Friday, March 7, 2008

A FairTax Update

The following is a FairTax update:

Dear FairTax supporters,

It's time for me to "fess up".

I want to apologize for asking for funding--and for not doing even more than we have. Both rob my sleep. We achieved so much in the past year--but it cost us.

We dominated the Iowa race, held three big rallies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, doubled our grassroots base, launched and kept the beautiful FairTax bus on the road, "guested" on more than 600 radio talk shows, convinced ABC's George Stephanopoulos to ask the FairTax question at GOP debates and moved the FairTax onto the national stage. And best, we saw one candidate, Gov. Mike Huckabee, not only embrace the FairTax but make it a center plank of his campaign. He continued to help us last week by signing our April 15th petition in Houston in front of a room full of reporters.

We've been "running the baselines" the way Pete Rose did--without fear and with every ounce of our hearts. We put people in the field, hired local organizers, "wrapped" the FairTax bus, funded rallies and media and gave away almost every T-shirt, cap, bumper sticker and membership brochure we had (about 250,000).

It worked.

But it meant that just after Iowa we laid off most of our staff to reduce operating expenses. We only kept the campaign elements that would allow us to capitalize on our momentum for the hardest work--expanding our membership base--and reluctantly said "thank you and good-bye" to a small group of talented young people who worked seven day weeks for more than a year to make our on-the-ground efforts so powerful.

We are now rebuilding the campaign infrastructure brick-by-brick. The Web site is better than it ever has been, the FairTax Groups (grassroots-managed sites) are growing, the FairTax bus continues to delight in hundreds of towns and cities, our media work continues and we continue to hector talk show hosts across the nation. Membership is growing and our operational tempo is again increasing. But no, admittedly, not fast enough.

We are just now turning the corner financially--because of your generosity and because our numbers are growing. We funded 100,000 memberships "tri-folds" in the new Boortz/Linder FairTax book (on the bestseller list again as one more reminder how powerfully popular is the FairTax), we launched our first direct mail effort in years, and our Internet strategies are dramatically growing the membership. In a little more than one week, we already have more than 40,000 signatures on our April 15th petition to Congress and Presidential candidates. We have just restocked our tri-fold supply with 100,000 new pieces and we have brought on long-time supporter, Jimmy Walby, to work closely with grassroots leaders nationally. We are making plans now for Congressional district level issue campaigns and are actively reaching out to national leaders for support. Still not enough.

We bought full-page newspaper ads before the Ohio and Texas primaries (thank you for making this happen!) and plan to place more ads in small to medium newspapers in states where we have large membership figures--and low co-sponsorship levels. Alone the ads are not enough, but they bring people to our Web site and help grow our base and excite newcomers about the FairTax.

I'll admit I blew my top a few weeks ago when one frustrated local leader wrote to ask why we were not "getting real" and buying TV ads across the country and putting organizers and billboards in every town and city. After talking with him at length is was clear that we both shared a common frustration that we have not been able to do more and do it faster. But we took some comfort in the fact that the FairTax has never had more Congressional co-sponsors or been better known nationally.

Our challenge now is make our campaign even more powerful and to shift our efforts from the early Presidential primary strategy that served us so well to direct pressure on Congress and the leading Presidential candidates for both parties. Both goals, and an increased operational tempo, require many more supporters and even more active measures now by the FairTax family. On the merits, we win. But being right is not enough, it takes organization, funding and political strength to overturn the self-interest of Congress and the ignorance of the national media.

For our grassroots leaders--I'm sorry we have not been able to work more closely with you and give you better tools and more materials. That is now changing. For our many contributors, I am sorry I keep asking for funding. But to all, please know that we are on the road to a stronger and self-sustaining national campaign that just keeps getting better and better. Our cause deserves much more, and we know it.

What can you do now? Here are five things (click on anything in blue):

1. Help us deliver 100,000 names by April 15th: Sign the petition now at

2. Get your friends and family to join our cause and sign the petition.

3. Write your Members of Congress (Here's a scorecard of current FairTax supporters).

4. Ask friendly online, print and radio media to feature our FairTax ads.

5. And yes, I am sorry to ask but please continue to help us fund the work.

Take pride in what we have accomplished together this last year and keep the faith because we are on the path to write history, change America and make good on our Founding Father's promise of a nation directed by its citizens.


Ken Hoagland

Communications Director If you would prefer sending a check or credit card contribution by mail, please download and print our contribution form here.

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