Chairman's Report - September 25, 2014

Chairman Report
As many of you know, Marilyn Rickert, Steve Curtis, John Grafer, Autry Pruitt and Steve Hayes were elected in June to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of AFFT.  A number of Workgroups composed of other AFFT board members and FairTax®  supporters are also very active.
Collectively, we have been working on a number of projects and are seeing some positive results.
Some of these results are:
  • A membership drive that will strengthen AFFT’s lobbying efforts with Congress and will also generate income that is equally shared with the state obtaining the AFFT memberships;
  • Club 535 which asks people to sponsor a Member of Congress for $1000.  These funds will be used to open and staff a Washington, D.C. office;
  • An aggressive social media campaign that is rapidly increasing the number of young people learning about the FairTax®;
  • A plan to redo our website;
  • A strategic plan nearing completion;
  • A  new more user-friendly database system. 
In addition, I traveled to Washington, D.C. on September 22nd.  While there I met with David Burton, a Senior Fellow for Tax Policy at the Heritage Foundation, Dan Mitchell at CATO, the chief economists at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce—thanks to the efforts of AFFT director from Virginia, Bob Frenzel, Alan Keyes, Phil Klein—Commentary Editor for the Washington Examiner, Jerod Bernstein who is with a very liberal think tank and Dan Mastromarco, a man who has often given Congressional testimony supporting the FairTax.
The meetings were all positive and resulted in many future opportunities where we can present the benefits of the FairTax.
Some of our AFFT members question if working with people in Washington, D.C. is necessary because the real pressure on Members of Congress comes from the voters in their district who elected them and who can vote them out.  While this is true, Members spend most of their time in Washington, D.C and much of their thinking is influenced by the people with whom they associate in Washington, D.C.--who they see all the time and often rely on for advice about issues.
We, like the NRA and almost all other large national organizations, see the need to have a presence in Washington, D.C. but recognize that it is ineffective without the active work of AFFT members in each Member’s district.
When the average Congressional primary may be decided by a few thousand votes, if we have 3000 paid AFFT members in a Congressional district, the Member of Congress knows that the support or opposition of the AFFT members and who they can influence can decide a primary election.  Combine this with the ability for our Washington office staff to become a resource for Members who are being pressured by voters in their district to endorse the FairTax, and we will get more educated co-sponsors who will be comfortable speaking about their support of the FairTax.