Do you remember when giving money to elected officials to get laws you want was called "bribery" or "corruption" instead of "government as usual".
Do you feel like the opportunity playing field is tilting more and more against you? That wages aren't keeping up? That job and retirement security are waning?
Were you excited and hopeful in 2008, only to be disappointed when Democrats voted with special interests, rather than for your benefit and in support of our new President?
Were you frustrated by the Democrats' pathetic campaign in 2014 which gave voters no reason to vote for them, and then they wondered why millions of people who had voted for them before stayed home?
Wouldn't it be nice if our elected officials agreed to do the things we want after we elect them?
Those frustrations prompted the Contract For Americans.
We tried to learn from our opponents:
You may recall that in 1994 Newt Gingrich made the Contract With America, which promised to try to pass 18 bills and resolutions if the Republicans won both Houses of Congress. They did, for the first time in decades. We thought it is a great idea for candidates to tell voters what they will do if we elect them. So we borrowed that idea.
We also borrowed from Grover Nordquist, who for years has gotten candidates to pledge to not raise taxes, no matter how fair or necessary;
And from the Tea Party, who runs candidates more to their liking the next primary if they are unhappy with the incumbent.
The Contract For Americans asks candidates to pledge that, if we elect them, they will try to pass a list of things we need. If candidates choose NOT to sign our contract, we will run better candidates against them the next primary.
It also asks voters to shape and endorse the Contract to show candidates what voters want, and reassure those candidates that if they pass Contract proposals we have their backs. The special interests' attack ads cannot harm them.
The plan is to have moral support from voters replace financial support from donors; greatly lessen the need to have money to win elections; lessen candidates need for fundraising and its obligations; and minimize donors' ability to then have whatever laws they want.
The Contract For Americans covers 4 main areas:
1) Basic fairness issues such as increased minimum wages, equal pay for equal work, student debt relief, equal protection under the law, better treatment of veterans, comprehensive immigration reform, and protection of internet neutrality.
2) A series of tax reforms to have very wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share;
3) Measures to lessen corruption in elections and government. and make it harder for anyone to buy elected officials and laws they want.
4) A celebration of our accomplishments in healthcare and environmental sustainability, and a commitment to improve them further.
Below the orange squiggle is a short version of the Contract For Americans. There is much more explanation and discussion at our website. Please check it out at ContractForAmericans.org.