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CampusReformAProjectoftheLeadershipInstitute .pdf


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CampusReform: A Project of The Leadership Institute 
The Leadership Institute (LI) describes itself as “the HR department of the conservative 
movement.” It was founded in 1979 by ​
Morton Blackwell​
 as a young adult organization for the 
conservative movement. LI has already trained ​
conservative leaders​
 like chief GOP strategist 
Karl Rove, Rep. Joe Wilson (R­SC), and Grover Norquist, head of Americans For Tax Reform. 
Its funding​
 includes organizations and foundations such as the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the 
Heritage Foundation, and the Adolph Coors­funded Castle Rock Foundation. 
 
CampusReform.org 
In 2009, the founder of LI launched a new site for college conservatives called CampusReform. 
The stated purpose of the site is to expose “bias” in universities “completely dominated by the 
left” and to give conservatives students a forum to report and organize against professors 
perceived as abusive leftists. 
 
Blackwell described the ​
motivation behind his ambitious project​
 to the American Prospect: 
 
“I have had a long­term awareness of how the campuses have become left­wing indoctrination 
centers, and many, many students can go their entire college educations and never see any 
representations of conservative principles on their campuses — but they see innumerable amounts 
of propaganda both in campus curriculum and with speakers and in campus newspapers. It has 
always bugged me that conservatives have not done likewise.” 

 
Toni Listi, a graduate of Texas A&M and CampusReform.org member, put this another way 
when he wrote on the site that the goal was to, “​
smash left­wing scum​
.” There was originally a 
publicly­accessible CampusReform.org subsite for each of the 2,376 four­year colleges in the 
US which contained a blog, event listings, membership roster, and “access to a variety of 
powerful weapons to identify, expose, and combat leftist abuses on campus,” though the 
subsites are now said to be no longer accessible. The “weapons” consist of a ​
system​
 which 
allows students to review “biased” textbooks, rate faculty and “hold professors accountable,” 
report “leftist abuses,” and take a survey to record “specific injustices.” Originally, LI offered 
college students ​
a $100 prize each day for reporting “leftist abuse.” 
 
CampusReform.org is a feeder for Fox News 
More recently, CampusReform.org has described their project as a media outlet, with the tag 
line “the #1 Source for College News.” Under the guise of “journalism,” CampusReform.org has 
in the last year broken stories concerning three Black women professors ​
for sharing their views 
on social media about White Supremacy​
. ​
Fox News​
 and other media outlets such as the 
Washington Times​
 have picked up stories from CampusReform.org, lending further publicity to 
the project’s stories. This coverage, in turn, informs ​
white supremacist organizations​
, who have 
responded by sending ​
hate mail​
 and engaging in​
 on­campus flyering campaigns​
 to have the 
academic fired. 
Sources: ​
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/10/20/65093/campus­reform­leadership­institute/​
; 
http://www.desmogblog.com/leadership­institute​
; ​
http://conservativetransparency.org/org/leadership­institute/​
; 
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/leadership­institute​
;   


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