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GOOH - Open Source Politics?

I attended a presentation by GOOOH.com (Get Out Of Our House) founder Tim Cox today in Clear Lake. Tim is a very unlikely revolutionist - but I think (hope?) that that is exactly what he is.

Consider this - 90% of us think Congress is doing a very poor job representing us, but 95% (or higher) of US Representatives are reelected each cycle. Tim has thought a lot about this and has identified 4 problems with our current (very broken) system:

  • Money
  • Party
  • Career
  • Accountability

So, how do we, American Citizens, address these four problems? Tim's carefully thought out plan is the GOOOH program.

Money

Money is removed from the process. To join GOOOH costs $100, but the membership fee is not requested at this time. The plan is to run candidates only after GOOOH reaches a membership of 500,000 - at which time the $100 is to be collected. The resulting $50M will be used to fund a coordinated national campaign for the 435 GOOOH candidates for the US House of Representatives. Each candidate selected by the GOOOH process is allowed to collect and spend no more than $20,000 in addition to the money provided to his campaign by GOOOH.

Party

Partisan party politics is removed. Although GOOOH will have some of the trappings of a political party, there will be no party platform. Each GOOOH candidate will essentially write his own platform via the Candidate Questionnaire.

There are some conditions to run as a GOOOH candidate. The Candidate Screening Questionnaire requires a Yes answer to 21 questions. Most are routine, for example designed to make sure that you are eligible to run for Congress and that you will campaign in a professional manner, but others reflect the politics of GOOOH. You must agree to:

  • announce at each Candidate Selection Session if your net worth exceeds $11.5M.
  • announce at each Candidate Selection Session if you are a lawyer.
  • never have been a member of the KKK or NAMBLA.
  • have not donated more than $100 to the ACLU.
  • vote for a Constitutional amendment that calls for term limits for Representatives of two terms or less.

you must agree to

I asked why GOOOH candidates might fare differently than other 3rd party candidates have in the past. His answer had some weight: Consider my favorite 3rd party - the Libertarian Party. When someone runs as a Libertarian (and I speak from personal experience!) they inherit the Libertarian Party platform and worse, they inherit the perceptions that voters have of the Libertarian Party platform. With limited financial resources, 3rd party candidates have a difficult time educating voters on exactly what they stand for. GOOOH candidates will not inherit a party platform as there is none. Each GOOOH candidate will have written his or her own platform - the answers to the GOOOH candidate questionnaire. The GOOOH process simply presents the candidate as a person chosen from their peers through an open and visible process, with not only views, but views that they are legally bound to uphold, who owes no one any political favors.