Unity08 Chat Transcript: Doug Bailey and Jerry Rafshoon from 2/16/07


This transcript is mirrored at Unity08 Watch from Unity08.com, which held this moderated "chat" session on February 16, 2007. As you can read from the transcript itself, the Unity 08 staff received many questions and chose which questions to answer before the public. I suggest you read the transcript with that in mind; the result is the story Unity08 would like to tell about itself.

u08moderator(P) A quick note... If any participant would like to direct
a question to either Doug Bailey or Jerry Rafshoon specifically, please
feel free to do so. Otherwise, Doug and Jerry will be on two separate
computers typing answers at the same time -- so they'll just jump on the
questions as they come in
u08moderator(P) For those of you who are "pre-submitting" questions, don't be alarmed
if you don't see them show up yet in the window. They are appearing on
Doug and Jerry's screens, and Doug and Jerry are now typing answers to
as many as they can get to. We'll flow them in all at once, when the chat
officially begins at 2pm eastern
u08moderator(P) Thank you everyone for joining us. Doug and Jerry have been answering
questions, and you're about to see answers to as many as they've been
able to get to. Please keep the great questions coming. We're about to
get started.
Chuck(Q) Would you be able to give us a kind of overview as to how 08 can change
the political landscape as we now know it?
doug_bailey(A) The political system is broken and the country is in trouble. The 2008
election is a moment of truth for America. We will either fix the broken
political system or we will continue to be polarized and paralyzed. Unity08
is intended to fix the political system by electing a Unity Ticket of
one Democrat and one Republican, in whatever order, to the White House
and end the partisan bickering which keeps Washington from taking effective
action on virtually anything.
RogerEarl(Q) Greetings, any idea how many will log in?
doug_bailey(A) We received over 400 RSVP’s for the online chat today.
John_D_Lesser(Q) When will we start to hear from potential candidates?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We cannot predict when we will hear from potential candidates. But,
we have been talking to some, on a confidential basis. The American people
are watching how the announced candidates for the two parties’ nominations
are conducting their campaigns and how and if they are paying attention
to the crucial issues. You can be sure that they will all pay attention
to the army of Delegates that are joining our effort. You, the members
and Delegates of Unity08 are the ones that will attract potential and
exciting candidates.
Serenatwice(Q) What specific actions can we take locally to change the dynamics of
the 2008 race? Still take part in D/R primaries/caucuses? Will we have
local organizers?
doug_bailey(A) First, you can recruit more delegates. Recruit your friends. Recruit
your family. Sign-up your office co-workers. You also might think about
who you want to draft for the Unity08 nomination for President. On the
issue of participating in the D/R primaries/caucuses, we want everyone
to stay within their party if they wish to and we hope that you will participate
in your party’s primary or caucus if you can. Unity08 is not intended
to hurt the two parties; it is intended to jolt the two parties to become
stronger. Please understand that you can participate in your party’s
primary and be an active Delegate in the Unity08 national primary. You
do not have to leave your party to participate. On local organizers, we
will have them, particularly to achieve ballot access in every state,
which will take an on-the ground organization in each state.
larry5m(Q) What is being done to address the legal challenges to us acting as a
political party? How are we going to be able to nominate accross party
lines?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We have a vast army of lawyers throughout the country preparing to challenge
our challengers.
bradleyhusker(Q) How can we be assured the Unity ticket won't be shut out of the debates?
jerry_rafshoon(A) The TV Debate Commission has a rule that if you get 15% in the polls
you’re in, and if you don’t get 15%, you’re out. We
can be pretty well assured that whoever wins our nomination bestowed by
50% or more of the Delegates of our online convention, will have at least
15% in the public opinion polls that follow the convention. Ross Perot
easily achieved that position, and all indications are that someone who
has won a nation-wide primary, which is virtually what we are having,
will do at least that well – and probably better.
WesClarkDem(Q) Unity08 claims not to be a third party, so much as a forum to elevate
the debate and find consensus candidates. How will you go about finding
those candidates? And if they already exist, will Unity08 endorse a candidate
already running on either side?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We plan to nominate a candidate. We are not in the endorsing business,
spoiler business or the anointing business. We are making this platform
available to all potential candidates and it is our intention to nominate
the strongest ticket with many times more Delegate votes than will have
nominated candidates in either of the other parties. Therefore our ticket
will be a very strong contender for the ultimate prize of the presidency.
We are not in this for the novelty, or for the exercise, or for someone’s
ego trip.
g21guy(Q) Hi! My question: As a journalist who's covered politics for a long time,
I'm curious about this but also dubious. Why should this work better than
other "third party" attempts?
doug_bailey(A) Recent 3rd party attempts (Nader, Buchanon, Perot, etc.), have either
been efforts to represent a small segment of the electorate or have happened
at a time when the public was not overwhelmingly concerned about the future
of the country. Most people today feel that America is approaching a moment
of truth. That’s what the 2008 election is all about and why all
convention wisdom about our politics is probably wrong.
sherwood(Q) Are we still om target for a Democrat-Republican ticket?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We’re still on target for a Democrat-Republican ticket, a Republican-Democrat
ticket, an Independent-Republican ticket, or whatever bipartisan ticket
arises. We have made great strides in presenting our case to potential
candidates, all of whom we have briefed on a confidential basis. Nobody
has laughed at us, and everybody has shown a willingness to keep in touch
with us as we go forward.
MaryM(Q) Why no obligation to live up to the standards Unity08 purports to demand
from others?
doug_bailey(A) In fact, I posted yesterday a Q&A on the web site that dealt with
some criticisms that we have received similar to this and tried to deal
with them one by one. I encourage everyone to look at the Q&A in the
blog section on the home page. I am sure that since we are human, we make
mistakes, but I hope we are honest enough to recognize it when we do and
try to be responsive to well meaning critics.
kacz(Q) Do you have a target voter demographic and how do you really intend
to energize them without leaders or a vision?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Our target demographics are registered voters and potential registered
voters in all of the 50 states. We’re appealing to a broad spectrum
of Americans who are tired of campaigns that are fought for the narrow
base of each party. As to not having a candidate, if the two parties’
selection process continues, and millions upon billions of dollars are
spent, it should become obvious to the American people that business as
usual will continue in the primary process and when their nominees become
obvious early on, people will start looking to us for alternatives, and
you can bet that alternatives will become evident.
John_D_Lesser(Q) Will there be requirements set for qualifying potential candidates,
and who will have input to setting those requirements?
doug_bailey(A) The Rules Committee is now considering what the threshold for candidates
should be and their recommendations will be put to our Delegates for input
on the web site within the next month. We anticipate that the threshold
(aside from Constitutional requirements) should be reasonably simple for
serious candidates to meet, but a little tougher for those who might want
to run just for publicity sake.
JBillings(Q) I understand the principles behind the on-line voting, but I do not
understand the process for actually putting a name on the ballot for consideration
by unity08 delegates. Can you explain that, please?
doug_bailey(A) The online site will open “Convention Hall” this spring,
in which Delegates will have the opportunity to caucus with one another
on issues and candidates – and to vote on which issues confronting
the country are crucial and which questions on those crucial issues the
candidates should be expected to answer. The candidates will be able in
Convention Hall to provide answers to the questions and to provide video
on demand to the Delegates as they campaign for the nomination. The Rules
Committee is now considering the specific process for the Convention itself,
in which the Delegates will be nominating the Unity Ticket. Those rules
will be similar to the traditional conventions – for example, it
clearly will take 50% plus one to nominate the winning ticket.
harryneff(Q) Do you seriously believe we can influence the upcoming elections, and
what are the top two agenda items to accomplish?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We intend to be competitive in the upcoming election, and in fact, elect
the next president of the United States. I’ve said it before, and
I’ll say it again, we’re not in the business of spoiling an
election. Did you know that there are more Independents in the voting
pool than there are either Democrats or Republicans? Furthermore, when
our ticket is nominated, by at least 10 times more people than will have
determined either parties’ nominee, there is a good chance that
they will be challenging us, rather than the other way around. It’s
quite possible that we will come out of that convention in first place.
WesClarkDem(Q) For Doug and Jerry both, What do you hope to achieve in the end with
Unity08?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Personally, I’m looking forward to a good seat at the inauguration
of a Unity Ticket. We are in this to nominate and elect a president, and
we very likely will do that with your help.
aloysius(Q) Isn't it possible that Unity08 will become a third party?
doug_bailey(A) Good question. Once having elected a Unity Ticket to the White House,
surely the two parties will get the message that voters have not been
happy with how they have conducted their business and they will adjust
to reaching for the middle and stop their bickering. If they do, Unity08
will have done its job, but if they dont, in all probability one of the
two parties will go out of business and Unity08, by name or some other
will become a permanent third party. That is, after all, the history of
the birth of the Republican Party, when Lincoln was elected to the White
House in 1860 and the Whig Party died.
Chuck(Q) What is going to be the 08 policy on illegal immigrants?
doug_bailey(A) Unity08 will not have a platform, but it will be far more effective
on the issues than most party platforms have been throughout our history.
Here’s what I mean…without taking a position on immigration,
for example, we will ask the Delegates whether immigration is an issue
that is crucial for safely and well-being of the United States. If they
feel that it is a crucial issue as I suspect they might, then the Delegates
will be given an opportunity to vote on which questions on the immigration
issue should be addressed to the candidates seeking the nomination. In
this way, the issues agenda of the Delegates will be a series of questions
on crucial issues; the agenda of the candidates will be their answers.
We expect that to be far more effective than the ritual platforms from
the two parties.
jeanneclem(Q) How do we get on the ballot in all 50 states? Won't the states object
and give us a hard time? Won't the Republican Party and the Democrat Party
object?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We have already established procedures in every state to assure ballot
access. This is the earliest that any potential Independent or third party
candidate has done this. Our research tells us that we are easily on 37
ballots and we have already established procedures to be positioned on
the remaining 13. One of the top election law firms in Washington has
taken our case, and is enthusiastically preparing to challenge anyone
who challenges us. We are confident that we will be able to present the
nominees of our party with a ballot position throughout the country.
Charles(Q) Recent polls show independents have turned against the war. Those most
often mentioned as Unity 08 candidates, like Bloomberg, Giuliani, and
Lieberman, all support the war. Won't this pose an insurmountable obstacle
to uniting independent voters with Unity 08's presidential ticket?
jerry_rafshoon(A) The war is certainly the most crucial issue facing us today. And, I
would assume, there are Delegates that will be questioning our potential
nominees and will be making decisions based on their answers on the war.
And, let democracy work its way. Personally, we have encountered many
attractive potential candidates who differ with the ones you’ve
mentioned on the war, and the debate will continue as we go forward.
cyclops120(Q) How do I input my political ideas to unity08? Just asking questions
doesn't allow me any input on my ideas to unity08.
doug_bailey(A) There are a variety of means of expressing oneself on the web site now,
but more importantly will be the capacity of Delegates once the Convention
Hall is open to participate in candidate and issues caucuses and to debate
which issues should be considered crucial to future safety and well being
of the U.S., and which questions are considered essential on those issues
for the candidates to answer.
jack_ackerman(Q) Will the nominated candidates submit to a q & a session with us?
doug_bailey(A) We are certainly planning to invite them to do so. And won't it tell
you something if they refuse to do so?
mgrant7913(Q) What if the candidates do not accept the offer?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Candidates have until the later ballots to make a Sherman-esque statement
that they will not accept our nomination. We will respect the wishes of
any who do so. We anticipate that people who want to draft a candidate
will avail themselves of the Unity08 nominating process, and they can
pursue their objectives until almost the last ballot when candidates have
to accept or reject the nomination. Our Rules Committee is still discussing
when that would be.
kris24morris(Q) Is Unity08 a political party, PAC or interest group?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We're a citizens' movement that will eventually file as a party for
ballot position in each of the states.
thompsb100(Q) Is Barrack Omama aware of Unity08?
jerry_rafshoon(A) From all indications, he reads the newspapers and watches television,
so I assume he knows about us. In fact, we have talked to people close
to him, and they were impressed. We intend to nominate a candidate who
reads the newspapers.
kenroar(Q) Is there a way for unity08 to make it possible for those who aren't
filthy rich and "in the pockets" of many businesses to run for president?
Some of our past presidents would never have been able to run in today's
climate.
doug_bailey(A) Wonderful question. Sometimes it seems that the nominees of the Republican
and Democratic parties seem likely to be the winners of the "money primary"
going on right now. Doesnt it seem preposperous that the major candidates
from both party nominations are raising money right now with plans to
refuse all federal funding in the primaries and the general election because
they can raise more money than the federal payments will provide, and
spend money that way without any limits whatsoever. Imagine the power
of a Unity08 Ticket that is funded almost exclusively by contributions
of $200 or less, running against candidates who have accepted NO limits
and sold out to both their handlers and their bundlers.
cyclops120(Q) Is this a ploy do derail the Democrats from winning the election in
2008? It almost seems like time Ross Perot affected the results of the
election.
jerry_rafshoon(A) Absolutely not. Most third parties in the past have been based around
one particular personality or one polarizing issue. We are appealing to
the vast center of American politics, and therefore, we will be attracting
the votes of a broad spectrum of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
If we get 38 or 39% of the vote in November 2008, we will not have spoiled
anyone's campaigns.
bodine(Q) does unity08 have a basic conservative or liberal view, that is to say,
the founders of unity08
jerry_rafshoon(A) The founders of Unity08 are the most diverse group of people from the
broad electorate. We have liberal, moderate and conservative Democrats,
liberal, moderate and conservative Republicans and a lot of Independents.
WesClarkDem(Q) In addition to fielding white house candidates, will Unity08 get involved
in congressional and Senate races also?
jerry_rafshoon(A) No. It is not our intention to field any candidates for the Congress.
We are sure that when our ticket is elected, that members of both parties
will be impressed by our show of power that an elected ticket that is
not beholden to lobbyists, political consultants and special interests
and will realize that it is in their best interest to work with them to
solve the crucial problems of our time. If they don’t the Unity
president and vice president might encourage Independent challengers to
those who don’t care enough to get serious about the crucial issues
facing us.
Doug(Q) In formulating the American Agenda, how are we going to go about formulating
the questions? As every good pollster knows, the answers you get depend
entirely on how the questions are phrased. So how will we we choose between
asking, for example, "How do you think education should be funded to ensure
every child succeeds in school?" or asking "How should educators be empowered
to hold failing students accountable so that every child who wants to
succeed in school can?"
doug_bailey(A) You write good questions, for example. Here’s the process we imagine:
once the Delegates have identified the “crucial issues,” we
will invite a wide spectrum of experts to present a full array of potential
policy answers and to recommend to the Delegates questions that should
be addressed on this crucial issue to the candidates. Then the Delegates
will pick from the questions that have been recommended by the experts.
You are quite right that the wording of questions does shape the answers
in polling but we think that the wording of questions chosen by the Delegates
will require specific answers by the candidates.
ZDC(Q) ZDC - Assume that a Unity ticket is placed on enough state's ballots
so that a win would be a win for the Unity ticket. What is the argument
that can be made that this would not act just like what happened with
Ralph Nader in 2000 and lead to a bad outcome.
doug_bailey(A) Some may be concerned that we end up a spoiler that help elect someone
else. Obviously, that is not either our expection or our intention. It
is important to recognize that the spoilers in today's political system
are those who have forgotten that without some degree of unity, this country
cannot effectively move forward.
northwest(Q) In terms of policy agenda, is Unity08 willing to adopt 'radical' positions
about what our government should and should not be doing? Or, will the
familiar political pressures push the platform toward the center, thereby
making meaningful change difficult?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Our nominees, by accepting the Unity nomination from a new and revolutionary
movement, will in effect be turning their back on the old tried and true
ways of being elected and will be prepared to come up with solutions and
thinking that is 'out of the box'. Our movement and our platform should
be able to liberate them from taking weak and conventional stands on issues
in order to satisfy the special interests of a political party.
bradleyhusker(Q) Have you gotten more interest from any particular party or end of the
political spectrum? In other words, who are the people Unity is attracting?
jerry_rafshoon(A) No, we're getting interest from all parties and all parts of the spectrum.
John_D_Lesser(Q) Can we be sure that what we will be doing will be recognized as a true
primary?( Ref: bradleyhusker's question earlier)
doug_bailey(A) When we talk about the Unity08 online convention, we also be the first-ever
national presidential primary, obviously we are breaking precedent. On
the other hand, everything about unity08 breaks precedent. It is certainly
not a traditional primary, but some would argue that since it will be
the largest primary in the history of American politics, that it is high
time we redefine what a presidential primary is. It will count a whole
lot more than all of the primaries after New Hampshire and South Carolina,
because it will result in putting a party ticket on the ballot in November.
Middles1000(Q) I have registered and made a donation to unity80. Am I automatically
a "Delegate" or is there more one need do?
doug_bailey(A) There are many folks who registered early with Unity08 who have not
yet taken the next step to sign up as founding Delegate and we are asking
everyone to do so. If you have not signed up as a Founding Delegate, please
do so! If you have, please sign up your friends, neighbors, co-workers,
family. Thank you for your leadership. Now, let's go find more leaders!
B2(Q) What do you currently believe or hope Unity08’s long-term impact
will be beyond the 2008 election… for example, the 2012 Presidential
election?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Right now, the long-term impact will be four years of innovative, serious
and responsive government. Our goal is to end the gridlock and get something
done on the crucial issues that face us. As for 2012, I assume that if
our ticket has a successful first term, they will run for reelection.
dlamagna(Q) Is the idea of one democrate and one republican fixed in stone? What
about an independant or two dems or two republicans.
jerry_rafshoon(A) Absolutely! Independents are welcome, (there are more of them than either
of the two parties.)
Chiato(Q) How is Unity08 going to decide on the potential candidates and how will
the delegtes get to know who these poeple are?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We are inviting any potential candidate to start campaigning on our
website, make his or her appeals to you, and the rest of the Delegates.
We are prepared to disseminate their message to our membership and Delegates.
The invitation is out for them to tell us and you where they stand and
why they want to lead this country.
thompsb100(Q) Bill Thompson in Orlando - Are the currently announced candidates in
both parties off limits for Unity08?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Not at all. In fact, they can all compete for our nomination, keeping
in mind, that they have to have a running mate from either the opposite
party, or from the ranks of the Independents.
kacz(Q) this isn't anything new. the question is "how", given that your original
premise, the system is broken, how will using folks who "broke" the system
fix it?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We have great faith in redemption. The people who broke the system (aside
from lobbysists, and special interests) are well-intentioned people who
have had to play the game the way it has been played in the past. This
movement enables them to reform the system.
moondoggie(Q) What's your response critics who say not enough Americans are ready
for an Internet-based national election?
doug_bailey(A) Oviiously, many Americans are not comfortable online. ANd many dont
have easy access to the internet. But our research shows that close to
70% of Americans go online and use email on a regular basis. To those
concerned that an online voting process leaves people out, probably the
best answer is that the current system leaves out everyone who doesnt
live in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina.
RogerEarl(Q) Would it be possible to list the candidates that we have spoken with
and that are interested?
jerry_rafshoon(A) At this time, we have had background briefings with the promise of confidentiality.
Doug(Q) How are the rules of the Convention Hall going to be determined? Will
delegates get a say in that?
doug_bailey(A) The procedures to be used online are going to be shaped in part by the
guidelines of the Rules Committee, which in turn be shaped by the Delegates.
We will post the proposed rules from the Rules Committe and invite the
Delegates to help us improve them.
ladyway(Q) Will we hold the potential candidate to really answering questions with
real solutions verbage, or will we let them slide with general vague answers
like we get now?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Who is we?? You are we! It's up to you, Ms. We. It's up to you to hold
them responsible, and you'll have that opportunity.
northwest(Q) I'm regularly unhappy with the choice of 'viable' candidates presented
by the two major parties. Is Unity08 going to be choosing their candidates
from this same pool of insiders or is there any chance of getting people
with views that challenge the tired political dialogue we've been hearing
for years?
doug_bailey(A) The most interesting thing about Unity08 is that it empowers the people
to choose the candidate, rather than relying on the candidate's ambition
to pull him/her into the race. In other words, if you want to DRAFT someone
for President of the United States, NOW is your chance.
g21guy(Q) What's to keep the Unity ticket from going back to partisan manuevering
once we've sent them to the White House, if we do?
jerry_rafshoon(A) The voter giveth, and the voter can taketh back. We hope we'll have
the caliber of candidate that keeps their promise; and wouldn't that be
a novelty? Chances are that freeing candidates from the partisan bickering
of the past will enable them to cooperate with each other and with each
party to attack the very grave problems we face. It's interesting that
when Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932, his first New Deal cabinet
was 40% Republicans and due to the nature of the emergency he faced, was
most productive in facing the real crucial issues. Our country is facing
a similar crisis today. It demands bipartisan solutions.
dans63(Q) The online Convention is a great idea for most of us, but how do we
reach the vast number, especially seniors who vote, who do not use computers?
doug_bailey(A) One way is for every Delegate to sign up their parents, their relatives,
their neighbors (with their knowledge) as Delegates themselves and make
sure at the right time, that they vote. Its interesting, isnt it, that
most older people learned how to get online from their children, so why
shouldnt most older people learn how to vote online from their children/
Peppyflame(Q) Who is on the rules committee, and when was it started?
doug_bailey(A) You can find this information on our web site by typing the following
link: http://www.unity08.com/rulescommittee.
harryneff(Q) Why didn't you conduct this session after work hours or on the weekend
when more people are available?
doug_bailey(A) Good idea. We'll do it.
TUMAN(Q) What is the realistic expectation for the 08 election? Can a third
party elect a President or is just getting on the ballots and making some
noise more in line with expectations?
jerry_rafshoon(A) I'll say it a thousand times, (and have), we plan to elect this ticket.
38% will elect a president. In 1992, Ross Perot, in a time when nobody
thought he had a chance, got 19% of the vote. The time is even more critical
now than it was then, and the people are hungry for a new and innovative
way to govern. We plan to provide that alternative, and we can see that
with your help, if we get on 50 ballots, we can win this election. None
of the founders has any ambition just to influence the election for one
candidate for another. We are playing to win.
Doug(Q) Candidates have stopped answering questions in online polls that were
set up to enable voters to "really get to know them." Won't candidates
likewise shy away from answering the questions in your American Agenda?
doug_bailey(A) If they do, the Delegates will know it and respond accordingly. If you
duck the questions that Unity08 Delegates have voted to ask the candidates,
why shouldnt the Delegates duck the opportunity to support you for President.
TFJ2(Q) where does a candidate spend all that money w/out buying votes?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We can't speak for the candidates that have a lot of money. But our
experience tells us that there's too much money in politics and most of
it is wasted. In 2004, each side spent over $1 billion in the General
Election. The only winner in that war of TV commercials was the political
consultants. Most of the money was wasted (I defy you to tell me a memorable
TV spot), we will not be spending the kind of money they've spent in the
past. We will spend money efficiently and effectively. We know how to
do that. We've done it before. By the way, I assure you that if you contribute
your money, and you can do so now, we will respect your wishes, and not
waste it.
kris24morris(Q) What if the candidate we choose fairs well and wins one of the political
party's primaries?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We will not be choosing our candidate until the other parties have annointed
their candidate, which, as always, will happen early in the process. Therefore,
it is doubtful that that candidate will try for our nomination. However,
he or she is eligible to do so, but would have to choose a running mate
who is not a member of his or her party.
MFV(Q) You guys are political pros do you honestly think U08 can win or are
you merely trying to garner enough votes to force the winner to address
some of U08's ideas? I got in late on this formum, so if you have already
addressed this, just let me know and I'll read the transcript later if
you all post it tomorrow. Thank You.
doug_bailey(A) We wouldnt be doing this if we didnt believe that both it was possible
and important to change the political system by electing a Unity Team
to the White House. It would be helpful t have all candidates from all
parties answer the crucial issues questions that our Delegates pose, but
our goal is the election of a Unity Ticket to the White House.
Ronnie_Massey(Q) If we win in 08 will every effort be made to return to what made America
great.
jerry_rafshoon(A) You can count on it! And I like your use of 'we'.
american(Q) What must we do to guarantee our place on every state ballot?
doug_bailey(A) Every state has its own rules. And they are all different. In most states,
we will have to collect thousands of signatures but having done the research
it is clear that it is entirely doable in every state. In fact, in some
states it is remarkably doable. One reason is that third party candidates
over the last 20 years have fought enough battles in the courts to lower
the requirements in state after state.
omegabev(Q) On a practical level, how will a president and veep of two different
parties work together; e.g., if the Senate is tied on an issue, won't
the veep tend to favor his party and not that of the president?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Again, remember that by the nature of accepting our party's nomination,
and especially if they win the White House, each of these outstanding
political leaders will have freed themselves from the shackles of intense
partisanship. I recommend that you study the record of one of our founding
members, Gov. Angus King of Maine, who was elected as an Independent in
his state, then turned around and brought the leaders of both the Democratic
and Republican parties into his adminstration. He had a successful and
progressive administration, and then was reelected in a three way race
with 61% of the vote. Don't lose faith, it can be done.
harryneff(Q) Are there any plans to use the tradional media to get our message out
to more people?
jerry_rafshoon(A) If you contribute enough money, we will do so. Come on, get out your
credit card.
debbiem(Q) I hope we can have some more of these online chats so that everyone
can get thier questions answered.
doug_bailey(A) You're right. There are a lot of good questions, many of which we have
not had time to answer. We will do more of these chats.
debbiem(Q) will a transcript be made available of this Q&A session?
u08moderator(A) Absolutely, yes
u08moderator(P) We're going to extend this just a bit longer to try to get to more of
the questions posed.
Doug(Q) Once Unity08 nominates a candidate, will our dontations go into typical
campaign promotion to promote that candidate?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Probably so. We are contemplating that at the end of the nominating
process, after 5 to 10 million people have nominated our ticket, that
we will ask the Delegates "before you sign off, take out your credit card,
and contribute $100 to the campaign". If we do that, we could be handing
the candidate $200-$300 million for the campaign, which could be enough
to win. It would be up to our organization, along with the candidates,
to raise enough money for the General Election. But, I can assure you,
we will not need $1 billion, much of which is usually wasted.
Doug(Q) What's to prevent a nationwide organization, say a labor union or a
church, from taking over the Unity08 nomination process?
doug_bailey(A) It is possible of course that various groups may try to co-opt the process.
That is why we are starting early to recruit so many delegates that it
will be obvious that no single group can take it over. That is an important
reason for every delegate to recruit three more delegates every week.
thompsb100(Q) Why is Unity08 insistent on having candidates from both parties on the
ticket? This means liberals and conservatives embracing the same issues?
This is a radical idea like the idea of Reagan and Ford being co-Presidents
in 1980.
jerry_rafshoon(A) No it's not. Let's remember our first elections gave the vice presidency
to the candidacy to the second place vote-getter. I think our founding
fathers got a lot done.
pisomojado(Q) When will the convention take place in relation to the Dem & Rep
conventions?
jerry_rafshoon(A) It will be before the Democratic and Republican conventions, but after
who know who their nominees will be. You can bet it'll be after March
1, and before June 30, 2008. We're still working that out.
fpater(Q) What measures (if any) can be taken to prevent vote fraud during an
online primary? For instance: what will prevent me from voting for my
favorite candidate hundreds of times?
doug_bailey(A) We are not American Idol. We will operate on the One Delegate, One Vote
principal. We are working with a variety of technology experts to assure
security on that score. A number of people have pointed out that over
70 million Americans bank online and feel secure in doing so. Neither
online banking nor Unity08 will be 100% fullproof, but we are likely to
be far more reliable than the current electoral system which every two
years, embraces enormous electoral fraud and inefficiency.
Bellator_X(Q) Is there going to be a transcript of this chat posted at the website
for those who couldn't be here and for those who join Unity80 at a later
date?
doug_bailey(A) Yes.
Zendi(Q) It sounds like Unity08 is serious and has done its homework. I believe
you will be successful as this country is desperate for a change. However,
how can you be sure that this election will be any more honest than the
recent ones and do you intend to change the election process once Unity08
is in office?
jerry_rafshoon(A) We are a broad-based citizens' movement, and since we will not have
members of our party with the job of overseeing elections in various states,
we will put together our own monitors in each state, and this probably
includes YOU. Believe me, if we've come that far, we won't let anybody
steal that from us. And then, having been elected by a reform movement,
you can bet your life, we will see that it stays reformed, after we get
in. If not, you'll kick the people you elect out. We also have a novel
idea. We're going to expect our candidates to keep their promises.
Earn_Snyder(Q) Makes no sense combining a Dem and Rep together, don't we have enough
gridlock in Washington? I would think an Independent in either position
would be better. And in fact, only Independents should be allowed to run!
My opinion as either dems or reps are paid off already!@
jerry_rafshoon(A) We haven't said an Independent isn't allowed to run. Pay attention and
get involved.
kris24morris(Q) Unity '08 is doin great work! I'm a Republican political operative and
have always been dismayed with how the moderate majority within my Party
has remained so silent. Something has been needed to energize the center,
and this can do it! Thank you!!
doug_bailey(A) I wish more experienced political operatives in both parties would decide
that this is the opportunity for the American people to get our political
system back on track. Thank you for taking part.
american(Q) What is neccessary to qualify for federal matching funds?
jerry_rafshoon(A) Unfortunately, we cannot get federal matching funds because those funds
only go to parties that have a record from the previous election. It's
interesting that the leading candidates in both parties are forgoing federal
funds so that they can raise money from special interests so that they
can spend unlimited money in the campaign. This is outrageous and we do
not plan to emulate those bad habits.
doug_bailey(P) We didnt get to all of your questions. Actually, we didnt even come
close. So we're going to hold many more sessions just like this. Thanks
for your support and your interest. Now, dont forget to sign up Aunt Matilda
as a Delegate!
jerry_rafshoon(P) Thanks, everybody, for participating in this exercise in democracy.
Let's continue the dialogue, and let's contribute to electing our Unity
Ticket in 2008.
u08moderator(P) Thank you for joining us. Both Doug and Jerry are saying right now,
"It's clear that we need to do this a lot more often." We will do just
that, and use that as our means of fielding as many questions as possible.
Watch for this transcript to be placed on www.unity08.com soon. And please,
if you like what you're hearing, encourage others to join Unity08 as a
Delegate today.

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