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Thoughts on Sen Brooke by Sen/Amb Carol Moseley Braun

Statement on the passing Senator Edward Brooke by former Senator/Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun

Senator Edward Brooke served his country in so many ways that to isolate a single role diminishes them all. He was a statesman, a politician, a law enforcement leader, a soldier, a beacon for an entire generation. He gave to America much more than he took, and in the process opened doors by his leadership. My sincere condolences go to his family, as well as my thanks to them for sharing his life with the rest of us. Our prayers are with them at this sad time.

former Senator/Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun

for more information please call Kevin Lampe (312) 617-7280

My OP-ED in @dagenssamhalle in top 5 since published thanks @AHenriksson http://t.co/w8cFROAiWX (eng) / http://t.co/saNhhvhieU (swe)

Please read my advice to Swedes about engaging in the public debate.

In English http://t.co/w8cFROAiWX

In Swedish http://t.co/saNhhvhieU


Learn about “Running for Local Office” in Chicago, this Saturday – limited seats available


“Running For Local Office” All Day Workshop

The CivicLab, 114 N. Aberdeen Street, Chicago

Saturday, September 13, 10am – 4pm

Do you want to run for local office as a grassroots campaigner? Do you want to help someone run? Are you interested in how local races are run and won?

If so – then you want to take this all-day session at the CivicLab on Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 10am to 4pm. We are at 114. Aberdeen Street in the West Loop.

Attendees will get the playbook for planning and running a grassroots, low-cost principled campaign for local office.

You will learn:

– How to plan the plan

– The relevant campaign laws and deadlines

– Basics of messaging

– Basics of fundraising

– Staffing and volunteer management

– Get Out The Vote

– Handy tools and resources for progressive candidates

All attendees will receive handouts and a USB containing all workshop materials and other resources. SPECIAL TREAT – attendees will get a spreadsheet with the 2011 ward-by-ward Chicago election results!

The cost for this amazing package of knowledge is $150 and includes a tasty taco lunch from our neighbors at The Salsa Truck. The short URL for this training session = http://running-for-office-9-13-14.eventbrite.com/

Here are some comments from the people who took our February 22, 2014 workshop on running for local office:

– “I was overjoyed and happy to have been here.”
– “Great class. Look forward to next class.”
– “It was great”
– “Everything was extremely informative and concrete”
– “It was outstanding. Thank you. I’d suggest covering how your firm can support campaigns locally.”
– “Thanks to all!! It was an honor to work with such a talented smart and committed people!” –
“Thanks for a wonderful day! Onwards all!”
– “Thank you CivicLab. Kitty and Kevin’s class was intriguing, captivating and extremely informative. The environment for questioning was open and comfortable. The discussion provided experience based education. The Lampes have much to share. It was an honor to be in the same room with the Lampes. The attending classmates were also talented.”

The workshop instructors are Kitty Kurth and Kevin Lampe. Kurth Lampe is a Chicago-based strategic communications firm with an international reach with Chicago know how. Complicated ideas are turned into compelling and persuasive messages. Kitty Kurth has worked on numerous campaigns serving in roles as campaign manager, press secretary, fundraiser, and advance coordinator. She has planned and executed major media and special events in the US, Sweden, France, Russia, Switzerland, Greece, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, Ireland,England and Canada. Kurth has served as a media consultant and general consultant for political races at every level from local to presidential including the role of Illinois campaign manager for Presidential candidate Paul Tsongas, national press and advance staff or the general election campaign of Governor Michael Dukakis and Illinois press secretary and spokesperson in the primary and advance person /organizer for Ron Brown’s campaign for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She performed Campaign SWAT team duties for Congressional Campaigns across the country as Deputy Director of Strategic and Communications for the DCCC. She spent 2012 on the road with Vice President Joe Biden. Kurth regularly provides training for candidates and campaign staff for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Women’s Campaign Fund, National Women’s Political Caucus, and other groups. In 2001, the U.S. State Department sent Kurth and Lampe to Uganda to conduct campaign-training workshops for women Members of Parliament, candidates, and activists. Kurth has also trained politicians and activists in Indonesia, India, Croatia, Romania, Sweden, and Belgium. Kurth works with a variety of human rights organizations.

Kevin Lampe’s professional experience includes political campaigns ranging from local library boards to presidential campaigns. He has worked during each presidential election cycle since Governor Mike Dukakis in 1988. He served in variety of senior staff roles – including Director of Communications – for presidential candidates. Additionally, he served as an advance man for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Lampe is regularly called upon to train his clients to work with the media. He has performed this task for everyone from US Presidential candidates and other elected officials to community leaders and business executives. Since 1996, he has served on the Speaking Tracking Team at each Democratic National Convention – which handles all the speakers at this event. At the 2004 convention, he worked with then state Senator Barack Obama on his keynote address. In 2012, Lampe was in charge of training for entire Speaking Tracking Team at the Democratic National Convention. Kevin has worked with Erik Estrada, Ambassadors, CEOs, Senators, and Congressmen. He has worked across the US and in Kosovo, Uganda, Belgium, Albania, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Mali and Macedonia.

The CivicLab (www.civiclab.us) is a co-working space in the West Loop dedicated to collaboration, education and innovation to advance civic engagement and community improvement efforts. We offer desks to co-workers at $200/month. We offer workshops in the evenings on a wide range of civic topics. We are home to citizen science, coding and civic investigation projects. We are the operators of the TIF Illumination Project which has used data mining, investigatory reporting, graphic design and community organizing to explore and expose what Chicago’s 151 Tax Increment Finance Districts are doing to us on a ward-by-ward basis (www.tifreports.com). The CivicLab is operated by Benjamin Sugar and Tom Tresser. info@civiclab.us

It is time for Swedes to Stop being Swedish about the Sweden Democrats.

Here is the original text in english for the op-ed I wrote that appeared today in Dagens Sämhalle.


It is time for Swedes to Stop being Swedish about the Sweden Democrats.

Since 2008, I have been a regular visitor to Sweden making many friends and observing political life. I have learned to love Kalles, Knäckebröd and Toast Skagen. Celebrated midsummer. Stayed up late with the Midnight Sun. Participated in Almedalen week, while wishing I could bring that spirit to the USA. And grew to understand lagom.

dagenssamhalleYet, I have watched the Swedish Democrats grow in influence and political power. Forgive this American cousin, but it is necessary for us to speak freely and honestly between friends.

The time is now to stop being quiet about the ill effect that the Sweden Democrats are having on Swedish life and society. As tough and distasteful as it may be to raise your voice both in public and private – Swedes who disagree with the ideals of the Swedish Democrats, need to stand tall and proud and say enough is enough. The Sweden Democrats are wrong and dangerous to your future.

I do not wish to stifle the voice of the Sweden Democrats, I want their voices amplified. People need to hear their views loud and clear. Then vigorously, passionately and thoughtfully present their opposing view. The Sweden Democrats must not be driven underground but live in the bright light of the day where their rhetoric will be challenged and countered by the voices of good and decent people.

John Stuart Mill once said “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” At Almedalen weeks past, I have attended the Sweden Democrats speech watching as the audiences dispassionately listened.

This year, I assisted some Swedish friends present counter programming with Özz Nûjen speaking “truth to power” through comedy. That night many Swedes demonstrated that they will stop doing “nothing” and do something to change the discussion. They spoke as one attending the comedy concert rather than listening to the comedy of ignorance. Happily many more people attended the concert than the speech.

I urge Swedes to recapture the marketplace of ideas. If the Sweden Democrats can present their manifesto without a counterpoint, then their ideals thrive and grow. But as any gardener will tell you, remove the weeds or the good plants with be choked and start to wither and die. Swedes has created an admired society. You live your commitment to others each day, please do not let the misguided thoughts of a vocal minority speak on behalf of all.

I urge, all political parties to unite against the Sweden Democrats. When the Sweden Democrats take over the public square to spread their message, all others should gather nearby to offer an united, smart and thoughtful counterpoint. My years in political campaigns has taught me that unanswered attacks control the message of the day. Please, change the message of the day from a negative view to a positive message telling all that is good in Swedish society and its people.

One of my heroes, Olof Palme said “The rights of democracy are not reserved for a select group within society, they are the rights of all the people.” He speaks of the rights for “ALL” people, not just a limited number of people whose goals are counter to Swedish sentiment.

The Sweden Democrats are taking your country in the wrong direction, you must no longer sit idly by and let their words fill the the public discourse. You need to offer your voices as a firm counterpoint.

Please my friends, you must set aside your lagom. It is time for Swedes to stop being Swedish about the Sweden Democrats. Speak up, stand up and raise your voice.

Kevin Lampe is Executive Vice President of Kurth Lampe, an international strategic and political communications firm based in Chicago, Illinois. He also really likes Smörgåstårta.

Obamacare is a big f*&^ing deal.

I am posting this picture in tribute to Vice President Joe Biden because he was right. For me and Kevin Lampe and our small business, Obamacare is a big f*&^ing deal. We have medical and dental insurance now for about $500 a month. The last time we had health insurance was in 2007 and we had to pay $2400 a month. Thank you PresidentBarack Obama and VPOTUS.


Dennis Farina Owes me 40 cents – a memory of a great guy by Kevin Lampe

Dennis Farina owes me 40 cents.

Back in my stand-up comedy days, I would also work as an extra on tv shows and movies being shot in Chicago.

Dennis Farina was the best guy on the set. He would talk with everybody. He always took his meals with the rest of the crew. He was still just a guy from Chicago. Everyone loved him.

I appeared as an extra in number of Crime Story episodes. Sometimes in the same episode I would be in the background as a cop and moments later with a change of a hat and a jacket I would be a bad guy standing under the el tracks.

The scene that will forever be a part of me was shot with Dennis Farina. An Ed Debevic’s in Glenview was standing in for a diner in Indiana. Dennis’ character was on the trail of a bad guy. I was pulled from the group of extras and assigned interaction with Dennis. I was to sit at the counter, pick up up check, leave some change for a tip, get up and go to the cashier then pay my bill. Dennis’ cue to enter was when I went to the cashier and he would take my place at the counter.

On the first take, I moved too quickly and the director yell at me. “Get it wrong again, Background and I’ll find some one who won’t.”

I then hit all my marks for every take. On, what would turn out to be the last take and the one that made the final cut – Dennis takes my place and swipes the change I left for the waitress. He slides the 40 cents into his pocket.

“Cut” yells the director. “Great, Dennis, I loved the business of you stealing the tip.”

The problem was that was my change, if fact it was the all the money I had until I could cash the check from that day work on the set. And since there was one 40 cent toll between Glenview and my home, I had to take side streets that night.

I thought if my comedy career took off, this would be the story I would tell when I made it to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and got to sit next to him. In my day dream, I tell the story and Dennis walks out on to stage, hands me a buck and says “keep the change.”

Well, it never happened and now it never will. We lost one of the best today. A great actor and even a better guy.

So Dennis, keep the change.

You gave me so much more, you gave me a real show biz moment and a story I will be able to tell forever. Thanks a million!

The following is the link to the video for Crime Story, Season 1 Ep 12 “Hide and Go Thief” the scene begins about 22:30 I am in the blue sweater.


Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 11.30.53 AM


We are moving our offices



Movers from the last century move what seems to be a century of stuff from the offices of Kurth Lampe.

After almost 15 years in an amazing space at 444 North Wabash Ave in Chicago we are moving. We will miss our wonderful neighbors at Michael Walters Advertising.

Watch this space for the announcement of our new space. Hint: It will only require changing one word and one number in our old address.


Check out trialballoons.net discussion w/ @CarolMarin on NBC5 @Ward_Room Friday night

Kevin Lampe discusses trialballoons.net with Carol Marin on NBC5 Ward Room Friday night at 6:30pm and 11:35pm on NBC5”s digital channel on Comcast channel 341, RCN channel 50, and WOW channel 130

From our friend Mileydi Fougstedt and 

Misceláneas de Cuba http://www.miscelaneasdecuba.net/web

From our friend Mileydi Fougstedt and 

Misceláneas de Cuba,

Six human rights activist and bloggers from Cuba gathered at the Swedish Parliament 

Scandinavia is hosting events and giving plenty of attention to the Cuban bloggers and Human Rights activists.

Last week, Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White, received the Vaclav Havel prize for Creative Activism, and Roberto de Jesús Guerra, founder of Hablemos Press, Cuba’s biggest independent news agency was one of the speakers at Oslo Freedom Forum, BKyGtrwCMAAS6Z4hosted by Human Rights Foundation 

In an unprecedented event, today at the Swedish Parliament Yoani Sánchez, blogger of Generation Y, Miriam Celaya, blogger of SinEvasion , Antonio Rodiles, from Estado de Sata, Laritza Diversent, a young independent lawyer and Eliécer Ávila, a young alumni who challenged the president of the Cuban National Assembly gathered for the first time ever in Cuba’s history to debate about the current situation for the opposition in Cuba.

Misceláneas de Cuba, a Cuban organization based in Sweden, to support the island’s internal opposition, together with the Swedish Government managed to organize a week of hope for the Cuban opposition. The Cuban visitors spoke about how they work on a daily basis and the importance of collaboration with the Cuban s in exile.

2013 A lucky year for Kurth Lampe

Welcome to the Kurth Lampe Website


Please note Kitty and Kevin now have direct phone numbers

Kitty   (312) 617-7288

Kevin  (312) 617-7280

Please explore the site.

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