Christian County native’s manuscript wins first place in Texas contest
Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 6:11 pm | Updated: 6:15 pm, Sat May 16, 2015.
By Jacob Thomas, New Era Staff Writer | 0 Comments
For more than 30 years, the Writer’s League of Texas has provided a forum for writers to connect, support and share with one another. This year the league selected Christian County native Leslie Sorrell for first place in its 2015 Manuscript Contest.
Sorrell is a Fox Radio News contributer and founder of a political consulting firm who wrote her book, “From Clients to Crooks — An Insider Reveals the Real Washington, D.C.” to offer readers a peek behind the world of power-brokers and their culture as she saw and experienced it.
For most people, such an opportunity might not come around so often. Sorrell’s entrance into politics began when she was just 5 years old as a volunteer on her grandmother’s campaign for county tax assessor in Edmonton. Professionally, Sorrell’s career in politics began with an internship on Capitol Hill with Congressman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and continued beyond the beltway, in Texas, where she became involved in the redistricting process and a whole host of new, energetic people running for Congress.
At age 28, she started a political consulting firm in Texas, The Magnolia Group, which Sorrell said was intended to be a sort of “special forces team” for political campaigns and causes staffed by people who believed in the underdog, and making the impossible, possible. Sorrell says she was young, naïve and idealistic in “believing that politics represented the greatest ideals of our society” and thinking that she could be of service to her country by helping put good people in office, and keeping them there.
The Magnolia Group has worked with politicians of all stripes including judges, senators, governors, and even those vying for the White House. Through these experiences, Sorrell was able to gain a perspective that most Americans never do, one that inspired her to write her book. “I was a true-believer who lost faith in those tasked with serving our country—my clients”, says Sorrell. Over the years she watched them transform from awkward candidates she believed into slick politicians. “I had envisioned them becoming great statesmen. Instead as time passed, my clients moved closer and closer to the line between right and wrong, until working on the edge became routine and the line itself began to fade.”
However, without her experience working so closely with various politicians she might not have gained the understanding that she now claims to have. “It was my success in growing the Magnolia Group from a start-up to a successful and influential national political consulting firm that transformed my understanding of the real world of politics”, said Sorrell. “I’d been in that world for years, making one little compromise after another before I realized that I was in a world that no one tells you about and that the media fails to cover. It’s a world none of us want to believe in – me least of all.”
And that, she says was the purpose of the book, to shed light on what actually occurs in D.C., making people aware of how the political system often incentivizes corruption. According to Sorrell, “serving the country hardly exists—instead it’s about self-service, secrecy over transparency, and their paycheck above ours.”
After almost two decades and an exciting, challenging career, Sorrell decided to walk away from the political arena. She occasionally gives political commentary on Fox News but, these days Sorrell and her husband spend most of their time in Belize, away from the dirt and grime of the campaign trail.
Reach Jacob Thomas at 270-887-3240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.