The University of Mississippi, School of Law
AAPC caught up with new Student Member, Martin Genter.
AAPC: Who do you look up to in the industry?
Martin: Robert F. Kennedy, I feel that his speeches and ability to transcend class, race, party, and region are truly remarkable. For example, The Day of Affirmation speech he gave to The National Union of South African Students members at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, on June 6, 1966. I encourage all young Americans to listen to this regardless of political party. He brought us together and did not seek to divide us. In this speech Kennedy talked about individual liberty, apartheid, and the need for civil rights in the United States at a time when the American civil rights movement was ongoing.
AAPC: What do you love about politics?
Martin: It’s actually more of a love-hate relationship for me. I hate to see how much it can divide us as a nation, this is especially true in the polarized world of contemporary politics. However, I believe this is a misunderstanding and fails to appreciate the deeper meaning of politics in America. In short, what I love about politics is simply that it is driving force for our democratic system of government. It is not a love for politics or rule of law in general in which I possess, but it is what they stand for. I love my country and I feel that politics, law ,and the military are some of the ways in which people can best serve America as a whole.
AAPC: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Martin: While I had the pleasure of working on the campaign of one of our U.S. Congressman from Mississippi, I learned what integrity is in the political and legal field. At the time he was a prosecuting attorney and was approached by another public servant who had gotten into minor legal trouble after a brief lapse of judgment. The public servant came to the prosecutor and asked him what he could do to minimize the publicity. His response was, “If you want me to be honest, you just need to accept the consequences and be open about it, face the legal repercussions (although minor) that anyone else would . People will respect that, and they deserve it in anyone who is employed by the city, state, or federal government.” It may seem simple, but the importance of maintaining your integrity and honesty throughout your career is the best advice I have been given.
AAPC: Where do you go when you need to be inspired?
Martin: Not always practical or possible to go to somewhere that is visually or geographically inspiring. As a result, I must seek inspiration from within. Usually it only takes a quiet place or headphones, accompanied with any of the following: Books, quotes, videos, and even poetry from philosophers, political leaders, historical figures, motivational speakers, and people of great values and character.
AAPC: Why did you join AAPC?
Martin: I hold our laws and our system of government with the utmost reverence, and it only seems appropriate to become a member of the
standard-bearer for these fields that I deem so important. As a law student I became a student-member of the American Bar Association. Therefore, as a political consultant, the choice was clear. Individuals seeking the highest standards of professionalism, service, and legitimacy, need to become part of organizations that reflect the same values. It is a two-way street, that serves to benefit the organization and its members. The AAPC is dedicated to represent a standard of professionalism and integrity in the industry, they do so by offering members, like myself, countless opportunities for career growth and intellectual growth, while adhering to a ethical and professional standards. As a result, members of the AAPC represent the professionalism organization and it is a mutually beneficial relationship.
AAPC: How do you manage high-stress situations?
Martin: My way of responding would probably not be recommended by professionals. However, I force myself to be relentless and work harder and longer so that I attack the stressors head-on.
AAPC: Why is being part of a bipartisan organization valuable to you?
Martin: The country we all live and work in is bipartisan and politics, even though often in an adversarial relationship, is bipartisan. The beauty of America is people of different views and backgrounds working together and resulting in a country that has achieved things never before seen in history. Being part of a bipartisan organization is simply invaluable to me.