Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Craig McPherson: A Vanishing Breed

It is no secret that I strongly support Craig McPherson for Congress in the Kansas 3rd District. His performance at the March 20th Candidate Forum, coupled with the obvious understanding of founding principles he evidenced during his interview with the Independence Caucus more than convinced me that he is, by far, the most qualified candidate in the race. There simply is no comparison - he is a professional in a field of amateurs.

At the time I wrote my endorsement of Mr. McPherson, I did not know him as a person - I had met him on one occasion, but had no time to talk to him, to get a fuller measure of the man. In the weeks since, I have had a great deal more contact with Mr. McPherson, and each encounter has served only to strengthen my support. Craig McPherson is truly a vanishing breed - he is an honorable man.

Earlier this month, I attended a Meet and Greet event for Mr. McPherson. I had an opportunity to speak with him at length, and found him open, sincere and passionate in his convictions and desire to restore limited government and fiscal responsibility in Washington. After making a presentation to the gathering, he opened it up for questions. After the serious questions had been answered, I asked about something quite trivial.

Some time ago, I became aware of a Facebook group called 100,000 Pledging to Help Elect Conservative Candidates. The premise of the group was that they would select and endorse five candidates across the nation, and each member who joined the group would pledge a $10.00 donation to each of the five. When I joined, they had already made two endorsements: Tim Burns, who is running for John Murtha's seat in Pennsylvania, and Chuck DeVore, the darling of California Tea Partiers seeking to unseat Barbara Boxer, both fairly well known nationally. Their third endorsement pleased me a great deal - Craig McPherson. The final two were also well known candidates, Pat Toomey, running against Arlen Specter, and Doug Hoffman, the NY-23 veteran. While I certainly approved of their choice of Mr. McPherson and felt it entirely fitting, I was a bit curious how he had ended up in a field of much better known candidates. So I asked.

Mr. McPherson acknowledged that he was aware of the group, but did not know its creator. He said that it was a guy, he believed in California, who had become aware of McPherson while researching Chuck DeVore (like McPherson, DeVore attended Claremont McKenna College), had called and talked with McPherson for some time, and decided to endorse him.

It's a group on Facebook, certainly not anything terribly important, and has fewer than 3,000 members, not the 100,000 billed in the name of the group. I had asked the question out of pure curiousity, nothing more. I joked that, given the greater name recognition of the other four candidates, I had wondered if it was a friend of his who created the group as a way to promote his candidacy. We all laughed, then moved on to other topics, and I completely forgot the encounter.

A couple of days later, I received a message from Craig McPherson on Facebook. Apparently my question had made him wonder, so he had taken the time to investigate the group, and had learned that the creator of the group was, in fact, a friend of a friend. He wrote to tell me that, saying that I was correct that there was some "home cooking there." He did not want me to be misled.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. There was no reason for him to bother to check this group out - it was a trivial question with no bearing on the race whatsoever. But he did check it out, and, when he learned that there was a connection, he felt it important to reveal that connection to me, in the spirit of honor and full disclosure. After years of receiving form letters from my elected representatives, listening to phony politicians paint themselves as near saints and parsing through countless hours of political speak from the other candidates in this race, trying to ascertain what was fact and what was fantasy, I had found a man who went out of his way to reveal the truth, even when it might (albeit only slightly) damage my image of him. That small act of integrity absolutely sealed my support of this candidate.

Kansas, indeed America, needs to send this man to Washington. I urge you to please visit his website, make a donation, tell your friends about this truly unique and amazing candidate. Never has our nation been more in need of an honest man - Craig McPherson is that man.

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