News Archive: 2012

Join Leadership Institute staff this weekend!

Join the Leadership Institute's staff this weekend at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. and at the Liberty Political Action Conference at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia.


LI is partnering with Family Research Council for the Values Voter Summit and with Campaign for Liberty for the Liberty Political Action Conference.





How to volunteer for the campaign of your choice

As Morton Blackwell wrote, now is the time for you to work hard for the candidates of your choice. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.


But if you're new to activism or brand new to political volunteering, where do you go and what do you do? How do you get in touch with a campaign and find out how to help?


Follow this simple, easy, and quick five-step process -- and you'll be well on your way to helping the candidate of your choice win and spending Election Day 2012 knowing you did your part for your principles.


1. Find the campaign HQ or offices online. Call the number listed, introduce yourself, and say you’d like to help.


Every campaign website should have a page called "Volunteer," "Take Action," or "Get Involved" that will provide information. Alternatively, you can click on a page labeled "Contact" to get a phone number. If you'd like to volunteer for a presidential or statewide race (e.g. a campaign for governor or Senate), try to find the contact information for the campaign office closest to you.


Then punch in the numbers and give the office a call. Here's a simple script: "Hi, my name is [Name]. I would like to get involved with your campaign. Is there someone I can speak with?"


Your call likely will be forwarded to the volunteer coordinator, who directs the activities of volunteers like you. He or she can explain the best times to stop by and answer any questions you have.


Protecting and Defending: Second Amendment Liberty

These famous words in the Bill of Rights have stirred countless emotion and action for centuries: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."


The right to keep and bear arms is what Leadership Institute graduate Phil Watson has devoted his time and talent toward preserving.


“You are born sovereign with rights given by God, not government. The right of self-defense is one of those rights,” Phil told the Leadership Institute. “Gun rights groups are here to protect your human and civil rights. The police can't be everywhere at once and are technically not even bound by law to protect you, so you have to take your Second Amendment rights seriously.”


Phil is the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) director of special projects, where he researches Second Amendment court litigation and news surrounding gun issues on a national and international scale.


“Keeping track of the dozens of current Second Amendment lawsuits and opposing the UN Arms Trade Treaty takes up a lot of my time,” Phil said. “Our network of member groups now extends to 23 groups in 15 different countries. Communicating with your base and your members in a timely manner is very important. I also assist in writing and editing various Second Amendment publications.”


Additionally, he’s executive director at the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arm Rights.

“The numbers don't lie: gun-free zones suffer from high crime rates and only create more victims,” Phil said. “People who have a problem with self-defense usually have a problem with other freedoms and rights as well, which are historically why tyrannical governments like to disarm their people. We are here to stick up for your rights and speak out against those that would force others to be helpless.”


However, Phil hasn’t always been involved in public policy. It’s been a career in the making.


Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Speaks at the Leadership Institute

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with friends and supporters of the Leadership Institute this morning at the monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Secretary Rumsfeld was America’s 13th and 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense serving in the Bush and Ford administrations.


“Let me just thank the Leadership Institute for all you folks do,” Secretary Rumsfeld said. “This is a terrific organization and what LI is doing is enormously important…LI is something that deserves recognition.”


In his remarks for breakfast attendees, Secretary Rumsfeld gave his thoughts on current affairs and answered many questions from the audience.


“I worry about intelligence,” Secretary Rumsfeld shared today at the Leadership Institute. “I worry about the fact that we live in a dangerous and difficult world and there are a number of closed societies. It’s very difficult to have a good grip on what’s taking place in the world. It’s even more worrisome that weapons have become increasingly lethal and the proliferation of highly lethal weapons has increased.”


He continued, “What worries me most is American weakness. Throughout my adult life, the United States has been an important presence in the world. The fact that we’ve existed and the fact that we’ve behaved responsibly with respect to how we’ve managed our economy…that provided stability in the world, a deterrent. It suggested to people that the United States was there, we were part of the rib cage in the world, the structure, and people had to take account of that.”


Click to read more and watch his full video remarks.

Called to Public Service

While Charlotte, North Carolina will host the Democratic National Convention this week, there are many conservatives making a mark throughout North Carolina.


“Public service is a calling,” stated Leslie Goodman, now a legislative assistant in Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (NC-05) office, a district about an hour or so from Charlotte.


“For me personally, the Leadership Institute was a valuable foundation for my career in politics and public service,” she said.


As a native of Southwest Virginia near Roanoke, Leslie grew up as the oldest of five children. She and her siblings were homeschooled and encouraged to pursue their passions.


“My parents made sure I had the opportunity to explore the world of government and politics even during high school,” Leslie shared. “They were involved in local politics and elections, and I remember working the polls as an elementary school student handing out sample ballots.”




Now is the time

Now is the time for you to work hard for the candidates of your choice. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Now is the time


Here are some of the advantages to you of campaign work right now.
You may be crucial to a win for a good candidate in a close race.
Win or lose, you will gain valuable experience.
No matter what your future activity in the public policy process, campaign work is a durable credential.
It's a surefire way for you to make useful contacts.
It's often a lot of fun.
Be careful what you commit to do; then do it well. Under-promise and over-perform.
In short, if you're not active in a campaign now, find and contact a candidate whom you like. Volunteer and follow through.
This short piece was first published in a September 18, 1992 mailing to Leadership Institute graduates.


Republican National Convention’s Youngest Elected Teenage Delegate is an LI Graduate

This week is big for the Grand ‘Ole Party as they convene to officially nominate their candidate for president. Tens of thousands of people are flooding to Tampa, as is the hurricane-filled weather.


Evan Draim, a 17-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia, is America’s youngest elected delegate and a graduate of Leadership Institute trainings.


While he’s not quite eligible to vote, in November, he will be. Rules say a person may be a delegate so long as they are of age before Election Day.  Evan turns 18 on September 14.


Evan was one of seven people running for three slots representing Virginia’s eighth congressional district. He ran on a platform of electing a younger face, and it was a winning message.

Evan took the Leadership Institute’s Conservative Intern Workshop in June 2012 and LI’s Public Speaking Workshop in July 2012, and then also celebrated Independence Day with LI at the 41st Fourth of July National Conservative Soiree.


“My jobs as delegate and youth coordinator involve representing the party to certain groups of voters, which includes conducting many speeches and interviews,” Evan said.  “The Leadership Institute's public speaking training has taught me how to more effectively bring our message to these voters.”


Webinar replay: voter registration

Voter registration is as important as volunteers and fundraising for a campaign. You can’t win if you don’t have the votes. Learn how to find unregistered voters and why a successful voter registration drive can lead to victory.


Click "Read more" to get started.

LI Staffer Wins Primary for Newly-Drawn Congressional District in Texas

Former Leadership Institute staff member Steve Stockman won the Republican Party primary run-off in Texas’ newly created 36th district. He’s got a shot at returning to the halls of Congress after an absence of 16 years, once November’s general election has been won.


Steve was elected as a congressman in the 1994 Republican Revolution during which Republicans regained control of the House after 40 years. He served the people of Texas’ ninth congressional district from 1995 to 1997.


“The reason we won, I think, is because of grassroots, get-out-the-vote training at the Leadership Institute through Morton Blackwell," Steve said.


“LI’s training gave us the edge. More than half of my campaign staff was LI trained. They were very dedicated. They slept on the floor in a warehouse for just a few hours each night. We had a lot of ‘3 a.m. types’ that were working nonstop for the campaign.”

Quick tip video: Questions to ask when canvassing

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