DENVER, Colorado - May 30 - A new grassroots organization called Unity08
(www.unity08.com) launched a nationwide movement today to effect major reform in the
2008 presidential elections by offering voters an alternative ticket – a Unity Ticket
headed by a woman and/or man from each major party, or by an independent who
presents a Unity Team from both parties. By electing a Unity Ticket to the White House,
Unity08 plans to force the country’s Democratic and Republican leaders to cease their
runaway focus on the issues of outlying special-interest groups and once again align with
the aspirations and will of average Americans.
Unity08 has three specific goals:
- Elect a Unity Ticket to the White House in 2008, headed by a woman and/or man
from each major political party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team
from both parties.
- Have the American people choose that ticket via the first-ever virtual, secure
online convention of millions of qualified American voters. Unity08 has no
candidate – the Unity Ticket will be chosen online, by the people.
- Effect major change and reform in the 2008 national elections by influencing the
major parties to adopt the core features of Unity08’s national agenda.
Specifically, that means dividing the issues facing the nation into Crucial Issues
(e.g., education, energy independence, deficit spending, global terrorism, health
care, nuclear proliferation) and Important Issues (e.g., gay marriage, gun control,
abortion rights), then focusing on the Crucial.
“A Unity Ticket in office for just one term, or taking part in just one election will
bring new ideas, new integrity and new leaders to American politics today,” said Unity08
Founders Council members Doug Bailey, former Republican political consultant and
founder of The Hotline, and Hamilton Jordan, former White House Chief of Staff in the
Carter Administration. “Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the ability of their
elected officials to get things done because in recent elections, candidates have focused
on the turnout of their parties’ vocal single-issue interests. They call those people their
‘base,’ but that base represents only a small fraction of the American people. As a result
Washington has been polarized and paralyzed and the voters are ready to take their
“Unity08 will be the long-needed correction,” said Founders Council member
Angus King, former two-term Independent Governor of Maine. “Backed by people of all
ages, backgrounds, races, beliefs and political affiliations, this movement will
demonstrate once again that collaboration and cooperation between the parties is not only
possible, but critical to future progress.”
Unity08 plans to build an online community of millions of registered voters who
will participate in an online convention in the first half of 2008 to elect a Unity Ticket
among any two candidates constitutionally qualified to serve – as long as they represent
more than one party. Today, Unity08 launched its website (www.unity08.com), which
will be the focal point of the organization’s efforts, enabling concerned voters to register
to become members, participate in a dialogue, and share ideas to shape the Unity08
movement. Through the website, Unity08 members will mobilize to spread the word,
and to take off-line action by placing the Unity Ticket on the ballot in all 50 states.
Ultimately, members in online convention will vote to nominate the ticket they believe
will enact real change in Washington.
“We are not in this be spoilers or to hurt either party. We are in this to win, give
the White House a Unity Team that can provide leadership, and along the way jolt each
party back toward the voters in the center. 2008 is an historic moment of truth for the
parties, the people and the nation,” said Bailey and Jordan.
The Unity08 movement is founded by a group of Americans representing all ages,
race, location, political philosophy and party affiliation. To view a current list of
members of the founders council in formation, click here:
“Unity08 is essential for our children,” said Founders Council member Janet Kelly
of Battlecreek, Michigan, former general counsel at Kellogg and Sara Lee. “Too much
time in Washington is spent attacking each other and not enough time is spent attacking
The Unity08 movement has been building for months, through planning and
discussions with civic leaders and concerned citizens across the country. Recruitment
already has begun on college campuses. “Young people are disgusted with business as
usual in Washington and are hungry to participate in a force for change,” said Founders
Council member Lindsay Ullman, a Yale University junior and former president of the
National Associations of Student Councils.
Founders Council member Zach Clayton, a senior and Morehead Scholar at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “For decades now, students across the
country have been quietly turning away from our political system. Unity08 is the best
opportunity in a generation for students to turn that frustration into action, fix
Washington and change the country. Students will show up for this.”
Unity08 will follow the law in every instance and seek the opinion of the Federal
Elections Commission to interpret the law where the movement breaks new ground.
Unity08 legal counsel at Steptoe & Johnson has already requested an FEC advisory
opinion on areas where the effort will break new ground, and the organization is
developing a rules committee to determine precisely how the convention system will
work. That rules committee will be headed by Peter Ackerman, managing director of
Rockport Capital and chairman of Freedom House, and Tom Collier, partner at Steptoe &
Johnson. Unity08 will accept no political action committee (PAC) and or corporate
Also today, Unity08 released the results of a poll conducted by Princeton Survey
Research Associates finding that more than three-quarters (85 percent) of Americans
agree that the country “has become so polarized between Democrats and Republicans that
Washington can’t seem to make progress solving the nation’s problems.” The poll found
that 73 percent of Americans agree it would be a good idea for this country to have more
choices in the 2008 elections than just Republican and Democratic candidates, and 63
percent express interest in a ticket that would feature a prominent Republican and a
prominent Democrat. To read a summary of the poll’s major findings, click here:
“The partisan bickering in Washington is causing Americans to believe the wheels
have come off our political system, that the American Dream is slipping away, and that
time is short to get things back on track,” explained Unity08 president and chief
executive officer Jim Jonas. “Unity08 will be a catalyst for real, meaningful progress.”
Unity08 is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The organization currently is organized as a 527,
while it seeks guidance from the Federal Elections Commission. Over the coming weeks and months,
through a network of volunteers and leaders across the country, Unity08 will recruit concerned voters to
join the movement by signing up on the Unity08 website (www.unity08.com).