Labor Day marks the end of summer and the return of many special American traditions...children return to school, the football season begins, leaves change color...and Sutton's Place returns from an extended summer hiatus.
The political season is upon us as well. Rather than an occasional commentary every week or two, Sutton's Place will be very active during the next several weeks. So expect to see more frequent observations and opinions (at least through Election Day).
Let's start with a discussion of the relatively obscure Democrat primary for Governor in Rhode Island. Who thought RI's Dem primary would hold a valuable lesson for conservatives?
Check out this op-ed from the Washington Post. It details the candidacy (and victory) of Gina Raimondo who championed an aggressive restructuring of public sector employee union pensions in RI.
You may recall the attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, an important campaign which drew our attention. But on the same day that recall attempt failed, there were two very important referendums in California that deserved our attention as well.
Campaign Manager Zachary Werrell orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in political history at the age of 23.
Despite being outspent nearly 40 to 1, Zach’s candidate Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor with 56% of the vote in the Republican primary. This was the first time a sitting House Majority Leader has been defeated since the position was created in 1899.
His success is thanks to an overwhelming grassroots campaign and effective political activists.
“It wasn’t some establishment machine kind of political campaign, but it was the people doing it,” he said.
Zach credits most of the techniques he used to pull off this upset to his Leadership Institute training.
“There is nothing like baptism through fire to fully appreciate...
At only 23 years old, Jennifer Sullivan just won her election and became the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida legislature. Jennifer’s fresh face will join the Florida House of Representatives in January.
Last week, Jennifer won the Florida House District 31 seat, despite being criticized and outspent by the opposition. Opponents ran ads critiquing her for being “too young” and “lacking experience.” She also recalls being outspent by 2-1 or 3-1 depending on the candidate, but that wasn’t enough to stop Jennifer Sullivan.
“Part of that was really just putting myself out there, and doing the hard work of making those cold calls, being willing to sit down and call people to ask for money,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer was motivated to run for office because she couldn’t sit back and watch the country fall apart any longer.
Just a few years ago, Elliot Echols was an economics student at Berry College in his home state of Georgia, and now he is the RNC National Youth Director.
Elliot’s advice to other hardworking young conservatives aspiring to make a difference is surprisingly simple.
“The best way to get a job in politics is to show up,” he said. “Go to your local county meetings, join conservative groups and volunteer. People notice those who work hard and are selfless. I was able to get my job here at the RNC by showing up and letting my previous work speak for itself.”
"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.
“Make a start. It can be daunting, but everyone can make a difference,” Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose said.
As a freshman in college at the University of California Los Angeles, Lila recognized the lack of knowledge of abortion, the “greatest human rights injustice of our time.”
At 15, she decided to do something about it. So, she started the group Live Action.
Tim Carney, senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), joined the Leadership Institute and 129 guests earlier this week for LI’s monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.
“I’m a believer that impacts are made outside the partisan process,” said Troy Lanigan, president of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and vice chair of the World Taxpayers Association.
Troy is an influential figure on both a national and international stage. Like many others in the conservative movement, he claims humble beginnings at the Leadership Institute.
Troy has been naturally inclined toward politics since he was young.
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.
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.