Category Archives: Uncategorized

Principles and Policies Podcast For Saturday 5/19/2018- Ohio Legislative Horse Trading Shenanigans On Gun Ownership

Principles and Policies Podcast For Saturday 5/19/2018- Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis analyze the attempt by “conservative Republican” lame duck Governor John Kasich to do a last minute gun grab through the auspices of a “Blue Ribbon Panel.” We analyze key provisions of this legislative turkey and talk about who in the legislature is carrying the governor’s water.

Changing the Culture through Winning Campaigns

Can you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

1.  Are you frustrated with the absence of principled leadership in politics?

2. Are you fed up with elected officials who talk the talk, but refuse to walk their talk?

3. Have you grown weary of being handed candidates by political parties who are “electable” instead of principled?

4. Would you like to have elected officials who adhere to our country’s founding philosophy (ie: who adhere to the Constitution)?

5. Are you willing to stand up and run for office yourself or become someone who can effectively “hold up the arms” of someone who will?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then the training school that is being put on by Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati on January 14 and 15 is something you just can’t afford to miss.

This candidate training school will be held at the Courtyard Marriott hotel at the Greater Cincinnati airport on Thursday, January 14 and Friday, January 15.  Nationally recognized trainers will be putting on this intense campaign training, and it is being provided for free!

This training is not just for candidates and their campaign staff members, but as well as for potential candidates, leaders in politics and the culture, and for grassroots activists and volunteers who want to begin the process of bringing real hope and change to our country.

Check here for more information and for how to register, but be quick, registrations received before January 8th will receive a special “Campaign Jumpstart Toolkit” with materials that will help potential candidates to create a winning edge.  Some of the board of the Institute for Principled Policy will be attending, and we hope to see many of you there as well.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Institute for Principled Policy

784px-the_first_thanksgiving_jean_louis_gerome_ferrisMay you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration, from the Board and staff of the Institute for Principled Policy!



JUNE 20, 1676

“The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed,

It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.”

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation (June 20, 1676)

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving, our first. That proclamation is reproduced here in the same language and spelling as the original.

Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net – aa300) Distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN).

NO on Issue 3

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series 2009 Election Issues

Voting MachineUnlike many others who are discussing the pros and cons of the language of Issue 3, the Institute for Principled Policy believes there are larger underlying reasons for advocating a NO vote on this Ohio ballot initiative.  We have shared these concerns before as a general position on the question of gambling expansion, but they are just as relevant in the current debate as in any other debate over gambling, state sponsored or privately owned.

“Does the Bible specifically speak to gambling as being not only a sin but something which the civil authority, bearing the sword under Romans 13 authority, can make a determination upon relative to the legality of such activity?

First, there must be some clarity in the choices of words we are using. Gambling, as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary, is as follows: “Gaming for money.” Let’s assume that this definition is agreed upon for purposes of usage of the word. Please notice that this definition would exclude the gathering of friends coming together to play a card game without money changing hands, but would not exclude organized gambling (casinos, lotteries, bingo parlors, monte carlo nights, etc.)

Given that gambling, defined correctly as “gaming for money”, is a clear violation of the 10th Commandment (thou shalt not covet) in that it is desiring something of value which you have not been given by God nor earned by your labor, then we need to look at how the Bible describes coveting or covetousness.

Colossians 3:5-6–”Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth, fornication, uncleanness, the inordinant affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry. For the which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” (1599 Geneva)
Ephesians 5:5–”For this ye know, that no whoremonger, neither unclean person, nor covetous person, which is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God.” (1599 Geneva)

Covetousness is the root of evil before the act. Given that the Bible equates coveting with idolatry, and that gambling is the act of gaming for money as a result of coveting more than you have been given or earned from your labor, it is a violation of the command against coveting, then bythe clear testimony of Scripture  and logical inference , it is also a violation against creating a idol (2nd Commandment).

Additionally, engaging in gambling involves relying on “chance”, “luck” or other metaphysical crutches (rabbit’s feet, lucky charms, lucky numbers, etc), thus denying the sovereignty of God and His Law-Word. This is a violation of the First Commandment against having other gods. Matthew 6:24 is clear that one cannot serve both God and mammon (”No man can serve two masters: for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, anddespise the other. Ye cannot serve God and riches.”) Only one God can be served, and engaging in gambling is worship of a false god.

As for the 8th Commandment against theft, the first person violated is God Himself. God has a first ownership claim over all resources, and requires it be used in specific ways (tithe, legitimate tax, gifts, provide for own and own home, church, provide for widows and orphans, etc). We have a stewardship responsibility of all God provides, and failure of that disqualifies a man from oversight of the church (Titus 1:5-8) and the state (Exodus 18:21).

Additionally, we are complicit in the theft of resources from others through the legalization of gambling (and there is no such thing as a purely “private” gambling operation; just legal and illegal–government has some part to play in any operation through enabling legislation, tax policy, police and safety efforts, etc). Redistribution of wealth under any circumstances, whether through confiscatory taxation or through state-endorsed gambling is theft.

Overall, as mentioned, supporting gambling is supporting multiple violations of God’s Law, whether or not man has said it is legal.”

In light of the above, the Institute for Principled Policy requests that you vote “NO” on Ohio State Issue 3 on the November 3rd ballot.

American Majority–Grassroots Organizing and Mobilization

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionMost grassroots movements have the same fundamental parts to them, with the tea party movement being a notable exception.  Understanding those parts will help activists and candidates to generate and sustain momentum and support for your issue.

Chris Faulkner from Faulkner Strategies discussed the keys to a grassroots movement.  You have to have ‘The “IT”‘, ie. the key root basis of your movement:  the idea, issue or value(s) that define your movement, identified clearly and succintly.  Think abortion for the pro-life movement, war opposition for both the Dean campaigns and the Paul campaigns, etc.

You also have to have “The ‘Host'”, the person or group that becomes the avatar and carries the “IT”.  Most “hosts” have been too weak to carry the “It” effectively (think Howard Dean) but sometimes a “host” is strong enough to carry the “It” (think Barack Obama carrying the “Move ON” idea).

The “Host” can’t do it alone; in come the “Evangelists”: those who are opinionated, well-informed, and more interested in the “It” than in the “Host”.  These folks are the ones who really drive and make the movement happen and catch fire.  Sometimes they may be “sneezers” who push information out (think bloggers, talk radio, etc.).  Next you need the “medium” of how the message is going to be delivered.  In our Founding era, it was Committees of Correspondence and the Federalist Papers; today it is the Internet and social media.

All of this is focused on getting the message, and the momentum, to the “Crowd”, ie. everyone else.  The Tea Parties seem to have found a way to effectively do this and also bypass the need for a “Host”, thus decreasing the likelihood of a personality eclipsing the message or turning off those who otherwise could and should be part of the movement.

Maybe the conservative movement can learn some lessons.  The time is now, and the resources are available.

American Majority–New Media and Online Engagement

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionChris Faulkner spoke to the entire group after lunch on the ability to harness and utilize the “new media”of social networking and other online portals to create a more effective campaign (either political or activist).  He gave a disclaimer that this is the most difficult session for him to teach, as he has 20% who won’t get it, 20% who is already using it effectively, and 60% who may get useful information out of the presentation.

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.  are all tools that allow for greater online engagement (dynamic interactive communication), versus the early days of the Internet where someone might have an online presence (static website).  A major focus of Faulkner’s presentation was on the potential power of Twitter as a means of creating community and building your persona.  I was impressed by the fact that there are approximately 15 million Twitter users (as opposed to 300 million Facebook users) and President Obama has 12% of that community following his ‘tweets’ (1.8 million follwers).  There is potential power in this application, as Faulkner put it, 140 charcters to take over the world.

Faulkner discussed how you need to “control your brand” by using social media effectively, and getting your message and your information up to the top of the list on search engines such as Google.  It’s all about getting your name out long enough, loud enough, and in as many venues as possible to give it “juice” to help you control your “brand”.  Another good way, especially for candidates, is the creation of “fan pages” for your campaign or business on Facebook.

An amazing, but not really surprising statistic is that of various contact media being utilized today, Facebook is used as the primary contact point by more people than who use email (24% vs. 11.1%).  Twitter is a close and growing third at 10.8%.  It is pretty apparent that instead of a time wasting distraction, social media is becoming somewhat of an indispensible communication tool.  Sorry, US Postal Service!

The conversation turned to blogging, and how to go about setting up an effective blog site, how to drive traffic and attention, and how to make your blogging become an activist activity.  Faulkner presses the point home that new media will be increasingly more critical to message successs, and in generating action for your agenda.

Social media is now creating a new way of accountability.  As Thomas Paine put it, “An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soliders cannot.”

American Majority–On the Candidate trail, part 3

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionThis session is on political communication, more specifically on paid and earned media options for a campaign.  Faulkner discussed the elements of a communication strategy from establishing or increasing name id, developing image and issue, creating contrast, to defending yourself against attacks.

Most people think of political communication of being mainly centered around television advertising, but Faulkner brought a great perspective on the fact that our new technological milieu, while still maintaining the importance of running TV, has exposed some of the things that TV can’t do for a campaign, including targeting voters effectively, reaching as many voters as it did 10 years ago (too many channel choices now), and giving detailed information/messaging for your campaign.

Much of the discussion on paid media explored the ability to use direct mail effectively and to use radio as a “rapid response” vehicle for staying abreast of issues and getting out early on attack response/damage control.  However, because of the constraints of the day’s schedule, Faulkner had to skip over a number of points of discussion, which participants in the training can access via a membership gateway at American Majority’s website.

A discussion of earned media and its effectiveness (both in terms of costs and in terms of name/issue identification for voters) was the second half of the session, but much of it was passed over due to time constraints.  It might be a better plan for future trainings for the earned media portion of the training to be a separate session.

And yes, even though many don’t want to hear it, Faulkner reiterated that negative ads (attack ads) do work and work effectively.  He did warn that candidates should try to create contrast, but to stay away from the clearly personal attacks on the opponent:  attack issues and track records, not personalities and families.  Faulkner did utilize some time for a fairly lively and informative question and answer session at the end of the session.

American Majority–On the Candidate track, part 2

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionThis session in the Candidate track is one that most candidates hate talking about, but is absolutely necessary to achieve the goals of the campaign:  fundraising.  The “mother’s milk of politics” is also the bane of most candidates, who struggle to spend the requisite time and personal investment to have a successful fundraising program.  Relying on direct mail and generic requests won’t equate to enough resources to cross the finish line strong.

Faulkner spent the bulk of the time in this session discussing the various means of fundraising, from direct mail solicitations to online fundraising.  Faulkner walked participants through the personal solicitation, direct mail and fundraising event portions of the finance plan in general terms, as a general overview of the basics of these traditional fundraising activities.

The discussion on online fundraising was engaging, showing the power of smaller voices coming together to create a political roar (ala Ron Paul more than Howard Dean), and bringing people into the campaign by directly engaging them with your campaign message in a format with which they are comfortable .

Online fundraising has other advantages as well, such as creating “fans” (strong supporters), being able to grow your email lists (remember the Obama campaign’s millions of emails?), asking for smaller amounts but in greater numbers of people, and creating community around your campaign.

However, as Faulkner brought home, a candidate still has to spend 35-50% (or more) of their time on doing personal, face to face solicitation of potential big donors in order to create the financial foundation to build the rest of the campaign on.  Sorry, candidates, there is no magic wand in the Internet to keep you from having to do the hard, humbling work of asking other people to give you and your ideas the money to make them work.

American Majority–On the Candidate track, part 1

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionChris Faulkner of Faulkner Strategies out of Indianapolis led the Candidate track for the American Majority training.  I am impressed to see that there are about 30 people who are taking this track our of the 50+ who are in attendance.  Some of these people are support or campaign staff/volunteers, but the numbers are encouraging, nevertheless.

The opening session of this track is on the development of the campaign plan to ensure success.   Faulkner opened with what I found to be refreshing:  Create your entire campaign plan in PowerPoint utilizing a maximum of 10 slides!  He is now breaking down the overall plan with five major areas that must be focused upon, with questions the candidate must be asking themselves and their campaign in order to make sure they are on the right track.

He is discussing the necessity of fleshing out the administration and committee aspects of the campaign, the message you are delivering and how to deliver it, how to position both yourself and your opponent for maximum benefit for your campaign, how to structure the campaign budget to meet your goals and prepare for unexpected expenses, create your finance committee and asks for contributions, how to set vote goals and know how to sift the information to create accurate benchmarks and targets, how to effectively get out the vote in an era of early voting (in Ohio, voters can cast ballots 35 days prior to the election) and setting GOTV timelines for the greatest impact.

A former Marine machine gunner trainer, Faulkner’s presentation is engaging, lively and filled with significant pieces of information that are very helpful for those seeking to be effective candidates.

American Majority–Building Coalitions

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series American Majority Training

constitutionThe AM staff began the session by describing what a coalition is (individuals or organizations coming together to address a common issue, who have common interests and values) and why they form (for solving a problem, naturally!)

Discussion centered around purposeful coalition building–creating a roadmap for success, with clear planning for identifying the issue, growing the group intelligently, creating the vision for the solution, establishing clear targets for success, planning the specific strategies, and implementing.  One thing that wasn’t discussed was having a post-issue analysis to certify that the goals were actually met.

Credibility and authority of the group and leaders was noted as being critical to the foundation for success of any coalition.  In order to be effective, the coalition leadership have to be visible and accessible, and be able to accurately assess the depth of the network,  broaden and deepen the network (including direct methods and social networking options),  and mobilize and motivate your volunteers and core membership.

Examples of effective tools for reaching the community you are wanting to impact was discussed, from the traditional word of mouth to getting earned media, from petitioning to fundraising events to educate and connect more people to your cause, from networking to building and deepening relationships.  All of these tools and options are going to be explained in more detail during the activist training break out sessions (of which I will bring you information after the event).

A thought struck me during this presentation, especially during the part on networking:  No time was allowed for participants at this event to introduce themselves and to let others know who is in attendance.  Maybe this will happen before the lunchtime “networking”.  We’ll see.