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The Lean Campaign Model

The essay below is by Austin James at Pixels & Politics. View the entire piece here. 

The Existing Campaign Paradigm

For those familiar with the political campaign process, you know that they are largely run the same way they were 100 years ago. For some things, like bolt-action rifles, secret family recipes and PBS programming that’s okay, but not for deciding our country’s political leadership.

Our approach to voter contact and campaign strategy should reflect the habits of the very people we are trying to reach.

So, for the last few years I’ve been rethinking the optimal campaign structure, one more conducive to the idea of a political startup, with its unique focus on technology, rapid analysis and response. (more…)

“Shell-schocked” over Rep. Schock? Not so much — check out these four political faux pas

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) allegedly guzzled even more taxpayer dollars in false mileage-reimbursement claims on an SUV than originally reported, according to a new analysis released earlier this week by those at the Chicago Sun-Times — allegations that should come as no surprise considering the numerous conservatives and liberals who have found themselves in similar hot water over the years.

In no particular order …

1. Harry Reid

Democrats Discusse Daschle's Withdrawal From HHS Nomination

Longtime Silver State senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) came under fire in 2014 for nearly $17,000 charged to his campaign for “holidays gifts.” Pressed by those at the Federal Election Commission to expound on the expense, the senator disclosed the expenditure was the purchase of novelty jewelry from his granddaughter’s small business, according to those at the Las Vegas Sun. The senator eventually reimbursed his campaign for the gifts.

2. Bob McDonnell

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.21.19 PM

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), along with his wife, in 2014 was convicted on corruption charges and earlier this year he was sentenced to two years in prison for giving political favors in exchange for nearly $200,000 in “loans, vacations and gifts,” according to The New York Times.

3. Jesse Jackson Jr.

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Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was released Thursday from federal prison after serving time for tax evasion and misappropriate use of campaign funds, reports Fox News. “The Democrat was convicted in 2013 of misusing $750,000 in campaign money on items including furs and vacations, as well as tax evasion,” says Fox.

4. John Ensign

Ensign's final speech to Congress prior to resignation. Screenshot via Ensign's YouTube channel

Ensign’s final speech to Congress prior to resignation. Screenshot via Ensign’s YouTube channel

Former Rep. John Ensign (R-Nev.) resigned amid allegations of an extra-marital affair and a cover-up that led to lobbying violations. “In a scathing report issued shortly after [Ensign] left office, the Senate panel said it found evidence Ensign broke laws in trying to cover up the affair, including setting up his aide Doug Hampton as a lobbyist and helping him violate a one-year restriction on lobbying by former Senate staffers,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year.

In the words of American Majority Editorial Intern Elise Cheatwood, “Don’t do bad things.” Check out her entire commentary on Rep. Schock’s fall from grace here.

This article was updated April 1, 2015 from its original version.

Twitter Hashtag Launch: #Win2016

Twitter will be the 2016 Digital Battleground. In an increasingly digital world, more and more Americans spend more and more hours on social media. Campaigns are increasing their digital presence to interact with voters where they spend the most time. When you examine the people who are on social media, you find that they are voters. In fact, 88% of social media users are registered voters. (more…)

What I Learned from the Fall of Rep. Aaron Schock

If you’re going to break laws and bend rules as a congressman, there are certain things you can do to avoid attention – don’t post pictures of your glamorous tax-paid vacations on Instagram and Facebook, avoid showing off $40,000 office décor to inquiring journalists, and maybe you shouldn’t use taxpayer money for a private plane ride and a Bears game. Rep. Aaron Schock’s fall from glory tells a cautionary tale for social media users everywhere.

Here’s what I learn from this trending Twitter topic and political scandal: (more…)

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.


Activism Boot Camp Comes to You

1,000 Trained Students, Activists & Campaign Staffers

The CPAC Activism Boot Camp last month was a roaring success, with almost 1,000 people trained to run winning campaigns and communicate their messages online and face-to-face.

The three-day event drew national media attention with CNNNPRBoston Globe and other media outlets highlighting how conservatives learned to gain an edge on the Left. (more…)

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: (more…)

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? (more…)

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.


Here’s What Happened This Year: 2014 In Review


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: (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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