American Majority Racing: Launching An Unprecedented Program

American Majority Racing is a national program of American Majority, the nation’s leading conservative grassroots training organization. The program is designed to target millions of NASCAR fans from all political backgrounds in an unprecedented effort to engage them in the electoral process. Having teamed up with NASCAR driver Jason Bowles and car #81 MacDonald Motorsports for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series racing season, the American Majority Racing program is designed to educate Americans about how smaller government and less spending will “Keep America Free.” Through www.PledgetoVote.com, American Majority Racing encourages all Americans to register and vote in the 2012 elections.

Click the image of the #81 car below or visit http://AmericanMajorityRacing.com for more information.

American Majority Racing

Workers, Jobless Have Common Enemy in Eco-Fringe

For decades now we’ve been hearing about the dangers of America’s dependence on oil from enemy nations or unstable parts of the world. We’ve also been hearing since the 1970s about a need to expand domestic energy production in a way that protects the environment. With each successive election Americans are told about the nation’s energy crisis in bleak terms. That rhetoric is warranted. The problem is real. However, the environmental agenda is a charade.

The energy issue touches every aspect of our lives, from domestic policy to national security to job creation and food prices. Because of this cross-over, if there ever was a kitchen table issue it’s energy. As we have come to expect from an administration bereft of courage and American ideas, the Obama White House has abandoned its pledge to tackle the issue and every American is paying the price.
Obama’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline is just one example of how he and other liberal politicians have allowed the eco-fringe to co-opt our government at all levels and our future.

The eco-fringe is the squeaky wheel of Democratic Party politics – a small, vocal, well-funded lobby that has bought off officials across the country, who in turn ignore the will of the people on energy policy and economic development. Under the guise of environmental protection, they ignore basic facts and the basic needs of Americans in an attempt to drive policies that aim to keep them relevant and make them money.

One hand washes the other. The Solyndra debacle is just one example of this colossal sham at the taxpayer’s expense. Billions of dollars have been wasted on risky so-called “green” energy or renewable energy projects as the Administration plays the tune of a small number of environmental groups and ignores the real solutions. While the majority of Americans want lower rates, an improved grid, less reliance on foreign oil, and the economic growth that comes from them, the eco-fringe and gutless liberals say no to America’s top priorities.

President Obama told us “we can’t wait” for the $787 billion stimulus so jobs can be created. He said “we can’t wait” for a jobs bill from the House Republicans…..

READ MORE ON INSIDER

New Leaders Needed

If you think the progressive left is going to just lay down in 2012 and accept that their ideas have failed, think again.

What We Face in 2012

The left is renewing their efforts to impact state and local elections. Moveon.org, New Organizing Institute, Democracy for America and other left-leaning groups have committed to finding 2,012 progressive candidates for state and local elections. Their efforts are going so well that they have now raised their goal to 5,000 progressive candidates for 2012. You can learn all about their efforts at www.2012for2012.org.

How We Stop Them

We launched the New Leaders Project in 2010, asking local groups to pledge to find 10 new leaders in their communities in 2012 and 2013 to run for state and local office. So far, we’ve had 538 groups sign the pledge!

The Project is aimed at getting 1,000 local tea party and 9.12 groups to identify 10 new leaders in their communities to run primarily for state and local office. Another key aspect of this project will be training campaign managers to run effective campaigns, and continuing to train activists on how to be effective grassroots workers in hardwiring precincts, doing GOTV, and conducting voter registration drives.

Learn more about the New Leaders Project

American Majority will train these new leaders on the nuts and bolts of running for office; since our launch in 2008, we have already identified and trained over 1,200 candidates for state and local office. These leaders will also be trained on how to articulate their message effectively and continue to raise awareness in their communities right through Election Day. As more and more leaders come into the process at the state and local level, not only will they impact those levels of government, they will also be creating a farm team for higher office. We will also be training people on how to run and manage campaigns so that these leaders will run the most effective campaigns possible.

The New Leaders Project is also about empowering the local tea party organizers: it’s important to remember that the movement would not exist, or be successful, without the local leaders. As I mentioned on Fox and Friends this morning, this movement, and its success, is about Chris Littleton and the Cincinnati Tea Party and the Ohio Liberty Council, Lesley Hollywood and the Northern Colorado Tea Party, Catherine Engelbrecht of the King Street Patriots, Ana Puig and Anastasia Przbylski of the Kitchen Table Patriots, David Crow of the Faulkner County Tea Party, Tim Dake of the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty, and the Jason Hoyts and Colleen Conleys and hundreds of other like them.

The Kenosha Tea Party of Wisconsin signed the pledge and has already identified more than 20 local candidates to run for office this spring. Focusing locally, their candidates are seeking election for county, school board, various city councils and village boards in Kenosha County. Dan Hunt, the leader of the group said, “American Majority got me thinking in this direction [focused on finding local candidates] in the first place. I am grateful for American Majority’s trainings in preparing us to win elections.

Cross posted on RedState.com

Conservatives Need 2012 Bottom Up Strategy

2012 WILL BE A HOUSE TO HOUSE FIGHT AGAINST STATISM

If you think that the progressive left is pinning its hopes for victory on Obama this fall – think again. In fact, they’re adopting the same approach conservatives started taking in 2009. National progressives, known for their outstanding ability to organize and mobilize, are stealing a page from the Tea Party and focusing on a more bottom-up strategy to promote their values rather than let Obama’s performance drive the train. Tea Party members and conservatives need to double-down now on the same approach, which has yielded countless electoral victories in the past three years for liberty-minded Americans. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but progressives sweeping in and erasing conservative gains at the local and state level is a complement Americans can do without.

Any effective attempt to embed a set of values into government must be a multi-tiered effort. Progressives are grumbling privately – and some publically – about the Obama Presidency. They’re not going to lie down and leave the future of their flawed, anti-American ideology to their once “great savior.” To the contrary, the left is renewing its efforts to impact state and local elections in 2012.

Read More On The Insider Blog

What Penn State, Washington and Wall Street Have In Common

Watching the sex scandals at Penn State and now Syracuse Universities develop, one can’t help but wonder how people with such polluted values could be protected for so long to the detriment of so many. It’s a sad commentary on the state of American society, our legal process and institutions that hold a public trust. What we see playing out in the scandals at the colleges, in the halls of Congress where insider trading is apparently legal, or with Wall Street banks who game the system, is the work of a protected class of Americans. They are above the law or mold the law to suit their needs. They believe they are untouchable. More often than not, they’re right.

The crimes of a sex offender and a Congressman profiting from insider information clearly inflict different injuries on different victims and in different ways. They both however highlight how our institutions have created a ruling class that treats the law as a tool to be used for their benefit or an instrument of convenience.

READ MORE AT TOWNHALL.COM

RYUN TO POWELL: WAKE UP

An Open Letter to Colin Powell from Ned Ryun, President of American Majority regarding Powell’s comments on ABC’s This Week regarding the Tea Party:

November 28, 2011

Secretary Powell:

As someone who works closely with thousands of tea party members and conservative grassroots activists across America, I disagreed with your recent comments on ABC’s This Week suggesting the Tea Party was a cause of the divisive and unproductive tone in Washington. You further stated that the Tea Party’s reluctance to compromise would not produce a winning Presidential candidate.

On the contrary, Tea Party members would agree that compromise is part of the legislative process. They know how the system works. However, when government spending is spiraling out of control and the nation is $15 trillion in debt, in no small part due to President Obama, there comes a time when Americans must say enough. There comes a time when people must make tough choices to turn America back from its course toward statism.

READ MORE ON AMERICAN MAJORITY’S INSIDER

Grassroots Activism Wins over Big Money: Wisconsin Leaders Fight Hard

When the historic 2011 recall elections in Wisconsin were over late this summer, conservatives withstood an assault from labor unions to maintain a 17-16 majority in the state senate. American Majority prepared the local Tea Party groups and other conservatives for these historic elections through training in or near all of the Senate recall districts in April and May. These grassroots individuals really made the difference in responding to the $25 million the Left spent attempting to buy control of the state senate. Moreover, local Tea Party leaders led the recall efforts of two state senators who fled to Illinois.

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Steve Vaughan Wins Big

Newly elected State Representative Steve Vaughn of Ponca City (OK) has deep roots and a love for his state that goes back to the generations of his family that settled in northern Oklahoma before statehood.  It was this passion, along with a desire to serve and a concern for the direction of our country, which prompted Representative Vaughn to run against a two-term incumbent for a seat within the Oklahoma State House of Representatives in the fall of 2010.

However, being that Representative Vaughn was a political novice who knew nothing about campaigning for public office, he enthusiastically attended an American Majority Candidate Training during the summer before the election and an American Majority Activist Training as well.  While these trainings armed Representative Vaughn with a new-found knowledge of micro-targeting, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and turning out the vote on Election Day, he put in the time and effort necessary to raise his profile within the community.  He tirelessly spoke to as many people around Ponca City as he could, both at their doors and at community functions, and he was purposeful in how he deftly differentiated himself from his opponent.

Thankfully his hard work, determination, and dedication to implementing what he had learned at the American Majority trainings he had attended ultimately paid off as he defeated his incumbent opponent by just over 5% in the November election.  Now with the legislative session being underway at the Oklahoma State Capitol, we are excited to see Representative Steve Vaughn serve the people of northern Oklahoma with the same excitement and conviction as he brought to the campaign trail.

American Majority’s Training Bomb, September 17th, 2011

On September 17th, 2011, we will celebrate the 224th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution. It is one of the greatest political documents in history, and has provided us with a roadmap to become the most prosperous and free nation the world has ever seen.

But in 2011, the principles of limited government and individual freedom are in question, and we are at a crossroads: do we go down a path of statism, and abandon the founding vision for this country? Or do we renew those ideals again, and rise to even greater heights of freedom and prosperity? Understanding there is a problem is not enough. Thinking about ideas to solve the problems is not enough. Protesting is not enough.

For us to turn this country around, and have leadership that believes and promotes the right ideas of limited government, free enterprise and fiscal responsibility, the citizens must be equipped with the tools to bring about real change, and then spurred into action. The time to sit and think, or vent, has passed. The time for real action has come.

To that end, American Majority, one of the premier political training institutions in this country, is proud to announce that on September 17th, Constitution Day, it will be conducing the first ever Training Bomb. Tea party members and liberty-minded activists will come together in more than a dozen cities for the largest single-day grassroots training initiative in American history.  For the first time simultaneous sessions across America will be held to educate and mobilize fiscally conservative activists and future leaders.

This is not a rally and it’s not a summit. American Majority’s Training Bomb is a massive effort to equip concerned citizens with the tools necessary to bring about change, from how to run for office, to how to be effectively engaged as an activist online, to even how to works precincts and build muscular grassroots. We know we need to reduce the impact of government on our lives to make America stronger, and there’s no better day than Constitution Day to bring thousands of Americans together to learn how they can ensure we continue to live in a free society.

Both an activist and candidate curriculum will be offered at each location to help the conservative cause organize for victory next year.  Cities where Training Bomb sessions will be held include New York, Chicago, Tulsa, Murfeesboro, Wausau, and Dallas. Additional cities will be announced in the coming days. To organize this nation-wide effort, American Majority is working closely with many of the most effective groups in the nation such as the Cincinnati Tea Party, New York’s Tea Party 365, Dallas Tea Party and Heritage Action for America North Carolina .

American Majority’s Training Bomb on September 17th will not only be the biggest one-day training of conservative activists ever, but American Majority is going to be introducing new lectures, new manuals, and new projects. Help us make the day a success by signing up and spreading the word. Together we can, and will, make the right change happen in this country.

No More “Boone-Doggles”

I’m tired of “business as usual” in Washington, D.C. I know a lot of you are as well. It is this reaction to the status quo that gave rise to the tea party movement.

In spite of the 2010 election results, we see a lot of Republicans continuing to act as if they owed nothing to the tea party movement. How do I know this? By looking at bills like HR 1380, the Natural Gas Act, and seeing over 80 Republicans, many of whom you helped get elected, signed on as co-sponsors.

For those of you unfamiliar with the bill, I want to recommend our sister organization, American Majority Action’s, memo on the bill and the inherent flaws found in it. I also penned an op-ed for the Washington Times recently on the subject, found here.

Let me be honest. I am all for ending our dependence on foreign oil and for getting out of the Middle East. I am all for exploring our domestic natural resources so that we can be energy independent.

What I am not for is Washington, DC attempting to manipulate the free market and creating an artificial demand for something like natural gas when there is no demand for it. I am also against crony capitalists like T. Boone Pickens who look to Washington, DC to further burden the American taxpayer with billions of dollars of credits and subsidies to create this artificial demand. Who absorbs all the risk in this scenario? You and me, the American taxpayer. Who gets all the reward and earns all the profit? T. Boone Pickens.

It is rare that American Majority engages in issues like this one, but this one is so important I could not pass on the opportunity to inform you about it. Will you join with me in holding Republicans in Washington, DC accountable? If your member is on this list of co-sponsors, will you call them today and ask them to get off HR 1380, the Natural Gas Bill, as a co-sponsor?

Tell them you are tired of Washington, DC trying to manipulate the free market.

Tell them you are tired of business as usual. It’s time for change.

The New Leaders Project Now Over 50% To Goal

We are proud to announce that more than 500 groups have now taken the New Leaders Pledge since the launch of this first-of-its-kind national program late last year. Those local tea party and activist groups have agreed to recruit and train more than 5,000 new potential candidates in advance of the 2011 and 2012 elections. This brings the program more than half way to its goal of engaging 1000 organizations each to recruit 10 new leaders in their local communities to run for state or local office.

American Majority and tea party leaders from across the nation launched the New Leaders Project (NLP) to combine policy, education and grassroots infrastructure in an effort to sustain Tea Party momentum across America. The NLP is helping community leaders identify quality, liberty-minded candidates while fostering a new era of accountability between voters and elected officials.

“This is how we build a farm team for the future,” stated Ned Ryun, President of American Majority. “These new leaders have been identified as people who will be committed to fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and limited government. Thousands of them will now be trained to be effective advocates for the kind of reform that is necessary to save this nation from an unresponsive and unmanageable government we cannot afford.” In addition to the more than 500 groups that have signed the Pledge, more than 500 individuals have already committed to running for office.

To support the groups that take the Pledge and the work of local tea party organizers, American Majority will offer its proven policy, campaign and candidate training to the new leaders. More information about the New Leaders Project can be found at www.NewLeadersProject.org.

“Political parties do little to ensure their candidates, especially incumbents, adhere to fiscally responsible principles,” states Jason Hoyt, founder of the Tea Party of Orlando, FL. “In Florida, we the people will utilize the New Leaders Project to not only ensure we have the right candidates, but that they’re equipped with the tools necessary to win elections.”

This is a crucial time in our nation’s history. We do not have a government that serves the American people and tea party organizers at the local level recognize that,” states Ryun. “Statistics show that the longer a government official remains in office, the more prone they are to grow government. These new leaders will have the tools to break the cycle of incumbency and not only win, but passionately support the solutions we need.”

With the New Leaders Project fast reaching its goal, American Majority and local activist groups are keeping what has become one of the most potent grassroots political forces in American history strong, focused and ready for 2012.

Read the full text of the release here.

 

Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation

I recently had the pleasure of having a little chat with Andrew Breitbart about his new book,  Righteous Indignation; Excuse Me While I Save the World! Sadly, since Andrew and I have been in the same place I think exactly three times over the last three years, we did the interview via email. But below is our short discussion, not only about the book, but his thoughts on the tea party movement and other topics:

Ned: What compelled/motivated you to write “Righteous Indignation?

Andrew: The un-ironic answer is that the book tells you why I wrote the book. It is ultimately the story of my awakening, my transformation from being a default cultural liberal in the bluest, most elite part of a blue city in a blue state: Hollywood.  And over the last 15 years, I’ve increased my knowledge of what it means to be a conservative and connected it with my desire to alter the cultural landscape.  When I see a conservative movement that is solely fixated on politics, I realize that I’m in a unique position to inform and to focus on the cultural side of our political problems.  We, as Americans, are not going to win back our country if we don’t take back K-12, the humanities departments, and the graduate schools of our nation’s top higher education institutions.  We’re not going to win if we don’t neutralize the devastating, repetitive attacks on American exceptionalism, capitalism, and Judeo-Christianity from the leftist cynics in Hollywood who are too drugged or ungrateful to understand that they’re helping slowly to rot the greatest country on earth from within.  In short, I wrote this book to do my small part in trying to reclaim this righteous country, and to awaken as many people as I can to join this army.

Ned: When was the “I am going to be a journalist” moment for you?

Andrew: The book delves somewhat tragicomically into the way that my ADD-addled brain works.  And one common thread through my unfocused youth was an obsession with “the news.”  By the age of nine, I was watching every edition of local news through the nightly national news and then the 11 o’clock news, only to be buffered by my father’s subscriptions to the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and the Los Angeles Times.  That orgy of information now seems quaint compared to the information overflow I received when I logged on to the Internet for the first time.  If I’m Humphrey Bogart in the movie, the Internet was my Lauren Bacall.  Not only did the Internet provide me more immediate news data than I could possibly consume, but it also gave me a mechanism to be a participant and a contributor.  That personal revolution had immense political consequences for me.  It was clear that those who controlled the media were now losing control to highly democratic forces. We the people are now acting as checks and balances to the status quo.  There hasn’t been a moment since 1995 that I haven’t felt the raw excitement that comes from knowing that these are historic and revolutionary times and that the primary battlefront is the media.

Ned: What is the biggest threat to our republic?

Andrew: The barriers to an informed electorate (**cough**ahem**the media**cough**ahem**).  Once the truth is transcendent, if the American people are given a choice between truth and lies, I’ll have faith that they will make the right decisions.

Ned: What one book has influenced you the most?

Andrew: The politically correct answer is Whitaker Chambers’s Witness.  It had the intended effect on me–I’m drawn to apostates’ tales, and that’s what my book ultimately is, the story of how someone who once considered himself a liberal saw the light.  The apostate’s goal is to show those lost in the fog of liberalism the error of their ways.  Two other books blew my mind: One is Tammy Bruce’s The New Thought Police. Her vivid depiction of going from a lesbian National Organization for Women Los Angeles Chapter President and liberal media presence to becoming a conservative rabble-rouser possessed cinematic “reveals” of her recognizing that her peers on the left were steeped in intellectual dishonesty and an ends-justifies-the-means mentality.  Better yet, I’ve read a book that has yet to come out that is the most important book from the most important voice: master-playwright David Mamet.  While perusing Amazon.com for my book, please pre-order The Secret Knowledge, an almost too-good-to-be-true, incisively written evisceration of liberalism and a shockingly powerful defense of conservatism from one of the twentieth century’s most regaled liberal minds.

Ned: Where do you think the tea party movement will be in 5 years?

Andrew: If it’s gone, we’re gone.  The future of this country is the tea party movement.  It must grow.  It must get younger.  It must courageously defy the mainstream media’s admonition to minorities to stay away.  It must grow more diverse, but not in the name of tolerance, not in name of political correctness, not in the name of multiculturalism, but in the name of e pluribus unum.

Ned: What are the three greatest milestones in the life of Andrew Breitbart?

Andrew: Aside from the obvious—meeting my wife, getting married, and having four children—being at Kurt Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run means far, far, far more than it should.  But you have no idea how wonderful that moment was. Meeting Drudge at the beginning of his ascent; and watching the ACORN game-plan play out as devised to force a reluctant political and media class to takeJames O’Keefe and Hannah Giles’s powerful journalistic exposé seriously.

Folks, there you have it. Now go buy a copy of Andrew’s Righteous Indignation.

 

Collective Bargaining Is a Privilege, Not a Right

I keep hearing the narrative that somehow, as though it were written in stone, collective bargaining is a right for public sector unions. I would disagree entirely: collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right, for public sector unions. And you know what? About 50 years ago, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. agreed with me. The union’s Executive Council in 1959 said: “In terms of accepted collective bargaining procedures, government workers have no right beyond the authority to petition Congress — a right available to every citizen.”

And it is a privilege that has been badly abused for years; U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show that public sector employees, many of them unionized, make nearly $40 an hour in combined wages and benefits versus roughly $27.50 for those in the private sector.

So I applaud what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin, but I actually feel he didn’t go far enough. All his Budget Repair Bill is doing is addressing the public sector unions’ right to collectively bargain over pensions and health care. I think it would have been nice to address the right to collectively bargain for wages, and here’s why: at the end of the day, the public sector unions are not collectively bargaining for a greater share of earnings, as do the private sector unions. They are bargaining to get a bigger slice of the pie of tax dollars, which the government has taken from the American taxpayer.

Now to be clear: paying a certain amount of taxes is a part of being involved in an organized civilization. If you want to make sure you have roads and national defense, you’re going to have to pay taxes. But that being said, taxes are removed through a threat of force from the taxpayers by the government (yes, I mean force. Try not paying property or income taxes and see what happens). So the government is run off of money earned in the private sector. Government does not create jobs; when there are reports of more jobs, but they’re all government jobs, the government is not creating anything: it is merely funding even more government jobs off the backs of the private sector. Which compounds the problem because by taking capital from the private sector to create government jobs, you’re not creating jobs that create more capital, as private sector jobs do.

So, public sector unions, unlike their private sector union counterparts, are not creating more capital. Do they provide services for the public good? Absolutely. Are they creating capital? Absolutely not.

So here you have public sector unions negotiating for more pay in tough times, soaking more from the already overburdened American taxpayer. I keep hearing this drivel of, “Well if Walker is expecting the unions to make sacrifices, is he going to ask others to make sacrifices by increasing taxes?” Memo to those saying that (Mika Brzezinski, I’m thinking of you): The American taxpayer has been gouged for years, and years, and years, by higher taxes, and I’m not talking just income taxes. I’m talking the hidden taxes on gas, food, etc. Yeah, add up all your taxes sometime and you’ll realize you’re probably paying well over 50%, sometimes 60% or more of your wages, in taxes. So you’ve kind of already done your part.

I’m at the point where I feel like the public sector unions, and their partners in crime, their allied elected officials, are like vampires on the American public, sucking the very blood out of them. Worse, they are dumb vampires.

Smart vampires suck just enough blood out to satiate themselves and then leave the victim alive so they can hit them again for a quick infusion down the road. The public sector unions and elected officials haven’t quite learned that lesson and keep sucking the blood out of the American people. At some point, there ain’t going to be any more blood to suck, and then everyone is dead.

And a word on the unions allied officials. These officials, standing between the taxpayer and the public sector unions, are supposed to serve the American taxpayer. It’s a little something called a government of “We the People,” with power originating from the people. But in fact the elected officials are serving the public sector unions because the unions collect millions off the forced-dues from government employees and then reward the officials, their “bosses,” by funding their reelection campaigns. This is precisely backward from how this country was meant to work. It was originally meant to work like this: power originates from the American people, is given to elected officials, who then manage the bureaucrats and federal employees, on behalf of the people, i.e. taxpayers.

Now we have this bizarre scenario where the public sector unions have the power to dictate to the elected officials, who then dictate to the American people. The only way any of that last scenario makes sense is if you detach yourself from reality and enter a land of unicorns and pixie dust.

Now I know for most, none of this is a revelation at all. But it does defy logic: ultimately what we’re doing by increasing benefits and pay for public sector unions is removing capital from the private sector (i.e. us) via taxes and crushing our economy in a time when we actually need the private sector to create more jobs.

What Scott Walker, and many others are doing is appealing to common sense, especially in tough economic times. I have no problem at all with public sector unions making the equivalent wages and benefits that their private sector counterparts do. Of course that means a shaving down by about 30% on the combined wages and benefits of the public sector unions, but it has to be done. And I applaud those officials who are willing to step up to the plate and do it. The American people are applauding and cheering you on.

[Crossposted on BigGovernment.com]

A Word on Saturday’s Tragedy

Almost immediately after the awful tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona on Saturday, people, particularly those on the left, tried to score political points. I was stunned at the total hypocrisy, and the asinine comments being made. Some were saying that the shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords must have been a tea partier incited to violence by Sarah Palin or others on the right. I think Erick Erickson over at RedState.com had a nice post touching on this subject, and I don’t want to dwell on that too long, because the point of this post is not about what whether the shooter was right or left wing, even whether his motivations for the shootings were political at all (though I must say, people who read Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto are typically not tea party types).

The point is that sometimes crazy people do awful things, and what took place on Saturday was a seriously deranged young man committing a horrible act of murder. As the father of three young children, hearing the mother of Christina Greene, the nine year old girl who was shot and killed, describing what took place was gut-wrenching. We would be best served to pray for those who lost their lives, pray for their families, for Congresswoman Giffords as she fights for her life, and not debase ourselves with crass, hypocritical attempts to score points.

New Leaders Project

I posted this on RedState on Monday:

At American Majority, we have believed since the Tea Party movement began that in order for it to remain a potent force for real and lasting change, it must grow from the ground up. The movement always has been, and always will be, about the local leaders and organizing as “close to the ground” as possible.

I, and many in the Tea Party movement, am not interested in change for one or two election cycles. I am hoping for generational change, but for that to happen, the work must begin as locally as possible. Let’s face it: the political movements that are long-term and sustainable over time go down to as local a level as possible and organize, not only organizing precincts, but running candidates for every level of office.

Less than two weeks ago, American Majority and local tea party leaders from around the country launched the New Leaders Project. The Project is aimed at getting 1,000 local tea party and 9.12 groups to identify 10 new leaders in their communities to run primarily for state and local office in 2011 and 2012. In the effort, there will be some identified that will run for federal office. Another key aspect of this project will be training campaign managers to run effective campaigns, and continuing to train activists on how to be effective grassroots workers in hardiwiring precincts, doing GOTV, and conducting voter registration drives.

Since the launch, nearly 150 groups in 36 states have signed the Pledge, because if we are serious about real change, 2010 was just the beginning. As I posted several weeks ago, this year’s elections were just the opening salvo in the long war that will determine who will control America’s future: the American people or a ruling class of elite incumbent politicians who have driven this nation down the road to statism for too long. The future of our Republic, our democratic process, the free enterprise system and the power of the individual are all dependent on activated citizens committed to accountability.

Despite the successes in 2010, over 80% of incumbents at the federal level won - and despite the seismic shifts in the state legislatures, over 1,000 state legislators were not even challenged in the 2010 general election. If the American people, of which the tea party movement are the first adopters, hope to truly win, that cannot happen again.

Still others see the movement being defined by candidates in the last election that were not perceived as credible. At American Majority, we have done our best to protect the integrity of the movement and improve its effectiveness through our training programs that have educated thousands of local tea party members helping them better promote the policies of limited government.

Building upon the first component of active citizenship – we now, as part of a strategy to sustain those groups for future elections – move toward identifying future leaders of America’s communities. We have sought together to take the movement from protesting to action - and now onto identifying credible, liberty-minded leadership. New leaders must be found – starting right now- who have the ability to effectively communicate the ideas of free enterprise, limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual freedom while at the same time running sound campaigns, because let’s face it: politics is policy. Those who win elections implement policy.

American Majority will train these new leaders on the nuts and bolts of running for office; since our launch in 2008, we have already identified and trained over 1,200 candidates for state and local office. These leaders will also be trained on how to articulate their message effectively and continue to raise awareness in their communities right through Election Day. As more and more leaders come into the process at the state and local level, not only will they impact those levels of government, they will also be creating a farm team for higher office. We will also be training people on how to run and manage campaigns so that these leaders will run the most effective campaigns possible.

Another aspect of this project is accountability. We seek more leaders that will realize they serve the American people first, not the political class or party leadership. We also believe that as all politics is local, all accountability is local as well. The New Leaders Project is about breaking the hold of incumbents who continue to vote for more spending, more programs and more government intervention in the free market.

The New Leaders Project is also about empowering the local tea party organizers: it’s important to remember that the movement would not exist, or be successful, without the local leaders. As I mentioned on Fox and Friends this morning, this movement, and its success, is about Chris Littleton and the Cincinnati Tea Party and the Ohio Liberty Council, Lesley Hollywood and the Northern Colorado Tea Party, Catherine Engelbrecht of the King Street Patriots, Ana Puig and Anastasia Przbylski of the Kitchen Table Patriots, David Crow of the Faulkner County Tea Party, Tim Dake of the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty, and the Jason Hoyts and Colleen Conleys and hundreds of other like them.

So-called national groups could cease to exist tomorrow, and the movement would still continue. However, if the local leaders went away, the movement would end. American Majority has made it its goal to empower local leaders, to highlight them, to help in whatever way we can to make them more successful.

This project is also about breaking the cycle of incumbency at all levels, local, state and federal, and devolving political power out of DC and state capitols. It is also about much more: the conservative movement has become too DC-centric, despite stating beliefs in federalism. This project is as much about devolving power in the conservative movement back into the states by empowering local leaders.

There will be those in the political establishment, regardless of party, who hope that the Tea Party movement will fade away after 2010. But the Tea Party has proven it can be a sustainable political force – first by activating citizens – then creating privatized political infrastructure – and now identifying credible leadership for America’s communities and ushering in a new era of accountability.

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