VOID, History, Future, and notes.
This initial group of folks who founded and grew Vote Out Incumbents Democracy came from a political discussion and debate web site known as WatchBlog founded and owned by Cameron Barrett.
David Remer, a writer and managing editor of WatchBlog, decided in October of 2005 to set up a website called Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy and call it VOID for short. Remer's idea was to provide a place where bloggers and political junkies could congregate and discuss what is wrong with our system of government, provide news stories about how corrupt our system is, and discuss what can be done about it using the power of the vote against incumbents responsible for corrupt politics and ineffective government.
In addition, it was hoped that visitors would come to understand the power of the anti-incumbent vote and join ranks with millions of other voters to oust incompetent, irresponsible, and ineffective politicians in our U.S. Congress. Remer articulated the belief that our political process and governance could be cleaned up and restored to founding principles, if elected officials could be made to realize their re-election depends on their official actions and how effective those actions are in solving our nation's problems and challenges.
Other participants at WatchBlog began to frequent the VOID site and asked about joining the effort. As a result, a volunteer staff was assembled to promote the VOID mission on the the voidnow.org web site and elsewhere on the internet through supportive bloggers. Donations were solicited to help defray the costs of moving VOID from Remer's hosting account at PoliWatch.org, to its own web space, and to secure and transfer domain names for VOID, establish a PayPal account in VOID's name for donations, and other costs associated with spreading the VOID news and information.
As more donations and memberships began to come in, and emails of support, the volunteers at VOID decided VOID was going to need a board of directors. VOID's first board was elected in Dec. 2005, consisting of Daniel Summars, Stephanie Crist, and David R. Remer. Having accomplished that, the board agreed that since we were taking donations and contributions for political action, we would at some point become required to register with the federal government.
The board researched the requirements and began preparing to file documents with the IRS and Federal Elections Commission as donations came closer to requiring registration. Early in 2006 we registered with the IRS and we hit the $1000 revenue milestone requiring our registration with the Federal Elections Commission.
In the summer of 2006, the directors put together a plan to develop local VOID chapters where supporters of VOID could work to effect VOID's mission at the local district levels. At this same time, we initiated discussions with other political organizations regarding coalitions amongst themselves to oust incumbents for their mutual benefit as advocates for better government and politics. Neither of these plans, when implemented, proved fruitful, and were abandoned.
As funding became available, VOID began providing Vote Out Incumbent campaign materials. The funding, all from individual supporters, also permitted upgrades to our web site, management software, and the opportunity to begin to provide some of these materials at cost to members. There is so much more to do.
A small group of individuals have done 99% of the work to bring VOID this far. To go further, will require many more individuals stepping up to volunteer their resources, time, and energy to manage this growing political action committee and anti-incumbent effort. If now is your time, contact us. There is no greater cause for Americans today, than to salvage our nation's and children's future from a broken government and political process.
Since 2006, VOID has slowly but progressively expanded its outreach to voters and supporters. Our goal is to reduce the reelection rate by least 5% every election cycle. A reduction of incumbent's reelections by as little as 20% will begin to change the political landscape within the Democratic and Republican parties, heaping pressure on them both to begin replacing their priority for wealthy special interests with the will of the anti-incumbent voters for better government results for the regular American family and voters and their children who will inherit the actions of these Congress persons. VOID's greatest limitation is funding. Speech is free. Mass communication is very expensive. But, we are moving on ways to expand that public outreach and acquire the wider grassroots funding base necessary to access the mainstream media.
The VOID Directors and volunteer staff, can only guide and point the way. It is up to you and all of us to invent ways and exert the effort to persuade ever more voters of the necessity to stop reelecting ineffectiveness, incompetence, and irresponsibility.
It is our considered belief that positive changes in American politics and governance can be achieved, but, will take time, and will occur over several, or many election cycles. Changing American politics and governance toward more responsible government is no easy thing. But, we now know how it can be done. All that is left is to help millions of others to reach this same understanding.
We are confident that VOID will influence individuals and groups around the country to find their own ways to spread the the anti-incumbent ballot choice and organize voters under the VOID umbrella. Together we will create the necessary impact upon Congress persons, new and old, to force them to accept that they cannot survive in power without addressing anti-incumbent voter's concerns over debt and deficits, transparency and accountability in government operations, and a dramatic reduction in the influence of money on congressional elections, and the legal bribery and blackmail by lobbyists influencing legislation which the rest of us must shoulder and suffer the consequences of.
Other Notes about VOID.
VOID accepts no sponsorship from any political party or candidates. VOID does not advocate for any political party or individual candidates. VOID's efforts and hopes partially rest on motivating the almost 50% of eligible voters who don't vote, to register and vote. We are not alone in this, as many other organizations are working on voter registration and polling turnout, as well.
Staff and guest writer editorials are the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the goals, motives, or, intentions of the VOID organization. Comments to articles on VOID are never to be construed to represent the views, or beliefs of the VOID organization or its volunteer staff.
VOID's only political agenda is a sustainable future for America by way of more responsive politicians to the needs and demands of the the voters, and a vastly more effective and responsible Congress which, will solve more problems than it creates. The VOID board of directors and staff take no position on any other political issue as representatives of Vote Out Incumbents Democracy.
(revised: April 11, 2010)