LI Welcomes President Obama’s Conservative Cousin Dr. Milton Wolf
Lauren Levy
April 5, 2012
LI Welcomes President Obama’s Conservative Cousin Dr. Milton Wolf
“I may not be the first doctor to oppose ObamaCare, but I am the first doctor from Barack Obama's own family to oppose Obamacare. In fact, I stand opposed to every part of Barack's big-government agenda.”The mother of family feuds hit home yesterday when the Leadership Institute hosted Dr. Milton Wolf, President Obama's second cousin. Dr. Wolf is a practicing diagnostic radiologist, a conservative columnist for The Washington Times, and an outspoken opponent of nationalized healthcare.“A Civil War tore our country apart, ripped families in two, and divided brother against brother,” Dr. Wolf said before the 83 guests in attendance yesterday. “Today our country is similarly divided. There is a division of worldviews between liberty and tyranny.”President Obama is a caring man and means well, Dr. Wolf, his cousin, said, but he profoundly misunderstands America and what makes us exceptional.“I'd like to believe Barack wants the best for America. I just can't accept that he wants to destroy America. But it's a matter of semantics because the things that he wants to do will destroy America.”Dr. Wolf is an advocate of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional fidelity.“I find nowhere in the Constitution the right of government to take away our right to decide whether or not we want to buy health insurance or what kind of health insurance we must buy or what doctors we must see,” Dr. Wolf said. “If government can get between you and your doctor, there's not a single area of your life it [the government] can't touch.”According to Dr. Wolf, nationalized healthcare is the defining issue of our lifetime, and will have repercussions for our children and grandchildren.“The biggest lie yet was that government could decide healthcare for you better than you could for yourself and that government can spend money more wisely than you can for yourself,” he said.With a national debt of $16 trillion, nationalized healthcare is not something America can afford, Dr. Wolf said.Besides the economic issues brought on by such a system, Dr. Wolf believes the issue also presents significant ethical problems. Too much time is spent pleasing bureaucrats instead of patients, he said.“Look at what happened with contraception,” he noted. “You not only tell a religion how it should practice, but you define what is considered religion and what is not by allowing the secretary of HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] the power to define ‘church' – be it four walls or religious institutions.”Dr. Wolf quickly dismissed any notions that this was a “Catholic concern."“In this issue, we're all Catholics,” he said. “If we don't stand with the Catholics today, no one will stand with us when government comes after us.”Further highlighting government's ineptitude in handling the economy, Dr. Wolf cited the Cash for Clunkers program.“That was one thing I absolutely loved,” he said, noting that he himself drove an SUV classified as a “clunker” by his cousin-in-chief. “I loved it not because I thought it was a worthy program, but because it was a miserable failure and economic tragedy. We got to learn just how miserable government is at managing the economy.”To make up the cost, Dr. Wolf said he simply deducted money from the extended family Christmas shopping budget the following year, which included President Obama.According to Dr. Wolf, people are often angered by President Obama's apologies for America and his willingness to bow to foreign leaders.“While I will never understand bowing to terrorists, I can understand the need to apologize for somebody you care about – after all, I am related to Barack Obama,” he quipped. “I launched my own Barack apology tour – and I think I've hit most of the 57 states.”While he adamantly opposes his cousin on policy discussions, Dr. Wolf has resolved never to attack President Obama personally.“Obama is a wonderful and gifted speaker,” he said. “I wish I could speak as eloquently as he does – but then again, I don't have a teleprompter in every room.”Focusing his message, Dr. Wolf said the solution is for government to spend less, get our country back on its feet, and trust America to be America again.“Who are we going to be?” he asked. “America is at a crossroads and we have to choose between liberty and tyranny. Are we going to be that shining city on a hill or a second-rate European-style social welfare state? To those who say we are not capable of choosing our economic destinies, I say, ‘Yes, we can.'”Those who came before us earned the right to be Americans, he said. As George Washington once referred to the “charming” sound of bullets whistling by him during war, we must likewise learn to find the charm in these bullets whistling by us today.“Those who fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War put it all on the line for us,” Dr. Wolf said, concluding his speech. “We have to decide whether we want to be worthy of being Americans and are willing to step out of our comfort zones. If we do, I promise you, we'll be just fine.”Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell presented Dr. Wolf with one of LI's famous Adam Smith ties as a token of appreciation.“Obviously this guy is not only a good writer but a good speaker and, underlying it all, he's a good thinker,” Morton said. “Now we just have to dismantle all the teleprompters that have been set up here.”LI's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends.The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is May 2, 2012 and will feature Richard Rahn, chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and formerly the chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Reagan Administration. Click here for more information and to register. >
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on Justin Pulliam
Abigail Alger
March 20, 2012
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on Justin Pulliam
At 19, Justin Pulliam was named the "most dangerous man on campus" by the New York Times."I thought it was clever," Justin, now 22, said. He paused for a beat and grinned. "But true."Justin entered Texas A&M University as an 18-year-old freshman in fall 2008. A Texas native from north of Dallas, he intended to be an Animal Science major, maybe show cattle like he'd done in high school, and be involved in some campus groups.He had no idea that one year later he'd have a profile in the New York Times, a live interview on MSNBC, and a reputation as a tough, principled conservative activist and student leader.In his orientation week at A&M, Justin met up with Tony Listi, a senior, a graduate of four Leadership Institute trainings, and a future LI staff member. Tony had founded a campus conservative group, later known as the Texas Aggie Conservatives, and he wanted Justin to be involved. The two reviewed Tony's plan for the year and, in less than two weeks, Justin was the group's Technology Director, responsible for video footage and the website.At the group's first activism event in September 2008, Justin was “really timid,” as he explained. It was a counter-protest to the Brazos Valley Coalition Against the War, and he spent the time holding a camera -- not a sign.But that afternoon was the first time Justin saw the benefits of activism. "Everyone was honking at us and rolling down their windows," he said. "I got the sense that what we were doing was important."In October, Justin suggested the Texas Aggie Conservatives present a birthday cake to a Democratic congressman visiting campus. The congressman voted with Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, 96% of the time.The cake was frosted with a photo of the congressman with Speaker Pelosi, and a pretty pink heart next to “96%” written in icing. At the congressman's event, Justin manned the camera, Tony presented the cake, and the rest of the group gave a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.”“It was the craziest thing we've ever done,” Justin said.He was hooked.By his sophomore year, Justin was chairman of the Texas Aggie Conservatives, and the group was ready for its biggest year yet.Justin had attended LI's Student Activism Conference in Austin the previous year. He met with student leaders from across Texas and Oklahoma, and worked with Institute staff to get how-to lessons and create an activism plan for his campus. To finish the 2008-2009 school year, the Texas Aggie Conservatives hosted a tea party, celebrated Ronald Reagan's birthday, had conservative speaker events, and passed out flyers showing Aggie professors' endorsements of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.Justin was not uncertain about being a campus activist anymore. He relished it.“I came to the realization that it's either me or no one,” Justin said. “No one else is going to stand up for the conservative philosophy on campus. No one else is going to stand up for our values. No one else is going to do it for us. I had tons of friends and allies, but if I hadn't been an organizer, all that potential would have been lost.”In August 2009, Justin's group members protested their Congressman at a health care town hall, earning media coverage in the liberal Huffington Post. In September, the group hosted a 9/11 Never Forget Memorial, planting flags for each victim of the terrorist attacks; celebrated Constitution Day by handing out pocket Constitutions; and entertained more than 200 students at “Laugh at the Left,” a comedy night with conservative talk radio host Michael Graham.But October was the best of all.On October 16, President Obama came to campus amidst the heated national debate on healthcare – and the Texas Aggie Conservatives were ready. With conservative students and activists from across the state, the Aggies held a rally of hundreds united against the national healthcare draft.Protesters held signs and chanted while group members dressed up in costume – as President Obama, as the Grim Reaper, and even as Uncle Sam – and collected petition signatures. The media was there to cover it, thanks in part to Justin's work with LI's CampusReform.org staff to publicize the event.Justin emerged as the student leader of the movement, which was covered by local, state, and national media. He was profiled in the New York Times as the "most dangerous man on campus," and even did a live MSNBC interview from the protest. The interview was supposed to be on-camera, but -- as Justin recalled -- an administrator wouldn't allow him past a security checkpoint to MSNBC's cameras, so he finished it by phone.“Activism, especially controversial activism, might seem intense at first,” Justin said. “But if you're professional and have a good message, your activism will rally the troops and get media attention for the conservative movement.”The protest was only one part of Justin's plans for the weekend, though. The next day, he hosted LI's Youth Leadership School on campus, training 48 students. His group sponsored a movie screening on Sunday and a talk with Lord Monckton, a conservative speaker against radical environmentalists, on Monday.“That's like a snapshot of four days in the life of a student activist,” Justin said. “It's intense.”But still Justin took on more.His writing for The Anthem, an independent conservative student publication which LI field staff helped students establish, piqued his interest in student government. Justin ran for, and won, one-year terms in the Student Senate in spring 2009 and 2010.“I don't think I stood up and talked at all in the entire first semester,” Justin said. “I didn't ask questions, I didn't debate, and I certainly didn't write any legislation.”Halfway through his first term, Justin asked a question in a Senate meeting. At the next meeting he debated. Before he knew it, he was writing bills, influencing the agenda, and providing live video and recordings for A&M students and for official recordkeeping. Before that, administrators would come to the Student Senate to request student fee increases – and none of the requests were on the record.Justin spent his first year in Student Senate working with friends and allies to build a conservative caucus. Together, they identified and recruited conservative students, and trained them to run winning campaigns, hosting LI's Campus Election Workshop at A&M.After his own reelection in spring 2010, Justin turned his attention to a big issue, soon to become another national story: in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.Since 2001, as Justin first explained in a CampusReform.org blog post, Texas had allowed illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition benefits. Out-of-state residents paid more than $15,000 each year to attend A&M while Texan taxpayers subsidized 12,138 illegal students in the 2009-2010 school year.Justin introduced a bill to end the practice at A&M with more than 40 other Aggies. His group collected more than 500 student signatures in support of the bill, and grew a Facebook group – Aggies Against In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens – to more than 1,500 members in less than a week.The story was picked up by local, state, and national media, including a clip with the Associated Press and an interview with Fox News.“Because we worked with LI's Campus Leadership Program and CampusReform.org, we were able to be very successful,” Justin said frankly. “If not for that, we would have just been some college kids messing around, introducing bills in a Student Senate meeting. Our message would not have gotten any further than the 75 people in the Senate room.”The Student Senate passed the bill with a majority, but the student body president vetoed it. Conservatives in the Student Senate couldn't find the votes to override the veto. But the fight didn't end there.Thanks to the media attention for A&M's bill, Justin said, six bills were introduced in the Texas state legislature to end taxpayer-subsidized tuition for illegal immigrants.The bill was contentious on campus – and Justin felt the ire of the campus left personally.“It's ridiculous how much people can hate,” Justin said bluntly. He recalled reams of insulting emails and even an A&M professor who told him “go f--- yourself, Pulliam” as he collected petition signatures for the measure in November.But for Justin, the fight was worth it.“We kept the pressure on, and we kept dragging it out, bringing it up, and getting more and more press for the issue,” Justin explained. “In doing so, we advanced the conservative agenda.”Justin graduated from Texas A&M in December 2011 with a degree in Animal Science, a Senator of the Year Award from the Student Senate officers, and a lifelong commitment to conservative activism.Last month, Justin received the Weyrich Award for Youth Leader of the Year. The award, part of the Weyrich Awards Dinner, honors the legacy of leadership of the late Paul Weyrich, one of the foremost thinkers and organizers of the modern conservative movement and who was the first president of the Heritage Foundation, a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the founder and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, and the National Chairman of Coalitions for America.“I was shocked to receive the award,” Justin said. He paused for a moment and then added, “I would love to train next year's Weyrich Youth Leader of the Year. That would mean so much to me. The best success for the conservative leader is to train someone to do better.”Justin may be uniquely positioned to complete his goal.In mid-February this year, he started work at the Leadership Institute as a Regional Field Coordinator for LI's Campus Leadership Program. His job is to give conservative student leaders the support, guidance, and advice he once counted on from LI staff.“The Leadership Institute can arm you with the knowledge, tactics, tools, and training to be able to advance the conservative movement and defeat the left on campus,” Justin explained. “There's a lot to fight against, and all the resources are here under LI's roof: great people, great resources, great training, and great tools.”Whether you are a young conservative or you know a young conservative eager to do more for his or her principles, contact the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program right now.“Anyone with a motivation can do what I did,” Justin said. “By utilizing the resources available at LI, even a busy college student – a student concerned about getting a job or keeping a high GPA – can be an effective conservative student leader, can advance their cause, can build a coalition, and can even appear on national media.”There's no better endorsement than that.Please contact LI's Campus Leadership Program for you or a young conservative you know.This piece was published in the spring 2012 issue of the Leadership Institute's Leadership Memo.>
Future Candidates Flock To LI For One Week To Learn Effective Campaign Essentials
Lauren Levy
March 16, 2012
Future Candidates Flock To LI For One Week To Learn Effective Campaign Essentials
Last week the Leadership Institute's Future Candidate School (FCS) welcomed a bright, new class of aspiring candidates and entrepreneurs.Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee and LI volunteer faculty member, shared how he got involved in the public policy process.He credits LI with his start. While a college student, a conservative campus group member approached him and invited Mark to their meeting. He showed up, and was forever hooked.“I took LI's Youth Leadership School, and now I'm here 20 years later trying to impart this knowledge to you all.”Jessica Myers is a young conservative with big dreams. As a student at Thomas Nelson Community College she has participated in campaigns and events in her community, but she is frustrated with the lack of conservative clubs in her area. After attending the Future Candidate School, she plans to start a local chapter of the Young Republican club.“If I hadn't known about LI, I wouldn't have been here trying to fulfill my dreams,” Jessica said. “The fact that the training is such good quality and low cost is very beneficial and invaluable to young people passionate about the cause.”On Monday, LI President Morton Blackwell shared tips on how to create and grow an organization. “Young conservatives should consider the option of some day becoming organizational entrepreneurs themselves,” Morton said. “There are possibilities now and there will be possibilities in the years to come for creating successful public policy groups.”Other lectures focused on candidate development and explored topics such as assessing readiness to run for office, potential past or present problems that might hinder success, attributes of effective candidates, making a good impression and viewing yourself as others see you.“If people don't like you, they won't trust you,” said Stephen Clouse, founder and president of Stephen Clouse & Associates. “If they don't trust you, they won't believe you; if they don't believe you, they'll never comply with what you're saying.”Attendees made their way back to LI on Tuesday for more training, which focused heavily on coalition building and organization development. For Michael Kicinski, who is running for United States Congress to represent New York District 22 (formerly NY-24), coalition building will be an important factor in his campaign to rally opposition against the incumbent. “We need proper representation above all and the right votes in Congress,” Michael said. “Since this is new to me, I saw the advantage of getting training. This was extra helpful and necessary, and I'll be passing this information on to others in my team.”Faculty also discussed how to develop your campaign message using a Leesburg Grid for you and your opponent, the pros and cons of joining existing organizations, working with your local party and identifying key groups in your community, recruiting and working with volunteers, and using coalitions to benefit your campaign.On Wednesday, attendees learned the ins-and-outs of fundraising. Topics included maximizing fundraising potential with events, funding your cause with direct mail, the rules of campaign donations and ensuring your campaign financing and organization structure is legal, creating your “kitchen cabinet” for campaigns, strategies you need to know to succeed online, and personal solicitation for a campaign.“Give every potential donor – no matter how big or small – the opportunity to ‘invest' in your campaign,” said Nancy Bocskor, president of the Nancy Bocskor Company. “The little old lady who sends you $1 in a direct mail piece will be the first to vote for you on Election Day.”On Thursday, the final day of the FCS, faculty tackled message development. Topics included fine-tuning your campaign strategy, understanding and reviewing polling data, getting on the ballot with petitions, preparing for attacks from the left, and using the media to your advantage.“We are surrounded by media 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center. “Knowing how to navigate the media is key for survival in today's world.”Jill Upson, who is running as a West Virginia delegate for Jefferson County's 65th district, found the lecture particularly helpful.“The information is just so valuable,” Jill said. “It really teaches you how to combat the opposition. It prepares you for the bad things they'll say, but also gives you good responses.”Hoping to improve jobs and the economy in her area, Jill came to LI to get the training she needed to run a successful campaign. “There are so many speakers from so many backgrounds. . There's no way you could go to one class and learn all this,” she said.To wrap up the evening, Mark Vargas, a consultant in government affairs and international business development, gave his success story of lessons he's learned from the campaign trail.“I thought I knew a lot – till I got here,” said Thomas Spencer, who is running for city council in Claremont, FL. “There wasn't a class that didn't add to or help me perfect something. I filled up my entire notepad and needed extra sheets of paper. I was texting friends throughout the lectures about some of the things I was learning. The information was priceless!”“I loved the trainings! I already signed up to be a donor to the school,” Thomas said. “I want to sponsor a student's training fee and travel once a quarter so they can attend these trainings.”If you would like to learn more about LI's Future Candidate School or enroll in an upcoming training, click here.>
Yesterday at LI: Rep. Jim Jordan Talks About Fiscal Discipline and Great American Values
Lauren Levy
March 8, 2012
Yesterday at LI: Rep. Jim Jordan Talks About Fiscal Discipline and Great American Values
Yesterday the Leadership Institute (LI) hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4), chairman of the Republican Study Committee and LI graduate, at the Institute's monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.Rep. Jordan is one of the most conservative members of Congress, fighting for fiscal responsibility and traditional values in the House of Representatives. Upon entering office in January 2007, he first co-sponsored the Right to Life Act. He offered fiscal discipline on the House floor, opposing tax increase proposals even from within his own party. He received the Defender of Life Award from Ohio Right to Life, and last month he was the recipient of the Best National Legislator Award at the 2012 Weyrich Awards dinner.“Congressman Jordan has been called a rising star in the conservative movement, but let's just go ahead and call him what he truly is – a star,” LI President Morton Blackwell said yesterday.In 2008, during the early stages of his term, Rep. Jordan scheduled LI's One-on-One Television Workshop, a custom training in LI's studios designed to give individual attention and hands-on preparation for speaking on camera and debating live.“Thank you LI, and thank you Morton for the work you are doing,” Rep. Jordan said. “I sure appreciate the impact you've had on conservatives.”Rep. Jordan recalled some people who had an impact in his life early on, with one being his wrestling coach and his chats about the importance of discipline in daily life.“In the wrestling room hung a sign with the words, ‘Discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it.' It's doing things the right way when you want to do it the convenient way. That's what Washington needs,” Rep. Jordan said.Four months ago, Rep. Jordan and his wife Polly traveled to Israel. After talking with government leaders and officials, he was told that the best way the United States could help Israel was for America to stay strong.“When America is strong, things are better,” Rep. Jordan said. “The world is safer and better when the U.S. is the economic, military and diplomatic superpower. And you first need to be the economic superpower to be the military and diplomatic leader.”“We need to relight the entrepreneurial attitude,” said Rep. Jordan yesterday, who spoke of how government policies are stifling free enterprise. He shared a conversation he had last week with five businessmen. They all said if they knew then what they know now about government fiscal policies, they would not have taken the risk to start their businesses.“No politician can create jobs, but we can create a conducive environment to encourage entrepreneurs to grow,” he said.Rep. Jordan advocates a “cut, cap and balance” approach to managing the federal budget. “We will bring back another budget that makes the federal government do what everyone else has to do,” he said. “Everyone has to balance their budgets, everyone except that one entity that has a 15 trillion dollar debt.”In addition to a broken tax code and bad regulatory, energy, and fiscal policies, Rep. Jordan is gravely concerned about the cultural breakdown affecting the nation.“Americans are nervous about things going on in our culture, with the most recent example being the administration's attack on religious liberty,” Rep. Jordan said. “People left England for America to live out their faith the way the good Lord wanted,not the way England did. This is the essence of what this country's about, and here is this administration attacking what it means to be an American. That's what's at stake inthis election.”According to Rep. Jordan, every third generation has had to do big things for the nation.“People remember Jefferson, Franklin and Adams, but they forget the other men who signed that document,” he said. “All those men lost farms, sons, money, and put it all on the line to start this nation.”Three generations later, Americans ended slavery during the Civil War, he said. Three generations after that, they stopped the Depression and confronted Nazism.“Now, here we are three generations later and it's our turn,” Rep. Jordan said. “If you want to accomplish anything of significance, it's never easy. It's always hard. But we need to stand up. If there is not a strong United States of America, the world gets truly dangerous. Thank you LI for training young people in these values.”LI's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends.The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is April 4, 2012 and will feature conservative columnist Dr. Milton Wolf, a cousin of President Barack Obama. Click here for more information and to register.>
Conservatives Learn to Advertise and Build Online Communities via ‘Tweets’, ‘Likes’ & the Blogosphere
Lauren Levy
March 2, 2012
Conservatives Learn to Advertise and Build Online Communities via ‘Tweets’, ‘Likes’ & the Blogosphere
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; blogs and email lists; online advertising and fundraising are just a few topics that were covered earlier this week at the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Online Activist School (COAS).On Monday and Tuesday legislative aides, interns, and Tea Party activists gathered at LI's F.M. Kirby National Training Center to learn how target large audiences through online marketing and social media.Gabriel “Scooter” Schaefer, marketing communications coordinator for Media Research Center (MRC), taught attendees how to set up a Facebook fan page and strategically increase membership.Scooter was a graduate of LI's Comprehensive Online Activist School in 2010, where he was armed with practical tools to increase an organization's social media presence. "When I took the COAS, I heard about bit.ly and it was absolutely awesome and useful to me and what I'm doing now,” Scooter said. “Now, I will share the knowledge I've acquired with you so you can strengthen the movement.”LI's Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger kicked off the training Monday with a complete introduction to online activism.“In blogging, it's not about getting noticed,” Abigail said. “It's about adding value. What topics can you uniquely cover?”For Bruce Majors, a realtor for Chatel Real Estate in Washington, D.C., the Blogging 101 lecture was particularly helpful. Bruce runs a political blog called, Tea Party – One Lump or Two? He plans to use the training to better market his blog and explore the possibility of working in new media.“This is current, cutting-edge information for targeting the groups you need to target,” said Julie Malone Garofalo, who also plans to use the training to start a blog and search for a position in communications.Other lectures covered how to create effective online videos and disseminate them over the Internet via YouTube as well as social media activism through the popular networking sites, Twitter and Facebook.Gail Peirson, a retired pediatric nurse practitioner who is part of the Tea Party movement in New Jersey, was initially resistant to social media. After the training, she now sees it as a necessary tool for mass outreach.“Being able to hear ‘the case' for different types of online marketing and getting my ideas confirmed was specifically beneficial,” Gail said.Tuesday lectures focused primarily on online fundraising and advertising. Attendees learned how to find vendors and integrate traditional and online fundraising plans, promote a campaign or organization through online marketing, build and manage email lists, use data visualization tools and location technology, and finally, how to use Google Analytics to gather crucial information about visitors to a website.Freddie Klein, a legislative aide for Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, found the lectures on Twitter and Google Analytics particularly helpful. He now knows how to analyze website traffic and use that data to effectively target ads.“The training here was worthwhile and I plan to use it to teach my employer too,” he said.“The variety of information – specifically learning how to target people using social media and track analytics – was particularly beneficial,” agreed Ryan McNulty, strategic communications intern at The Heritage Foundation. “The training was extremely informative and beneficial – a must-attend for somebody serious about politics.”If you would like to learn more about LI's Comprehensive Online Activist School or other online activism and strategy training programs, click here.>
Honoring Andrew Breitbart
Abigail Alger
March 1, 2012
Honoring Andrew Breitbart
The staff of the Leadership Institute join those across the country honoring the memory of conservative journalist – and, dare I say, mischievous muckraker – Andrew Breitbart today. Andrew passed away unexpectedly early this morning.Andrew was best known as a writer, a publisher, and an activist. Many today have remembered him as “fearless” in his defense of his beliefs, as full of laughter and good-spirited antics, as a happy warrior for conservatism. Certainly many more know his works and words through his Breitbart.com and “Big” sites: Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and Big Peace.Andrew had taught at past Institute trainings, including LI's Broadcast Journalism School.It's fitting to remember Andrew in his own words. This new excerpt from his book, Righteous Indignation, was posted on Big Government this morning:"I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies."Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I've lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I've gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night."The thoughts and prayers of LI staff and conservatives across the country are with Andrew's family. >
Seven Ways to Fight the Jobseeker Blues
Laci Lawrence
February 28, 2012
Seven Ways to Fight the Jobseeker Blues
Are you one of the thousands of people looking for a job right now? Have you sent out countless resumes into the seeming black hole of the job market? Have you felt great about a job interview but never heard back from the employer? If so, you might find some comforting words and encouraging ideas in this blog entry from my own experience. Check out these tips to tide you over until you finally do receive those elusive words, “You've got the job.”1. Stay positive. Searching for a job is a frustrating process no matter what industry you pursue or your level of education. Some companies simply are not hiring or are hiring significantly fewer employees than in previous years. The current economy is not working in your favor, and this makes the search tedious and, at times, depressing. You've probably heard friends or family members say “You'll get the right job at the right time.” These are trite words, but they do hold some truth. Stay motivated and keep a smile on your face while you search for jobs and during interviews. If you feel depressed at times, never fear – you are not alone.2. Learn from your mistakes. This particular suggestion makes me laugh because I must be the reigning champion of awkwardness during interviews. During my second interview for an important job, I started to respond to the director of the agency that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Luckily I stopped myself in time to hastily change my answer, but I had to hold back my laughter throughout the remaining part of the interview for making Spiderman references. The bottom line is that as jobseekers we will make mistakes, whether it's a word misspelled on our resume or an awkward moment in the interview. If and when you make a mistake, laugh about it, fix it, and make sure your next experience is a success. 3. Keep an open mind. Many of us graduated from school with a dream job in mind. Perhaps you specialized in a particular area of study and participated in all sorts of extracurricular activities that were related to that topic. With the current job market, you may not be able to obtain that dream job until several years have passed. I am not suggesting you give up on your dream; rather, I encourage you to find jobs that relate to your education and experience that may help you eventually reach your goal. Don't ever feel like you are too good for a particular job. Employers want to see that you are motivated. This suggestion has personally been the hardest to accept after all of my years in school, but it is a reality that many new graduates are facing. 4. Develop a routine and adopt new strategies. How are you conducting your job search? Are you searching online databases, contacting people in your network, and attending job fairs? There is no sure-fire way to land a job, but establish a routine for your job search if you haven't already. Develop a list of job sites to check daily or several times a week. One of the best pieces of advice a friend gave me is to let people know that you are looking for a job. You might be amazed how many friends, alumni from your university, and family members are out there willing to help you find a job. When you speak with those people, just drop a line about your job search and see if they have any advice or suggestions. Remember – your network can't work for you if you don't ask for help. 5. Say yes to other opportunities. Are there volunteer opportunities in your community that relate to your preferred job sector? Is there a part-time job that could expand your network and perhaps even result in full-time employment? As you begin to utilize your network, some people might suggest working somewhere on a volunteer basis. If you're interested in working in politics, this is a great year to volunteer on a campaign. You will have gained valuable experience and made contact with people who might help you find a job. Keep a watchful eye on your finances, but remember that a rejected opportunity could result in a missed employment offer. Volunteer work can improve your resume and demonstrate your character to potential employers. 6. Keep track of your progress. This has helped me maintain my sanity throughout the job search. I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all jobs that I have applied for, the date of application, contact information for the job, and status of the application. Every person that I have emailed asking for advice or suggestions also goes on the list. With so many applications and emails, keeping a progress log has been the only solution to my prior sporadic and disjointed job search efforts. This method can help you determine which jobs merit a follow-up letter, and it also preserves information that might be deleted from a website once the interview process begins. Most importantly, the spreadsheet will indicate when a certain avenue of inquisition has been exhausted. For instance, if all of your applications to a specific job have failed, you may need to broaden your search to include other types of work. And for those days when you feel discouraged or depressed, open that spreadsheet and feast your eyes on all you have accomplished.7. Don't forget your struggle. If you finally found a job, remember how hard you worked to obtain it, and thank those people who may have helped you along the way. Use your new job status to help others who remain frustratingly unemployed. For every person who could not give a minute of their time, I have found an equal number who can't wait to offer some help or advice. Please make sure you fall into the helpful category for future jobseekers as they enter the job market. Who knows? Your one piece of advice may make the difference for a jobseeker who has been looking for a job longer than you ever contemplated.If you have been suffering from the jobseeker blues in this tough job market, try some of these tips. I hope you will find them helpful and encouraging. Most importantly, I hope we will all be kicking back our heels in a year's time as we enjoy the life of the newly employed.>
Meet LI’s Spring Interns
Lauren Levy
February 16, 2012
Meet LI’s Spring Interns
Please welcome the Leadership Institute's spring interns. This is their fifth week on the job.Patrick Bailey: Georgia Institute of Technology • Arlington, VA • Development Patrick comes to LI with extensive experience in database management and design. After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, Patrick worked as a database engineer at Capital IQ in New York City. While an undergraduate, Patrick constructed a 3D virtual campus for the Universitat Oberta de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain. Last fall Patrick brought his technical skills to Young Americans for Liberty, where he served as an intern in the development department. Patrick also volunteered on the ground with the Ron Paul campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in the weeks leading up to the 2012 primaries. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?As a Development intern I assist the Development Department staff in their routine duties regarding donor relations. I have already been given several important assignments such as drafting personal thank-you letters and mailing letters written from students of our training programs. I'm looking forward to using my technology skills to make the team more effective with development tools such as Raiser's Edge.What are you most excited about in this internship?The most exciting thing about the Leadership Institute's internship program is the opportunity to meet with and learn from great conservative leaders. This spring, I'm going to meet several influential people doing great things for the conservative movement. The Development Department here at LI is also hugely successful, and I hope to learn as much as possible about donor relations, direct mail, and foundation giving. I have some ideas about how I might be able to apply my background in data analysis to more effectively target our prospects and cultivate our donors, and I hope to get valuable feedback from the staff.What are your future plans?I left a budding career in finance to create technology tools for conservative grassroots and campaigns. With my degree and prior work experience, I already have the programming skills necessary to accomplish this goal. With the help of the Leadership Institute, I will gain an understanding of the public policy process to create truly effective technology that will give conservative activists the tools necessary for the battles we face ahead.Luis Silva-Ball:Universidad Metropolitana • Caracas, Venezuela • President's Office Luis is currently pursuing a degree in Liberal Studies from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas. In conjunction with his studies at the university, Luis is also enrolled in courses through the Mises Academy. He is the president of Estudiantes por la Libertad, a Student's For Liberty affiliated organization on his campus. Luis has volunteered with many political events in Venezuela, both at the student level as well as the national level and in 2011 he attended the Mount Pelerin Society's regional meeting in Buenos Aires as a guest scholar. In addition to his political involvement, Luis taught guitar and juggling at a youth camp in Maine and is a member of the Thespis Unimet theater troupe. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?As an intern to the President's Office, I mostly help out with daily tasks that Morton and his assistant, Cathy, bestow upon me. I sort Morton's mail, help out with the Adam Smith Attire orders and ensure their delivery, organize brochures and information packets, and occasionally attend events with Morton.2. What are you most excited about in this internship?Making acquaintances with principled conservatives, attending the Leadership Institute's numerous training schools, and most of all learning how to manage a nonprofit organization.What are your future plans?My immediate plans are to graduate and grow my organization on campus, Estudiantes por la Libertad, http://www.eslibertad.org. Later on, I'd like to get into banking and finance the liberty movement.David Bell: Rutgers University • Toms River, NJ • Grassroots David graduated from Rutgers in 2010 with a degree in Criminal Justice/Political Science. In 2009 David was selected to participate in Rutgers' Capital City Internship Program, where he was placed with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce as a Government Relations intern. He then interned with his local congressman in New Jersey's 3rd district, where he later was offered a position as Congressional Liaison. In 2011 David volunteered on a number of successful local campaigns, including a mayoral race that unseated a 12-year incumbent. In addition to his political experience, David served for four years as manager of Citricos Mediterranean Italian Cuisine and as an events coordinator for Evesham Township, NJ. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My tasks and projects as a Grassroots Intern are to maintain the Leadership Institute Database (LID) and aid in the establishment of relations with individuals and conservative-based organizations across the United States. Furthermore, I will be researching candidates and organizations to facilitate the Leadership Institute's movement throughout the United States.What are you most excited about in this internship? I am excited to be surrounded by a group of individuals that exemplify leadership and dedication. Moreover, I am energized to be associated with an organization that will allow me to hone my professional skills and develop new skills that will catapult me into the professional environment.What are your future plans? Some of my career goals include working as a consultant or lobbyist. I am contemplating running for public office in the future.Brittany Bezick: University of West Florida • Pensacola, FL • Youth Leadership School In December 2011 Brittany graduated from the University of West Florida (Pensacola) with a degree in political science. Brittany's passion for the political process began in high school when she was invited to attend Florida's Girls State. Since then, she interned for Rep. Clay Ingram's Pensacola office where she assisted with building databases, researching policy issues and contacting area businesses and residents. This past fall, Brittany attended Florida's Presidency 5, serving as a delegate for Escambia County, Florida. While president of UWF's College Republicans, Brittany planned a 9/11 memorial service and invited local veterans to speak to students and area residents. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My duties consist of compiling the folders and packets for each Youth Leadership School (YLS) class, uploading information onto the Leadership Institute Database about each student and class per YLS, and assisting in recruitment for each YLS.What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited about the working environment and the networking opportunities I will encounter during this internship, along with expanding my knowledge of the working environment and the strategic planning, development, and workings within a large nonprofit organization.What are your future plans? I plan on working as a campaign manager for local, state, and national campaigns.Taylor Bricker: Clarion University • Karns City, PA • Campus Leadership Program Taylor graduated this December from Clarion University with degrees in Political Science and Business Administration. While at Clarion, Taylor was an active member of the Clarion College Conservatives and served as Vice Chair of Elections. He was also elected to serve as Alumni Relations Officer for the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. In both positions, Taylor planned campus activities for fellow students, including arranging events with local candidates. In addition to his campus activities, Taylor frequently volunteered on area campaigns, and he has interned for the Social Security Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. Most recently, Taylor interned with Americans For Prosperity Foundation in their Marketing Department. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?My duties as a member of the Campus Leadership Programs department are to assist in the outreach to conservative/libertarian student organizations on college campuses, the provision and coordination of grassroots organizational/activism training, and in part providing content for the Campus Reform website.What are you most excited about in this internship?I am most excited to be a part of LI's efforts to help conservative and libertarian groups fight leftwing bias on campuses and to help counter liberal attempts to indoctrinate students.What are your future plans?In the future, I hope to work with the Leadership Institute or a similar group to help educate Americans of all ages on the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens to play a role in their government and to promote freedom and liberty to keep our country strong.Kelly Cassara: University of California, Los Angeles • Glendale, CA • Employment Placement Services A California native, Kelly graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. As the co-founder and president of the Glendale Community College Conservative Club, Kelly arranged numerous campus events and film screenings for her fellow students. She also served as Internal Vice President for Live Action UCLA, a youth-led, pro-life activist organization. After graduation, Kelly worked as the media/field intern for Concerned Women for America where she developed marketing materials for CWA's new Young Women for America initiative. In addition to her political activities, Kelly spent a semester abroad studying Italian in Florence, Italy. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I am responsible for making sure new jobs and internships are posted every day on ConservativeJobs.com. I always look for a variety of jobs that will appeal to different interests and work-experience levels. I also use Twitter and Facebook to promote the website and spread awareness about the latest job listings. My other duties include providing jobseekers with feedback on their résumés and cover letters. I also helped with the Job Fair at CPAC that LI hosted.What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited to be learning the ins-and-outs of job hunting, especially because it will help me in my own pursuit of employment following this internship. I am now aware of all these new job search sites, and it's amazing to discover what's out there. It's also very rewarding to help people find the jobs!What are your future plans? My plans are to return to California and seek a full-time job there. Ideally, I would like to remain working on behalf of the conservative cause, particularly the pro-life movement.Mike Fincher: University of California, Merced • Atwater, CA • Campus Reform Online Mike will formally graduate from UC Merced with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History in 2012. While at UC Merced, Mike has been extensively involved with the campus community. He served as both a senator and associate justice for ASUCM, UC Merced's student governing body; as a student trustee for the Collegiate Alumni Foundation; and as an events staffer for the university's Recreation and Athletics department. Mike was the co-founder of the College Republicans at UC Merced and The Right Side publication, where he also served as executive editor. Mike achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2008. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I work within Campus Reform Online (CRO). I write blogs, interact with students online, and help spread our message and programs through social media outlets. I also help with production of videos in our department, which we use to promote and report on student activism. As CRO and the Campus Leadership Programs (CLP) work closely together, my duties also include traveling with Regional Field Coordinators, and compilation of information for Conservatism101 and other CLP programs. What are you most excited about in this internship?What drew me to this internship was not just the fact that most expenses were covered, but also that LI stresses networking and gives interns the opportunity to attend trainings and events, as well as meet influential speakers at our dinners. I am also excited to work with CRO, which is more of a hobby for me and less of a job, making each day enjoyable. What are your future plans?I plan on attending law school in the fall. I would like to serve as a legal counsel for non-profits/foundations within the conservative movement after law school and to stay involved in politics. Meghan Gray: Columbia College Chicago • Beach Park, IL • Events Meghan is currently working toward degrees in Journalism and Public Relations at Columbia College Chicago. She is a dedicated member of the Lake County Republican Federation, where she has supported numerous fundraising efforts. Meghan organized several golf outings for the Federation, securing sponsorships for the event and prizes for a silent auction held in conjunction with the tournament. Meghan has also written news articles and developed content for Chicago area publications. In addition to her political and journalistic involvement, Meghan is a member of the Delta Zeta National Sorority and has actively volunteered her time with area non-profits. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I will work to prepare Leadership Institute staff and guests for the Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfasts, happy hours, upcoming trainings and schools, and the Fourth of July Soirée. The most exciting aspect of my position is being able to collaborate on CPAC 2012, which is the largest conservative gathering in the nation. What are you most excited about in this internship?I am most enthusiastic about growing as a professional within the conservative movement. I feel fortunate to have been granted an internship that provides invaluable networking opportunities and hands-on experience, while furthering my passion and understanding of the public policy process. What are your future plans?I am currently a senior at Columbia College Chicago, pursuing a degree in journalism and public relations. Ultimately, I aspire to work on Capitol Hill or in the nonprofit sector. I look forward to establishing a name for myself in D.C., and am confident the knowledge and life lessons acquired from the Leadership Institute will follow me in the years to come. Lauren Levy: University of Florida, Gainesville • Miami, FL • Recruitment Lauren holds degrees in Journalism and Jewish Studies from the University of Florida, Gainesville, where she graduated in 2011. An active writer, Lauren's work has been published on Townhall, GOPRockstars.com, and UF's publication The Independent Florida Alligator. Lauren interned with The Real Proposal magazine from 2006 to 2011 where she served as a research assistant, co-editor and social media administrator. Most recently, Lauren interned with Concerned Women for America under Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse. Lauren wrote biweekly blog posts, prepared presentations, and edited copy for Dr. Crouse's upcoming book. Lauren is an active member of the DC Young Republicans, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and has studied abroad in Jerusalem. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? Essentially, our department is the communications branch for the Leadership Institute. I am responsible for writing stories about faculty, events, trainings, schools and workshops that promote LI to the general public. I also keep track of events in the area hosted by conservative organizations and post them to our intranet calendar to encourage networking on behalf of LI. I will also be keeping track of conservative organizations and our congressional advisory board, which consists of members of the House and Senate who support LI's mission and conservative ideals. Finally, throughout the course of my internship, I will be participating in Capitol Hill walks to visit congressional offices, distribute marketing materials, and network on behalf of LI. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am excited to have the opportunity to network with current and future movers and shakers in the conservative movement who are positioning themselves for careers in politics, media and public policy. I am also excited to participate in several of the schools, trainings and workshops, all of which are free of charge for LI interns. What are your future plans? Through this internship, I hope to gain the tools I need to launch a career path advancing the conservative movement. I want to be involved with a public policy organization that is actively engaged in topical sociopolitical and legislative debates and initiatives that reinforce conservative values. I am also interested in opportunities that lead to writing syndicated columns and other works that explore my personal philosophy on sociopolitical and cultural issues at a national and international scale. Elizabeth Morrison: Regent University • Hollywood Beach, MD • Online Programs Elizabeth is currently studying Communications and American Government and Politics at Regent University. She has actively campaigned for multiple Virginia races, including Scott Rigell's congressional campaign and Ron Villenueva's campaign for Virginia House of Delegates. Elizabeth's campus involvement includes serving as the Secretary and Undergraduate Republican Liaison of Regent's College Republicans. For the past three years Elizabeth has participated in Young America's Foundation seminars and conferences, in addition to attending a Journalism Camp at Patrick Henry College. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My job duties as the Online Programs intern are to help get ready for our webinars that occur every other Wednesday. This includes many different tasks from running errands to writing scripts. Tasks can vary from simple to difficult. One of the main projects I'll be working on is finishing up and polishing any writing that has to be done for our webinar videos in addition to assisting in the production of the videos. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited for the people I'll get to meet and the experiences I'll get to have with them. Arlington is full of opportunities and things to see and do. I try to live life so that I will never be short on experiences to share. At the Leadership Institute, I know I am being given the very best internship available in a place that simply cannot be beat. I am also excited that I am advancing my career in politics and setting myself up for success by participating in the intern program. What are your future plans? My future plans change often as I understand myself and my interests more. However, as of now, I plan to graduate college and then get a master's degree, possibly in business. After that I would like to be a lobbyist and work to advance conservative ideas or do public relations for a large corporation. Eventually, I would like to run for office and take everything I've learned here and put it to good use. Marta Ponikowska: University of Warsaw • Lukow, Poland • LI Studios/TechnologyMarta is a fifth-year student of law at the Univeristy of Warsaw. She holds MA in Political Sciences (University of Warsaw, University of Maastricht- Erasmus Scholarship). During her studies, Marta interned at the Polish Ministry of Justice and the European Parliament (Brussels). Marta was involved in many projects at the Center for Citizenship Education and the ‘Everyday law' project of the Polish Human Rights Defender Office. She is also a legal assistant at an international law firm. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?I assist the LI Studios with day-to-day work. The studio is a television studio, post production house and media agency all in one, so interning here is something really exciting as I can learn a lot about all the phases of media production. This semester I will write scripts, assist with production of webinars, edit and produce videos, work on web development and learn about new media. My intern project is to produce an advocacy video. What are you most excited about in this internship?The Leadership Institute internship is a great opportunity to learn about the American political system, society and management. It is also probably the best place in the Washington, DC, area to gain successful leadership skills. The Institute organizes weekly informal meetings with professionals from the fields of politics and law, so all the interns have a chance to speak with influential conservatives who share their personal experiences. What are your future plans?After completing my internship, I will travel to France to attend the European Advocacy Academy. Later on, I will most likely start studying for the Warsaw Bar entrance exam. I will definitely try to utilize everything that I have learned over the course of the internship. Harmony Shields: Patrick Henry College • Palmer, AK • Department of Political Training Harmony Shields completed a certificate in Constitutional Law through Patrick Henry College in 2011. She is a dedicated pro-life advocate, and has served in many capacities at HeartReach Pregnancy Center in Wasilla, Alaska. Harmony is active in her local Republican organization and has served as treasurer for the Valley Republican Women's Club. Harmony volunteered extensively on a number of Alaskan campaigns, including Joe Miller's Senate race where she worked as candidate scheduler and event coordinator. Most recently, Harmony was the Alaska state director for Herman Cain's presidential campaign. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?Most recently, my project has been to sort and update contact lists, and prepare for CPAC trainings. Some of my responsibilities will also be to help assist in the political trainings, such as the Campaign Management School. What are you most excited about in this internship?I am so excited to be involved in an organization like LI that helps make such an impact in conservative politics. What are your future plans?In the future, I would like to help better the conservative cause in any way that I can. Some of my tentative plans include working on campaigns for principled conservative candidates, possibly running for office, and training other young people to get involved in the movement. I think that it is very important that every person gets a taste of working in politics sometime in his or her life. For years, politics has had a very negative connation, and I want to help change the tide and make it positive again. Chris Vari: Thomas Edison State College, Regent University • Perry Hall, MD • DevelopmentChris received his JD from Regent University School of Law in 2011 after completing an undergraduate degree in History at Thomas Edison State College. While a student at Regent, Chris was the staff editor for the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy and also served as president of Regent College Republicans. Chris has interned with Ohio State Representative Diana Fessler, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and served as treasurer for Ron Hood's 2008 congressional campaign. In 2010 Chris also completed an externship with the American Center for Law and Justice where he performed legal research for ACLJ attorneys. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester?I am responsible for assisting Development Department staff as they raise the money necessary to fund LI training. Typical tasks include data entry and donor research. As far as major projects, I am hoping to help turn LI's Planned Giving newsletter into a quarterly publication. What are you most excited about in this internship?I am really excited about being close to DC networking opportunities and having access to LI's training opportunities and connections within the conservative movement. What are your future plans?I would eventually like to work as a legislative staff member on Capitol Hill or as a policy/legislative analyst or lobbyist for a conservative political organization. >
Come Say Hello at CPAC
Lauren Hart
February 8, 2012
Come Say Hello at CPAC
Leadership Institute staff and interns will be working the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday—Saturday at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, D.C.As a CPAC sponsor the Leadership Institute has two booths—on the mezzanine level and in the exhibit hall—where you can stop by to:- Take a picture with a friend or two with a CPAC picture frame of you and your buddies inside- Sign up for our emails- Buy an Adam Smith tie or scarf- Chat with LI staffLI will also offer seven trainings throughout CPAC in Wilson AB room:- How to Raise Money…the Easy Way—Thursday, Feb. 9 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.- Getting Your Message Heard—Thursday, Feb. 9 from 12 – 2 p.m.- Landing a Conservative Job—Thursday, Feb. 9 from 2:30—4:30 p.m.- Rules for Radicals—Friday, Feb. 10 from 10—11 a.m.- Public Speaking Workshop—Friday, Feb. 10 from 12—2 p.m.- Video Activism: Tips of the Trade—Friday, Feb. 10 from 2:30—4:30 p.m.- GOTV: Creating a Winning Ground Game—Saturday, Feb. 11 from 12-2 p.m. LI's ConservativeJobs.com is hosting the CPAC Job and Internship Fair Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. until noon in the Maryland Ballroom. More than 25 organizations will be recruiting for full-time staff and intern positions, so make sure to bring copies of your resume. For more information about LI's events and locations during CPAC, please go here.>
New Year, New Job Search: Attend a Career Fair
Kelly Cassara
February 8, 2012
New Year, New Job Search: Attend a Career Fair
With the start of 2012, now is the time to finally follow through on your New Year's resolutions. And if you are unemployed or wanting to make a change, finding a new career may be your most important goal this year.If you have been on the job hunt for awhile, don't despair! There are lots of strategies to try. Create a profile and search for employment on ConservativeJobs.com, peruse other job listings such as the Heritage Job Bank and America's Future Foundation's Career Center, and ask people in your social network if they have “the scoop” on any new jobs.In conjunction with your personal job search, your next best bet at landing a position is to look for career fairs within your local community. These fairs bring together recruiters from a multitude of organizations, often connecting jobseekers directly with those who do the hiring. They provide a fantastic forum to learn more about career opportunities, introduce yourself to recruiters, and form connections with those who work for the organization. To make the most of your time at a job fair, here are some things to keep in mind.1. You can never be too prepared! Do your research and find out which organizations will be in attendance. Visit their official websites, be familiar with their mission statements and goals, and have questions ready to ask recruiters. Not only will they be impressed by your knowledge, but they will see that you have a genuine interest in their work.2. Treat the job fair as your first interview with organizations. First impressions do count. Dress professionally in business attire and don't forget to bring multiple copies of your resume. Some organizations may have immediate openings and recruiters will request your resume. Note: The Leadership Institute offers free, in-depth resume reviews. Contact the Conservative Jobs team at Jobseekers@limail.us for more information.3. Don't be shy! Introduce yourself to the recruiters and don't be afraid to ask them questions. They are there to promote their organizations and are on the lookout for potential employees. Inquire about open positions and find out the proper way to apply. The information you gain from a recruiter may give you the extra edge in the application process!4. Follow up with recruiters after your initial meeting. Send them a note thanking them for attending the job fair and speaking with you. Reaffirm your interest in their organization and let them know if you will be applying for a position. This little bit of effort on your part will go a long way!Ready to put this advice into practice? The Leadership Institute is hosting the CPAC 2012 Job and Internship Fair this Saturday, February 11, bringing you face-to-face with recruiters from top conservative organizations based in the D.C. area and beyond. Take advantage of this opportunity and revamp your approach to pursuing employment this year. It may get you the job!>
Missouri Congressional Candidate: After LI’s Campaign Management School, You’ll Be A Better Candidate and Run A Better Campaign
Lauren Levy
February 7, 2012
Missouri Congressional Candidate: After LI’s Campaign Management School, You’ll Be A Better Candidate and Run A Better Campaign
Last week 42 campaign managers, future candidates, and conservative activists of all sorts flocked to the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA to learn from campaign experts at LI's Campaign Management School (CMS).Over the course of four days and 25 training lectures, motivated conservatives acquired the tools needed to organize, finance, and run successful campaigns.Lisa Fitzhugh works for Maryland State Senator and Former Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs, who is running to represent citizens in Maryland's Congressional district 2 to defeat Dutch Ruppersberger. “I so appreciate the respect this training has for us and our ability to increase the conservative message in our communities,” Lisa said. “Campaigns are notorious for being fast-paced, and the value this training brings to our campaigns is immeasurable. It gives us the tools to get our message across.”On the first day of the CMS, attendees learned how to use opposition research to their advantage, write and develop campaign plans, finance a campaign, develop an effective message, and decipher polling data.Mike Allen is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as a command sergeant major and currently serves as a campaign manager in Georgia's district 12. Mike was asked by his candidate to become the manager of his campaign, a career shift that required him to quit his previous job.“As this is my very first time involved in campaigning, I came to this school to find the baseline for what I should be doing and implementing,” he said. “I just wish I'd come before.”On Day 2, the CMS lectures focused on targeting and calculating vote goals, building coalitions, grassroots machines, door-to-door campaigning, and contacting voters via phone banks. LI President Morton Blackwell also delivered a comprehensive lecture on handling negative information to protect your candidate's image.“To deflect negative attacks against you or your candidate, your aim is to end the usefulness of the story against you as soon as possible,” Morton said. He then proceeded to list six strategies to extinguish the negative accusations.While the CMS focuses on campaigning, the principles can be applied to other types of activism. Three attendees, Les Riley, Gualberto Garcia Jones, and Drew Hymer, work with affiliates of Personhood USA.“The lectures provide good information on grassroots mobilization and getting people involved,” said Les, who founded Personhood Mississippi and drafted the legal language for an initiative that would seek to define the unborn as “persons” in the state constitution. His “Personhood Amendment” has already amassed more than 130,000 signatures and gained the support of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.Similarly, Lisa Donovan, vice chair of the Upstate Conservative Coalition in New York, is launching a grassroots effort to fight unfunded mandates in her state and mobilize people to overturn regulations that she believes are placed unfairly upon her state without proper access to funding.“The Campaign Management School gives a good overview of what's important for activism,” Lisa said. “I've been so impressed by the faculty. They're so knowledgeable and experienced.”Day 3 of the CMS covered topics such as writing a finance plan, recruiting a finance committee, asking for donations, fundraising with events, direct mail fundraising, establishing a voter registration plan, running an absentee voting program, and planning a ground game for getting out the vote (GOTV).“I think anyone who is serious about running for office should go through LI's Campaign Management and Future Candidate schools, as well as the TV trainings,” said Jacob Turk, who is running for U.S. Congress as a Republican from Missouri's 5th district. “What you learn during the CMS will help you be a much better candidate and run a much better campaign.”On the final day of the CMS attendees learned about the latest campaign technologies, implementing a voter mail program, creating effective ads for paid media, hiring and firing consultants, the procedures for buying media space, tips and techniques for handling earned media, as well as completing and fine-tuning a winning strategy.The shift toward media focus was of particular interest to Chuck Paris, another veteran of the U.S. Army who is working to bring on-camera media training to combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.“Many veterans return from war and have trouble being personable,” Chuck said. “I want to train them to handle media, and these LI courses give me the credentials. I wouldn't spend my money and time if it wasn't superb.” Chuck has taken numerous courses with LI over the years, including public relations, new media, fundraising, legislative project management, and TV trainings.LI offers campaign training the first full week of every month. Check out the schedule here.>
The Leadership Institute Mourns the Loss of Eugene H. Methvin
Lauren Hart
January 27, 2012
The Leadership Institute Mourns the Loss of Eugene H. Methvin
Eugene H. Methvin, a member of the Leadership Institute's Board of Directors for 10 years, passed away at his home in McLean, Virginia on January 19, 2012.Gene dedicated his life to fight against the evils of communism, crime, and corruption. Over his 42-year career, Eugene contributed more than 100 articles to the Reader's Digest on topics ranging from the U.S. Supreme Court, civil liberties and constitutional law, the U.S. defense posture, Kremlin politics, and U.S.-Soviet relations. His articles on organized crime in Reader's Digest led to the passage of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed Gene to the President's Commission on Organized Crime as one of its 19 members. Eugene directed the commission's investigation and hearings on labor-management racketeering.Starting in the mid 1960s, he was a great personal mentor of Morton Blackwell, who founded LI in 1979.Gene was author of Rise of Radicalism, one of the Leadership Institute's Read to Lead books. In the book, Eugene examines what might be called the fundamentals of leftism: propaganda, confrontation, organization, and violence.“I consider myself fortunate to have been allowed to play the piccolo in the great parade of American democracy for nearly half a century,” Gene wrote before his death. “During that time, the American people defeated and brought down two evil empires: the Teamsters Union and the Soviet Union, and I and my piccolo had a hand in both. That is enough for me.”He is survived by two daughters, Helen Methvin Payne, an architect, and Claudia Methvin, a physician; and two granddaughters.Funeral services will be held at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1125 Savile Lane, McLean, VA on Saturday, January 28 at 2 p.m. He will be interred in Vienna, Georgia.The following is from Gene's official biography:Eugene was born on September 19, 1934 in Vienna, Georgia to a family in the newspaper business. His parents published a country weekly, The Vienna News, where Eugene began his journalism education by sleeping on a bale of newsprint every Thursday night while his parents met the weekly deadline.At the age of four, Eugene got into bucket of ink behind the family's flatbed cylinder press, and not even a gasoline bath could get all the printer's ink out of him. At the age of five Eugene became a reporter, even before he learned to write. The youngster would walk around his hometown asking residents to write down their news for him.Eugene graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1955. He went on to be a pilot for three years in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Washington Daily News as a general assignment in 1958. Later, Eugene did graduate study in philosophy and international relations at the Youngstown, American, and George Washington Universities before joining the staff at Reader's Digest in 1960.With more than four decades with the monthly magazine Reader's Digest, Eugene served as associate editor and then senior editor of the bureau in Washington, D.C. After his retirement in 1996, he continued to serve as a contributing editor.In 1995, the Washington D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eugene to its “Hall of Fame” for “exemplary professional achievements, outstanding service to other members of the profession, and lifelong dedication to the highest standards of journalism.”Leadership Institute staff and supporters thank Gene for his 10 years of service, and mourn his loss.>
LI’s Grassroots Coordinator Brennan Ward -- Trains 856 students in 9 Months
Lauren Levy
January 20, 2012
LI’s Grassroots Coordinator Brennan Ward -- Trains 856 students in 9 Months
Brennan Ward joined the Leadership Institute's Grassroots department in April 2011, and on Tuesday was recognized by LI President Morton Blackwell as “Employee of the Quarter” at the all-staff meeting.“Brennan has helped to design several campaign training exercises which has given the Grassroots and Political Training departments a creative way to teach and engage students,” said Morton Blackwell. “He has been willing to take on any task given to him and has been a great asset to the team.”Brennan managed 20 different trainings ranging from Grassroots Activism to Campaign Management to Fundraising workshops. In nine months Brennan trained 856 students, giving up many a weekend for the road where he traveled weeks at a time.“I've seen parts of the country you'd otherwise never be able to see,” Brennan said. “I've trained conservatives from the Redwoods of Oregon to the coastlines of California to the cornfields of Iowa.” LI's Grassroots Activism School is the program closest to Brennan's heart because it allows him the opportunity to interact closely with voters and learn their viewpoints while networking with leading conservatives in the movement.“Grassroots activism is the building block for anyone preparing to pursue a career in politics,” Brennan said.LI's Senior Director of Domestic & International Programs Robert Arnakis said, “Brennan's work ethic and hustle helped the team exceed some pretty high goals. His positive attitude and ingenuity make working with him a pleasure. I'm happy to see his hard work be rewarded and recognized.” Danielle Hall, a LI student who attended LI's Grassroots Campaign and Activist training in Tacoma, WA said:“Brennan is very knowledgeable! I love his personal stories, and would definitely be interested in attending further classes with the Leadership Institute. I learned a ton of information, and I look forward to utilizing some newly acquired skills.” At age 10 Brennan got his start in politics. He campaigned with his grandmother who was a state representative in New Hampshire.He went on to receive his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and later obtained a master's degree in political management from The George Washington University.Before coming to LI, Brennan worked in polling and survey analysis. While working for Public Opinion Strategies, a leading polling company, Brennan organized campaign messages and monitored polls for candidates running for U.S. Congress and Senate. Brennan also worked for the Republican National Committee's Strategy Department as a staff member in political polling.If you would like to learn more about LI's Grassroots Department in 2011, click here.To see where LI trainings will be hosted in 2012, go here for the training schedule. >
What Recruiters Want: Tackling the Toughest Interview Questions
Laci Lawrence
January 6, 2012
What Recruiters Want: Tackling the Toughest Interview Questions
You made it. Your resume and cover letter were perfect, and now you are sitting in the hot seat at the office of your dreams. No pressure, but things can all go south in a matter of minutes if you haven't prepared for difficult interview questions. Check out the five difficult questions below and how to best answer them in an intelligent and concise manner. 1. Tell me about yourself. Many interviews begin with this softball of a question, so be prepared with a short and applicable answer. You should create a one-minute elevator speech that pertains to how your qualifications align with the potential job and employer. Do not dredge up some anecdote about your childhood unless you can successfully tie it to the job.2. What is your five-year plan? If you are just entering the job market, you might not have a clear plan. Or, even worse, the job you are interviewing for may not fall within your ideal five-year plan. How should you answer this question? One thing is clear: never say that you hope to be in the same job at the end of the five years. Show some ambition and tell the employer you want to advance in the company because you believe in the company's goals and ideals. Demonstrate your dedication to the company by explaining how you will use your experience to improve the company's image and bottom line.3. You seem to change careers frequently. Why should I hire you? If you are attempting to make a career change, this question will surely be asked by an employer. It's best to explain how your previous employment provided you with a diverse and unique skill set that qualifies you for the present job. Pick three skills from your previous work and describe how those qualities translate to the current job. If you have a compelling and applicable story of why you are changing careers, tell the recruiter why you are passionate about the new job and company.4. Why do you want to work for us? This is another softball question that can become a foul ball if you answer “Because I want to help people” or “Because I am the best candidate.” You should really capitalize on this question by doing your homework on the company before the interview. Give a specific example of an ongoing project at the company and how you are uniquely qualified to address that task. Your answers should be tailored to the company's current projects as much as possible. This tells the employer that you are already “in the know” about the organization.5. You don't have much experience in this field. What qualifies you for this position? Raise your hand if you hate this question. How do you gain experience if everyone only hires people with experience? Never fear, there is an answer for you. Mention your good grades and any applicable school experience that relates to the job. Most importantly, discuss how you want to learn the ropes at the company because of your dedication to its main goals. Tell the employer about your drive and determination to become a key player at the company. Don't forget to subtly mention that your starting salary will be lower than a more experienced person. What you may lack in experience you can make up in determination.So there you have it. Before walking into the interview, think about how to adopt these suggestions and craft your own answers. Remember that recruiters will be interviewing multiple candidates for the job, and your polished and prepared answers will immediately set you apart from other candidates. Getting the interview shows that you already demonstrated the qualifications for the job. Now sell your personality and determination with excellent responses!>
LI’s Grassroots Training Staff on the Road Half the Year—180 Days—and Trained Record Numbers
Lauren Hart
December 21, 2011
LI’s Grassroots Training Staff on the Road Half the Year—180 Days—and Trained Record Numbers
The Leadership Institute's grassroots department of four men trained 4,127 conservatives in 103 trainings across 33 states this year in activism and candidate/campaign training.The grassroots department offers seven types of training: Campaign Management School; Communications Workshop; Custom Workshop; Fundraising Workshop; Future Candidate School; Get-Out-The-Vote Workshop; and Grassroots Activist School.“As I have traveled the country this year, I've gotten to meet so many great candidates running for office,” said Robert Arnakis, senior director of domestic and international programs. “They truly appreciate what our organization does in preparing them for effective leadership and activism.” “My best memory this year was working with my staff. Their energy and dedication to LI speaks volumes. Having traveled more than 180 days, this year was real tough, but my staff kept focused and their positive attitude got us through the months were we saw a hotel room more often than our homes. Working together we met every goal we set for 2011. This next year—2012—will be an interesting year for our department. We intend to stay very busy as the election approaches.”Grassroots Coordinator Chris Doss said, “Everywhere I go, I meet people who place great value on the history of our nation, the vision of our founders, the heritage of liberty going beyond the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence – going all the way back to Jamestown and even to the Magna Carta at Runnymeade. That is always a topic of conversation with the people who join us for our training programs.”Chris remembers one weekend where he met a descendent of Thomas Lord Fairfax, the highest ranking nobleman in British North America who he threw his lot with the Revolutionaries when the war for independence began. Lord Fairfax once owned much of what is now Northern Virginia, where the Leadership Institute is headquartered.“She took me into her front parlour, opened an old wooden box, and I was very soon holding in my own hands several 260-year-old deeds that had belonged to Thomas Lord Fairfax. The evening was an incredible lesson on America's early history, but told from the perspective of family history – by a family member of several of our nation's most notable families. I was mesmerized,” Chris remembered.Brennan Ward, grassroots coordinator, said: “This year was phenomenal; I got a chance to work with very enthusiastic and dedicated students all across the country, and a chance to teach with some of the best politicos in the business. I'm looking forward to what 2012 has in store for the grassroots department.”“Getting married was definitely the highlight of my year, but being a part of this team during this record-breaking year is a close second,” said Ryan Adams, grassroots activist schools coordinator. “My fondest training of the year was in Little Rock, AR," Ryan continued. "In the state of Arkansas, conservatives have a real chance to gain their first majority in the state government since the 1860's. I am happy to say I had some small part in that.”Robert said, “Wes Duncan, a retired Navy Jag Officer, is one of our students who attended several LI trainings. Wes is running for local office and I anticipate this will be the start of a long career in politics for him.” There are many LI graduates that go on to run for public office and run conservative campaigns.To see where LI trainings will be hosted in 2012, go here for the training schedule. >
Record Breaking Conservative Students Trained Across America in 2011
Lauren Hart
December 20, 2011
Record Breaking Conservative Students Trained Across America in 2011
In 2011 the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School, known as the “boot camp of politics,” trained 1,042 young conservatives – setting an all-time LI record for this department.This two-person YLS team trained 1,042 students in 33 trainings across 21 states this year.The Youth Leadership School is an intense, two-day training that teaches students to organize and lead mass-based youth efforts for the candidates and causes of their choice. The flagship training of the Institute launches more careers in politics than any other LI program. Notable YLS graduates include Senator Mitch McConnell; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity; and Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa. The record-breaking year for the YLS department is thanks to LI's generous donors who support these programs and volunteer faculty who travel on weekends to share their expert political knowledge.“The YLS can be life-changing,” said Kent Strang, Youth Leadership School director. “I've seen former students elected to office, featured on print and broadcast media, run successful campaigns, and become colleagues. These success stories make every weekend away from my family well worth the effort.” In July, the largest in-house YLS took place with a record-breaking 129 students from 30 different states and four countries. These students represented 74 colleges and universities were represented, 20 different Capitol Hill offices, and 19 conservative organizations."The YLS gives young conservatives a skill set of time-tested and innovative campaign and organizational techniques they will use throughout their political career,” said Daryn Iwicki, Americans for Prosperity Foundation director of training and education. Daryn, a former YLS coordinator who worked for LI now volunteers his weekend time to continue training young conservatives. “By training over 1,000 students three of the last four years, our students will be a powerful force for liberty now and in the future.” This year the Leadership Institute announced its 100,000th student trained since 1979: Alejandro Capote. Alejandro, a Florida State University sophomore and recently naturalized US citizen, graduated from LI's Youth Leadership School first in July at the Arlington, VA training and then he organized a 35-person YLS on his college campus in Tallahassee, Florida October 15.At the Tallahassee training, Alejandro was named LI's 100,000th graduate. He receives free Institute training for life and a travel scholarship to any LI training in the U.S. in 2012.Meghan Swella, YLS coordinator, said, “I watch students eyes light up as we give them the tools to win for conservative principles and candidates. I love inspiring and motivating young conservatives through the YLS training.”In January 2012 alone there are four scheduled YLS trainings in Pullman, Washington; Newark, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Mexico City, Mexico. Sign up for the Youth Leadership School. Spread the word and get involved in local politics on campus and in your community.>
Yesterday at LI: President of the National Right to Work Committee Mark Mix Remains Optimistic about Battle Against Unions
Mikayla Hall
December 8, 2011
Yesterday at LI: President of the National Right to Work Committee Mark Mix Remains Optimistic about Battle Against Unions
Yesterday 43 people braved the wind and the rain to hear Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work Committee and National Right to Work Foundation, who spoke at the Leadership Institute's December Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.Mark Mix credits the Leadership Institute's techniques with his start in politics. He said a member of a conservative campus group at his college stood in front of a table, shook his hand, and invited him to their meeting.In the following years, Mark went on to take LI's Legislative Project Management School, newspaper training, television training and other Institute trainings he could make. “I probably have more LI diplomas than most,” he joked.Standing before conservatives and supporters of the Institute, Mark spoke about his organization's efforts to establish right to work laws across the nation.“The First Amendment says you have the right to associate. Since 1935, however, we have allowed private organizations to force workers to associate as terms of employment. Having a right to associate presupposes the right not to associate. …How is it that a private organization that represents only 6.9 percent of the private sector has the loudest voice on Capitol Hill?” he said.But, Mark noted, it is important to recognize that the National Right to Work Committee is not against unions, but against forcing employees to join a union as terms of employment. “We protect the right for people to join a union. It is an important right. But we cannot give [union leaders] monopoly power,” Mark said.While a serious issue, Mark ended on a positive note, saying: “You can't overlook what's happening in Wisconsin and Ohio. Compulsory behavior is in the last throes of a [failed institution]…in ten years or so, I think we will see the end of compulsory organized labor.”Didn't make it to the Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast? Watch the video here.Next month's speaker will be Dr. Paul Teller, executive director of the Republican Study Committee. To register for this and other LI programs and schools, go here.>
$50,000 AND $25,000 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships Offered By The Phillips Foundation
Lauren Hart
November 30, 2011
$50,000 AND $25,000 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships Offered By The Phillips Foundation
The Phillips Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2012 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. Print and online journalists with less than 10 years of professional experience are eligible. The Foundation created this program to provide fellowships for writing projects by journalists who share its mission to advance constitutional principles, a democratic society and a vibrant free enterprise system.The Phillips Foundation awards $50,000 full-time and $25,000 part-time fellowships to undertake and complete a one-year project of the applicant's choosing focusing on journalism supportive of American culture and a free society. In addition, the Foundation offers separate year-long fellowships on the environment, on the benefits of free-market competition, and on law enforcement. There are also Alumni Fund Fellowships funded by donations from current and former Novak Fellows. Alumni Fund Fellowship winners write one magazine-length article on their topic.The Foundation is looking for journalism projects which are both original and publishable. The winners will deliver four quarterly writing installments with the potential to be published sequentially in a periodical or as a book.Applications must be postmarked by February 21, 2012. The winners will be announced next May at an awards dinner at the National Press Club in Washington. The starting date for the fellowships is September 1, 2012. Applicants must be citizens of the United States.For an application, visit www.novakfellowships.org, or contact: The Phillips Foundation, 1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20001. Phone: 202-677-4633. E-mail: info@thephillipsfoundation.org. The Foundation awarded nine fellowships in 2011:Full-time Fellowships• Meg McDonnell for “Marriage and Young Adults: Understanding the American Struggle to Get to ‘I do.'”• Jillian Melchior for “Cross Cultural China.”Part-time Fellowships• Max Borders for “Superwealth: Why We Should Stop Worrying About the ‘Gap' Between Rich and Poor and Start Celebrating Wealth Creation.”• Nathan Harden for “The Higher Ed Bubble: The Sad Sorry Story of How the Government Over-subsidized Student Loans and Produced a Generation of Under-educated, Over-credentialed, Debt-saddled Graduates Who Can't Find a Job.”• Daniel Indiviglio for “Fixing the U.S. Mortgage Market: How Less Government Will Make it Stronger and More Stable.”• John McCormack for “Citizens Divided: How the Supreme Court's 2010 Campaign Finance Ruling has Affected American Politics.”• Ashley McGuire for “The End of Women: The Cultural Disempowerment of Girls, College Students, Mothers and Poor Women.”Alumni Fund Fellowships• Tony Gonzalez for “Buying Barbecue Sauce by the Truckload: How Entrepreneurs Find Profit in the Uncertain World of Lost and Unclaimed Freight.”• Charles Johnson for “Enemies Domestic: An Investigation into the Appeasement of Evil by America's Colleges.”For a list of all 103 fellowship winners and their projects since inception of the program in 1994, visit www.novakfellowships.org. >
A Thankful Heart
Lauren Hart
November 23, 2011
A Thankful Heart
Workaholic Washington does stop. I've witnessed it today.This morning I commuted to work in a record-breaking 12 minutes, when it usually takes 30-45. Commuters left the Beltway for the holiday.My well-attended Wednesday morning meeting in the district was sparse, and cut short. It's quiet in the office this afternoon. Many of my fellow Leadership Institute co-workers have ditched me for home (I don't blame them).But before I leave the office to start cooking for tomorrow's feast with my boyfriend's family, I pause to reflect.What a privileged joy this past year has been working at the Leadership Institute.I have met some of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate people while here.These folks I have worked alongside many an hour. They have been fellow LI employees, volunteer faculty for our trainings, and students who have given up weekends and nights to learn political technology. The donors who support our mission to train conservative activists, students, and leaders give a priceless gift, and do so voluntarily, because it's their delight.In my year here, I have seen many walk into our building with nothing more than a great passion to make a difference within the public policy process. They've left armed with the tools to make that dream a reality.Later, I find out they won their State Senate campaign. They started a conservative organization. They organized their precinct, and voted in a conservative school board member. They debated liberals on CNN and MSNBC like they've owned the airwaves forever.This place is truly remarkable. There's no place quite like it.We are a family here. Not just the staff, but the interns each semester who are valued team members in our departments and the 300-plus volunteer faculty who give their expertise and precious time to share their insider knowledge with our students. And the LI graduates, wow, they have this special nostalgia of their time here.I have met many people who, after hearing where I work, say that they've attended trainings here, or support the Institute, or taught for us in the past, or interned here. They owe their career to LI, they say. LI launched their career. LI helped them get elected. LI staffed their organization with the right staff. LI helped them start a conservative group on their university campus. And so on. I hear it regularly.Wow, what a place! What a family!While my immediate family in Austin, Texas is 1,504 miles away (and I miss them dearly), I am grateful to come each morning to work hard for a worthy purpose.But it's much greater than just LI. I am thankful for the liberty-loving, conservative coalitions, and their commitment to doing right by this country. It is an honor to serve alongside you.America is the world's last best hope. Yes, there are challenges, but we can all be thankful for being American, for we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.On June 28, 1787 when the Constitutional Convention seemed likely to fail, Benjamin Franklin stood, addressing General George Washington, assembly chairman, and others present, and said:“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for God, my Savior, this great Country, the Conservative Movement, the Leadership Institute community, and my amazing family.Fellow patriots—enjoy these quiet, slow moments. Cherish the love in your homes. Be unreservedly grateful for each and every blessing.We have a lot to be thankful for. >
Watch Tonight's Presidential Debate Hosted by American Enterprise Institute, CNN, and the Heritage Foundation
Lauren Hart
November 22, 2011
Watch Tonight's Presidential Debate Hosted by American Enterprise Institute, CNN, and the Heritage Foundation
Tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy and national security begins at 8 p.m. EST.Join the conversation online here. Also at this site, you'll have access to Heritage's expert commentary and notes from behind the scenes.You can host a debate party and receive a free watch party kit here.“The timing couldn't be better. We're setting the table for some lively family discussions at Thanksgiving,” Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner said. “Nothing is more important to the future of our nation than how we approach national security and foreign policy.” Tweet with #CNNDebate, and the Heritage Foundation says they will retweet the best Debate Watch Party tweets.You can also vote in the Facebook poll.>
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