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Operation Clean Government Announces Candidate School on April 26

Friday, April 18, 2014


Operation Clean Government’s “Candidate School 2014” program and faculty have now been finalized, according to event co-chair Frank Lennon. The event is a day-long, non-partisan educational seminar on how to run for political office. It is scheduled to take place in the Rhode Island College Faculty Center on April 26.

Arlene Violet will kick of the day speaking about what it takes to run for office and win, and how running for office will change your life--especially if you are a woman. Bob Weygand will be the featured luncheon speaker. Some forty other faculty members will fill out the program described below.

“This is an ideal chance for candidates new to the political scene to get a complete briefing on the campaigning process,” says Margaret Kane, President of Operation Clean Government.

Seventh Candidate School

This is OCG’s seventh Candidate School, continuing an election year tradition that started in 2002. It will be hosted by the Political Science Department of Rhode Island College and is supported by clean government advocates within the community, to include LOOKOUT RI, John Hazen White, Jr.’s non-partisan foundation.

“Rhode Island College’s participation greatly expands our impact on the community—especially the educational community,” Lennon explained.

Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo said, “I am proud that RIC's professors and students strive to serve the needs of our State's citizens. Sponsorship of training potential candidates for public office is one example of such outreach."

On behalf of his department, Dr. Thomas Schmeling added, "The Political Science Department is pleased to support OCG's work in encouraging broader participation in the democratic process, and happy that our students will have an opportunity to see democracy in action."

It’s a long day, starting with breakfast at 7:30 AM. After welcoming remarks by Dr. Carriuolo the seminar begins at 8:40 AM with Arlene Violet’s panel.

Things You Need To Know

Things You Need To Know (And Some You Didn’t Know You Need To Know) , features presentations by Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis and by Ethics Commission attorney Jason Gramitt. Secretary Mollis will explain the deadlines and procedures to establish candidacy and Gramitt will present Ethics Commission regulations and recommendations.

Scott Molloy, Professor of Labor and Industrial Relations at URI, leads off the next session which addresses labor-management issues. A Primer on Municipal and School Committee Finances introduces candidates to one of today’s most critical political issues. Former Justice Bob Flanders; former Auditor General Ernie Almonte; North Smithfield Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton and another labor representative to be confirmed will lay the foundation.

Message, Marketing, and Media

Capping off the morning will be a 90-minute presentation addressing Message, Marketing, and Media. Gene Valicenti of Channel 10 and WPRO will moderate this three-part session, with each 30-minute block featuring local experts. Nationally and internationally recognized campaign consultant Tad Devine will team up with former OCG President and now State Representative (Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond) Larry Valencia (D) to prepare and develop an effective message for voters.

Foster–Coventry–Glocester Rep. Michael Chippendale (R) and Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee (D) speak about how to target and persuade voters to vote for you; identifying likely voters; other research; door-to-door and other methods of campaigning; and the art of the 30 second conversation.

GoLocalProv's Kate Nagle shares advice

The third panel in this mega-session consists of members of the media, who will give their thoughts about how to earn positive media coverage of your campaign and your message. Kate Nagle (GoLocalProv), Tom Ward (Valley Breeze Newspapers), and Dohn Loughlin (WPRO) will share advice generated through their combined years of experience.

After lunch and remarks by former Congressman Bob Weygand, the afternoon sessions kick off with a discussion about campaign organization. Central Falls Mayor James Diossa (D) and political strategist Matt Jerzyk will speak about building your team; roles and responsibilities of candidates, paid staffs and volunteers; and the importance of the treasurer.

Two breakout sessions follow. The first discussion is Reaching a Diverse Electorate. Dr. Pablo Rodriguez will moderate a panel including East Greenwich School Committee member Carolyn Mark (D): Providence Rep. Ray Hull (D); and Delia Rodriguez of Radio Poder. The concurrent session addresses the importance of local, hometown media in campaigns. Local elections are often won and lost in the community press, as participants will learn from John Howell [Warwick Beacon]; Tom Ward [Valley Breeze]; Sheila Mullowney, [Newport Daily News] Ted Nesi. RIC Media Professor Michelle Brophy-Baermann will moderate.

Use and Misuse of Websites and Social Media

Another pair of breakout sessions start up after those first two are completed. The first is Use and Misuse of Websites and Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. OCG board member, attorney and social media expert Michael Goldberg leads the discussion which includes OCG webmaster and web designer Casey Dahm and Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ian Donnis. Running concurrently will be another very interesting topic, Pros and Cons of Negative Campaigning, and dealing with skeletons in your own closet; Ted Nesi of WPRI-12 will moderate input from private investigator Victor Pichette, and Tad Devine will join in his second session of the day.

Wrapping up this very full day will be a session about fundraising: How to get the Money You Need to Win, and How to Spend it Wisely. Well-known GOP fundraiser Tony Bucci and Smithfield Councilwoman Suzy Alba, a former Development Officer at Brown University, will share some ideas that may work for new candidates.

Tuition for the day-long training session is just $75, payable via PayPal on OCG’s website, or by check to: Box 8683, Warwick, RI 02888.


Related Slideshow: RI Candidates with the Most Social Media Reach

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10. Lorne Adrain

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 439
Campaign Twitter Followers: 208

Total: 647

How Social is the Adrain Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 78
Campaign Tweets: 26

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9. Jorge Elorza

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 1,287
Campaign Twitter Followers: 573

Total: 1,860

How Social is the Elorza Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 74
Campaign Tweets: 180

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8. Brett Smiley

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 1,461
Campaign Twitter Followers: 704

Total: 2,165

How Social is the Smiley Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 27
Campaign Tweets: 289

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7. Michael Solomon

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 1,341
Campaign Twitter Followers: 987

Total: 2,328

How Social is the Solomon Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 643
Campaign Tweets: 1,086

Prev Next

6. Daniel Harrop

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 1,460
Campaign Twitter Followers: 1,100

Total: 2,560

How Social is the Harrop Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 34
Campaign Tweets: 862

Prev Next

5. Clay Pell

Candidate for Governor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 1,672
Campaign Twitter Followers: 1,077

Total: 2,749

How Social is the Pell Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 1,738
Campaign Tweets: 31

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4. Allan Fung

Candidate for Governor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 2,176
Campaign Twitter Followers: 2,810

Total: 4,986

How Social is the Fung Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 146
Campaign Tweets: 1,154

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3. Ken Block

Candidate for Governor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 4,516
Campaign Twitter Followers: 884

Total: 5,400

How Social is the Block Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 1,328
Campaign Tweets: 1,665

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2. Angel Taveras

Candidate for Governor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 3,544
Campaign Twitter Followers: 3,209

Total: 6,753

How Social is the Taveras Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 51
Campaign Tweets: 325

Prev Next

1. Gina Raimondo

Candidate for Governor

Campaign Facebook Likes: 3,870
Campaign Twitter Followers: 3,965

Total: 7,835

How Social is the Raimondo Campaign?

Talking about on Facebook: 547
Campaign Tweets: 531


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