Frequently Asked Questions
How The Process Works
Roles You Can Fill
Reasons to Join
Keys To Success
Grab the GOOOH Apps
Words Of Wisdom
GOOOH Newsletter Archive
GOOOH Articles & News
New GOOOH Blog
Original GOOOH Blog
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is GOOOH?
GOOOH stands for "Get Out Of Our House" and is pronounced like the word GO. Our mission is to replace the 435 career politicians who have taken over our House of Representatives with everyday Americans just like you, perhaps even you. GOOOH is a non-partisan process that:
1. Allows you and your peers to actively participate in the selection of your representative.
2. Allows you and your peers to determine, among yourselves, who can best represent your District.
3. Replaces career politicians with true representatives.
4. Ends the influence of special interest groups.
5. Holds representatives accountable.
Is GOOOH a third party?
No. GOOOH is NOT a political party. It is a system that will allow you and your neighbors to choose, among yourselves, a candidate who will truly represent your district. Members will select a citizen representative to serve their district. It is important to clearly state that we are not a third party. We have no platform and are a bottom-up organization. We are a process for selecting and funding candidates. The candidate, once chosen, will declare how they will run based on the situation in their district. It is GOOOH's strongest desire that every chosen candidate compete as a Republican or Democrat, in the primary, but it is possible that the parties could find a way to prevent us from doing so in a few select areas. If they do, we will use one of the five other methods available to access the ballot. Forming a party is one tactic that could be used, but we absolutely do not like or recommend this approach. We are not a party. We do not have a platform. Those who insist on calling GOOOH a party almost always have a hidden agenda, or have not taken the time to understand GOOOH.
Will GOOOH split the vote?
No. Our candidates are expected to run in the primaries; split-the-vote concerns are not valid. Polls repeatedly prove that Americans do not support those in Congress. We believe Americans will vote overwhelmingly for our citizen representatives if given an honest chance. GOOOH candidates will win in a landslide. Party supporters will use the split-the-vote argument to scare you. Recognize this tactic. It is a ploy they use to prevent competition. Those who use this argument seldom have the best interest of our nation at heart; their primary concern is securing power for their party.
How will GOOOH candidates get on the ballot?
The answer will vary in each state, but our intention is run the selection process in each state before the filing deadline. Some states will run the process in 2011, others in 2012. Once the candidates have been selected, we will work with them to gather signatures, raise funds, file the required paperwork, etc.
What happens if a GOOOH candidate loses in the primary
If a GOOOH candidate loses, they are done. Our candidates will not do what Republicans like Lisa Murkowski did in 2010 - lose in the primary then run again in the general election.
Does GOOOH really intend to replace all 435 members of the House?
While we see no problem with sending 435 new representatives to Washington every two years, we completely agree there are a few good members who do not need to be replaced. GOOOH members will choose a candidate in every district, and the voters can decide who to elect. If the incumbent is good, the voters will keep him. However, we want to create competition. Further, we are confident we will demonstrate that there are thousands of competent, qualified candidates in every district.
The problem with incumbents is that once entrenched it is almost impossible to remove them. Name recognition is such an important factor when running for re-election that even in the 2010 political tsunami only 4% of tenured politicians lost. And, as we have seen, the longer a politician remains in office, the further he becomes removed from everyday Americans. For the House of Representatives, we want to change the person in office often. We place little value on “political experience.” In fact, if you judge any politician on accomplishments, even the “good ones” have failed terribly. They are quick to blame the other party, but the truth is the results have been disastrous while they have been in office.
We firmly believe that any person who rises to the top of the GOOOH selection process will be more than capable of learning whatever is required once in office. When people say our new representatives won’t know how things work in DC, our response is that things do not work in DC.
We do not believe there is anything complicated about voting on a piece of legislation. Representatives seldom write the bills themselves, though many would argue they should so that the bills would be two pages instead of two thousand. Finally, GOOOH is a selection process, and as such, it is not our intention to try to determine who the good and bad politicians are. We will allow the members of each district to identify an alternative. The voters can then decide if the incumbent is worth keeping. Most polls indicate that the vast majority of Americans want to fire every member of Congress, including their own representative. Our system will allow the members of every district to have a chance to do so.
How can GOOOH be non-partisan?
GOOOH is a process that does not support any particular position on any specific issue. Individuals who participate in the GOOOH process will each define their own platform via the Candidate Questionnaire. GOOOH provides a framework where participants in each of the 435 congressional districts can select the GOOOH candidate that best represents that district. We anticipate that GOOOH candidates will have unique platforms that are neither entirely left nor right of center but a mixture based on the unique preferences of their district. Generally speaking, we anticipate that the GOOOH candidate selected by the San Francisco district participants will be more moderate, while the candidate selected by the Colorado Springs district participants will be more conservative. GOOOH candidates will be true representatives of each district's political views.
How does the GOOOH process work?
There are ~250 million eligible voters in America and we need but one half of 1% of the population to participate in the process - though everyone is welcome. Participants are required to complete a Candidate Questionnaire that is composed of 100+ questions covering some of the most important issues of our day. Once we achieve critical mass in membership we will ask those who have chosen to participate to donate $100. The funds will be used to promote GOOOH and finance a single national campaign for our 435 candidates.
Once we have the membership needed to succeed participants will be sorted, randomly, into pools of ten within their congressional district. Each pool will use our peer-selection process to select two candidates who will advance to the next round. The process will repeat until a single person emerges in each of the 435 congressional districts. Since every district is unique in its political views, we expect the final 435 GOOOH candidates to run the political spectrum from liberal to conservative.
Candidates are required to sign a binding agreement, before they are selected, that ensures they will vote according to their documented answers once in office. If they do not, they will be legally obligated to resign within 72 hours.
When will GOOOH run?
We will select candidates in 2012 in every district where we have a leader and at least 250 members. The process will begin approximately two months before the 2012 filing deadline. Texas will be the first state, running the process in November of 2011.
How will GOOOH candidates be different than politicians?
Our candidates will behave very differently because they:
1. Will clearly document their stance on 100+ issues in the Candidate Questionnaire
2. Will be chosen by their peers in a rigorous candidate selection process
3. Will be legally obligated to vote according to their Candidate Questionnaire answers
4. Will truly represent the political views of people in their district
5. Will not be controlled by a party
6. Will not owe millions of dollars in favors to special interest groups
GOOOH candidates will be Representatives, not politicians - just as our Founding Fathers intended.
How do I participate in a Candidate Selection Session?
Follow these six simple steps:
1. Become a GOOOH member.
2. Pass the Candidate Screening Exam, ensuring you meet all of the requirements to run for Congress (citizenship, age, etc.), as well as the prerequisites for our system (not a politician, etc).
3. Complete the Candidate Questionnaire and document how you'd vote if elected. All questions require a "for or against" answer. Here are a few sample questions:
* Will you vote for or against a presidential line item veto?
* Will you vote for or against House term limits of 4 years or less?
* Will you vote for or against replacing the current tax system with the FairTax as proposed by Linder and Boortz?
4. Sign the Commitment Agreement stating that you’ll resign within 72 hours if you vote contrary to your Candidate Questionnaire answers or accept funds other than your federal paycheck while in office.
5. Donate at least $100 to help fund the national campaign.
6. Finalize your entry by locking your questionnaire answers.
The GOOOH process creates an equal opportunity for all participants.
Who decides what questions will be asked in the Candidate Questionnaire and Screening Exam?
We have proposed the initial set of questions and are monitoring conversations in the GOOOH discussion forums. The Question Committee will adjust the questions and screening criteria based upon forum input. In future elections, we intend for the people of each congressional district to own some or all of the questions for their district, rather than having a single set of questions for all 435 districts.
Are there "correct" answers to the Candidate Questionnaire?
No, there are not. The questions are intended to force candidates into declaring on which side of an issue they stand. The questions have been intentionally crafted so that they do not give wiggle room when answered - thus eliminating any meaningless double-talk responses that politicians are notorious for. Also, we have tried to be as thorough as possible in the categories of issues chosen, and we intentionally included the "hard issues" that politicians avoid at all costs because they are considered polarizing and may cause them to lose votes if answered frankly.
Does GOOOH advocate Congressional Term Limits?
This is a hard one. The short answer is "Yes, from a practical standpoint, but No from a theoretical standpoint". The best explanation we can give is that Term Limits are "a bad idea whose time has come" - meaning that if the Legislative branch were working as intended we would not be advocating that Representatives serve limited terms. Drastic measures are in order to remove the entrenched professional politician culture in Congress and return to the original intent of citizen statesmen serving short terms in the House and then returning to public life. Currently, GOOOH advocates that Representatives should be limited to two 2-year terms (4 years total), but we encourage you to participate in Term Limit discussions in the Forum and voice your opinion as to what the ultimate GOOOH position on the matter should be. The Candidate Screening exam requirement concerning Term Limits will not be finalized until shortly before the Candidate Selection Sessions kick off, and will be based on member polling and Forum discussions - so there is still much time for this issue to be debated. However, recent polling of GOOOH members placed support for Term Limits at ~66%, which is consistent with national polls on the issue. Ultimately, we would love to give up our advocacy of Term Limits, but this will likely not occur until our House has been returned to its rightful ownership.
Is there an implied bias in the Candidate Questionnaire questions?
We hope not, but if you think so, please post your opinions in the Forum! The questions were written from several different perspectives in order to expose the voting and personal philosophies of each Selection Session participant for the sake of peer evaluation. You'll notice that some of the questions are written from a "liberal" point of view and some from a "conservative" point of view. In addition, you'll notice that some seem to advocate a "Constitutional Originalist" position, some seem to advocate a "Living Constitution" position, some seem to advocate Constitutional amendments, while others do not.
What we do hope is that many of the questions will cause you to do some deep thinking and catalyze some passionate opinions on your part. This is critical, because the answers given by your Selection Session peers to these particular questions will prove valuable in helping you decide which persons you should advance to the next round of Selection Sessions, and which you should eliminate. For example, if you are dead-set against amending the Constitution, you should eliminate your Selection Session peers that say they will vote "for" any question that seems to advocate a Constitutional amendment.
What should I do if I want to select my GOOOH district candidate, but don’t want to be a candidate?
Even if you do not wish to be selected as your district’s candidate you are encouraged to follow the six steps listed above and participate in the Candidate Selection Sessions. If you do not participate, you will not have input into who is chosen as your district's candidate. You should participate to improve the odds that the candidate selected in your district represents your views. We believe every person in America should want to participate. In the next to last round, all remaining candidates will be asked to declare if they are willing to serve. At that point, you can notify your peers you do not wish to do so. We only ask that you consider even Thomas Jefferson did not wish to serve, but when called upon, he did - thankfully.
How much of my time will it take if I wish to participate in a Candidate Selection Session?
Not much. You will have to determine how much you need to study the various issues, but the system itself is not time consuming. Completing the 6 steps will take no more than a couple of hours and then you will need to commit one Saturday for the initial Selection Session. If you are selected to advance all the way to the final round you will need to allocate up to six Saturdays. Each session takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete.
Considering the risks our forefathers took, and how many of our predecessors sacrificed their lives for our country, we believe the time commitment is a trivial investment. We are confident most Americans will agree.
What if a GOOOH candidate needs to change his position?
A United States Representative serves as the single voice for 660,000 people. It is a representative's duty to represent their district in Washington as they said they would. Even if a GOOOH congressman changes his personal views on an issue, he cannot unilaterally vote contrary to his original Candidate Questionnaire answer. He can, however, change his vote if he can get the approval of his district. GOOOH includes what we call the Override Clause, a mechanism that allows a GOOOH congressman to solicit permission from his district to change his original Candidate Questionnaire position. Via the GOOOH Web site, the congressmen can describe the reasons he believes a vote change is justified. His constituents may then, via an internet survey, vote whether or not to approve the change. If the constituents do not approve, the representative must vote according to his original position, or abstain. Politicians have promised one thing and done another for far too long - this system will keep our representatives honest and force them to honor their documented position.
Why do I have to pay $100 to participate in the Candidate Selection Sessions?
The Republicans and Democrats will spend over a billion dollars on the 435 House races, with most of that money coming from special interest groups. We need money to compete, but accepting special interest group funding is absolutely unacceptable to us because of the voting "favors" they expect in exchange for their money. If every Candidate Selection Session participant contributes $100 to the shared campaign pool, GOOOH will have ample funds to launch a top-tier national campaign on behalf of all 435 GOOOH candidates. Another reason for the $100 contribution is to act as a filter: we only want people who believe in the GOOOH process to participate - and a $100 investment is a good proof-test of this. It's also practical: to have the skills necessary to be a U.S. Representative you need to be persuasive enough to raise $100 from your family, friends, co-workers, etc. By the way, if you have a better way to fund the campaign, please post in the forum and let us know!
When do I have to commit?
The exact date will be published as we approach the election, but we expect it to be in the March-April timeframe in most states. In Texas, it will be in November of 2011. We will need funding sooner (for state ballot fees, marketing/legal costs, etc.), so please consider donating to the cause when you are ready. You do not need to donate the full amount all at once. It could be the best investment you ever make!
If selected, who will run my campaign?
The 435 men and women who are selected, one in each district, will each control their local campaign. GOOOH will run one national campaign for all 435 candidates. It will offer the following message: America, you may continue to vote for politicians, Republicans or Democrats, as you have always done and we will continue to get the same results. Our deficit will continue to soar. Our borders will remain open. Our education system will continue to fail a third of our children. The 67,000 page tax code will get more complicated and convoluted. Government will get bigger. Your freedoms will continue to be taken away. The demise of the greatest country the world has ever known will continue.
Or, you can vote for the GOOOH candidate, who has documented their view on every key issue of the day, has agreed to be held accountable, has not accepted a penny from any special interest group, will not be told how to vote, will vote for term limits, and is NOT a career politician.
America, for the first time in our lives, we have a true choice.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If we continue to vote for politicians, are we insane?
The choice should be easy. Let’s send a message to all politicians. Vote for the GOOOH candidate in your district. Let’s tell the politicians to Get Out Of Our House!
GOOOH intends to provide adequate funding for flyers, business cards, bumper stickers, buttons, yard signs, etc. for each candidate. Once the national campaign is funded, portions of the funding for members beyond our goal of 500,000 will be directed directly to the candidate in the district from which the donor resides. The one thing that will NOT be allowed is for the GOOOH candidates to raise large sums of money on their own. We will not allow ties between our candidates and donors – that is a large part of the problem today.
What is the timeline?
The exact timeline will be published on this website, but at a high level the Candidate Selection Sessions will begin two months before the filing deadline in each state.
Who is excluded from running as a GOOOH Candidate?
Since GOOOH candidates are intended to represent "everyday Americans," members of political families are not invited to participate in the system as they already have an avenue for election via the Democrat and Republican Party process.
Originally, the GOOOH process also excluded lawyers and the wealthy from candidacy. This was because almost half of all congressional representatives today are lawyers, and our legal system has come to reflect that fact. We have become a nation of technicalities, not common sense -- a nation of litigation, not guiding principles. In addition, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the influence of money has ruined our government: prohibitive campaign costs, lobbyist payoffs and 9000 earmarks in "porkulus" bills come to mind. This is not implying in any way that lawyers and those with substantial wealth are bad people - merely that most politicians are wealthy lawyers and are over-represented in our government today. Originally, GOOOH advocated that preventing more lawyers and wealthy individuals from gaining office was the best way to move forward with the change in Washington that is needed.
However, after much discussion in the forums, multiple member surveys and a final debate and decision by the Question Committee, the original exclusion of litigating lawyers and those with substantial wealth from GOOOH membership has been rescinded. (Exclusion of political family members was upheld, but could change based on GOOOH member feedback in the future.)
In place of exclusion, these individuals must now declare on their Candidate Questionnaire if they are litigation attorneys or are multi-millionaires. During the Candidate Selection Sessions their peers will decide if these are either positive or negative aspects of their character and will vote accordingly as to whether they should be advanced to the next round in the Selection Sessions.
GOOOH is a very bold plan. Do you really believe we can evict all 435 politicians from the House of Representatives?
Absolutely, all we have to do is act. It is important that we acknowledge that politicians are the problem, not the solution. Even if they wanted to solve the problems, they could not. If the people of America will follow GOOOH's very simple blueprint, we can remove every last one of them and put representatives of the people back in the U.S. House of Representatives.
You say politicians could not fix the problems even if they wanted. Why not?
They are trapped by what we call "political Catch-22s": They must serve their party or they will gerrymandered out of office (ask Lieberman). They must serve the special interest groups that finance their campaign or they will not have enough money to seek re-election. They must be politically correct at all times - ensuring they do not offend any person and thus lose their votes and dollars. They can only create "pork", they can never remove wasteful spending. They are so determined to get re-elected that they spend ridiculous amounts of time fund-raising instead of representing their constituents.
You do not seem to like politicians. Why not?
We do not trust them and the polls tell us that no-one else does either. Think about the adjectives you use to describe politicians. In GOOOH surveys, 95% of the terms provided were negative. One person compared them to coyotes: individually, they are a minor nuisance, but collectively (a pack of 435) they are ravenous, dangerous and destructive.
I like my representative. Why replace him?
This is a trap question that snares far too many Americans. There are 700,000 members in each district, thousands of imminently qualified men and women. George Washington stepped aside after two terms as President because he did not want any one person to become more important than the system. Will your representative do the same, or is he more concerned about his political career? If your representative is good, shouldn’t he run for Senate or Governor? Do you agree that sometimes it is worthwhile to take one step back in order to move 435 forward?
But, does it really matter if you “like” your representative. We voted for our high school officers based on likes and dislikes. This is about results. What has your politician done to ensure there are no earmarks in a budget? What has he done to ensure we do not amass debt that our children will be forced to pay? What has he done to seal our borders, improve our education system, or solve the looming Social Security / Medicare crisis? What has he done to ensure we can say a prayer at a High School Commencement? You may feel your politician votes the way you want him to but the issue you must consider is that he has completely failed to force a vote on the matters of importance. Finally, do you really believe if you continue to use the same process to elect the same politicians the results will be any different? The incumbent wins 95% of the time because people say they like their politician! Remember, the Republicans had control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency from 2000 to 2006 and which important issue did they solve? The Democrats now have complete control and their solution to everything appears to be spend money our children do not have. Let the government run the banks and the car companies. Give money to companies so they will not fail. We all see the lunacy, but are we willing to do anything about it?
This is not an issue about like and dislike, it is about results. We must get different results or the fate of our country will soon be sealed. For the first time in our lives we have a way to do so.
You say our systems are failing. What systems are you referring to?
Consider these: education system, prison system, welfare system, health system, and legal system. Also consider poverty rates, child drug abuse rates, high school dropout rates, social security, taxes, environmental stewardship, immigration, and the collapse of the family. The data is appalling. For the past 50 years, have politicians made things better, or worse?
What can I do to help GOOOH succeed?
We ask that you get involved. Become a member of GOOOH. Consider serving as a leader in your district. Tell everyone you know about GOOOH and get them to join. Join our Facebook group. Call or email members of the media. Hand our GOOOH Flyers or business cards. Write in blogs. Email your friends. Add a link to www.GOOOH.com to every email you send. With your help we can fire the self-serving politicians and save our country.
What could cause GOOOH to fail?
We believe there are only three things: apathy, fear of change, or interference from the parties (such as pressuring the courts to not allow GOOOH candidates to appear on ballots). You have it in your power to ensure that none of these happen. Recruit new members every chance you get. Help us get to 250 members in your district, the rest will be easy.
How was the system created?
A few years ago Tim Cox (GOOOH's founder) took his family to Florida after a series of personal tragedies claimed the lives of his mother and good friend. While in Florida, Tim stopped into a book store, and for some reason the clerk recommended a book describing the events leading to the creation of the American Constitution. Tim can’t pin it down to any specific event, but his personal reflection on the book, the current state of our nation, and the events of his life somehow became the genesis of his desire to create the GOOOH system. During the course of 2006-2007, Tim collected his thoughts in a book of his own, and gathered a team of like-minded colleagues to refine the GOOOH system and build this website. Tim's book and the GOOOH website launched September 29th, 2007.
Why hasn't this been done before now, and how is this different than other ideas?
The biggest reason is the internet, and the recursive and scalable nature of the solution. We do not believe this system could have been created ten years ago. Today, it is a simple system available to all Americans that will absolutely work.
Any final comments?
Our forefathers risked their lives for our country, and many of them paid the ultimate price. Our nation is self-destructing under the watch of our generation. It is impossible to deny the situation. Until now, there has been very little we could do to change the course of our nation. The politicians and their parties have taken control of the government and they have no intention of relinquishing their power. Samuel Adams said, “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” We are the experienced patriots. The time has come!