Melinda Pillsbury-foster

More About: Activism

They destroyed our economy. They forced us into foreclosure. Now they're back for another bite

I ran as a Libertarian against State Senator Alan Robbins in 1982. As Libertarians we thought of it as a way to educate voters, not win elections. By then I had been in what we call the Freedom Movement since the Goldwater campaign. Suddenly it occurred to me that things could be different if politicians had to actually keep their promises.  The thought came as I looked at a scruffy old pot holder from one of Robbin\'s campaigns.   

“What if they had to resign if they failed to keep their promises?” I thought to myself. Soon after, Robbins was indicted.

Never one to let grass grow under my feet in February 1992 I wrote up the Liberty Pledge, printed some literature, had a banner made and took them with me to the next Republican Convention.

While at the convention I shared the idea with an old friend of mine named John Fund. He asked me for a piece of the literature.  I was delighted to share.

This would be the whole story except for events taking place some years later.

In 2000 I had discovered  John Fund was honesty challenged, like so many in politics. I had confronted Fund in 1999 over a rumor he was in a relationship with my daughter, who he had known as a child. He claimed they were not involved.  She claimed they were and he had forced her to have an abortion.  Still trusting John personally,  I refused to believe my daughter when she called for help in September.

As we talked, her call waiting chimed in. She put me on hold. Eventually, I hung up. My phone rang. Morgan said, “Just listen.” I discovered she had been telling me the truth. You can listen to the tape here.

Over the next months we talked a lot. One day she asked me, “What was that idea you had that turned into the Contract with America?” “What?” I asked.

“John told me it was your idea, the one he gave to Newt that started it.” This was news to me.

“You mean the Liberty Pledge?” The inquiring look went away. She nodded.

Fund\'s lies and manipulations grew worse.  In February, 2002, Morgan finally charged Fund with domestic violence. There were witnesses and evidence.  Fund went to his employers at the White House.  The charges were dropped.

On January 14, 2003 at 10:28:38 AM Eastern Standard Time Newt wrotethis emailto my daughter. What relationship? Did he mean we asked him, and dozens of others who disliked Fund, for help and were ignored? John had lied about Blumenthal, too.  Ironically on the issue of domestic violence.

Newt did not respond to our pleas. Morgan had nearly died of the abuse Fund meted out.  I witnessed the abuse, as did another Republican activist. No one would listen to the recordings.  No one would look at the evidence.

Morgan had been a docent at the Reagan Library. I was a Regent for the National Federation of Republican Women and had a life long history as an activist.

Initially, when Morgan told me, I was amused. However, when it became clear it was a contract on America I changed my mind. There was no enforceability in the PR campaign they used to take the House in 1994, just oozings of rhetoric, promises never kept.

Newt got rich, changed wives frequently, and used the rhetoric of our founders to continue his rapacious ways.  Today he continues to babble about honor and faith in his continued attempts to loosen your wallet.

I intended there to be accountability.  Now I demand it.  So should you.

Look over Newt\'s site, Look over his even more overtly commercial site, Gingrich Productions.  Gingrich is just one of leaders the GOP is now attempting to staple to the Tea Party Movement. The others are just as bad.

The site Pillsbury Justice, tells the story of what happens when those in power really want to shut you up and how they get away with it. 

This brings us to how we enforce transparency and accountability.

Decoupling the accountability from the potential for profit was a trademark for the NeoCons as they  converted the ideas of Libertarianism, which all of my children grew up respecting, into the newest justification for corporate profit. It was a sad end to what we had thought would be a real revolution.  Now, they want to do it again.

Accountability, and how to enact it, has grown as an issue for me in the last ten years. Today holding politicians accountable is a matter of survival.  Bonds are proven to work.

The Honesty Bond can provide voters with a way to enforce the promises  flowing so lavishly from the lips of candidates before they have transformed themselves into elected officials. The Bond can be called and the money demanded from the Congressman or Senator.  If applied vigorously, the terms clear, Honesty Bonds could  turn the tide of dishonesty in American politics.

Some candidates, the honest ones,  will be relieved  there is a means to exact a simple standard for  doing the right thing. Others will appreciate the opportunity to win support over incumbents who refuse to be accountable for their promises. These will be nudged into honesty.

Motives will not alter the fact we will have a tool directly controlled by voters who desperately need leverage to call government into account. Local groups, for instance Tea Party Groups, Ron Paul Groups, Libertarians, and Indict Bush Activists can come together on this.

We all need honesty.

Your local group can write its own demands to be bonded or you can use the template we are writing.

Look at the instructions for bonding.  This is just like bonds maintained routinely by professionals such as accountants, brokers, insurance agents, and house cleaners. We demand.  The candidate pays for the bond. The specifics hinge on state law for each state, providing another focus point for organizing.

We need to demand honesty and install the teeth.

Honesty – the Only policy.

Melinda Pillsbury-Foster 

About Melinda 

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