Extracting the truth out of candidates is harder than putting a man on Mars.
Remember Gary Hart? He dared the media to find him out. They wouldn't have if he had not been so outrageously obvious. And sexual peccadilloes are, perhaps, the least of it. As recent events have proven the most serious issues often have nothing to do with a cigar.
Getting those regrettable earlier lapses out on the table allows us to put them behind us. That is why full disclosure is essential now so it cannot be raised as an issue later.
If you are hiring a babysitter you want to know her background. It matters. If you are hiring a plumber you want to know he is objectively qualified to fix your toilet. It matters. Why do we hire presidents without checking them out? If you consider the amount of money and power we entrust to their hot little hands you have to wonder why we continue to trust, of all things, the media as it exists in America today to do this for us. When it matters we need to make sure we get the information.
So we, the Reality Caucus, made up of individuals from all political parties, are going to change that. All of us are long-time activists who have grown increasing cynical about the honestly, reliability and competence of all candidates. Therefore, we have put together a protocol to get the truth about all candidates, major and minor parties included. Minor party candidates get even less attention and, as we saw in '04 can impact the outcome.
When will we get the information on candidates?
The reality moment will come when our team of investigators provides that unvarnished truth about those who have declared their intentions to occupy the White House or Vice Presidential mansion. Results will be released as they come in to members and be available monthly to the public on the site, which will go up in June with our results to that date. Then Americans can begin to consider, and reconsider, their options.
All investigations will be finished, posted and sent out before the ballot box is opened for the first primary so that, hopefully, this election can be about real issues.
No More Bad Investments in Politicians
As it stands now, by the time the truth oozes through on candidates it is often the case that well meaning people have invested heavily in those exciting presidential campaigns, believed the promises, thus foreclosing other options. We have all felt the desire to deny the truth when it confronts us, hoped it was just dirty politics. Denial of inconvenient facts sinks all hope; such denial is human but we can't afford it now. We all desperately want to hope this time it will be different. But without action there is no reason to think it will be.
We cannot afford any more bad investments, any more hires who come to their Inaugural with dollar signs in their eyes and an eye on how to convert our property into theirs or transfer it to their favorite "special interest group" or corporation. We need someone we know is not already part of the problem.
Considering how much money we entrust to these people the continued assertions of 'privacy' do not hold much water anymore. We do not need to know how many times a day they brush their teeth, but all other details are fair game. We, their potential employers, have a right to know. Each candidate will be receiving a letter telling him about the Reality Caucus. With that letter will come a form to fill out. It is exhaustive.
What Comes First?
The first step will be for candidates to receive the form to be filled out and sent back. Candidates who fail to respond will be noted and get extra special attention no matter who they are.
What Evasive Action We Expect.
Since we know that the third thing that most clever staffers will think of - how to use this to blacken other candidates - we will accept tips only if these come from sources willing to come forth. The first thing will probably be, "How can we hide"...., second thing, "Can we just ignore this?" The answers in each case are, "No," and, "Better not."
We are already hearing from people who want some reality in their lives. We do not ask that sources be publicly identified; we will protect their anonymity. But they must identify themselves to us. We will fall on the sword to protect you, as all good reporters will do, supported by media shield laws. Otherwise, don't bother. We will not ignore other tips but we will trace you down if possible and expose you. Allowing the public to know about bad information someone is attempting to pass will be part of the work we do.
From reporters who are passing on secondhand information, we need to go to your sources. If the sources wish to remain anonymous, we will do our best to keep them so, and publish the info after it is confirmed from at least two sources. But, you need to clearly distinguish the difference between a 'reporter' of information and a 'source' that verifies it.
The Iconoclast, the hometown paper from Crawford , Texas that did the right thing in 2004, is our central organizing point. We are asking everyone to come on board and help us get the job done. You can join the Reality Caucus and help America get reality in politics. Membership is cheap, $29.00 for the whole 2008 election period gets you all the updates and special member news. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Soon, you will be able to join from the Iconoclast site; we are pleased to link. American people have a right to know, need to know, to cope with politics is it is played out today. We are going to make sure they have the information. The candidates of 2008 are going to be the most scrutinized group in the history of the world, we promise.
The Reality Caucus Founders
Sam H. Clauder II
W. Leon Smith
Richard E. Venable
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