Stacey Maxwell

Broker, Classic Realty Group LLC

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Changing the voice, tone, ballot access and campaign financing game utilizing online forums and crowd source funding.

Utilizing an online platform, candidates wishing to run for public office could spread their ideas and solutions for addressing pressing issues. Candidates would NOT be able to self identify with a party or ideology. They must present cogent ideas with supporting documentation. Voters would have the opportunity to ask questions. No use of sound bites is permitted. For any issue or problem presented there must be a possible solution presented. Trash talking equals expulsion from site.

A candidate wishing to explore being placed on the ballot would be able to have voters eligible to vote in the race read their positions and electronically sign their petitions. This overcomes the need for a large organization and allows a candidate to go viral for support. Utah and Nebraska are already utilizing this option. In some cases, the number of signatures needed for ballot placement of an independent candidate exceeds the number needed by a regular party candidate by 95%! Electronic signatures are easily verified,

Dark money from the Oligarchs has subverted our political process. The Citizens United decision of the activist Supreme Court took away the voice of the governed awarding it to those with most money and giving individual rights to a corporation allowing individuals to control the message of the PAC with impunity.

There's not much chance that campaign finance reform that creates a level playing field , eliminates trash talking, and encourages dialog and solutions will occur. So, we change the game. Utilizing an online Roman Forum format and crowd source funding. Meet, hear, contribute to your candidates. The FEC has approved bundling in this manner. A supporter who wishes, may endorse the candidate they believe in on the website. Unlike the use of the internet for typical solicitation of contributions, this places the voter in control and gives them options.

We change the game to one of information and empowerment, they can't play that game

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    Mar 30 2014: Stacey, The real issue is that we have devised and accepted a elite class ... Politicians, contributors, lobbists, and a society that has become apathic.

    The good news is that a TED speaker told us that regardless of party affilation we are all mostly centeralists in thought and practice. The second piece of good news is that a report last week (in the Huffington Post) said that there is a giant surge in people now being identified as Independents ... and a strong lean to Liberiterian.

    The bad news is that no one likes to be told what to do, what to think ... even though they are all of the time .... they like to think it was their idea. Thus the problem ... we have a large group of sheeple.

    The major political issue is entitlements, bailouts, and political paybacks to big money ... not the health of the Republic ... strong economy .... employment ... diplomatic relations .... national debit ... all all of the other factors we lack education of in our public school systems ... because a informed society is a danger to the elite in power.

    What you speak of is old fashioned Grass Roots politics. What you need is numbers and a process of education to the real and pressing issues. This takes time more than money. It takes personal involvement. It is building one block at a time. Exposing the current practice and generating confidence in the Constitution and the process which made us the great Republic that we were just a few years ago.

    We are in deep doo doo ..... history has provided us examples such as Argintina in 1916 ... a leading world nation that went straight to socialism, Keynesian economiocs, and implementation of lots of social programs .... in one year they went from world leader to bankrupt and total recession and depression.

    A trip of a thousand miles begins with the first step ... for your plan that is involvement .... for each of us.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Mar 30 2014: Very well said. I do disagree with your assessment that too many have accepted the new ruling class. If real acceptance, there wouldn't be so much discontent across the board. A broad feeling of helplessness? Absolutely. Easy to counteract by not trying to beat them at their game. Create a new game they can't play.

      Sheeple, one of my favorite terms. I came to understand the reality that there are leaders and there are followers. Both are necessary for society to function. There is also a strong human need for community. Leaders seek like community, but don't have the need to self-identify. Followers need to self identify. We are making huge strides in that more and more people are starting to identify with independent. Interestingly is the trend for Libertarians to identify with being conservative, when in fact libertarian principles are extremely liberal. Here again we see the hijacking of language to harness a discontent group of liberals under the conservative banner. Independent thought needs to be the new trend. Which is why we need a forum for free thought to be expressed from any and all sides. The best answers and outcomes will always come with input from all sides.

      Yes this is about grassroots but with a 21st Century cyber-lawn. Time is now milliseconds. If people can't see the realities of the manipulation by now, it's because they don't choose to. The need to self -identify exceeds the need to understand. Therefore at this point, to continue to try to educate is ludicrous. It needs to become exciting to see what independents have to say. To realize that to be independent means to be able to identify with a much larger group of people. To hear ideas again and not pre-selected, market tested sound bite lines. We don't play their game any more.

      The power elite have controlled the issues discussed. Polling shows the issues being discussed are not the ones of greatest concern. This model can change that.
  • Mar 29 2014: The problem would be:
    1) How do you get buy-in from the existing powers, that gain much power from the existing party structure?

    2) People generally do not read the concise ballot summaries that are sent out. How are you going to get them to spend their Internets time doing things other than sharing lol cats?

    3) How does this prevent big money from flooding all forms of media with advertisement? Constitutional amendment limiting freedom of speech?

    4) How do you stop the troll swarm, paid and otherwise, from swarming the conversations? There is now a company advertising a "fix your online reputation" service that acts as a media department that swarms the web with positive comments and reviews of your company. Politicians surely do the same.
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      Mar 30 2014: In order to effect change it is important to acknowledge that at this juncture, the "power that be" are controlling the legislative process. So to even begin to think that law will be passed to level the playing field is a waste of time effort and energy. At this time the goal of the players is to impede the voting franchise and to create an environment conducive to a third world puppet government. The TERM LIMITS movement is being promoted and in many cases funded by them. It's one more diversionary tactic to give a citizenry locked into a victim mentality something to sink their teeth into that will never go anywhere, but gives them an illusion to pursue. Interestingly enough, what really would happen with term limits is to discourage individuals who desire to be in public service and engage in statesmanship from doing so. Further the Term Limits schema actually diminishes a citizens right to vote for the candidate of their choosing. In a free society you don't limit choices.

      Our Constitution contains term limits, they are called elections. If your official isn't doing their job representing you as you hired them to do, you can fire them. That's where we need to create more choice.
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      Mar 30 2014: Great questions!

      1) The point is we don't want or need buy in from the powers that be. It is impossible to win at their game. The goal is to create a game that they cannot play. In order for them to maintain power they must keep people from being engaged in the process and to continue to feel that there is nothing they can do about the problem. The party structure, through its intense influence on voting laws, has created an environment that makes it difficult for true independents or independent thinkers within a party from having ballot access. There are two primary impediments. First ballot access. More often than not more signature are required for the independent candidate than for the regular party candidate. In addition, the "new" or independent voice within the party is only tolerated, until, such as we have seen within the Republican Party, a supposed grassroots movements emerges. When the Koch Bros. et al who are fueling the Tea Party saw the dismay and disgust with the politics as usual they then focused their money on fueling the fire to change the dialog to their agenda. As you can see, buy in wasn't necessary.

      2) People don't read the concise ballot summaries because there really is no information. It's just more political mumbo jumbo filled with buzz words and and feel good personal info designed for an emotional response.

      I believe that the best way to transition from lol chats to interest in substance is through the use of video combined with the social media. Videos go viral quickly and steer to the site. The candidates should present themselves, their ideas, solutions, via video piece. A true meet the candidate. Combo feel good with substance. If a potential candidate isn't able to connect via video, the chance of them being a viable candidate is slim. Design and layout of website is also crucial. Must be VERY user friendly with great eye appeal.

      3) They will do what they will do.

      4) dialog reviewed before post
  • Apr 2 2014: Politicians have short memories and the electorate even shorter. I love the chaos in politics. I love that it's still a man's sport although if you had your way we would all be wearing capri pants and sipping mint julips. No disrespect but I don't feel victimized or slighted by the Supreme Court. But maybe that's because I'm not female. Making me sound imature because I've pointed my finger at you and wagged it, I can only say Shame On You. A common phrase we use in our home when the dysfunctional start dis functioning. Internet voting is making it's way through Canada and seems to be on it's way to having a platform. You take the fun out of politics. I love the negative ads. I like that they don't preach to me what I should be thinking like candidates with positions do. I don't cloak myself in old glory to defend my position. If the internet is available at the library why not just cast your ballot there. You of all people know that's where the election shop is set up. I vote down with boring politics and vote for special interest.
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    Apr 2 2014: Actually Dino, anybody who is aware, no matter which side they fall on, and even more so if they are independent, understand the Dark Money which is on both sides. I'm really not sure what slander campaign you are talking about since the places I get my news and events information don't engage in that behavior.

    Clearly for you getting up to vote is a big deal, but for those of us who have voted every election for, in my case the last 42 years, it is what a citizen does. Making the process easier for all to participate is what makes for a representative government. Yes, as in the occasion of the 2000 election, an election can be compromised, especially when an activist Supreme Court is in play. But, having worked as an election judge, I can tell you it is very difficult these days. Not impossible, but difficult. I suppose we could just say, the hell with it and keep on whining as we are victimized and are so busy pointing fingers, labeling, and playing the blame game. Or, we can put on our big boy and girl pants, stop acting like a bunch of dysfunctional family members and take action.

    What I do know is that not all will buy in, just as not all were for creating the USA during Revolutionary times. I'm truly not concerned about the naysayers, they are not forces fore change but forces of the status quo. I do believe that there are many American's who are tired of being polarized by BS and desire a return to civil politics and demanding that those elected represent their personal interests.

    The internet is available across the country if you chose to seek it out at a library, cafe or other arena. As I wrote the model is NOT for internet voting but for making it easier for independent candidates to be able to gather signatures to get on ballots, state positions, and give individuals the ability to donate to those who they believe will better serve them. I think you might want to read the oiece one more time. Thanks
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    Apr 2 2014: I truly believe that once the ball gets rolling the fever will fuel itself. What I would like to see is a nationwide effort simultaneously across the nation on local elections. I would love to see this for the coming election cycle, but the ability to create the platform, find local coordinators, and get the process going will probably not be feasible until 2016 cycle which starts next year.

    As for kind of patience. Active Patience. When people are working together on an issue the energy becomes symbiotic. It's definitely not tedious patience. And, unlike protesting, other forms of passive resistance, this can and will give immediate action. Once the local is set in gear, elevating to the next levels will be a natural progression.

    In addition, when creating as opposed to resisting, the focus of the operation is no longer on that which is being resisted. Creation is exciting. Will every election be won? Of course not. They can't even win all the elections.

    As for power players, I say look to the past. The good old USA circa 1880-1929. You see the same struggles with the power players we do today, except there were NO rules in place to limit the behavior. Yet Teddy Roosevelt et al fought against the flow and changed the course dramatically. The banking system even changed during those days in response to the series of recessions and depressions that are endemic with an upside down economy. During the period post WWII when laws regulating banks were in effect, tax rates reflected payment for the growth, needs and even wars, education for all became affordable and accessible as did housing, and the middle class grew and we were the strongest nation economically in the world. Beginning in the late 70's a huge surge began to turn the tide back, and here we are today.

    The question here is how much pain are the people willing to endure before they get mad enough to respond with action. The longer we wait the nastier the battle. Focus on US not Them!
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    Apr 2 2014: Agreed. People are complacent because there is nothing to get them excited anymore. That was the plan all along. Separate the people from their government. Finance reform is key, but that isn't going to happen until such time as the tide has begun to swing back to the people.

    Term limits are a wolf in sheep's clothing and are being promoted by those who stand to gain the most, and that is not the people! Term limits create the perfect tool for making/ keeping a puppet government. Our Constitution has term limits, they are called elections. If an elected official is not doing their duty out they go. It is important to have a long term corporate memory in government, or you are constantly working with the untrained and uninformed. This is a perfect formula for controlling the information access and allowing a shadow government to keep control. Smoke and mirrors.

    The plan I propose will take time and needs to start from the bottom up. In other words to put into play at the local level first. As you may have noticed, the corporatists have begun to fund the local elections now to ensure their control. Nothing that is built from the top down can last. Once they have completely subverted the local election process, all bets are off. They are targeting local to gain control over education through privatization, along with privatizing assets of communities as well. As they say, ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL!

    The people still have control for now, if we stop thinking and acting like victims and understand where our power lies. This includes in the marketplace as well. We have gone from a consumer oriented society with laws protecting individuals to a, "build it and they will come" corporate rights society. All in less than 30 years. The country has been down this road before and the pendulum swung. It's all in the hands of the people. Keep complaining and blaming or accept responsibility and work to effect change.
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    Apr 2 2014: Unfortunately a majority of people don't think they count anymore in the voting process. Since the supreme ignorant bench decided too make/rule that CORP are people, there is a truly new voting block (pure cash). So on that level something new needs to happen. Finance reform & term limits. OH YEAH LETS GET OUT AND VOTE 1/3 voted for the presidential election, lazy pitiful complacent people.
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      Apr 12 2014: John- You make a very good point. Voter apathy among our youth should be a huge concern. I, for one, believe I can make an impact by talking about voting. I do not talk about my political views or who I am voting for. I mention that I am voting. I ask others if they are voting. I actively encourage others to vote.

      Being engaged in the voting process when you have an agenda will turn people off. Being involved in the election process with no agenda will encourage othersto be get involved and hopefully share that with others.
  • Apr 2 2014: Us against them, dark money, who talks like that. Democrats. Polarizing the masses in some bon fires light. Piercing the night, with chants "against" and just pick a target, has been done, circa 1938. And that didn't turn out so well for that party. The forum isn't a UIL Greek tragedy where the chorus replies in unison, "What?" that's not trash talking because we are all saying it. Which political party started the slander campaign that the other political party was waging a "War on Women?"

    Elections are real. Moving from your comfort zone to a polling place gives the "act" meaning. Kinda of the difference between a one night stand and monogamy. Elections are fixed all the time. Consider the last national election part of that time honored tradition.

    I get the effort for "there must be a better way? Hey gang let's use the internet." Voters have options, sometimes too many and candidates already use a broader medium like free TV to get their positions across. Believe it or not, in this country the internet is not available everywhere. I don't really have a point to make but I guess neither do you.
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    Apr 1 2014: So we enter into this new realm of politics where people are chosen based on their presented solutions to problems via a forum where we eliminate as many of the negative aspects of the political game as possible.

    The newly elected officials are in office and working on turning their theories and ideas into reality but are meeting obstacles in the form of resilience from businesses and lack of funding to implement necessary changes and programs, etc...

    It may take a full term just to start getting a handle on how to work around these obstacles. In the meantime the media has a field day and presents every single shortfall as a reason why "certain people" can't perform in these government offices.

    In order to effectively govern in a new way with a level of openness with the public and without the corruption that has been so prevalent for far too long politicians will have to rebuild practices after tearing down the ones already in place, this will take time. Exposure of the players who manipulated and schemed will lead to problems and dealing with those problems will take time. Replacing those key players with ones who posses at least a hint of moral integrity will take time. Plotting and planning a new operating system for a more integral way to govern will take time.

    People have a hard time dealing with issues requiring patience, we live in a world of instant gratification. The biggest obstacle in this game changer that will benefit people the most will probably be dealing with the people whom it will benefit the most.

    This is all just a prediction obviously, none of us can say with any certainty what will and will not happen.
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      Apr 2 2014: Actually Ang that would be returning to a system of electing candidates and discussing issues as was seen in the beginning of this country. Your all or nothing account is not accurate. There are still many statesmen in office. This all or nothing mentality was created specifically to disenfranchise the voters and to allow for the installation of loud mouthed puppets who obstruct rather than to do the peoples work.

      I totally agree with your revolving door to politics and that is what scares me with this rush to term limits. Not only are you dealing with incompetence your have the perfect environment for control and action only on the issues the controllers wish to push.

      The media will go where the story is. Luckily I am an old person who has watched all this taking place over the last 60 years. I saw how media coverage changes during the Civil rights era, I saw the media and dialog change for Viet Nam and we have even seen it now with Iraq. There is a lot of alternative media out there as there was back in the day as well. The goal is ratings, at least for media other than FOX who is only about ideology. Simple follow the money.

      Yes patience is an issue. We have been educated as a nation by the corporate marketers to expect instant gratification or try something else. I do believe this dynamic has just about run it's course. You can see it in the pull back from consumers of over consumption. It is why the greedy are now focusing on grabbing our money in the form of profits from the low hanging fruit of energy, education, health care, personal protection, food, medicine, the basic necessities of life. But you see resistance here as well with people turning to alternative energy, growing their own food, shunning unnecessary medications and procedures........ Change is in the wind.

      More business opportunities exist for more people as the consumer pulls away from the grasp. This is why the Oligarch's are doing as big a grab as they can right now.
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        Apr 2 2014: Returning to an old system with a vast number of new technological twists.

        Making a change and moving in a direction that transfers power from the hands of the powerful and putting it in the hands of the currently perceived powerless is worrisome. Power is addictive, those with power, particularly financial power, pursued it, worked for it, often times connived, schemed, and stepped on people to get it. They will not easily give it up and hand it over willingly to others they see as undeserving of it. Is a shift like this likely to cause open hostility? What exactly do we need to prepare for? What kind of patience, tedious patience or survival patience?