The Grassroots Corner March 7, 2022

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 03/07/2022

How To Get Candidates To Sign The FAIRtax Pledge – 1st Installment

[Editor’s note: This is the second 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 identify candidates. In the next three weeks we will share more of John’s techniques. Primary Day is coming soon in your state, so please read these articles.]
I'm John Gaver, author of "The Rich Don't Pay Tax! ...Or Do They?" and a long-time advocate for The FAIRtax.
This is the 1st installment in a 4-part series on how to easily get candidates to sign The FAIRtax Candidate Pledge.
In this first segment, we will look at how to:

1.  Easily identify all of the candidates in a particular congressional race
2.  Find each candidate's contact information
3.  Prepare for that first contact and what things to discuss during first contact
4.  Choose a meeting place conducive for a video recording
5.  Contact those candidates who avoid constituent phone calls
6.  Follow up
Here are the simple steps involved in getting to the candidate and asking for the meeting:
1.  Identify the candidates in your district. Go to and search for candidates by race. Put in your state and district or just state for Senate races and you'll get a list. While you're on, you want to make note of how much money each candidate has raised, as of the last quarter. Money raised is not a hard and fast indicator of a candidate's likelihood of winning, but it is a good indicator
2.  Check The FAIRtax website to see which, if any of those candidates, have already signed the Pledge. If they have already signed, you can mark that candidate off your list

3.  If there are a lot of candidates in the race, as can happen when an incumbent retires or runs for another office, then rank those who have not signed by their chances of getting elected. The reason for this is to help you decide which candidates to first approach. If there is a large field, you may not have time to meet with all of the candidates. Well-known names and big money-raisers will have a better chance of winning the primary. So, you want to approach those who have the best chance of winning first, in case you run out of time. You should shoot for getting every candidate to sign the Pledge. But go for the most likely winners, first
4.  Find each candidate's website using Like with the FEC site, search by race. From the list you get, click on each name, to get their site information
5.  Use the candidate's website to identify the candidate's position (or lack of a position) on tax issues
6.  Find the candidate's contact information, usually on the candidate's website or Facebook page
7.  Call the candidate (you will probably have to leave a message and maybe call several times to get through to them). I've found, getting in touch with incumbents or Establishment-backed candidates is far more difficult than reaching most other candidates. Sadly, if they support the income tax, they may be too busy meeting with lobbyists, to meet with constituents
8.  Speak to the candidate. (What to say when you ultimately reach the candidate.)

a.  Identify yourself as a constituent of his/her district. This is a sly way of telling the candidate that you are a person who is likely in touch with many more people in his district

b.  Start by asking tax position questions, based on his/her website. Be sure that in doing so, you say something about specific statements from the website. This shows that you're paying attention

c.  Use the candidate's answers to segue into The FAIRtax. Depending on the candidate and the political leanings of your district, you might want to focus on elimination of the income tax and IRS, that it un-taxes poverty, that it does not tax used products, and how it will dramatically reduce the tax gap. You can't cover all the good points, so pick just a few. Since you know your district and have read the candidate's website, pick the issues that you think will grab his/her attention most. But be prepared to answer questions on other points. Don't be afraid to say, "Let me get back to you on that," and CONTINUE WITH YOUR PHONE CALL. DO NOT LET AN UNANSWERED QUESTION END YOUR CONVERSATION!

d.  Offer to send the candidate more FAIRtax information (based on his/her understanding and needs). Note: This is a good way to possibly get his/her direct email address or personal cell phone number. But don't press. Just offer

e.  Direct the candidate to

f.  While on the phone, move to the next step
9.  Ask to meet at the candidate's convenience

a.  Daytime is better, because you can take advantage of natural light for your video.

b.  Think about background noise and potential for echo. For example, Starbucks at lunch time is not a good idea, with lots of hard walls to create echo and lots of background conversation and noise from steaming milk. That said, a coffee shop may be your best choice. Just remember that the more background noise and the more echo you have, the more difficult it will be to get a clear interview. In the next installment, I'll talk about noise and echo reduction. But even the best noise and echo reduction is no substitute for having no noise or echo, to begin with.

c.  The candidate may not have time to meet or will make that excuse. This is particularly true of incumbents and well-funded Establishment candidates, who feel that they can win without paying attention to constituents and don't want to face real questions from them. In that case, get on their mailing list and watch for personal appearances that you can attend - especially events that are not likely to be well attended. While at an event, try to pigeon-hole the candidate for a few minutes. We'll go into this more on the next installment of this series.
If the candidate takes questions from the podium, ask about his/her position on taxes and tax reform. If he/she doesn't mention The FAIRtax, then you might follow-up with, "What about The FAIRtax?" The point is, you are trying to get him/her on record. The reason why you want to do this at a poorly attended event, is because if there are fewer people to speak with, that may give you more time with the candidate, 1-on-1.
10.  If you did have an unanswered question at the end of the phone call, then call me or someone at, as soon as possible, to get the answer. Then call the candidate back with that answer, as soon thereafter as possible. If the candidate is asking questions, that's usually a good sign. It says that he/she is likely interested and wants to know enough to be able to address it on the campaign trail.
Now that you have the interview scheduled or know what events you plan to attend, in order to speak to the candidate in person, you need to start planning how to conduct that interview.
I'll cover that in the next installment of this series.

Take Back Your Control!
John Gaver

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