In Praise of Wasting Time

Dear Friends,


Happy 4th of July Weekend.  You might want to read, In Praise of Wasting Time, by Alan Lightman.  It will relieve your guilt for being off work, spending time with family and friends and just “wasting time”.  It is also a time to celebrate one of the greatest bipartisan successes of all times, the creation of our nation.  This weekend we can particularly be grateful for the benefits we enjoy by living in the United States and it is a time to reflect on how it could be better.


We believe our governmental bodies will be better when candidates are prepared to be effective in elected office before they run.  There is little hope for change once elected. It is essential candidates learn how to work in collaboration with the opposition in order to serve the common interest of our nation, a state, a school board or in county/city government. It is not intuitive for most people to have a bipartisan spirit.  We believe too many good people run for office with good intentions only to fail in getting other people to cooperate.  They get swallowed up by procedures, traditions and practices designed to protect a majority more interested in control than enabling a healthy dialog to produce a creative, collaborative problem-solving government.


To prepare new people for public service was a driving reasons for Bob Mitchell to conceive and organize, with the help of talented people, the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) at Michigan State University.  The University and super people, like Anne Mervenne, have run the program for several years.  It is proving effective in preparing new candidates on how to run a responsible campaign and be equipped to work effectively with colleagues once getting elected.  The success of this program in getting over 650 Republicans and Democrats to acquire a new respect for political opponents and learn skills on how to work with each other is proof enough that we should be expanding candidate bipartisan development throughout the nation.


The fact is that all social progress, including the agreement to form this nation, has resulted from consensus and bipartisan cooperation.  In the nation’s long history, it has not been possible to have a lasting solution to a problem without a consensus from both parties.


To promote better government, the Board of the Bipartisan Leadership Project with your help, will offer a candidate training experience based on the proven successful MPLP.  It will be available to a carefully balanced group of people planning to seek public office and wanting to get a unique training to prepare them for the task.  This will not replace candidate trainings by the political parties and single interest groups that focus solely on how to win.   But, to our knowledge, no one is offering a candidate training designed to prepare Republicans and Democrats to learn bipartisanship skills before getting elected.  And, we certainly do not know of any training in which there is an equal number from each party and equal number of women and men participants. Just like the MPLP there will be an over representation of races, proportionate numbers of urban and rural, mix of ages and variety of work experience in the same training.  This training is powerful because of the excitement and tension created by the mix of very different backgrounds.  Note that 65% of the Fellows are getting elected and producing amazing stories of bipartisanship when in office.


If you share the view that this kind of training for candidates is needed, please help.  Join those of us on the non-profit board which has the Democrat who initiated the Michigan program, a Republican who was a co-director of the program for 20 years, a Republican Congressional staffer and now owner of a bipartisan government affairs company, a Democrat CEO of a conservation organization and the former president of one of America’s largest non-profit service organizations.  We are passionately committed to create a program that can lead thousands of new candidates to be prepared to serve in office at the highest level of integrity and service for the common good.


Become a Bipartisan Ambassador by contributing $100 today.  On-line contributions can be made by visiting the BLP website:


Or send a check to:


Bipartisan Leadership Project
4232 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302


The Bipartisan Leadership Project is an IRS approved 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization.  Charitable contributions may be tax deductible under IRC Section 170 as a public charity.  EIN:82-4479583.


Thank you for your willingness to play a role by investing in the future of our nation.




The Bipartisan Leadership Project Board of Directors:


Bob Mitchell, Anne Mervenne, Dick Schubert, Tom Martin and Lee Cowen


We are available at [email protected]


You are welcome to call 844-202-3858 for more information, offer advice or how you can help.