Welcome to the Next Contestant.

First and foremost, this blog is not “bi-partisan.” It’s “un-partisan,” to coin a term. Next Contestant is neither left nor right, Democrat nor Republican. We are independent and unaffiliated with any political party or other organization.

The objective of the blog is to encourage better, more effective government, period. And we’re going to do this by focusing our attention on non-performing incumbents, on elected representatives, in Congress and The White House, who are not contributing in any meaningful way to resolving the most pressing economic, fiscal and social problems of our time. Life is short. If the people we elect can’t get the job done, we need to replace them with new people who can, as soon as possible. It’s just that simple.

I believe in the importance of accountability. Without it, everything from capitalism to personal relationships tends to be less efficient, less wonderful than it might be in a more honest world. In any case, in the real world where most of us live, accountability is going to happen sooner or later whether we like it or not. In politics? In the Washington that is Congress and the Presidency? Not so much. In fact, avoiding accountability is what many of our elected representatives do to keep their jobs. Maybe we can do something about that.

By the way, the “we” I was just talking about isn’t the royal kind. My team and I can research and write this stuff, do our best to get people’s attention, but we need your help. Your comments and suggestions, tweeting and using other social media to spread the word, will be greatly appreciated. If you find what we say to be interesting and helpful, tell everybody you know. Take them out for coffee or a beer, whatever, and talk about our government. And then go on-line when you have time and let us know what you think by leaving comments to specific posts or by pressing our “What?” button at the top of the screen.

So whose fault is it, this lack of integrity in elected government? Ours, of course. Yours and mine. We elected these good men and women, and, for the most part, they are just that. We gave them a chance to honor the mandate we gave them. Unfortunately, many of them have failed to perform, failed to accomplish what we had every reason to expect they should have. Those are the incumbents this blog is about.

All candidates need to earn the right to be reelected, the same way you and I have to live up to the reasonable expectations of our employers, or find work elsewhere. Our elected officials are, after all, employees of the people, although many of them seem to forget that. ..Nothing personal. It’s only business. When a well paid executive fails to perform, he or she needs to be replaced with someone who has a fresh mandate to get the job done right. That is, after all, what elections are for.

What will we do between elections? Not to worry. It’s unfortunate, but our elected officials are always running for re-election. Even if they’re not, running for office that is, we’ll pay attention and do our best to let you know how they’re spending their time on the job.

We’re going to start with the Maryland race between one-term incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and his Republican challenger, newcomer Dan Bongino. More races and analysis of incumbent performance will be added as soon as we can.

While we hope the blog itself will be helpful to voters, it’s our objective to take an activist role in the elections we follow by funding everything from yard signs to billboards to radio and TV spots, whatever we can afford. Funding for these initiatives will be obtained from contributors to our “non-connected” (an FEC term) Next Connection Political Action Committee and, eventually, from on-line contributions and the sale of really cool Next Contestant merchandise.

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh, were you wondering about the origins of the “Next Contestant”? You might want to read The New Politics of “I blame me.”

-Next Contestant

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