In the last post, I set up a scene. Imagine you’re not satisfied with your district’s Tea Party representative, and you think you could do a better job. Let’s look at the first week.
You think you could make real anti-corruption progress. You’ve heard that Democrats would support anti-corruption legislation and most Americans are for it. And most voters want term limits. Everyone wants better health insurance and lower costs. Can’t something be done?
You believe in equality. Slavery was wrong. And you recently heard that every modern constitution gave women equal rights. Shouldn’t the American Constitution do the same? Who’d be against that?
Your neighbors want guns to be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill. Your representative’s website, just talks about Democrats trying to make guns illegal. You saw on Open Secret how much money your representative gets from the NRA. Can’t we have some common-sense laws?
But there’s no way you can raise enough money to reach people.
Just tonight, you found the PeopleCount website. They offer you some hope. They’ll let people vote on issues and say which are important to them. Everyone will see the results.
Plus, they’ll let people check a box asking for a monthly report from the incumbent and challengers. So you can just state these simple ideas and make your promises. Every month, you can write a short report about what you’d do and what the incumbent hasn’t done and it’ll be delivered to the people that care.
But the cool thing is, you get to see what the voters want. You can say which solutions you favor and which look promising, but you don’t have to commit to a position. You can just commit to representing the voters well.
PeopleCount says they’ll charge at most $5,000 per month, but they won’t charge more that 1/4 of the funds you raise. Plus, there’s a maximum of 10 cents per voter per month, so the cost is even less to start.
So you sign up. There’s a $1,000 sign-up fee, but that’s needed or everyone would sign up. And it’s credited to your account.
The decide to write one short report every night. On Monday, you wrote about term limits. Tuesday was about anti-corruption. The third, about health care, took you two nights. You said you want a solution, you said which seem interesting, and you asked people what they wanted. On Friday, you said you were open to common-sense gun laws, not letting the mentally ill buy guns and making sure every gun purchaser had a background check. The Democrats really want these, so a very limited new law would be attractive to them. After you finished the 5th one, you submitted them all to the site.
Saturday you begin to talk to your friends. Ten of them said they’d check out your reports. Most of them agree with your assessment of the incumbent, but they’re not sure a website is the answer. Sunday you talk with more friends and a few neighbors.
Monday you go onto PeopleCount. Six people have read your reports- and they graded them! You got a couple B’s and the rest A’s. You read the instructions again- you missed that the first time. People who read your reports can grade them. That’s how they know how much to bill you.
The site shows the incumbent’s grades too. Though the incumbent didn’t submit any reports, people graded him anyway – he’s getting a D!