Why should voters endorse the Contract?
Are you frustrated and discouraged that our government seems to be more and more dominated by the ultra-wealthy? That our elected officials are doing what their donors want, rather than what you and your family need?
Do you feel like the opportunity playing field is tilting more and more against you? That wages aren’t keeping up? That job and retirement security are waning?
Were you excited and hopeful in 2008, only to be disappointed when Democrats voted with Republicans and special interests, rather than for your benefit and in support of our new President?
Wouldn’t it be nice if our elected officials agreed to do the things we want after we elect them?
Those were the ideas which prompted the Contract For Americans.
We also tried to learn from our opponents:
You may recall Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract With America, which promised to try to pass 18 bills and resolutions if the Republicans won both Houses of Congress. They did, for the first time in decades. We thought it is a great idea for candidates to tell voters what they will do if we elect them. So we borrowed that idea.
We also borrowed from Grover Nordquist, who for years has gotten candidates to pledge to not raise taxes, no matter how fair or necessary;
And from the Tea Party, who runs candidates more to their liking the next primary if they are unhappy with the incumbent.
The Contract For Americans asks candidates to pledge that, if we elect them, they will try to pass a list of things we need. If candidates choose NOT to sign our contract, we will run better candidates against them the next primary.
It also asks voters to endorse the Contract to show candidates what voters want, and reassure those candidates that if they pass Contract proposals, we have their backs. The special interests’ attack ads cannot harm them.
The plan is for moral support from voters to replace financial support from big donors, lessening the need to have money to win elections; freeing candidates from so much fundraising and its obligations; and lessening the ability of big donors to then have whatever laws they want.
For candidates to take us seriously, we will need millions of voters to endorse these proposals. But if they do, we could accomplish things almost unimaginable without something like this Contract: a seismic shift toward leveling the opportunity playing field, and a marked decrease in the ability of anyone to buy elected officials and laws.