Contact: Dave Leach, PartnersNeeded@Saltshaker.US, or 515-244-3711
The Partnership Machine, Inc. was founded in 1986 with the goal of becoming a forum where people who disagree could publicly debate and research information. That year it sent three mailings to every Iowa church in this pursuit. Two more mailings went out later, in 2007 and 2008. Meanwhile it sponsored the Prayer & Action News from 1989 to 2015, and “The Uncle Ed. Show”, a Cable Access one-hour program, from 1997 to 2015. Many of the shows amounted to forums where people debated issues.
A stated goal in its articles of incorporation was educating churches and nonprofits about how much political activity it was legal for them to pursue without endangering their nonprofit status, and those articles laid out the extent of protected involvement. Secretary of State and federal IRS officials approved those articles, and in the years since it fully exercised those freedoms, except for financially supporting candidates, while its |President (and one of two members) Dave Leach became passionately hated by abortionists, who had the motivation and the money to shut down the corporation if those articles were wrong.
The current Wiki initiative got a push in 2015, May 26, after I sent a proposal to Jeff Kaufman, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. He responded several months later saying he had presented it to several candidates and political groups who would like to see it happen. This was my proposal then. It was actually a copy of a proposal I had sent to Governor Scott Walker who after dropping out of the presidential race had asked people to contribute ideas for “how to get America back on track”:
My proposal to Governor Scott Walker:
Your survey is a step in the right direction to getting America back on track, if as its existence implies, you have assigned people authorized by Governor Walker to read these comments, and evaluate them for clarity, accuracy, and importance, to give the best of them to Governor Walker.
A next step would be to authorize some response from Walker’s team informing the sender of enough of its evaluation for the sender to submit any further research, clarification, or correction as appropriate.
Yet another step would be to prepare a public report listing all responses and dialog in its appendix and featuring what Governor Walker feels are the best.
The final step would be to enable readers to interact with the final report by voting for best ideas. I would propose two guidelines for all to consider: no ad hominem attacks on anyone. (Wikipedia has an understandable definition.) And, no diatribes about evils whose existence lacks clear evidence. (An objective way of describing conspiracy theories.)This would be a forum that would enable the Republican party to resolve a whole lot of division. It would be a way for Republicans to participate in a kind of ongoing Platform Discussion way beyond the very brief opportunity the party extends to a very small fraction of lucky Republicans at present. This would be well described as “a multitude of counsellors”, which Proverbs 15:22.says will guarantee success for, presumably, whatever the “multitude” can agree on. Everyday political experience confirms that to the extent people are able and willing to reach consensus by reasoning with each other in a fair forum, they are unstoppable. Obviously the size of this movement, or consensus-achieving “multitude”, is limited to the extent people with compelling information who must split from mainstream forums to share it. Conversely, as Lincoln quoted Jesus, a house divided cannot stand.
AN EXAMPLE OF AN ISSUE DIVIDING REPUBLICANS
We learn in the Pew Research Center report, May 4, 2011, page 49, that a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is supported by majorities of every voting demographic except one: “staunch conservatives”, and even in that group, 49% support it, to the 49% who are against it. Meanwhile “Main Street Republicans” support it by 58-39%. (This example is continued in the article linked above.)
Here is Jeff Kaufman’s January 3 response:
I have shared this idea and parts of this email with many people and candidates. Although most think it is a great idea, none were willing to put in the time and effort such a project would require. There are a few foreign policy organizations doing something like this and one “immigration organization” but no neutral entity that could handle the project as a whole. What is needed is a group like the League of Women Voters. I say like the LWV because that group as it manifests itself in most areas is quite liberal and biased toward the Democrats, but a group acting like the LWV should be acting.
As the presidential election heats up, it will be increasingly more difficult to have a “normal dialogue.” I am wondering if this wouldn’t be a good project for a graduate student or students. Again the key will be to find a neutral entity to monitor.
I wished I could be a more help. Between the caucuses, legislative races, raising over 1 miliion, and fighting off attacks on our candudates both from the left and within the party, RPI would not be the vehicle to make this happen, however, I like the idea and we would certainly be willing to endorse and/or sponsor such an activity.
Without startup money, the best way I can think of to move to these purposes is through the Wiki proposed here. It will need, in addition to people contributing information, volunteers to discuss with each other, on a regular basis:
(1) what rules of order to implement, how to modify/apply them to meet challenges as they arise;
(2) how to physically set up forums. For example, wiki software vs blog software? Or both? Go-to-meeting software for discussion by the forum managers or some other means like conference call? Perhaps a wiki website with auxiliary website space where people can post their auxiliary information and articles free?
(3) Contacting individuals and groups to involve them can't succeed if it is Lone Ranger. There probably need to be contributions for ads, and wisdom where and how to place them. There needs to be expertise managing the website. I foresee three categories of participation, and contacts need to be made to get involvement in each category, and there should be wisdom in selecting who and how to contact, as well as the time needed to do it:
(a) People who love to debate, research, and interact respectfully with others;
(b) candidates and activist groups can use help researching issues old and new, and vetting claims. We can offer to research it as well as we can and give them our report. We will have a unique perspective that should be useful for many political purposes: a cross section of information from the range from expert to novice, but of people who are seriously and carefully trying to establish the truth.
(c) individuals with unique ideas who would like us to vet them and endorse their accuracy if warranted. Where do you see yourself in this matrix?
And of course a team is needed to judge whether boatloads of ideas like these are all horseradish.