[Addenddum March 13, 2012: I live in Birmingham, AL. This activity started in December 2011 as an effort to get on the November 2012 ballot as an independent candidate for the United States House of Representatives from the Alabama 6th Congressional District (Spencer Bachus' district). This entry was the first entry and outlined my platform for fighting corruption and failed government in Washington DC. My main plank was that of amending the First Amendment. I did not get the needed ballot access petitions by March 13, 2012, which ended my candidacy effort. I changed the blog title from "SHATTUCK for Congress" to "Amend by November." I believe Republicans, Democrats, minority political parties, and independents in the American hinterlands need to unite temporarily and take an adamant stand against corruption and failed government in Washington. As Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig argues, satisfactory progress on the country's urgent economic problems is dependent on fixing the corruption problem. See this review of Lessig's book Republic, Lost. If you agree with Professor Lessig and numerous other notable commentators about the primacy of the corruption problem and the need to strike at that root problem, it is imperative for citizens to unite temporarily on that issue and for a temporary period of time not to allow themselves to be divided by differences on other important issues and problems. The 2012 elections, and the period of time until November 6th, is an opportune time for unified action. This blog will be dedicated to advocating that, and strategy, tactics and a course of action for trying to achieve greatest effectiveness. See A2. Thesis, A3. Strategy, A4. Voters' victory 2012 and A5. From now until Election Day].
[Addendum May 21, 2012: Blog title changed from "Amend by November" to "Voters' Victory in 2012".]
[Addendum Sept. 7, 2012: Blog title changed to "Two Party Failure (@ retire Bachus".]
[Update 9/22/12. I am shifting to focusing on trying to get similarly minded organizations to join their voices in lending support to the Rootstrikers campaign to get voters to petition their Congressional candidates to pledge, if elected, not to be a lobbyist after leaving office, and to get voters to petition their candidates. See A6. Be a Roostriker.]
[Addendum November 9, 2013: Spencer Bachus has been reported as deciding not to run again. I have changed the name of the blog to "Be An Alabama Rootstriker". My main objective is to get people to read Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress And How To End It and to figure out action to take regarding the 2014 elections.]
[Addendum February 8, 2014:.]
[The remainder of this entry is what I had posted prior to March 13, 2012 related to my effort to get on the 2012 ballot. ]
My platform starts with the "big" question of "how good a job do you think Congress is doing in helping solve the country's problems?" If your answer is a "poor job", what is the explanation for this?
Many people talk about polarization, gridlock and obstructionism as a source of the poor performance and the reason for the lowest Congressional approval rating in a long time.
My response to this is that there are legitimate partisan differences that must be thrashed out, but there is something more. To wit, there is an "iron triangle" in Washington D.C. of lawmakers (both Republicans and Democratics), lobbyists, and special interest organizations, that profits enormously from tens of millions and hundreds of millions of dollars sloshing around in Washington in a cesspool of, call it what you want, "influence peddling," "government for sale," or just plain corruption.
This "iron triangle" finds the political divisions, polarization and gridlock, in which every issue can be turned into a life and death, us against them, battle, as very advantageous for preserving their positions and riches. Those distract the citizens from the rampant corruption going on in Washington and keep the voters from uniting to take action against the corrupt participants in the Washington cesspool.
The main contributing factor to the corruption is a broken campaign finance system that, as Stephen Colbert has made uproariously clear to the American people, is a joke.
There is a movement growing around the country that recognizes this, and that the broken campaign finance system will not be fixed by action at the top, but fixing must come from the grassroots pushing up. This includes advocating that the First Amendment of the Constitution be amended.
I am part of this movement and believe a first priority for Congress is a serious national debate about the broken campaign finance system and what should be done about it, including whether the First Amendment needs to be amended.
To get on the ballot I need 7000 ballot access petitions by March 13th.* If you live in the 6th Congressional district and would like to see me on the ballot in November,
My campaign documents setting out my platform are this Voters' Manifesto and My American Lawmaker's Creed, plus my statements of Why corruption is bad and Campaign finance corruption and this more extended discussion: The corrupt system and how to fix it. As stated in the National battle plan, I call for Congress, in January (next month), to propose a constitutional amendment that provides that the First Amendment right of free speech applies only to human beings, and simultaneously Congress propose one or more legislative bills for public debate as described in the National battle plan. Actions that I have taken to advance such national battle plan are described in Occupy the Courts, Nationwide letter writing; tracking, City Council resolutions, Florida primary, and WSJ comment.
You may follow my campaigning activities in a chronological way here.
I have been blogging and emailing about this subject for twenty years (since Ross Perot ran in 1992). You may learn of these activities in this blog RP Redux: Take Back Our Country and this blog http://tparty10dayemailcampaign.blogspot.com/. That has basically been a lot of flailing, and I have finally decided to do this.
*According to this I originally thought I must submit by January 13, 2012 signatures equal to at least 3% of the votes for the office of governor in the last general election in the 6th Congressional district. This information seems not up to date, and it currently appears to me that I must submit the signatures by March 13, 2012. See this. According to this the number of votes cast for Representative in the 6th district in 2010 was 209,364. I will endeavor to find out and post here the number of votes cast for governor in the 6th Congressional district.
The downloadable form of ballot access petition on the Alabama Secretary of State's website can be found here. At the moment it is the form for 2010. I have endeavored to create a form for 2012 for requesting that I be put on the ballot, which you can find by clicking here or on Label D1 to the right. Needed precinct information can be found by clicking here or on Label D3 to the right. For ways to help me out, click here or on Label D4 to the right.