Blog

Home » Blog

Bloomfield, NJ Activist Training

 

This year, as town council, school board and other local elections are held across the nation, voters are getting involved like never before and are standing up to demand accountability and responsibility from their elected officials. As states face critical budget issues, town councils have to decide whether to cut spending or raise local taxes, and corrupt elected officials are taken to task, New Jersey and the rest of the country needs people who are organized, effective and ready to stand for lower taxes, transparency, and Constitutional government.

American Majority will be coming to Bloomfield on Sunday June 12th , for a training event that is geared toward helping people across New Jersey take their defense of liberty and fight for limited government to the next level by learning how to micro-target precincts, develop an effective GOTV strategy and effectively coordinate and channel group efforts, plus more. We hope that you will join us!

The training will be held at The Town Pub, located at 378 Broad Street, in Bloomfield, New Jersey from 12:00pm- 4:00pm. Lunch and training materials are included in the registration fee of $25.00 per person.

 

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Jaoni Wood at 540-338-1251 or e-mail at Jaoni@americanmajority.org.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change. Registration is open to the public.

Never Too Early to Think About 2012

Today, the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) announced their estimate of an additional $636 million of revenue over the next three years due to an increase in the LFB’s projection of Wisconsin tax collections.  If liberals were running the show in Madison, we would likely already be hearing how the money should be spent as if the Governor had just found a treasure chest in the Governor’s Mansion basement with $636 million in it.  Unfortunately, that is not how budgets work.  This new projection is based upon stronger than previously expected income tax numbers.  But again it is an estimate that could easily change as it is very difficult to predict future revenues in an uncertain economy.

We also are seeing a debate taking place over the Voter ID bill in the Legislature at the same time the Wisconsin Supreme Court election recount is continuing in only one remaining county and concealed carry legislation is moving forward.  Politics is very fluid and conservatives must remain vigilant at all times because there is more policy to be made and more elections right around the corner.

Several counties are either increasing or decreasing the size of their County Boards.  What a good reminder that we need to have conservatives representing us at all levels of government.  If you don’t have conservatives representing you on your School Board, Village or City Council, County Board, then you should find your own candidates to run against them next spring and fall.

Is it too early to start talking about 2012 Spring and Fall Elections? No.  It’s not.  In fact, the Left has been active in preparing for 2012 already.  Conservatives and Tea Party members need to  go out and find candidates who will represent them at the local levels.  To prepare you and the candidates you identify for 2012, American Majority Wisconsin will be hosting a Candidate/Campaign Manager/Activist Training on June 11 in Oconomowoc. To register or find out more information about this training, visit here:  http://americanmajority.org/events/candidate-and-activist-training-oconomowoc-wi/ .

Candidate, Campaign Manager and Activist Training with True the Vote, Oconomowoc WI

 

Every elected official, from school board member to state legislator to the President of the United States plays a vital role in shaping the policies and direction of our communities, states, and nation. These offices deserve men and women who are grounded in the principles of liberty and individual freedom. With the eyes of the nation on Wisconsin, it is more important now than ever before that we have defenders of liberty stepping forward to run for office.  American Majority’s political training is designed to enhance your campaign effort through targeted education and resources.
 
American Majority Wisconsin will be hosting a training for Candidates, Campaign Managers and Activists with True the Vote on Saturday, June 11th at the Olympia Resort located at 1350 Royale Mile Rd., in Oconomowoc. The training will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

The cost for Activists is $25 per person if registered online and $35 at the door. Campaign Managers is $35 per person if registered online and $45 at the door. The cost for Candidates is $50 per person if registered online and $60 at the door. These costs include lunch and all training materials.

The Candidate Training program is designed specifically to educate candidates on every level how to run effective and victorious campaigns and prepare them to become successful elected officials. The Campaign Manager and Activist lectures provide extensive knowledge on the role campaign managers and volunteers play during an election, as well as how citizens can be engaged and effective in their community.

One of the truly grassroots organizations that has come out of the tea party movement is True the Vote. As a project of King Street Patriots in Houston, Texas, True the Vote is working toward the goal of seeing citizens across the country take a good look at the voting process, work to reform inconsistencies and eliminate opportunities for fraud. True the Vote will provide training to equip poll watchers and other activists to help ensure election integrity.

The Candidate/Campaign Manager Training Program includes the following topics*:

  • Creating your Campaign Plan and Campaign Structure
  • Campaign Fundraising
  • History of the Progressives
  • Public Speaking and Messaging
  • The Role of a Campaign Manager
  • Get-Out-The-Vote
  • Campaigning Online
  • Winning Your Precinct

 
Upon completion of this political training seminar, candidates will receive continuing education materials, access to podcasts and other presentations, communications curriculum, and suggestions to help them utilize think-tank resources.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Heather Weininger: e-mail Heather@americanmajority.org or Matt Batzel: email Mattb@americanmajority.org. You can also call 262-241-7945.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

 

True the Vote Presentation and Meeting

 

On Tuesday, May 17th, residents of Northern Virginia will have the opportunity to hear from some of the organizations that are working in the Commonwealth and across the nation to support the grassroots community groups that are tirelessly working to hold elected officials accountable, demand responsible spending, and see a return to our founding principles. The meeting will be held at the Centreville Baptist Church (15100 Lee Highway, Centerville, VA) from 7:00 – 9:00pm and is free and open to the public.

One of the truly grassroots organizations that has come out of the tea party movement is True the Vote. As a project of King Street Patriots in Houston, TX, True the Vote is working toward the goal of seeing citizens across the country take a look at the voting process and work to reform inconsistencies and eliminate opportunities for fraud.  Cathrine Engelbrecht, President of King Street Patriots will discuss what she discovered in Texas, and the impact that watchful citizens have had on the election process.

The Family Foundation is a conservative advocacy group that has been on the forefront of the public policy debates, helping residents, businessmen and lawmakers better understand and apply Constitutional government principles to the great Commonwealth of Virginia. They will share information about what they see happening in our state, and how interested citizens can join with them in various projects.

Matt Robbins, National Executive Director of American Majority will talk about why AM exists, the successes that we have seen with our candidate and activist training programs, and about the New Leaders Project. He will discuss some of our cutting edge resources, and share information about opportunities for you to take your involvement to the next level, and be effective as a leader in your town or even a candidate for elective office.

Please click here to let us know that you will be attending.

For more information, please call American Majority’s offices at 540-338-1251, or email Jaoni Wood (Jaoni@AmericanMajority.org).

 

 

ANY PREDICTIONS?

Budget Repair Bill: done, but held up in court.  State Supreme Court Race: done, but held up in recount.  Senate recall campaigns: mostly done, but held up with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board verifying signatures.    What is next?  No one can predict.

Who would have predicted our State Capitol being overrun with people sleeping, eating and chanting daily?  Who would have predicted 14 Senators fleeing the state and then 16 recall efforts filed against state Senators?  Who would have predicted a State Supreme Court election that went from a clear declaration of winning with just over a 200 vote margin to a clear need of a recount when that lead changed to the other side with over 7,300 votes?

There are days when I wake up and wonder if I am in a nightmare that I will ever awake from or if this is just a cruel joke.  Voter ID is on tap and is up for a vote next week in Wisconsin, but the question remains as to whether or not this legislation will be able to hold up in court.

The excitement never ends and continues to change on what seems like a daily basis.  Activists need to remain vigilant in watching the constant changes, remain in contact with their elected officials and be equipped to turn their attention to the next ball up in the air.  In the meantime, activists can attend one of our trainings and be equipped prior to the next round of elections in Wisconsin.

Voter Fraud and Election Integrity Training with Anita MonCrief- Rescheduled

 

This event is being rescheduled- please contact Heather Weininger (Heather@americanmajority.org) or Matt Batzel (MattB@americanmajority.org) for more information. You can also call 262-241-7945.

The eyes of the nation are on Wisconsin. Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are ready to engage for the betterment of their communities.  American Majority’s political training addresses these passions by providing education and resources to help you meet your goals.  The Left is fired up, organized and engaged. Conservatives need to be activated and organized to confront the unions and save our communities.  This Activist Training will equip you do so!

American Majority Wisconsin along with Ozaukee Patriots are pleased to announce a Voter Fraud and Election Integrity Training that will provide citizens with the tools needed to understand what happens in an election and what can go wrong to ensure the integrity of elections.  Anita MonCrief, a former ACORN worker and whistleblower, will be presenting the Voter Fraud and Election Integrity Training.

The training was scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 14th, at The American Legion 6006 W. Mequon Road in Mequon from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Registration begins at 9:00 AM. Registration is $20 per person and includes training materials. This event it being rescheduled.

In addition to providing an opportunity to meet other patriots in your community, the seminar provides an opportunity to network and learn from grassroots organizers with successful campaign experience.

 

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Heather Weininger: e-mail Heather@americanmajority.org or Matt Batzel: email Mattb@americanmajority.org. You can also call 262-241-7945.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

Waupaca, WI Activist Training

 

The eyes of the nation are on Wisconsin. Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are ready to engage for the betterment of their communities.  American Majority’s political training addresses these passions by providing education and resources to help you meet your goals.  The Left is fired up, organized and engaged. Conservatives need to be activated and organized to confront the unions and save our communities.  This Activist Training will equip you do so!

American Majority Wisconsin and Waupaca Area Patriots are pleased to announce an Activist Training that will provide citizens with the tools necessary to win elections and implement limited government and free market principles.

The training will take place on Saturday, May 14th, at Dayton Town Hall N2285 State Road 22, Waupaca from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Registration is $10 per person and includes training materials. Space is limited. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

In addition to providing an opportunity to meet other patriots in your community, the seminar provides an opportunity to network and learn from grassroots organizers with successful campaign experience. Topics to be covered during the training include*:
- Precinct Work
- GOTV – Get Out the Vote
- Voter Fraud and Integrity

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Heather Weininger: e-mail Heather@americanmajority.org or Matt Batzel: email Mattb@americanmajority.org. You can also call 262-241-7945.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

 

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.

 

Enough Already!

 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount began today in county courthouses across the state.  With Justice David Prosser having a 7,316 vote lead over Challenger Joanne Kloppenburg, many are curious what will happen through this process.

This morning, I observed the Recount Canvass in Ozaukee County to get a feel for what the next few weeks will be like.  There were eleven paid poll workers doing various jobs to confirm the vote totals from the election were accurate.  The recount is a very mundane and painstakingly time consuming process.  For instance, the poll list reconciliation workers counted through the number of people who were given a voting number on Election Day for each city. They tallied up the numbers, which took roughly 25 minutes for the village of Fredonia that had 761 votes cast. When the number was off by 1 voter, they had to go through the poll list again in more detail so the numbers would match.

Poll List Reconciliation Process

This recount is just another example of a waste of taxpayers’ money.  Since November’s election, we have seen liberals waste our hard earned money time and time again.  After the liberal controlled Legislature and former- Governor ran up a massive $3.6 Billion Deficit, the liberals tried to ram through public sector union contracts in the December Lame Duck Session, when they even sprung an Assemblyman from jail.  When Governor Walker introduced the Budget Repair Bill, much attention focused on the waste of taxpayer money to pay for extravagant benefits for many public sector employees.   The leftists protested in the Capitol building for weeks on end, destroying government property and causing extra security costs that our tax dollars will have to pay for.  Fourteen State Senators fled the state to avoid a vote on the Budget Repair Bill, yet were paid for not doing their job.  Many liberal controlled local governments have rammed through union contracts that are favorable to the unions and rip off the Wisconsin taxpayer.  Now, we taxpayers, have to pay for a frivolous recount.  Enough already!

If you think the liberals are wasting our taxpayer dollars, then you should do something about. Contact your elected officials and tell them to stop wasting your money.  Better yet, step up and run for local or state office.  We need conservatives to run against taxpayer wasting liberals and win in order to stop the wasteful spending.  American Majority’s candidate training will help prepare you for your campaign.  If you step up and communicate your views or run for office, you will be able to stop this waste of taxpayer money.

Game Over, Birfers

The President has released his long-form birth certificate, proving that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii as he has consistently said. You can find the (.pdf) here, and the press secretary’s statement here.

It was just a matter of time until this came out. For an explanation of the political expediency of releasing the certificate today, I point you to Erick Erickson at RedState.

This development, of course, means that thousands (and maybe millions) or birfers, including the ever-incendiary Donald Trump, must find a new pastime. As AM President Ned Ryun made clear last year, American Majority does not welcome or encourage discussion of the birth certificate issue (now non-issue). It is, and always has been, a waste of time, resources, and brainpower for otherwise clever and thoughtful would-be activists.

Now, thanks to the president (and I say that without sarcasm), thousands of former birfers can fully devote their efforts to recruiting, supporting, and electing conservative candidates at the local and state levels without concern for conspiracy theories or far-flung scenarios of the president’s birth.

Former birfers, welcome back. Let’s get to work.

The Top 10 Things I Miss About Nancy Pelosi Being Speaker of the House

With the current budget battle raging in Washington, many members of Congress have commented over the last several weeks (with all civility, of course) about how they should be fixing the problems facing our country.

The media has (fortunately or unfortunately) given ample time for many on both sides of the aisle to put in their two cents, and as crazy as it sounds, our representatives have not disappointed.

I, however, was especially pleased to see former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, have her time in the sun to tell us how horrible conservative members of Congress are.

Nancy Pelosi

Goodness, how I have missed you, Nancy.

As a matter of fact, her recent time in the spotlight reminded me about just how much I have missed her being Speaker of the House.  I even put together a list:

The Top 10 Things I Miss About Nancy Pelosi Being Speaker of the House

10. The historical transparency of Congress during her time as Speaker.

Oh, wait a minute.

9. The new tone of civility and honesty she helped create within Washington.

Okay, that didn’t happen either.

8. The way she “drained the swamp” of rampant corruption in Congress – especially within her own party.

Just kidding about that one, too.

7. Her beady eyes, maybe?

(No link provided…Thankfully)

6. Her unbelievable talent of winning Blink-Offs against Dick Cheney during State of the Union speeches?

No, really. Here’s the video proof.

5. How about the fiscal discipline and responsibility she oversaw?

Hahahah. Good one.

4. But, seriously, who suggested I cover this topic?

3. Ah, how about the patience and restraint she showed as she led the Healthcare battle even when she didn’t actually know what was in the bill?

What am I saying? This is just getting silly.

2. Um, the way she used children and the elderly to score political points?

Oh, never mind. She is STILL doing that.

1. Is there really anything I miss about her not being Speaker of the House?

Well, I do miss her having to say stuff like this after she lost the speakership.

That has to count for something, right?

What about you?  Anything you miss about Nancy Pelosi being speaker of the House?

Recount Mania

After days of waiting to hear if JoAnne Kloppenburg would request a recount in her recent loss of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, the news finally arrived late yesterday afternoon.   In Wisconsin, a recount is provided to a candidate at the expense of the taxpayers when the vote difference is less than one half percent of one percent.   The current canvass numbers just make her eligible for the taxpayers to pay yet again for this election.

This is coming at the same time the Government Accountability Board is asking for additional money to help with special elections that are taking place and the recalls occurring across Wisconsin.  It looks as if there might be more holes to fill as the budget process is worked on in Wisconsin to help cover these additional costs.

Summer in Wisconsin is typically spent out by the lake, camping in one of our beautiful state parks or cooking out with the family.  What this summer is going to look like is yet to be determined…don’t book your vacation just yet!

Phoenix, AZ Activist Training

 

This year, as town council, school board and other local elections are held across the nation, voters are getting involved like never before and are standing up to demand accountability and responsibility from their elected officials. As states face critical budget issues, town councils have to decide whether to cut spending or raise local taxes, and corrupt elected officials are taken to task, Arizona and the rest of the country needs people who are organized, effective and ready to stand for lower taxes, transparency, and Constitutional government.

American Majority will be coming to the Phoenix area on May 7th, for a training event that is geared toward helping people across Arizona take their defense of liberty and fight for limited government to the next level by learning how to raise funds for your organization, bring people together to accomplish common goals, increase transparency in government and much more. We hope that you will join us!

The training will be held at HomeTown Buffet, located at 1312 North Scottsdale Road, in Scottsdale, Arizona from 12:15pm- 5:30pm. Please arrive early to purchase a meal- there will be networking and brainstorming opportunities continuing until 7:00pm. Meal options are available for individual purchase on-site.
-Lunch buffet: $8.50 per person
-Dinner buffet: $11.00 per person
-Eat-All-Day: $15.00 per person
 
Registration for the training is available online at $10.00 per person.

 

Political Training Registration

 

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Jaoni Wood at 540-338-1251 or e-mail at Jaoni@americanmajority.org.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change. Registration is open to the public.

Kenosha, WI Activist Training

The eyes of the nation are on Wisconsin. Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are ready to engage for the betterment of their communities.  American Majority’s political training addresses these passions by providing education and resources to help you meet your goals.  The Left is fired up, organized and engaged. Conservatives need to be activated and organized to confront the unions and save our communities.  This Activist Training will equip you do so!

American Majority Wisconsin along with Kenosha Tea Party are pleased to announce an Activist Training that will provide citizens with the tools necessary to win elections and implement limited government and free market principles.

The training will take place on Tuesday, April 26th, at The Brat Stop Highway 50 and I-94, Kenosha (entrance C) from 6:30 pm to 9:00 PM. Registration begins at 6:00 PM. Registration is $10 per person and includes training materials. Space is limited. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

In addition to providing an opportunity to meet other patriots in your community, the seminar provides an opportunity to network and learn from grassroots organizers with successful campaign experience. Topics to be covered during the training include*:

  • Precinct Work
  • GOTV – Get Out the Vote
  • Voter Fraud and Integrity

Political Training Registration

 

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Heather Weininger: e-mail Heather@americanmajority.org. You can also call 262-241-7945.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

So, You Want to Run for Office… Part 1

Well, the election of 2010 is now one for the history books.

Six new U.S. Senators now sit in “the world’s most exclusive club”, including political newcomers who finally give Jim DeMint some conservative reinforcements. 87 freshmen representatives were also sworn in, many of them introduced to the process and propelled by the grassroots rallies and groups that formed over the previous two years. It was the biggest wave election since 1948, and it didn’t stop in Washington.

At the state level, 20 legislative bodies previously split or under the control of the Left are neither anymore. There are now 25 states where center-right elected officials hold majorities in both legislative chambers. It was a swing of nearly 700 seats on Election Day, outperforming even the 628-seat record set in 1974, the 472-seat pickup twenty years later, and more than doubling the recent 322-seat gain of 2006.

And here you sit. You sense a true shifting of the political tectonic plates in America, but you’re not sure what it means. You saw the tremendous grassroots uprising of last year:  the Tea Party movement, 9.12 groups, and libertarians focusing and mobilizing like never before. Yet you’re still by turns outraged, inspired, frustrated, compelled and afraid.

Afraid of the fiscal insanity perpetuated by this Administration. Compelled to try and change things, like the number of true small-government adherents actually in office. Frustrated by an archaic political system that has its own set of insular rules and hasn’t adapted to the 21st century’s information age. But inspired by the very real opportunities for new blood willing to work within that same system. And along with that, outraged that more people like you aren’t paying more attention to things like an unsustainable national debt, or even local and state tax rates where you live, work and raise a family.

You’re not alone.

Many new activists and groups are fuzzy on exactly how to go about becoming the next crop of liberty-minded leaders. Where and how should you begin considering a run for office? When do you decide it’s YOU that should step forward? Putting your name on the ballot involves enormous sacrifice, followed only in magnitude of difficulty by the actual job of becoming a public servant…that is, if you win a campaign.

In the spirit of “stacking the deck” with right-thinking, credible, competent candidates, here are some shortcuts that can allow for a rolling start should you decide to throw your name in the proverbial hat.

First get a political lay of the land. Look for open seats! If you live in a state where there are term limits at the state legislative level, an open seat is the best opportunity for a new, solid candidate. So do your homework in a term-limited state (compile a list of all seats coming open) and find out which seats are up in 2012.

Also look for seats that could be flipped due to the registered partisan make-up of a district, etc. Where’s the low-hanging fruit? Where are the best opportunities for victory (or unexpected wins)? Which incumbents are asleep at the switch? Which districts are long overdue for an upset but haven’t had an effective challenger—perhaps in years?

Occasionally you can find a congressional seat that falls into this category, but not often. And frankly, far too many idealistic individuals sally forth at this level only to have no real impact.

Why not steal the liberals’ mantra:  “think global, act local”?

Many of the best opportunities for newcomers exist at state and local levels. Don’t put your entire focus on Washington—plenty of statist, big-government decisions are made at municipal and county levels. It’s a mistake to ignore the tax-and-spend good ol’ boys at city hall or the state capital when you can de-pollute that compost pile of a political ecosystem right under your nose. And it’s quite appropriate to run for school board, city council, or county board/commission (often multi-million, if not billion-dollar budgetary entities, with plenty of civic responsibility) before running for state legislature—much less Congress.

Then it’s time to ask yourself what makes you a strong candidate. Do you have the “fire in the belly” to persevere through an entire, tough campaign season? Are you a natural leader? Can you inspire other people? Articulate a positive vision? Zero in on voters and their core values?

If you’d rather win the philosophical argument about why your political beliefs are the clearly correct ones than actually go out and meet the people who could become your proud supporters, running for office is probably not for you.

(Still reading? Think you have what it takes to make a difference? Watch for Part 2 of this article on the nuts and bolts of political campaigns in May 2011)