Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
Haley Roddie
November 1, 2016
Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
A healthy conservative student group can be difficult to maintain. With students naturally leaving every year, recruitment is key to your conservative group's success. Every semester thousands of new students come to campus, and your student group should make an effort to reach out to those students. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech started the semester with a bang. To start the year, they held a Remembering 9-11 event. They also hosted a free speech ball activism event and a “PC” police activism event, along with a Turning Point USA group. These events have resulted in hundreds of new signups of potential members. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech capped it off by hosting Milo Yiannopoulos for his college tour. Over 400 students attended. To learn how to host these kinds of events on your campus contact me or your Regional Field Coordinator.>
Award winning month at Campus Reform
Emily Larsen
October 26, 2016
Award winning month at Campus Reform
The Leadership Institute's Campus Reform continues to be a roaring success as it celebrates an award-winning and record-breaking month. Three Campus Reform staff members received internal and external recognition of their excellent work.The numbers alone are superb. So far in 2016, Campus Reform reports of liberal bias and abuse on college campuses created media pressure which resulted in 28 conservative campus victories. Campus Reform staff and student contributors also discussed stories in television interviews 108 times, and the Drudge Report featured 24 stories.Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Sterling Beard was named LI's employee of the quarter, due to the success of the project.“Sterling has shown outstanding leadership managing a Campus Reform staff who continue to break records and expand the site's media presence and influence,” said Morton Blackwell when he announced Sterling's award.Red Alert Politics also honored two additional Campus Reform staff members in its 2016 30 Under 30 list: Campus Reform's Program Coordinator, Laura Falcon, and the Leadership Institute's Director of Campus Outreach, Cabot Phillips.Laura Falcon primarily manages the Campus Correspondent Program, which recruits and cultivates conservative student journalists across the country to investigate and report liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. She's recruited 64 Campus Correspondents so far this year.“Every morning, I ask myself, ‘Who can I help and how?”' Laura told Red Alert Politics.Cabot Phillips, Director of Campus Outreach at the Leadership Institute, regularly appears on Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network to discuss Campus Reform stories.Cabot helped spearhead a successful social media campaign for LI's Campus Leadership Program and successfully got LI's #LiberalPrivilege hashtag trending on Twitter twice, on October 12 and October 19. The #LiberalPrivilege Twitter blitz encouraged conservative students to highlight the special treatment given to liberals on campus and throughout the country.The hashtag went viral. Within two hours, #LiberalPrivilege was trending nationally, and was used 66,520 times in seven days, appearing to more than 6 million Twitter users. The trending hashtag was covered by USA Today, MTV, and the Media Research Center.It's clear that much of Campus Reform's extraordinary success is due to its extraordinary people and the Leadership Institute's donors. Congratulations to the entire team for keeping The Leadership Institutes's Campus Reform America's #1 site for campus news.>
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Andrew Sund
October 17, 2016
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Every fall, interns from all across the world descend on Washington, D.C. all looking to become the next generation of movers and shakers in the conservative movement. Many interns quickly realize the only moving and shaking they will be doing is from the office to the break room where they'll shake the perfect amount of sugar into the boss's coffee.While members of the Leadership Institute's 99th intern class may be seen in the break room grabbing a cup of coffee, it's because they need all the energy they can get as they enter the battlefield and fight for conservative principles.Dorcas Buzigire is an intern in the office of International Programs. She hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she practiced law before coming to the United States. While attending a diplomatic mission function in Dallas, Dorcas met the former governor of a Congolese province who had ties with the Leadership Institute. In their discussion, the governor invited Dorcas to a Leadership Institute Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. While touring the Leadership Institute after the breakfast Dorcas said, "I had the feeling that I was home. I came back to LI to take the Youth Leadership School, applied for the internship, and got accepted." Dorcas will be assisting with trainings and recruitment for the office of International Programs and Grassroots Trainings, but for Dorcas, this internship means more. "I hope to apply the skills that I'm learning here to the political system in my home country and empower other young people, especially women, from my country to get involved in politics. I'm very thankful for the opportunity of expanding my network and learning American public policy."This internship differs from others in the D.C. area by developing successful young conservatives in three areas – marketplace skills, training, and career development mentoring.LI interns join a department where they work alongside Leadership Institute employees on real projects building skills they can then show to future employers. Interns are encouraged to take as many trainings as they would like and learn new skills to expand their resources. They also receive career development mentoring to help interns grow their networks and market themselves in a competitive workforce.The goal is that when LI interns finish the program, they are ready to join the workforce.Tyler Arnold is using his time at Campus Reform for just that.“Writing for the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform is giving me key experience in news reporting. Not only do I get to experience writing, but I also get to work with editors and reporters with professional experience who can help me develop my skills and build a good network to help me find a journalism job in the D.C. area.”While many of our interns are charging ahead on their career path, others are using this opportunity to explore what they want to do. Ashley Behm decided to intern at the Leadership Institute after completing her education in theatre: "I wanted to explore all the ways I could use the skills that the Lord has given to me as well as the skills I have learned along the way."Ashley works in the Events Department where she is responsible for behind the scenes preparations for all of LI's trainings and social events. While consuming from the "political buffet" of trainings she is also excited to "discover what God has placed me on this earth to do; an occupation that will bring Him glory!"Hannah Weeks, the Campus Leadership Program intern, had this to say about living at the Sacher House: "How many 20-somethings do you know sit up all hours of the night discussing foreign policy, politics, and culture? I know exactly nine others. I am having the experience of a lifetime because my internship extends outside of the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 format. I am constantly learning and networking and making some of the best friends I have ever had by having the privilege of living at the Sacher Intern House."Throughout the internship, the interns will host guest speakers, discuss conservative writings, and visit members of Congress. Most of the interns live together at the Sacher House located a short walk from the Steven P.J. Wood Building. Living in this house gives interns the opportunity to bond and to learn from each other.As my fall internship progresses, I encourage you to follow my intern class's journey by following the Leadership Institute's Facebook and Twitter, and the hashtag #LIinterns. You can also use this hashtag to share advice, to share spots to check out in the D.C. area, or just follow along for a good laugh every once in a while.If you are interested in applying for the LI Internship Program you can sign up now and be part of the best internship program in the D.C. area.>
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
Kyle Baccei
September 20, 2016
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
The left is hard at work to remove any expression of conservative principles on campus.Even when you think it can't get any worse, liberal college professors and administrators find new levels of shamelessness and fury. Their commitment would be impressive -- if it were not so dangerous.That is why each fall the Leadership Institute trains and deploys Field Representatives to college campuses across the country. This fall, 32 Field Representatives are now deployed in 38 states.These highly trained conservative activists work with students to promote and defend their conservative principles. They will help students organize conservative college groups on college campuses.Here are some of the ways Field Representatives can help conservative college students. Contact your regional field coordinator, and see how they can help you reach your goals on campus.>
Conservatives Learn Data Skills for Campaigns
R. McKinley
August 11, 2016
Conservatives Learn Data Skills for Campaigns
Early this summer, I was among 40 students who attended the Leadership Institute's first-ever Campaign Data Workshop.Since liberals began using data driven technology in 2004, conservatives have put themselves at a disadvantage by stubbornly sticking with inefficient paper walk books. Their campaigns have suffered the consequences.During the evening workshop, attendees heard topics ranging from general campaign advice to specific data applications in case studies.“Data driven technology acts as a force multiplier and data can help campaign managers make key decisions," said Joshua Fimbres, a Business Intelligence Analyst at Freedom Partners. Joshua specifically spoke on data and why it is important for campaigns. He showed various companies who provide data services to campaigns, and strategies to use voter data within the different phases of a campaign.“In fact,” Joshua went on to say, “I would even go as far as to say that all campaign structure exists to implement these data driven decisions." He also covered examples of strategies he implemented in California and Maryland where voter data was used to effectively map out campaigns.Chris Stolte, Director of Campaign Accounts from i360, followed with a practical exercise on how to use their i360 app. Students downloaded the company's app during the lecture and practiced its use by generating a mock call list and walk book.One student in the workshop raised his hand to vouch for the application. As an employee at uCampaign, the student had previous experience with the program while placed on the Ted Cruz campaign. He also added valuable insight on how their application helped the Ted Cruz campaign effectively reach and mobilize voters using the freshly updated data provided by the other users. Many of the students' own campaign experiences shone through during a group exercise which provided an opportunity to create questions to identify potential voters. Laughter, discussion, and flying pens brought a sense of camaraderie as attendees shared different voter ID questions with the class. Thomas Bingham, Political Training Coordinator at the Leadership Institute, closed out the evening training workshop by emphasizing the winning difference on close campaigns. "Comparing a campaign with no technology at all going full throttle, to one with a smaller staff using technology and data to make decisions on their campaign, it can make a difference in performance of anywhere from 5% to 8%," he said.As a former campaign volunteer myself, I can tell you there is a night and day difference between the paper walk book system and the modernized system.The paper system often leaves you with frustrated volunteers, missing data, and wastes time, while data technology provides up-to-the-minute updates to headquarters, making it easy for volunteers to see their own progress and succeed. Learning how to effectively collect and use voter data is essential for anyone who is serious about winning a modern election; attending the Campaign Data Workshop gave many campaigns a head start.The next Campaign Data workshop is to take place on August 17 in Arlington, Virginia. R. McKinley is an intern in the Political Training department at the Leadership Institute. Click here for more information on upcoming trainings. The Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, works with more than 1,643 conservative student groups, and helps employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 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.>
Former intern promotes conservative values in his home country of Denmark
Mari Vogel
August 5, 2016
Former intern promotes conservative values in his home country of Denmark
Former Leadership Institute intern Ulrik Boesen is working to promote conservative values in his home country of Denmark. Ulrik, 26, has been involved in politics for more than ten years. As a teenager in Denmark, he got involved with the Danish Liberal Youth, doing grassroots campaigning and educating other party members on conservative philosophy. In 2012, he took an interest in the United States presidential election and worked with the Danish Liberal Youth (DLY) to volunteer for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. “The passion and values of the people I met back then made me believe in the movement," he said. In the spring of 2013, Ulrik interned at the Leadership Institute, an opportunity which he credits with teaching him the dedication, execution, and public relations skills which he uses in the workplace today. “I must say that my time at LI was one of the best of my life, and not only because I met the love of my life." (Boesen met his long-term girlfriend during his time in the Washington, D.C. area.) Since returning to Denmark, Ulrik has worked at Japan Tobacco International, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, as the Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager. He enjoys the challenge of working in public relations and government with a product that is highly regulated. Ulrik hopes to continue supporting the international movement for personal freedoms and property rights, particularly in Denmark. He has been a member of the Danish political party, Venstre, for the last decade and has supported candidates in policy, development, and communications.As for advice he would give to other conservatives, he says, “I believe in the conservative values and the security you get from living by them." He also recommends getting involved in youth politics and campaigns at the earliest opportunity. “You must be willing to put yourself on the line. If you are willing to put your time and passion towards something, you will see great results."Learn more about LI's International Training. Learn more about the Institute's internship program and apply here. Mari Vogel is a summer intern in the Grassroots Department for the Leadership Institute. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.>
Leadership Institute welcomes summer 2016 intern class
Jami Averwater
June 16, 2016
Leadership Institute welcomes summer 2016 intern class
The Leadership Institute recently welcomed the 98th intern class to Arlington, Virginia and I am personally very excited to be one of them. My intern class exhibits diversity in age, level of education, college major, and career aspirations, but we all share one important goal in common: we want to strengthen the conservative movement. Since our arrival, we have had the opportunity to get acclimated to the office and to the area by attending the annual staff retreat and participating in a competitive scavenger hunt through the city. During our time here at Leadership Institute, we will host conservative leaders for weekly private dinners, visit Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and complete projects of high responsibility for our respective departments. There are thirteen of us interns for the summer semester, many of whom are residing in the Sacher House. The opportunity to reside in the house allows a convenient, safe place for us to stay during our time with the Leadership Institute and has proven to never allow for a dull moment.Kelsey Mix (Fairfax, Virginia) is an intern in the Career Services department and spent her first few weeks planning and promoting an upcoming workshop titled "Conservative Intern Workshop". A recent graduate from William & Mary, she hopes to use what she learns during the internship to land a job on the Hill. Kelsey says she enjoys living in the Sacher House and bonding with the other interns because they “are all passionate and involved in their communities and in the movement”.Elijah Montes, a sophomore in his home state of Louisiana, is interning for LI Studios. His most critical duties are to maintain, manage, and operate the equipment used to film the LI Webinars, maintain the headshots for the staff and interns, and assist in the daily operations of the studio crew.Ben Becker (Osseo, Wisconsin) recently completed his freshman year at Bob Jones University as a Business Administration major. Ben is excited to be working with David Blair in the Youth Leadership School program. His duties entail recruiting for the schools and ensuring that the days leading up to it go smoothly as possible. Ben says he enjoys living in the Sacher House with the other interns because he is expanding his network and learning more about the conservative movement from his new housemates. He is also excited to enjoy the benefits of convenient Leadership Institute trainings, such as the Intro to Campaign Data workshop.As a group of new friends, we spent Memorial Day weekend visiting Arlington Cemetery and preparing a delicious meal together. We also recently hosted our first speaker for dinner at the Sacher House and met with key leaders on the Hill to spread the word about the resources available at the Leadership Institute.As one of these passionate thirteen interns, I look forward to growing my network with this group. >
In Memory of Richard (
Morton C. Blackwell
June 14, 2016
In Memory of Richard ("Rick") E. Hendrix (1957-2016)
With great sadness, I report the passing of a friend, a colleague, a leader in the conservative movement, and a good and humble man. Rick Hendrix passed away yesterday, June 13, at Fairfax INOVA Hospital. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends. Rick worked as a direct mail fundraiser for more than three decades. Most know him as a founding partner of ClearWord Communications Group, a successful and effective high-dollar direct mail agency. For 10 years before that, from 1993 to 2003, Rick ran the direct mail program here at the Leadership Institute. He oversaw a more than tenfold increase in the Institute's donor base. Staff often joked that Rick could write in my voice even better than I could. For the last 23 years, Rick provided the copy for many of the Institute's monthly mailings. His work generated millions of dollars in donations that have made the Institute's many activities possible. Rick volunteered as a lecturer for almost all of the Institute's fundraising schools. Over the years, he taught thousands of conservatives how to build fundraising programs for their organizations. The entire conservative movement and our country benefitted greatly from Rick's generosity in sharing his time and talent. Rick was the director of the Direct Mail Track at Madison Down Under, a fundraising conference sponsored by the Fundraising Institute of Australia, and was a regular speaker at American University's Campaign Management Institute. He was a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) and a member of both the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He was active in Republican politics in Virginia and served as a member of the Electoral Board in Prince William County. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of my Conservative Leadership PAC. Rick is survived by his wife Taania and their three daughters, Emily, Laura, and Megan. Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
Potential for Excellence
Elizabeth McCullough
June 13, 2016
Potential for Excellence
I recently stepped away from my desk and slipped downstairs into the LI Conservative Intern Workshop. Because who can resist the lure of free Chick-fil-a? Not I. Neither could 42 interns from various conservative organizations. Sessions started promptly, beginning with Patricia Simpson, LI Director of Career Services."Every single one of you have the potential for excellence." She paused.“You must think of yourself as a leader.” I haven't been an intern for 10 years, but I felt myself challenged to re-evaluate myself and my goals. “I wake up every morning and say to myself, ‘Let's be awesome today.”Meanwhile, out in the hall, Aynsley Harrison, Career Programs Manager, bled red ink over intern resumes. When she taught the incredibly practical Resume Workshop, I mentally tore up my previously loved resume.Later, a cheerfully honest session on ‘Personal Branding' brought to light the importance of intentional communication, “Make sure people remember you for the right reasons.”All LI trainings are free to every intern. Even if you're not an intern, discounts are often available. Do you strive for excellence? Are you prepared for leadership? Join us at one of the LI upcoming trainings for more ways to ‘be awesome' today. The next Conservative Intern Workshop is coming up next week. Chick-fil-a might even be on the menu. >
A Letter from Morton this Memorial Day
Morton C Blackwell
May 30, 2016
A Letter from Morton this Memorial Day
Please let me take a moment with you to remember our fallen soldiers and what their sacrifice means on this Memorial Day. Thanks to our armed forces, you and I possess many precious freedoms in America. I've been to dozens of countries around the world. Yes, some of those countries are fairly safe and have modern amenities. But many others are not. Some are crime-ridden or war-torn. And some have a citizenry who have over the years fallen asleep and given away their freedoms to socialist overlords. America has our share of problems. But I've always been grateful to return to a country that beats all the alternatives. The work of the Leadership Institute cannot match the sacrifice of those who fought and died to protect the United States of America and all of us in it. But, by the blessing of God, and with your help, the Leadership Institute will train patriotic conservatives to preserve and advance our nation's founding principles – and make sure those who sacrificed themselves to protect those principles are honored and did not die in vain. Thank you for taking a moment to remember with me. Cordially, Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
Never Too Young – Teen Eagles Soak Up Activist Training
Elizabeth McCullough
May 6, 2016
Never Too Young – Teen Eagles Soak Up Activist Training
'You do not have to wait until you are 18 to make a difference -- you can start today.'This Spring, fifteen Tennessee Teen Eagles students, and parents landed in Washington, DC for a long-awaited trip-of-a-lifetime.Teen Eagles is affiliated with Eagle Forum, founded by conservative pioneer, Phyllis Schafly.After a year of studying history and politics, these bright students arrived to see history for themselves. First stop -- the Leadership Institute.While touring the U.S. Capitol at night, catching a free opera concert at the Kennedy Center, and visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Teen Eagles soaked up customized training taught by expert faculty and stayed in the LI dorms.Steven Sutton, Leadership Institute's Vice President of Development, spoke on the Real Nature of Politics.“Never attack the opponent; rather, define the opponent. Work in your community - do things that make a positive difference.”Guest lecturer and former LI Regional Field Coordinator, Matthew Hurtt, taught effective grassroots activism techniques and messaging.“Build coalitions among various conservative groups - remember, it's better to add and multiply than to subtract and divide.”Jeremiah Lorrig, of Generation Joshua https://www.generationjoshua.org/GenJ/, took the students on a journey through historical political ads, including a Reagan ad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU-IBF8nwSY, discussing media messaging and bias. Of course, if you have something to say, you ought to say it well. Dr. John Shosky brought his talents in public speaking, challenging students to step out of their comfort zone and bravely face the mic. Through every session, the theme remained the same:"We are a government 'By the people, For the people.' But that only works if the people are engaged and involved. And you're never too young to make a difference." -- Jeremiah LorrigEngaging and practical, the Teen Eagles left D.C., a bit sunburned but excited to get involved when they returned to Tennessee.“The training I received at the Leadership Institute was an eye opening experience to how politics really work. It was extremely informative and very well prepared. It also made me want to come back soon for more training,” said Janey age 18. “Leadership Insitute Training helped me realize that I could be an influential role in America's present and future. Each speaker was very passionate about what they were teaching and I obtained so much knowledge from them. I left each class feeling inspired and longing to learn more,” said Rachel, age 17.Interested in making a difference for the conservative cause? Check out the complete list Leadership Training here.>
The Leadership Institute is Hiring
Morton Blackwell
May 2, 2016
The Leadership Institute is Hiring
Just when you think it couldn't get worse, liberal college professors and administrators find new levels of shamelessness and fury.Their commitment would be impressive -- if it were not so dangerous. That is why the Leadership Institute is hiring field reps to level the playing field on college campuses.Here is just one example of how hostile colleges have become for conservatives. Former University of Missouri communications professor Melissa Click was caught on camera yelling profanity at police officers and blocking a student reporter (the irony!) during on-campus protests. She yelled for “muscle” to physically push the student out of the way. Last month, she was fired by the university's Board of Curators in a 4-2 vote.The professor blames the Board for bowing to “conservative voices.” The American Association of University Professors will vote in June to decide whether to censure the university for its decision. And, as you can see from the vote, two University of Missouri Board members took her side.What a time to be a conservative on college campus.That's why the Leadership Institute is doubling down on our National Field Program this fall.Since 1997, LI's National Field Program has sent out teams of motivated, highly trained conservative activists. LI field reps help students promote and defend their conservative principles on campus.Their work has resulted in a nationwide network now of 1,755 independent conservative campus groups.You -- or someone you know -- can become one of the nation's best-trained, most effective, conservative leadersthrough the Leadership Institute's 2016 Fall Field Representative Program.Opportunities for full-time paid jobs to fight for your values do not come along very often. Field reps receive up to $17,000 for 12 weeks of work, plus nine days of intensive training. This exclusive training teaches you the tools and techniques necessary for success in the field.Top performers will also be invited to extend their contracts for additional semesters.The experience and connections gained from this position have helped former field reps launch careers in:Grassroots activismPolitical campaignsPublic policyCongressional officesConservative non-profit organizationsDon't wait -- take advantage of this unique opportunity today. Apply online at www.ConservativeJobs.com/FieldRep.These positions fill up fast, so time is of the essence.>
Win America Back – through campaign powerhouses
Morton Blackwell
April 8, 2016
Win America Back – through campaign powerhouses
“I got involved in politics because of Barack Obama's election,” said Matt Krause. “I have four kids. I didn't want to be the generation that didn't leave a better country to my children and grandchildren than those who came before me.” I can't tell you how many times I've heard conservatives tell me a story similar to Matt's. But I'm encouraged more Americans every day wake up to the danger our country faces and take action. Matt Krause took the Leadership Institute's Future Candidate School and won election to the Texas House of Representatives. As a donor, you empower my staff and me to train thousands of conservative candidates and activists like Matt and turn them into campaign powerhouses. Together, you and I – and the conservatives we train – advance our shared conservative principles to win America back. The training for conservatives – and the success – you make possible To win America back from the left, the Leadership Institute will hold numerous comprehensive training schools this year to equip campaigners and candidates for action. For campaigners, the Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School teaches them how to: Create a strategic campaign plan Build a grassroots organization of trained volunteers Plan a get-out-the-vote ground operation Mobilize voters to the polls Win the election “The Leadership Institute is a training ground for the conservative movement,” said Senator Ted Cruz. “In fact, one of the ‘secret weapons' in our upset Senate victory in 2012 was top notch volunteers and staff members trained by Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute.” LI does not support or oppose candidates, but once trained, Leadership Institute graduates become hot campaign commodities and work for conservative candidates of their choice at all levels of government – on races for city council all the way up to the White House. In LI's Future Candidate School, aspiring candidates learn how to: Assemble a network of loyal volunteers and campaign staff Get on the election ballot Develop a winning campaign message Handle hostile news media Connect with voters on a personal level Today, 32 Leadership Institute graduates are U.S. Senators and Representatives, 18 hold statewide offices, and 422 serve as state representatives. Leadership Institute graduates hold elective office in all 50 states – thanks to the training you provided them with your support. The Leadership Institute's new Campaign Academy builds on the trainings proved to create winning candidates. LI's Campaign Academy trains everyday Americans from Main Street America – business owners, teachers, doctors, pastors, and hard-working professionals. This new crop of principled conservative candidates, betrayed by establishment leaders, has stepped forward to fight the liberals themselves. Candidates in LI's Campaign Academy learn how to run for elective office and focus on how to build neighborhood teams of volunteers, connect with voters door-to-door and over the phone, research the electorate and opposition candidates, and prepare for media interviews. Everything is on the line in 2016 In the 2016 elections, the stakes are high. America will either continue down the road to socialism – on which there's a point of no return – or, conservatives will steer America back toward freedom and prosperity. With your help, I'm doing everything in my power to build campaign powerhouses to win America back. Since the 2014 elections, my staff has trained 554 conservatives in LI's Future Candidate and Campaign Management Schools, and another 8,201 trained in 256 political training schools. I have four Campaign Academies scheduled in battleground areas this year, with more to come. Let me end with an encouraging word from someone you trained – the second-youngest legislator in America. “The Leadership Institute gave me the tools I needed to beat an experienced liberal Democrat,” said 19-year-old New Hampshire state representative Yvonne Dean-Bailey. “Their training makes young leaders successful in organizing campaigns. I'm so thankful for the donors who helped LI train me to win.”
What You Missed at CPAC 2016
Natalie Tuttle
April 4, 2016
What You Missed at CPAC 2016
Each year, the Conservative Political Action Conference is a gathering of conservative leaders looking to network, advance conservativism, and learn from some of the greatest minds in the movement.This year, speakers like Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina rallied conservatives together. Above the stage read “Our time is NOW,” taken from Ronald Reagan's CPAC speech in 1981.At the conference, Leadership Institute sponsored, staffed, and organized of 5 conference events, including the job fair and boot camp training sessions.1. Activist Boot CampOn day one, the Leadership Institute partnered with the American Conservative Union and with American Majority to train 383 conservatives. Attendees were trained in student activism, community activism, and campaign technology.The Leadership Institute's Steve Sutton, David Blair, and Summer Ratcliff were among the boot camp faculty. Speakers from American Majority, Americans for Prosperity, FIRE, the Blaze, and the Franklin Center also trained activists and conservative leaders.2. ConservativeJobs.com - Career ConsultationsAfter the official CPAC kickoff on Thursday, Leadership Institute's Conservative Jobs organized recruiters from LI and other conservative organizations to critique CPAC attendee's resumes and offer one-on-one career consultations. Recruiters from LI, Cato, The Heritage Foundation, the Charles Koch Institute, and Americans for Prosperity sat down with 133 conservatives.3. CPAC Jobs and Internship FairOnce again this year, the Leadership Institute organized the CPAC Job and Internship Fair. Over 250 job seekers connected with 40 conservative employers.Organizations who recruited at the fair included grassroots organizations, media groups, think tanks, and policy foundations. Groups like Turning Point USA and Americans for Prosperity recruited field representatives while organizations like Townhall Media, Red Alert Politics, and Campus Reform looked for writers to hire.4. Campus ReformIn the exhibit hall, referred to by conference attendees as “the Hub,” Leadership's Institute's Campus Reform held an on-camera contest for students. Entrants were asked questions about issues on “live” camera by LI staff and competed for cash prizes.More than 100 students participated in the competition over the course of three days. All participants are eligible to be selected as Campus Correspondents, which will increase the number of conservative students exposing liberal bias on college campuses around the country.5. Young Activists Happy HourDuring CPAC, young activists from around the country network with each other. Swapping stories, discussing recruitment strategies, and just socializing with like-minded individuals are just a few highlights of the CPAC experience.To encourage networking among young conservative leaders, the Leadership Institute and seven other organizations hosted a Young Activist Happy Hour. Almost 400 attendees packed the bar and formed a line to the end of the block to spend the evening networking. Recruiters and staff of organizations like Young Americans for Liberty, Future Female Leaders, and the Charles Koch Institute mingled with activists.At the Happy Hour, the Leadership Institute welcomed many new activists to the Campus Leadership Program network. Almost aEvery year, CPAC is a new experience. Conservatives from all over the country (and from around the world) come together for a week of idea sharing, activist training, and coalition building. This year was no exception. With hundreds of new conservatives plugged in, trained, and employed conservative principles have a stronger voice going into election season.The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,759 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 172,000 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. >
The Conservative Internship Search: Capitol Hill vs. Non-profits
Derek Faraldo
March 31, 2016
The Conservative Internship Search: Capitol Hill vs. Non-profits
As a recent graduate of Georgetown University, I was blessed to have four years in the city of limitless internships, Washington D.C. However, not all students are lucky enough to attend college in the nation's capital. Fortunately, many universities have semester-long exchange programs, externships, or summer opportunities. During my undergraduate years, I participated in two non-profit internships and three congressional internships. If you do not have a few years to shop around for an internship then my experiences may help you narrow your search.Capitol HillI believe that in order to fully appreciate your time in Washington D.C. every intern should spend at least 12 weeks interning for a congressional or senate office.A congressional or senate internship can be a great resume booster, teach you some professional skills, and help you network on the Hill. Most interns are given simple office tasks to complete. While the work usually isn't anything inspiring, the experience of living in D.C. makes up for the sometimes boring days in a government office.For most prospective interns, there are some practical limitations. For example, in the year and a half I spent working for three different offices I did not get paid.If I had not had school housing, I would have been out of luck. There are some programs to help students pay for the cost of living in D.C, but it is an expensive city for a student on a budget.Non-profitsNon-profit internships are great starting points for careers in public policy, digital media, journalism, and many other fields. Each non-profit is different in office culture and atmosphere, but they generally operate in similar manners.For students or recent graduates who require monetary compensation and would like an internship with a job title and specific duties, the non-profit world is often a better option. In the conservative non-profit world, there are many paid internships that provide unique benefits.Often, these organizations hire from their own intern pool, so there is added incentive to make connections and maximize your efforts. The office environments vary, but at least you don't have to go through security every day!Most non-profits allow and encourage interns to work on projects that have value and many organizations treat interns like a staff member.A potential intern should really consider the kind of experience they want and set goals, always keeping in mind their practical limitations.Reflecting on my experiences, I would encourage students or graduates who lean conservative to seriously consider non-profit internships. Don't' worry, even while working at a non-profit, if you really want to see the Capitol building, you can visit your congressmen's office on your lunch break! One of his or her interns will give you a tour.Derek Faraldo is the current Grassroots and International Programs intern at the Leadership Institute. He recently graduated from Georgetown and will be working with Teach for America in the fall. Learn more about the LI Intern Program here.>
12 Days of Christmas
Morton Blackwell
December 23, 2015
12 Days of Christmas
Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics. Every year, counter-culture bullies call for political correctness against celebrations of Christmas. College and university campuses are centers of this persecution. My staff at the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform powerfully satirized many of the actual regulations imposed by colleges as “inclusive holiday” guidelines. Their video, “The 12 Bans of Christmas,” a play on the popular “The 12 Days of Christmas” song, is quite funny, but it exposes outrageous leftist abuses. The list of actual bans includes the name of Jesus, Christmas parties, and even use of the colors red and green. The Leadership Institute fights counter-culture bias like this every day on college campuses. You'll enjoy the video below. See for yourself the out-of-control political correctness on college campuses this Christmas.
Picking a Presidential Nominee in 2016
Morton Blackwell
December 18, 2015
Picking a Presidential Nominee in 2016
The presidential nomination process is about to enter a very different phase. Until now, the 2016 presidential campaign has consisted mainly of words: speeches, debates, interviews, and the publication of some issue papers by the candidates. The coming contests in the states will actually elect delegates, and this race will become a test of each candidate's ability to identify supporters and organize them to participate personally in the primaries and conventions.Every state and U.S. territory has different election laws and party rules, not to mention different sets of political circumstances and local leaders. Organizing successfully to win nomination contests in enough states and territories to win a national presidential nomination is a massive problem. Some candidates will not come close to solving it.Conservatives are keenly aware of the fact that, among the several presidential candidates the Republican Party has nominated since Ronald Reagan, not one of them supported Reagan for nomination in 1980. If they can, conservatives should nominate in 2016 a candidate as genuinely committed to conservative principles as Reagan was. Several candidates now running appear to be more conservative than anyone Republicans have nominated for President since Reagan. Conservatives hope they can unite behind a single candidate, but they haven't yet come close to uniting. Can they achieve this and win the nomination and the general election?I think they can.First, almost every conservative leader I know, even those who have already endorsed a Republican candidate, will admit that there are several among the current field of candidates whom they would happily support in the November 2016 election. Their current preferences are at least somewhat fluid.Second, a great many conservative activists and leaders now have no single preference. If asked, they will list a number of candidates whom they believe are reliably conservative and infinitely preferable to the Democrats' likely nominee.As the contest enters the phase where grassroots organization and activism will determine who wins how many delegate votes at the Republican National Convention, serious conservative activists and leaders will have to decide for sure whom they choose to support. If enough of them choose the same candidate, that candidate will win the presidential nomination.That important decision will determine the future of our country.I know almost all of the presidential candidates, and some of them have been personal friends and allies of mine for years in the public policy process. Put me personally among the undecided in this contest.To help me think through this, I'm writing this brief discussion of what I believe to be the most important factors to take into consideration, and then I'll share it with conservatives whom I hope may find my thoughts useful in their decision-making process.Has the candidate a record of personal activism and leadership for conservative principles?Talk is cheap. Actions have consequences. Every experienced conservative has heard many candidates make false promises to appear more conservative than he or she has ever been. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results, but it usually is the best indicator.Is the candidate surrounded by people notable for their firm commitment to conservative principles?Personnel is policy. Long before he became President, Ronald Reagan had surrounded himself with competent and serious conservatives who were known and trusted by movement conservatives. If elected, a candidate without an inner circle of reliable conservatives to help him or her staff an administration has no chance of winning victories in tough battles against liberals. And conservatives should not forget that one more reliably leftist presidential appointment to the Supreme Court could irreparably damage America.Are the candidate's currently stated policy positions solidly conservative?Quite often candidates, if elected, turn out to be less conservative than they promised to be in their election campaigns. Very rarely does an elected official turn out to be a better conservative than he or she led conservatives to believe. If a candidate currently advocates some liberal positions, the chances are almost zero that he or she will ever fight hard against the liberals on many issues.Has the candidate ever continued to fight hard for conservative principles when it appeared to be a losing battle?Never fully trust anyone who has not knowingly gone down fighting for an important, good cause that he or she believed was losing. Sometimes we have to live with content-free Republicans, but conservatives should not promote any of them to the White House.Does the candidate frequently reverse his or her positions on important issues?Every major politician, including the most admirable among them, occasionally changes position on at least a few issues, but a candidate who frequently flip-flops on policy issues for personal political advantage cannot be trusted to keep even promises solemnly made.Has the candidate built a record of helping conservative organizations and working to elect conservative candidates?The fight for conservative principles cannot be won without strong conservative organizations to pressure politicians and without conservative election victories, including in nomination contests with non-conservatives. A candidate who has never helped conservative organizations or conservative candidates cannot be expected to change that behavior if elected.If elected, would the candidate melt when the heat is on?Our country is in deep trouble. Most Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction. Only strong, principled leadership can enable us to recover from the damage already done. Business as usual would make our major problems worse. Conservatives should consider candidates' strength of character.Assume that Republicans elect a President in 2016 and keep Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. How will the left react if a new President starts the difficult task of repairing damage the left has already done? For example, what if legislation were passed to cut significantly our currently bloated government spending?Leftist organizations now receive billions of dollars each year from government funds. For them, most government spending, except for defense spending, is virtually sacred. And left-wing groups are larger and better organized than ever before in our history. They would surely react immediately to any real threat to cut the cost and intrusiveness of government.I expect that the left would take violently to the streets and create as much ugly chaos as they could. The liberal media would work overtime to blame conservatives.What would conservatives have accomplished if Republicans nominated and elected a President without the strength of character required to persevere for the good of the country under difficult circumstances? Can the liberal media destroy any truly conservative presidential candidate?They'll try, but they have much less of a communications monopoly now than they had when they savagely but unsuccessfully attacked candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980.In the current run-up to the 2016 presidential primary season, the liberals have already fired their big guns to little effect against all the Republicans who now appear to be strong candidates. Most often those attacks have not weakened the targets' support. Some media attacks have actually helped those the liberal media intended to destroy. Polls now show that any of half a dozen Republican candidates could beat the likely Democrat nominee. If enough conservatives unite, they can nominate and elect any of the more conservative Republican presidential candidates. So there's every reason for conservatives to try hard now to unite in support of a candidate they believe would be the most determined and effective conservative President possible.>
Student Activist Sues School for Refusing to Recognize Conservative Group
Kyle Baccei and Emily Larsen
November 16, 2015
Student Activist Sues School for Refusing to Recognize Conservative Group
Administrators often hide behind the veil of bureaucracy to justify censorship of conservative voices on campus. Moriah DeMartino experienced this firsthand when she attempted to start a conservative club at Hagerstown Community College.The administration refused to recognize her club because it would duplicate the purpose of the political science club -- even though the administration recognized multiple liberal groups with similar missions.Moriah was then told said she could only start a Republican Club if a Democrat Club was started at the same time. When Moriah petitioned on campus to reverse the decision, campus police confronted her and told her to stop.Now, Hagerstown is facing a lawsuit for denying free speech rights. Sometimes the best way to get your university's attention is to sue your university, and protect the rights of other conservative students in the future.Report liberal bias and abuse on your campus and read more about this story at CampusReform.org.>
A Must Read: Mark Levin’s New Book Plunder and Deceit
Morton Blackwell
July 31, 2015
A Must Read: Mark Levin’s New Book Plunder and Deceit
In politics, it is not enough to know what's right. To succeed, your command of a subject must be so secure that you can persuade people you are right. And then you must activate them. Plunder and Deceit by Mark Levin is a necessary read for anyone who fights against statist power grabs. This new book sets the stage for the 2016 election and beyond. Levin's new book is a wake-up call, especially for young people. He explains the dangers of government and the coming crisis our country faces -- the loss of the greatest republic known to history. Before the 2016 election, educate your friends and family with this book about the growing dangers of big government. Young people must find the personal strength and will to break through the cycle of manipulation, unrelenting emotional overtures, and pressures of groupthink. Parents too often ignore the threats to their children's future. Plunder and Deceit calls for a new civil rights movement to end the exploitation of our children by statist government policies. Levin challenges young people to stand in their own defense so their generation and future generations can live in freedom. Plunder and Deceit will be released on August 4. However, you can pre-order this book today. Pre-order your copy of this must read, Plunder and Deceit by Mark Levin, today. I recommend Plunder and Deceit to every conservative activist and leader. Mark Levin is a nationally syndicated talk-radio host and president of Landmark Legal Foundation. He is the author of Liberty and Tyranny, the 38-week New York Times bestseller which spent three months at #1 and sold more than one million copies. I expect Plunder and Deceit to be widely read and distributed to young conservative activists and their parents. Activism without education in conservative principles is dangerous. Order your copy of Plunder and Deceit today.
Do You Want to be a National Convention Delegate?
Morton Blackwell
April 2, 2015
Do You Want to be a National Convention Delegate?
In early 1961, I decided to try to be a Goldwater delegate to the 1964 Republican National Convention. When Barry Goldwater beat the party establishment and won the G.O.P. Presidential nomination, I was his youngest elected delegate at San Francisco's Cow Palace. And I've been deeply involved in politics ever since. In 1975, I wrote an article for the Young Americans for Freedom magazine New Guard entitled, "So You Want To Go To A Convention?" Oklahoman Steve Antosh read the article and followed my advice. The next year, at age 19, Steve was elected a Reagan delegate to the 1976 G.O.P. national convention. Four years later, in 1980, Steve was the National Director of Youth for Reagan. For you, as for Steve Antosh and for me, conservative activism could be the route to the Big Convention and, perhaps, a career in the public-policy process. Hard Work Pays Off For Conservatives If you're a liberal Democrat, and you're a black lesbian militant with a Spanish surname, the Democrats' convention rules are written with quotas for you. If you are a conservative -- Democrat or Republican -- chances are you'll have to work hard to win a seat on your state's national convention delegation. Each state has its own rules for national convention delegate selection. States may and often do change their state laws and party rules between national conventions. Under their national rules and U. S. Supreme Court decisions, state Democratic parties may adopt rules for national convention delegate selection which are inconsistent with state laws. The national Rules of the Republican Party now also provide that state Republican Party rules for national delegate selection prevail over state law on this subject. Most delegates are elected in states with primaries, but primary and convention rules vary greatly from state to state. Learning your state's applicable laws and party rules is a key, first step toward becoming a delegate. If your state is one of those which have no presidential primary, you may have to mount a major operation to attract people to a caucus or win support from local delegates to a district or state convention. If you already know how to draw a crowd, work a convention, use parliamentary procedure, form alliances, and count votes, you have a head start on the road to the Big Convention. If your state elects delegates in a presidential primary, your problems will be somewhat different. A primary can involve precinct organization, TV, radio, social media, and press advertising, a great deal of money, and many more people than a convention. But while it helps to be an expert at convention politics and primary election politics, your personal reputation and your candidate preference are likely to prove much more important. Some states have "winner take all" presidential primaries. Other states use proportional representation. Under this system, presidential candidates who get a sizable minority of the primary votes may get some of the state's delegate votes. Rules for delegate apportionment for candidates in proportional primary states vary widely. In some primary states, delegates are elected by the party separately from the presidential primary. In these states, delegates are bound by the primary to vote at the national convention for the presidential candidate who wins the state's primary, for one or more ballots or until "released" by the candidate for whom they were obliged to vote. Neither state conventions nor primaries require the delegates to vote a certain way on other issues which may come before the national convention, such as credentials contests, the party platform, or proposed changes in the party's national rules. You can see how important it is to work hard to familiarize yourself with the rules which govern the delegate selection process in your state. In every state, whether delegates are selected by primaries or by conventions, the system is wide open at the bottom. Anyone can be a member of any party and participate in its delegate-selection process. You win if you get the most people to turn out for a primary, a caucus, or a convention. Building Your Base I began in early 1961 to consider the available routes in Louisiana to become a delegate to the 1964 G.O.P. nominating convention. There seemed to be only two sorts of people elected delegates to national conventions: those who had worked long and hard for the party over many years and those who had contributed substantial sums of money to the party and its candidates. Neither avenue was open to me. I had neither the time nor the funds to qualify. To develop a third route, I settled on youth politics. I helped organize Louisiana State University's YAF chapter in 1961. In 1962, I helped organize L.S.U.'s first College Republican Club and was the first elected College Republican state chairman for Louisiana. In 1963 and early 1964, I ran the youth campaign for Charlton Lyons, the Republican candidate for governor of Louisiana. Mr. Lyons won eight smashing, upset victories in college student mock elections, which raised my credit in the party. Later in the spring of 1964, I was elected state chairman of the Young Republicans. I wore out my old Rambler organizing youth activities across the state. Having worked closely with party leaders in all eight congressional districts, I became one of the handful of Republicans known to virtually every local leader who would be at the state convention. Senior party leaders were comfortable with me. I ran for national delegate with the simple slogan: "Elect one young person." The 1964 Louisiana Republican state convention elected four at-large delegates to the 1964 G.O.P. national convention: three well-off, veteran party activists and me. The Team Of course I would never have been a delegate if my presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, had not been popular in the state party. In 1963, I was one of the original eight members of the Steering Committee of National Youth for Goldwater. I ran openly as a Goldwater supporter. This brings me to the central fact for aspirants to delegate slots: In a national presidential nomination contest, each candidate's district and state organizations may run slates of delegate candidates. If you are not slated by a candidate's organization, you are very unlikely to be elected a national delegate at a district or state convention or in a state primary. Occasionally, particularly in a convention state, a party senior statesman can be elected as an uncommitted delegate. Newcomer mugwumps (those who sit on the fence with their mug on one side and their "wump" on the other) go nowhere. Why might a candidate's state organization want you on their team? Here are some questions your candidate's organization will consider when you ask to be slated as a delegate or alternate delegate: Are you committed to our candidate? Are your commitments ever shaken by pressure, threats or bribes? Do you have personal supporters whose help would strengthen our candidate's entire slate of delegates? Will you be a hard-working campaigner for our slate of delegates? Are you sure to attend the national convention? Could you be useful to our candidate in winning more delegates to our side at the national convention? Do you have support and contacts in our candidate's national organization? Is there any likelihood you will say or do something foolish to damage our candidate? Is there anything in your background which would embarrass our candidate? Do we like you? If you are philosophically sound, technologically proficient, and movement oriented, you should pass muster on all these questions. Being a well-known volunteer leader would increase your chances of being slated by your candidate's organization. Alternatives May Work For You You don't have to be a delegate to go to a presidential nominating convention. An alternate delegate has all the rights and privileges a delegate has except voting. An alternate delegate may have a better time, because at contested conventions delegates are encouraged not to leave the convention floor even during dull speeches. In fact, you do not have to be either a delegate or an alternate delegate to have an impact on the events at a convention. When I was a Goldwater delegate in 1964, my major accomplishment was minor at the national convention in San Francisco. As a volunteer, I stuffed campaign envelopes for other delegates in the Goldwater mailroom. In 1968, as a Reagan alternate delegate, I was able to help convince a couple of uncommitted delegates to vote for Reagan. At the 1972 G.O.P. convention, I was neither delegate nor alternate. But I worked successfully with the conservative forces fighting against a well-organized, well-funded liberal attempt to change the national party rules governing delegate allocation and bonus delegates. A plan I drafted, which came to be known as the California Compromise (or the Briar Patch Plan), was adopted by the 1972 convention after a major, nationally televised, conservative vs. liberal fight. The principal speaker for our conservative plan was California Governor Ronald Reagan. Since 1972 that delegate allocation plan has withstood liberal challenges in court and at some subsequent G.O.P. national conventions. With few changes, it still is the basis for the allocation of delegates to the national convention. Since 1964, I've participated actively in each of the GOP national conventions, almost always as a delegate or alternate delegate but also, since 1988, as a member from Virginia of my party's national committee. The circumstances back in 1972, when I was not even an alternate delegate, permitted me to have what was probably my biggest impact to date on what went on at a presidential nominating convention. So don't miss a national convention just because you can't be a delegate. Start Now In politics you can start late, but you can never start too early. Maximize your effectiveness by joining your candidate's campaign organization as soon as you can. Call your candidate's office. Sign on early as an activist. The election process puts a premium on volunteer efforts. You should be welcomed with open arms. Your work for your candidate, not whether or not you are a delegate, will determine your position in your candidate's convention organization. The Big Convention comes only once every four years. It's too good an opportunity to miss. If you are serious about becoming a delegate or alternate, you should get a copy of your state party's rules from local or state party officials, or from your candidate's state or national organization. Conservatism is now politically fashionable. But few people will beg you to assume leadership. As historian Paul Johnson wrote, leadership, in its essence, is a combination of courage and judgment. If you plan carefully, work hard, and keep alert for good breaks, you may make a difference at a national convention. And you'll learn a lot.
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