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Aakash Raut's Accomplishments

Note: This page (and most of this website) was originally created for important events that took places this past summer (2009), and pertain mainly to Aakash's work at a conservative youth political leader.

Aakash Raut served as a College Republican Executive Board officer or member for eight years (through junior college, undergraduate school, and graduate school).

He has served as the Lobbying Director for the Illinois College Republican Federation (ICRF), and has been a delegate or registered participant at the ICRF Conventions of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2008.

For 3 years, Aakash was the Chairman of the College Republicans at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS CRs), after which that organization was nationally-recognized as one of the most active and influential CR chapters in the United States.

 red star bullet During his 3 years as UIS CR Chairman, and 1 year as Executive Director, the UIS CRs made 8 trips to Washington, D.C., for major events. Aakash has helped coordinate 3 additional Washington, D.C. conference trips since then (during this past year), the last one being for CPAC 2009, at which 12 members of his CR organization attended (this was the 3rd CPAC that the UIS CRs have traveled to, in the past 4 years).

Overall, the UIS CRs made 11 trips to Washington, D.C., for major events, in only about 4 years.

 red star bullet Under Aakash's leadership, the UIS CRs had the largest Illinois delegation at most of the major national and regional conservative conferences and events, including:

  triangle bullet The 2004 Young America's Foundation (YAF) National Conservative Student Conference (Aakash was one of those quoted in Time Magazine, because of this event.)
  triangle bullet The 2005 Presidential Inauguration (for which Aakash and the UIS CRs were featured on the WICS TV-20 news, and in major newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, Newsday, and The Chicago Tribune)
  triangle bullet The Leadership Institute's first-ever Campus Leadership Program (CLP) Conference (in 2005)
  triangle bullet The 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
  triangle bullet The 2007 Young America's Foundation (YAF) Midwest Conference (in Minneapolis)
  triangle bullet The 2007 College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Biennial Convention
  triangle bullet The Iowa Straw Poll (one of the most major events of the presidential primary season)
  triangle bullet The 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
  triangle bullet The 2008 Leadership Institute Summer Student Activism Conference
  triangle bullet The Vice-Presidential (Sarah Palin v. Joe Biden) Debate & Post-Debate Rally in St. Louis
  triangle bullet The 2nd-Annual (2008) "Defending the American Dream" Summit
  triangle bullet The 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

Note: This is only a partial listing of national/regional events that the UIS CRs have attended. Last year, the UIS CRs were the only CR chapter to have a delegation at the Illinois Republican State Convention (held once every 4 years), at which Aakash was a full-fledged Delegate, and also sent members to the Republican National Convention (in Minnesota), where Aakash was with a CRNC contest-winners group.

 red star bullet Aakash's principled conservative activism and effective Republican leadership - at the local, statewide, regional, and national levels - have been recognized by elected officials and GOP leaders throughout the United States, as well as by major organizations such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, The American Cause, Team America PAC, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, The Conservative Caucus, Rockford Institute, Ludwig von Mises Institute, the Caucus for Conservative Action, the National Black Republican Association, RenewAmerica, TownHall.com, Intellectual Conservative, The American Conservative, The American Spectator, Human Events, the Sam Adams Alliance, the United Republican Fund, and the Family Taxpayers Foundation, as well as Young America's Foundation, the Leadership Institute, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Accuracy in Academia, Students for Life of America, and of course, the College Republican National Committee (CRNC).

 red star bullet Under Aakash's leadership of the UIS College Republicans, that capital-city CR chapter quadrupled in size.  Despite UIS being a small university, largely with a commuter-based student population, regular meetings of the UIS CR chapter had a typical attendance of 25 to 40 students, almost every time.  When campus-wide or community-wide events were held, there would often be anywhere between 70 to 200 people in attendance (depending on what the structure and format was, and what the guest speaker, campaign, or organization requested).  Those attending the on-campus meetings and events of the UIS CRs included students of all academic levels (from Capital Scholar, to part-time commuter, to graduate student), ages, and backgrounds, as well as some alumni and members of the public.

 red star bullet Throughout the 3 years Aakash was Chairman, the UIS College Republicans typically hosted (or were major contributors to) around 8 to 12 major events every single month.  Examples of activities, projects, and programs that Aakash arranged and coordinated include:
 - - - blue diamond bullet Bringing large delegations of students to major regional and national events, in other states, and in Washington, D.C. [see above], as well as throughout his own state
 - - - blue diamond bullet Coordinating key volunteer efforts, for GOP candidates at the local, county, statewide, and federal office levels:

  red triangle bullet During his last semester as UIS CR Chairman (Spring 2007), Aakash's efforts were credited with boosting the Republicans to an unexpected majority, in the City Government (in the state capital).  A recap of these activities was published at the Illinois Review:
       red arrow Grassroots Student Effort Key in Capital-City GOP Victories, April 2007

 red triangle bullet It is not just in area election efforts that Aakash & his CR organization have assisted.  In Fall 2006, in conjunction with the CRNC's Field Program, Aakash coordinated volunteer work in the Chicago area (4 hours away from Springfield), for the bellwether U.S. Congressional races that were deemed the most competitive (by the RNC & CRNC).  In the process of helping in the 6th (Peter Roskam) and 8th (David McSweeney) Congressional Districts, Aakash & the CRNC Field Representative also arranged attendance at major events in that area featuring top Republicans, such as President George W. Bush & House Speaker Dennis Hastert; RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman; Rudy Giuliani and Jim Edgar; U.S. Senator John McCain; and First Lady Laura Bush.
        red arrow Today, we're ending the nonsense, Nov. 2, 2006

 red triangle bullet One year earlier (Fall 2005), there were no general-election races in Illinois on that November Election Day, so Aakash sent UIS CR members to other states, to assist with the bellwether election races.  The key nationally-watched election for November 2005 was the Virgina gubernatorial race, where UIS CR members volunteered, at the request of the Republican National Committee.  Aakash and other UIS CRs helped with the special election in suburban St. Louis, at the request of the Missouri Republican Party, for the MO House of Representatives.
        red arrow UISGOP goes national: Bellwether elections in VA & MO, November 2005

    The following semester (Spring 2006), Aakash would return to the "Show Me" State, to assist with the Senate special election (for the Hon. Scott Rupp, who prevailed in that key race).  This past November (Election 2008), Aakash returned to the great state of Missouri, for the MO Victory 2008 efforts in Jefferson City, for the McCain/Palin and Statewide Executive races. (Missouri ended up being the only battleground state in which the GOP presidential ticket prevailed.)

 - - - blue diamond bullet Hosting major speakers and candidates on campus, at events attended by large audiences, of students and community members.  These include U.S. Senate nominee Dr. Alan Keyes; U.S. House nominee Andrea Zinga; business leader Jim Oberweis (candidate for Governor); the Hon. Steve Rauschenberger (President of the National Conference of State Legislatures, candidate for Lt. Governor, President of the United Republican Fund, & national conservative GOP leader); the Hon. Christine Radogno (candidate for State Treasurer, and currently IL Senate GOP Leader); the Hon. Raymond Poe (candidate for Lt. Governor, and leading member of IL House); the Hon. Candice Trees (Capital Township Trustee, & first African-American woman elected Circuit Clerk in IL); the Hon. Neil Williamson (longtime Sheriff and leading law enforcement official); nationally-renowned pro-life leader and syndicated columnist Jill Stanek; conservative leader and radio host Bruno Behrend (of FreedomWorks & MyConservativePrecinct); nationally-renowned conservative movement leader Bay Buchanan; (television commenator, author, and former Treasurer of the United States); and others.
 - - - blue diamond bullet Organizing major issue-based events and functions, such as a U.S. flag display and public screening of the "United 93" film, for the five-year anniversary of 9/11 (the UIS CRs were one of only 4 CR chapters in the United States recognized by the CRNC, for this occasion); commemorating "World Freedom Week" and Veterans Day, all three years he was Chairman, through events and flyer campaigns; organizing Student Government candidate forums (including the largest-attendance one that UIS has ever had); holding a public screening of "Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution" (at the request of the National Black Republican Association); co-sponsoring the Illinois Education Reform Forum (with Americans for Prosperity), and a U.S. House candidate Republican primary debate (with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce); arranging a gathering of Illinois CRs at the Ronald Reagan Museum, the day after the Gipper passed away; hosting two military send-off luncheons, attended by prominent area leaders (in addition to students), for Sgt. Josh Pomeroy, who served as Treasurer and Fundraising Committee leader in the UIS CRs under Aakash's leadership, and was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy (West Point).
 - - - blue diamond bullet Leading community-service projects for the UIS CRs, including as Captain of a College Republicans Team in the Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), every year the "Area Colleges" event was held; assisting the Red Cross, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and coordinating annual Thanksgiving Food Drives, for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
 - - - blue diamond bullet Aakash has coordinated a number of other events and activities, for the College Republicans, on campus, in the state capital, in other parts of the state, in other states, and in Washington, D.C.

 red star bullet An extremely-high level of activity (from the state capital to the nation's capital, and many places in between!) naturally requires continuous fundraising.  Aakash's fundraising methods (which include a combination of traditional methods such as direct mail and phone calls, along with more newfangled electronic techniques), have been recognized by the Founder of the Illinois Policy Institute and the State Coalitions Director of Americans for Tax Reform.  He has raised thousands of dollars, in short periods of times, to finance many of the above-mentioned activities (especially the D.C. trips, for the large UIS delegations at Conferences and Conventions, and other events).

 red star bullet The university's Student Government Association (despite being majority liberal), chose to grant the UIS College Republicans (during Aakash's middle year as Chairman), its award for "Outstanding Student Organization of the Year" - This is the only time that a CR organization has ever received an award from a public university in Illinois.

 red star bullet At the conclusion of Aakash's final year as UIS CR Chairman, he was presented with a plaque for "Distinguished Service to the Republican Party" by the Sangamon County Republican Central Committee and the Illinois Republican Party.  He is the only College Republican leader to have ever received this award.

      arrow right hand arrow right hand arrow right hand  For a full list of titles and recognitions Aakash has held, please see our awards page.