Author Archives: Michael Neal

Unify

Hand Holding Olympic TorchThe primary is over, but our job as Republicans is just beginning.

Firstly, my congratulations to those who were victorious in their primary campaigns. The level of passion and interest by Republicans this year was encouraging. Across the state of Indiana, there were multiple races from Congressional seats to Township Board positions that garnered several candidates.

To those who did not come out of their primary as the nominee: thank you for running. Your voice was heard and your point made, and while you didn’t win, you affected the direction of the election.

Now, the next phase begins.

Those who supported the winner must now reach out to those supporters and workers who did not. Those who lost must now stand behind those who did.

Why? Because we are all Republicans.

Without each other, we will not win the victories we need to keep Indiana, our districts, our counties, and our municipalities moving forward in the direction of economic growth, educational choice, strong family structures, lower taxes, streamlined government, and balanced budgets.

One thing is for sure – if our majorities fall to the opposing party, our reforms will be reversed in multiple areas. While your candidate may not be the nominee, we must stand strong together for an even better Indiana.

If we are unified, we will do just that.

Together, we are One Party Working for Indiana. Apart, we are just a group of aimless volunteers out taking a walk.

I look forward to joining you at our State Party Convention in June and on the campaign trail!

Michael A. Neal
State Chairman
Indiana Federation of Young Republicans 

 

6 Months Down

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Allen County YR

It is hard to believe, but as of today, we have finished the first 6 months of our administration of the Indiana Federation of Young Republicans. I am proud of the work that has been done in such a short amount of time by our State Committee Members, our county chairmen, and their teams.

From Crown Point to New Albany, from Evansville to Fort Wayne – the Indiana Federation of Young Republicans is in a strong position to make advances for our party and our state in terms of education, recruitment, growth, campaigns, advocacy, and the launching of leaders at a level not seen by this organization before.

Since May of 2013, we have accomplished every goal we set to have completed by the end of the year within our 5-Year Strategic Plan – and then some. We have also seen tremendous growth and great events lead by many of our county chapters – including Elkhart, Hamilton, Johnson, and Porter Counties this year that garnered sizable crowds and interest in their organizations.

Our strength is found at the local and county level, and our focus must continue to be our chapters across the state. They are the foundation of our success and what will move our state forward in a positive way, town by town and county by county.

Some of the items that we accomplished together are:

  • Redefining and Reshaping the IFYR
  • Committing to a defined “Seriousness of Purpose”
  • Organizing IFYR as an incorporated non-for-profit
  • Declaring a State Political Organization Tax Status and setting up a State PAC
  • Major Overhaul to our Governing Documents, including our Constitution and By-Laws
  • Creating several new County Chapters, many where none existed before
  • Brought several old County Chapters that were dormant out of dormancy.
  • Working to Strengthen our existing County Chapters
  • Creation of a new, functional, and updated website
  • Implementation of our Social Media Strategy
  • Seeking a Partnership with the Indiana Federation of College Republicans
  • Renewing and Strengthening our Partnership with the Indiana GOP
  • Appointment of an Executive Director, Social Media Manager, and Communications Director
  • Implementation of an aggressive Fundraising effort to fund YR deployments across the State of Indiana
  • In the election off-year, IFYR obtained an out-of-state sponsorship and deployed to Virginia to assist with elections there – testing our deployment plan.

There is so much more to come – but for now,  I’d like to say how proud and humbled I am to lead this organization alongside so many great State and County leaders, working to make a better Indiana. We will be updating our 5-Year Strategic Plan in January of 2014 to reflect new goals and our commitment to the ones we’ve not finished yet! I am so excited about 2014 and what it will bring for our State, our party, and our organization! Thank you all for the part you played and continue to play in our success.

Thanks for a wonderful 2013 and here’s to a prosperous 2014!

Michael Neal
State Chairman
Indiana Federation of Young Republicans

Conservative Movement Needs Pragmatic Leadership

537002_417970358285201_347904510_nPeople who know me know that I am as conservative as they come: fiscally, socially, and economically. It is my strong belief that for the Republican Party to be successful, we need to move to our right – not necessarily to our center. I believe conservative ideas and values are what have made this country strong, prosperous, and successful. We can not abandon these ideas, but we can’t leave out those in the middle either.

The issue that has plagued the conservative movement has been the fact that people who hold these values, especially its perceived leaders, have been labeled ideologues – and some of them deserve that title. The “all or nothing” attitude of some in the conservative movement has turned off the electorate from supporting its candidates – even though many of them have the right ideas to get America working again.

There is a major difference in being a principled person and being an ideologue. Often conservatives point to President Ronald Reagan as the icon of our movement, but they just as often forget that the leadership style that made the 40th President successful was principled pragmatism. While Republicans controlled the Senate for much of his term, Democrats controlled the House for Reagan’s entire term in office – yet he arguably accomplished more in his tenure than any other President of the modern era. How did he accomplish this? He had to work with both sides of the isle while still standing on his conservative principles. He knew how to chip away at attaining a goal.

Today, some conservatives label Republicans who work with a member of the opposite party as a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only.” While there may be some, we can’t label every bipartisan event as a “running of the RINO’s.” Over the last 30 years, liberals chipped away at the goals they set in order to make it palatable to the American electorate and seem less drastic. Nothing they did happened overnight. Why do some conservatives feel that everything they want must happen overnight?

Things take time, effort, and patience. You can still stand on your principles and work towards your goals at the same time, even if you don’t get everything you wanted the first time around. When you make that your standard operating procedure – the things you do take an unmoving, principled stand on will seem more important and urgent to the electorate. I would rather have a piece of my pie than no pie at all – and that’s what we got out of the last Presidential and Senatorial elections, no pie.

Conservatism can sweep across this nation again as it did during the Reagan Revolution, but it will take leaders with principled pragmatism to get us there.

Michael Neal
State Chairman
Indiana Federation of Young Republicans

*All posts in the ‘Chairman’s Blog’ are the opinion of the Chairman

 

This is America

78213-050-0492CE8E12 years after one of the most devastating experiences that modern America has ever seen, many of us still vividly remember what we were doing when we heard the news come down that our nation was under attack. At our places of work, schools, or in our homes, we watched the horrors transpire on television. Many people were scared, saddened, and horrified of what they saw. Despite all of this, people from all across the nation lifted up prayers for those affected by this devastation. This is America.

First responders risked their lives to save others from the rubble of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and at the crash site in the fields in Shanksville, PA. Police, fire, military, medical, and civilian volunteers scoured through twisted metal, rubble, and fiery wreckages to save those trapped. Thousands of Americans came from all across the nation to help people they didn’t even know. Those who couldn’t come to help sent money and supplies. This is America.

Hundreds of thousands of US Military Forces were sent to defend our freedom and to dismantle the terrorist network that killed nearly 3,000 American citizens and injuring more than 6,000 – some permanently. Our military made it clear that America will defend itself when provoked, and seek out those who insist on killing innocent citizens in the name of “religion” or hatred of freedom. Our 43rd President stood firm in the face of adversity and later, unpopularity, to fight the fight necessary to secure our county and its citizens. This is America.

Today, we honor those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001 and thereafter. From those on the planes to those in the buildings; from the responders on that day to the responders on the battlefield on the other side of the earth – we honor them all. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten. For those who were affected by the loss of a loved one from these events, we continue to pray for them, support them, and love them. And for those who perpetrated this senseless attack, know this: we will never forget. This is America.

Michael A. Neal
State Chairman
Indiana Federation of Young Republicans 

Virginia or Bust

virginia-2bc30bfab4c3f9f472480d57c49fa8dc4fbc9ed7-s6-c30The Indiana Federation of Young Republicans are headed to campaign in Virginia!

We have been invited to a campaign weekend in the great state of Virginia for Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and their statewide team. We will be partnering with the Ohio and Kentucky Young Republicans on this trip. Many other states YR’s and CR’s will be deploying throughout the month in different areas. The dates for this trip are Friday, October 11th at 7AM EST – Sunday, October 13th at 8PM EST.

ALL expenses will be paid for this trip by the victory team, including all meals (excluding lunch during travel there and back), lodging, and transportation to and from our deployment site in Virginia (approx. 8 hours from Indy).

Here are the plans: Our team will leave at approximately 7AM EST on Friday, Oct. 11 from a supporter’s parking lot in Indy (3205 Madison Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227) where we can safely leave our vehicles. We will travel by motor coach to our deployment location and do a phone bank upon arrival. Dinner will happen sometime after that.

On Saturday, we will deploy as needed – both on the ground and at phone banks – basically from 10 am until we can’t go any longer. We will then have another dinner with our deployers.

At a reasonable time Sunday, (approx. 10 or 11am) we will leave for Indiana so we are back at a reasonable time (between 7 and 8pm EST).

This is a quick but furious strike in the home stretch for VA Republicans! PLUS – we will be testing and learning about the NEW grassroots plan and system that Indiana will be using in the 2014 election cycle! This preview and testing in VA will be invaluable to our campaigns next year!

We need a minimum of 25 Young Republicans and/or College Republicans to make this successful – and we can max out at 50. If you would like to join us, please sign up today! Details on our official meeting time and location in Indy to leave for VA will be hammered out in the next few weeks – but it will be in Indy and sometime in the morning! Click here or head to the ‘Deployments’ tab on the top of our website to sign up! 

Looking forward to serving with all of you in Virginia!

Michael A. Neal
State Chairman
Indiana Federation of Young Republicans