News Category: Trainings and Events

Reviving the Goldwater-Reagan legacy during breakfast

“This message is of hope—it’s also of despair,” began conservative pundit Jack Hunter at Wednesday’s Wake-Up Club Breakfast at the Leadership Institute. The breakfast, held the first Wednesday of each month, brings a leading conservative to speak to LI supporters.


Jack encouraged the audience of 70 at this month’s event to responsibly vote and hold elected officials accountable. Jack is a columnist for The American Conservative and the Charleston City Paper, and is a Contributing Editor to Young American Revolution. He also regularly appears on Sirius XM and is involved with many other organizations.


“The core definition of conservatism in the United States is something I like to call—and I didn’t coin this—the Goldwater-Reagan legacy. The idea that the government that governs least governs best,” Jack said. “The idea that government is bad: that is American conservatism.”


Jack echoed Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”


This is the main ideological discrepancy between true conservatives and their liberal counterparts, Jack argued.


“The conservative grassroots desperately want that limited-government champion Republicans have always promised—and yet so many times, time, time and again, have never delivered,” Jack lamented. “They want the real deal.”



LI President Thanks Attendees of the Values Voter Summit's gala

Thank you for your support as I accepted the 2012 James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award.  Your attendance at the Family Research Council’s Faith, Family and Freedom Gala was a tangible display of your commitment to defend traditional values against those leftists who seek to fundamentally transform (i.e., ruin) our country. 


In the late 1960s and 1970s, left-wing efforts to undermine traditional values prompted social conservatives to get involved in politics.  Like many of you, I took action.  The subsequent formation of ad hoc coalitions grew into today’s conservative movement. 


Despite numerous conservative victories since then, the assault on family values and religious faith continues.  Click to read more about just a few chilling examples of leftist bias and abuse my staff exposed this year through the Leadership Institute’s campus website,



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.





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.

Business Leader and Author Mallory Factor visits LI Yesterday

Yesterday the Leadership Institute hosted more than 60 conservatives for the August Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast with Mallory Factor, president of an independent merchant bank and financial relations consultancy firm and author of Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind.


Mr. Factor, a longtime businessman and conservative activist reported, “On average, 60 to 70 percent of public sector employees are unionized.”


He went on to say, “[The late] Albert Shanker, president of the United Federation of Teachers, was once quoted saying, ‘When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.’” 



Mr. Factor said that unionized federal government employees are often paid – with taxpayer-funded money – to do union work, which could entail anything from union recruitment to campaigning for union-friendly candidates.


96 Young Conservatives Trained and Ready to Take back America

The Leadership institute recently hosted more than 90 students at the July Youth Leadership School. The Institute’s flagship training brought many young conservatives together from all over the U.S.


Dan Quiggle, a faculty member at the Leadership Institute (LI) and a business entrepreneur by trade, kicked the training off with the “The Real Nature of Politics” lecture, which confronts a popular misconception of conservative activists. 


“You’re not going to win just because your heart is pure,” Dan stated.  “The fact is that political technology determines political success.”

The lecture titled “Prepare for Leadership” was taught by Peggy Grande, a ten-year staff member to President Ronald Reagan during his post-presidency years.  During the lecture, she discussed developing a written plan, adhering to a timeline, initial organizational activities, youth campaign headquarters, and senior campaign relations were regarded in great depth. 


In her opening remarks Peggy gave some advice to the many aspiring politicos in the room.


41st Annual National Conservative Soiree, a blazing, hot success!

Last week 985 conservatives celebrated Independence Day at the 41st National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree at Bull Run Park in Centreville, Virginia. 


From first-time attendees to decade-long friends in the conservative movement, all found something to enjoy at the Soiree – whether it was the petting zoo, face painting, and moon bounce for the kids or  great food and barbeque, field games, and patriotic speeches, fun for all ages.


Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist and Fox News Watch panelist, delivered a moving keynote speech about the true meaning of independence, and how it must be fought for and defended by each generation.


The day’s other speakers continued on that theme.


“The ultimate meaning of the Fourth of July,” said Morton Blackwell, Leadership Institute president, “is the independence of the United States, which certainly is one of the great events in world history.”


In his speech to the audience, George Allen, former Virginia governor, said, “The spirit of our country is the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... And those are the enduring principles of our country that we need to rededicate ourselves to every Independence Day.”


Public figures and conservative leaders joined the Soiree celebrations, including Jim Gilmore, former Virginia governor; George Allen, former Virginia governor and senator; Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General; and Pat Mullins, Virginia Republican Party chairman. (Note that the Leadership Institute does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office.)


LI’s Largest On-site Training of 149 DC Summer Interns Pack LI for the Conservative Intern Workshop

Last Thursday the Leadership Institute hosted its largest ever on-site training: 149 DC summer interns from 60 organizations, including 16 Capitol Hill offices, from around DC came for the free, day-long Conservative Intern Workshop. 


From 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. conservative interns from various organizations around the DC area took part in thorough training encompassing many areas from networking to proper professional attire. 


Eight faculty spoke throughout the day. The first was LI’s Vice President of Development Steve Sutton, a former chief of staff in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 14 years.


George Landrith: Forever a Freedom Fighter

As America’s Independence Day approaches, let’s treasure those that let freedom ring.


Commitment to conservative causes, for some, are a lifetime calling.


In the 1980s, George Landrith was a political science and economics major at conservative Brigham Young University and, later, business editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Virginia School of Law.


Since school, George’s fight for liberty continues.


He was admitted as a member of
the United States Supreme Court bar,
ran for federal office, elected to local office, appointed by the Virginia governor to a business council, and served as senior staff for two organizations in the conservative movement.


“As long as I can remember, I knew of the Leadership Institute,” George said.


Aspiring Activists Learn Public Relations Techniques

Earlier this week, more than 30 students attended the Leadership Institute’s Public Relations School where they learned branding, mass communications, media relations, one-on-one communication, and pitching.


Advantage, Inc. Vice President of Operations Jim Eltringham kicked off the training by teaching message development and hammered home the importance of emotion in crafting messages.


“There has to be emotion,” Jim said.  “It has to tug on your heart strings. You don’t win elections on ideas and politics alone.”


He emphasized the need for politicians to identify with the voters: “People don’t want labels. They want leaders. They want solutions. The audience wants to know what you are going to do to solve their problems.”


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