Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Leadership Institute Comes To Houston

The Leadership Institute hosted an all day workshop in Houston Saturday. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the grassroots coordinator, Patricia Simpson, organized a full day of inspirational and knowledgeable speakers. The focus was on grassroots candidate training and campaign organization.

The speakers included Barry Aarons, Senior Fellow, Americans for Tax Reform and Adjunct Fellow, Institute for Policy Innovation. He was good speaking to campaign organization and tips about effective polling and political ads. He is a lifelong friend of Mrs. Joe Lieberman from his childhood in Bronx, NY and considers Senator Lieberman a dear friend. He is also close to Senator John McCain, as he is a long time resident of Arizona.

My favorite speaker was Joel Mowbray. If the name is not familiar, you would recognize him from all the msm and cable network channels as a political pundit and he is a columnist for Knight-Ridder Tribune as a nationally syndicated columnist. He distinguished himself as an investigative journalist by his expose on the State Departments' Visa Express program in Saudi Arabia and lead to the firing of Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Mary Ryan. He was also the first journalist in America to review the visa application forms of the 9/11 terrorists and he uncovered the fact that all 15 of them should have been denied. Joel was an excellent speaker because he is funny and engaging with his audience. Plus he gave us a couple of juicy insider gossip stories on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and David Schuster. Yummy stuff.

The Leadership Institute was impressed about the number of attendees here in Houston. On a beautiful Saturday, more than 100 people turned out. Most were from the Houston metro area but some came from across the state. One woman I sat next to came in from Fort Worth. The woman on my other side is planning a run for Constable in her district.

Joel Mowbray told us several times that we are not normal. The small percentage of Americans who would consider spending a Saturday focusing on politics and campaigns makes us far from the normal American.

I like that.

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