Salon: My Right Wing Degree (Learn how to rig an election)
How I learned to convert liberal campuses into conservative havens at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, alma mater of Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Jeff Gannon and two Miss Americas
By Jeff Horwitz
May 24, 2005
One recent Sunday, at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, a dozen students meet for the second and final day of training in grass-roots youth politics. All are earnest, idealistic and as right wing as you can get. They take careful notes as instructor Paul Gourley teaches them how to rig a campus mock election.
It’s nothing illegal — no ballot stuffing necessary, even at the most liberal colleges. First you find a nonpartisan campus group to sponsor the election, so you can’t be accused of cheating. Next, volunteer to organize the thing. College students are lazy, and they’ll probably let you. Always keep in mind that a rigged mock election is all about location, location, location.
"Can anyone tell me," asks Gourley, a veteran mock electioneer, "why you don’t want the polling place in the cafeteria?"
Stephen, a shy antiabortion activist sitting toward the rear of the class, raises his hand: "Because you want to suppress the vote?"
"Stephen has the right answer!" Gourley exclaims, tossing Stephen his prize, a copy of Robert Bork’s "Slouching Toward Gomorrah."
There is no better place to master the art of mock-election rigging — and there is no better master than Morton Blackwell, who invented the trick in 1964 and has been teaching it ever since…
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