Unity08 withdraws from presidential race... sort of

Unity08 today sent an e-mail to its supporters announcing that it is abandoning its goal of having a dual-party ticket running in all 50 states.

While its website still proclaims, "These are exciting times that need the best of all of us," it appears the the experiment in bi-partisanship has failed. The e-mail cites interference from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

The FEC apparently ruled that Unity08 is a political party that could only accept a maximum of $5,000 from each individual donor. This is a strange end to an effort that wanted to break the stranglehold of big money on Washington politics. It's member surveys list "Lobbyist Corruption in Washington" and "Campaign and Election Reform" as two of its largest issues.

Even the announcement makes light of this odd situation:
"We were caught in a peculiar catch-22; we wanted to break the dependence on big money by getting lots of small contributions from millions of members, but needed some up-front big money to help generate the millions of members to make the small contributions."

The Unity08 campaign will lie dormant as it continues its suit against the FEC. It might even come back alive in Spring: "But we're not closing our doors. We believe it is important to see our case against the FEC through [...] and be ready to gear up if (when) we win our case and political circumstances warrant later this spring."

When and if Unity08 comes back as another third party effort after this suit is finished it will likely be perceived as just another divisive third party effort doomed to failure.

Posted by Andrew Breza at January 10, 2008 7:38 PM
Comment #242806

Unity08 appears to have been well intended, but, it really is intended only to address the symptom, not the problem. The lack of bi-partisanship is a symptom of the politicians controlling the electorate, instead of the electorate controlling the politicians. Hence, Unity08 was never going to solve the basic problem. Only voters educated in their power to remove incumbents who sit over disappointing government, will provide a solution to the major problem with our government, its unresponsive stance on problems whose solutions carry a political risk.

If voters routinely remove incumbents from both parties in Congress, the politicians will have little if anything to lose by actually solving our major challenges, and perhaps get reelected as a reward. Politicians and rulers will always rig the game to stay in power. It takes the power of the public vote to remove them, and their commitment and courage to exercise that power, as our founding fathers intended voters to do.

Voting Out Incumbents is what democracy is for. There is no rationale for democracy if the electorate refuse to remove people from power when that power disappoints the people. And the power that is most corrupt is that of Congress. If the president is corrupt or incompetent and remains in power, that is the fault of Congress. And if Congress fails its obligations and its members remain in office, that is the the fault of the voters. So, the chain of responsibility really does root itself in the voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 11, 2008 1:58 PM
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