Last week we launched Change-Congress.org. After that event, I made my first call on a Member of Congress, to ask him to join. I knew he was a supporter of at least some of our ideas. I had come to many of my own ideas about how Congress needs to change after long conversations with him.
I am very proud to announce today that Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-5) (Dem) has become the first Member to join the Change Congress movement. (He supports planks 2, 3, and 4). Congressman Cooper is a "blue dog" Democrat. He was first elected to Congress in 1982 at the ripe old age of 28. He was defeated in a Senate bid in 1994 by Fred Thompson, and then was returned to Congress in 2002. Whether you agree with his positions on particular issues or not, he is precisely the sort of person, with exactly the right character, to serve in Congress: serious on the issues, deeply caring about the substance of the issues, and very very smart. You can thank him by sending a note through the web at:
But late last night, I received an email that is even more promising. Utah nominates candidates for Congress through a caucus process. Phil Windley, who was Utah's Chief Information Officer, wrote to tell me:
"Just got back from my precinct caucus meeting where I was elected vice chair and state delegate (and thus a voting delegate for congressional reps in the third district in Utah). I ran on a "Change Congress" platform. People were pretty much blown away by it I think. There's a powerful message there that people find compelling."
He'll be going to the caucus pressing our ideas. Already he's gotten one call from another sitting Member of Congress who wants to talk.
This is how Change Congress will work: people pressing the issue one candidate and Member at a time. Next week we'll announce a bunch more pledges — we're now perfectly balanced between Republicans, Democrats and Independents. But I wanted to give you this news a bit early, and especially to thank Congressman Cooper for taking the lead in Congress, and Phil for taking the lead in the grassroots.