SAM has created the only political platform not based on rigid ideology or pre-determined policy positions. In fact, we reject that approach altogether.
Instead, our candidates rely on a process to inform their decisions — and to deliver results that do the most good for the most people.
So, how does that work?
Every other political party starts with an answer — regardless of the question. The result? We spend more time arguing than fixing things.
We’re changing that.
Our candidates rely on proven problem-solving principles to understand the challenges facing their communities, then work with you and with other leaders to develop a solution that delivers the most good for the most people.
How we solve problems
Listen to and engage ALL key stakeholders (constituents) — which may require outreach to ensure that a diversity of groups and perspectives are heard — in order to understand and record the context, background, symptoms, scope and scale of the problem from the perspective of the people you represent. Gather and record data from all relevant sources.
We define the problem based on all the information we gather. We also define how we are going to evaluate potential solutions — so we know whether or not we’re on the right track. And because transparency is key, we publish these findings for everyone to see.
Gather ideas for solutions from many different sources, including constituents. The more constructive inputs, the better.
Work with colleagues in search of common ground and a “win-win” solution that delivers the most good for the most people. After consensus is achieved at a broad level, we’ll isolate and work through any remaining areas of disagreement. The goals and desired outcomes more important than positions.
Evaluate the success or failure of the solution based on real-life consequences — the quantifiable changes and observable experiences gathered in step 1.
Sometimes policies have unintended consequences, both good and bad. And when we see something that’s not working, we have to change it — we can’t just double down on a bad idea even if it’s well-intended. That’s why the goal is to keep evolving the solution until the problem no longer exists.
The SAM Score
We believe candidates and officials should commit themselves to objective and verifiable standards of transparency and accountability. We’re refining the SAM Score (it’ll be ready soon!) to help you rate and track performance, and hold people — not just SAM candidates — accountable for their actions.
In the meantime, feel free to explore our working criteria below...
Has pledged support for SAM’s Vision
Has pledged support for SAM’s Mission
Takes no purist ideological policy pledge, renouncing inflexible policy litmus tests and refusing to adhere inflexibly to the expectations of any political party caucus
Seeks out opposing views regardless of party affiliation and seeking common-ground policy solutions
Has an objectively demonstrable record of cross-partisan cooperation through actions as a private citizen, in public service or through, for example, co-sponsoring legislation with legislators from all parties, voting for legislation sponsored by more than one party, voting from time to time independent of the wishes of the party caucus (if any) in which the elected official may participate and, for elected officials serving in the federal government, achieving a bipartisanship ranking above the 60th percentile
Once elected, will disclose online all calendars of the elected official and senior staff and the occurrence of and participants in all non-personal meetings or calls related to the official's duties in which the elected official or his/her senior staff participates
Once elected, will disclose online all personal business and professional conflict of interests for the elected official or for any member of his/her immediate family
Will disclose online and within 24 hours every political contribution of any amount to the candidate/elected official or to any organization or PAC controlled by the candidate/elected official, whether or not required by existing law
Will disclose online all meetings, communications, business and political affiliations with anyone associated with an independent expenditure entity
Will disclose online all in-kind and other contributions from, and all coordinated expenditures by, any political party or other organization for the benefit of the candidate/elected official
Will hold regular constituent engagement sessions through scheduled office hours, town halls and candidate availability sessions (no less than four times per month)
Will create and consult, at least monthly, with citizen advisory panel(s) that represent diverse constituent views and interests
Pledges a voluntary term limit of the greater of 12 years or three terms for all non-judicial offices
Pledges a self-imposed five-year prohibition on becoming a lobbyist
Will disclose online and explain all substantive votes via timely, consistent reports
Refuses to accept contributions from all organizations (including but not limited to corporations and/or unions and their PACs, 501(c)(4), or 527 committees) that do not disclose the identity of their individual donors
Refuses, while in office, to discuss or accept employment in, or remuneration from, any industry representative or any person or organization that lobbied the candidate/elected official on any issue and to disclose within 24 hours any suggestion or offer of such employment or remuneration
Supports public (top 4 or top 5) primaries that are open to all voters regardless of party affiliation
Supports legislation to require the use of Ranked Choice Voting (aka instant-run-off vote tabulation systems) in all publicly financed primary and general elections
Supports legislation to end partisan gerrymandering by, for example, creating independent, fully transparent redistricting commissions
Supports legislation imposing appropriate term limits on legislative offices
Supports repeal of “sore loser laws,” including rules that make it impossible to run as an independent, after losing a party primary
Supports legislation to lower the legal barriers for minor party and independent candidates to get their names and candidacies on primary and general election ballots
Supports removing obstacles to legal voter registration and voting by advocating for automatic voter registration (AVR), same day registration, online registration, early voting, vote-at-home options, and/or by making election day a national holiday
Supports requiring organizations including so-called super PACs that make expenditures in connection with elections to disclose all donations online and within 24 hours
Supports eliminating leadership PACs and other ways incumbents and the major parties favor themselves by creating loopholes or favored treatment under current campaign finance laws
Supports making election law enforcement agencies independent and non-partisan rather than “bi-partisan”