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Jason Stanford
Jason Stanford got into politics because he wanted to be a spy. He majored in Russian at Lewis & Clark College. Unfortunately, (well, just for his career), the Cold War ended while he was in college, and the job market for Russian-speaking spies dried up. So in 1992 Jason spent his last semester in Moscow and landed two jobs in journalism. In one, he led a partially successful strike of foreign workers against a Russian boss. In the other, for the Moscow bureau of the Los Angeles Times, he uncovered the diversion of U.S. economic aid to Boris Yeltsin’s political party.

After two years of long, bitter winters and odd career choices, Jason moved to Texas and went to work for Gov. Ann Richards’ re-election campaign against George W. Bush. As a political consultant, he has worked on more than 200 campaigns in 41 states. His clients have included 25 Members of Congress, three Governors, Fortune 500 corporations, the AFL-CIO, and the National Abortion Rights Action League, among many others. At last count, only two of his clients have lost their elective offices due to embarrassing sex scandals. Jason was named a Rising Star by Campaigns & Elections magazine in 2002 and was singled out by the Dallas Morning News for managing the Democratic campaign for Governor that exceeded expectations against Rick Perry in 2006.

Jason has taught seminars at several Campaigns & Elections training conventions, the national convention of the American Association of Political Consultants as well as for the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin. He has also spoken to students at several schools and universities across the country.

Several national media sources have featured Jason’s views on negative campaigning and modern politics, including NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “To the Point,” CNN Money, the Fox News Channel, Al Jazeera English, Late Night Live on ABC Australia, Columbia Radio News, Jane Magazine, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, the Christian Science Monitor, the National Journal, the New York Times, the National Journal, Australian Magazine, and FHM. He has been profiled in Politico, the Houston Chronicle, in a locally syndicated column by Dave McNeely, and in Wayne Slater’s column in the Dallas Morning News. Jason is a semi-regular contributor of opinion pieces to POLITICO: Arena, the Austin American-Statesman and the Texas Tribune. He has been a frequent talk show guest on KRLD, the Dallas CBS radio affiliate, and “Inside Texas Politics,” the Sunday morning news show on Dallas’ ABC affiliate. He has written extensively on politics, contributing an essay called “Balancing Discretion with Glasnost” to Ronald A. Faucheux anthology Winning Elections: Political Campaign Management, Strategy, and Tactics (Campaigns & Elections 2003), as well as articles in various trade publications.

Excerpts from interviews have appeared in several books, including BUSH’S BRAIN: HOW KARL ROVE MADE GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL (Wiley, 2003), a best-selling biography of Karl Rove by James Moore and Wayne Slater, HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD: THE SECRET RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WORLD’S TWO MOST POWERFUL DYNASTIES (Simon & Shuster, 2004), and MACHIAVELLI’S SHADOW: THE RISE AND FALL OF KARL ROVE (Rodale, 2008).

He also received billing for appearing in the feature-length documentary about the 2006 Texas gubernatorial campaign “Along Came Kinky: A Texas Jewboy For Governor.”

Jason is the co-author of ADIOS MOFO: WHY RICK PERRY WILL MAKE AMERICA MISS GEORGE W. BUSH (2011) with James Moore.

Entries by Jason Stanford

Parenting Study Misses the Point

(6) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 11:42 AM

The funniest thing I've read recently -- far more absurd that Donald Trump being the Republican frontrunner for president -- is that Germans have studied happiness and determined that having children is hard. I'm not sure I'd trust Germans on being the experts in happiness, but the study raises questions...

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My Stealth Campaign for President

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 1:50 PM

You probably have not heard a peep about my campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. All the attention lately has been focused on Lindsey Graham explaining why he's single, Jeb Bush avoiding his family, and Donald Trump telling us all how lucky we are that he is running for president....

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Would You Go on 'The Briefcase'?

(33) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 3:55 PM

The Hunger Games was supposed to be fiction, but maybe it was prophetic. Now comes The Briefcase, CBS's new reality show that pits desperate middle-class families against each other for financial survival. This seems more appropriate for dystopian science fiction than contemporary prime time, and the instinct is to kill...

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Why I'm Running for President as a Republican

(275) Comments | Posted May 31, 2015 | 12:05 PM

Today I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican Party's nomination for President of the United States of America. You might justifiably point out that I -- a Democrat -- would be an odd choice to lead the Republican ticket. To these naysayers, I counter that by adding me to...

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The Pentagon's Response to Ted Cruz Regarding Jade Helm 15

(489) Comments | Posted May 10, 2015 | 8:54 AM

Recently, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas asked the Pentagon to clarify its intentions with military exercises in Central Texas called "Jade Helm 15." The Pentagon's response follows:

Dear Senator Cruz:

Thank you for your inquiry into whether the Jade Helm 15 military exercise is the first wave of a federal...

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We Are All Baltimore

(1) Comments | Posted May 2, 2015 | 3:45 PM

I had tickets to the "ghost game," the baseball game played last Wednesday between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. Instead I watched it on television--bore witness, really--and it was as surreal as you'd think. No one was there to chase home run balls. The only cheering came...

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Kress Now Lobbying for Pre-K... Testing

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 5:21 PM

Sandy Kress, the controversial testing lobbyist, is leading a new raid on our school taxes. This month he registered to lobby for Amplify, the company that wants to replace textbooks with tablet computers, positioning him to grab some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Education Sec. Arne Duncan...

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Enough with the Sochi horror stories already

(3) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 3:16 PM

We thought the big controversies in the Sochi Winter Olympics would be toothpaste terrorism or government-sanctioned homophobia. Then the press tried to check into their hotels and discovered a comical array of foibles that will do nothing to boost the Russian tourism industry. But what shocks the traveling press corps...

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'Sort of a Jack Abramoff Kind of Thing'

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 10:06 AM

When the Canutillo Independent School District found out its superintendent was cooking the books just like in nearby El Paso, the board members knew they had a problem on their hands. But for a couple of local lobbyists, a school cheating scandal was just another business opportunity, underscoring the extent...

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Holding Arne Duncan to a Higher Standard

(22) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 11:26 AM

America, the elites are very disappointed in you. We're not keeping up with South Korea and Singapore, they tell us, because you are coddling your mediocre children who are being taught by bottom-of-the-barrel teachers. But have no fear, help is on the way! Pearson, the testing company that has gotten...

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It's Time to Investigate Pearson in Texas, Too

(3) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 9:31 AM

Thanks to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the charitable arm of testing giant Pearson will pay $7.7 million to end his investigation into whether it was illegally helping its for-profit parent company. This comes as a shock to Texans, where Pearson has an eye-popping $462-million testing contract,...

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What Arne Duncan Can Learn From Texas Moms

(5) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 9:03 AM

It's not every day that Democrats and Republicans get to shake their fist in the same direction. That honor goes to Education Sec. Arne Duncan whose insult against "white, suburban moms" whose "child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were" has sparked outrage from the tea party...

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Is Your Child's Teacher 'Highly Qualified?'

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 5:22 PM

Is your child's teacher highly qualified? Thanks to a loophole snuck into the bill to end the federal government shutdown, there's really no way of knowing.

Here's how it's supposed to work: Under No Child Left Behind, all schools -- even the ones where the poor and minority students...

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We Regret the Errors

(14) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 9:38 AM

Last week's news contained some factual errors that merit correction. We strive for accuracy at all times and regret falling short in these rare instances.

An article on Sunday claimed that the National Security Agency collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in France and Spain. In actual...

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Texas Test Wars: A New Hope

(6) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 8:45 AM

A supposedly disaffected generation is protesting standardized testing. Parents are refusing to let schools give their kids the tests. Teachers are refusing to administer the tests. School boards are begging for relief from testing mandates. That's all nice, say the dwindling number of defenders of linking...

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An Armchair Dad Questions Arne Duncan

(14) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 5:29 PM

Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said you're either "moving forward with courageous reforms" and "piloting new and better assessments" (the graduate school term for "standardized tests"), or you're one of the "arm chair pundits who insist our efforts are doomed to fail." Duncan exposed his own fallacy when he...

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Southern Poverty Law Center Investigates Founder Behind 'White Student Union' in Georgia

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 6:51 PM

The news that a freshman has founded a White Student Union at Georgia State University, one of the most diverse campuses in the country, has come across like a harmless college prank. In a summer filled with Paula Deen's allegations, racist rodeo clowns, George Zimmerman's acquittal, and Republican accusations...

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Ted Cruz for President?

(142) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 10:46 AM

Now that he has renounced his Canadian citizenship, Sen. Ted Cruz must run for president, but not to save our country from falling deficits, 41 straight months of private-sector job growth, and forcing health insurance companies to spend your premiums on health care. No, our very junior...

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Progress in San Antonio

(8) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 2:16 PM

This summer I took my sons on a civil rights tour of the South. I wanted them to see the best of our history, how we rose above the institutionalized evil of slavery and segregation to form a more perfect union. If I'd planned it better, we would have stopped...

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Are Public Schools Headed for a Wall Street-style Crash?

(9) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 11:14 AM

Just like AAA ratings on mortgage-backed securities led to Wall Street's 2008 disaster, a rash of accountability scandals might be precursors to a similar public school crash. After years of promises that test-driven accountability would yield miracles, scandals with school ratings are popping up all over the country. Unless we...

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