When you take the VFM Pledge, you instantly elevate your candidacy to national prominence by joining a movement that is about something much larger than this regional contest or that one. You represent a movement that is easy to understand, focused, simple, and absolutely sound. The question is not whether you are a viable candidate, but what is the significance of this movement. And not only does the movement provide you with a clear and strong answer to this question, but it also surrounds you with a growing chorus of voices among out citizens and thought leaders advocating the value of the movement and the importance of your candidacy.
The thing that sets the Voter Farmers Market movement apart from all others is the combination of its single-issue focus, it's unbounded vision, and the integrity of the process it advocates.
Single Issue: All we care about is getting money out of politics and creating rules for the political process that are democratic and fair and that optimize the quality of our political discourse and deliberations. We care about this in the way our candidates run for office and we care about this in terms of the agenda our elected representatives pursue once in office. Simply said, our candidates will run for office on discourse alone, not money. Moreover, if elected, our candidates, as members of Congress, will advance a single-issue agenda focusing congress on the need to develop more sophisticated means of maintaining the democratic integrity of our political process and on the need to remove the influence of money from every aspect of it.
Unbounded: Our goal is not one particular thing. It is an on-going goal. It is a process. We love the idea of this amendment or that amendment, this reform bill or that one. But none of the concrete steps being focused upon are enough and the Voter Farmers Market refuses to treat them as if they were. This is what's called being unable to see the forest for the trees. The Voter Farmes Market offers a principle, political process integrity, and seeks to create a culture in which the integrity of our political process is always being tested, evaluated, and improved upon.
Integrity: When people step up to run for office, promising not to raise or spend money to advance their campaign, they put the integrity of the process before their own chances of success. This is the kind of moral compass that ought to be elementary among our political leaders. By walking our talk, the Voter Farmers Market is speaking volumes and with a louder voice than all the million dollar 30-second sound byte commercials bought by both the Democratic and Republican Parties together.
Join us and be a part of our movement to build a culture in which democratic political process integrity is the leading light guiding society to a better future. Our momentum is yours. Together, we can spread among the people new seeds of leadership, vision and integrity of conduct that will make our children proud.
The whole idea of the Voter Farmers Market is to stop participating in a toxic system where people lie, spend too much money on pointless promotions, and degrade themselves for the sake of winning an office that is rendered worthless by the corrupt way in which it is pursued.
We want to feel good about voting, about who we are, and what we stand for. Fortunately, a real option is available that will allow us to achieve these goals and still obtain an election outcome that is no worse than the sad outcome we have jadedly come to expect.
It is possible to get your name on the ballot for very little, even next to zero expense, when you have an organized movement helping you. With two or three thousand dollars, it is even easier. Once you are on the ballot, that's when the fun begins.
That's when you can rise above all the social politics, the left versus right, the personal attacks, simply by adopting the Voter Farmer's Market single issue campaign pledge: All you aim to do, if elected, is find ways to improve the integrity of our political process because when the corruption in our system is gone, we will be able to deal with all of our other problems much more fairly, logically, and systematically. And to demonstrate that you really mean business about focusing on this one issue if you are elected, you are going to run a campaign that does not raise campaign donations above the cost of getting on the ballot and does not purchase advertising or promotional opportunities beyond a website and the expenses involved in authoring what you have to say and traveling to people willing to listen to you.
When you take the Voter Farmers Market pledge, you embark in a heroic quest to represent democracy as it is meant to be and to focus the public's attention on the fact that political process integrity is step one in addressing any of the other problems our nation faces. In so doing, you are joining the ranks of our founding patriots in embracing citizen leadership based on integrity, rational discourse, and an insistence on democratic process! Win or lose, this is an adventure you will remember and be proud of for your entire life.
And one more thing: You won't be alone! You will be on your quest with an entire movement of American citizens who understand the goal is not personal advancement, not winning office, not my ideology or your ideology, but simply changing the system by changing the way we participate in it.
You'll be amazed how energizing and fun it is to take a stand that is based on such a simple, sound and sincerely held principle. You'll be delighted by the interactions you have and the bonds you make with people who have shed their cynicism and their entrenched ideologies in favor of faith in what political process integrity can achieve. When you are willing to participate honestly and with integrity in the political process and don't care what the outcome is so long as you have represented your belief that the first step in advancing the interests of the American people is to fix our political process, then being a candidate is not risky, not stressful, not exhausting, but just an opportunity to make yourself and your nation strong, healthy and appropriately proud.
A lot of people in our nation are struggling with the direction in which their standard of living is going. Whether they're working too many hours to be with their family or out of work and looking for a job appropriate to their training, whether they're feeling disempowered and uninspired in their work place or simply unrepresented by the elected officials making decisions about their lives, such conditions can really be our greatest opportunity.
When "the system" fails to function adequately, people start to weigh their options. Ideas that would have sounded crazy in other times, suddenly are more intelligent than continuing to grind away in a system that leads nowhere and accomplishes nothing.
Whether you are highly successful and afluent or one of the many struggling during these hard economic times, the idea of running for congress may fit you perfectly. The media focuses cynically on which candidates have a "real" chance of winning. In so doing, they create a bias that favors candidate who participate in the corrupt campaign finance system that has produced our dysfunctional government. No matter who wins running this type of campaign, the people lose. So you should think seriously about whether you want to play an important leadership role as a citizen willing to run for congress on a shoe-string budget and focused political discourse for the sole purpose of giving the public a choice that is truly committed to improving the integrity of our political process.
Right now all we have are false choices between candidates who all take insane amounts of campaign funding and are consequently beholden to corporate interests. It's time for a real choice, the choice to vote for someone willing to run on principle not for the sake of winning, but for participating in the political process with genuine democratic integrity. That's the real CHANGE America has been looking for. We want you to be a leader in the movement for such change. It's your time. Why not?
Do you like the idea of the Voter Farmers Market and wonder how you can help make an important contribution? Well here's your opportunity! We're looking for volunteers to research, write up and submit instructions explaining the steps involved with getting on the ballot. If you're interested in helping, send us an e-mail so we can make sure your time is well spent. The key to this research is we are only focused on the procedural requirements for getting on the ballot and we want to avoid strategic advice, especially when it advocates spending money not required to become a candidate.
The VFM Pledge contains four promises:
- Each VFM candidate promises not to accept any campaign contributions, not to advertise, and not to spend any money other than what is required to comply with election law.
- Each VFM candidate promises that all campaigning will be confined to public speaking, media interviews, op-ed pieces, downloadable white papers, YouTube-type videos, websites, and other forms of outreach that do not involve paying another for the use of their venue to campaign or paying for large volume duplication of campaign materials.
- Each VFM candidate promises, if elected, to make his or her first priority while in office the creation of a fair and equitable, publicly financed federal campaign and election system that eliminates money from the political process and promotes political decision-making based on rational discourse and careful evaluation of policy proposals.
- To ensure that only one VFM candidate is ultimately on the ballot for each seat in Congress, each VFM candidate promises to submit to a VFM selection process when more than one candidate has qualified in order to determine who bows out and who remains in the contest as the sole NMCC candidate for a given
This pledge is open to refinement and revision when changes are approved by the Voter Farmers Market and any VFM candidates who have qualified for the ballot in their district at the time of the proposed change.