Following is an email from a skeptical supporter for Voting Out Incumbents and my reply.
> You need to make some changes in the web site. You don't look like a meaningful cause, almost another third party. Something to ignore..
(DR): I have to respectfully disagree on our looking like a third party. Your proposal that we adopt a platform of issues is what would make us a defacto third party in a sea of them. We are a single issue organization, restoring responsiveness of politicians to the voters, instead of lobbyists, special interests and wealthy donors. That is our only issue, and by limiting ourselves to that single issue, we have ability to reach far more citizens who have very differing issues they care about and disappointments in government.
> I feel very strongly on the issue of voting incumbents out. And feel that your web site is going to do me more harm then good.
(DR): Aside from adopting platform issues, what would you change to make the site suit your needs better.
> The first page should be filled with issues the people want resolved and clearly stated.
(DR): It is. Read the Volunteer Editorials and Anti-Incumbent news articles. They are full of issues people care about.
> The reason voting incumbents out being easy and sure to work, needs to be pointed out.
(DR): It is in our Mission Statement and the article entitled Power In Small Numbers.
> You must demonstrate control and a strategy right away. It must be easy to understand, and people willing to comply.
(DR): So far, we seem to have accomplished just that. This started as one person's blog just 6 months ago. We have come a very long way since then. We also started with no money, so we had to do our own lawyering in researching the laws and getting compliant and registered with the IRS, FEC, and State of Texas where our headquarters reside. It may appear to you that we are slow on the uptake, but, I can assure you, what we have accomplished as an all volunteer organization unaffiliated and unsponsored by any other political or corporate organization has been phenomenal. Try setting up a PAC on your own some time. You will be 6 months or more getting off the ground as well under these circumstances.
> I guess what I am saying is.....
> There is no clear reason defined as an end result that you can see.
(DR): Forcing Politicians to address the voters concerns through voiding incumbent careers seems to me to be both a clear reason, and end result repeated many, many times throughout our web site, and now, on other websites as well, as word of VOID spreads.
> There is no clear method that this will work.
(DR): The Local VOID Groups is the method. Read about them in the VOID Activities archives.
> There is no clear direction that this approach is going to work towards and achieve.
(DR): We have a plan, we are implementing that plan to the best of our ability, and so far, we are the only game of this kind taking these steps. So, we may fail, we may succeed. That will be up to the voting public and interested folks such as yourself in terms of whether they want to act for change, or just sit back and complain without doing anything to make change happen. We can't force people to do anything. We can only provide a vision, a strategy, and an invitation to join the effort. If the people want it bad enough, then we could succeed. If we don't succeed, it won't be for lack of a tremendous effort by dedicated volunteer Americans in our organization.
If we appear to lack big moneyed professional appearances, that would be because no one has contributed big dollars to our efforts. The funds we have raised have come from common folks who believe in our mission and goal. It is tough to raise large amounts of money without selling out to a corporate or political sponsor. But we are going to continue this way because credibility and our non-partisan approach to all party voters is the most valuable asset we have, and we will protect it with everything we have.
We hope you will join our effort, it is afterall a grassroots organization of common people reaching out to other common people to take control of our political and governmental process at the ballot box. A web site is not going to do it. People talking to, and convincing each other of the merits of Voting Out Incumbents to restore democracy is how it will happen. And we will continue on that path for many years to come. That is the commitment of our Board of Directors and our volunteer staff, and many of our supporters.
Thank you again for your comments and suggestions. We will endeavor to improve and grow as we go along. Like we have said many times, we have to be in this for the long haul, because we are not going to turn this country around in one election. The anti-incumbent movement must grow through a number of election cycles in order to achieve both national recognition and the desired effects at the polls. We are hopeful we will have an impact in 2008, but, it will more likely be 2010 when our movement shakes statistician's expectations to the extent that they sound alarms to their parties and incumbents for whom they work. Our organization must built on people, and that takes time when you are talking about millions of people.
President, Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy