Meet the nation's most 'Honest Politician'
July 16th, 2014
01:21 PM ET
1 month ago

Meet the nation's most 'Honest Politician'

(CNN) - "Listening to my constituents, legislating, these are things I don't do," faux candidate Gil Fulbright promises viewers in a bitingly satirical campaign ad run by self-described anti-corruption group Represent.Us.

"What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for reelection," he adds.

"If politicians were this honest, we wouldn't vote for them," the video concludes.

Represent.Us, a nonpartisan organization seeking "to end the culture of legalized corruption that has come to define modern politics," is launching a viral campaign designed to shake-up Kentucky's high-profile Senate race and raise awareness about what it considers America's lax campaign finance laws and the corresponding role of money in politics.

While Fulbright's candidacy may be fake–he won't appear on the ballot in November–real money is coming his way.

Why Kentucky

Key races to watch in 2014

Represent.Us Director Josh Silver told CNN that his group is targeting Kentucky because of the importance and high-profile of its Senate race.

The fight between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his well-financed challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, has already broken several campaign fundraising records, and many speculate its total cost will reach $100 million.

Using the popular crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, Represent.Us earlier this week easily surpassed its goal of raising $20,000 to "Help the Honest Politician Crash the Most Expensive Senate Race of All Time." The group says donations continue to pour in.

The initial $20,000 haul will pay for a campaign bus tour through the Bluegrass State, with Fulbright following real McConnell and Grimes campaign events.

The Fulbright "campaign" plans to launch August 2nd at Kentucky's annual Fancy Farm Picnic, where McConnell and Grimes are expected to speak.

In the coming weeks, Represent.Us hopes to raise enough money to set up billboards, hire a major PR firm, and start broadcasting radio and television ads throughout the state.

The campaign has gotten a lot of free media already, including coverage Wednesday on NBC's "Today Show."

Fulbright part of broader goal

"We are in this to fix the problem, not for belly laughs," Silver told CNN on Wednesday.

Silver has been at the forefront of campaign finance reform efforts for more than a decade. Right now his group is attempting to package a number of piecemeal reforms into comprehensive 'Anti-Corruption Acts' and introduce them at the state and local levels before focusing on Washington. This follows the strategy that marriage equality and marijuana legalization activists pursued, which has proved largely successful thus far.

Silver told CNN that Gil Fulbright in particular was inspired by a recent Annenberg Study that indicated the satirical SuperPAC created during the 2012 campaign by Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert taught viewers more about campaign finance laws than traditional news outlets did.

"Satire is the way to resonate with the American people," he explained.

Silver takes obvious pride in the fact that his organization is strictly nonpartisan.

Represent.Us boasts advisors from across the political spectrum. They include a tea party supporter, an Occupy Wall Street backer, and even disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who knows a thing or two about corruption in American politics.

"This is not a liberal thing, it's not a conservative thing, this is an American thing," Silver stressed.


Filed under: 2014 • Campaign finance • Kentucky • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The problem isn't the politicians. It's the money. There's far too much money in politics.

    July 16, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. just asking

    "What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for reelection," he adds.
    --
    hahahaha... obama has you beat buddy! with his 393 campaign fund raisers that the taxpayers are paying for, he's up around 95%.

    July 16, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. morebs

    seriously, it amazes me that once elected into office, these politicians are off campaigning in other states instead of working for the state that elected them into office. what's shocking is that the same states will continue to vote them in.

    July 16, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. salty dog

    Very interesting.

    July 16, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. salty dog

    I though George bush was the most honest man in politics

    July 16, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Borderless

    Fitting. "The Most Honest Politician" is a fake one.

    July 16, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @just asking
    "What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for reelection," he adds.
    -
    hahahaha... obama has you beat buddy! with his 393 campaign fund raisers that the taxpayers are paying for, he's up around 95%.
    ----------
    ....and he still seemed to have time to get ACA going getting millions insured, ended wars, recovered Bush's financial recession, protect the US from terrorist attack, get Bin Laden, fight domestic TP terrorists. Amazing!

    July 16, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    just asking

    "What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for reelection," he adds.
    -
    hahahaha... obama has you beat buddy! with his 393 campaign fund raisers that the taxpayers are paying for, he's up around 95%.
    July 16, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hes been President for a total of 2003 days. That would be 393 days of campaigning. What is that like 20% of his time?

    July 16, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    O'drama ya Mama

    just asking

    "What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for reelection," he adds.

    hahahaha... obama has you beat buddy! with his 393 campaign fund raisers that the taxpayers are paying for, he's up around 95%.
    July 16, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hes been President for a total of 2003 days. That would be 393 days of campaigning. What is that like 20% of his time?
    =============================================================================
    The President, like all predecessors, tend to attend multiple events in one day. Three or four in one day is common.

    July 16, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |