Matt Bai on why candidates tend to ignore people-powered movements

Dec 07

In our pursuit to put local caucuses on the map, we approached the presidential campaigns and requested they get their supporters involved. Much to our surprise, at the time of this writing, none of the campaigns agreed to endorse the National Caucus concept.

We asked Matt Bai, the acclaimed national politics writer for The New York Times Magazine and author of "The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics" what he thought about why candidates and their campaigns tend to formally shy away from de-centralized, people-powered movements like that of the National Presidential Caucus.

Matt boiled it down to how "people keep trying to exercise their authority as voters, and party leaders keep trying to insulate themselves against rebellion."

After the jump -- read Matt's full response. It's well worth it.

TechPresident: "Very Cool"

Dec 05

This just in from TechPresident:

NPC is "a very cool exercise in democracy that is pushing to get all American citizens — not just those lucky enough to live in Iowa or New Hampshire — involved in the process of selecting our next president." Link

Another great proposal: The Spinney Plan

Dec 05

We'd like to introduce another great proposal to fix the current primary system -- a system more and more people believe is broken.

Introducing the Spinney Plan, from Massachusetts-based writer and political commentator Mike Spinney.

The "primary system has become a huge propaganda event for the conditioning the American public, repeating the lie that ours is but a two-party political system," writes Spinney on Spot-on.com the revered political blog. "Worse, the scam is pulled off with such genius that taxpayers don’t even gripe over the fact that cost of the propaganda campaign is paid for out of their own pockets... I see the NPC as complementary to the Spinney Plan's voting system since NPC offers a national caucus that builds enthusiasm prior to and presages the results of a the structured, two-tiered primary that - were I in charge of national politics - we'd have adopted a long time ago."

You'd be well-served to read the "Spinney Plan" here. And definitely read Spinney's endorsement of the National Caucus on Spot-On.com by clicking here.

Endorsed: Craig Newmark -- the Craig of Craigslist!

Nov 30

From someone who really knows about the power of the Internet to help cause change and influence people's lives for the better.

"People are using the Internet to change the way we govern ourselves. The National Presidential Caucus can help people make a real difference, and that's never been more important than now." - Craig Newmark, customer service rep & founder, craigslist.

Thanks for the endorsement Craig!

Endorsed: Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark B. Cohen

Nov 07

"As one who worked hard to get the Pennsylvania House to pass a bill for a timely Presidential primary but was ultimately stymied by an indifferent PA Senate, I believe the National Caucus can give Pennsylvanians and others basically made irrelevant by the current system a voice in choosing the Presidential nominees of each party. If governments won't give people a voice, then the people have to stand up and demand a voice themselves. As a veteran of Pennsylvania's only 2004 Caucus, the Upper Dublin Caucus in Montgomery County, I think that the National Caucus is a brilliant idea that marries the technology of Meetup with the urgency of the critical issues facing our country." -- Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark B. Cohen (D)

Jasper County (MO) Republican Central Committee Endorses The National Presidential Caucus

Nov 02

The Joplin Globe: Jasper County (MO) Republican Central Committee Endorses The National Presidential Caucus

John Putnam, chairman, Jasper County Republican Central Committee said Republican committee members voted to participate in National Presidential Caucus events set for Nov. 9 and Dec. 7. The goal of the bipartisan effort is to get residents involved in local caucuses to discuss the candidates, their stances and qualifications in advance of presidential preference primaries.

“This is a non-binding effort to go online and get people involved and somehow make an expression of what they want,” Putnam said. “The current primary system is front-loaded, and it favors the candidate with the greatest name recognition or money, which is not necessarily the most qualified candidate. What they (caucus organizers) want to avoid is being stuck with a nine-month campaign between two people who are not the top choice.” Link

Endorsed by Trey Grayson (R), Kentucky Secretary of State

Nov 01

"Each year our country’s primary calendar becomes even more compressed, and this trend is damaging to our political process. It is essential that we give citizens the chance to discuss the important issues facing our country. Ultimately, our country must come together and reform our presidential nomination calendar, but until that time comes, the National Presidential Caucus is an innovative way to involve citizens from every corner of our country in the political process. Through the power of technology, the voices of citizens from states that are usually ignored due to the front-loaded nomination process, will finally have their chance to be heard.” --- Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson

2012 Reform (Videos)

Open Caucus Institute Introduction