NOTE: This falls into the category of 'ideas I wish I had the time/money to chase down'. While I'd like to spend time making this happen, it ain't gonna happen unless someone with deep pockets happens to want to fund the thing. Or someone with a hell of a lot of ambition and time decides to take this on.
A couple weeks ago, I published an article laying out my vision for a new party - a Pacific National Party. capable of, you know, actually doing something to take America back. A non-partisan, centrist movement inspired by Macron's recent victory, that kept France out of the hands of its own set of petty-fascists, and the Scottish National Party's long-term success in forcing the UK national government in London to give the Scots a significant degree of autonomy to manage their own affairs.
Structure of the Pacific National Party
Objective: Build and sustain a movement capable of, in 2020, taking control of enough electoral votes and state congressional delegations to prevent any partisan political candidate from winning the 2020 election outright. By holding enough electoral votes in the right states and enough state of delegations in the House of Representatives, we can make sure that the Presidency can only go to a candidate who is willing to champion an Amendment to the Constitution that fundamentally restructures our federal government to permanently bypass the gridlock and partisan madness of Washington D.C.
Basically, under the reasonable assumption that the republican party can, by hook or crook, hold on to the states won in 2016, we need to be in a position to make this map happen:
The core of the Pacific National Party is the Executive Council. Four individuals from diverse backgrounds, each with responsibility for running (being, in the start-up phase) one of the four major departments. In diagram form:
The four departments function collectively as a sort-of organism, a "Leadership Organ". Information flows between departments in a perpetual loop, that John Boyd called OOD: Observe-Orient-Decide (There IS an A many people use, but I find it redundant. Decision must produce action, or what's the point?). In essence, the organization as a whole knows what it needs to accomplish in order to survive/thrive, but to manage that process day-to-day requires a constant rhythm of experiencing the "environment" and/or "landscape" (either metaphor works), evaluating opportunities and threats, then structuring and taking action on the environment, which itself alters the environment subsequently experienced, re-starting the cycle.
Each department has total autonomy within its own sphere, with a responsibility to apply resources given to it however they can achieve the maximum effect in pursuit of the organization's formal objectives. Departments inevitably step on one another's turf, the 4-member Executive Council is responsible for de-conflicting their efforts, however that is best done in the moment. This system is modeled after the German military doctrine known as 'leading by mission', which places a tremendous emphasis on individuals, whatever their functional role, taking the initiative wherever possible to take advantage of (all-too-often) fleeting opportunities.
I want to stress that when I say this organization will reflect the diversity of the Pacific States, I mean it. If the "reach" funding threshold is met I will write in a small, paid, part-time role for myself as a "research consultant", but regardless my primary role will be to manage the hiring process to make sure capable people are doing the job. I will look for women, immigrants, and veterans in particular. People who have demonstrated by some combination of education and experience that they can take the initiative and make things happen.
Phase 1: Start-Up (2018)
Necessary Funds: $1,490,000 [$1.49 Million]
- Obtain necessary funding committment and seek additional support if available
- Identify and hire the four members of the Executive Council, who reflect the diversity of background and belief in the Pacific States
- Publish White Paper outlining formal plan of action for achieving 2019 and 2020 objectives
- Develop a network of supporters, allies, and donors in pursuit of Phase 2 funding requirements
- Establish a presence on the web and the media to begin to make our voices heard
Signals - Public outreach and recruitment - find out what people are worried about and how we can focus our platform to address their concerns. Develop the web and media presence necessary to reach people. Identify potential partners and allies. Act as the conscience, making sure the party's actions are in accord with its ideals. Be the Gadfly to counter Groupthink, as needed.
Research - Map and understand the "Environment" and "Landscape" of the Pacific States political system and institutions. Develop strategic objectives and potential courses of action. Identify opportunities and threats. Be the Big-Picture-Thinker, the navigator, always trying to plot the best course that will achieve the collective objectives.
Logistics - Develop and maintain the institutional architecture that keeps the organization running. Convert evaluation and strategy into concrete objectives and plans of action. Monitors and manages technology and finances. Be the detail-oriented "Staff Officer" who works to determine what is feasible and what is not.
Operations - Engages potential allies and supporters, winning them over to our cause. Actively solicit involvement and assistance from public, private, and charitable sources. Goes out and meets people to represent the Pacific National Party and its mission. Be the face of the organization, the one who gets things done.
Budget [$1.49 Million]:
- 4 Staff, 3 year contracts, $60,000 in base salary and 50% of that again in taxes and benefits: $1,080,000
- Technology, basic supplies, office space (as-needed basis), administrative support: $210,000
- Contingency Fund: $100,000
- Fees to Crowsource platform and payment processor: $100,000
Reach Goal: $328,000(+)
- "Research consultant" (me) for 3 years at ~1/2-time: $108,000
- Technical consultant to help design/prototype digital app (for Phase 2): $120,000
- Early outreach/media efforts via consultants (for Phase 2): $100,000-200,000
Phase 2: Expansion (2019)
*Phase 2 is inherently more of a ballpark estimate compared to Phase 1, as success or failure in Phase 1 will largely structure the course of Phase 2. However, Phase 1 will be conducted with Phase 2 always in mind, because that is where the PNP makes the jump from four people in an office to a fast-growing start-up in its own right. It is also important to note that the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 will depend heavily on when the organization can obtain the necessary funding committments.
Necessary Funds: $9,700,000 [$9.7 Million]
- Hire 12 additional staff, 3 in each department, allowing intensification and acceleration of all efforts
- Contract for the development of an app, a digital platform for political engagement, a mashup of Duolingo, Politifact, and StackExchange (among others)
- Pursue further funding partnerships with large donors to augment the crowdsourcing effort, to lay the groundwork for Phase 3
- Develop a slate of candidates, new or established - but willing to make a binding agreement with respect to our main objectives, to run in the West 2020
- Support the start of a compatible regional party in the Intermountain West, who will be needed as allies to control the outcome of the 2020 election
- Publish widely in multiple media outlets to continue growing our support base and spreading the word of our alternative for America
- Essentially the same functions, with added capacity. Original Executive Council remains, with members serving as liasion between department and council
- A centrally-managed budget will be established and assets allocated to departments as needed to pursue opportunities
Budget: [$9.7 Million]
- 12 Staff, 2 year contracts, $60,000 in base salary and 50% of that again in taxes and benefits: $2,160,000
- Physical office space and administrative support for 2 years: $840,000
- Operations budget/common resource pool for 2 years: $2,000,000
- App development (contracted out to best bid): $3,000,000
- Contingency budget: (10% of total): $800,000
- Fees and Taxes (assume 10% of total): $900,000
Additional funds over and beyond this amount will either roll over to Phase 3 or be used to enhance Phase 2 efforts.
Phase 3: The Battle of 2020
* Phase 3 goes from ballpark to best guess. As with the Phase 1 to Phase 2 transition, Phase 3 will require an intensification of effort and an order of magnitude more cash on hand. Since raising $100 Million via crowdfunding would set a record, it is likely that to succeed in 2020 the Pacific National Party will need to secure significant funding support from public, private, or foundation sources to achieve our objectives in 2020. However, given the presence of numerous multi-billionaires and thousands of millionaires in the Pacific States, most of whom are as dismayed by what is happening in D.C. by the rest of us, all it really takes is one or two patrons willing to do their civic duty and help get this done, without trying to control the process.
Necessary Funds: $120,000,000 (for campaign offices and supporting infrastructure)
Needed Funds: Up to (and perhaps over) $1 Billion in fundraising from all sources to support candidates and compete in the presidential contest everywhere west of the Mississippi.
- Establish offices in 80-100 counties throughout the Pacific States, each with 5 paid staff and a $1 Million dollar budget to work with
- Coordinate outreach, fundraising, and turnout efforts by offering guidance and additional resources where needed
- Maintain oversight and continuity with respect to message and platform, but allow local staffs maximum autonomy in achieving results
- Run or endorse (in exchange for binding agreement of support) a comprehensive slate of candidates for all federal offices
- Support the establishment of a formal party infrastructure eligible for public funding and the donor base necessary to support our candidates in the future
- Pursue any and all opportunities to develop a coalition in 2020 capable of keeping any partisan candidate from winning the presidency
Budget: [$120 Million]
- 80-100 offices totaling 400-500 staff on 9-month contracts at $50,000 total compensation each: $25,000,000
- Operating budget for offices to recruit volunteers, purchase media time, and remain stocked up on supplied: $75,000,000
- Common resource pool for operations, contingencies, and other additional expenses: $20,000,000
Again, this is $ spent solely on salary for staff and operations for the campaign we have to fight between 2017 and 2021. Any additional funds will be placed in a trust that will be managed by an independent foundation to provide a skeleton staff and structure on into the future, capable of providing a base for mobilizing subsequent efforts as needed. The size of this trust will depend on donor relations. But ideally, we could place $10-$20 Million in the trust, using the 3%-5% earned on annual interest to fund a reserve supporting infrastructure independent of whatever formal party governance model is ultimately chosen for the party going forward. That would be enough to support 4-8 staff dedicated to outreach, education, and advocacy.
It feels entirely silly to be proposing such a thing. But over the course of the past year, I have watched my country fall to fascism. It was always bad enough to look at my W-2, and know that half of the Federal Income Tax I pay ends up buying bombs that get dropped on literally thousands of innocent people, year after year. And now all that power is in the hands of people who continue to make it clear that they govern in the interest of a privileged, wealthy, white minority.
So I put this out there, in hopes that I can somehow, in some way, help to make a difference.