How Do I Find a Good Political Campaign Manager?

Almost every great campaign has a great political campaign manager standing behind it. Apart from the candidate, the campaign manager is the most important person on the team, responsible not only for the day to day operations of the campaign, but also for a significant portion of the big-picture planning and strategy.

Small local campaigns often have a hard time finding a qualified and available campaign manager. Often, their solution is to have the candidate serve as his own campaign manager, guiding a team of volunteers, family, and friends. This is a huge mistake. Every campaign needs a manager that is not the candidate, even if the manager is only a volunteer or part-time staff member. Candidates need to shake hands, make speeches, and ask for donations… they can’t do those jobs if they are also trying to run the day to day operations of the campaign.

Where, then, can a small, local campaign find a talented manager? Here are some places to start the search:

-Managers of Past Elections – talk to former candidates for the office you are seeking, as well as candidates and politicians in your area to find out who is running the smaller campaigns in your community and whether or not they are available.

-Your Local Political Party – call your local party headquarters and ask who they would recommend. Often, political operatives with only a few campaigns under their belt maintain a relationship with local party offices seeking new opportunities.

-Recent College Graduates – check with your local college’s political science department (both undergrad and graduate programs) to see if they know anyone who might be interested in getting their feet wet in a campaign management position. You’d be surprised how many poli sci majors in college also have significant volunteer campaign experience by the time they graduate.

-Friends of the Candidate – while it is often more desirable to have a political campaign manager who has campaign experience, it is not always possible to find someone who has experience and is available. Under these circumstances, the campaign should seek out a friend of the candidate who is organized, confident, and willing to learn to serve as campaign manager, possibly with ongoing counsel from paid consultants.

Finding a great political campaign manager is a tough task for campaigns without great exposure or lots of cash, but it can be done. Ask around, talk to previous candidates and current politicians, and don’t forget your local college campus. Above all, remember that letting the candidate serve as his or her own campaign manager is often a recipe for trouble.…

Mass Murder at Northern Illinois University

On Thursday, former Northern Illinois University student, Steven Kazmierczak went on a shooting spree at inside a lecture hall, killing 5 students before killing himself. Since the Columbine school massacre on April 20th, 1999 we have seen a steady and shocking increase in school shootings nationwide. There are reports that the murderer, Scott Kazmierczak was on medication and had recently stopped taking his meds. Why he chose to murder students in a classroom at the university may never be known.

The question at hand is how to better protect the students in schools across the country who no longer feel safe. Law Enforcement and schools have been working hard to better protect students in a variety of ways but this is not an easy task. School campuses are spread out over many acres and they are affiliated by student bodies ranging from a few hundred to thousands.

Some schools try and identify students who may be depressed or exhibit signs of unstable behavior and then intervene with counseling, but this would not have been useful in the Northern Illinois University case because the shooter was a former student. Another method is to prevent guns from being brought onto camps but that would require searching every student and vehicle entering onto the campus. It would take hours to do a precise search of every student and every vehicle and many students would resist the intrusion each day. Another problem is that many people tend to forget about the dangers of school shootings soon after one has occurred.

Asking students to carry concealed firearms on campus is one idea that has been hotly debated and I think it may be a viable option. College students are adults and if they can pass a background check and firearms course, then they should be allowed to carry reflected firearms if they choose. The universities could even start a program where they identify a certain number of senior students who are allowed to obtain concealed firearm permits and carry firearms on campus. This way the university can ensure that it has a set number of armed students that attend firearms safety training on a regular basis. Many people will resist this idea but it has gotten to the point in our society that we have to think outside the box to protect our students who need to be protected from violence.

In high school, I was a member of the local police explorer post which is a branch of the boy scouts. We would meet every week and learn a wide variety of Law Enforcement skills to include shooting firearms. I was 15 years old and I became very proficient with handguns because I was taught by Police Officers who also taught us how to be safe with guns. If 15 year old kids can be taught how to be proficient and safe with guns, then surely the same can be done for college students.

I dream of the day when my daughter can attend …