June 28, 1787 when the Constitutional Convention seemed likely to fail, Benjamin Franklin stood, addressing General George Washington, assembly chairman, and others present, and said:“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for God, my Savior, this great Country, the Conservative Movement, the Leadership Institute community, and my amazing family.Fellow patriots—enjoy these quiet, slow moments. Cherish the love in your homes. Be unreservedly grateful for each and every blessing.We have a lot to be thankful for. >
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. >
So You Didn't Get the Job?
Laci Lawrence
October 13, 2011
So You Didn't Get the Job?
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Sometimes the interview went okay and sometimes the interview was the best you could imagine. In either scenario, the answer is the same: No thank you.Many articles exist to help you get the job, but this blog aims to help you regroup after the rejection. Consider these tips as you plan your next move.1. Analyze your interview. Think about what questions were asked and how you answered those questions. Were you confident, calm, and composed? Were you rambling, confusing, or withdrawn? I am normally so glad to be done with the interview that I immediately forget the bad parts or sugarcoat the reality of what occurred.You should really think about how you presented yourself during the interview to improve for future opportunities. I also recommend keeping an ongoing document of tough questions and your best answer to those questions. I will post a blog in a few weeks specifically about those terribly tricky interview questions that can tank an interview in about five minutes. Overall, be honest in your evaluation and decide how best to present yourself and correctly answer questions for the next interview.2. Review your portfolio. Make additional changes to your resume, writing sample, references list, etc. Have you sent your resume to other people for advice on mistakes or necessary changes? I edit my resume at least twice a month, and I still find little changes that can make it better. Remember that employers will consider your personality during the interview and the effectiveness and organization of your portfolio. If an employer is caught between two equally qualified candidates and one resume has grammatical or structural errors, you can guess who will receive the job offer. Take the time and make your portfolio the best it can be for the next interview.3. Consider alternative options. Yes, I said it – you may need to refocus your career search. For all of you diehards searching for a job in a narrow field, remember that the economy is not looking very bright. Perhaps several years ago you could jump right into your preferred field, but now current employers have smaller budgets and fewer employees.Take for instance Destiny Decker, a political science and religion major from North Carolina. Her entire undergraduate degree and experiences were aimed at working for a non-profit in England on the Middle East peace process. When things didn't work out, she worked at the Disney Store to make money and enhance her organizational, interpersonal, and diplomatic skills. Destiny continued her search for work in D.C. by using her local contacts, one of whom contacted the director of the Traditional Values Coalition. Her work ethic and skills landed her a salaried position five months later.Are you like Destiny? Take a job, learn new skills, continue looking, and prepare for the perfect opportunity.4. Cultivate your skills while you can. Do not languish at home wringing your hands about the lack of employment. Do something to make your resume better: find volunteer work, get an internship, or work at the Disney store!“Learn as many skills as possible in whatever you are doing,” Destiny recommends. You may even gain contacts through your temporary job that can help the search for your preferred job sector. Do not be afraid to work for a “plan B” or “plan C” employer. All of your experience adds up, and your work ethic can be demonstrated by taking those temporary positions.5. Don't give up. Keep searching for your dream job even though it seems unattainable at the present time. Who knows – maybe the dream job is five or ten years from now. Some opportunities may fall into your lap, whereas other opportunities are earned by hard work and dedication. If you find yourself in a job that is not exactly what you wanted originally, re-evaluate your goals. It could be that you love where you work now.After the whirlwind of changes, Destiny concludes, “Now that I know what my dream job is, I can honestly say I am doing my dream job. It has been challenging, but I know that everything I confront in the job world can either make me quit or make me stronger.”If you fall into the category of unemployed or underemployed, I hope these tips give you some ideas for the future and changes to make while searching. Keep up the hard work, and it will pay off, even if the final product is different than what you initially imagined.>
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, LI Graduate: “We’re Not Going to Win by Hiding”
Mikayla Hall
October 6, 2011
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, LI Graduate: “We’re Not Going to Win by Hiding”
Yesterday 72 conservatives filled the Leadership Institute's Steven P.J. Wood Building to hear Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) speak at the monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.“I want to thank you Morton for your leadership and helping train folks like myself,” said Rep. Huelskamp. “I've spent many an hour at an LI workshop, receiving the training. It is a distinct honor to be here this morning.”Fired up by recent news that the Department of Health and Human Services will have access to Americans' medical records, Rep. Huelskamp gave an impassioned plea for conservatives to take action in Congress.“It is taking the language of the left—taking the strategies and the technology and going out and convincing folks that we have the answers. It is our conservative principles that are going to win the day. But we're not going to win by hiding,” Rep. Huelskamp told the audience.He argued for Congress to promote conservative principles, not put off policy battles until a more favorable election.“[My colleagues say] ‘wait until 2013, we'll have the House, the Senate and the President.' But what if we don't get 60 votes in the Senate? Then we end up putting it off until 2015. ...but the only cuts that count are the ones you do now,” said Rep. Huelskamp.While discussing procrastination regarding budgetary issues, he noted: “Just because we're not fighting, doesn't mean we're not losing. If you're not fighting, they're adding trillions to the debt.”“There is a lack of urgency in Washington,” Rep. Huelskamp said in a call for more action and backbone from political leaders. “Just do what you say you're going to do.”“The idea that a young man—a kid out from the middle of nowhere—can end up in Washington, D.C. representing a Congressional district, that's pretty amazing.”You too can do great things with the right training.Check out the full schedule of LI's upcoming schools. The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2, will feature Dr. Matthew Spalding, distinguished author and director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation. For more information and to RSVP, please go here. >
Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
Mikayla Hall
September 28, 2011
Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
September 28, 2011, Arlington, VA—A combined total of 40 people spent September 19-23 improving their media skills with two back-to-back communications trainings: the Leadership Institute's Public Relations School and Broadcast Journalism School.The Public Relations School was an intensive three-day evening training focused on preparing attendees to handle the media for their causes or campaigns.Faculty included Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA); Scott Hogenson, a senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources; and the Leadership Institute's own Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger, to name a few. Attendees learned valuable tips such as, “Don't let people talk to the press who haven't been prepped beforehand” and “unless it's about security, don't dictate to the press.”Other tips included the timing of hosting events, the amount of time people should post on Twitter vs. Facebook, creating ambiance for media events and building relationships.Lauren Valainis, an intern for Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), said the Public Relations School was “a great way to learn PR basics, get great advice, and increase my DC network.”Similarly, Chad Hemmert, a writer for the Community College of Denver's Campus Connection Newspaper, said the training was “informative, lively [and] practical.”To end the week, the Broadcast Journalism School was a two-day lesson in on-camera media strategy. Kristen Cosby, a freelance reporter for Jacksonville's WJXT-TV, led most of the training. She used her own experience as the backdrop for lessons on everything from makeup application/clothing/jewelry to writing broadcast reports to actually standing in front of a camera for a live feed.LI Intern Thomas Cloud (pictured), was one of the students who tried the on-camera exercises. Afterwards, he said: “I was a bit nervous about talking without a script, but with Kristen's advice and some practice, I felt more confident standing in front of that camera. I would recommend the training to anyone who wants a career in media.”Missed the Broadcast Journalism School? LI will have a Television Workshop on October 7. To register for this school and others offered year-round, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/ >
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
Mikayla Hall
September 23, 2011
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
September 23, 2011, Arlington, VA--Last week the Leadership Institute broke a record of 79 students who attended LI's High Dollar Fundraising School. Attendees discovered ways to enhance the causes and candidates of their choice with effective fundraising.The expert faculty included Todd Meredith, co-owner of Morgan, Meredith & Associates; Tracey Johnson, President and CEO of Credo Strategies; and LI's own Marci LeBlanc and Steve Sutton from the development department.Attendees learned how to write grant proposals, distinguish the differences between types of donations, communicate strategically with donors, and establish a high-dollar direct mail program."The LI High Dollar fundraising workshop was extremely helpful. After completing the class, I immediately put the skills I learned to use, and have already secured additional funding for my non-profit," said GI Film Festival Executive Director Laura Law-Millett.Jerry Cave, owner of his own communications and search engine optimization company, says he plans to use the training to possibly pursue a career in advocacy. “[The] Leadership Institute is a fabulous opportunity to learn and develop new skills and meet fellow conservatives. [It was] a tremendous learning experience!”LI Intern Fredrick McKinley said he always was afraid of asking people for money, “but after attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School, [he] feels more confident that [he] will be able to successfully help a campaign raise money.”Lynda Fairman, We the People district coordinator for VA-01 and York County coordinator for Tom Harmon for VA Senate Campaign said, “LI's High Dollar Fundraising School gave me practical, ‘real world' methods that will help me while working on political campaigns and for non-profit organizations and schools. Presentations from experts in the field address everything from assessing dollars needed to asking for different levels of donations to finalizing the deposit and organizing reports, this school covers it all for success from beginning to end!”“I've already started using this knowledge to help the We the People program replace the defunded federal funds so we can continue to train teachers to teach the Constitution with non-partisan curriculum in all schools at all levels,” Lynda continued. “In addition to this job, I plan on sharing what I've learned as I work on political campaigns to help conservative candidates raise the funds needed to win elections.”“The Leadership Institute presents quality programs with expert information I can use right away. After graduating from several of their schools and their grassroots training and workshops, I highly recommend any of their classes,” Lynda said. “LI is, truly, a class act for success!”Are you interested in attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School or other Leadership Institute trainings? To register for this school and others, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/ >
Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
Mikayla Hall
September 14, 2011
Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
September 14, 2011, Arlington, VA—The Campaign Management School held last week at the Leadership Institute was four full days and trained 22 students. David Wiesby said, “I am 58-years-old and have attended many schools and training events, but this is the best of the best. It is like going to the NFL from high school.”Stephen Clouse, president of Stephen Clouse & Associates, and James Davis, an associate with Brunswick Group, were among the expert faculty teaching at the school.“Before I attended I had no idea how to begin raising money, but I feel more prepared to get started,” said student Erin Ashley.Attendees learned how to create a campaign plan, target and identify voters, develop a message, pick one of the various fundraising strategies, and quickly and correctly respond to the media.Armed with this knowledge, graduates of LI's Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country.“[The Campaign Management School] was a comprehensive crash course on campaigning that maximizes content over a condensed time frame. …I plan to incorporate this training into my upcoming campaign for the West Virginia House of Delegates,” said Elliot Simon.Elliot learned of the Leadership Institute from his friends who are delegates in the West Virginia legislature: Jonathan Miller and Eric Householder.Want to learn how to run a quality campaign? The best campaign schools are now available monthly—during the first week of every month!Check out the Future Candidate School December 5th and Campaign Management School October 3rd. >
Senator DeMint’s new book is a must have for your reading list
Lauren Hart
August 31, 2011
Senator DeMint’s new book is a must have for your reading list
August 10, 2011, Arlington, VA—“Washington was different than two years before—smaller, shaken, and less confident. America was different too—bigger and more confident with millions of Americans discovering their power as citizens and voters,” said Senator Jim DeMint in his new book, The Great American Awakening, recently released.DeMint's new book explains the significant ideological shift in Washington between the 2008 elections and the resurgence of conservatives in the 2010 elections. He interestingly attributes this shift to a spiritual and political awakening among the grassroots aimed at replacing “the foul, old Washington air.”Native of Greenville, South Carolina, Jim DeMint has served as a U.S. senator since 2004 and was elected chairman of the Senate Steering Committee in 2006. Recognized for consistently voting for reasonable tax and spending policies, DeMint is an acclaimed conservative leader and advocate for the grassroots movement.Throughout his book, DeMint recounts instance after instance of personally questioning the established policies, politicians, and principles. “The Washington establishment is driving our nation toward bankruptcy,” DeMint said. He explains that the continual spending and borrowing of the government is steadily burying our country under a “mountain of debt.”In Senator Marco Rubio's forward to DeMint's book, he agreed that “the Washington establishment [is] a powerful system of inertia that protects the status quo.”DeMint did not know if his view represented hundreds or millions of Americans, but he resolved to speak for the concerned, disillusioned, and alarmed freedom-lovers. “We have nothing to apologize for. We believe in personal responsibility, capitalism and free markets, Judeo-Christian values and, importantly, limited Constitutional government.”In a riveting and organized fashion, DeMint reveals the inner components of the Washington political structure and outlines the steps necessary to promulgate favorable change. He also harnesses the hope of “millions of Americans willing to stand and fight” at the grassroots level.A lot of the energy and impact present in the 2010 election originated from Tea Party activists and “owners of small businesses, lawyers, and teachers—patriotic people afraid that Washington politicians were bankrupting America.” DeMint described the Tea Party movement as a picture of how freedom works.In 2007 DeMint spoke at the Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast where more than a hundred students, donors, alumni, and staff were present. “I spoke about the importance of the upcoming election and explained why I was working to elect conservative senators in several races.”He recounts in his book how a student reminded him to keep fighting the establishment and trust the power of principled people. “The students had a lot of questions, and many encouraged me to keep up the fight. But one student challenged me, ‘If you're supporting conservative candidates against establishment Republicans, why haven't you endorsed Rand Paul in Kentucky?'”When describing his unconventional decision to endorse Rand Paul as a candidate, DeMint mentioned that his talk at the Leadership Institute encouraged and challenged him to rely on the freedom-fighters—the people.“This book is more about the future than the past,” DeMint said. “It recounts how committed individuals can come together to change the course of our nation.”DeMint writes with a fervent hope that this awakening will persist and generate a return to conservative principles in upcoming elections. “Some people believe this movement will fizzle and die. I believe it will continue to grow and I hope this book will inspire more Americans to join this great awakening.”As DeMint draws on the hope of a continued great awakening originating in the grassroots, he relies on staff committed to the same principles and passion, some of whom LI has trained.“As a United States senator, I come across the Leadership Institute's graduates all the time…as key congressional staffers, as heads of conservative organizations, even as colleagues,” Senator DeMint said. “When I ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, a Leadership Institute graduate was my campaign manager and another organized students for me throughout South Carolina,” explained DeMint.Senator DeMint's current Senior Communications Advisor and Speechwriter Amanda Carpenter explained, “Without the Leadership Institute, I may have never gotten involved in the conservative movement…all the credit goes to the Leadership Institute. I can't thank Morton Blackwell enough.”Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell endorses DeMint's book: “Senator Jim DeMint's new book, The Great American Awakening, is a must read for all conservatives striving to understand the significance of the newly active grassroots movement, in the 2010 election and going forward.”To purchase a copy of Senator DeMint's book, please go here.>
LI is Shaking Things Up!
Lauren Hart
August 25, 2011
LI is Shaking Things Up!
August 25, 2011, Arlington, VA—“Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there,” the 22nd Law of Public Policy Process says. Well, this is no political meeting, but the Leadership Institute's happy hour September 6th and campaign training September 6-9 is something you won't want to miss. Mark your calendars now.LI is now offering the very best campaign training every month PLUS a happy hour with free drinks for the first 100 people. Mix and mingle with great folks and get trained by the rockstars from the conservative movement all in the same week!“We are very excited to offer our campaign trainings the first full week of every month,” said LI's Director of Political & New Media Training Tyler Foote. Each month the Institute will offer either the Campaign Management School or the Future Candidate School.“By increasing the frequency of these trainings,” Tyler said, “we are able to expose more conservative activists to the strategies and techniques needed to raise their level of effectiveness in the public policy process.”Join the Leadership Institute at a happy hour Tuesday, September 6th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Clarendon Grill, located on the first floor of LI's headquarters at 1101 North Highland Street, Arlington, Virginia -- just steps from the Clarendon metro stop.Come network with LI faculty, staff and alum. Jobseekers - bring your résumé for a free consultation from one of our experts from ConservativeJobs.com, the Leadership Institute's one-stop shop for conservative jobseekers and employers.The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a ticket for a free drink! Happy Hour Specials:• Miller Lite Draft/Bottle - $1.75• Bud Light Draft/Bottle - $1.75• Coors Light Bottle - $1.75• Bud Bottle - $1.75• Yuengling Draft - $2.75• Heineken/Heineken Light - $3.00• Corona/Corona Light - $3.00• ½ Price Bottles of WineRSVP for the Happy Hour by Monday, September 5th or call Courtney Trollinger at 703-247-2000.The upcoming Campaign Management School provides campaign managers and staff with the tools and information necessary to manage a winning campaign with a strong grassroots organization and an effective media strategy. You will learn how to: • Write a campaign plan • Develop campaign strategy • Target and identify voters • Manage grassroots outreach • Raise fundsTo register for the very best campaign training September 6-9th please click here.We look forward to talking with you over drinks about the exciting, conservative politics!>
Fundraisers Needed
Andrea McCarthy
August 17, 2011
Fundraisers Needed
Let's face it, organizations need fundraisers. They need folks to write, ask, research, and plan events. Every day job listings for Directors of Development, Outside Membership Sales, Online Membership Coordinators, Directors of Major Gifts, Development Associates, and Interns are posted. While development jobs are plentiful these days, the fundraising field is competitive and only the strongest prevail. Like you, many job hunters are actively seeking a development position in the fundraising world. To set yourself apart from the competition, it is important to be armed with the political technology needed to stand out above the rest, and the Leadership Institute's High-Dollar Fundraising School can help.Hundreds of our nation's top fundraisers have attended the Leadership Institute's High Dollar Fundraising School. During this intensive two-day training you will learn keys to conducting effective fundraising events, why people give you money, tips to organize your development department, how to raise funds through personal solicitation, the nuts & bolts of private grant proposals, how to raise large donations from annuities, donated assets, and bequests, and much more! The next High Dollar Fundraising School will be held on September 12-13 at Leadership Institute headquarters in Arlington, VA. Registration for this class usually costs $150, but for ConservativeJobs.com users, it's only $60 when you use the promotion code HDFSCJ. For only $60 you will learn the ins and outs of development and fundraising from our expert faculty, enhance your resume, and expand your network. Meals, lodging, and all course materials are covered in the school cost. While lodging in our Leadership Institute dormitory is free, space is limited so make sure to register today!As an added bonus, when you register for the Leadership Institute's High-Dollar Fundraising School you are admitted FREE into our Online Fundraising Workshop the evening of September 12th! This live lecture will teach you how to develop an online fundraising strategy and utilize a diverse set of tools and media.Don't miss this incredible opportunity to learn from fundraising professionals and hone your development skills! Register today!>
9 Tips to a Successful Interview
Mariya Swella
July 15, 2011
9 Tips to a Successful Interview
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