LI’s Future Candidate School Trains Emerging Conservative Candidates
Kyle Baccei and Carol Wehe
July 10, 2015
LI’s Future Candidate School Trains Emerging Conservative Candidates
You don't have to be seasoned politician to win. With proper training and a plan in place, anyone can learn the tools to win.Most beginners struggle with the basics and make common mistakes. There are ways to avoid these mistakes, but it takes learning from the veterans who have been through it all before. It takes training.Bill Taylor has been a South Carolina State Representative since 2010 and credits Leadership Institute's (LI) training for his campaign success. “I defeated the eight-year incumbent 57% to 43%,” Bill said. “My campaign success was fueled by enrolling in LI's Future Candidate School. It was a most valuable experience. LI smoothed our political road to success.”In April 2015, LI trained 48 attendees from 17 states and Canada at the Future Candidate School. They learned from veteran candidates and campaigners how to put together a future campaign and win.Douglas Arnold of Maryland said the April training taught him “excellent essential information for creating a winning campaign theme and strategy.”Past graduates of the Future Candidate School have gone on to win their elections.“This was my first time running for office, and it was against a political veteran,” said New Mexico State Representative Alonzo Baldonado. “It was a tough race, but LI gave me the education needed to run a successful campaign.”The school also trains attendees how to define and polish their message, build strong grassroots support, raise funds, and develop the attributes of effective candidates. Theresa, another attendee of LI's April Future Candidate School said, “I wish I could teleport the people in my area down here for these classes so they could stop blaming each other for conservative losses, and actually know how to start running winning campaigns. #winningby workingtogether” Each day of the Future Candidate School features one of Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Public Policy Process. Day 1: “Sound doctrine is sound politics.”Successful candidates must define themselves to the public before their opponents do, so attendees learn to develop and effectively communicate an engaging message.Day 2: “Build a secure home base.”The second day of training teaches future candidates how to join coalitions and build organizations. Each attendee learns the basics of building contact networks, working with existing factions, and starting new groups.Day 3: “You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent.”To survive, a campaign must be funded. On the third day, attendees learn the techniques of effective fundraising. Fundraisers from around the movement come together to show candidates how to put together successful fundraising events and persuade high dollar donors to fund your campaign.Day 4: “Personnel is policy.”A campaign is only as good as the people it hires. In order to form the right team, you have to understand what kind of personnel you should have around you, and the structure the campaign will have in order to win. The school puts together those pieces for candidates and shows them the best way to organize a campaign.The Real Nature of Politics states, “Being right, in the sense of correct, is not sufficient to win. The winner in a political contest is determined over time by the number and effectiveness of activists on the respective sides.” Leadership Institute graduates know how to win.You can become a Leadership Institute graduate. There's another chance to learn how to become a successful future candidate at LI's last Future Candidate School of 2015, and also learn how to run a winning campaign at the Campaign Management School.Before you even start putting your campaign together, you have to ask yourself, should you be a candidate? Some candidates get into the race without answering this question and are blindsided. Capitol Hill veteran Steven Sutton addresses this question every year with activists who want to get more involved in politics. On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Steven discusses what it takes to run for office during LI's FREE live webinar, fittingly titled Should You Be a Future Candidate? Watch the webinar here.The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,582 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 165,206 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.>
Rand Paul: Leadership Institute Trains the Next Generation
Joshua Gill
March 20, 2015
Rand Paul: Leadership Institute Trains the Next Generation
If you've ever wondered how effective Leadership Institute trainings are when it comes to the working world of politics, go ask Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Better yet, watch and listen from the comfort of your own home as Sen. Rand Paul shares his thoughts on the Leadership Institute and on LI's founder and president, Morton Blackwell.“In our office we actually have 6 of our staff who have come out of the Leadership Institute,” said Senator Rand Paul. “My former chief of staff was actually with the Leadership Institute and worked closely with them for many years.”The goal of the Leadership Institute is to effectively train young conservative activists to be leaders in our nation's government. Sen. Rand Paul says LI is doing just that.“I think what's great about the Leadership Institute is that it does something really no one else is doing…. There's really nobody [else] training the next generation of people who will be the leadership of our country,” said Sen. Rand Paul. “To me it's an amazing thing and it is genius for Morton Blackwell to come up with the idea.”Sen. Rand Paul first crossed paths with Morton at the Republican National Convention of 1976 when Morton was a Reagan delegate. This was during the time of the Rockefeller Republicans, before Bush. In essence, Morton was a Reagan Republican before it was cool and remained steadfastly so during President Reagan's political career.That was only part of Morton's ongoing efforts in the conservative movement, and Sen. Rand Paul said such a career speaks to the value of Morton's political work and experience.“Morton Blackwell's legacy will be [as] someone who has been there from the very beginning and really was one of the originators who created the conservative movement,” Sen. Rand Paul said.If you would like to know more about the Leadership Institute, experience the trainings and services it has to offer, or want an opportunity to hear Sen. Rand Paul and many other prominent conservative leaders speak publicly in support of what LI continues to accomplish, watch these videos. They feature Senator Ted Cruz, former liberal student Jesus Rodriguez, young conservative Gabrielle Jackson, LI faculty Ian Ivey, and many more conservatives making a difference for the future.The Leadership Institute offers 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,591 active conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 162,508 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org. >
When campaigns are prepared, good things happen
Kyle Baccei
November 5, 2014
When campaigns are prepared, good things happen
Prepared candidates do not panic. They have a plan. The Leadership Institute (LI) identifies, trains, and places conservatives who are prepared, and they win races. Many won in 2014 alone.“I am so proud of the work Morton Blackwell has done over the past fifty years to build a winning conservative movement,” said David Fenner, Vice President of Programs at the Leadership Institute. “Last night, Leadership Institute trained candidates, staff, and volunteers worked hard and smart in local, state, and federal campaigns in all fifty states. Despite staying up most of the night, Morton gave the following remarks to at our 8:00 a.m. Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfast this morning.”  "The most appropriate thing for me to say this morning is thank you to the donors of the Leadership Institute, because the good that you enable us to do has a long-term impact," said Morton Blackwell, President of the Leadership Institute.Join me in congratulating all of the Leadership Institute graduates who ran in, worked on, and volunteered on campaigns.>
Sutton's Place: Predictions...Plus 10 in the Senate
Steve Sutton
October 29, 2014
Sutton's Place: Predictions...Plus 10 in the Senate
As I write this, there is exactly one week left before the 2014 election. In the spirit of the season, it is time for predictions. Yet rather than make any new predictions, I will simply repeat two predictions about this year's elections, which I made last year (December 2013 to be exact). Ten months ago I made two bold predictions. The first was that no incumbent GOP U.S. Senator would lose his primary. Not one. Not Lindsey Graham…not Lamar Alexander…not Mitch McConnell…not them nor any others. And as it turned out, that prediction came true. So why did I make that prediction? Because campaigns matter. And I didn't see a strong enough infrastructure in place for any conservative to successfully challenge an incumbent U.S. Senator. That includes (but is not limited to) well-prepared/trained candidates, staff, volunteers, organization, and fundraisers. It was my belief that incumbent GOP Senators were not going to be surprised in 2014 like some had been in 2010. In 2012, several GOP incumbents survived because they were ready (i.e. Orrin Hatch), proactive, and aggressive. They showed how to win in the new climate of GOP primaries, and their fellow incumbent Senators saw what they did and learned from their example. Without the element of surprise, conservative candidates were going to have to run better campaigns to succeed. And it just didn't appear to me that they had the resources (or understanding) to do so. My second prediction has yet to occur. I remain optimistic that it will come true. In December of 2013, I predicted that the GOP would pick-up ten seats in the U.S. Senate. That's a net gain of ten seats. No caveats. No conditions. No equivocation. What was the basis of that prediction? At the time, President Obama's popularity had breached below the 50% favorability threshold that signals trouble. The single most important metric of off-year elections in a President's second term is that President's favorability rating. Over 50% and a President's party does well enough (holds onto seats…limits losses…may even gain here or there). Under 50% and there's trouble brewing. And under 45% means all he's got left is his base…and they are usually not all that enthusiastic, making the election results even worse. And the President's fall in popularity was based upon a lack of trust. Once trust is lost, it is almost impossible to regain. Reagan (after Iran-Contra) and Clinton (after Lewinsky) recovered because they both admitted some level of responsibility. Obama never has (and never will) because to him, his problems are all everyone else's fault. In fact, he just doubles down. In the face of that climate, my belief was that Republicans would run the table and that 2014 would be similar to 2010. And so that's what led to my prediction of a net of 10 seats for the GOP in the U.S. Senate. That will mean no loses (so the GOP will need to retain Kansas, Kentucky, and Georgia). And that means winning North Carolina and New Hampshire. We'll know in a week. But I'll stand by that 2013 prediction and see where the chips fall. >
Likely Leftist Messaging
Steve Sutton
October 8, 2014
Likely Leftist Messaging
In case you're still confused or unsure how the left will approach this year's campaigns, here's an insightful article from the LA Times. Economic populism is the polite way the left phrases their campaign of "who to blame."Remember, the left runs their campaigns (not just election campaigns, but public policy "campaigns") on the premise that it's "Us" versus "Them." They define the "Them" and if you're not one of "Them" then you are one of "Us." That's the way to build a winning, majority coalition. They start with who to blame and then pivot to those who are victimized by that group.In this case, blame the rich (and powerful). It's their fault that you are where you are. “They” won't raise the minimum wage. “They” won't pay women equal pay. “They” are uncaring and out of touch and for the rich. Class warfare. Income inequality. Get ready for it. It's coming (it's already here). And remember to deflect it and get back on your message.>
Kentucky Entrepreneur Leads toward Conservative Environmentalism
Ali Kudlick
August 21, 2014
Kentucky Entrepreneur Leads toward Conservative Environmentalism
“My advice to emerging leaders is to stay true to your values. Make honesty and integrity a priority in everything you do," said Nate Morris of Rubicon Global.Nate, co-founder of Rubicon Global and trusted friend of Sen. Rand Paul (KY), has proven himself a strong leader in the private sector as well as the conservative movement.Nate was one of former President George W. Bush's youngest fundraisers.He has become a trusted advisor and friend of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Since the two became friends, Nate has traveled to Israel with the Senator and helped with fundraising efforts.Nate grew up in Kentucky with a natural inclination towards politics. He began working on campaigns at a young age and was an active member of his College Republicans chapter. During his undergraduate studies at the George Washington University, Nate attended the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School.“At the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School I learned how to be a better manager and leader. I also learned that even at a young age I could be capable of making a difference through public service,” said Nate.As he began his professional journey, Nate continued to make an incredible impact in politics.After attending Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, Nate brought his conservative ideals to the private sector and founded Rubicon Global, North America's leading provider of sustainable waste and recycling services.Rubicon Global helps businesses reduce costs, lower overhead, and keep waste out of landfills.“We believe technology combined with a market-based approach is the key to solving the problem of waste,” said Nate.While working hard to provide sustainable, market-based solutions to some of our nation's environmental concerns, Nate has not left his lifelong passion for politics behind. “Working on campaigns at a young age gave me the opportunity to meet some of our nation's smartest and most hardworking people,” said Nate.Nate has made great success for himself by pursuing free market solutions to environmental problems, and he persistently lends his efforts to candidates and elected officials who promote freedom and prosperity.“The Leadership Institute has helped me become a better leader and more effectively communicate why I believe in conservative ideals,” said Nate.Please congratulate Nate Morris on his work as an entrepreneur and as a conservative fundraiser, and please applaud him for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award.To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact Carol Wehe, at CWehe@LeadershipInstitute.org.>
How to know if your story is a winner
Nathanael Yellis
July 25, 2014
How to know if your story is a winner
Two weeks ago we talked about why storytelling matters (because it's how you convince people). This week, we talked about how to tell stories.Beyond the simple tactics like listening to other stories, watching performers, and practicing your story out loud, we borrowed, from Made to Stick, this list. These seven story archetypes are a gut check: if your story fits an archetype, you've found a potential winner.1. Overcoming the MonsterThe fight against Common Core now has this narrative. Take a look at this trailer to see what we mean:2. Rags to RichesAll politicians have this, but because it's so common, it's become trite. Some candidates, like Wendy Davis in Texas, went to such lengths to construct a rags-to-riches narrative, that even the press have to call the bluff. If your story is rags-to-riches, ensure it's real.3. The QuestWe're not sure of the political applications for this story archetype, but in literature it's The Hobbit. Leave a comment if you have a political example.4. Voyage and ReturnGood post-war speeches use this story to explain what was won and what's going to change now. You can even glimpse this story archetype in the Gettysburg Address.5. ComedySome media personalities, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Glenn Beck, often use comedy to make their points effectively. Comedy is powerful, so deploy comedic stories only when you're sure they'll resonate in the right way.6. TragedyLila Rose in this video tells a few short stories of tragedy to make her point about abortion: [Clip 1 - Play from 2:11 - 3:41] 7. RebirthGeorge W. Bush's story, from something of a partyboy to, through hard work, a leader in business and Texas, set the stage for his presidency.Learn about how to tell a story by watching our latest webinar here.>
Three LI staffers and nine LI graduates are on the 30 Under 30 List
Kyle Baccei
July 24, 2014
Three LI staffers and nine LI graduates are on the 30 Under 30 List
Clarity Media's Red Alert Politics annual “30 Under 30” list highlighting young, conservative movers-and-shakers featured three Leadership Institute (LI) staffers and nine people that are graduates of LI training. Caleb Bonham, editor-in-chief of LI's Campus Reform, launched his career in political media after a video of him interviewing Sandra Fluke supporters quickly went viral. Caleb is regular guest on several Fox News programs.Lauren Day, director of external affairs at the Leadership Institute, was also featured on the 30 Under 30 List in 2014. She oversees LI's brand reputation and public image externally through building strategic partnerships, while managing marketing and communication activities.Also appearing on Red Alert's list is Katherine Timpf, a reporter at LI's Campus Reform. Katherine's work exposing liberal abuse, waste, fraud and bias on college campuses has appeared regularly on Fox and Friends, Drudge Report and other national news outlets. Recently, Katherine has been a guest on Fox's Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. A campus correspondent for LI's Campus Reform Jayson Veley, a junior at Eastern Connecticut State University, first started to expose liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform when he sent an audio clip to the news website of his creative writing professor attacking conservatives in the classroom.His professor lectured the class that Republicans intended to close colleges in 2014 and “racist, misogynist, money-grubbing people” want to suppress the liberal vote. Thanks to his LI training, Jayson appeared on Fox News' The Kelly File and the professor was forced to publicly apologize.Founder and Director of Hood Conservatives, Cecilia Johnson is a graduate of the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School.RNC's Para Bellum Labs Creative Director Justin LoFranco has taken four Leadership Institute trainings including the Comprehensive Online Activist School, the International Leadership Training, the Political Voter Mail Workshop and the Advanced Public Relations School.Americans for Tax Reform's State Affairs Manager William Upton has taken the Leadership Institute's Advanced Student Publications Workshop.Montana State Representative Daniel Zolnikov has taken the Leadership Institute's Grassroots Activist School.Press Secretary for the Office of Congressman Tom Price Ellen Carmichael has taken the Leadership Institute's Grassroots Campaign School.The National Republican Congressional Committee's Digital Press Secretary Andrew Clark has taken the Leadership Institute's Grassroots Campaign School.Colorado RNC's Strategic Initiatives Director Paulo Sibaja was director of grassroots coalitions at LI prior to working for the RNC in Colorado. He has been a faculty speaker at several Leadership Institute trainings and is a graduate of the Youth Leadership School.Concerned Women for America's Communications Director Alison Howard has taken four Leadership Institute trainings including the Crisis Communication Workshop, the Intro to Techniques Television Workshop, the On-Camera Television Workshop and the Public Relations School.>
Senator Jim DeMint’s Remarks at LI
Ali Kudlick
June 6, 2014
Senator Jim DeMint’s Remarks at LI
Senator Jim DeMint, now president of The Heritage Foundation, joined the Leadership Institute and 234 guests earlier this week for LI's monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. He encouraged attendees to bring conservative principles back to America through reasonable alternatives.Throughout his presentation, Hon. DeMint referred to a group of people he calls “the Movable Middle,” who “share our [conservative] ideas and are looking for a political home,” he said. These people question the status quo and are in search of alternatives.“We can help Americans see these [conservative] ideas in the context of their life, in the context of a great country and a better future,” he said.He stressed the importance of sharing conservative success stories on state and local levels and explain how it has impacted the American people. “We are trying to stop an avalanche,” he said. “All we have to do is get a lot of people to think we are a reasonable alternative, because people want an alternative.”Americans across the country are in search of solutions to the obstacles before us. “The answer to a lot of things,” according to him, “is for us not to make one-size-fits-all solutions from Washington. The best solutions come from the governments that are closest to the people they affect.”Hon. DeMint's message inspired hope and highlighted the importance of the tenth amendment and the evidence that state and local governments are the best entities to exercise the powers reserved to them. He concluded by urging fellow conservatives to continue growing the movement toward freedom. “What you do at the Leadership Institute – at the grassroots level, at the student level – is really planting the seeds for our success in the future,” Hon. DeMint said.As for the upcoming election cycle, he shared with the crowd what he tells his staff at The Heritage Foundation: “In 2014, our job is to stop the bleeding. In 2016, our job is to turn our country around.”While the American people today express more disapproval in the government than ever before, conservatives must be prepared and equipped to show that conservatism has worked, is working, and is the most reasonable alternative to the progressive policies that destroy our nation.Come to the Leadership Institute to learn how to be more effective in public policy. Register for a training by clicking here.For Jim DeMint's full remarks, click here>
Sutton’s Place: Obama sounds midterm alarms for Democrats
Steven Sutton
May 13, 2014
Sutton’s Place: Obama sounds midterm alarms for Democrats
Many graduates of LI political training have asked if the Institute provides follow up to the sessions on strategy and messaging. To provide for a way to continue your education in this important area, LI will provide a new feature and service --- an occasional commentary called "Sutton's Place," written by LI's Vice President of Development Steven Sutton, on current campaign messaging and strategy. Here's another Washington Post article (this one from March 12, 2014) which details the left's strategic plans for 2014:http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-warns-democrats-beware-another-midterm-election-defeat-like-2010/2014/03/11/88eb3348-a94a-11e3-8599-ce7295b6851c_story.htmlIt should come as no surprise to anyone exactly what the left will be doing this year, both politically and legislatively (which is the same thing to the left …remember, as far as the left is concerned, governing is simply politics by other means). The left understands that to have an impact on a large enough scale to matter, they need to announce their strategies far and wide. So if you keep your eyes and ears open (or continue to read these commentaries) you will know exactly what they are doing, when they are doing it, and why they are doing it.According to the Post article, “A White House official said Obama will do whatever he can to maximize turnout – working to get the Democratic base out.” With that as the backdrop for the president's actions this year, what do you think the chances are for the Keystone Pipeline, for example, to be approved this year? The merits of the project are irrelevant. There is simply zero chance that the president will risk upsetting his base by approving Keystone this year. Doing what is best for the country, economy, and for energy independence (especially if it goes against a core constituency in your political base) requires leadership. Yet for a president who always puts politics ahead of policy, this decision is a no-brainer. This president puts his political party's interests ahead of America's interests time and time again.More from the article: “White House officials say his (Obama's) most important role will be drawing clear contrasts between the parties on the minimum wage, college affordability, pay parity and other bread-and-butter Democratic issues.” One official was quoted as saying, “The president can set the terms of the electoral debate and lay out a unifying economic message for Democrats.”That is why you have seen (and will continue to see) votes in the Senate on the minimum wage, pay parity, “income inequality” and other issues designed exclusively and cynically to promote a political message. It is not a policy agenda so much as it is a political agenda (once again, to the left, those two are the same thing).Note the final paragraph of this article. Congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) says, “If you're a Democrat who cares about our future, the stakes are high – whether it's raising the minimum wage or making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work…” Right on message (and repeated by a willing mainstream media reporter on page three of the Washington Post…gotta make sure everyone in the left's coalition knows what the message is, after all).If you want to stay most up-to-date on the left's 2014 messaging and political agenda, you may want to simply go to Congressman Steve Israel's website (or that of the DCCC). You can be sure that their message, and the issues they will use to advance that message, will be prominently displayed there.Prior to joining the Leadership Institute, Steven Sutton was a chief of staff in the House of Representatives for more than 14 years, where he specialized in setting up Congressional offices for four different incoming freshmen Members. He has also managed numerous political campaigns from city council to U.S. Congress, specializing in challenger campaigns. As a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering with many interesting stories to boot!As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Leadership Institute does not oppose or endorse any faculty opinions such as Steve's thoughts above, or any legislation, candidate, or elected official. LI offers more than 41 types of training programs, works with more than 1,589 conservative campus groups on colleges across the country, and helps employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 146,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org>
SUTTON'S PLACE: A place for current trends in campaign messaging and strategy
Steven Sutton
May 1, 2014
SUTTON'S PLACE: A place for current trends in campaign messaging and strategy
Many graduates of Leadership Institute (LI) political training have asked if LI provides any follow up to the sessions on strategy and messaging. To provide for a way to continue your education in this important area, LI will provide a new feature and service --- an occasional commentary called "Sutton's Place," written by LI's Vice President of Development Steven Sutton, on current campaign messaging and strategy.Welcome to Sutton's Place...a small slice of campaign strategy and messaging heaven. The purpose of Sutton's Place is to continue the education you received at a Leadership Institute training school. Hope you find it interesting, educational, and complimentary to your LI training.We start off the first of these commentaries with an article which appeared recently in the Washington Post entitled, House Democrats plot strategy against long odds to win back chamber.Click here for the full Washington Post article.This article reports on an "annual retreat at a resort on Maryland's Eastern Shore." Both major political parties have these annual retreats, but the Democrats appear to actually discuss strategy and messaging in a disciplined way that results in attempts by their leaders and rank and file members to coordinate and implement a strategic message that they articulate to voters. As the article reports, House Democrats developed and refined the following theme for the 2014 elections: As stated by Congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee...the DCCC, the Dems will champion "building an economy that works for everyone and not just special interests."Other Dem Members state: "The majority is supposed to...move us forward..." There's that word again..."forward.""If Republicans shirk their responsibility...we're ready to lead.""Dem unity will give voters a clear choice...More obstruction...or get something done."You can see the beginning of a clear theme, but there are some big problems with it.It will be very difficult for Dems to make the case that they will "lead" when their political leader (President Obama) has shown himself to be the weakest leader/President since Jimmy Carter (now there's an interesting way for the GOP to message back on this).Another problem is that the very high "wrong track" polling numbers suggest that Americans don't want to be led in the direction suggested by the left. And another problem is that this message is unlikely to sufficiently motivate the left's base to come out to vote this year, and that is the challenge and goal for the left. Negatives (such as fear) are more powerful motivators. The above themes are simply not strong enough to motivate their base. That suggests (once they realize this) that things will get much more confrontational/negative as Election Day nears. This retreat was held earlier this year (in February). I sense a shift in the left's strategy since then (more on that in a future Sutton's Place article).Prior to joining the Leadership Institute, Steven Sutton was a chief of staff in the House of Representatives for more than 14 years, where he specialized in setting up Congressional offices for four different incoming freshmen Members. He has also managed numerous political campaigns from city council to U.S. Congress, specializing in challenger campaigns. As a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering with many interesting stories to boot!As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Leadership Institute does not oppose or endorse any faculty opinions such as Steve's thoughts above, or any legislation, candidate, or elected official. LI offers more than 41 types of training programs, works with more than 1,589 conservative campus groups on colleges across the country, and helps employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 146,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org>
The 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
Morton Blackwell
April 2, 2014
The 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
This will not be a cheery update because the news is not good. I shall do my best to summarize developments and not take you too far into the weeds.At the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Mitt Romney broke all precedent and used his power as the coming nominee to change the rules, to centralize power in the hands of the establishment, and to make it very much harder for any power in the party to flow from the bottom up.For one example, the rules previously had required that, to be placed in nomination for President, a candidate had to have the written support of a plurality of the delegates from at least five states.In Tampa, the Romney campaign changed that requirement. Currently, a 2016 presidential candidate will have to have the support of a majority of the delegates from at least eight states.The power grabs regarding the party rules in Tampa were so outrageous that the proposed new rules were almost rejected in a voice vote by the convention, and thousands of people left Tampa furious as a result.The worst of the Romney rules changes at the Tampa convention was a new rule, now Rule 12, which authorized the Republican National Committee to further amend 24 of the 41 national rules between conventions. That opens the way to abuses limited only by the imagination of future power grabbers.With RNC Chairman Reince Priebus pushing hard, the Republican National Committee has drastically shortened the period in which national convention delegates can be elected, selected, or bound. The period is shortened at both ends. All but four states, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada, must wait until March 1 to hold their primaries or conventions to elect national convention delegates. Those four states may begin selecting delegates in February.That was fine with me. The same rule was in effect in 2012 but violated by a number of states which broke the rule and held earlier primaries. New penalties now in place should dissuade states from jumping ahead in 2016.However, the changed rules now will also end the 2016 primary process far earlier than before, because states must certify their elected delegates by June 3, forty-five days before the 2016 national convention convenes in Cleveland. In 2016's truncated period of delegate selection, it will be almost impossible for a less well-known conservative candidate who does much better than expected in the early primaries to parlay that good showing into much better fundraising and much greater grassroots organization. There won't be enough time for a conservative candidate to come from behind and elect a majority of the convention delegates.The establishment candidate will almost certainly be Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Bush would start with more money and more news media acclaim than any of the more numerous, more conservative candidates likely to be splitting the conservative vote.There is no way, before the convention convenes, to change the current national rules regarding the timing and the methods of election of national convention delegates. The shortening of the delegate selection process is a done deal for the 2016 election cycle. The shorter period will almost certainly provide sufficient time for the content-free, establishment Republicans to unite but perhaps too little time for conservatives to unite behind a single one of the more numerous conservative candidates.In modern times there have almost never been multiple candidates with a chance to win the race by the time of the national convention. It's human nature for people to yearn to be on the winning side. For many Republicans interested in participating in the presidential nomination contest, that desire becomes all-consuming. When one candidate seems to be winning, the compulsion to jump on that candidate's bandwagon becomes all but irresistible.By the time the Republican National Convention convened, there has not, since 1976, been any doubt as to who will be nominated. National rules changes have had the intended effect of eliminating favorite-son candidates capable of controlling their states' delegations, thus ending another factor which might insert some uncertainty regarding who will win the nomination. Remember, to be placed in nomination, a person now must have proof of the support of the majority of the delegates from eight different states.Even in states which allocate their delegates by some type of proportionality, the plurality winner generally will get a much higher percentage of the delegates than the percentage of the primary vote that candidate received. Where a state primary has a winner-take-all system, the candidate with a plurality gets all the state's delegate votes. The current rules guarantee that, once again, the supporters of unsuccessful candidates will go home angry and insulted. Some beneficial rules changes could be adopted after all the delegates are selected, just before the 2016 convention in Cleveland begins. These changes cannot pass without the support of some 2016 Republican presidential candidates. One rules change can and must be made by the 2016 Convention Rules Committee and adopted by the convention before the actual nomination process is taken up by the convention.In the run-up to the 2012 national convention in Tampa, the Romney campaign employed strong-arm tactics to prevent the possibility that any other candidate would have a plurality of delegates in any five states, which would have enabled that candidate's name to be placed in nomination before the convention.As a result, only Mitt Romney's name was formally placed in nomination.Then came the roll call of the states.Each state delegation chairman, starting with Alabama, called out the number of delegate votes each candidate had won in that state.Then an outrageous thing happened. The convention secretary, from the rostrum, called out the number of delegate votes which would be counted from that state. Only the number of delegate votes cast for Mitt Romney in each state was announced!Hundreds of delegates who had been duly elected by their states, had traveled to the convention, and had been certified as delegates by the Convention Credentials Committee were thus deprived of their right to have their votes counted. In many cases, delegates were bound by state law or state party rules to vote for candidates other than Romney. Too bad for them in Tampa.Already upset by the Romney campaign's many power grabs regarding the rules, supporters of other candidates and many fair-minded Romney delegates were thoroughly outraged when hundreds of duly elected and credentialed delegates were summarily disenfranchised.How would it have hurt the Romney campaign to have the legitimate votes for other candidates announced and counted? Romney had the votes to win on the first ballot.An honest tally of the delegate votes won by other candidates would not have hurt Romney at all.Instead, the arrogant and ham-handed Romney campaign, determined to demonstrate who was boss, trampled on the rights of other candidates and their supporters and sent thousands of grassroots Republicans home angry at them.This happened at the very time when the Romney campaign should have been striving for good will and party unity in the fall campaign against President Barack Obama.As the Rules of the Republican Party are now written, this ugly scenario could be repeated at the 2016 Republican National Convention.The only way to make sure this doesn't happen at the Cleveland convention is for the 2016 Convention Rules Committee to propose and for the national convention to adopt a change in the rules to provide that the votes of duly elected and credentialed delegates shall be announced, recorded, and counted during the balloting for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.Any requirements for prior proof of support for a presidential candidate should affect only the determination of which candidates may be presented to the convention by formal nominating speeches.Unless bound to vote for specific candidates by state law or by state party rules, duly elected and credentialed delegates should be able to exercise their rights to vote for the candidates of their choice.It is obvious that conservatives should be making plans right now to unite as much as possible behind a single good candidate before the short primary season begins. Otherwise, Republicans shall almost certainly have another establishment presidential nominee in 2016. The short duration of the 2016 presidential primary period, the large number of conservatives likely to run for president, and the much smaller number of establishment Republicans likely to be in the race combine to increase greatly the possibility that an establishment Republican will win the 2016 nomination.Think back to the moment just before Ronald Reagan clinched the 1980 nomination. Define all his supporters then as Reaganites and all other Republicans as non-Reaganites.No Reaganite presidential nominee since Reagan!It's time for the Republican Party to nominate another Reaganite.>
Ted Cruz's Visit to LI
Jessica Yu
February 10, 2014
Ted Cruz's Visit to LI
Senator Ted Cruz (R—TX) came to the Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast last week and spoke to 229 conservatives about the current state of affairs.Activists, supporters, and LI graduates braved the harsh weather for the largest Leadership Institute (LI) breakfast turnout since the program began in 1997.Senator Cruz began by quoting Sam Houston, “Texas has yet to learn submission to any form of oppression come from what source it may… that is an attitude the Leadership Institute has embraced for a long, long time.”To read more about the role the Leadership Institute played in Sen. Cruz's campaign, please go here for info regarding his field staff and here for info on his pollster. Sen. Cruz spoke to the power and importance the grassroots movement plays in maintaining and advancing the conservative movement.“Right now, today, Obamacare is at its lowest approval rating it's ever been since the day it passed into law,” he said.The people will rise up against restriction upon their freedoms, he said. And it is this, he believes, that drives the grassroots movement to act and be so effective.“If you have a President who picks and chooses which laws to follow and which to ignore – you no longer have a president,” Sen. Cruz said.The website www.makedclisten.org is an initiative he urged attendees to visit and then Tweet about.Senator Ted Cruz said, “If we continue doing what we're doing which is mobilizing and empowering the American people – it's not going to come from Washington – it is what the Leadership Institute is doing every day.”"Liberty is never safer than when politicians are terrified,” Sen. Cruz closed.Please join LI at the next Wake-Up Club Breakfast on March 5. The speaker will be Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Sign up here.>
Final 5 lessons from this week's fundraising training
Kyle Baccei
October 4, 2013
Final 5 lessons from this week's fundraising training
The week-long Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a bootcamp on raising more funds for causes and campaigns -- finished yesterday with the second day of the Direct Mail School. You can find previous highlights from the first day, second day, and third day of the fundraising trainings this week.-----Don't use the plural. Write to one person.Rick Hendrix, Founding Partner of ClearWord Communications Group, came back to lead the final day of the Direct Mail School and Comprehensive Fundraising Training. He taught attendees how to write effective fundraising letters to their donors.Other key points:--> Know your target audience. What are their backgrounds and what are their issues? Ask yourself, who are you writing to? What are you writing about?--> The first line must grab the reader's attention. You need a strong opening.--> In the closing, restate what you want the donor to do. Ask for the gift!-----Direct mail is like a contract. You make an offer and the donor accepts it. Treat the donation like an investmnet.Robert Stuber, Director of Development at Americans for Prosperity, joined the attendees of the Direct Mail school to explain how to make an offer a donor can't refuse.Other key points:--> Donors want value -- and credibility.--> You want to have a life-long relationship with your donor. The goal: a donor giving you $15 should have such a lasting love of your organization that he or she includes it in their estate plans.--> List specifics -- about your organization and your projects -- to give you credibility. List the technical specifics to show what you will use donors' money to do.--> Be timely in your talking points. If you're not, it seems like you don't know what's going on.-----Remember that your donors are on a calendar-year schedule.Matt Waters, President of Waters Agency, was up next. He talked to attendees about how to get a fundraising letter opened, by personalizing the piece and using the calendar.Other key points:--> You want your piece to be high-quality, but you don't want to make it seem like you're investing too much money in it.--> To personalize your pieces, use multiple stamps, handwritten font, and a return address. Write in the letter.-----Be an archer. Every interaction with a donor is getting you closer to the bull's eye.Brian David of Active Engagement spoke next. He presented on the importance of online efforts to complement a direct mail fundraising program.Other key points:--> Be consistent across multiple channels (e.g. mail and email), especially with your logo.--> Know your medium. Online is great for things happening right now. Traditional mail is great for perennial issues.--> The fundamentals of online fundraising are no different than those of direct mail.-----Read My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (on Amazon here).Richard Viguerie, Chairman of American Target Advertising, Inc., closed out the Direct Mail School and the week-long Comprehensive Fundraising Training. Often referred to as the "funding father" of the conservative movement, he shared his valuable personal and professional experience with attendees.--> A donor base is critical to your direct mail efforts.--> Understand the lifetime value of a donor. This is the key to good fundraising.Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).>
5 tips for raising money by direct mail
Kyle Baccei
October 3, 2013
5 tips for raising money by direct mail
The first day of the Direct Mail School was a busy one for attendees yesterday. The training is the second half of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp on raising funds.Below are the big lessons I got from each speaker. The last round of updates will be here tomorrow.-----The right lists won't guarantee success, but the wrong list guarantees failure.Emily Lewis, the president of Lewis and Company Marketing, led off the first day of the Direct Mail School. She explained how and why direct mail fundraising works for organizations.Other key points:--> 75% of your new donors may come through direct mail.--> Direct mail empowers conservatives because it allows you to bypass media gatekeepers.--> People give because they want to shape a better future, share a purpose, get involved, and enjoy a special status.-----You should invest in prospecting if you have enough time, have enough potential donors, and have enough startup funds.Kevin Allen, Chief Operating Officer at The Richard Norman Company, explained to attendees how donor prospecting -- i.e. contacting new, potential donors who have not yet given to you -- can help you build your donor file.Other key points:--> Prospecting protects against file attrition, can advance your goals, helps you identify high-dollar donors, and can reactivate lapsed donors.--> Avoid prospecting if you won't risk losing money, if you don't have enough potential donors, or if you're not committed to mailing your house file, i.e. the donors who already give to your organization.-----Know as much as possible about your donor list(s).Rita O'Neil, president of the O'Neil Marketing Company, spoke next to attendees of the Direct Mail School. She talked about donor lists and the benefits of acquiring, borrowing, and trading them.Other key points:--> Your donor list is your most valuable asset. Treat it that way.--> Donor lists have drastically different values depending on the relationships you have built (or haven't built) in the past.-----Always give your donors credit for the good that is being done.Heather Sherlock, Donor Relations Officer at the Leadership Institute, and Jacquelyn Monaghan, Development Assistant for Major Gifts at The Heritage Foundation, spoke together on a panel to teach attendees how to build relationships with their donors.Other key points:--> Keep a running list of accomplishments to share with your donors. Tell donors specifically what their gifts are funding.--> Five ways to show you care about your donors: love what your organization does, pay attention to the details, give your donors special treatment, engage resistance, and go above and beyond what is required.----- You can't control everything. Control what you can.Rick Hendrix, Founding Partner of ClearWord Communications Group, shared his thoughts with attendees about scheduling mailers and analyzing your direct mail results.Other key points:--> Direct mail is an art and a science. The art is package and design. The science is the schedule and testing.--> Put yourself in your donors' shoes. What will be there to distract them? What holidays are coming up?--> Make sure you ask yourself these questions: what is the response rate? What is the average contribution? What is the return on investment? What is the cost to acquire a donor? What is the long-term value of a donor?Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).>
5 lessons from LI's high-dollar fundraising training
Kyle Baccei
October 2, 2013
5 lessons from LI's high-dollar fundraising training
The High-Dollar Fundraising School came to a close yesterday. The packed, two-day training is just part of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp on raising funds.Below are the key takeaways I got from each speaker. More to come throughout the week; the Direct Mail School is next.-----Vision, mission, program: Your vision is what success looks like. Your mission is why you do it. Your program fulfills your mission.Connie Marshner, President of Connie Marshner and Associates, led the second day of the High-Dollar Fundraising School by teaching attendees how to organize a successful development (fundraising) department and how to develop their message.Other key points:--> You need a fundraising plan to provide focus. It helps you use your resources wisely -- and it protects you from "good idea syndrome."--> Emotion, not logic, drives peoples' decisions to give to your campaign or cause.-----The four steps of a sale, fundraising or otherwise: attention, interest, desire, and (your) ask.Todd Meredith, co-owner of Morgan, Meredith, & Associates, explained how to run successful fundraising events, from start to finish -- and maximizing your return on investment.Other key points:--> Fundraising is about making a sale to your donor. Don't talk your donor out of the sale.--> When events succeed, you get large sums of money in a short amount of time, you reward donors, and you earn media coverage.--> Events fail without a plan, when the candidate or president is unprepared, or even just due to bad locations.-----Never assume. (In this case, that donors know you take gifts on a long-term basis.)Michael Barvick, Director of Major Planned Giving at The Heritage Foundation, talked about how to develop an effective and successful planned giving program for your organization.Other key points:--> Consistency is the single biggest indicator of a potential planned giver.--> When you're telling stories to donors, make them about real people and real families who have supported your cause or organization.--> For every estate gift you know of, there are four you don't. -----Start by looking for the organizations that identify with you.Tracey Johnson, President and CEO of CREDO Strategies, explained the nuts and bolts of grant-writing and how it could be used to fund your organization.Other key points:--> Include grant proposals as part of your fundraising plan. A grant is an award of funds given by a group or organization to another organization for a cause or project.--> Send grant-giving organizations a newsletter or other information about your group. Let them know what you're about.--> Don't forget to search locally for organizations that award grants. ----- The majority of the time you contact a donor in a year, it should not be to ask for money.Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute, closed the High-Dollar Fundraising School with a two-hour lecture on the "care and feeding" of donors. He taught students how to put together the lessons they had learned to build stable, thriving organizations.Other key points:--> Always remember: you can't save the world if you can't pay the rent.--> Large donors usually start as small donors. You must treat all donors well.--> Thank you cards to your donors should be warm and heartfelt.--> Most donors give to people, not to organizations. Create close, personal ties whenever possible. In practice, you will become personal friends with many of your donors.Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).>
6 takeaways from LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School (Day 1)
Kyle Baccei
September 30, 2013
6 takeaways from LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School (Day 1)
The first day of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp in raising funds for campaigns and causes -- kicked off with a full day at the High-Dollar Fundraising School.If you couldn't make it, don't worry. Below are the key takeaways I learned from each speaker. More to come throughout the week.-----You can't thank your donors enough.Carsten Walter, Development Director of the Heritage Foundation, opened the training by answering the question: why do people give you money? He explained the keys of donor communication and the importance of saying thanks.Other key points:--> People give because of a cause. Ask donors about an issue and then about how passionate they are about that issue.--> Send a thank-you note to donors and thank them multiple times.--> After you thank you donors, let them know where their money went.-----The five elements of asking donors: simple, unexpected, concrete, creditable, and have emotion or stories.Ian Ivey, who works for the General Service Administration but has a long background in the conservative movement, taught attendees how to create a case for giving -- and how to make it stick.Other key points:--> Your goal is to persuade donors that what you are doing is valuable to them.--> A good "pitch" follows the same checklist: simple, unexpected, concrete, creditable, and have emotion or stories. -----Fundraising in-person or over the phone is your most cost-effective way to raise money.Nancy Bocskor, Founder of the Nancy Bocskor Company, explained to students how to raise money person-to-person, to know when to ask for money, and to know what to avoid.Other key points:--> When you're making an ask, you have 21 seconds to make your impression.--> The results of personal solicitation are immediate. Anytime you call someone rather then send them direct mail your response rate will go up five times.--> When you're asking for funds, you need to have a firm greeting, engage in small talk, make a good sales pitch, and then close the deal. -----One person can only meet so many people -- so it's important to raise money with tools like direct mail.John Davis is the Director of Donor Communications at the Leadership Institute. He talked about the benefits of having a high-dollar direct-mail fundraising program.Other key points:--> The response rate to your first letter will be around 2%. But that's alright. Your goal is to build a core group of donors.--> Don't worry about getting a "no."--> Build relationships with your donors. Make your communication as personal as you can. It's okay not to ask for money. -----Your fundraising campaign must have a mission statement that is short and to the point. It creates energy and urgency.Karla Bruno is the Director of Foundations and Corporate Relations at the Leadership Institute. She taught attendees how to use capital campaigns to help their organizations grow.Other key points:--> Capital campaigns can super-charge your fundraising program when they tap into urgency. A sense of urgency in politics is phenomenal.--> The Leadership Institute's expanded its Campus Leadership Program into new office space with multiple elements of a successful capital campaign: a clearly defined mission, a sense of urgency with a deadline for action, and a video appeal with endorsements from conservative movement leaders, including Grover Norquist and Governor Mike Pence. -----Don't treat your donors as if you're meeting them for the first time.Dick Patten, the CEO of Patten and Associates, explained to attendees how they could upgrade their donors.Other key points:--> Remember: working with your donors is about their needs and wants, not yours -- theirs. Provide engagement in all your communications with them.--> Ask your donors for their input on a report card. Look at what's been accomplished and what needs to be done.--> Create a strategic plan for upgrading donors with dates, actions, benchmarks, and goals.Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).>
LI Engages Latinos in Florida
Paulo Sibaja
August 23, 2013
LI Engages Latinos in Florida
The Leadership Institute and partnering organizations went to Orlando, Florida to meet with more than 70 people from across the I-4 corridor to find the issues that unite conservatives and Hispanics.Notable guests included a representative from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's staff, a candidate for Florida governor, several candidates for Congress, local elected officials, and community and business leaders.Attendees interacted with event speakers from partnering organizations -- The LIBRE Initiative, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Voto Honesto, and the Heritage Foundation. Members of the audience asked questions ranging from immigration policy to messaging to Hispanics, winning over youth, education reform, and more. The event was held at the Orange County Regional History Center. The courtroom, a vintage early 1900's courtroom, was the same courtroom where Ted Bundy was found guilty. In fact, the corner of the defendant's desk has his name inscribed. Bertica Cabrera Morris, the featured business women, engaged the crowd and called for action. Her family fled Cuba in search of freedom. She raised five children while working and bettering the lives of those around her. She has inspired many.Sue Tombino from Boca Raton said, “This event has been very informative, passionate, and clear. We need more of these forums.” >
The Next Great Communicator Works to Defund
Carol Wehe
August 20, 2013
The Next Great Communicator Works to Defund "ObamaCare"
“Sorry for the delay; we're trying to defund Obamacare,” Nathanael Yellis said.Nathanael stays busy. By day he's deputy political director of Heritage Action, the 501c4 sister organization of The Heritage Foundation. He's also a trainer of conservative activists and young leaders.“I joined Heritage Action a month after it launched, in July of 2010,” Nathanael said.Three years later, their focus for this fall is clear: defund the Affordable Care Act.“I'm excited about our effort to defund Obamacare,” he continued. “We're working to make this the issue when Congress returns in September.”Yellis stays busy this August at a time when many in the nation's capital vacation. But, you won't hear him complaining.“It's really exciting stuff bringing conservative activists along and seeing Members of Congress respond as they hear the message from all sides,” Nathanael said.Nathanael's enthusiasm for helping conservatives extends into his own time as well. He has a history of helping activists and young leaders interested in politics.During his time at Patrick Henry College (PHC), he worked for Teen Pact leadership schools. Teen Pact gives high school students “a conservative civics education,” he shared.While at PHC, he went into debate – not originally his idea.“I started debating in college,” he said, “because my now-wife asked me to.”That wasn't his only reason for long.“I stayed in debate because it helped me learn -- knowing I had to make my own arguments gave my research and writing real purpose,” Nathanael said. “The skill of quickly seeing and communicating the essence of an idea is the key thing I learned from debate, and I use that skill every day.”Nathanael coached debate at Patrick Henry, and won many awards, including the All-American Debater title from the National Educational Debate Association.He went on to train with Ethos debate camps, and still uses his debate skills to train leaders.His advice to aspiring communicators?“Practice,” he said.That may sound simple, but Nathanael learns from history and says practice is key.“Communicating is a skill that one builds only by doing it,” he said. “We saw this in the 2012 presidential election when President Obama flopped in the first debate because he didn't practice. There is no better way to learn, so join Toastmasters, a debate club, or anything that pushes you to practice.”Like a good leader, he follows his own advice and practices his public speaking by being a faculty member for the Leadership Institute.“One of my mentors challenged me to speak to a new group every quarter to stay sharp as a communicator,” Nathanael said. “Training with LI helps me meet that goal.”Now Leadership Institute faculty, Nathanael has attended courses at LI since 2006.“At my first LI training I talked with the most interesting speaker and a few months later began interning for his company. That connection helped launch my career.”Now Nathanael trains future leaders and activists.“Teaching for LI,” he said, “keeps me sharp on how what we're doing helps the conservative movement. I enjoy surveying our work at Heritage Action and presenting the best of what we do to LI's audiences. The Leadership Institute enables our successes and our mistakes to help other conservatives, and that's part of our mission: building the movement.”That's what the Leadership Institute does with the help of faculty like Nathanael– LI trains conservatives and builds the movement.“I describe LI as two things: a solid foundation for conservatives and a strong network,” he said. “If you want to be an activist, staffer, journalist, campaigner, etc., then you at minimum need to attend the relevant LI training. As you take the next step and become a leader in your field, the Leadership Institute is the place to give back and build the network.”You can watch Nathanael Yellis's next LI training, a free live webinar, August 28 at 3 p.m. EDT. He will talk about Smart Debate: Confronting slick leftists in public arguments.You can learn more about LI training, and watch Nathanael's upcoming LI webinar appearance.Please congratulate Nathanael Yellis on his work helping American citizens make their voices heard in government and training conservative activists. Please applaud him for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.>
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.>
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