What is Brand New Congress?
We are the ONLY Post-Partisan Political Action Committee that recruits regular working people for Congress.
We are an organization committed to advancing overdue policies for ALL people by electing working Americans for congressional seats nationwide. Our candidates will put people over party and enact this legislation on day one. It’s time to drop the party labels and get down to business.
Not only is our nation taking several steps backward but we are wasting too much time arguing across party lines. Our organization is a pre-formed caucus comprised of free thinkers committed to liberty and justice for ALL Americans. It starts with a Brand New Congress.
What are your goals for the organization?
Our majority volunteer-led organization works tirelessly towards the goal of recruiting and endorsing Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who will make up our pre-formed caucus to enact the common-sense legislation for which Americans have been waiting. Laws that invest in renewable energy, ending mass incarceration, and guaranteeing a living wage are way overdue. Average citizens want to see these ideas put into action, and the political and corporate classes have consistently stood in the way of that vision.
What type of organization are you?
Brand New Congress is a Political Action Committee. BNC is not a SuperPAC. It’s a plain old PAC. You can learn more about PACs and SuperPACS and the differences between them at http://fec.gov
Are you a consultant firm for candidates? What does your staff actually do?
We are not a consultant firm. We are a regular PAC that works primarily on vetting and recruiting working people across the country who agree with our platform. Once candidates are endorsed, we work to promote the entire slate of candidates through social media and fundraising, and recruiting volunteers to help with their campaigns. We also work to ensure that candidates remain active in building the network and take leadership roles to build out our slate as we introduce more candidates to our slate.
The Brand New Congress staff and candidates come together for group meetings, events and trainings. The candidates themselves, as well as subject matter experts, consult each other on best practices on the campaign trail to help each other become stronger candidates.
Our staff and volunteers consist of designers, video editors, copy editors, project managers, and operations personnel.
We also work on policy and building the brand recognition through press and media so that we can achieve our goals of electing a Brand New Congress in 2018 and well beyond.
Where do my donations go towards?
Donations go towards paying a handful of staff salaries, travel reimbursements, benefits and company tools such as our email distribution software, databases, and equipment used for marketing etc.
Donations help us to significantly increase our supporter base so that we can increase awareness and hopefully recruit more and more extraordinary ordinary working people to run for Congress.
In our supporter emails, we often use tandem fundraising links so that our supporters can donate to BNC plus all of our candidates at once.
You can donate anytime and sign up to become a recurring donor here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/bnc-candidates
Do you have a dollar amount cap on donations from any one individual?
Yes, it is the federal limit of $5,000.
What is the difference between Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress?
Brand New Congress originated in April of 2016 with the idea of running republicans, democrats and independents on one national unified slate. We began mass mobilizing volunteers in the summer of 2016 and recruiting started in the fall of 2016. In the wake of the Trump election, many other groups sprung up, including Justice Democrats, Our Revolution and Indivisible.
Justice Democrats had a similar idea to what we were doing, but instead, they wanted to focus only on Democrats with the strong focal point of replacing corporate/establishment Democrats, especially those who take money from large corporations.
Justice Democrats was formed in January of 2017 and since Brand New Congress has a similar platform and goal, Brand New Congress keeps a close watch on Democrats endorsed by Justice Democrats to ensure we are not splitting the progressive vote.
Currently, Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress are legally unaffiliated. however, we do have volunteers who support both organizations.
How much have you raised and how do we know you are not taking dark money?
Visit our FEC filing page at anytime http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00613810/
Our average donation is $14.29
As of December 2017, we have received 40,194 individual contributions
And a total of $574,135 raised since our inception.
Do my donations go to the DNC or another large-scale organization (Soros, Clinton, etc)?
Not a single dime of money donated to Brand New Congress goes to either the DNC or the Democratic Party itself.
Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from making financial contributions to political campaigns in the United States. US citizens living abroad can still contribute. However, there are so many other things you can do – volunteer for example, or even just get the word out. Your support is so much more important to us than your wallet. Thank you for the interest!
Mailing address for donations:
Make your check payable to Brand New Congress and mail to:
Brand New Congress
P. O. BOX 621264
CHARLOTTE , NC 28262
Don’t people need experience as legislators to work in Congress?
No. Members of Congress should have experience staying true in the face of adversity, and members of Congress should have experience working in the industries and living like the people they will affect with the legislation they create. Our candidates will have that, whereas almost everyone in Congress now does not. Moreover, if we get enough seats, then we’ll be rendering obsolete the game that’s currently played in Congress. But seriously, this is not a valid concern. No one objects when a governor or big city mayor runs for Congress even though those jobs have nothing in common with legislating in Congress. And lots of “successful” Congress people have jumped in with no experience in public office at all, from jobs in banking, real estate, and law, for example.
Are you really talking about replacing all of Congress?
We won’t run against incumbents that fully support the Brand New Congress platform. We believe many current members of Congress will support this plan, and we expect that as the campaign becomes stronger, more and more members of Congress will endorse our platform. In those cases, our candidates may drop out — we’ll have to decide on a case by case basis.
Why aren’t you just starting a new party?
The two-party paradigm is, unfortunately, the situation in which we face ourselves. While we agree with and often champion many of the third party candidates and movements, the reality is that in this country and at this time it is virtually impossible for anyone running as a third party to get elected to national office. Therefore starting a new party probably isn’t the road to engendering the change we desperately need. However, BNC and JD will, after being elected, work to change this paradigm by championing alternative voting systems, potentially ending First Past the Post, overhauling campaign finance law, ending gerrymandering, etc. We all want a more diverse political system – we think this is our best shot.
What is the litmus test for incumbents you choose to run against?
We have an incumbent scorecard where we do the first pass to review the incumbent’s voting record. Based on their time served in office we look at bills like the Iran Deal, Keystone XL Pipeline Approval, HR676-Medicare for All, Inclusive Prosperity Act, number of bills co-sponsored and number of bills introduced, missed votes and so forth. Typically an incumbent would have to score a 20 out of 27 questions to be considered as someone to not run against. There are sometimes exceptions to consider and we also spend a lot of time listening to our supporters.
Are you really talking about running Republicans in conservative congressional districts?
Yes, we will challenge incumbents in their party primaries, running Republicans in districts where only Republicans can win.
Brand New Congress is not bi-partisan or non-partisan — we’re “post-partisan.” The two major parties in America have disintegrated into weak, sprawling sets of local and state organizations that don’t know what they stand for. They are still relevant in one important way: they represent vague cultural brands that are important to something like two thirds of American voters
And here’s another thing we believe – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are all angry about the long-term decline of the American economy and are dying to do something about it. The BNC platform is not about passing some regulations or taxes but about taking action over a limited period of time to hit the reset button on America’s economy. That is something everyone can get behind.
We also just saw from the election in 2016 that conservatives and liberals alike are just as fed up with corruption as everyone else and ready to do something about it. Our goal in deep red and deep blue districts is the same – find candidates from among those who have had enough and are ready to fight back.
The fact is that both Republican and Democratic establishments are equally as opposed to taking big steps to fix our economy and right the wrongs of our out of control criminal justice system. And among Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters, there is an invisible majority waiting to be united around radical and practical solutions.
On the issue of Abortion:
We believe that with healthcare provided to pay for birth control and family planning services along with sex education better taught in the school system regarding birth control, STD prevention and more there would be less NEED for abortion because the number of unwanted pregnancies would be reduced. That doesn’t mean that anyone’s reasons are the business of the government. We just want to give every opportunity to reduce the necessity of abortion if there is a way to do that while always offering it without question to those who seek it. We are almost all women here from teenagers to very senior citizens and none of us wants to see any constitutional protections removed nor do we want to see the need INCREASE. An ideal world would mean this wasn’t a needed health service but it is.
I don’t vote for Republicans!
The Republicans we endorse are Republicans who embrace our platform. If you haven’t read our platform yet I encourage you to take a look: https://brandnewcongress.org/platform If you found a candidate who was running on a platform this amazing, one who agreed to run a campaign solely on individual contributions, rejecting corporate donations, and you didn’t know they were a Republican, wouldn’t you want to vote for them?
We believe that the majority of Americans in red congressional districts want the same thing as everyone else: an economy that offers them high paying jobs, a political system that’s not rigged in favor of elites, and a justice system that doesn’t target innocent people or incarcerate young people for petty and victimless violations. Our job is to win them over to our program, which in most deep red districts means recruiting candidates who come from and still belong to the culture of the vast majority of their constituents. There are thousands of such people in every district who want to see our program be accomplished, and who can lead their constituents through the divisive and confused debates on the issues of the day. In these districts, we believe that running a Republican is the best means of accomplishing our goals.
Still not convinced? Here’s a quick explanation from Marc Whitmire, a BNC Republican running in Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional district.
What is your platform and who is involved with writing this platform?
Our Platform is a People’s platform. It tackles key policies that are long overdue. The platform is written by policy experts who have worked in various fields of our society, passionate volunteers and researchers and our candidates vote on official additions to our platform. To view the shell of our platform visit brandnewcongress.org/platform
How do you vet your candidates?
Candidates are taken through several rounds of vetting.
Candidates are nominated through brandnewcongress.org/nominate
Round 1: Brand New Congress chooses priority races to participate in based on the viability of winning and the sitting incumbent. If Brand New Congress decides they are interested in participating in the primary, a staff member will schedule conversations with both the nominator and the nominee to gain background information.
Round 2-3: Staff will conduct initial background discussions with the nominee and review references to ensure the following:
- They agree with the entire BNC Platform
- They are all working people who have dedicated their lives to service to their community
- They are good public speakers and can hold their own in a debate or tv interview.
- They are people full of integrity and are well respected amongst their peers.
- They have longevity in living in their district and have a clear understanding of what their constituents need and what improvements need to be made to their community.
- They believe in a unified slate of republicans, independents and democrats working together before, during and after their campaigns are over.
- They pledge to take no corporate PAC or corporate lobbyist money.
Round 4: Nominee is also vetted by an existing candidate on the Brand New Congress slate to ensure they will form a good working relationship.
Round 5: Nominee signs a copy of our pledge.
Round 6: Nominee is taken to a board vote to be officially added to the slate.
I want to get involved, how can I help?
Brand New Congress is seeking active volunteers to help with all areas of the movement. Be a part of the most beautiful campaign by going to: http://brandnewcongress.org/get-involved-2/
Sign up to become a chapter president: http://brandnewcongress.org/local-chapters-2/