OCTOBER 9, 2014
We filed our campaign finance reports on Tuesday as is required by law. While the other candidates filed reports showing hundreds of thousands of dollars, my filing was for just over $35, the cost of a cell phone and 750 minutes, paid for by myself.
This is the only way we are going to win this race, I have to write in disagreement.
Money is the root of all evil in politics. This campaign was designed to demonstrate that the people, and the people alone, have the power to take back their government, by commitment and desire and not by money.
I always think of the grade school class when the story of the American Revolution was presented. There were lined-up Redcoats, marching in formation, and there were the revolutionaries scattered behind rocks and trees. The Redcoats marched in order and were easy targets in that they could not escape their patterned regimentation.
Similarly, we exist as the revolutionaries. The major parties are regulated into a predictable pattern based on their need for campaign finances. As such, they make themselves a ready target.
By not taking money in our campaign, we can demonstrate a monumental point – that there is hope for political change simply by the will, and not the money, of the people.
I have asked that supporters contribute in the ways they see fit. We have people buying signs and giving them to others, hand making signs and posters in a most sincere fashion, printing materials for distribution, and so much more. These are the people, the real people, who want reform in government. These are people who value their freedom.
There has been national opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case in that it condoned big spending to finance elections. To counter this money in politics, we are attempting to show that we can win without funding, a far more noble goal.
Since it is rare for a third party candidate to make real in-roads into the political system, money raised and spent in the traditional fashion would be a waste of time and effort. Our work in this regard would take us off message and put us in a position where we were buying votes, just like our opponents. How can we say our brand of politics is better if we are just like them? We are not. We are depending on the people, the real people, to come through for us.
Think about it. Money in third party efforts helps, but it is not the whole story. Ken Block spent about a million bucks to get the party started and his attempt at getting elected. That million bought about 6%. In 1994 I ran on very little money, but on tactics, spending well under twenty thousand dollars and picked up 9% percent. Money isn’t a sure win, although there are some who have done it.
The real win is without funding. This shows the people are fed up with money in politics. To do this is hard, but about as hard as running with money.
The long-range plan of our campaign was to not accept money and show that money cannot always buy votes. If we can run a campaign and get a reasonable percentage in a reputable poll where the proper questions were asked, that is news. Big news, and news that can give us the extra set of legs to win the race.
By showing 15-20% support without funding, against well-financed opponents of the major parties is likely national news. Over 20%, if accomplished, most certainly is.
To get to this point is the first step. If national attention is placed on Rhode Island for all the right reasons, then the people sitting on the fence will respond. Never forget that less than a third of the people in the colonies favored the revolution, they came aboard when it looked feasible.
We are in their shoes in that we are looking to restore liberty and freedom, with fairness and justice, to those who have been disenfranchised by political money. It is far more than a mere exercise in electoral participation.
The next few weeks are crucial. As always, our plans are laid bare before our opponents. We are not seeking an office, we are seeking far more. We are on the edge of changing the way campaigns are funded. If we prove successful, who would donate money to campaigns knowing that the people can undermine their planned purchase? The answer is no one.
There seems to be great support out there, and, if confirmed, we may just succeed with a cerebral revolution.