Bayh instructs aspiring politicians

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Lynsay Clutter/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - How do you become a president, or a state leader?  The Democratic Political Action committee says it starts at the ground level.

"We can win.  We can win right here and make this state a better place," says Senator Evan Bayh. 

Bayh returned to Indianapolis for Camp Bayh, an event to inspire future candidates and campaign volunteers, Saturday at the IUPUI conference center.  

"One of the things that have bothered me in recent years is how many people have become cynical and apathetic and unfortunately not with out reason, but we got to get our people back and get them involved in moving our state and country forward and that's what today is all about," said  Bayh.

Among questions from the audience was Bayh's views on illegal immigrants.

"For the people who are here not to have amnesty, I'm not for that, but to earn some kind of status, pay fines, pay taxes," he said.

And for federal monitoring of personal phone records.

"We have to do what we have to do to protect ourselves from terrorists and dangerous people, but we also have to do that in a way that protects people's civil liberties," he said. "Were they listening to the substance of the conversations, were their names attached?  I think they probably weren't, which makes it better, but some of these things, we just don't know."

Those running for local office, or hoping to work with the party say the lessons learned here are crucial for the campaign trail.

"Having a message put together so you feel like you're transmitting that to the people out there to make sure they know what you're about and that you're a person the people can trust," said Rusty Skoog

"It's been a great opportunity to really learn from the professionals what you need to do and how to do it successfully. So it's been great," said Erin Andrews.

Fifty people from this camp and another one next week in South Bend will advance to a four day training program and be placed in state and federal campaigns around the country as paid staffers. 

In this way, the workshop is helping to build human capital for the Democratic Party.