How to Win a School* Election;

The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election

The Classic Guide to Candidacy and Campaigning in Seeking an Office in All Types of Student-Controlled Activities and Government


*Read High School or College Level


This is the


          how-to-do-it, and




Why this book exists: A Rationale


The primary function of student government is the education of the next generation o leaders ... industrial, commercial, governmental, academic, etc.


"Surgo ut Prosim." : [Latin] "I rise that I might serve."


In order to serve, one must get elected!


Opportunities to enter into and learn from student government and activities are limited by chance, naiveté and mainly by ignorance.


The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election attempts to correct the last limitation (ignorance) and reduce the first (chance).


This work is drawn from the nineteenth (19th) edition of The Political Handbook for Student Government Operations, a massive tome (711 pages), which covers the entire range of student government operations, not just the campaigning phase.

This derivation covers only the process of campaigning.


Price and ordering information. How to Order  





"How to Win a School* Election;

The Campaign Handbook

for Managing a Student Government Election

*Read: High School or College Level


by Douglas Cox Landa and Henry C. Landa


The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election is a definitive, comprehensive, and thoroughly “user friendly” reference on every aspect of student government elections. It thoroughly covers candidacy and campaigning and shows aspiring and practicing student government members “what-to-do”, “how-to-do-it”, and “why-you-do-it” in getting elected.


Eighteen chapters discuss forming a campaign organization, selecting a campaign manager, ethics, communications and media, handling the press, the campaign speech (a whopping chapter of 18 pages and 7,793 words), negative campaigning, the political base, and much, much more ... totaling 64,679 words on 146 pages of text. The Glossary is most enlightening and wide-ranging (22 pages and 12,928 words) on many political terms, nicely defined with commentary.


The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election is virtually unique in the field since it combines sophistication, elegant simplicity, comprehensiveness, and concise clarity [Gunning Fox index of 12.1] on winning office. This book may be considered a critically important core reference for all high school and college library Student Government reference and resource collections."


Excerpted from The Midwest Book Review.


The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election is directly available from FICOA, 5928 W. Michigan St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-4248 at $19.50 postpaid and carries a money-back guarantee*.


ISBN 0-931974-34-8


Price and ordering information. How to Order 


Abstracts of all chapters and Appendices




I 1 - Justification: Why this book exists* and what need it fulfills; explanation of the organization of the book; and how to get the most out of the book based on various user needs. 452 words, 2 pp                          *It is a what-to-do, how-you-do-it, and why-you-do-it book.


I 2 - The Game ... Playing the Game of Politics: Explains what the game of student politics and activities is and how to decide if you want to participate; a self-assessment; steps in entering "The Game". 1563 words, 2 pp


I 3 - What is Student Government?: An explanation of the several parts of student government, which includes (1) the Legislative (making the rules), (2) the Executive (running all of the activities), (3) Judicial (ruling on laws and behavior), (4) the Press (the Fourth Estate is explained, historically), and (5) the Faculty Advisor, a pivotal person in the greater scheme of things. 2406 words, 3 pp


I 4 - The Credible Candidate: A self-assessment of the potential candidate, which explores three basic requirements: Competence; Exposure; and Support.       Competence assessment covers experience, knowledge, and personality.      Exposure touches on notoriety, networks, associations, and methods used to increase notoriety.      Support explores influential persons of some power, opinion makers, and campaign workers and organization. The answers to the questions posed in this chapter will influence the decision to stand for office (be a candidate) or to decline to run (for office).  722 words,3 pp


I 5 - Why?  Questions of Student Government, Activities, & office: A brace of questions are posed; e.g., Why join an organized  group? Why join any extracurricular activity? Why join student government? Why aspire to office, in any sort of organization?

These questions are answered relative to organizations, extracurricular activity, student government, office(s), advantages, and disadvantages of participating. 1001 words, 3 pp


I 6 - On Philosophy; Being a Politician: All persons, groups (organized or not), institutions, corporations, governments, et al. are driven by some philosophy, well- or ill-defined. This chapters explores the great range of philosophies that exist in a person relative to his or her view of the office as a job-of-work, a career, a profession, a trade, of a calling. Also discussed is "the natural", inherently skilled and competent holder of an office. 2027 words, 4 pp



Candidacy and Campaigning

C 1 - Campaign Organization: How a campaign is managed; detail in assessing candidacy, constituency, canvassing for votes, and the nomination process. 4117 words, 10 pp

C 2 - The Campaign Manager: Assessing the need for a campaign manager (CM) and things to look for in a CM; overall view and detail of the activities of the CM. Selection of a good CM, early in the game, usually spells the difference between victory and defeat. 3491 words, 8 pp

C 3 - Ethics: Much of the content of this short chapter is common sense, but it must be stated explicitly. A trail of dubious acts often follows a candidate for many years. 1188 words, 2 pp

C 4 - Campaigning: Advice, in great detail, on what campaigning is and how to do it; check lists of critical activities are offered ... "The Devil is in the Details!" 2938 words, 4 pp

C 5 - Communications: Defining and explaining the process of getting information between individuals and organizations; tips on improving and refining communicating with people.  802 words, 2 pp

C   6 - Media: defining the mass media and publicity; how to manage it.  2620 words, 6 pp.

C 7 - Image: Illusion and Reality: It is recognized, generally, that the reality in short-run politics is unknown and that elections are based upon wide-spread illusion. Image building and maintenance (of the image) become all-important in winning elections. 919 words, 2 pp

C 8 - Intelligence, Espionage, and Dirty Tricks: A frank and comprehensive discussion, which defines and explains this triad and places it in a proper context relative to political operations; counter intelligence and campaign security are also included. 4304 words, 8 pp.

C 9 - Lobbying: defining, explaining, developing, and executing lobbying methods ensures that proposals have a better chance of being enacted; useful advice for all kinds of organizations where the bureaucracy (which is found everywhere) can be managed with greater satisfaction and results. 1415 words, 4 pp

C 10 - The Press: a two-part chapter starting with quotations on various views of the Press, from the New Testament (2 Corinthians 6:8) through Adolph Hitler and Mao-Tse-tung giving the views of democratic systems as compared to totalitarian regimes. The second part includes a list of do's and don'ts, e.g., "1. Do not assume the press is a friend or foe.", "3. Expect  criticism, not praise.", "10. Don't lie to the press.", "11. Be prepared ..." 1345 words, 3 pp


C 11 -  The Campaign Speech:   

[School campaigns fall into two categories relative to "The Campaign Speech": (1) Where no campaign speech is needed at all since the candidate is well-known and the campaign machinery has assured victory and (2) Where a good speech ... and all the skills required, is absolutely necessary. This chapter provides a solid foundation.]  

Managing the Campaign Speech - the Process; Making the Opportunities (for making a campaign speech); Objective(s); Content; The Basic Speech; Humor; The Speaking Voice (and Posture, Gestures, Dress ... the Total Image); Preparation; Technique; Arrangements; Time management; the Advance (Man, Woman, or Person); The Introduction; A Sample Introduction; A Checklist; Readings (a study & reference list of publications to consult); The Elevator Speech     7793 words, 18 pp


C 12 - Campaign Theme and the Message: A campaign must have a theme to arouse interest and support ... and, to differentiate itself from the opposition. Defined are the theme, the message, and the slogan (see appendix article A 1 - Slogans); all of which are related to each other. Topics include: Generalized or Specific?; Framing the Issues; Giving the Theme a Focus; "It's gotta sing!"; the role of Repetition in advertising; some memorable sentences (from political greats).  875 words, 2 pp


C 13- Negative Campaigning: A dissertation on what negative campaigning is (and it ain't all bad), how to manage it (coming at you and going back), with extensive witty, and useful quotations to take to heart.

An example: "If the Republicans stop telling lies about us, we will stop telling the truth about them." - Adlai E. Stevenson 1221 words, 3 pp


C 14 - Personal Habits and Care; Working on the Total Image: Planning and Preparation; Dress; White Socks on Men!; Personal Care (of your body); References. 1,663 words, 4 pp.


C 15  - The Political Base: A definition and explanation with some rules on how to establish, strengthen, and maintain the political base ... and how to lose it! 726 words, 2 pp


C 16 - Preemption; the Preemptive Strike; "Gettin' thar fust!": The concept and execution of "getting in front" of an issue; thus, preempting it from being exploited by (the) opposition; Managing Preemption, as a process; It has all of the characteristics of a campaign ... research, development, planning, publicizing, exploiting; "Doing your homework"; the Preemptive Strike as Part of a Fusion Ticket Strategy; Co-opting an opposition platform plank.  

[See appendix article A 2 - Fusion Ticket: an Advanced Concept in Forming a Winning Full Slate and Requiring Intelligence, Planning, and Bargaining (abstracted below)] 613 words, 2 pp.

C 17 - How to Win a Grade School, Middle School, Junior High School, or High School Election; A Thumbnail Sketch: A listing of some very simple guidelines that are useful in winning an election. The instructions are more applicable to unimportant grade school through high school offices rather than the more crucial offices found in high school or college organizations ... the stakes are higher! 545 words, 2 pp.


C 18 - The Next Step, After Being Elected: 

"Now what happens?" That's the question posed by the winning candidate. Now, he or she must perform in the office. Three elements are necessary for success: (1) You must know the business; (2) You must be a good manager, supervisor ... leader; and (3) You must be a decent person, not an arrogant jerk. That's what needed for true success in office.

This chapter takes the winner into the next step on how to get command of the office and do a good job. It also introduces the massive tome, The Political Handbook for Student Government Operations, by listing the Table of Contents. 1666 words, 6 pp





A 1  - Slogans: Definitions and Explanations; No Slogan Can Tell It All; What a Campaign Slogan Should be (an outlined listing of requirements); The School List of Slogans (for school elections); The List of Classic Slogans (a listing of American and foreign slogans that have been, historically, very stirring and potent ... makes good reading and offers ideas for local applications). 1087 words, 4 pp


A 2 - Fusion Ticket: an Advanced Concept in Forming a Winning Full Slate and Requiring Intelligence, Planning, and Bargaining: The pulling together a full slate from other factions improves the chances of winning a campaign and removing an entrenched clique or strong party machine. Topics include: Preemptive action; Big Tent and its application; Campaign machinery; Deal Making; Full Slate - Fusion Ticket Conceptual Basis; Intelligence and "Doing Your Homework"; Preemptive Strike logic. 973 words, 2 pp


A 3 - Joiner, On Being a: A 54 - A "joiner" is a person who belongs to a great number of organizations, the chief reason for which is self-interest and self-promotion. Considerable advice and guidance is given via the following topics: Making a plan; Which groups to join?; Passive or Active Member?; Credentials; Note on membership in a technical or professional society; Networking opportunities; Cautionary note: Too few organizations?  807 words, 2 pp.


A 4 - Cliques - An analysis: Cliques form naturally in all groups. These small groups, often well-organized, who control the fortunes and activities of a much greater populace ... and are often self-serving. Breaking  the hold of a clique on an organization is difficult but not impossible. It takes political knowledge and organization to pull of the breaking of a clique; some tips are offered. 1167 words, 3 pp



Readings and References


R 1 -  Readings: Reviews of useful books ... entertaining, enlightening, and worth consulting. See your local libraries ... plural, use all of your local libraries: school, public, and college facilities. 1200 words, 2 pp.


R 2 - Glossary: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations: An ever-lengthening mass of common and arcane political and organizational terms, defined, and with useful commentary; it's more than a dictionary presentation. A comprehensive glossary provides knowledge that even the most seasoned politician may not know or entirely understand.

As Will Rogers said, "Everyone is ignorant about something." 12,928 words, 22 pp.


Index: 2541 words, 6 pp




How to Order  Send check or money 

order made out to "FICOA" and send to:


                5928 W. Michigan St.

                Wauwatosa, WI  53213-4248            [Wauwatosa is a close-in suburb of Milwaukee.]


Direct price* (single copy, soft cover w/sewn binding, ISBN 0-931974-34-8) from the publisher: $19.50 postpaid in the U.S.A.


*Books purchased directly from the publisher (FICOA) carry a money-back guarantee: 

* "Guarantee: If The Campaign Handbook for Managing a Student Government Election does not fulfill your needs or expectations, FICOA will refund the purchase price provided the book is returned within ten (10) days of receipt and in good condition."  



Contact Us at:  


FICOA, 5928 W. Michigan St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-4248   or


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Call (414) 258-6492  & ask for Hank

September 2016