Chuck Warren, Managing Director, September Group LLC and Monolith Registry, LLC (www.Get.Vote)
Chuck Warren specializes in public affairs, crisis communication and initiative qualification. Chuck has worked with major law firms, municipalities, companies, and individuals as diverse as Overstock.com, governors, senators, and US representatives across the United States. He has appeared on numerous radio programs such as NPR; and his columns and comments have been published in Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal, Arizona Capitol Times, PJMedia.com, Washington Post, Politico, The Tampa Tribune, Cal News, Deseret News, and Washington Times. He co-authored a book “Expanding the Tent,” featured on www.expandingthetent.vote, and recently launched www.crazypolitician.vote. Chuck serves on the board of directors of the Utah Special Olympics.
Candidates.vote – What is the book, or books, you are reading right now and why?
Chuck Warren – I read more than one book at a time. I use to think you pick up a book and finish it from cover to cover — even if you didn’t like it. One day decades ago I was at Sen. Lamar Alexander’s home and he was showing me his personal study and I pointed out a book and said “is it any good?” He picked up, saw where he left his book mark and said “must not have been that good.” So since then I read several books at a time. Currently I am re-reading the, “The Promise of Discipleship” by Neal Maxwell, “The Fall of Richard Nixon” by Tom Brokaw, “The Ride of a Lifetime” by Robert Iger and, “All the Truth is Out” by Matt Bai. Candidates.vote – What do you consider your first ‘real” job?
Chuck Warren – I had two real first jobs. I worked for my dad’s dental lab and one day we were arguing and he told me I should go find a job. It was the recession of 1982. So I went door—to–door, business—to– business and found a vacuum repair shop owner who agreed to hire me like $5 an hour. I worked there for a couple of months — I was not good nor am I handy. Finally one day I cut my hand with an exacto knife. It was very similar to the incident when Kramer in Seinfeld went off strike and started working again at the Bagel shop.
One day he drops his gum in the bagel mix and the shop owner says “that is enough” and he whips his apron off and says “thank you.” Well with my bleeding hand, he helped bandage it and we had the Kramer in bagel store scene. He was a good man. My best one day job was a 16 year driver delivering flowers on Valentine’s Day. My friend said “great tips.” The owner let me use one of his cars and it was a stick — I learned on a manual. I went to high school in Auburn, California which is the foothills. So the owner asked me if I knew how to drive stick. I said “yes.” Me thinking; how hard could it be? Let’s just say it was a challenging day, but I sort of learned how to drive a stick and I’m not sure his clutch or transmission lasted much longer. Candidates.vote – Describe a failure you’ve had in a job or political project from which you actually learned something?
Chuck Warren – I’m a gambler with my career. So I have had my share of failures. One was I had a pizza a restaurant and it was just bleeding. My partner ran day-to-day; eventually moved out of state and left me with a mess.
I’m an optimist. So I thought I could turn it around. One day my dear, departed friend who was out doing some marketing for me said, “Charles, this dog is not going to bark.” I said if I put this much more into it, yada, yada. He said; “Charlies (only called me by this when he was serious), you need to move on.’
I ignored the advice because I don’t in many ways believe in the no-win scenario. Of course he was right. I ended owing $300,000 in debt, vendors, etc. So first lesson: listen to the advice of the friends who care about you and don’t let your pride get in the way of sound advice. I also learned when things go bad, people run. I have seen it too much in life and have promised myself never to be the person who runs. Candidates.vote – It’s said, “You are what you eat.” Begs the question; what’s your favorite meal or just the comfort food you go for when you need it?
Chuck Warren – My favorite meal is steak and roasted chicken. I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world but a great steak trumps it all. I just can’t see me ever going Vegan or vegetarian. I’d rather die with an unhealthy full belly. Candidates.vote – Your all-time favorite movie and why? And what was the last movie you were able to see whether in a theater, streamed, on a plane…?
Chuck Warren – My all-time favorite movie is “Best Man” written by Gore Vidal and starring Henry Fonda. More relevant today, then ever. Another is “Michael Clayton” with George Clooney. I also love a good comedy, but frankly Hollywood has put out trash lately. I love the holiday season because the studios start putting out good films again. I’m looking forward to the “Irishman” coming out and some others. Candidates.vote – Do you subscribe to a newspaper or news magazine? If so, do you receive it printed or in digital form? And what periodicals do you enjoy reading?
Chuck Warren – Yes, I subscribe to Washington Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Miami Herald, USA Today Arizona Republic, Salt Lake Tribune and Tampa Bay Times; as well as dozens of magazines. Digital format for newspapers but when I travel I pick up the paper. Nothing I enjoy more than Saturday morning reading the newspapers. Candidates.vote – Favorite animal at the zoo, on a farm or at home?
Chuck Warren – I am a lover of animals. Have 4 dogs. Horses are magical and love lions, tigers and a bears … and the rest. After watching Serengeti this summer, I am anti-Hyena though now. Candidates.vote – Favorite sport? Did you participate and do you still?
Chuck Warren – Well, I am an American so I do love baseball, football and basketball – in that order. I have taken a liking to tennis the past several years. Played baseball and a football growing up. Candidates.vote – Are you a hamburger or cheeseburger kind of guy? Pickles or no pickles?
Chuck Warren – Cheeseburger and I feel that pickles and onions are of the devil. Candidates.vote – Favorite vacation or vacation spot.
Chuck Warren – Anywhere with family and warm. That being said; salmon fishing trips with my daughter and son in British Columbia are cherished as well as a family trip taken to Key West and Aruba. I love Cape Town, South Africa. Reality is I have been to over 60 countries. The world is a fascinating place and each area has its own unique beauty and charm. Candidates.vote – Ever run for student office? Did you win or lose?
Chuck Warren – Ran and won Class President my Junior and Senior year of high school. Also ran for student body president. A dear friend wrote my speech which mocked my opponent who was a great man and friend — he is now a pastor. I remember walking up to the mic and feeling awful about what I was going to say. I looked at the audience, tore up my speech and said “speeches suck.” My football coach looked at me like, “WTHeck?” The other guy, he of course won. But I remember that night he visited with me. He had picked up my torn speech after and thanked me for what I did. He asked why? I said, “You’re a friend and it didn’t feel right.” My friend who wrote the speech is an attorney now — LOL. It’s funny I am sort of known as an assassin.
Candidates.vote – How do your friends and family react to you being involved in the political world?
Chuck Warren – The political arena has afforded me with some fantastic partners, close friends and associates over the decades. I am truly blessed with these associations, but I have made an effort and actively engage with non-political friends.
They find the whole political arena theater and are fascinated by it. It is funny how often I have to tell some that “House of Cards” is not real. Most however during the course of our friendship, have become more politically aware but still several don’t vote and apologize to me about it often. Candidates.vote – What’s the toughest problem this life has thrown your way thus far? How did you deal with it and how much of who you are is a result of it?
Chuck Warren – I am not unique in the bullets and arrows life has thrown at me. I have and will continue to have my fair share. Someone asked me the other day, “how the kids were doing?” I said, “Knock on wood. All are healthy and thriving but I know that can change with the snap of the finger.”
That is life. I don’t think life is supposed to be easy. It is supposed to define us and we grow through our mortal experiences. Personally, from dealing with parents who were in a tragic plane accident with my youngest brother and close family friend, to raising an autistic son; to parental and sibling health challenges, to the typical business pressures (cash flow) and disloyal people … life is a roller coaster. But what I have learned is my personal faith has deepened, that I have been blessed with some trusted friends and dedicated family.
Through each challenge, I grow and hopefully become a more empathetic man, a stronger man, a more refined man who can comfort others when they face trials. Candidates.vote – Do you play any type of musical instrument?
Chuck Warren – I no longer play a musical instrument. I used to play piano and made a decision to take up either piano or guitar in the next several months. I think it will be good for me in so many aspects of my growth and becoming a more diverse man. Candidates.vote – You were born where? Raised where? Consider where to be your home?
Chuck Warren – I was born in the Frank Sinatra wing of the Palm Springs hospital during the World Series. I am actually a Palm Springs baby — there weren’t many in Palm Springs when I entered this world — and my love for baseball is unwavering and I always mourn a little a day or two after the World Series and count the days to Spring Training. From there I was raised in Northern California and hence, I am a real California boy and a Frank Sinatra friend. At my funeral, it has been instructed that they play Frank’s famous song, “My Way.” Candidates.vote – What advice do you have for someone thinking about jumping into the political world?
Chuck Warren – We need more people in politics and political service. That being said, they need to enter it to make a difference in the world. They need to volunteer on a campaign or two early. They need to be prepared to do the grunt work and learn step by step the process.
One should not only continually learn about the craft of political campaigns, but understand the issues — spend time reading. And don’t be a smuck. There are, like in business, as people imagine — many fake, passive aggressive, conniving people in the political arena. The one thing I can say about my primary career is that I never have a dull day. Legitimately I can say I have never had a boring work day or a day where I didn’t learn something. Not many people can say that.
A dear friend and successful lobbyist told me a while ago “that if you had not entered this idiotic political business, you would probably be a billionaire.” I don’t know if that is true, but I love what I do. I get to make a difference in this world. Candidates.vote – You have children. What was your favorite book to read to them and why?
Chuck Warren – I don’t have a favorite children’s book which I read to my kids. My daughters and I went to Barnes and Noble most Saturdays when they were growing up, and I let them pick a book. We did this even when I barely had two dimes to my name. Those were cherished experiences.
My oldest son is autistic and prefers to read and look at books in a solitary confinement and my youngest son is not a big fan of the printed word — I keep working on that with bribes, monetary bonuses, etc. It hasn’t taken yet. One thing about me, I collect children’s Christmas books.