Youth Leadership School Director Named 2015 Employee of the Year
Natalie Tuttle
January 29, 2016
Youth Leadership School Director Named 2015 Employee of the Year
Each year, the Leadership Institute recognizes one staff member for achievements that surpass all expectations. At the winter quaterly meeting, founder and president Morton Blackwell announced that the 2015 Employee of the Year is Youth Leadership School Director Daryl Ann Dunigan. In 2015, the Leadership Institute hosted 41 Youth Leadership Schools attended by 1,072 students from around the country and around the world. "These impressive numbers set two new records for most students trained and the most of their particular school held in a single year,” Morton announced after the applause. The Youth Leadership School and Campus Leadership Program departments spent an average of three weekends a month training activists and student leaders, sometimes hosting two or three Youth Leadership Schools a weekend across the nation. Without dedicated leadership, this would not have been feasible. Daryl Ann and her team had an excellent year of recruiting and training. “These results would not have been possible without tireless work ethic and great leadership,” Morton said before giving Daryl Ann her award and a vase of flowers. Congratulations Daryl Ann! Daryl Ann Dunigan is currently the Youth Leadership School Director at the Leadership Institute, where she is responsible for identifying, recruiting, and training students across the nation. Prior to working for the Leadership Institute, Daryl Ann worked as Campaign Manager for Jeff Thompson's successful State Representative campaign in Louisiana. She was the Youth Coordinator for Congressman Andy Harris's campaign in 2010. She also was a summer intern with the Youth Leadership School department and John William Pope Civitas Institute. Daryl Ann graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science and Communication Studies.
People, Parties, and Power: Live Webinar with Morton Blackwell
Natalie Tuttle
January 26, 2016
People, Parties, and Power: Live Webinar with Morton Blackwell
The first webinar of 2016 featured LI founder and president, Morton C. Blackwell. Morton began the lecture by sharing his experiences and knowledge of the party system, before detailing various roles conservatives can play in political parties. He called on conservatives to get involved. Whether you are a high school student looking to start a Teenage Republicans club or an adult willing to serve as a precinct committee man or woman, connect with your local party and get involved. Most campaigns and party committees have work left unfinished because they lack volunteers. Morton advised conservatives who want to get involved to go to a campaign or a committee and say, "I am here to help you. Tell me how I can help.” This attitude is welcome and this volunteer will be busy. Volunteers who are demanding or pushy can be relegated to a corner and are often forgotten. When working within a party, success is won carefully. In the discussion, Morton outlined ten points to keep in mind when working within a party. These tips for success can be found in Morton's writings. After explaining how individuals can influence political parties, Morton answered questions from the audience. Each response encouraged conservatives to connect with each other and stand by their principles. When asked about the differences within a party, Morton replied, “People seldom agree on everything. The way you put together a winning coalition is to organize groups that are nonpartisan that are active in the public policy process and use those groups to identify very large numbers of people who share a conservative viewpoint.” Together conservatives are stronger. Morton encourages cooperation of conservatives so that they can use their influence to change a party, even if not everyone agrees on everything. “We can't insist that everybody take actions for the same motivations that activate us,” he told the audience. For more on this topic be sure to watch the entire interview with Morton Blackwell online. Get involved, build coalitions, and influence the party.
The Leadership Institute is closed on Monday, January 25, 2016.
January 25, 2016
The Leadership Institute is closed on Monday, January 25, 2016.
The Leadership Institute is closed on Monday, January 25, 2016. The Written Communications Workshop scheduled for Monday and Tuesday evenings is also canceled. The Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Future Candidate School will be held as planned. Any changes or announcements for the Future Candidate School will be posted on this website.
Leadership Institute grad elected second-youngest legislator in the United States of America
Mitchell Nozka
January 21, 2016
Leadership Institute grad elected second-youngest legislator in the United States of America
She's 19. She's conservative. She's in college. And she's an elected official. Yvonne Dean-Bailey was fed up with the leftism she encountered at her college. She decided to do something about it – and enrolled in Leadership Institute training. Yvonne went from conservative student to Leadership Institute graduate to campus activist to state legislator in less than a year. A cesspool of liberalism: Mount Holyoke College LI's campus field staff recruited and mentored Yvonne – a student eager to fight the left at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Through the Leadership Institute's campus watchdog news website, CampusReform.org, students like Yvonne expose leftist bias and indoctrination to make an impact on their own campuses. Frankly, Mount Holyoke College is a cesspool of liberalism. Yvonne's articles on CampusReform.org showed how the college: Held an event to shame white students on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for their so-called “white privilege” Cancelled a theatre production of the “Vagina Monologues” – not because it was disgusting, but because it didn't go far enough to promote feminism and wasn't “inclusive of transgender students” Encouraged students to participate in a protest against a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for defending himself against Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri In response to Yvonne's articles, leftists at Mount Holyoke College slandered Yvonne on message boards all over the campus, calling her “hateful, transphobic, homophobic, and racist.” Shockingly, leftists encircled and harassed Yvonne in the college's cafeteria. But Yvonne responded, “Despite this, I will continue to be an independent and active voice on campus until all sides are considered.” Yvonne enrolled in the Leadership Institute's Student Activism Conference, Television Workshop, and One-on-One Media Training. Then, Yvonne took her conservative activism to the next level. She ran for elected office in her home state. Yvonne takes her activism to the next level through Leadership Institute campaign training Yvonne ran courageously as a conservative in New Hampshire's 32nd state district. “If I'm elected, I'm going to focus on fiscally responsible principles and conservative principles,” she said. “Some legislators think about tax dollars as just a number, when in actuality this is people's money.” Most observers didn't expect much from this 19-year-old young lady. But Yvonne had a crucial advantage. “Through the Leadership Institute,” Yvonne said, “I learned how to fundraise, how to handle the media, and how to organize a grassroots effort in a rural New Hampshire community.” With a record voter turnout in May, Yvonne defeated her leftist opponent with 52.4% of the vote. Donors train young conservatives for a lifetime of activism Today, Yvonne is the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the New Hampshire state legislature – and the second-youngest state legislator in America. “The Leadership Institute gave me the tools I needed to beat an experienced liberal Democrat. Their training makes young leaders successful in organizing campaigns,” Yvonne said. “I'm so thankful for the donors who helped LI train me to win.” Yvonne not only serves as the field director for a presidential candidate's campaign, but she now studies at the University of New Hampshire where she continues to fight campus liberals and hold them accountable – both as a Leadership Institute campus correspondent and as a state representative. Yvonne is one of the thousands of Institute-trained graduates who will fight to protect America's founding principles for many years to come.
The Next Wave in the Conservative Movement
Thomas Bingham
January 18, 2016
The Next Wave in the Conservative Movement
In November 2014, Senator Steve Daines became the third Republican to hold a Senate seat in his state in a century. Winning by almost 18%, he became a Senator for Montana. Steve is a fifth generation Montanan who started his early political experience as one of the youngest delegates for the 1984 Republican National Convention. He was the president of College Republicans at Montana State University (MSU). After graduating from MSU with a B.A. in Chemical Engineering, he went on to work in the private sector for 28 years. In 2012, Steve won his election to the House of Representatives as Congressman for Montana, which has one at-large seat – and he quickly got to work. When asked about his experience in the House, Senator Daines explained, “I introduced bills that would address the challenges facing our nation and worked to move them through the committee process. Through these efforts, I was rated the most effective first-term Representative for the 113th Congress by GovTrack. Montanans sent me to Washington to be their voice and deliver results. I am committed to continuing to work hard for Montanans as I serve them in the Senate.” After an opportunity opened for conservatives to take the Senate, then-Congressman Daines decided to run. He faced some tough challenges in this race, but he knew how to activate his grassroots supporters. There's a new wave of support for the conservative movement. “Across the country, we are seeing Americans united behind traditional conservative ideals, such as reining in the federal government, protecting Americans from threats both abroad and here at home, and creating more good-paying jobs," said Senator Daines. "We must remain strong in our beliefs and work to effectively communicate how conservative solutions will get our nation back on track and promote economic opportunity.” Senator Daines' campaign shows conservatives can win when they have the right message and know how to activate their grassroots supporters. Senator Daines learned how to activate his supporters after he took the Grassroots Campaign Workshop in Bozeman, Montana. “I'm thankful for the work that the Leadership Institute does to further conservative ideals that have shaped the future our nation for future generations,” he said. The Grassroots Training Workshop teaches conservatives effective grassroots and campaigning organizing. Attendees learn how to get involved, drive support for an issue or candidate, organize activists in large or small groups for maximum impact, communicate more effectively, use the media to help advance an issue, and build personal leadership skills, abilities and confidence. The Leadership Institute thanks Senator Daines for his dedication to conservative principles and congratulates him for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,761 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 170,266 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
2015 Accomplishments
Kyle Baccei
January 12, 2016
2015 Accomplishments
Another exciting year for the Leadership Institute is on the books! In 2015, the Institute trained more than 10,000 conservatives, set new records in the Campus Leadership Program, and expanded its career services -- all thanks to the generous support of LI donors. LI's staff and 320 volunteer faculty trained 10,253 students -- totaling 102,058 hours of student training. The Institute trained 8,322 students nationally and 1,931 students internationally, bringing the total trained to 171,185 since 1979. In total, LI offered 283 training events representing 42 types of Institute trainings. These ranged from on-camera TV trainings to week-long Campaign Management Schools to grassroots activist workshops to the Youth Leadership School, the boot-camp of politics. The Institute also launched a new type of training: Campaign Academies. These intensive academies combine five weekends of in-person training with online seminars so candidates and campaign staff learn how to win races for elected office. On college campuses around the country, LI's National Field Program staff identified 53,986 new conservative students and added 491 new student groups to LI's unique network of affiliated conservative student organizations. By the end of 2015, this network of conservative student groups had grown to 1,732 -- an all-time high. The Youth Leadership School set a new record. In 2015, 1,072 conservatives attended 41 trainings -- the most students trained at a Youth Leadership School in a single year. CampusReform.org remains America's #1 source for campus news online. Its 886 stories – many written by 60 campus correspondents – about liberal bias and abuse generated 11.5 million pageviews. In total, CampusReform.org's reporting led to 26 victories for conservatives on college campuses, 15 hits on the Drudge Report, and 101 appearances on TV. More than 2,585 job seekers connected with 2,195 available jobs on the Institute's ConservativeJobs.com. The Career Services Center hosted 569 attendees at job fairs and offered 271 hours of personal career mentoring. Viewers from all 50 United States and around the world have tuned in to LI's free webinars since they began streaming from LI Studios in 2011. In 2015 alone, 1,845 viewers watched LI's 22 webinars. LI's Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfasts hosted 1,067 attendees and 12 speakers in 2015. Speakers included Right to Work President Mark Mix, Congressman Jim Jordan, and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. The 44th National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted 645 attendees. This year's featured speaker was Martha Boneta, a Virginia farmer, conservative activist, and LI graduate. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and LI is excited about what 2016 has in store! How has LI helped you? Email Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. LI is always looking to spotlight faculty doing incredible things for the conservative movement, notable LI graduates making waves, and college students taking a stand on campus.
12 Days of Christmas
Morton Blackwell
December 23, 2015
12 Days of Christmas
Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics. Every year, counter-culture bullies call for political correctness against celebrations of Christmas. College and university campuses are centers of this persecution. My staff at the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform powerfully satirized many of the actual regulations imposed by colleges as “inclusive holiday” guidelines. Their video, “The 12 Bans of Christmas,” a play on the popular “The 12 Days of Christmas” song, is quite funny, but it exposes outrageous leftist abuses. The list of actual bans includes the name of Jesus, Christmas parties, and even use of the colors red and green. The Leadership Institute fights counter-culture bias like this every day on college campuses. You'll enjoy the video below. See for yourself the out-of-control political correctness on college campuses this Christmas.
Picking a Presidential Nominee in 2016
Morton Blackwell
December 18, 2015
Picking a Presidential Nominee in 2016
The presidential nomination process is about to enter a very different phase. Until now, the 2016 presidential campaign has consisted mainly of words: speeches, debates, interviews, and the publication of some issue papers by the candidates. The coming contests in the states will actually elect delegates, and this race will become a test of each candidate's ability to identify supporters and organize them to participate personally in the primaries and conventions. Every state and U.S. territory has different election laws and party rules, not to mention different sets of political circumstances and local leaders. Organizing successfully to win nomination contests in enough states and territories to win a national presidential nomination is a massive problem. Some candidates will not come close to solving it. Conservatives are keenly aware of the fact that, among the several presidential candidates the Republican Party has nominated since Ronald Reagan, not one of them supported Reagan for nomination in 1980. If they can, conservatives should nominate in 2016 a candidate as genuinely committed to conservative principles as Reagan was. Several candidates now running appear to be more conservative than anyone Republicans have nominated for President since Reagan. Conservatives hope they can unite behind a single candidate, but they haven't yet come close to uniting. Can they achieve this and win the nomination and the general election? I think they can. First, almost every conservative leader I know, even those who have already endorsed a Republican candidate, will admit that there are several among the current field of candidates whom they would happily support in the November 2016 election. Their current preferences are at least somewhat fluid. Second, a great many conservative activists and leaders now have no single preference. If asked, they will list a number of candidates whom they believe are reliably conservative and infinitely preferable to the Democrats' likely nominee. As the contest enters the phase where grassroots organization and activism will determine who wins how many delegate votes at the Republican National Convention, serious conservative activists and leaders will have to decide for sure whom they choose to support. If enough of them choose the same candidate, that candidate will win the presidential nomination. That important decision will determine the future of our country. I know almost all of the presidential candidates, and some of them have been personal friends and allies of mine for years in the public policy process. Put me personally among the undecided in this contest. To help me think through this, I'm writing this brief discussion of what I believe to be the most important factors to take into consideration, and then I'll share it with conservatives whom I hope may find my thoughts useful in their decision-making process. Has the candidate a record of personal activism and leadership for conservative principles? Talk is cheap. Actions have consequences. Every experienced conservative has heard many candidates make false promises to appear more conservative than he or she has ever been. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results, but it usually is the best indicator. Is the candidate surrounded by people notable for their firm commitment to conservative principles? Personnel is policy. Long before he became President, Ronald Reagan had surrounded himself with competent and serious conservatives who were known and trusted by movement conservatives. If elected, a candidate without an inner circle of reliable conservatives to help him or her staff an administration has no chance of winning victories in tough battles against liberals. And conservatives should not forget that one more reliably leftist presidential appointment to the Supreme Court could irreparably damage America. Are the candidate's currently stated policy positions solidly conservative? Quite often candidates, if elected, turn out to be less conservative than they promised to be in their election campaigns. Very rarely does an elected official turn out to be a better conservative than he or she led conservatives to believe. If a candidate currently advocates some liberal positions, the chances are almost zero that he or she will ever fight hard against the liberals on many issues. Has the candidate ever continued to fight hard for conservative principles when it appeared to be a losing battle? Never fully trust anyone who has not knowingly gone down fighting for an important, good cause that he or she believed was losing. Sometimes we have to live with content-free Republicans, but conservatives should not promote any of them to the White House. Does the candidate frequently reverse his or her positions on important issues? Every major politician, including the most admirable among them, occasionally changes position on at least a few issues, but a candidate who frequently flip-flops on policy issues for personal political advantage cannot be trusted to keep even promises solemnly made. Has the candidate built a record of helping conservative organizations and working to elect conservative candidates? The fight for conservative principles cannot be won without strong conservative organizations to pressure politicians and without conservative election victories, including in nomination contests with non-conservatives. A candidate who has never helped conservative organizations or conservative candidates cannot be expected to change that behavior if elected. If elected, would the candidate melt when the heat is on? Our country is in deep trouble. Most Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction. Only strong, principled leadership can enable us to recover from the damage already done. Business as usual would make our major problems worse. Conservatives should consider candidates' strength of character. Assume that Republicans elect a President in 2016 and keep Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. How will the left react if a new President starts the difficult task of repairing damage the left has already done? For example, what if legislation were passed to cut significantly our currently bloated government spending? Leftist organizations now receive billions of dollars each year from government funds. For them, most government spending, except for defense spending, is virtually sacred. And left-wing groups are larger and better organized than ever before in our history. They would surely react immediately to any real threat to cut the cost and intrusiveness of government. I expect that the left would take violently to the streets and create as much ugly chaos as they could. The liberal media would work overtime to blame conservatives. What would conservatives have accomplished if Republicans nominated and elected a President without the strength of character required to persevere for the good of the country under difficult circumstances? Can the liberal media destroy any truly conservative presidential candidate? They'll try, but they have much less of a communications monopoly now than they had when they savagely but unsuccessfully attacked candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980. In the current run-up to the 2016 presidential primary season, the liberals have already fired their big guns to little effect against all the Republicans who now appear to be strong candidates. Most often those attacks have not weakened the targets' support. Some media attacks have actually helped those the liberal media intended to destroy. Polls now show that any of half a dozen Republican candidates could beat the likely Democrat nominee. If enough conservatives unite, they can nominate and elect any of the more conservative Republican presidential candidates. So there's every reason for conservatives to try hard now to unite in support of a candidate they believe would be the most determined and effective conservative President possible.
Hoosiers take on a Race for Congress
Angel Chitnatham
December 14, 2015
Hoosiers take on a Race for Congress
Even campaigners with years of experience can stand to learn from the Leadership Institute. Earlier this month, Jadan Horyn participated in the Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School and came away with enough knowledge to give an edge to his congressional campaign. Jadan is currently the campaign manager for Jim Pfaff, a candidate running in Indiana's 9th Congressional District. “It all started when I was 13 years old,” said Jadan. “During the Bush/Gore 2000 election, I stayed up all night to watch election results. Pretty much from then on, I was fully enveloped in politics.” A 2012 graduate of Liberty University, Jadan dedicated years to build up his College Republicans group; work with the State Central Committee, the governing body of the Republican Party of Virginia; and serve on the College Republican state board. Jadan would go on to co-host his own talk show called “Rude Awakening” at Liberty University, hosting guests like Senator John McCain and Governor Mike Huckabee. After graduating, Jadan integrated his media background and his interest in political campaigns working for Laura Ingraham on her FOX News appearances, followed by three years of working in congressional communications. It wasn't until he started working in Congressman Tim Huelskamp's office did he meet Jim Pfaff, then Chief of Staff for Congressman Huelskamp. Jim Pfaff would then ask Jadan to be his campaign manager in his race for congress in his home state of Indiana. “I told him I'd take the job but that I needed to go to LI to fill in the missing pieces.” said Jadan. The week-long Campaign Management School provides the students with a run-through on the know-how and tools required to establish and build up their campaigns. “First day, we learned opposition research. It was the how, the methodology, was what I didn't know.” On the first day at the training, Jadan texted his staff how and where to look for the potential weaknesses of their opponent. “By 4:00 p.m. that day, I had an entire document from my campaign researcher about questionable votes made by our opponent. If I had never come to this training, I would have never had that ammunition to use on them.” When asked what advice he would give future candidates and campaign managers now that he's completed the Campaign Management School, he said “Sit them down and hold them accountable….and make sure they follow through on their goals.” Join the Leadership Institute in thanking Jadan for his dedication to conservative principles and congratulate him for receiving LI's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,761 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 170,266 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
The Science of Fascination
Kyle Baccei
November 24, 2015
The Science of Fascination
Last Wednesday the Leadership Institute hosted its biweekly webinar and the topic was fascinating. Peggy Grande visited LI studios to discuss the science of fascination during the free live webinar Lead, Live, and Be Fascinating. Peggy had the opportunity to work with one of the most fascinating individuals in history -- Ronald Reagan. She began the webinar discussing how her work with Reagan shaped her perspective on the science of fascination. What made him uniquely fascinating and why are we still analyzing his life and leadership? What can we learn from his life that we can apply to our own? Peggy answered these questions and offered insight into this iconic leader. She told us about the secrets to his effectiveness. How the life and presidency of Ronald Reagan can guide you and I toward greater personal success and shapes us professionally to be our best self. President Reagan was truly a fascinating man, and the lessons you and I can learn from his unique personality certainly make us better people. But still, I wondered, what makes me the most fascinating person? Sure, Ronald Reagan was fascinating and how he used his natural qualities to his advantage was great. But, how do I do this? What makes me different and how do they make me the most valuable to others? Peggy had the answer. Whether you are looking for a new job, moving up in your current career, or changing careers, it is essential to know how you uniquely add value. Trying to be “better” or “more” rarely works because it is subjective and constantly changing. Instead, she suggests you find out what makes you different and then you should become more of that. This was truly a fascinating webinar. Learning what makes each of us different, and then using that as an advantage, makes us unique in the work place. To hear Peggy talk about the science of fascination click here. It will be fascinating, I promise. For more information on webinars email Carol@LeadershipInstitute, or check out LI's training calendar to find the next live webinar. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,582 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 170,116 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Launch into 2016 as a Campaign Manager
Thomas Bingham and Angel Chitnatham
November 19, 2015
Launch into 2016 as a Campaign Manager
This has been another good year for conservatives who took Leadership Institute (LI) training. In 2015 alone, 161 conservative activists took a Campaign Management School. These graduates are people looking to get involved in their community. They want to be leaders and make changes to their cities, counties, and states by winning elections -- for conservative principles. After hours of lectures, these graduates left with the ability to organize a campaign -- from the moment the campaign begins to Election Day. Better yet, LI grads learned what they have to do from day one to win and affect the public policy process. “I will be forever grateful for the knowledge and specialized training I have received at the Leadership Institute. LI is at the forefront of the current conservative revolution and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Florida resident James White, a recent Campaign Management School graduate. Tori Whiting of Michigan said the March training was “a great way to get conclusive and in-depth training on campaigning.” Ron Ferguson of Ohio said his June participation in LI's Campaign Management School was “the launching pad to being prepared for a campaign." These graduates understand in order to win being trained by the experts is the key to success. But 2015 isn't over yet. There is one last chance to attend a Campaign Management school in 2015. There is still time to join these graduates and get prepared for your next campaign. Mistakes happen, but Leadership Institute graduates know how to respond because they have training. They know how to have an effective strategy. The Campaign Management School teaches just that. And regardless of your political experience, the expert faculty will get you ready for day one of your next campaign. Each training day brings on a new lesson plan that will equip you with the basics to achieve success. Day 1: “Develop a winning campaign plan and strategy” Day 2: “Target and identify your voters effectively” Day 3: “Learn how to raise funds for your cause” Day 4: “Develop effective ads and protect your candidate's image” Join LI next month at the Campaign Management School, December 1st through December 4th and learn how to run your own campaign big or small. End the 2015 season with some inspiration and the know-how to take your race to the next level. Email Angel at AChitnatham@Leadeshipinstitute.org for more information on the training or register for the December Campaign Management School here. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,582 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 165,206 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Student Activist Sues School for Refusing to Recognize Conservative Group
Kyle Baccei and Emily Larsen
November 16, 2015
Student Activist Sues School for Refusing to Recognize Conservative Group
Administrators often hide behind the veil of bureaucracy to justify censorship of conservative voices on campus. Moriah DeMartino experienced this firsthand when she attempted to start a conservative club at Hagerstown Community College. The administration refused to recognize her club because it would duplicate the purpose of the political science club -- even though the administration recognized multiple liberal groups with similar missions. Moriah was then told said she could only start a Republican Club if a Democrat Club was started at the same time. When Moriah petitioned on campus to reverse the decision, campus police confronted her and told her to stop. Now, Hagerstown is facing a lawsuit for denying free speech rights. Sometimes the best way to get your university's attention is to sue your university, and protect the rights of other conservative students in the future. Report liberal bias and abuse on your campus and read more about this story at CampusReform.org.
A Must Read: Mark Levin’s New Book Plunder and Deceit
Morton Blackwell
July 31, 2015
A Must Read: Mark Levin’s New Book Plunder and Deceit
In politics, it is not enough to know what's right. To succeed, your command of a subject must be so secure that you can persuade people you are right. And then you must activate them. Plunder and Deceit by Mark Levin is a necessary read for anyone who fights against statist power grabs. This new book sets the stage for the 2016 election and beyond. Levin's new book is a wake-up call, especially for young people. He explains the dangers of government and the coming crisis our country faces -- the loss of the greatest republic known to history. Before the 2016 election, educate your friends and family with this book about the growing dangers of big government. Young people must find the personal strength and will to break through the cycle of manipulation, unrelenting emotional overtures, and pressures of groupthink. Parents too often ignore the threats to their children's future. Plunder and Deceit calls for a new civil rights movement to end the exploitation of our children by statist government policies. Levin challenges young people to stand in their own defense so their generation and future generations can live in freedom. Plunder and Deceit will be released on August 4. However, you can pre-order this book today. Pre-order your copy of this must read, Plunder and Deceit by Mark Levin, today. I recommend Plunder and Deceit to every conservative activist and leader. Mark Levin is a nationally syndicated talk-radio host and president of Landmark Legal Foundation. He is the author of Liberty and Tyranny, the 38-week New York Times bestseller which spent three months at #1 and sold more than one million copies. I expect Plunder and Deceit to be widely read and distributed to young conservative activists and their parents. Activism without education in conservative principles is dangerous. Order your copy of Plunder and Deceit today.
LI’s Future Candidate School Trains Emerging Conservative Candidates
Kyle Baccei and Carol Wehe
July 10, 2015
LI’s Future Candidate School Trains Emerging Conservative Candidates
You don't have to be seasoned politician to win. With proper training and a plan in place, anyone can learn the tools to win. Most beginners struggle with the basics and make common mistakes. There are ways to avoid these mistakes, but it takes learning from the veterans who have been through it all before. It takes training. Bill Taylor has been a South Carolina State Representative since 2010 and credits Leadership Institute's (LI) training for his campaign success. “I defeated the eight-year incumbent 57% to 43%,” Bill said. “My campaign success was fueled by enrolling in LI's Future Candidate School. It was a most valuable experience. LI smoothed our political road to success.” In April 2015, LI trained 48 attendees from 17 states and Canada at the Future Candidate School. They learned from veteran candidates and campaigners how to put together a future campaign and win. Douglas Arnold of Maryland said the April training taught him “excellent essential information for creating a winning campaign theme and strategy.” Past graduates of the Future Candidate School have gone on to win their elections. “This was my first time running for office, and it was against a political veteran,” said New Mexico State Representative Alonzo Baldonado. “It was a tough race, but LI gave me the education needed to run a successful campaign.” The school also trains attendees how to define and polish their message, build strong grassroots support, raise funds, and develop the attributes of effective candidates. Theresa, another attendee of LI's April Future Candidate School said, “I wish I could teleport the people in my area down here for these classes so they could stop blaming each other for conservative losses, and actually know how to start running winning campaigns. #winningby workingtogether” Each day of the Future Candidate School features one of Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Public Policy Process. Day 1: “Sound doctrine is sound politics.” Successful candidates must define themselves to the public before their opponents do, so attendees learn to develop and effectively communicate an engaging message. Day 2: “Build a secure home base.” The second day of training teaches future candidates how to join coalitions and build organizations. Each attendee learns the basics of building contact networks, working with existing factions, and starting new groups. Day 3: “You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent.” To survive, a campaign must be funded. On the third day, attendees learn the techniques of effective fundraising. Fundraisers from around the movement come together to show candidates how to put together successful fundraising events and persuade high dollar donors to fund your campaign. Day 4: “Personnel is policy.” A campaign is only as good as the people it hires. In order to form the right team, you have to understand what kind of personnel you should have around you, and the structure the campaign will have in order to win. The school puts together those pieces for candidates and shows them the best way to organize a campaign. The Real Nature of Politics states, “Being right, in the sense of correct, is not sufficient to win. The winner in a political contest is determined over time by the number and effectiveness of activists on the respective sides.” Leadership Institute graduates know how to win. You can become a Leadership Institute graduate. There's another chance to learn how to become a successful future candidate at LI's last Future Candidate School of 2015, and also learn how to run a winning campaign at the Campaign Management School. Before you even start putting your campaign together, you have to ask yourself, should you be a candidate? Some candidates get into the race without answering this question and are blindsided. Capitol Hill veteran Steven Sutton addresses this question every year with activists who want to get more involved in politics. On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Steven discusses what it takes to run for office during LI's FREE live webinar, fittingly titled Should You Be a Future Candidate? Watch the webinar here. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,582 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 165,206 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI’s Sacher Multimedia Center Gets a Makeover
Danielle Saul and Stephen Rowe
July 7, 2015
LI’s Sacher Multimedia Center Gets a Makeover
For more than 15 years, the Leadership Institute's Sacher Multimedia Center has been a resource for the conservative movement. In 2015, the studio team upgraded the space to include a brand new studio classroom and lobby. The Sacher Multimedia Center now features the Norma Zimdahl Master Studio, a control room, a dedicated edit suite, and the new multi-purpose James Fishback Boreham Studio Classroom. During Construction New Studios and Classroom This new state of the art technology will allow more media trainings to take place than ever before. Attendees of this training receive expert feedback from a media coach to tailor their message before going on television. Live from LI's studio, Leadership Institute's Campus Reform team regularly reports on liberal abuses and bias on college campuses as guests on national news networks. In the same studios, LI's campus programs staff create engaging videos for college students to learn the skills to become activists on their campuses. The Sacher Multimedia Center even offers a FREE live webinar series which empowers conservative activists to take action in their communities. All of this is possible thanks to the support of the Leadership Institute's generous donors. Find out how the Leadership Institute's Studios can help you! Contact LI Director of Studios Aaron Reese. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,581 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 165,050 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Fighting for the Farm
Jacob Weaver
July 2, 2015
Fighting for the Farm
How did a small family-farmer transform into a national headline? Why did she join the 2015 Congressional Property Rights Caucus Roundtable, and become The Property Rights Foundation of America's “Nation's Grassroots Property Rights Leader”? It started with a young girl's childhood dream. Martha Boneta grew up in Mount Vernon, Virginia. She attended George Mason University for both her undergraduate and law degree, later studying Alternative Dispute Resolution at the prestigious Strauss Institute of Pepperdine University. After school, Martha worked in government relations at ICS, then became a strategic account executive at Reed Elsevier. Martha's childhood dream became a reality when she purchased Liberty Farm. Unfortunately, her American Dream quickly deteriorated into an American nightmare. Her farm became the epicenter of attacks from extreme environmental groups. Using agencies ranging from the Virginia Department of Transportation to Animal Control, these groups subjected Martha to many abusive inspections. This exploitation culminated in zoning violation charges for the farm's hay rides, birthday parties, on-site sale of farm goods, and pumpkin carving in the pumpkin patch. The penalty? A $15,000 per day fine if she did not immediately cease all operations. “The experience was crushing, and I was heartbroken,” Martha said. Refusing to endure this violation of their property, Martha and her family began to fight back. Agreeing with George Washington, she believed that “freedom rests on the shoulders of property rights.” Martha proceeded to attend three Leadership Institute (LI) trainings -- the Future Candidate School, the Crisis Communication Training, and the Public Speaking Workshop -- where she learned the valuable grassroots skills to combat overbearing government. “The Leadership Institute was able to provide significant insight into overcoming obstacles and having the courage and network of resources available to create coalitions and legislation,” Martha said. The strength of these bipartisan coalitions devastated the liberal opposition. More than “7,000 Virginians wrote petition letters, made phone calls, and attended rallies and General Assembly hearings in support of legislation to protect family farmers,” Martha said. This activism led to the passage of the Boneta Bill I and II, which limited government's ability to overregulate small farmers, allowed farmers to engage in on-farm activity to attract customers, and provided consumers better access to locally produced farm goods. The new documentary Farming in Fear produced by Sean Malone of Honest Enterprise depicts Martha's nine-year battle to save her livelihood. The film premiers at the Anthem Film Festival on July 11. When asked about the film, Martha responded: The message people walk away with is hope. The idea that even though government and powerful special interests so often seem unbeatable, and that it's pointless to even try to defend your rights against those kinds of odds, it is actually possible to succeed if you persevere and stand strong for truth, justice, and the American Dream. Martha also plans to speak at the 44th National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted at Bull Run Park (Centreville, VA) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All who attend receive free admittance to the food, the fun, and the great company of other conservatives! Though the fight for her farm ended, Martha knows she must continue to promote freedom, declaring: My heart will always be on the farm, but I have a great passion for community engagement and grassroots organization. If we are not zealously and passionately protecting our freedom, we will no longer be free. This experience has taught me to never, ever give up on the American Dream. It is my hope and prayer that others will be inspired by my family's journey to stand strong to keep the flame of liberty burning bright. The Leadership Institute thanks Martha for her dedication to conservative principles and congratulates her for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,581 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 165,050 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Sen. Cruz About LI: “A Training Ground for the Conservative Movement”
Jacob Weaver and Joshua Gill
June 18, 2015
Sen. Cruz About LI: “A Training Ground for the Conservative Movement”
“The Leadership Institute is a training ground for the conservative movement,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz said. Watch Senator Cruz in this 38 second YouTube video. “LI does a fantastic job taking young conservatives from all across the county and helping give them the tools to defend free market principles, to defend the constitution, and to explain the principles our country was founded upon,” Senator Cruz said. The words of Senator Ted Cruz express the Leadership Institute's (LI) fundamental mission: to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. By equipping the conservative movement with the proper political tools and technology, LI builds the foundation for future conservative success. The Leadership Institute develops this foundation on a network of individuals, offering forty-four different trainings which target everyone from grassroots activists to future politicians. Former Senator and current President of The Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint explained LI's influence: I come across the Leadership Institute's graduates all the time… as key congressional staffers, as heads of conservative organizations, even as colleagues. When I ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, an LI graduate was my campaign manager and another organized students for me throughout South Carolina. Even my son-in-law is a Leadership Institute graduate. Leadership Institute graduates continue to make a difference in the public policy process not only around the United States, but around the world. In 2014 alone, LI trained 7,805 students within the U.S. and another 10,377 internationally. In addition to on-sight and grassroots trainings, the Leadership Institute brings conservative courses to the digital age, broadcasting live webinars from LI Studios. The free online programs allow anyone instant access to a small part of the trainings LI offers. The Leadership Institute, Sen. Ted Cruz said, “is setting the foundation for what I believe is a historic opportunity we have to turn our country around -- to get back to the principles America was founded on.” Join the movement. Find out more at www.leadershipinstitute.org.
Grinding up bad laws: LI Faculty Member Italo Antoniotti fighting for free market reforms in Latin America's coffee sector
Ron Nehring, Director of International Programs
June 17, 2015
Grinding up bad laws: LI Faculty Member Italo Antoniotti fighting for free market reforms in Latin America's coffee sector
It's been said that big business loves big government, and this maxim certainly holds true in Latin America where Leadership Institute faculty member Italo Antoniotti is fighting to reform Guatemala's outdated and destructive coffee and trade laws -- helping tens of thousand of indigenous Mayans in the process. Antoniotti serves as the director of FEDECOCAGUA, the voluntary national association representing 23,000 small coffee producers in Guatemala, most of whom are native Mayans. They're going up against the country's biggest coffee producers and their government-guaranteed supermajority on the board of Guatemala's state-sanctioned coffee trade association, ANACAFE. The small producers represented by Antoniotti's group are forced to obtain export licenses from the big coffee producers that dominate ANACAFE, and pay a mandatory (and economically inefficient) 1% export tax to fund the organization. This year, FEDECOCAGUA went to court to challenge the constitutionality of the export tax and the regulatory system that requires small coffee producers to, in effect, obtain the permission of their larger competitors for the freedom to sell their goods on the world market. With a tiny domestic coffee market, producers' financial success or failure depends entirely on their freedom to export. With a 30% decline in Guatemala's coffee production during the last decade, it's economic crunch time for the country's indigenous population of coffee producers who rely on selling their product to sustain their families and communities. Antoniotti, who began serving as a Leadership Institute volunteer expert faculty member in Latin America this year, argues that the free market, and not government mandates, should prevail. Industry trade associations should be voluntary and not government-mandated, and the export tax should be abolished as economists universally recognize the inherently destructive nature of export taxes. (Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution explicitly prohibits such taxes.) In many Central American countries people have been forced to choose between socialist policies on the one side, the crony capitalist policies on the other. The solution, as documented extensively by the Heritage Foundation in their Index of Economic Freedom, is to advance policies that give neither government nor government-favored businesses an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Reasonable and predictable taxes, free trade, freedom from corruption, access to a fair judicial system, a low regulatory burden and free labor markets are the keys to economic success and prosperity. If Antoniotti and his group of 23,000 independent coffee producers succeed, one Central American country will have taken a significant step in the right direction.
LI Grad Adapts to the Rise of Political Technology
Leah Courtney
June 5, 2015
LI Grad Adapts to the Rise of Political Technology
Since 2008, the rise of technology in politics has turned elections into a whole new ball game, and no one knows this better than Rachel Kania. Rachel currently serves as the Senior Field and Technology Strategist for Rand Paul's presidential campaign. But she didn't just fall into the position. Rachel is a firm believer in starting at square one and working your way up the ladder. Rachel grew up in an apolitical household in Spring Hill, FL. Her passion for politics didn't come right away. In fact, it wasn't until 2007 that she became drawn to political philosophy and seeking out a candidate with strong principles. While perusing through YouTube videos, Rachel discovered Ron Paul and became inspired. After transferring to the University of South Florida, Rachel began finding other like-minded conservative activists inspired by the Texas Representative. Kania went on to serve with Students for Ron Paul and at Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). It was during her internship with YAL that Rachel was introduced to Leadership Institute (LI) trainings. Out of the many LI trainings she attended, she distinctly remembers what she learned from LI's Youth Leadership School and the Campaign Boot Camp, LI put together with YAL. “I still have my notes from those trainings and I reference them often,” Rachel said. The trainings provided Rachel with the knowledge to create a campaign budget, develop an effective staff structure, and how to build and spread the message. While describing her experience at LI, Rachel says, “What did I learn? More like, what did I not learn?” Kania says that the first place she sends activists is to a Youth Leadership School. When asked how LI has been helpful in her professional journey, Rachel responded with “connections.” Kania describes LI as a great networking tool and a “confidence booster.” She further explained that the Leadership institute helped her to find more activists like herself who were passionate about seeking the truth and electing principled conservatives. Following her time with YAL, Rachel was accepted into the Charles Koch Institute's intern program where she helped the Bill of Rights Institute create a student forum which reached out to and taught high school and college students about the Constitution. Since then, Rachel has served in top positions for Ron Paul's presidential campaign and for Ted Cruz's senatorial campaign. Rachel Kania is also responsible for creating Uproots Strategies, LLC, which provides field planning, digital strategy, and campaign management services. Uproots is responsible for putting the first two Republicans in history on Austin's city council. When asked what advice she would give potential leaders like herself, she said “Start from square one and climb… be flexible with your location and pay. Your experience gets your name out there.” She described her campaign experience as “building a business from the ground up.” “The biggest obstacle was going up against the establishment's big money and rallying activists,” Rachel said. But, the political world is “changing dramatically,” Rachel said. “Digital helps us access demographics we haven't reached before. Rand Paul's presidential campaign is already accommodating the evolution of politics by seeking out online volunteers to help their blogging and social media team. The campaign has even asked for volunteers to design their next t-shirt.” Rachel Kania predicts that the political world will keep evolving in the next 10-20 years due to the rise of technology. Please join LI in congratulating Rachel Kania for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,581 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 163,714 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org
Conservatives Learn to “Harness Legislative Hearings Effectively to Promote Their Principles”
Jacob Weaver
May 29, 2015
Conservatives Learn to “Harness Legislative Hearings Effectively to Promote Their Principles”
Over the past two days, the Leadership Institute (LI) successfully completed the launch of its new Effective Legislative Hearing Training. “Liberals push their big government ideas using congressional hearings,” Morton Blackwell, the President of LI, stated in an email. “Conservatives must learn to harness legislative hearings effectively to promote their principles.” This new school adds to the already impressive diversity of LI's forty-four political trainings. Day 1 Morton spoke during the introduction, asserting conservatives must learn the legislative hearing process and use it to their political advantage. Thirty-four people in the audience, made up of everyone from members of prominent think tanks to Capitol Hill staff, listened intently as Shant Boyajian from the Committee on Environment and Public Works presented an overview of the entire committee and hearing process. He finished by including all participants into a simulated legislative hearing, assigning character roles and pitting team against team. Katy Talento, a member of Sen. Thom Tillis's office, ended the night, energetically explaining how to prepare for a hearing on the Hill. Even at 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, she had everyone laughing throughout her presentation. Day 2 The second day of LI's Effective Legislative Hearing Training brought the same excitement as the first. After a networking dinner, Neil Siefring of Hilltop Advocacy, LLC, began an energizing presentation on how to prepare a Member of Congress for a hearing. Neil stressed how legislative hearings allow each Member of Congress to: showcase expertise in the subject area, demonstrate understanding of current issues, and display active support for constituencies. Katy Talento then returned for her second night. With her usual energy, she taught the audience how to prepare witnesses and the difficulties a minority party faces. Katy brought her years of experience to life, revealing fantastic ‘tips and tricks of the game.' The night ended as Bruce Fein, a constitutional lawyer at Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc., held the class in awe with his vast knowledge of the constitutional issues that now plague America. He explained the importance of Congress checking the power of the executive branch, hearings being the primary way Congress achieves this goal. At the end of the training, all who participated left prepared to take on the challenge of a congressional hearing. The school equipped each student with a better understanding of the committee process, and ultimately fulfilled LI's mission to “increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process.”
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