GOOOH Mock Session in Houston, TX

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to Climb Mt. Everest

House Incumbents win reelection 85 to 98% from 1964 thru 2010.

What is it about sitting members of Congress that makes them so hard to beat? Are incumbents just better candidates (on average) or is the deck somehow stacked against challengers?

Let’s look at what has been identified by political scientists as the “incumbent advantage” in congressional elections. Incumbency itself, financial advantage, the “Perks” of Office, Visibility, Television, Campaign Organization, Time and Pork barrel spending.

There are advantages that come with being an incumbent (in addition to being, for example, the representative from the majority party in the district, or having greater access to campaign finances). Being an incumbent lends both greater name recognition and attracts votes that would not be gained by a challenger or running in an open seat race.
Many that study the science of politics are in agreement that since the mid-1960s, the advantage of incumbency has grown significantly. Estimates have indicated that it has increased to roughly 7 to 10 percentage points of the vote. This indicates that the advantage of incumbency has close to quadrupled while competition and seat changes have sharply decreased. Districts have been made safer for incumbents.

Campaign contributions are recognized as the most significant advantage enjoyed by sitting members of Congress. It is the large amounts of campaign contributions they are able to raise, especially in comparison to those who run against them, that gives them an indisputable predominance.
In the elections from 1992 to 2000, there were 1,643 contested House seats in which there was a challenged incumbent. In 905 of these (55 percent of the total), the incumbents spent 84% or more of the total spending. These elections resulted in 904 victories for the incumbents, and one loss. On average, a candidate challenging an incumbent House member was outspent by nearly $565,000 and Senate challengers were outspent by an average of $3.13 million.

Each member of Congress has an office budget allotment which provides enough money to hire a sizable staff both in Washington, D.C. and back home in their states or districts. These staffers assist members in their efforts to be effective, well-liked representatives. In addition to money for staff, members of Congress also have travel allowances for trips between Washington and their constituencies as well as for trips inside their states or districts. One of the most widely recognized "perks" of House members and Senators is the “franking privilege” allowing members of Congress to send informational letters or announcements to their constituents on a regular basis. The franking privilege, which gives lawmakers millions in tax dollars to create a favorable public image, is viewed by experts across the political spectrum as an unfair electioneering tool. In past election cycles, Congressional incumbents have spent as much on franking alone as challengers have spent on their entire campaigns.

Sitting members of Congress are almost universally recognized in their districts. Having waged at least one previous campaign, and a successful one at that, and then serving in Congress for two years (House members), makes a sitting member of Congress something of a household name among his or her constituents. Moreover, members of the U.S. House have easy and ready access to the news media and make regular appearances on television and radio programs and are frequently mentioned in newspaper articles and editorials.
In general, incumbents receive more media coverage than their opponents.
Respondents who recognize a candidate are more likely to vote for that candidate.  Campaign managers evidently believe that television is the single most important communication medium, and incumbents typically are able to spend much more on television than challengers.

Every member of Congress has run at least one successful election campaign for the seat he or she holds. This means, among other things, that a sitting House member or has invaluable experience with creating and managing a campaign organization. It also means that incumbents generally have an effective volunteer organization, that have received rewards for their previous endeavors, in place and ready go when it is time to campaign.

Sitting members of Congress are on the job full-time--that is what they are paid to do. In fact, many of the things a candidate would do to win an election, such as meeting and talking with voters, attending special events, appearing on television or radio talk shows, etc., are part of the job description of a member of Congress. In contrast, a challenger to an incumbent must generally figure out how to pay for everything while running for office. Many candidates are forced to go into debt, especially in the early stages of a campaign before he or she has raised much money.

Pork barrel spending is a term in American politics used to refer to Congressmen or who use their position on Committees in the House to appropriate federal money to their own district and therefore bring increased business and investment to their home area. This process is referred to as "bringing home the pork." This can be used to build up a stronger base of support, thereby solidifying their hold on the sensibilities of their constituents, and thereby using their job, to secure their job.

Taking into account all the above advantages that a setting member of the house has makes it difficult for a challenger to win. But, the most difficult challenge of all is the American voter and the way many vote.

First and foremost is the voter turnout. There has never been a voter turnout greater than 63.1% after1960. John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy defeated then Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. Presidential election.
The percentage of voter turnout typically runs 15% to 20% more during a presidential election year. In 2008 a presidential year the turnout was 56.8%

A number of states say they are trying to make voting a little easier by allowing voters to choose all the candidates from a single party with a single vote. The process is known as straight-party or straight-ticket voting. Voters do have the choice of voting for each individual candidate. This gives party candidates a distinct advantage over non party candidates.  

Challenging is what comes to mind when you group all the above. Not unsurmountable, as one person attempting to climb Mt Everest. Only people joining together with one purpose in mind will ever reach the pinnacle of success.

The thousands of patriots that marched on Washington D.C., this past November, to demonstrate their displeasure with Washington established that we as groups are learning to work together. What we hope is the leaders of the many diverse groups that attended realized they were not alone and made many friends. Communication between friends will keep us dedicated and strong. We all need encouragement, a big hug or a pat on the back when we do something good.

To overcome the obstacles in our path we will need all our strength and all of our friends.
We need to increase our numbers not by thousands but by ten’s of thousands, not to march on Washington but to march to the polling booth all across America.
We did well at the polls in 2010 as we were able to replace a few carrier politicians not only at the National level but also at the local and state level. 

It does no good to replace one career politician with another that is like replacing a bad apple with one that has a worm in side of it. There is a way to find a person with integrity, a person you will want to represent your district in Congress. But first you must decide, climb the mountain alone or with the help of many others.

The base camp is established and waiting for you to join. Over 85,000 people have committed and believe in the Go – GOOOH process. We need you to join with us to increase membership to such a vigors mass of patriots that when we push out from the base camp in 2012 nothing will be able to impede our path to victory.

Joining is easy and cost nothing. Go to

Don Alexander

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Date: November 18, 2010

To: Concerned American Patriots

From: Ed Stanley – GOOOH – Georgia’s 7th District

Re: Every Other Thursday Memo Issue #8 – The results are in

We have all committed much time and effort in getting us to and through the mid-term elections in 2010. The EOTM took a breather 11/04/10 and now the results are here for your reference. The numbers are one thing. Results are quite another. Time to get caught up….

RE-ELECTION RATE 2010 – As we have been predicting, the United States voters (42% turn out, by the way) RE-elected 88% of the incumbents. According to a comprehensive tally by Fox News, there were 435 seats up for election, 338 incumbents were RE-elected, and 49 seats had no incumbent (due to death, retirement, or resignation). There are 97 “new,” non-incumbent people in The House. However, considering that there were no incumbents in 49 seats, the RE-election rate was 87.6% (435 seats less the 49 non-incumbent seats = 386 incumbents. 338 seats won by incumbents is 87.6% of the 386 incumbent seats). Before we are accused of spinning the results into a bigger number than is reality, let us understand that unless they were an incumbent, they couldn’t get RE-elected, of course. So the true RE-election rate is only for incumbents (338 of the 386 incumbents were RE-elected); an 87.6% RE-election rate. The gross figures are 338 of the 435 seats were won by incumbents (78% of the entire House). While these are historic numbers – and they are – please note that about 4 out of 5 of the yahoos that occupied the House BEFORE the election got voted back in. The “results” are not as impressive as one would think listening to the media. The approval rating for Congress was an “F” (about 12%) going into the election. Yet The House pulled out a passing grade of a “C+” (78% of The House was allowed to stay) once the election was tallied. If 4 out of 5 career politicians continue to occupy The House, how much REAL reform can be expected? –YOU do the math.

WHAT ELSE? – The turn over of power (the largest shift from one party to another since 1938 when the Republicans picked up 80 seats on the heels of the New Deal) went well beyond the U.S. Congress. Even though the likes of Rangel (with 80%), Pelosi (80%), Frank (54%) and Hoyer (64%) kept their seats, some less publicized results are worth mentioning. At the state level, there are 7 more Republican governors than there were and Republicans took over the majority in 20 state legislative chambers across America. That is big. For example, for the first time since 1870, the North Carolina state legislature is in the hands of the Republicans. It has been 90 years since the Republicans have had this much power at the state level. These numbers show a more profound change of the political winds than the mid-terms of 1994 when Republican gains were mostly limited to the national stage. But the Republicans did not win and the Democrats did not lose because the Republicans showed up and the Democrats didn’t. No no no. Take for example in the 2006 (the last mid-term) the voters were 36% R / 38% D. In 2010 it was 36% R / 36% D; not enough to cause the dramatic shift we just saw to the Republicans. The real movement makers were the Independent voters favoring Republicans by a margin of 55-40%. Compare this to President Obama’s win in 2008 that show the independents favoring him by 8 points (52 to 44%). Now that is a swing of 23 points – a dramatic shift.

SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? – With these shifts in majority what can we expect? Does this “fresh start” for the Republicans translate into real reform in our government? There are no guarantees one way or the other for sure. But imagine – of the 97 “new” members of the House of Representatives being sworn into office in January, how many are party loyal? How many took special interest money? How many are career politicians? The answer to all of these questions is “most if not all of them.” Check them out yourself using the website and let me know if there are any that can honestly say “Not me!” to ALL of those questions. A retraction will be issued promptly.

Our country has “bet it all” once again on the broken party system. As Boortz wrote right after the election, “What if it is governance as usual with a Republican house?.. Where do we turn then?” Good question Neal. Good question. We believe that people didn’t necessarily vote for Republicans but voted against Democrats. We certainly wish the newbies in The House well. But just in case they assimilate too well to the D.C. environs, let’s get busy NOW and give America real reform with 435 GOOOH candidates in 2012. Come get involved NOW, for soon, I fear, it will be too late.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


November 2nd came and went and the steady flow of grief counselors into the Capitol Hill offices of FORMER representatives is a wonder to behold. What we have not yet beheld is how the NEW folks will perform in the toxic environment of Washington. We shall soon know if they are strong and principled enough to resist the onslaught of K Street influence peddlers arriving bearing “gifts” of cash, assorted goodies and pledges of well-laundered campaign contributions in 2012, not to mention “…to infinity and beyond” (assuming, of course, they vote “right”).

As you contemplate THAT problem, there’s another – one I broached in a comment I recently posted here on the GOOOH blog -- that begs to be addressed. And that is “What is to be done about the HILL RATS?”

Hill Rats (HR for brevity) are the allegedly “professional” staffers who inhabit Capitol Hill. That appellation is one they often use humorously among themselves. It flows from their penchant to scurry like rats to a new member – frequently ANY MEMBER -- after their current boss gets a pink slip from the folks back home. Because they have an overwhelming need to remain close to Henry Kissinger’s “ultimate aphrodisiac” of political power, the politics of the prospective new boss often don’t matter.

A disturbing number of HRs are “progressives” whose years on the Hill have convinced them that government can solve any and all problems. Fortunately for the rest of us, many of them wind up in the offices of equally “progressive” members. Some do not -- and therein lies the danger.

What the HR brings to the table -- the “official,” decades-old rulebook of how to play the Capitol Hill “game” of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” – is his or her appeal to the newbie. If hired -- and after the HR shows his new boss where the john is --far too many of these new bosses rely too heavily on the HR for how to “go along to get along” in the thoroughly corrupt system that has caused the mess in which we now find ourselves.

With an apology to the memory of the late Billy Mays, “Wait, there’s more”!

Let’s say the newbie needs an “expert” on tax policy. Well, son-of-a-gun, the HR just happens to have an equally big government progressive college chum who works at the IRS! Need an “expert” on education policy. Darned if that other HR he hired doesn’t have an old teacher friend who “works”– and I use that term very loosely -- over at the Department of Education! You now know why the more things change, the more they stay the same – especially in Malfunction Junction. In addition to Term Limits, it appears we will also need TENURE LIMITS on the Hill Rats with stiff penalties for breaking the rules!

I recently heard Newt Gingrich confirm what I’ve suspected for a couple of decades. He said that— horrors -- the Obamacare Bill was almost certainly written at 3 am by bleary-eyed 25 year-old HRs groggy on beer and pizza. I’m not sure why that was so shocking as it is how nearly ALL so-called legislation has been cobbled together up there for far too long. It’s why Otto von Bismarck cautioned that there are two things one should never watch being made: SAUSAGE AND LAWS.

It is also why the late Georgia Representative Larry McDonald repeatedly lamented that around 85% of the bills to make it to a vote failed his first and most important test: “IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL?” (#2 was “Do we need it” and #3 was “Can we afford it?”)

One of the things we all need to do BEFORE we get behind new candidates to replace the 8 term retreads who have grown wealthy selling us out at nearly every turn is to insist that they draw their key staffers from folks in the district who may still have a grip on reality out here in flyover country -- then hold their feet to the fire on that pledge -- or replace them next time!

GOOOH offers an exciting alternative to the current system by opening it up to honest-to-goodness NEW candidates for those offices. GOOOH has been holding and will continue to hold candidate selection sessions around the country where regular citizens come together and choose one of their number to enter what has customarily been a controlled and closed party candidate selection process.

Where the current party system too often selects candidates based on who they know or how many favors they have done for other members, GOOOH candidates will be chosen on the basis of their answers to a rather detailed survey on the Constitution, our founding principles and how well they are able to articulates those beliefs. All of it is an effort to determine how tightly the prospective candidate will hold to those core beliefs in the face of the “go along to get along” modus operandi now the norm in Washington.

If you want to join with your neighbors in continuing the effort to restore common sense and sanity to government, please visit the GOOOH website at

Dick Bachert

Sunday, November 7, 2010


You and I are members of a very select group and we joined to make a difference.
There are literally hundreds of groups across America wanting to make a statement. Some of the groups are small with just a few members and some with a few hundred members and all, like us, are dissatisfied with the current politicians and the wretchedly bad job they are doing.
Almost all groups are trying to figure out who is the best of the bad and when chosen they will encourage members of their group to vote for that career politician because there is no better choice.
The two parties have a lock on the candidate selection process and they always select the person that supports the issues that most concern them. Issues that when they become law will benefit their pocket book or the pocket books of their supporters of their past and future election. This is distinctly the problem that you and I can overcome.
In 1780 Samuel Adams wrote “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
I can say with out doubt, the most egotistical and aspiring men in this United States are the politicians that hold office, and we the citizens and members of the many groups are the experienced patriots and that is why we banded together. We have the power collectively to prevent the ruin of America.
We all disapprove of the job Congress is doing, yet 87% of incumbents are re-elected.
This did not change on November 3, 2010 because our groups have not joined in focus on the precise problem, the selection of our Congressional representatives.
Why do they get reelected over and over again? Incumbents take advantage of the perquisites of office to enhance their electoral position over their challengers. Thus, the franking (free mailing) privilege incumbents get helps them maintain increased name recognition. Travel to the district helps incumbents as well. In addition, by performing casework for their constituents (such as by finding lost Social Security checks), incumbents can develop good will, which then translates into votes. Finally, incumbents can skillfully take positions that are in agreement with constituency opinion. They also advertise based on these positions and build a legislative record that the opinion leaders in the district can support. In short, incumbents are doing just enough to help them get reelected. Getting reelected is their number one priority from the day they take the oath of office. Representing the constituents of their district takes a back seat to getting reelected.
Do campaign contributions to congressmen buy votes? Of course they do. If they didn't, there wouldn't be any campaign contributions in the first place especially from the heavy interests in business, defense industry and others who regularly buy Congressional votes. Not all politicians in office are on the take, but too frequently the news exposes a glaring example. I would be hard pressed to name just one that is not on the take.
The most recent features suspected bribery taker Congressman William Jefferson (D., LA.) trying to explain the $90,000 found in his freezer. This may be shameful, but certainly not surprising. Throughout history, there have been an old-boys' network operating among Washington lobbyists and legislators. Members of the House of Representatives must run for re-election every two years; Senators every six years.
Today a Presidential candidate must raise millions for a campaign, and it takes at least $250,000 to several million to finance a Congressional campaign. Does anyone really believe that all campaign gift money comes from selfless patriots whose only altruistic motive is to bring competent, honest government to Washington?
Today’s politician could not fix the problems we have even if they wanted to. They are trapped by what we call "political Catch-22s": Once elected they must serve their party or they will be gerrymandered out of office (ask Lieberman). Politicians must serve the special interest groups that finance their campaign or they will not have enough money to seek re-election. Being politically correct at all times, ensuring they do not offend any person and thus lose their votes and dollars, is necessary for their absolute existence. Politicians can only create "pork”, they can never remove wasteful spending. They are so determined to get re-elected that they spend ridiculous amounts of time fund-raising instead of representing their constituents.
You and I want a candidate that will have no ties to special interest money and is not beholden to any political party telling them how to vote and is not worried about being reelected because the most they will ever serve is two terms. Is there a solution to all of this? A solution to special interest money used to buy votes, a solution for a candidate saying one thing to get elected and then doing just the opposite. Yes there is and the solution is to change the way candidates are chosen.
I have researched over fifty groups all with special agendas, Tea Party,
Operation PitchFork, 9-12 Project, Break the Bonds of Tyranny just to name a few and none of them have a definite solution with one exception and that unique exception is an
organization named Go - GOOOH is an acronym for Get Out Of Our House. GOOOH is not a party, nor is it a platform. It is a process for electing citizen representatives to serve the people in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Why the House (something we all learned in school and most have forgotten)?
The President can suggest laws, but only Congress can make them. A member of either the House or Senate may introduce a bill but it must be approved by both. If similar but different bills are passed by the House and Senate, a conference committee attempts to reconcile the differences and then both will vote on the same bill. Before it can be a law it must also be approved by the President or, if he does not sign, the House and Senate can vote on it again and if they both pass it by a 2/3 majority it becomes law. If the law is challenged, the courts can rule that it is unconstitutional.
GOOOH has the solution: get rid of the politicians and elect true citizens. Go will
(a) Sever the ties with special interest groups
(b) Replace career politicians with true representatives
(c) Hold our elected officials accountable
(d) Allow you and your peers to actively participate in the selection of your representative.
(e) Allow you and your peers to determine, among yourselves, who can best represent your District
GOOOH does not define (or have) a platform. It allows selected candidates to represent their district's interests unencumbered by partisan politics. Candidates will define their own platform by filling out the Candidate Questionnaire.
Candidates are required to sign a legal contract agreeing to run for no more than two, 2-year terms. They will therefore spend their time representing their district and developing legislation - not fund-raising (or pandering) for the next election.
As a member of your select group you should also consider becoming a member of GOOOH. It will cost you nothing to join and your benefit will be in helping pick the next candidate to run for Congress in 2012. If we all band together for this worthy goal we will create the starting point of true representation for the people.
Visit and learn more.
P.S. Having read this, please reply with your thoughts on the subject.
Don Alexander
Houston, TX
The whole or any part of the above may be used by a member of GOOOH as needed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Evil of Two Lessers

We’ve all heard them, haven’t we? Those cute phrases informed voters apply to the candidates at election time: “Why should I vote for the lesser of two evils? I still get evil.” Or “Once again it’s Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber.”

What most folks don’t understand is that these candidates don’t magically appear from the ether: The process in their selection starts IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS and PRECINCTS. The traditional and, many believe, often rigged method for selecting all those folks with the silly hats and goofy signs we see at the Demopublican National Conventions on TV every four years begins in OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.

Nearly all these “delegates” have come up from their precinct, county and state conclaves where they are elected to go to the national convention. There they vote on platform planks, rules, and, of course, for their presidential and vice presidential candidates. If you get the feeling that most of those matters have been decided long before you got there, give yourself a big “Attaboy.” Sadly, unless one is a political junky, that requires more effort than most of us are willing to expend.

And if you’ve ever been to a precinct, county or state session, you know that they are often swarmed by party functionaries and regulars. These are folks who arrange to put and keep themselves in control of the proceedings lest things get “out of hand.” Nothing rankles them more that to have meeting “hijacked” by “outsiders” who don’t quite grasp the importance of maintaining the party line status quo. That can be more than a bit intimidating for the few “non-graspers” watching the majority of “regulars” dominate the proceedings.

While traditional candidates for Congress who make an impression at the county or state conventions can emerge with a “bump,” the process for actually selecting them is a less controlled one. It involves direct participation of the general electorate, first in a primary then in the general election.

The good news is that the top spots on the tickets were never intended to be as powerful as they are today.

The bad news is that they are because we’ve not paid sufficient attention.

For years, I’ve been amazed at our quadrennial fascination with the beauty contest known as the “PRESIDENTIAL RACE.” Our inattention and/or apparent desire for a king or a strong man dictator has allowed it. Couple that with the growing numbers of un or ill-informed citizens and we have a recipe for the disaster confronting us today. We have allowed our system to morph into the present quasi-monarchy from its original foundations as a representative REPUBLIC.

The most important thing to remember is that the Founders constructed the system to put – AND KEEP -- the KEYS TO THE FEDERAL CASH REGISTER IN CONGRESS. Attila the Hun could occupy the White House and without the dough to hire the bureaucrats, buy the desks and computers, etc., etc. ad nauseum, Mr. Hun would be hamstrung. It is PRECISELY why the Legislature was established in Section 1 of our Constitution, with the Executive and Judiciary at 2 and 3.

As mentioned at the top, THAT process starts in YOUR STATE and CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT by finding and supporting decent candidates -- at ALL levels -- who will go to YOUR state capitol and Malfunction Junction and do the necessary periodic house cleaning. Marching on Washington may be exciting but until MILLIONS of pitchfork wielding citizens crowd the Mall, those events only amuse the political aristocracy. The only folks who benefit from the finite patriot resources devoted to them are the airlines, hotels and restaurants in D.C. Marches, withholding contributions to the national parties, writing them poison pen letters may be personally satisfying but are not as effective as THROWING OUT THE CURRENT MISCREANTS. THAT is how to get their attention. Effectiveness also requires watching the NEW GUYS like a hawk to make certain THEY don’t go bad from imbibing too much of that power Kool-Aid so popular in Disneyland on The Potomac.

And there is more good news concerning this approach: The controlled so-called national mainstream media are so busy distracting us with that presidential beauty contest, they have less time to devote to these widely separated congressional races. That makes it easier to get some good folks elected.

And speaking of “good folks,” GOOOH – a REAL grassroots and nonpartisan organization -- has made it easier still. If you’re looking for an alternative to the controlled establishment party system and you haven’t yet checked out GOOOH’s website and signed on to participate in one of the candidate selection sessions, you really owe it to yourself to do so. The website is here: There you will learn that there IS “Hope” for making the “Change” needed to move us back to the Constitutional moorings from which we have been cast adrift. There’s no requirement to do so, but you could even find YOUR name on a ballot at some point.

Joseph D’Maistre once correctly observed that “People get the government they deserve.”

I believe we deserve better.

If you share that belief, GOOOH is a good place to start.