FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2007 … CONTACT: Shane Kinkennon, 202-536-2792, firstname.lastname@example.org
Unity08 Releases Draft Rules, Offers the First Detailed Glimpse into Plans for Nominating a Bipartisan Ticket for the White House in ‘08
Washington, D.C. – March 29, 2007 - Unity08 detailed rules today on how it will nominate a bipartisan Unity Ticket for the White House in 2008. The draft rules, which are now available for review and input at http://www.unity08.com/draft_rules, offer the public the first detailed glimpse into Unity08’s plans for the first-ever online national presidential nominating convention – its roadmap for making elected leaders more responsive to the vast majority of American voters comprise the political middle.
“Unity08 is proud to be getting down to brass tacks, crafting the process by which the people will be empowered to take their country back,” said Doug Bailey, who is president and CEO of Unity08. (Bailey founded the political newsletter The Hotline, and helped elect over 50 statewide Republican candidates in the 70’s and 80’s.) . “We think the new political paradigm of Unity08 is the precise answer to today’s broken political system, and we urge Americans to come to Unity08.com and become delegates today.”
Among the key subjects addressed in the draft rules of Unity08:
· The People drafting their own candidates. The Unity08 delegates will be able to encourage a prospective candidate to run – before that prospect decides to run or expresses any sort of interest in being president – by signing up delegates on that prospective candidate’s behalf and recruiting him or her into the process.
· Requiring a bipartisan Unity Ticket. Each candidate for president must have named a candidate for vice president before the balloting starts. In other words, the convention delegate will be voting for a ticket, just as November voters do, not a single candidate who will choose a running mate later. And the ticket must represent a bipartisan team -- either one Democrat and one Republican (in whatever order) or an Independent running with a Unity Team representing members of both major parties.
· Assurance of candidates who are serious about public service: Any prospective candidate will be required to demonstrate a threshold of support among Unity08 delegates and hard copy petitions with signatures from five separate states. The experience of the California recall election attracting candidates valuing publicity over service informed the Rules Committee in their process.
· Narrowing the field. The draft rules envision rounds of delegate voting in May 2008 to limit the field of candidates to no more than five before the convention balloting begins in June 2008. Before June balloting begins, remaining candidates would have to declare their willingness to accept the nomination and name their vice-presidential running mate. Once June balloting starts, each ballot will eliminate one of the remaining contending tickets until one of them achieves at least 50% of the delegates voting.
“This represents a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people but it is only step one,” said Unity08 Rules Committee Co-Chairs Tom Collier (General Partner of Steptoe & Johnson) and Carolyn Tieger (public affairs and campaign strategist). The most important step is to get Unity08 delegate reaction and input. This is their movement, their initiative, their effort to bring more purpose to our politics. The draft rules will be up on the Unity08.com website for delegate input for the next six weeks and the Rules Committee will consider every recommendation they make for improvement and adjustment.”
“It’s an added reason or Americans to go to www.Unity08.com right now and sign up as a delegate so they can help shape the rules that will govern how the next president will be chosen” added Jerry Rafshoon, member of the Unity08 founders council and communications director in the Carter White House. “Our great hope is that Americans will join us as delegates, give input on this process, and help us nominate and elect a president and VP who will restore the voice of the neglected political middle.”
Two Rules committee Members added their own comments:
David King, an elections and political parties scholar at Harvard University, said that “the Unity08 process is unique in that it allows any registered voter in the country to sign up as a delegate, even while keeping their current party registration. You don’t have to leave your party, you don’t even have to leave your own home, to take part.”
Michael Turk, who was the “e-campaign” director for both Bush-Cheney in 2004 and the Republican National Committee immediately thereafter, added that “Unity08 is a peaceful revolution to get our politics back on track. These rules mark an amazing effort to bring people back to electoral politics and to bring the nominating process into our living rooms.”
The full Rules Committee membership can be found at http://www.unity08.com/rulescommittee.
The draft rules will be posted on the Unity08 website for 45 days, at which time the Rules Committee will reconsider them along with input from the delegates gathered at http://www.unity08.com/draft_rules. The goal is for final rules to be published by June 2007, fully one year before the Unity08 online convention in June 2008.