Why Most Good People Don’t Run For Office – and other perplexing questions about politics

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

cooper_120613Terry Cooper, owner of Terry Cooper Political Research, addressed many of the hot-button issues dominating politics today.  Mr. Cooper does political research, principally opposition research for Republican candidates. He is a member of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.  Mr. Cooper spoke at the Wednesday, June 13, 2012 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Bob McGrath.

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Terry is a graduate of Episcopal High School, Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Research Editor of the Virginia Law Review, a member of the National Moot Court Team and elected to the Order of the Coif, the law-school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. He practiced law with the Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell and held executive positions with three Fortune 500 companies before founding his firm, Terry Cooper Political Research, in 1982.

Terry has taught opposition research at the Republican National Committee’s Campaign Management Colleges, at American University’s Campaign Management Institute, at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, at the University of Florida and at training programs sponsored by the state Republican parties of Virginia, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington State.

Terry’s clients have included then-Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich (R-GA); then- Congressmen Tom Davis (R-VA), Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Chip Pickering (R-MS) and Jim Nussle (R-IA); Congressmen Tom Latham (R-IA), Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Doc Hastings (R-WA); then-Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell; and a number of members of the Virginia and Florida legislatures. Terry Cooper Political Research is located at 1111 Timber Trail Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901. Terry can be reached via telephone at (434) 202-8065.

Program Summary

Terry Cooper does political research—principally opposition research–for Republican candidates. His presentation was entitled, “Why good people don’t run for office and other perplexing questions about politics today.” And Terry offered many, many reasons why good people are discouraged from seeking office: it would be like joining the worst fraternity on the grounds; in order to run, you may have to forego your income for all or part of the campaign; you may miss out on opportunities; you may have to take out a second mortgage or otherwise go deep into debt; campaigning can be a huge strain on your marriage and other personal relationships; you have to forego fun things like vacations and other family time; you have to eat lousy, unhealthy food and seldom have time to exercise; you have to spend time with fringe people and importuners; you work as hard as you ever have; you have to spend huge amounts of time asking strangers for large amounts of money; disappointments abound; some of your events are heartbreakingly poorly attended; friends side with your opponent; friends criticize your campaign’s tactics and positions; you’ll be pressured to abide by your party’s constituent groups’ issue agendas; opposition research will be done on you looking at ancient history, exaggerations, items taken out of context, items involving family members, and your finances. Whew!

Terry then gave a history of the Tea Party movement. It began as a reaction to policies of George W. Bush and the Republican Congress focusing on issues such as out-of-control spending, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”), and the bank bailout. But then members of the movement became outraged by President Obama’s actions which were perceived as more out-of-control spending (e.g., the stimulus); cronyism (e.g., favorable treatment of the UAW while shafting of bondholders in the auto bailout); unconstitutional (e.g., the individual mandate in the health-care law and ordering Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives); and failing to punish the bad actors who caused the financial meltdown and indeed rewarding some of them.

The last issue addressed by Terry was the Citizens United decision and superpacs. He stated that the Citizens United decision did indeed follow Supreme Court precedent, and that the fear of heavy corporate involvement in politics is wildly overblown. Further, the proposed constitutional amendment (HJ Res 90) providing that “the rights protected by the constitution…are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes…” would mean that corporations should have no free speech rights, no free press rights, no freedom of association rights, no right to petition for the redress of grievances, no right to due process of law. And if corporations shouldn’t have those rights, how about other artificial amalgams of people such as the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and the Piedmont Environmental Council?

The Older Dominion Partnership: How Virginia Is Preparing to Ride the Age Wave

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

John Martin

John Martin

John W. Martin, CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research, spoke at the April 8, 2009 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia on the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), an initiative by business, government, foundations and non-profits to help Virginia prepare for the coming boomer age wave.

The ODP is a public/private initiative created to raise awareness and advance preparation efforts across the Commonwealth of Virginia for the coming “age wave” of older adults – when aging Boomers double the population of citizens ages 65 and older as there are today. Through John’s vision, Virginia’s ODP has ushered in a new model in age wave planning where leaders in academic, nonprofit, state government, philanthropic communities, and business all join together to plan for their community’s shared destiny.

The ODP conducted strategic research among residents and business leaders to help create a planning roadmap for the ODP. Subsequently, six ODP workgroups were established: community readiness, civic engagement, aging services communications support, healthcare access and long-term care, workforce readiness, and a shared statewide research database work group that supports all of the ODP work groups and offers a matrix of age wave preparedness performance indicators.

In addition to co-founding the Boomer Project, the nation’s authority on marketing to today’s Boomer consumer, John Martin is president and CEO of SIR Research, a 44-year-old marketing research firm that has conducted over 13,000 studies for organizations like Media General, AARP, Liberty Mutual, Lincoln Financial, American Chemical Society, the Public Relations Society of America, Johnson & Johnson, and the American SPCA.

John speaks to audiences across the country about age wave preparation, as well as generational issues and understanding today’s Boomers. He also co-authored the award-winning business book, Boomer Consumer, published in 2007.

Over the last five years, the Boomer Project has established itself as the leading authority on generational marketing. Boomer Project findings have been shared on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR’s “Marketplace” and recent cover stories about older Boomers by BusinessWeek and Newsweek, as well as articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Hundreds of organizations from financial services firms, healthcare associations, consumer products companies, retailers, and governmental agencies have hired the Boomer Project to speak at conferences, events, and training sessions.

Following the presentation questions were taken from the audience. Today’s program was moderated by SSV Secretary Bill Davis.


Program Summary

John W. Martin, CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research, spoke on the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), an initiative by business, government, foundations and non-profits to help Virginia prepare for the coming boomer age wave (www.olderdominion.org).

Because of the baby boomers, the population in Virginia of 65 and over will increase from 11 percent to 19 percent in ten years. The age wave will impact in five ways: •chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, arthritis, stroke) will increase by 40 to 50 percent along with multiple severe diseases; •shortage of geriatric physicians and nurses (22,000 more nurses will be needed in 10 years); •enormous shortage of family care-giver workers (nine out of 10 boomers want to remain in their homes); •demands on business, transportation, housing–all must become more age-friendly; •a community’s overall attractiveness and competitiveness may be at stake to attract boomers.

Goals of the Older Dominion Partnership: •Build awareness of the coming age wave; •Broaden pro-aging stake holder groups; •Help facilitate the creation and advancement of community-driven strategies; •Support members through strategic coordination and possible alignment of funding sources; •Help formulate a comprehensive long-term strategic strategy for the Commonwealth; •Document and report on the progress in preparing for the age wave. In sum, “Make things happen sooner rather than later. Don’t play catch-up in 20 years, but rather predict the future by influencing it by taking it in the direction we want it to go in as residents of the Commonwealth.”