Dear Lost Member:
Both KMart and I regretted it.
I was the odd kid that had zero interest in cars, yet KMart wanted to make me an Automotive Manager. Stocking and payroll went just fine but the first time I sold some radial tires I forgot the lug nuts on the right rear. Thirty seconds into his drive the owner's new Buick collapsed in the parking lot.
Thirty years later and I am watching the wheels come off again.
I left that parking lot and walked into politics -- something I was actually interested in -- and as it turns out better at. I put in a few years working for various Congressmen; Udall, Mondale and Moynihan, if you are old enough to remember those guys -- then a few more as a State Senator, Corporation Commissioner and as my party's nominee for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
I was in my thirties when I quit politics. I had found something more important to do: Project Vote Smart. I was certain that it would save the world from the corruption and manipulation of politicians and their campaigns. What better thing to do, I thought, than help ensure the citizen's right to know?
Every year at this Project we have been able to build that right to know bigger, better, faster and cheaper, but we have never done it quite like this. As one supporting foundation put it, "Richard, the wheels have come off. Our losses in the stock market make it impossible to continue funding this year."
The impact is enormous. But just like that Buick, if we also lose our members' support, the wheels here will come off, even as we approach the pinnacle of success.
I think you will find this newsletter particularly interesting. Be proud of what you have done here, but understand this: we are now almost entirely dependent upon the small contributions of our members if the wheels are to stay on what we have worked so long and hard to build.
Help us if you can, but even if you cannot afford to contribute this year, please send our information to your friends and relatives who you think know enough to know how important Project Vote Smart is.
Richard Kimball, Project President