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111 Days Without Answer Promised by Unity08 Executive

Nearly eight months ago, I asked Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris and Unity08 Communications Director Shane Kinkennon whether they and the rest of the Unity08 corporate leadership would agree to a Safe Money Pledge. After all, they had demanded that other presidential candidates agree to their Clean Money Pledge to take no more than half their money from donations of over $250, even though Unity08 hasn’t met that mark. If Unity08 asks others to make ethical pledges, I thought, surely it would be willing to make ethical pledges itself, or at least willing to explain why it wouldn’t. That’s what I thought, but that’s not what happened. On the day I asked my question about a Safe Money Pledge, the open line of communication Harris promised me went stone cold dead.

The pledge I’ve asked Unity08 corporate executives to agree to should be a simple pledge for them to agree to if they are really building a movement for the country’s sake, and not building a movement in order to line their own pockets or advance their own careers. The pledge is called the Safe Money Pledge, and it goes like this:

SAFE MONEY PLEDGE

We pledge that no Unity08 corporate leader, member of the Unity08 Founders’ Council, or member of the Unity08 Rules Committee will pursue or accept payment or other compensation for any work in the campaign of a Unity08 nominee, or for work in the administration of a Unity08 White House.

A very simple pledge, and if those members of the Unity08 corporate leadership and associated councils were really doing their bit for the best of the country and not for their own enrichment, they’d have no problem agreeing to it.

More than four months ago, worried at not having received a response from either Harris or Kinkennon, I posted my Safe Money Pledge question on the Unity08 message boards. But as of today, if you try to follow a link to the Safe Money Pledge on the Unity08.com web site, you will only find a page that reads “Not Found.” That’s because Unity08 deleted my post rather than respond to it. On Unity08.com, you can find a wide variety of posts calling for white nativist supremacy, christian theocracy, deportation of American babies, and all sorts of other wild-eyed policy positions. But when I asked Unity08 staffers and council members to commit to not using Unity08 as a vehicle for their personal ambitions, they deleted the request. The collective finger of Unity08 has been falling heavily upon the “delete” key lately. You’ll have to ask them why.

On June 27, new Unity08 Vice President Bob Roth promised to respond to my question about whether Unity08 leadership will take the Safe Money Pledge. I took Mr. Roth’s promise seriously, and I looked forward to receiving that answer and sharing it with you.

It has been one hundred and eleven days since then, and I haven’t heard another word from Unity 08 Vice President Bob Roth. It’s been nearly six months, and I haven’t heard another word from Unity 08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris or Communications Director Shane Kinkennon. Kinkennon has an excuse — apparently Unity08 is looking for his replacement. Anya T. Harris has gone suspiciously silent. But VP Bob Roth is all over his own website and others. We know from Bob Roth’s comment posting behavior that he regularly reads Irregular Times, at least scanning it for its postings on Unity08. He’s read this message. Bob Roth, when will you keep your promise?

11 comments to 111 Days Without Answer Promised by Unity08 Executive

  • Joseph

    That pledge seems rather pointless and aggressive. People who work for Unity08 shouldn’t accept jobs in the Unity08 campaign or administration?

    Why not? I’d think that if the experienced political people support who Unity08 voters select for their Presidential candidate, it’d be a good thing if they helped. And not accepting employment, doesn’t really make sense either.

    I guess I see the flip side, that the people who work for Unity08 may act unethically to get a certain candidate nominated by Unity08 in order for future job prospects, but that would easily be solved as long as the system is secure (and if it’s not, there’s no chance of the person being elected due to lack of credibility). It just seems un-American (not in the Bush “unamerican” sense….i’m really just not sure how), to require people to not receive benefits from their hard work. If the Unity08 people came up with a good idea that works, I don’t see why they should have to be unemployed because of it.

  • Anonymous

    If the pledge was really that pointless, why didn’t Unity08 come out and say so?

    Did you follow the links, Joseph, to see how lucrative managing a political campaign can be? Or maybe you already know.

  • Joseph

    Well, I’d figure that managing a political campaign would be lucrative. Why should the people who organize Unity08, if it even works, be required to not support a eventual candidate?

    Typically, in America, if someone does a good job they are rewarded with it by opportunities for promotions and/or other good jobs/wealth. If Unity08 works, I’d think Unity08′s entire employee list would become unemployed. Is there a reason why they shouldn’t be able to take any job they want (especially political ones since, as has been pointed out before, there are many political insiders in Unity08)?

  • Jim

    Yes indeed, why shouldn’t some public relations executives, communications professionals, lobbyists and campaign consultants start up a website railing against moneyed interests, consultants, lobbyists and politics-as-usual, then ask citizens to give them boatloads of money, and then reap the reward? Which in the last election cycle was a reward of hundreds of millions of dollars? Why, it makes perfect sense… from the point of view of a public relations, communications, lobbying, or campaign professional.

    But from the point of view of someone asked to support such an effort as a supposed departure from politics as usual, it makes very little sense. At least to me. If you think it’s just a dandy idea, Joseph, then you’re free to go right ahead and cut them a check.

  • Joseph

    I think i’m missing your point somehow.

    You don’t want Unity08 organizers to work and get paid on a Unity08 candidate’s campaign, nor to work in a Unity08 White House.

    This is because they are asking for money from people in order to allow for a Unity08 candidate to simply exist?

    Uh…I’d think unless they are writing themselves extremely large checks currently, then most of the money they are currently getting would be going toward making Unity08 a reality that will allow voting and stuff? So, if it works, what’s wrong with them being employed after the election?

    If the money isn’t currently going to that, but instead is going into their own pockets, what’s the point of the pledge since there’s no way Unity08 will even field a candidate, let alone have a White House, if it’s all a sham?

    I think I’m just missing how it’s wrong for the Unity08 leaders to potentially work for a Unity08 White House if they make it work?

  • Jim

    You’re missing it on purpose, I think. The Unity08 ticket will not be elected. You know that. I know that. It may get enough votes to tip an election, but it won’t be elected. But it will run, and while it runs, by golly, it will need consultants and advisers and PR people and media people, who are, HOLY HANNAH!, exactly the people who’ve started Unity08, and exactly the people who won’t agree to the Safe Money Pledge — all to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Unity08 Vice President Bob Roth can keep his promise to answer my question, and agree to the Safe Money Pledge, and clear this misunderstanding all up. Or he can stay quiet.

    Why don’t you stop making assumptions and use the upper-right-hand-corner of the page to find Unity08 Watch look up this year’s expenditures? Find out what share of contributions are going to pay for various consulting expenditures. Then find out if those consulting groups are connected to Unity08 staffers. Then report back to me with your figures.

    It’s kind of a test, see. If you’re really curious, “Joseph,” that’s what you’ll do. If you’re just an role-playing apologist working for Unity08 who’s still hiding behind an IP anonymizer, you won’t do it, and you’ll just keep spinning interesting hypothetical yarns about how.

  • Joseph

    Well, I think I see what you’re getting at now, so I’m more able to specifically disagree. You’ve said that Unity08′s goal is 10 million people. If they get their millions of people to vote online, and then those people support a candidate, it’s highly possible that the ticket WOULD get elected (and therefore, what’s wrong with the consultants, advisors, and PR people working for the campaign? That ticket WILL need PR people and consultants, especially since it won’t be chosen till next year sometime, when all the others are working for the DNC and/or RNC). If they don’t get their millions of people, then it’ll be a big flop (and they won’t have any money to HIRE PR people since no one will take the campaign seriously). So out of the two possible scenarios, the “Safe Money Pledge” seems to just hamstring Unity08 if they actually work and nominate a good choice next year.

    Where should Unity08′s money be going? I know a bit about politics, but I don’t have any earthly idea how to start up a political party that can combat the DNC and RNC (and apparently, no one else does either since it hasn’t been done yet). Unity08 seems to have a novel idea that might work. Short of them doing absolutely nothing and just paying themselves millions of dollars, i’ll just withhold giving them a check and wait and see if it starts to pick up steam. I’d guess that consultants and PR firms are needed, however, for a political party.

  • Ralph

    Report back with your figures, Joseph.

  • Carla

    No, I don’t think Joseph is man enough to do the research. He’d rather talk out of his ass.

  • Joseph

    Okay, Jim says:

    ” Unity08 Watch look up this year’s expenditures? Find out what share of contributions are going to pay for various consulting expenditures. Then find out if those consulting groups are connected to Unity08 staffers. Then report back to me with your figures.”

    I respond by saying, in short: “Fine, they are spending a lot on consultants. So what’s wrong with consultants?”

    Your response:
    “Do Research”

    DO RESEARCH ON WHAT? I’m asking why it matters that a political movement pays for consultants? The DNC and RNC both do. I don’t like either the DNC or RNC for reasons other than them paying for consultants (such as their horrible track record of not representing Americans well or living up to their potential in improving the nation). I’m not saying “Oh, they aren’t spending money on consultants”. I’m asking why it matters.

  • Jim

    No. You didn’t report back any figures I asked for. Report back on the specific expenditure figures which will show how much, if anything, these people are paying themselves and their firms. And if you find that task to be boring, obvious and uncontroversial, then you probably aren’t going to be bothered by much of anything.

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