I received this appeal from John Anderson today. I make such a contribution every year, and I hope some of my pro-reform American readers will consider doing the same:
December 18, 2007
My fellow friends and supporters of FairVote,
I write from my law school office in Florida, having just put the final touches on another semester of teaching constitutional law. Perhaps it is my regular opportunity to engage so intensely with our nationâ€™s future leaders that stirs in me an ongoing passion to have our nation move to democracyâ€™s cutting edge. Certainly it serves to reinforce one of my deepest commitments: the remarkable work of FairVote as it advances â€œthe way democracy will be.â€
I know many of you already appreciate FairVoteâ€™s work. Each year our supporters grow in their number and giving, with their recognition of our unique position: we are the one national organization winning a full range of structural reforms necessary to free the voter from the chains of Americaâ€™s 18th century electoral laws. We turn every gift into innovative thinking, strategic advocacy and one more step toward a democracy that can meet todayâ€™s challenges.
Allow me to be as bold as FairVoteâ€™s mission: please consider a donation to FairVote this year, as we move to the next level of reform impact. I firmly believe that our time is not coming. It is here. And we need your help.
Itâ€™s hard to convey all the successes of our dedicated staff. Rob Richieâ€™s report is a good start. Perusing fairvote.org is even better. But I wish you could have joined me for our Claim Democracy conference and intensive training session with advocates of instant runoff voting and proportional voting from across the nation. Our board meetings sparkle with ideas. You would feel the energy â€“ and see how much change flows from our work.
I wanted to give special thanks to those of you who filled the hall for our 15th Anniversary dinner. The staff surprised me with a tribute, and being there with family and so many FairVote allies made for a moving evening. Fellow board members Krist Novoselic, Eddie Hailes and Rick Hertzberg spoke powerfully about FairVoteâ€™s remarkable progress and exciting future. Change is coming, and it is a joy to have an opportunity to be part of it.
My profound thanks and best wishes to you and your family at this special time of year.
John B. Anderson
Chair, FairVote Board of Directors
John Anderson was the first presidential candidate whose campaign I ever worked for, and also the first I voted for. In fact, I was the Garden Grove Area Petition Coordinator, helping him get on the ballot in California in 1980. I wish I had a photo of the old red Cougar I was driving back then and dubbed The Andersonmobile for the multiple (and also red) Anderson stickers affixed to it. I even briefly participated in a movement to draft him as the Reform Party nominee in 2000, but it was clear that Anderson was not interested and the Reform Party wasn’t worthy of either word in its name.1
I had the pleasure of meeting him for coffee about six years ago (when he was in San Diego with the World Federalist Movement). That makes him one of three presidential candidates I ever have had the opportunity to meet personally (the others being Ralph Nader and Bill Richardson). Anderson’s commitment to reform impressed me in 1980–when I supported him as much for his energy-saving gas-tax increase as for anything else. He still impresses me today, especially for his role with Fairvote.
- Let me make clear that the faction–groupuscule would be more like it–that I was loosely involved with had no connection to the eventual Reform nominee, Pat Buchanan. Many of its members were, in addition to Anderson, also interested in drafting John McCain, but most eventually turned to Ralph Nader. [↩]