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Ready, Set, Win: CPAC Success!

The first-ever CPAC Activism Boot Camp powered by American Majority was a sweeping success!

Almost 1,000 college students and adults from across the nation last week attended the most comprehensive campaign and activism training in the history of CPAC. As NPR reports:

This week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, brought all the expected on and off the main stage in Washington D.C. But there was one big addition: hundreds attended the conference’s first-ever Activism Boot Camp, which trained attendees in the best practices of do-it-yourself campaigning.

Attendees took to Twitter to share what they learned, while the media also acknowledged the impact our trainings had on those that attended. Check out the highlights below:

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Attend CPAC on Wednesday this Year

Update: Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Governor Bobby Jindal have confirmed their attendance at the Wednesday evening reception following the Wednesday-afternoon campaign and activist boot campGovernor Scott Walker is likely and Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul invited.

Did you know that CPAC starts on Wednesday this year?

The most comprehensive training in the 51-year history of the Conservative Political Action Conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25. CPAC this year features all-new do-it-yourself campaign and activism training. Powered by American Majority, these fast-paced social-media; video; technology; campaign and community organizing talks give you the practical tools needed to turn your ideas into action.

Every CPAC conference pass includes full access to training talks scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 25 through Friday, Feb. 28. But if you cannot make the entire conference, register for Wednesday by selecting “One-Day Pass” on the drop-down menu. You will be given the option to select “Wednesday” in the second section of the form.

This action-packed workshop powered by American Majority features two tracks — “Candidate, Campaign Manager and Operative” and “Activist.” Click here for the full schedule.

Wednesday’s sessions culminate in special access to the CPAC Activist VIP Reception Wednesday evening. The reception will be hosted by the American Conservative Union at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. VIP guest speakers will be announced shortly!

Attend CPAC on Wednesday to:

  • Automatically become a CPAC Activist VIP
  • Get a free ticket to the Wednesday evening CPAC VIP Activist Reception
  • Gain exclusive access to the “Activist VIP Lounge,” equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations

Activist VIP Lounge

  • Where: Chesapeake H
    When: 9am-5pm Thursday-Friday
    What: Coffee, Wi-Fi, opportunity to charge your phone
    Access to big name speakers: Main stage speakers will come through the VIP Activist Lounge after their main stage talks. Activists in the lounge at that time will have the opportunity for photos with speakers.
  • How: Attend 3 training hours and receive your gold Activist VIP wrist band that will give you full access to the Activist VIP Lounge.

Register for your $25 Wednesday-Only CPAC Pass Today

Winning: The Art of Getting it Right

It’s finally February and spring campaigns are underway. I talk to lots of candidates this time of the year who are jumping into the door-to-door campaign feet first, full of vigor and excited to get out and start walking.

The bad part? Sometimes they haven’t done their homework. I understand that crunching numbers is pretty tedious stuff—historical voting results in your precinct, which precincts you must win, how many like-minded voters live in your precinct already… There’s nothing overly exciting about it, I’ll admit. But it is oh-so-necessary.

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The Most Comprehensive Training in the History of CPAC

CPAC 2015’s All-New Do-It-Yourself Campaign & Activism Training

CPAC this year features all-new do-it-yourself campaign and activism training. Powered by American Majority, these fast-paced social-media; video; technology; campaign and community organizing talks give you the practical tools needed to turn your ideas into action. Get ready for the most comprehensive training in the history of the conference’s 51 years. Don’t miss the “action” arm of the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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Here’s What Happened This Year: 2014 In Review

Friends,

This year has been a banner year for conservatives. The American Majority team remained dedicated to one simple idea: giving ordinary citizens the know-how, tools and motivation to create political change where they live and breathe. Here’s what happened:

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Thank you for your continued support this year. We look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in 2015!

Keep America Free,
Ned Ryun
Founder & CEO

Two Percent is Not Enough: How Many Run for Office?

A recent project by the Pew Research Center shows a mere 2 percent of Americans have thrown their hat into a political race and yet there are hundreds of thousands of elected-official positions in the more than 90,000 governing bodies that make up our country. In a nation as populous and diverse as ours, our society suffers when those making and implementing our laws come from such a limited pool of participants.

Through American Majority’s New Leaders Project, we’ve connected with more than 1,400 conservative activists across the country who are working to put more liberty-lovers in office at the state and local levels.

Join the New Leaders Project

Local government is the first line of defense against federal-government encroachment into our daily lives. We want local leaders who defend limited government and are prepared to advocate for a return to constitutional principles.

These people are fulfilling the mission of the New Leaders Project:

  • Mike Shorten has been an elected official in his Illinois community and is finding creative ways to encourage others to run for office. Read about his efforts here.
  • Heather Cordasco was recruited to run for school board by another activist. With the support of a friend, she decided to run and is taking a stand for conservative principles where they are greatly needed — and it’s having an impact. Read more here!

If you are undecided about running for office and haven’t yet started looking for potential candidates, I hope you will be inspired by the stories of those who have joined the New Leaders Project and begin putting together your own plan for making an impact before the 2015 elections are in full swing. View our resources and training — keys to unlocking victory in the coming months and years. Don’t wait any longer.


Guest Post: How My Voice Is Making a Difference (and Yours Can Too)

how my voice is making a difference

The impact of local government on our daily lives is often under-estimated and local elections often suffer from a lack of candidates and poor voter turnout. Our New Leaders Project encourages activists to actively work to find conservative leaders to run for local office, and to consider becoming an elected official themselves. This is the story of Heather Cordasco, one such activist. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving from American Majority

Today we join generations of Americans who have gathered to celebrate and reflect on their blessings. We’re thankful for our country and the freedom in which we live and raise our families. And we are thankful for you — our friends and supporters. Happy Thanksgiving! (more…)

Local Leader Organizes Event to Enlist More Candidates

“Just do it.” That’s the message one of our New Leaders Project signers has for conservatives who are considering running for local office.

After watching several local election cycles in his Illinois community, Mike Shorten noticed that there often weren’t enough candidates running for all of the offices up for election where he lies in McHenry county. He explained, “Often the incumbent would run again and you’d be lucky to get another person challenging. Then sometimes no one will run for a seat, so someone has to be appointed to the position later.” He realized that a large percentage of the money he was paying in property taxes was being spent by people who were not elected, and not being held accountable by voters.

So Mike, who is a project manager for an office supply store, signed the New Leaders Project pledge in 2011. When the next local elections cycle came around in 2013 he ran for office and was elected to the board of Nunda Township Trustees.

Read the rest at the New Leaders Project.

17 Trained New Leaders Win In Vermont

In Tuesday’s election, 15 new leaders were elected to the state legislature who were trained and indentified by American Majority’s new leaders program. Two others were also elected as side judges.

“Congratulations to Tuesday’s winners and others who participated in our democratic process,” said Matt Robbins, President of American Majority. “Since opening our Vermont office this year, we have trained 252 new leaders and activists. American Majority Vermont is helping to ensure that candidates who believe in smaller government have the tools to be successful in their campaigns. We are thrilled to see these strong results in Vermont.”

American Majority works to build a farm team of new leaders at all levels of government, starting with local offices such as school boards, city councils, and state legislatures. By finding strong leaders at these grassroots levels, American Majority is helping to identify and support men and women who believe in the free market system and a smaller, more limited government, creating a pipeline of new leaders who will hopefully run for higher office in the future.

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American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training institute that believes change must begin at the local level, through engaged citizens effectively implementing freedom. We believe that individual liberty is achieved through limited government and free markets. We believe in lowering the barrier to entry for citizen participation in our republic. By training candidates and activists to be effective today, we are enhancing America’s tomorrow.  Follow us on Twitter at @VT_Majority and @AM_National.

15 American Majority Trained New Leaders Win

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT
Matt Batzel, American Majority
Mobile: 920-917-5860
E-mail: mattb@americanmajority.org

November 5, 2014

15 American Majority Trained New Leaders Win

American Majority Helps Change the Shape of State and Local Government

Mequon,WI- Following last night’s Fall Election, 15 American Majority Trained New Leaders were elected. Congratulations to all of the winners on well run campaigns. The following New Leaders won their offices for the first time:

Devin LeMahieu                                                        State Senate District 9

Steve Nass                                                                 State Senate District 11

Terry Katsma                                                              State Assembly District 26

Janel Brandtjen                                                          State Assembly District 22

John Macco                                                                State Assembly District 88

Rob Brooks                                                                 State Assembly District 60

Cody Horlacher                                                          State Assembly District 33

Johnny Vander Leest                                                Brown County Clerk

American Majority works to build a farm team of new leaders at all levels of government. Our trained New Leaders include 2 State Senators, 12 State Assemblymen and Assemblywomen and 1 County Clerk. The farm team builds from the local and state levels of government.  These leaders are also the folks who will hopefully take the next step to run for higher office down the road, creating a pipeline of conservative public service.

Matt Batzel, the National Executive Director of American Majority, said “Congratulations to all the winners! Since opening our Wisconsin office in October 2010, we have trained 115 new leaders who’ve gone on to victory across Wisconsin. American Majority is helping to ensure that solid conservative candidates have the tools to be successful in their campaigns and we are thrilled to see these results in Wisconsin.”

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American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training institute that believes change must begin at the local level, through engaged citizens effectively implementing freedom. We believe that individual liberty is achieved through limited government and free markets. We believe in lowering the barrier to entry for citizen participation in our republic. By training candidates and activists to be effective today, we are enhancing America’s tomorrow.  Visit us on the web at www.americanmajority.org or follow us on Twitter @WI_Majority.

Conservative College Students Mobilize in Vermont

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American Majority Campus Director Scott Ellis had the opportunity to visit our Vermont office to train students at Vermont universities who are leaders in new conservative groups on their campuses. These trainings took place at Lyndon State College, Castleton State College, Norwich University, and The University of Vermont.

The trainings worked to equip each group to grow its numbers, effectively utilize social media, and become an active force on campus. Scott encouraged students to grow their campus groups by selling their group to potential members on campus, even with different interests than their own. He encouraged students to create a powerful social media strategy  for their group and to use it effectively as individuals. He encouraged students to run for student government and become part of their school’s newspaper.

The students are tackling big issues. They are concerned about free speech only being allowed in certain zones, how student tuition dollars are being allocated, and getting other students engaged in political issues. Throughout the trainings they shared these frustrations and ways that they are working to make a difference in their school systems.

The Young Americans for Liberty Vermont State Chair, Michael Miley, was at the first training for his group at Lyndon State and then attended the other three trainings to see how he could work with the other schools across the state. After the week he said:

The American Majority Campus Activism training session was informative, entertaining, enlightening. It was a sharp, dynamic event that covered all of the important tools today’s campus activist needs in an engaging and concise way. I hope my campus group will be able to overturn our college’s speech codes, specifically, and raise on-campus awareness of liberty in general.

Through continued work with Michael and other students in Vermont, Scott, along with American Majority Vermont, hopes to continue to be a resource for growth amongst college campuses in the Green Mountain State.


How to “Go Negative” Without Getting Nasty

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Election season. Ah, it’s fun times. I always look forward to it, the palm cards, yard signs, door-to-door, fundraiser and sign wave craziness… but sometimes, I’m just ready for the negativity to end. Am I alone in feeling this way? At our training sessions, new leaders often ask how they can show contrast between themselves and their opponents without “going negative.” It’s a good question- and it’s a skill, so I think it’s important that we talk about it.

1. Don’t be afraid to illustrate differences.

Elections are inherently about conflict- there is good and evil, right and wrong, liberty and oppression, and voters must choose between them on election day. Showing contrast is an important campaign strategy, particularly for challengers. With the high retention rate for elected officials from the local level through Congress, as a candidate, you are asking voters to reject the person who they know, who they may have voted for previously, in favor of you. Choose the devil they don’t know over the one they do, so to speak. You must give them good reasons to vote for you. Part of that is illustrating the differences between them, the voting electorate, and the incumbent, or other candidate.

2. Hold them accountable.

In a republic where we democratically elect our rulers, it’s important to hold those rulers accountable. And even if your campaign isn’t victorious, discussing voting records and illustrating bad choices to the voters is an important part of holding government accountable.

3. Understand the strategy.

Incumbents or favored candidates will use the “incumbent” strategies, where they appeal to the trappings of office, their current title, their aura of prestige and power to illustrate their legitimacy. Challengers, however, must use a different strategy if they are to be victorious- they must draw the voters’ attention to the opponent’s record, and call for change.

4. Never touch the family.

In a campaign I worked several years ago, my family was attacked on the blog of a key member of the opponent’s campaign, so I can tell you from personal experience- this is not ok. Please, don’t do it.

5. Illustrate votes and stances on the issues.

If you keep your contrasting messages during your campaign focused on the issues and show the votes that your opponent made, you will be able to resist the personal mudslinging that can often ensue. And after all- aren’t campaigns supposed to be about the issues?

6. If your opponent attacks you, respond.

I once worked with the man whose firm created the Swift Boat Ads during the Bush/Kerry campaign and he told me something that has really stuck with me- he said the entire election might have been different if Kerry had responded to the Swift Boat ads when they first came out. Learn from this: if your opponent attacks you, respond. Now, I say that with a caution- measure the importance. If it’s a campaign ad shown throughout your district in which your stances on the issues are pulled into question? Probably ought to respond to that. If however the opponent makes an offhand snide remark about you on the local radio show- probably not important enough to respond to. You have to be willing to let some things roll off your back, or you’ll turn what was a one-newsday issues into a two, three, perhaps even four-newsday problem. But when an attack comes that must be answered, answer it.

7. Along those lines, answer in kind.

If your opponent takes out a full ad in the newspaper hammering you, don’t record a radio ad responding to it. You will likely hit different audiences, meaning that the radio audience now knows about the newspaper ad when they wouldn’t have otherwise, and the newspaper audience doesn’t see your response. Respond in kind, and respond quickly.

8. Be willing to use surrogates.

You might not be the best person to answer every charge from the opponent, or to draw every comparison. If there is someone within the community or your campaign who is better equipped than you, don’t be afraid to utilize their strengths.

9. Clarify what comes from you.

Sometimes a PAC or issue group will engage in negative campaigning on your behalf- because of federal laws, you as the candidate cannot be advised in advance of what their message will be, what form it will be in (mailer, radio, etc), or when it will hit. But you may take a backlash as a result. For example, in 2004 a PAC sent out a mailer that was very negative toward my candidate’s opponent, and we received a lot of angry phone calls and emails. In cases such as these, it’s best to simply make clear that your campaign had nothing to do with the attack, and try to move on as swiftly as possible.

10. Never, ever make a reference to your opponent’s voting record or issue stances unless you are 110% certain that it is true.

Credibility once lost is difficult to regain- do due diligence to know the truth before you speak it. You owe the voters nothing less.

If you’re looking for candidates to support, use these tips to help you determine who is running a more honorable campaign. If you’re helping a candidate you believe in, use these strategies as you work towards his or her election. Remember, talking about the issues and voting records is not negative campaigning- so let’s stick to that, and let the voters have their say.

Use AmazonSmile to Support Conservatives

Shop at Amazon SmileWith busy lives and tight budgets, it’s easy to find excuses to not contribute to our favorite causes and charities. At American Majority, we’ve found a way to help you support the conservative cause without taking an extra dime out of your wallet.

If you’re anything like me, you find yourself shopping more and more online. We’re proud to announce that American Majority is now participating in AmazonSmile. This innovative program allows you to direct a percentage of the cost of your online purchases to the conservative cause and American Majority without any additional cost to you.

As you know, principled leadership in America is needed now more than ever. By using AmazonSmile to support American Majority you can help us educate conservative leaders and activists across the country!

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The Twitter Government & Elections Handbook

Twitter Government and Elections HandbookThis month Twitter published a helpful 137-page guide for campaigners that details the do’s and don’ts of how to effectively use Twitter. As their managing editor states:

“All politics is local.” This time-honored maxim may never have been as true as it is today, when citizens across the country can connect directly and immediately with elected officials and the issues they’re most passionate about, simply by using Twitter.

The American Majority team is always looking to point you to new cheat sheets and guides — whether we write them ourselves or they are published by another team. Check out our campaign and activist resources here. And follow us on Twitter!

 

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