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Politico gets it wrong on McMullin VP pick

In his article titled “Whoops: Independent candidate appears to have accidentally picked a running mate,” Daniel Strauss argues that Evan McMullin is “stuck” with “Nathan Johnson” as his vice presidential nominee – one of “thousands of people named Nathan Johnson.” Strauss and Politico get it wrong.

While Mr. Strauss snidely claims Nathan Johnson is “one of thousands of people” he was well aware Johnson is a close personal friend of Evan’s who agreed to serve as a placeholder because of the extraordinarily tight time-lines an insurgent campaign like ours entails. Some states required a VP selection on the candidacy forms, and Mr. Johnson agreed to serve in that role, and that role alone.

Mr. Strauss also errs when he argues that Mr. McMullin is “stuck” with Mr. Johnson as his Vice President. After all, one cannot compel someone to serve as Vice President.

The issue then becomes how Mr. McMullin would replace Mr. Johnson. Because of the rarity of this circumstance and the extraordinary nature of this campaign, even many state elections officials are unaware as to many of the legal questions involved. Simply asking elections authorities is one route, and one the campaign will take at the appropriate moment. Even Mr. Strauss concedes in his article that many states allow this.

In addition, after Mr. McMullin wins states like Utah where the electorate views both the major party candidates with disdain, Mr. McMullin’s electors may simply vote for the person that Mr. McMullin selects as his running mate.

Even if that was not an option and Evan wins the White House, Vice President Johnson may simply resign. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides the mechanism for President McMullin to then nominate a replacement.

We are the first to acknowledge our strategy, and our campaign, is unconventional. It requires denying Hillary and Trump 270 electoral votes and sending the election to the House of Representatives. This process does not require the VP nominee to be the same on every ballot.

When Mr. Strauss contacted us about this story, we made it clear that Mr. Johnson was a placeholder, and more importantly, that while this is the kind of story Washington, DC insiders care about the rest of the nation is looking for real answers and better choices for President. Evan is giving Americans a choice in this election where the major party nominees have all time high negative approval ratings, and have lost the trust of the American people.

Finally, Mr. Strauss ridicules Evan McMullin’s campaign for not settling on a Vice President within the first four weeks of its existence. Here Mr. Strauss forgets that thoughtfulness is not a vice; haste is not a virtue; the vice presidency is not a joke; and tendentious stories like this aren’t the same as journalism.

You'll NEVER win

My nine-year-old son sometimes says, when asked to do something resembling a chore which usually requires a whopping 5 minutes of his precious time, “But then I’ll NEVER get to play!” I expect this from a nine-year-old. They lack the perspective on life to understand why sometimes we do things in the short-term that have good outcomes in the long term.

But you know what surprises me? Mature, decent, thinking Americans who say the same thing about this presidential election. Things like, “A vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary.” Or better yet, “I don’t want to waste my vote.” Or my personal favorite, “it doesn’t even matter anymore.”

These are the modern-day political equivalent of my son’s irrational thinking. Mature adults accepting a false premise, lacking perspective and failing to see the long-term impact of their short-term thinking. It has to stop.

We simply do not have to accept the false choice we’re being told we have. We can cast our vote in good conscience now AND ensure a long-term future for our country beyond the divisive politics we are currently experiencing. A vote for Evan McMullin is neither wasted, nor foolish. It is a principled stand against all the other candidates and more importantly, FOR a future we can be proud of.

But why are we really doing this and what’s the end game? I get this question a lot. Ten times a day or more. I’m a pro at answering it. So here you go:

First, you have to get the logistical hurdles out of the way. Despite much misinformation to the contrary (thank you reporters of America) there are actually at least 5 ways Evan McMullin can ensure voters across the country can cast their vote for him. We are actively pursuing all five and have moved the ball forward in every single one, including truly historic efforts to get on the ballot which “all the experts” said we couldn’t do. Here they are:

1) Conventional petition signature gathering or filing

These petition-gathering operations have been amazingly successful given the time constraints. Both volunteer and paid team members are working on more as I write this. Through these means, we’re already on the ballot in:

  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • Louisiana

2) Minor parties with presidential ballot lines

There are parties in a number of states who can nominate Evan McMullin for President; we are in contact with such parties and are aggressively pursuing more. States we’ve already secured include:

  • Minnesota
  • Arkansas
  • South Carolina

3) A legal challenge in states whose deadlines have passed

We will challenge the deadlines and/or signature requirements on constitutional grounds and sue to regain access in those states. It’s time to challenge these discriminatory laws that prevent competition in the American political landscape. Many of America's leading legal thinkers agree. A recent op-ed by legal scholars Larry Lessig and Randy Barnett outlines the importance of this legal challenge.

4) Write-ins

Write in candidacies, while challenging, are a viable option. In normal circumstances one might dismiss this. But a few key points need to be made here.

  • First, it’s been done successfully before on a statewide basis in big races like presidential primaries and US Senate races. (just google it)
  • Second, it’s not complicated. We actually have faith in the American people’s ability to write. And given their other choices, we like our chances. 

We will pursue this option with an aggressive campaign to educate and motivate voters in necessary states to write-in Evan McMullin for President.

5) The collapse of Donald Trump

The complete collapse of Donald Trump could force the Republican Party either in specific states or in its entirety to replace him through legal means as their candidate. At that time, their legal team will have to sort that out and a strong McMullin candidacy would be a logical choice.

So what’s the end game?

Ok, fine, you say. But what are you ACTUALLY trying to accomplish? You can’t possibly think you’re going to win, right? Actually yes, its possible. But we’re not banking our entire existence on it. There are several very important goals. Here they are:

1) Win

The goal is to prevent either major-party candidate from reaching 270 electoral votes and send the election to the House of Representatives. In order to achieve this, we must win some electoral votes and show the country, and the House, that there is a desire for a compromise candidate. Once in the house, against the backdrop of Trump and Clinton’s deeply divisive positions and after a strong electoral college showing, we believe Evan’s unifying message can prevail.

2) Win electoral votes

It’s been 48 years since anyone other than the major party candidates won a state’s electoral votes. It will be a signal that a new generation of American leadership has come — and it matters — a lot. Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota and many more are poised for this. And guess what? We’re already on the ballot in all those states.

3) Build for the future

American politics cannot and will not continue on this path. That much is clear. The networks and assets built over the next 3 months will be positioned to lead what’s next. Anyone who has been a part of it will be positioned for influencing the future of American politics in ways seldom seen in modern times. This is already happening as tens of thousands of people are joining us — the foundation is already laid for the new movement.

4) Standing up for what is right

We believe that history will demand an accounting of those with voices and resources — asking who stood up and who stood on the sidelines in this historic election.

So let’s stop acting like nine-year-olds. Take just five minutes and step back from the situation and look through a different lens. Ask yourself if, in ten years, you will be glad you cast your vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Ask yourself if you’ll be proud of that stand you took. Proud to talk to your kids and grandkids about it. If you will be, then we’re probably done here. Not much else I can say to you. But if you think, just for a minute, that your vote might be an affirmation and a stand, not simply a resigned civic duty, then I urge you to vote for Evan McMullin — he’s the right choice — and it’s never too late to do the right thing.

A Note from Minnesota

At the Minnesota State Fair this week, Evan McMullin’s voice sounded through the loudspeakers during two separate live interviews with local radio stations, and it stopped people in their tracks. I watched as they pointed and walked over to watch him and listen. What got their attention? They were finally hearing a presidential candidate who articulated exactly what they’ve always been thinking. That Hillary Clinton’s unscrupulous past is a forecast of her future behavior. That Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive policies weaken us as a people and as a nation. That conservatism is a powerful movement with no room for Trump’s racism and intolerance. Soon, heads began to nod in agreement. People leaned in closer to hear better. And the crowds increased.

Fairgoers were introduced to McMullin’s impressive background the same way I was a few weeks ago. CIA agent. Refugee volunteer. Investment banker. National security advisor. Policy director for House Republicans. As excitement grew, people asked for signs, buttons, and posters. They gathered to shake Evan’s hand afterward and eagerly thanked him for entering the race.

They came to the fair in hopes of finding fried cheese curds and corn dogs bathed in mustard—which they got. But they left with a fresh optimism, a glimmer of hope for America’s future in a new presidential candidate who cannot be ignored.

Team McMullin in Kentucky

We've got one week left to collect the 5,000 signatures we need to get Evan on the ballot in Kentucky, and our volunteers will be out in force across the state, collecting signatures from registered Kentucky voters.

Here are several events where you can find our volunteers and sign the petition to give Kentuckians a better choice on the ballot this November:

Tailgate at the Louisville Game
Date: Tonight, September 1st at 5:30-7:30 PM
Meet up Location: Starbucks, 3103 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40214
Contact: Becca Clary at [email protected] or 801.921.0784

Tailgate at the UK Game
Saturday, September 3rd at 4:30-7:30 PM
Meet up Location: 120 State St, Lexington, KY 40503
Contact: Karen Ledford at [email protected] or 606.813.1237

Riverfest in Covington
Sunday September 4th
Contact: Katie McMullin at [email protected] or 513.850.4936

Come and volunteer for a few hours, or just stop by and sign your name to help put Evan on the ballot. Bring a friend -- it's a lot of fun!

If you'd like more information about volunteering in Kentucky, please contact us at [email protected].

Thank you!

'We Intend to Win Utah'

Hear from our chief strategist Joel Searby as he discusses how we are building our victory operation with some of our local supporters in Salt Lake City.

"There's so much energy in Utah for Evan," says Searby.

"We intend to win Utah."

Don't forget to check out some of the great grassroots events we have coming up this week in Utah on our events page!

You won’t believe these numbers

I’m sitting here at my computer, refreshing my browser again and again -- watching the donations pour in. People from every corner of our country are chipping in to help us meet our midnight deadline, and it’s absolutely blowing me away.

But what stands out to me the most isn’t just how many of you have stepped up… it’s how many of you have stepped up time and time again. Fully 56% of people who’ve donated have already given in this campaign. It’s absolutely amazing, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it.

If you can, please chip in $1 to help us meet our midnight goal. Every little bit goes a long way, and we appreciate it.

Look, it’s no secret: we don’t have the big money of the major political parties behind us. Evan’s not a career politician, and we don’t have a cadre of big money donors behind us. We have something better; we have you.

This is more than a campaign for president. It’s a grassroots movement of Americans from every state who believe in truly conservative American values -- hard work, compassion, kindness, and respect for others -- and are ready to stand up for what’s right. And make no mistake: the donations that you’re making are what’s keeping us in this race.

So if you’ve already given today, thank you. Truly. And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider chipping in just a few dollars. Anything helps. (Our average donation today is just $18.)

-- Ian

Ian Patrick Hines
Digital Director
McMullin for President

A note about HOW we’re running this campaign

From the very first meeting of our campaign team I made it clear that one of the most important things we can do to serve Evan well is run a different kind of campaign. What I meant by that was that we will be a campaign team that cares about one another, does the right thing, doesn't leak or gossip, looks out for each other and always keeps our eyes on the goal - serving the American people and Evan.

This is especially important when you hear daily stories of discord and dysfunction from the Trump and Clinton campaign. It matters HOW you run a campaign, not just that you have one.

I'm proud to say we are living up to this standard. I am amazed by the great people who have come around this campaign. People have left prestigious, stable jobs to join us. Many are volunteering their time. People are flying all around the country to help. But even more than that, we actually like each other. We are communicating well and keeping perspective on what matters. It's really, really hard - but it's worth it.

We also aren't running a bloated, expensive campaign like Donald or Hillary. We're running a tight ship. Watching every penny. Money we raise goes straight to work helping us grow the movement and introduce more and more people to Evan.

I hate fundraising emails and asks for money as much as anyone. But I want you to know that when you give money, time and effort to this campaign, you are truly investing in the future of America. It is my promise to you that we will not waste your money - whether you give $5.00 or $2,700. I take seriously the sacrifices that people are making to be a part of this. Together, I know we can do amazing things. Join us.

Our first month together

We've only been on the campaign trail for a few weeks, but things are really rolling. We're getting ballot access in more states every day, thousands are stepping up to help, and we're gaining in the polls because Americans are ready for a new generation of leadership.

We are all part of something historic. It takes a lot of courage to get off the sidelines, say that you've had enough of our broken system, and you're ready to do something about it — and you were one of the first to take a stand. That early support helped get us to where we are right now, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

But I need your help today.

Right now, we're just $50,000 short of our end of month goal — and we only have a few short days left to make a powerful first impression.


This is our chance to show how much momentum we have behind our movement, to prove that Americans are ready for a new generation of leadership, and let everyone know that we have the numbers to back it up.

Will you step up and help us close out an historic first month?

-- Ian

Ian Hines
Digital Director
McMullin for President

Guest Post: I’m supporting Evan McMullin

Over the course of the past year, you have all come to know that I will never vote for Donald Trump. You only need to take a look at my work to see that I find Donald Trump to be a repulsive candidate that does not stand for conservatism.

Just take a look at the “conservative” positions that Trump believes in; He’s opposed to free trade; He’s opposed to gun rights; He’s a supporter of Planned Parenthood. That alone is enough to disqualify Trump as a “conservative” candidate in my book, But overall Trump’s ethos (if he has one) is that the power of the state should be expanded. He is not somebody who believes in smaller government.

That support for Trump is wrapped up a racist, nationalist package makes for a disturbing, toxic cocktail that a conservative cannot support in good conscience.

Being against something is easy, however. It’s a lot harder to be for something. However, it’s in being for something that shows us what our true philosophy is, what our core principles are, and how our system of government should be organized.

So I will be supporting Evan McMullin for President. There are a few reasons why:

  • Evan McMullin has served his nation with honor, both as a CIA operative and as a Congressional staffer. The leading candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have done nothing in public life but serve themselves.
  • McMullin’s positions on issues are consistent and conservative. Take a look for yourself at his positions and you will see a candidate who is in-line with mainstream conservative thinking and somebody that a right-thinking person could support.
  • Character counts. Evan McMullin has shown himself to be a person with a sense of integrity, a sense of duty, and a pride in our country. These are traits that Trump and Clinton have shown themselves not to possess. What does it say of us, as people that we might vote to condone their behavior and their actions.

The McMullin campaign’s battle is up-hill, that’s for certain. In all likelihood he won’t even be on the ballot here in Maryland, but will be a qualified write-in. But just because the campaign is hard does mean it’s worth contesting. This isn’t an issue about one man or even one election. It’s about protecting our country from ideas that are the anti-thesis of our values and of good government. It’s about protecting conservatism from being relegated to the scrap heap of history. And it’s about giving conservative Republicans a choice. A choice that allows them to vote for a solid conservative candidate instead of one that has embraced a disturbing, authoritarian, and nihilistic view of what it means to be a conservative and what it means to be an American.

I think America is already great. And I think that conservative leadership is what America needs. That’s why I’m support Evan McMullin for President, and I hope you do too.

This blog post was originally published on Medium, and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

Guest Post: A note from Wyoming

Special Note: This blog was written in between contractions and right before Debbie left for the hospital to go deliver her child. 

As soon as I heard about Evan McMullin and started watching his interviews, I instantly felt like: “Yes! Thank you! There is a tiny bit of hope in this dismal situation. ” I was so impressed with his common sense views, compassion, character, and willingness to hear both sides of the issue. I knew right away that I wanted to do anything I could to help with his campaign, so I signed up to volunteer.

Being about 8 months pregnant when I signed up, and also having two active twin three year olds, I knew my time was limited, so I hoped to be contacted by the campaign as soon as possible. I know that may sound a little silly, but I have felt so frustrated and powerless with the current two choices for President, that I felt so strongly I had to do something about it. So, when the campaign contacted me earlier this week to help get Evan on the Wyoming ballot, I was so excited to be able to get to work! I immediately called my local paper who asked me about why I wanted another choice as president and what I liked about Evan. They then got in touch with the campaign and were able to interview Evan himself. That same day, I looked up local activities in my community and signed up to run a table at a free event to get signatures petitioning to put Evan on the WY ballot.

I also set up a Facebook page for Wyoming residents who wanted to pitch in and help. I was able to tell the news reporter about the event and the Facebook page so he could make sure to share in info with the public. After that, it seemed like everything just took off from there!

The next day, I was so surprised to see that Evan’s article made the front page of our town newspaper! How awesome! Also, several people began to connect with me across the state on my Facebook page. I was able to send many of them forms to get signatures in their own communities and made some great connections.

That night at the community event, many different groups came to my table excited and eager to sign, saying they came to the event just to put their signature on the petition. I heard so many of them say exactly what I feel: that they are deeply unsatisfied with the current two choices for president, that they can’t believe we’re in the situation we’re in as voters, and that they’d do anything to be able to have a better option.

In between all of this, I also walked around our neighborhood and got as many signatures as I could door to door. I couldn’t go very fast being 39 weeks pregnant, and I couldn’t do it very long, since I had to start late, after my little boys went to sleep, but I did what I could. And let me tell you, I was so happy to do it, because I truly feel like trying to help Evan get on the ballot is doing something worthwhile and important.

I don’t know if any of my small efforts will change anything in the long run, but I do know that I love my country, and I hope that it can continue to prosper and be a force for good in the world. I know I’m concerned for what lies ahead if we don’t elect good, decent leaders. I want a bright future for my children. I want to be able to tell them that their mom did what she could in these difficult times to make a difference, small as it may be.