The Grassroots Corner March 21, 2022

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 03/21/2022

How To Get Candidates To Sign The FAIRtax Pledge – 3rd Installment: The Meeting

[Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series (the “first” part being the introduction) by Author and FAIRtax volunteer John Gaver, who by far has brought in more candidates to sign the FAIRtax Pledge than anyone else. Read this series to learn John’s secrets. Here we give you John’s tips on how to conduct the interview with your candidate. Next week we will share more of John’s techniques. Primary Day is coming soon in your state, so please read these articles.]
This is the third installment in a four-part series on how to easily get candidates to sign the FAIRtax Candidate Pledge. In the first part, we covered how to identify all the candidates in a race, how to find their contact information, and how to approach them and ask for a meeting. In the second installment, we covered how to prepare for the interview. In this installment, we'll look at how to conduct the interview.

To fit the programming limitations for FAIRtax Power Radio, you should shoot for less than 6 minutes. If it goes over, you may have to edit the video down. Optionally, one of the guys at will be able to edit it down.

Explain to the candidate how the interview will go and that the whole thing should fit into 6 minutes. The procedure is 1) introduction, 2) why are you running, 3) what do you like most about the FAIRtax, 4) sign the Pledge, and 5) closing remarks. Just make sure that the candidate has a chance to be prepared. Some candidates may want to take a few seconds to plan their remarks. Others may be ready to jump right into the interview.

1) You should have already planned on how to set up your phone camera on a selfie stick, the night before. But now you have to do it for real. DOUBLE-CHECK EVERYTHING.
A) Make sure that the camera is in VIDEO mode.
B) Make sure that both you and the candidate will fit into the same frame, without chopping off shoulders.
C) Make sure that the selfie-stick is not visible in the frame.
D) Make sure the angle of the camera on the selfie-stick gives you an acceptable range of motion, for centering on you, on the candidate, and on both of you, without you appearing in an awkward position for one or more of the shots. Adjust the selfie-stick, as required.
E) Make sure the lighting looks right - good definition and no shadows. Bright light should be behind the camera or to the side - NOT behind you or the candidate.
2) Start both the camera, in video mode and the voice recorder in interview mode.

3) Record 10 seconds of background noise, before beginning the interview. This is done to help, in the event that you have too much background noise and have to filter it out. Make this noise recording on the same recording as the interview. Just start the camera (and voice recorder, if you are using one), and say nothing for 10 seconds. All popular editing software should be able to use that 10 seconds, near the beginning of the recording, to identify and filter out the noise. You are just making it possible to tell the editing software what that particular noise sounds like.

4) With both recording devices still recording, lay the voice recorder on the table and angle the camera to where the voice recorder is visible in the camera frame. Then, on camera and near the voice recorder, strike the tabletop, with a single sharp knock, clap your hands, tap a glass or cup with a spoon, or make some other sharp noise on camera. The idea is to have a sharp noise that will be heard by both your phone and on a possible voice recorder and the action causing the noise being seen on the video. This will make it easy to later sync the external audio with the video or possibly to re-sync any audio you may have had to split out of the video, for noise reduction.

5) After recording the sharp noise, re-aim the camera, to put you in the center of the video frame. Wait a second or two, smile, center the camera on you (IN LANDSCAPE MODE), and begin your interview.


If for some reason, one of the recordings did not start properly or if the candidate stammered or miss-stated something on the video and wants a re-do, you have a second Pledge and you can start the interview over.

On the other hand, if the interview is recorded properly, just have the candidate sign the second Pledge off-camera. You can then witness both Pledges. You take one copy, to scan and send to, and give the candidate the other copy, for his/her own marketing purposes.

Explain to the candidate that he will be contacted within the next week or so, by someone from, regarding scheduling an interview on FAIRtax Power Radio.

That's it for the interview. In the final installment of this series, we'll go over how you might want to process the audio and video. Just keep in mind that, if you feel that processing the audio and video is beyond your skill-set, you can submit the file(s) in their original format and someone at can do the editing. But they stay pretty busy with other advocacy, so if you can do the editing yourself, it will be a great help. Also, if they don't have time to do the editing, I might have time to do it. Just don't get hung up on this minor issue.

But before deciding, read the next installment of this series. Editing this down and cleaning up noise and echo is not as difficult as many people may think it is. After all, you aren't aiming at creating a theatrical production. You just want to be able to clearly understand the conversation on the video. So, check out the final installment.

John Gaver

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