RIC to host Operation Clean Government’s Candidate School, April 28

“Candidate School 2012” – Operation Clean Government’s (OCG’s) day-long, non-partisan educational seminar on how to run for public office – will take place Saturday, April 28, in Rhode Island College’s Student Union, announced event chair Marie Sorman.

The program starts with a 7 a.m. breakfast and includes breakfast, lunch, and refreshments during breaks.

This is OCG’s sixth Candidate School, continuing an election year tradition that started in 2002. It will be hosted by RIC’s Political Science Department and is supported by LOOKOUT RI, John Hazen White, Jr.’s non-partisan foundation.

“Rhode Island College’s participation will greatly expand our impact on the community – especially the educational community,” Sorman said.

RIC 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.”

“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,” said Thomas Schmeling, RIC associate professor of political science.

John Hazen White, Jr. stated, “Since Candidate School 2012 is non-partisan in nature, LOOKOUT RI is pleased to help support the program.”

OCG’s Candidate School began in 2002 in order to broaden citizen participation in state and local government. Its goal is to provide citizens with basic knowledge needed to run a successful political campaign.

The nonpartisan program is designed to help first-time candidates, campaign workers, and volunteers run ethical, winning campaigns. The event is especially helpful for encouraging more women and minority groups to run for public office.

Since its inception, more than 500 aspirants for public office have been attended OCG Candidate Schools, including several who have become well-known political figures in Rhode Island.

The curriculum of Candidate School 2012 consists of a number of individual speakers on topics of critical importance to office seekers, along with several moderated panel discussions. Topics cover many phases of political candidacy:

• How to qualify as a candidate
• Legal requirements and procedures, from filing dates to party affiliations
• Ethics and financial disclosure requirements
• Fundraising
• Dealing with the media
• Door to door campaigning methods
• Creating messages, literature, speeches and other communications
• Recruiting and managing campaign volunteers
• Developing web sites and using social media

The faculty usually consists of about 25 experts in their respective fields, with an emphasis on those who have run for office and won. A full program announcement, including faculty names, will be announced shortly.

Registration and payment can be completed online through the PayPal link at OCG’s website, www.ocgri.org. Checks can also be mailed to Candidate School 2012, P O Box 8683, Warwick, RI 02888.