||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (March 2011)|
|Motto||"Real change begins at the local level"|
American Majority is a nonprofit organization that provides political training to conservative activists and candidates in state and local elections. Since January 2009, American Majority has trained over 27,000 new leaders at over 700 trainings. Registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the organization describes itself as "a non-partisan political training institute whose stated mission is to train and equip a national network of leadership committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market."
American Majority began as an affiliate of the Sam Adams Alliance. The president of American Majority is Ned Ryun, a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the son of former Republican U.S. Congressman Jim Ryun. Headquartered in Purcellville, Virginia, the organization conducts trainings across the country with staffed offices in Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. In the past, American Majority operated state offices in Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Montana, and Missouri.
American Majority is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Legally the organization is only able to keep this status by not explicitly endorsing any party or candidate, though the organization openly admits its conservative views and "identifies" conservative candidates for its members.[dead link]
In October 2011, American Majority's president, Ned Ryun, called on Michele Bachmann to drop out of the Republican presidential primaries. Ryun wrote, "In Bachmann's case, it is clear that the campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books; a harsh commentary, but true."
In the spring 2009 local elections, 23 of 54 American Majority trained candidates won. Fall 2010 victories included Terry Calloway, who was identified and trained by American Majority in hopes that he would challenge a very liberal state house incumbent who had voted for the second-largest tax increase in Kansas history. Calloway beat his primary challenger, then went on to win the general election with 52% of the vote. In addition, his campaign manager was trained through American Majority’s Campus Majority program, as was his online director, who created Calloway’s website and managed his new media. American Majority has also held activist trainings across Kansas that cover various facets of political activism such as coalitions, holding events, the structure of government in Kansas, holding elected officials accountable, and how to effectively use wikis, blogs, and social media.
In spring 2009 local elections, 17 of 27 candidates trained by American Majority were victorious. Victories in 2010 included Josh Brecheen, who attended an American Majority candidate training in Oklahoma City in the spring of 2010. He ran against an incumbent state senator, Jay Paul Gumm. Brecheen’s campaign manager was also trained by American Majority. Breechen defeated Gumm by double-digits in Oklahoma’s “Little Dixie,” where Republicans have never won a state senate race. In the same year, 8 of 12 school board candidates that the organization trained in Oklahoma were elected. The organization also trained the state’s superintendent of public instruction, Janet Barresi, who was elected in 2010.
American Majority trained Pam Galloway. Galloway, a political novice, beat Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, who was a five-term incumbent, by ten points.
Lt. Colonel Brian Birdwell attended an American Majority candidate training in the summer of 2009 and was encouraged to pursue public office at the state level. He won a tough election for state senator in 2010 against the establishment favorite, with many of his campaign volunteers trained through American Majority’s activist workshops.
The organization's main focus is training. Offering three “tracks” including activists, candidates and college students, American Majority seeks to transition the tea party movement from protests to local activism. Trainings cover a variety of topics from the history of America's political system to effective ways to campaign online. A frequent theme of American Majority trainings is the notion that the get out the vote and social networking efforts of conservatives lag behind those of more liberal leaning political groups, and the need to get up to speed with best practices.
In July 2011, American Majority announced its first ever Constitution Day "Training Bomb," which took place on September 17, 2011. The concept of the Training Bomb is based on the popular "money bomb" fundraising strategy employed by political candidates such as Ron Paul, in which donors are asked to contribute money to reach a target amount in a single day. Applying this concept to its primary function, American Majority aims to train hundreds of activists and candidates across thirteen cities on the same day. American Majority president Ned Ryun dubbed the Training Bomb "the biggest one-day training of conservative activists ever."
The organization makes use of social media to disseminate their opinions and electoral information, and publishes documents to its followers illustrating the basics of social media. They provide guides on how to use Twitter and Facebook for political purposes.
New Leaders Project
On November 16, 2010 American Majority announced the New Leaders Project. Working with local tea party leaders, American Majority aims to identify and train 10,000 new leaders by the 2012 elections.
American Majority Racing was a national program of American Majority. The program was designed to target millions of NASCAR fans in an effort to engage them in the electoral process. Having teamed up with NASCAR driver Jason Bowles and car #81 MacDonald Motorsports for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series racing season, the American Majority Racing program is designed to educate Americans about how smaller government and less spending will “Keep America Free.”
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