Tech Wizard:  Nick Argyle
Carol Wehe
April 24, 2015
Tech Wizard: Nick Argyle
"The employee of the quarter award goes to Nick Argyle, our Director of Systems and Network Operations," said Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell during LI's all-staff meeting this week. "Technology staff often go unrecognized because much of the work they do is behind the scenes, but that is not the case this time," said Morton. "Nick provides excellent support for IT related issues, he maintains numerous servers, applications, and network services that the Leadership Institute depends on every day of the year." Nick attended Western Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studied Information Systems. He manages the server and networking infrastructure of the Leadership Institute. "Nick's most recent work included developing a customized tablet application for CPAC. This customized tablet application was... used to sign-up almost 1,000 individuals during the Activist Boot Camp and the Job Fair at this year's CPAC," Morton said. "This is the same application he initially created for the Campus Leadership Program's field program and has been used to collect tens of thousands of names over the years." "Please join me in a round of appluase and appreciation for Nick's work," Morton concluded.
The Leadership Institute Continues the Reagan Revolution, Says Former White House Staffer
Joshua Gill
April 15, 2015
The Leadership Institute Continues the Reagan Revolution, Says Former White House Staffer
“People used to say to me, Morton Blackwell is the guy who will continue the Reagan Revolution and he's going to do it through the Leadership Institute.” That's what coworkers told John Shosky about Leadership Institute (LI) president, Morton Blackwell, years ago. John Shosky is the president of Roncalli Communications, a professional speech writer, trainer, and author of almost 3000 speeches for government officials, political candidates, and public interest advocates. John first heard of Morton Blackwell in 1988 while working in White House public affairs on a collection of President Reagan's accomplishments called The Reagan Record. “They began to tell me that before the administration started, Morton, who was a friend of Reagan's, was part of a loose pre-election kitchen cabinet that Reagan had,” Shosky said. “Morton had the idea – and Reagan thought it was a great idea – of trying to go beyond the 8 years of the administration and think about the future, and the future would be grassroots training for new generations of leaders, conservative leaders for the years to come.” Over the years, the Leadership Institute has trained 162,792 such leaders under the direction of Morton Blackwell, and through the generous donations of people who believe in investing in the future by training young conservatives. According to the numbers, and to John Shosky, the Leadership Institute has done just what people predicted years ago. He has kept the Reagan Revolution alive and well in young leaders across the United States. If you would like to know more about the Leadership Institute, hear more about the trainings and services LI offers, or want an opportunity to hear prominent conservative leaders speak publicly in support of what LI continues to accomplish, watch these videos featuring students and leaders LI has impacted. The Leadership Institute offers 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,607 active conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 162,764 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.
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.
Building the Young Conservative Movement
Elizabeth McCullough
March 31, 2015
Building the Young Conservative Movement
Leadership Institute partners with TeenPact to train Christian high school youth Seventy dedicated Christian youth aged 14-19 spent five days at the Leadership Institute to train for a lifetime of activism and leadership. With a strong commitment to advancing faith and freedom through community and civic engagement, these students came from 41 states for their annual adventure known as ‘Back to DC' – a program run by TeenPact. Founded in 1994 and based out of Richmond, Virginia, TeenPact is a dynamic, hands-on leadership school for Christian students. TeenPact works to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend their Christian faith, and engage the culture. The Leadership Institute has partnered with TeenPact for 19 years to help these students achieve those goals. Five intense days of training at the Leadership Institute During the five-day program in October, experienced Leadership Institute faculty taught students political lessons, including: The Real Nature of Politics Campaign Structure and Organization Developing Effective Speeches and Literature Voter Outreach Media and Public Relations “Every year, this is the only group of students that intimidates me,” said Steven Sutton, the Leadership Institute's Vice President of Development. “They're razor sharp and brilliant.” After addressing the group, Steven asked if there were any questions – nearly every hand in the room went up. “Each student showed a level of maturity and intellect well beyond their years,” said Steven. “They process information quickly, add context from their personal experiences, and extrapolate to the next level. You can practically see their brains growing right in front of you.” TeenPact's training program also included several visits to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and visit the institutions that comprise America's constitutional government. Turning campaign knowledge into experience Students participated in campaign exercises where they applied their political lessons to run mock presidential campaigns – complete with press conferences, letters to the editor, and targeted voter outreach. The culminating activity was a presidential debate where each team uniquely and creatively put their theories into practice. Five Leadership Institute and TeenPact judges rated six teams based on performance in all areas of their campaigns. Outstanding young graduates win elections Several outstanding Leadership Institute graduates got their start through TeenPact, including: Jessica Koehler – After an internship and several trainings with the Leadership Institute, Jessica went home to manage her father's campaign – and propelled him to election victory to the Ohio House of Representatives this past November. Jennifer Sullivan – This 23-year-old took the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School and learned how to organize volunteers for campaign victory. Jennifer is now the youngest woman ever elected as a state representative in Florida. Youth already putting their training into practice TeenPact students filled the Leadership Institute's classroom with energy, enthusiasm, and determination to make a difference – ready to apply their training in their communities. “I learned so much this week and I'm really motivated to become more active in my state's government,” said Rachel Bass. “I've already started helping on my lieutenant governor's campaign for re-election in 2016. I wouldn't have gotten involved in the campaign if it hadn't been for TeenPact and all the Leadership Institute speakers we heard from.” Donor support makes this exceptional teenage training possible and allows the Leadership Institute to cultivate conservatism in teens before they meet with the onslaught of liberal bias and indoctrination on college campuses. The Leadership Institute offers 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,602 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.
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.
Student Speaks Out for Concealed Carry on Her Indiana Campus
Joshua Gill
March 19, 2015
Student Speaks Out for Concealed Carry on Her Indiana Campus
From Campus Reform to the New York Times, Leadership Institute graduates are letting freedom ring in the media and making a difference throughout our country. Former Leadership Institute intern and Indiana University Senior Crayle Vanest, who became the first woman on the board of the lobbying group Students for Concealed Carry, caught The New York Times limelight Wednesday, February 18 speaking out on two explosive college campus issues that have people fired up around the nation. The New York Times' article “A Bid for Guns on Campuses to Deter Rape” reports Crayle “said she should be able to carry her licensed .38-caliber Bersa Thunder pistol on campus, where she said she had walked unarmed after her late-night shifts at a library food court.” The article also quotes Crayle linking the issue of gun rights to the issue of campus safety and sexual assault. “‘Universities are under a ton of investigation for how they handle sexual assaults — that shows how safe campus maybe isn't,' said Ms. Vanest, who is lobbying Indiana lawmakers. ‘Our female membership has increased massively. People who weren't listening before are listening now.'” Conservative leaders like Crayle Vanest and Larry Pratt, LI faculty and executive director of Gun Owners of America, have helped put the prospect of concealed carry on college campuses and more expansive gun rights at the forefront of the national consciousness. They have done so amidst an ocean of controversy and liberal backlash. The campaign for constitutional gun rights is a fight that has gone on for years in the arena of public opinion. The issue of sexual assault against women, reinvigorated by the Rolling Stone story “A Rape On Campus,” puts a new perspective on the issue. In the face of threats like deranged shooters and sexual predators, conservatives like Crayle say students, especially women, should have a decisive means of defense. LI's Campus Reform has often reported on campus gun rights, the issue of sexual assault on campus, and other issues that affect the rights and wellbeing of college students across the country. The Leadership Institute boasts a long line of graduates like Crayle who have gained public attention in support of hot button issues and candidates. LI is committed to training conservative leaders like Crayle, giving them the skills and tools to make their voices heard, and shining the spotlight on important issues concerning the rights of college students through Campus Reform. 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.
Multi-State American Girl – Soldier, World Traveler, Writer
Joshua Gill
February 25, 2015
Multi-State American Girl – Soldier, World Traveler, Writer
Though she calls South Carolina home, Samantha Bonsack – soldier, world traveler, and writer – will be the first to tell you she is a Multi-State American Girl. She recently added Iowa to her repertoire of states due to her new job as Congressional Staff Assistant to Rep. Rod Blum. Samantha, though forging ahead in her political career, came relatively recently to the working world of politics. After a life of military service, and several other jobs that took her across the country and around the world, Samantha sought a new direction in life. “I began to question the direction of my life,” Samantha said. “I had one job and I was lucky if I got 18 hours! I was pretty bad off at 31 with a degree and a 10 year military background but no open doors.” Samantha said the Leadership Institute (LI) helped her open a door where at first it seemed there were only walls. “I had done an over the phone resume consultation with the Leadership Institute that helped me a lot with condensing my four page federal resume down to two,” said Samantha. “They strongly urged that I join a campaign to help me gain political experience, which I had never thought of doing.” In addition to the phone consultation with LI's Conservative Jobs, Samantha also attended LI's Capitol Hill Jobs seminar. Samantha credits the training she received in that seminar with helping her land her start in her political career. “If I had not gone to that seminar I wouldn't be where I am today, and I am so thankful for LI and the seminars they offer,” Samantha said. “At the very least, you can do a lot of networking at those events.” After Samantha's phone consultation with LI, Samantha said she was drawn to Representative Rod Blum's campaign because of their shared political values. Looking back, Samantha says she chose well. “Through personal connections with people I had met through meetings and events I learned about Congressman Blum and loved what he stood for and his principles and wanted to help him win because I felt that Congress needed more people like Rod to get things right in our country,” Samantha said. “I flew out to Iowa and canvassed the first district all day sometimes into the night and all of the team's hard work paid off because we won a primarily democratic district. One of the best and fun experiences I have had. I would definitely do it again.” Before Samantha's foray into politics she served in the munitions field of the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and was the first female in her family to join the military. Samantha's military career took her across the world. She was stationed in California, South Korea, England, and Texas, and deployed twice to Afghanistan. Samantha thrived in the military. Noble as her military career was, though, Samantha realized she wasn't fulfilling her life's passion. “I separated from active duty for two reasons,” Samantha said. “One, I wanted to go to school full time and pursue my dream job. Two, I couldn't be politically active being active duty military.” After ending her active military career, Samantha enrolled in McMurry University in Abilene, TX where she earned a BA in political science. Samantha then took a DOD contracting job in Qatar for 14 months starting in 2013. Politics, however, was a passion that stayed with Samantha throughout her life – a fact borne out not only by her current political career, but also by her career as a writer for a small town newspaper in Texas. Starting in 2011, Samantha wrote political opinion articles for the paper and continued through 2015. “Writing my political opinion (fact) articles is a passion on mine,” Samantha said. “I love writing and I love politics.” Samantha said her passion for politics began as a result of growing up in a politically aware family. “I kind of always laugh when asked, ‘why politics' and I explain to people that I am a ‘Rush baby,' that's why,” Samantha said. “My parents have talked politics since I was a little girl and I remember driving around San Diego, California with my mom and her ALWAYS listening to Rush Limbaugh.” Even though Samantha no longer actively serves in the military, she said she hopes to continue to serve her fellow service members through her political career. “I'm hoping that I can make a positive impact on the constituents in the first district and that they know they can fully rely on Congressman Blum to put their needs and concerns first,” Samantha said. “I also hope that I can contribute to legislation for veterans. I love my veterans, being one myself, and I would love to make suggestions to not only help veterans in Iowa, but all over the US. Someone needs to look out for them and I want to be that person.” In addition to serving the people of Iowa and helping veterans across the nation, Samantha has big plans for the future. “I plan to pursue my Master's degree in Foreign Relations and eventually find a PhD program to complete my long time goal of gaining the highest level of education that anyone in my family has achieved.” The Leadership Institute is committed to training and equipping leaders like Samantha. Please congratulate Samantha Bonsack on being nominated for LI's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,576 active conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 161,460 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.
Conservative Intern Workshop Canceled.
David Fenner
February 16, 2015
Conservative Intern Workshop Canceled.
Due to travel and safety concerns, the Tuesday, February 17, 2015, Conservative Intern Workshop has been canceled. This workshop will be rescheduled later this semester.
Fearless Journalist Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Morton Blackwell
February 2, 2015
Fearless Journalist Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Drumroll please…..the winner of the Leadership Institute's 2014 employee of the year is Miss Kaitlyn Schallhorn. Kaitlyn Schallhorn joined the Leadership Institute as a Campus Reform (CRO) reporter in February of 2014. One of the first things Kaitlyn wrote for CRO was a 1,500 word exclusive report that uncovered a corrupt Black Panther professor, who was intimidating students, and involved in a graduation scandal that resulted in the resignation of the university's chancellor. But Kaitlyn's crowning achievement has been her tireless work developing and implementing the Campus Reform Campus Correspondent Program. In less than one year, Kaitlyn grew the Campus Correspondent Program from just one to 22 correspondents. The Campus Reform Campus Correspondent Program started with Lauren Cooley, a student at Furman University in South Carolina. While at Furman, Cooley discovered and wrote about the University of South Carolina - Upstate using taxpayer dollars to host a “How to be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less” symposium. After she broke the story on CampusReform.org, the school was forced to cancel the event. Cooley's victory was just the beginning of the program's success. As the program grew, Samantha Reinis and Miller Thompson, both Clemson University campus correspondents, exposed an offensive mandatory student survey. While the South Carolina school said the survey was to help curtail sexual assaults on campus, the survey asked personally invasive questions about the sex lives of students and faculty on campus. Kaitlyn investigated the information and assisted the students in reporting the facts. Within six hours of the story being published on Campus Reform, Clemson withdrew the mandatory survey. The story was carried by nearly every major news outlet, including The Washington Post, ESPN, and was even featured in the monologue for NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyer, a first for Campus Reform. Because of Kaitlyn's hard work, campus correspondents have been featured on national television programs exposing liberal bias on campus. Lauren Clark, a junior at Arizona State University, has been featured on Fox News and Fox Business; Gabriella Morrongiello, a senior at George Washington University, has appeared on Fox News, One America News Network, and Sun News in Canada. Because of her exceptional work ethic, fearless approach to journalism, and all that the Campus Correspondent Program has accomplished in 2014, I am proud to name Kaitlyn Schallhorn as the 2014 Leadership Institute Employee of the Year.
Running Against the Odds
Leah Courtney
January 29, 2015
Running Against the Odds
Missouri's Fifth Congressional District was over 60% Democrat and the media had painted the race as “unwinnable” for a Republican. But that didn't stop one dedicated conservative from running against the odds. Unlike many who run for public office, Jacob Turk didn't plan to run. He graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a Marine Corps veteran, business owner, volunteer, proud father, and grandfather. “Honestly, if I had not felt the Lord calling me distinctly to run for this office, I can't imagine deciding to do it on my own. It was a step of faith to run.” Jacob Turk ran for U.S. Congress in Missouri's Fifth Congressional District in 2012 and again in 2014. “We are not wealthy nor do we have powerful political connections,” Jacob said. “One of the biggest obstacles was the lack of confidence of those who live in the district…the skepticism made it difficult to raise the funds necessary for a victory.” In 2012 and 2014, Jacob Turk won the primary, but lost to the incumbent Emanuel Cleaver. “We didn't lose the war; we just didn't win a particular battle,” Jacob said. In the 2014 general election, Jacob was projected to lose by thirty points. He only lost to Cleaver by 6.6%. “Our campaign forced the Democrats to spend almost a million dollars in precious resources they could not spend on senatorial races in 2014.” The campaign also managed to bring in new volunteers and new donors. “Over 70% of our volunteers had never volunteered time in a political campaign before our race,” Jacob said. “We heard the same from a majority of our financial donors, as well.” Both Jacob and his wife Donna are Leadership Institute (LI) graduates. They have attended several LI trainings including the Campaign Management School, Television Workshop, Field Representative Training, New Media Workshop, and Youth Leadership School. “If you want to be a serious player in the conservative movement, we recommend that you take all the LI courses you can, both in DC and in your area,” Jacob said. “We can take hope that if we are able to motivate our voters to turn out every election, we can win the tough races.” Jacob credits the Field Representative Training for “the robust cadre of college and home school students that contributed thousands of volunteer hours to [his campaign] effort.” When asked to describe the Leadership Institute, Jacob said “The staff and presenters are enthusiastic about winning the ideological battle in America, and their will to win this war is infectious.” Jacob and his wife, Donna, reside in Lee's Summit, Missouri. They work tirelessly to change their local government. Please join us in congratulating Jacob Turk for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award, and in thanking him for his tireless effort to promote conservative principles. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 40 types of training programs, working with more than 1,568 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 161,271 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.
Englander’s Grassroots Efforts Sprout Victory
Scott Heneveld with contributions from Joshua Gill
January 14, 2015
Englander’s Grassroots Efforts Sprout Victory
Chip Englander has a track record. He wins. When Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was at the bottom of a four-way primary at the beginning of his campaign, he knew he needed a winner. He turned to Chip for a campaign manager. In a state President Obama swept by 25 percent in 2012, Rauner became the first candidate to defeat the governor of a president's home state since 1892, ousting incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn. Making his success even more remarkable, Rauner was outspent during the final three months of his campaign in one of the top five most expensive non-presidential races in American history. Chip was drawn to Rauner because of the candidate's viable solutions to serious issues. “I believe we have nearly intractable problems and it will take a transformational figure to change direction -- Governor Rauner can do that,” he said. Under the slogan, “Shake up Springfield. Bring back Illinois,” and running for conservative ideals including job creation, tax repeal, and fiscal responsibility, Chip was able to rally a powerful grassroots effort behind Rauner. Chip attributes his ability to muster such a critical effort to the training he received from the Leadership Institute early in his career. “I took 19 different LI training courses starting in 2000,” Chip said. “The principles on grassroots organization still guide what I do today.” Grassroots are crucial to victory. Moreover, a solid candidate is vital for a strong grassroots effort. Chip was able to recruit the manpower needed to pull off an upset because of Rauner's character. “Governor Rauner's strengths were unique to him,” Chip said. “Voters saw his vision, work ethic, and integrity.” A combination of a strong candidate and strong localized efforts is important to any conservative campaign, especially ones in Democrat-leaning counties or states. “From the first day I met Rauner he emphasized building a historic grassroots organization,” Chip said. “We opened 83 offices with 700+ paid workers and 10,000+ volunteers and knocked on millions of doors and made millions more phone calls.” Chip's efforts paid off. Rauner is one of many freshly elected Republicans in a national movement back towards conservative principles. Given Chip's winning track record, it comes as no surprise that the Rand Paul team just hired Chip Englander. According to a report from Politico's Katie Glueck, “Englander will transition to campaign manager ‘if and when Rand runs,' a senior adviser to the senator said.” Originally from Santa Monica, California, and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Chip has worked as a campaign manager in many different elections including assembly, senatorial, and gubernatorial campaigns. In 2002, Chip was the Executive Director of the Republican Party of San Diego County, an organization Rush Limbaugh called “a model for the nation” after Republicans handily seized the county previously held by Democrats. His desire to help America is the driving force behind his efforts. His beliefs coupled with his winning methods have produced tremendous victories for conservative principles. “I didn't choose politics, politics chose me,” Chip said. Conservatives everywhere have leaders like Chip to thank for the changing political scenery sweeping the U.S. Thanks to hard work and proven strategies, America is once again returning to the principles upon which it was founded. The Leadership Institute is committed to building winners like Chip. Please congratulate Chip Englander on winning 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, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,568 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 161,271 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.
2014 Accomplishments
Kyle Baccei and Carol Wehe
January 12, 2015
2014 Accomplishments
2014 was an exciting year for the Leadership Institute! From trainings to student activism and conservative events to career building, the Leadership Institute (LI) -- with the support of generous donors -- continued working to grow the conservative movement. LI's staff and 348 volunteer faculty trained 18,182 students in 2014, bringing the total trained to 161,271 since LI's 1979 founding. The Institute trained 7,805 students nationally and 10,377 students internationally. In total, LI hosted 353 trainings throughout the country and around the world. These 353 trainings covered 36 of the 44 types of LI trainings as varied as On-Camera TV trainings, week-long Campaign Management Schools and Comprehensive Fundraising Trainings, Grassroots Activism Workshops, Public Relations Schools, and Career Trainings. In 2014, LI added the Women's Leadership Training, designed by women, for women. Over the year, 127 women graduated from this training. Following the 2014 Elections, LI staff have identified 30 LI grads elected to the U.S. House and Senate, 15 elected to state-wide office, and 421 elected to state legislatures. LI graduates are now serving as legislators in all 50 states. Graduates of Leadership Institute trainings are using their skills years after their training to win elected office. LI's National Field Program staff identified 34,091 conservative students on college campuses around the country. These field staff added 394 new student groups to LI's unique network of affiliated conservative student organizations. By the end of 2014, this network of conservative student groups had grown to 1,568. Many of the 707 articles that LI's CampusReform.org published made national news, making the site America's #1 source for campus news online with 9.3 million page views. These CampusReform.org articles had a direct impact on college campuses and led to 25 conservative victories and policy changes on College Campuses. Viewers from all 50 United States and around the world have tuned in to LI's free webinars since live webinars began streaming from LI studios in 2011. In 2014 alone, 2,080 viewers watched LI's 23 webinars. LI's Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfasts hosted 1,284 attendees and 10 speakers in 2014. Speakers included: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, and a record breaking breakfast with U.S. Senator Rand Paul with 302 attendees. LI's 43rd National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted 954 attendees. This year's featured speaker was Civil War Historian and movie director Ron Maxwell. LI's 6,482 job seekers had 1,897 available jobs posted to peruse on LI's ConservativeJobs.com website. LI's Career Services Center hosted 419 attendees at job fairs and offered 272 hours of personal career mentoring for free. LI's 35 interns came from 31 colleges, 21 states, 3 countries, and spent 5,094 hours combined in LI training. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and LI is excited about what 2015 has in store! How has LI helped you? Email Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. LI is always looking to spotlight faculty doing incredible things for the conservative movement, notable LI graduates making waves, and college students taking a stand on campus.
President Reagan on New Year's Day
Morton Blackwell
January 1, 2015
President Reagan on New Year's Day
On January 1, 1982, Ronald Reagan said: “Although I know most of the world celebrates the New Year with us today, I think this holiday is an especially American tradition. Most of us are at home or with our families this morning, getting ready to watch the splendor of parades and excitement of football. Later our families will gather around the dinner table, and we'll pray for guidance and strength in the New Year. Today we take a short and well-earned break from the building and industry and enterprise that make our country strong. We pause to reflect on the values of God and family and freedom that make us great.” Ronald Reagan was a strong president. A man of faith, a man of conservative principles, and a man of action – who loved America and knew what made our country great. I served for three years under President Reagan on his White House Staff. I miss him. But with your help, the Leadership Institute trains students, leaders, and activists who believe in the conservative principles Reagan embraced – and the principles you and I cherish today. Those conservatives you train through the Leadership Institute work to restore our founding principles to America. You equipped them with Institute training, and many of them won elections in 2014. Many Institute graduates prepare now for the crucial 2016 elections. And young conservatives push back and win against the liberals on college campuses nationwide, thanks to you. Thank you for your friendship. With your help, you and I will see more conservatives in the mold of President Reagan rebuild our precious country. Cordially, Morton C. Blackwell
Merry Christmas from LI
Leadership Institute
December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas from LI
The Leadership Institute wishes students, faculty, donors, and friends a merry Christmas. In the holiday season, we are all thankful -- for our families, for our friends, and for the blessings in our lives. Everyone at the Leadership Institute is thankful for you, and your support of the Institute and training the next generation of conservative leaders. LI is thankful for all you do to fight for conservative principles. Whether at worship at church or gathering for a meal with family and friends, the Institute hopes you have a blessed and joyous day. From all of your friends at the Leadership Institute, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your loyal support.
Personal Politics – From the Man Who Got Paul, Cruz, and Rubio Into Office
Scott Heneveld
December 9, 2014
Personal Politics – From the Man Who Got Paul, Cruz, and Rubio Into Office
For Brendan Steinhauser, politics is personal. “Politics for me is about real world issues that affect us every day,” said Brendan, campaign manager for Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Since playing an integral part in the organization of the tea party in 2010, Brendan has helped elect many prominent conservative politicians, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and many others. Brendan isn't alone in his effort to make conservative politics personal. He helps recruit and train new grassroots activists for a growing movement. And it's paying off. With a Republican majority in Congress, many incumbent and newly-elected conservative politicians have local grassroots efforts to thank. More importantly, they have the people behind those efforts to thank – people like Brendan who took the offensive. “Many of the folks I've recruited over the years are passionate about the future of their country, and its impact on their families,” Brendan said. “I try to encourage them to do something productive about their concerns, and channel their passion into a cause or candidate that fits their personality and interests.” A veteran of effective and proven strategies, like those taught at the Leadership Institute (LI), Brendan has trained many local activists how to impact their communities through door knocking, phone banking, and social media. “We conservatives can apply LI's approach to politics extremely well at the local level,” he said. “This will not only improve things at the level of government closest to the people, but it will build our farm team for higher offices.” The localized political movement is growing in response to the many challenges our country faces. Conservatives everywhere are becoming more involved and their principles are now appealing to a wider demographic. “I believe that conservative policies are the solutions, and I really enjoy helping candidates and elected officials who are fighting for these policies and can win the arguments for them as well,” Brendan said. Rather than pander to moderates, he believes candidates should focus on making the case for their beliefs, winning over independents and undecided voters in the process. “I believe that conservative candidates can do this by demonstrating how their ideas work better than the failed ideas of the far left,” Brendan said. Sound political theory is great, but making it personal is one of the most effective ways to get votes. Look no further than John Cornyn's campaign, one where the conservative senator won an unprecedented majority of Latino votes in Texas this November. Brendan helped Senator Cornyn win the Latino majority through a personalized effort. “Our staff attended hundreds of events, meetings, and social gatherings around the state,” he said. “We visited very diverse communities, including our inner cities, barrios, rural areas, and suburbs. We even visited a colonia along the border with Mexico, which is a very poor area made up of recent immigrants.” Focusing on building relationships is invaluable. Listening to individual concerns while explaining practical, achievable solutions goes a long way. “As we met with folks and listened to their concerns, we tried to find common ground, even if there were policy disagreements,” Brendan said. “People appreciated that willingness to start a conversation, and we earned lots of respect that way.” This strategy demonstrates progress in conservative tactics. “The left tends to do better integrating emotion and compassion into their arguments, but I think conservatives are improving,” said Brendan. The results speak for themselves. The beauty of grassroots politics is that activists, like good candidates, are standing on their principles. They're activists because they care. They're fighting for a cause that's their own. Even though people won't always see eye-to-eye, someone who fights for what they believe in earns the respect of those around them. Unfortunately, caring doesn't win elections. Brendan, however, is also very good at winning. What is the key to his success? “Working hard and working smart,” he said. The foundation of a winning effort is figuring out the right strategy and then effectively and energetically implementing it. Brendan took LI's Youth Leadership School (YLS) in 2005. He has taught at six since then. “LI is one of my favorite conservative organizations in the movement,” Brendan said. “The most important lesson I've learned from the YLS is about organization. The way Morton Blackwell and his team developed this concept and instilled it in campaign operatives and activists over the years is really important.” In politics, winning or losing a campaign often comes down to organization. “The better organized, efficient campaign that understands the real world of political campaigns is going to have a better chance of winning,” Brendan said. “LI is the best place for conservatives to learn how to win. And you owe it to your conservative philosophy to learn how to win.” Brendan advises all activists and aspiring campaign managers to run a race at the local level. “There is no better way to learn about the importance of a good candidate, and of face-to-face communication,” he said. “If you want to understand grassroots politics and the power of what LI teaches, you should get involved in a local race and see the impact of good political organization.” There has never been a more important time for conservatives to take a stand for their principles. Fortunately, grassroots activism provides an effective means for conservatives to make an impact in their communities and beyond. Brendan has embraced and helped revolutionize the conservative grassroots effort. His winning strategies, fueled by his passion for his work, have yielded amazing results and point to great things to come. Please congratulate Brendan Steinhauser 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, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 43 types of training programs, working with more than 1,591 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 159,225 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.
West Virginia Congressman-Elect Shares His Winning Strategy
Scott Heneveld
December 4, 2014
West Virginia Congressman-Elect Shares His Winning Strategy
He didn't leave anything to chance. He knew what was needed to win. West Virginia Congressman-elect Alex Mooney knows politics well enough to know a good heart isn't all it takes to win an election. The first Hispanic elected to Congress in West Virginia history, Alex is a Leadership Institute (LI) grad who will join a U.S. House of Representatives with a Republican majority. Owning a majority brings expectations, and Alex is excited to do his part in meeting those. “With the strong majority I will be joining in the U.S. House of Representatives, voters are going to expect us to fight for them and deliver results,” he said. One of Alex's primary focuses is scaling back government regulations in West Virginia. “I plan to fight back against devastating job losses created by the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” he said. By working to reduce restrictions in his district, Alex will address a nationwide problem: jobs. “Perhaps the biggest issue facing my state is the lack of good paying, quality jobs,” he said. “West Virginia is blessed with several great Universities and Colleges but too many of those graduates leave West Virginia to find jobs. I am working every day to bring new jobs and industry to my district.” An offspring of crippling government regulation, job shortages have led many of West Virginia's brightest young people to leave the state, a problem Alex is committed to solving. “By reigning in an out-of-control EPA, jobs will begin to return to areas of my district which desperately need them,” he said. In the wake of widespread disillusionment with the policies of the far left, many Americans are looking to conservatives like Alex to present solutions to the pressing issues the U.S. faces. “Voters were disappointed in the failed policies of Barack Obama,” Alex said. “The voters in West Virginia made it clear to me in my campaign that they wanted someone to fight back against Obama's war on coal and assault on our individual liberties.” The best way to combat intrusions upon personal liberty is to take ownership of the problem and begin working from the local level up to protect the freedoms being threatened. Fortunately, many conservatives are accepting that responsibility and are becoming more active in local campaigns. “Local Grassroots efforts are of the utmost importance in any Congressional campaign,” said Alex. “I was sure that my team had an aggressive plan that executed targeted door knocking and volunteer phone calls.” Local involvement is crucial for successful campaigns. It's vital for a winning candidate to have a loyal, passionate, and well-trained base to build off of. After winning a hard-fought campaign in November, Alex knows this as well as anyone. “I won my race by just under 5,000 votes and can say for certain that my team's get out the vote push made the difference,” said Alex. Thanks to the improved methods of organization many conservative politicians are adopting, it's becoming easier for local activists to channel their support and energy effectively. Volunteering to knock on doors, make phone calls, or engage in social media efforts all contribute greatly to a campaign's success. “Pick a candidate in your area with whom you are ideologically aligned and volunteer on a regular basis,” Alex said. Even if it's a few hours after work or on the weekends, the regular contributions add up. There's no substitute for face time when it comes to bringing politics to a personal level. The most effective means of reaching voters is still door-to-door campaigning. “When I first ran for the State Senate, I had no name ID and was running against a 16 year incumbent,” Alex said. “I beat him by a wide margin because I personally knocked on over 10,000 doors. I have knocked on doors in every campaign since.” He also stressed the importance of attending local meetings. Woody Allen said 80 percent of life is showing up. Morton Blackwell's 22nd Law of the Public Policy Process is, “Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'd wish you'd been there.” Being a part of a team of like-minded activists is essential. No one is an island, and a campaign built on individuals who refuse to work together is a losing campaign. “You should attend meetings of conservative groups in your area such as tea party chapters, pro-life groups, Republican clubs, and other organizations that believe in aggressive political grassroots action,” said Alex. The networking that occurs at meetings has more than just short term benefits. Alex has taken many LI trainings and regularly uses the connections he made during them. “To this day I have friends from those first LI schools I attended and some of them even traveled to help me in my most recent election,” he said. Having a loyal, close-knit team is a vital step towards winning a campaign. Having the training, resources, and strategies to win is another. “The Leadership Institute is where conservative activists, candidates, and campaign workers go to receive the training they need to win elections,” Alex said. “Everyone who works for me is required to receive ample training from the Leadership Institute.” Grassroots activism works, from local school board elections to congressional campaigns. Every conservative owes it to their cause to learn how to win and then put that knowledge into action. A testament to the effectiveness of combining belief with hard work and winning strategies, Alex is part of an exciting opportunity for the conservative movement. Now, more than ever, we need leaders. Alex has answered the call. Please congratulate Congressman-elect Alex Mooney on winning 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, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 43 types of training programs, working with more than 1,386 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 155,000 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.
George Washington and the Leadership Institute
Morton Blackwell
November 26, 2014
George Washington and the Leadership Institute
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Our nation's first president issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1789 “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many favors of Almighty God ... especially an opportunity to establish a form of government for our safety and happiness.” In his proclamation, George Washington also asked Americans to pray for our government to be “a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws.” A fellow Leadership Institute's donor graciously loaned a full-size portrait of George Washington. It stands in the Leadership Institute's headquarters to remind my staff and me about the America our founding fathers built – a country built on prayer, tradition, and hard work. With your help, the Leadership Institute fights to uphold those “wise, just, constitutional” principles – our shared conservative principles – for this generation and those to come. I'm thankful for your friendship and support. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Cordially, Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
Scott Heneveld
November 19, 2014
"Freeing the world from its socialistic ropes"
Few activists have accomplished as much as Carl Andersen has at his age. The son of a successful construction entrepreneur and raised on a chicken farm in South Jutland, Denmark, Carl has begun fighting for the conservative cause in his home country. Despite being a 19-year-old recent high school graduate, Carl is already very involved in Danish politics. “I have been a member of Liberal Alliance and Liberal Alliance Youth since 2009, and have risen in the party on every single level,” he said. “I am on some boards at local, regional, and national levels, and run some campaigns for our candidates. I got elected to the county board in Vejen last year. I am now sitting as a member of the Technique and Environment Committee.” In September 2014, Carl began working as an intern at the Leadership Institute (LI). As an intern, he has been able to take trainings he believes will help him continue advancing conservative principles in Denmark. “Especially, I like that LI is an international organization; LI does not only focus on Americans and America, but on freeing the world from its socialistic ropes,” said Carl. He first heard of LI from a fellow member of Liberal Alliance, Lars Seier Christensen, a former LI speaker and current CEO of SAXO Bank. Carl was impressed with the level of knowledge and experience LI has in fields he believes are important in the modern political landscape. One of the tools Carl uses very successfully is social media. He runs Liberalisten1995, the largest political YouTube channel in Denmark with over 5,000,000 views and 3,000 subscribers. “I am self-taught in IT (WordPress and Photoshop), and do some freelance work in that field as I am the CEO of Place2Translate and GratisKonkurrencer.nu,” he said. One of the classes Carl recently took was the Comprehensive Online Activist School. Among other things, the class teaches how to build and grow an online community, and how to effectively use the new generation of social media. It's a class geared towards all levels of learners, from beginners to experts. Carl was one of 13 international students who attended, illustrating the diversity in the classroom. As an activist with extensive history working with social media, Carl learned a lot from the more technical aspects of the training. “The information about the Facebook algorithm was very useful. I did not know that before, and I am already seeing how the tips are working on my pages,” he said. Along with the techniques he learned in this Leadership Institute training, Carl is taking other innovative outreach ideas back to Denmark with him. “Currently, I am working on the first political direct mail letter in modern Danish history. I could not do this without the training from LI,” he said. Carl is excited to put his new knowledge into practice this coming spring during Danish national elections. “The training I have received at LI has given me a lot of great knowledge and tools to fight for our ideas in the public,” he said. Following his internship, Carl will return home where he hopes to attend Copenhagen Business School and study International Business and Politics, while continuing his work as an activist. As for his long term ambitions, Carl said he dreams of working as a connection between the private sector and politicians. Carl is part of a young generation of conservatives who recognize the power of social media outlets and he is using social media in innovative ways. Please congratulate Carl on receiving the Leadership Institute's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award and encourage him in his future efforts to make Denmark and the world a freer place. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 43 types of training programs, working with more than 1,591 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 159,225 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.
Soviet Refugee Works to Protect Prosperity and Freedom in the US
Leah Courtney
November 12, 2014
Soviet Refugee Works to Protect Prosperity and Freedom in the US
Recalling his life in the Soviet Union, Igor Birman paints a dreary picture. “Imagine every aspect of your life from the cradle to the grave being dictated to you by government,” said Igor. “No matter your talents or wishes, you had little say in your own future.” Igor Birman was born in the Soviet Union in 1981. After a decade of Soviet refusals for exit permits, his family arrived in California in 1994. Igor first felt compelled to defend conservative principles as a student columnist at UC Davis, where he studied Political Science. “My parents risked everything to get me out of the Soviet Union where freedom did not exist and into the United States, which was founded on the notions of personal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty,” said Igor. “How could I possibly not dedicate my life to ensuring that my children grow up to know the same freedom that I was so lucky to find?” In 2001, Igor proudly became a U.S. citizen. As he continued earning his degree at Emory University, Igor chaired the Federalist Society, a group of conservatives and libertarians committed to preserving freedom. At 24 years old, he graduated as a Doctor of Law, and the following year was admitted to the State Bar of California. Intent on making a difference, Igor started working in politics. He was appointed as Representative Tom McClintock's Chief of Staff in 2009, and decided to run for Congress in 2014. When asked what his biggest obstacle was during his race, Igor answered, “Becoming known, which is something most first-time candidates have to tackle. But I have to say that the creativity fostered by Leadership Institute training went a long way towards raising my name identification in the shortest possible time.” While a student at UC Davis, Igor began training with the Leadership Institute. He is a graduate of LI's Youth Leadership School, Public Speaking Workshop, Student Publications School, and Television Workshops. “Not only has LI equipped me with the knowledge and time-tested techniques for persuasion, but also supplied my campaign with some of the best operatives I have ever had the honor of meeting,” said Igor. Igor Birman describes the Leadership Institute as “indispensable” for anyone in politics. He says that activists looking to run for office should “stand up for the principles that got them into politics and defend them with all they can muster. If they don't, there is no point in winning.” This country needs more leaders with Igor's drive and passion. We are looking forward to see more great things from him in the future. Please join us in congratulating Igor Birman 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, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 43 types of training programs, working with more than 1,386 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 155,000 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
Today, you and I celebrate Veterans Day
Morton Blackwell
November 11, 2014
Today, you and I celebrate Veterans Day
Today, you and I celebrate Veterans Day. All my staff at the Leadership Institute join me in honoring our veterans in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Our nation's armed forces give their blood, toil, tears, and sweat – both in war and peacetime – to keep America free. I count myself blessed to live in a prosperous country defended by the greatest military in the world. And our country still holds a special place in history, despite all that the liberals do to sabotage it. Let me share with you an article about Army veteran and Leadership Institute graduate Larry Provost. Please click here to read how LI donor support trained Larry in our grassroots schools – and helped him flip a Virginia legislative seat from liberal to conservative. That's the kind of victory your support achieves. Our veterans serve to protect our founding principles. And to the Leadership Institute donors, I thank you for your continued support to preserve those principles you and I share. Cordially, Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
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