I am delighted to announce our first selection of 2018. A Declaration of Independents by Greg Orman was released in 2016.
In 2014, Greg Orman–a successful business leader and entrepreneur–ran for U.S. Senate in Kansas as an independent. His landmark campaign attracted national attention as he nearly beat incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts. The Democrat in the race dropped out, recognizing that Greg had animated record numbers of voters and was in the best position. The race was very close until the very final days.
The book chronicles Greg’s journey to becoming an independent and his experiences in this historic campaign.
In Declaration of Independents, Greg describes the huge price we are paying as a result of the toxic partisan political culture in Washington. Greg spells out how that two-party machine works, the supporting institutions that reinforce the paradigm limiting both competition and accountability to voters. In the final section of the book, Greg lays out his vision for reinventing our political system.
In his Acknowledgements, Greg writes that he had been “…writing this book in my head for over fifteen years….” He goes on to share the impact of his campaign on the book, “What would have been missing [had the book been written before the campaign] is the perspective that comes from having run for office in Kansas and being able to talk to my fellow citizens about issues that matter to the. Without our campaign, there would be no book. Running for the U.S. Senate was genuinely the honor of a lifetime.”
In January, Greg announced his independent candidacy for Governor of Kansas. In an interview with Tim Carpenter from the Topeka Capital -Journal, Greg shared how he thinks about being an independent:
For me being politically independent is not about ideology. It’s about 3 things:
- it’s about putting my state and my country ahead of a political party.
- it’s about using facts and common sense to solve problems, not just clinging to rigid ideological solutions even when they are not working.
- and importantly, it’s about being free from obligations to party bosses and special interests.”
Later in the interview Greg shared his view of state government, “At the end of the day we’ve had a government in Topeka that has been very resistant to the involvement of its citizens. And you’ll see when we come out with our transparency plan that we plan to open up the statehouse to the citizens of Kansas. We view them as equal partners in the problem solving process and we’re going to involve them.”
The two parties will do all they can to make this about them — a race between red and blue. They — along with their allies in the media — will tell Kansas voters that any vote outside the two-party duopoly is a wasted vote. Republicans will accuse Orman of being a closet Democrat, while Democrats will say he is really a Republican.”
As we head into the 2018 election cycle, I am eagerly diving into A Declaration of Independents, looking forward to reading it with all of you and having the opportunity to talk with Greg.