What are your positions? Where is your party platform? What does CSP stand for?

We will be adopting a platform for the party after we are deemed by the Secretary of State to be a “qualified party.” Prior to that point, the statement of principles found on the Common Sense website is necessarily more general, because we don’t have by-laws or a process for adopting a specific platform. You can see the statement of our principles at https://cacommonsense.org/principles

We plan to create a process for posting and debating various policy positions and a mechanism for adopting them into the party platform after we have been deemed an officially qualified party. We would be delighted to have your participation in the process of drafting those positions, and the platform, when that time comes. We will likely create a party platform that is relatively focused on Common Sense issues that are the purview of our state and local governments. We expect our governments to deliver their necessary services efficiently and effectively. We will likely not define specific positions on federal and international issues.

What unites us at this stage is a strongly held belief that the major parties have not served California well. We want to create a party that welcomes a breadth of views and does not insist on orthodoxy. Generally speaking, we are committed to being fiscally responsible and socially inclusive.

Who is funding you? Who is behind this effort?

Costs for the Common Sense Party are funded by the Independent Alliance for California (IAC). The IAC is a 527 organization that as of November 2019 has raised approximately $500,000. Donors include about 250 individuals who have donated through our website (https://donorbox.org/cacommonsense) or directly via check or wire transfer to the IAC.  Make checks payable to: “Independent Alliance for California”

FEIN: 82-4751327
c/o The Sutton Law Firm
150 Post Street, Suite 405
San Francisco, CA 94108

The Sutton Law Firm manages our accounts and makes all necessary reports and disclosures through the Fair Political Practices Commission. The identities of investors and amounts donated to the IAC are disclosed according to all normal processes and rules of the FPPC.

In the future the Common Sense Party will establish its own operating accounts, will solicit and accept investment from will solicit and accept investment from individuals and organizations that espouse our views and are legally able to contribute. Any future investments made to the Common Sense Party will also be thoroughly disclosed.

Is there a chapter in my town/campus?

We have not yet established any Common Sense chapters, but we are now seeking local leaders interested in establishing chapters in their towns, neighborhoods or campuses. No formal procedures exist yet on how to establish a chapter because we are focused on getting the 73,000 registrations to qualify as a Party. If you have interest, then please contact us through the website at https://cacommonsense.org/get-involved. We would like to identify volunteers willing to help with the following roles:

  • Statewide Volunteer Coordinator
  • Regional Volunteer Coordinator
  • Youth Coordinator
  • Chapter Leader
  • Someone to create a handbook on “How to Form a Common Sense Chapter” which includes guidelines as well as links to useful tools for political organizationing.

We need Common Sense Leaders. Please step up and help lead the movement!

How can I volunteer?

Our main focus right now is attracting 73,000 voters to register with the Common Sense Party, and we are seeking volunteers to help us get there. To support this goal we are looking for:

  1. Investors. Our “Seed Round” is $1 million. We have secured approximately half that amount. We need to raise another $500K. Please reach out to potential investors and introduce the Common Sense movement (see overview here). If they have interest, we will be delighted to schedule a follow up call or meeting. Or, you can direct them to our website where they can make a donation at https://donorbox.org/cacommonsense.
  2. Database Building. We have a database of several thousand emails. We are looking to build that database with voters interested in our movement. You can download your contacts to a spreadsheet or .csv file, sort to remove folks you know have no interest, and send us the rest at contact@cacommonsense.org. Likewise, you could search your contact list and pull out 25 or 50 people you know would have interest. In either case, we can add your contacts to the database so that they start receiving regular communications from the Common Sense Party. We will not bombard them with low-priority communications and, of course, people on our mailing list can unsubscribe at any time.
  3. Local chapter leaders. We plan to form chapters in towns and campuses throughout California. We need volunteers make recommendations on how chapters can be established, expectations of chapters, helpful hints and a range of issues that new chapters will confront. We plan to create a “manual” for local leaders and, if this is your skill set, please let us know.

Please contact us at https://cacommonsense.org/get-involved if any of these roles may be of interest to you. We are a small and flat organization and there is plenty to do for anyone who wants to help!

Is a contribution reportable? What is the legal entity to which I am contributing? Is a contribution tax-deductible?

Contributions are reportable. Your contribution will be made to a 527 organization and your name and the amount you invested will be reported to California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. Contributions to a 527 are not tax-deductible.

If for some reason you are unable to contribute to a 527 organization, then please reach out to us at (949) 207-9084 or contact@cacommonsense.org.

Will you be running candidates in 2022?

Our first priority is to obtain 73,000 members in order to become a Qualified Party.  After that goal is accomplished the Common Sense Party will seek to identify candidates for local offices such as school boards, city councils, and county supervisors as well as targeted state legislative races.  We will consider supporting Common Sense Party candidates and No Party Preference candidates.  We will also consider supporting Common Sense Democrats and Common Sense Republicans who may be part of the traditional parties and who embrace Common Sense perspectives.  The Common Sense Party will look to support candidates, initiatives and policies  that minimize political partisanship in favor of beneficial long-term decision making.

How are you different from the Democratic and Republican Parties?

Both established parties have ossified. Each insists on a rigid adherence to a set of views, when most Californians value independence of thought. Our party embraces the competition of ideas and encourages different perspectives in the pursuit of better governance.

Third parties take strength away from the established party to which they are closest ideologically. Why won’t you do the same?

California’s nonpartisan primary makes all the difference. A third party can have the effect described when its candidate is on the November ballot with a Democratic and a Republican candidate. But that’s not possible in California.  If a Common Sense Party candidate makes it to November in California, she or he will be matched up against one opponent. We believe the Common Sense Party candidate will then win, drawing from supporters of the Democratic or Republican candidate who did not make it to the finals, plus the 28.3% of the electorate (using statewide numbers) who are No Party Preference.  We also expect to draw voters registered as Democrat and Republican who do not support the increasingly extreme left or right candidates promulgated by the major party system.

Are you targeting the members of the American Independent Party?

The LA Times reported that three quarters of Californians registered in the American Independent Party thought they were registering as independents; when they are actually registered in the party formed in 1968 by George Wallace, the segregationist and infamous Governor of Alabama. We believe many of these mis-registered voters will find the Common Sense Party attractive.

What will you do if you don’t get enough California voters to re-register in time for the 2020 elections?

We’ll keep working at it. The Secretary of State’s office has told us that they will keep track of those who have re-registered, and keep a running total for whenever we eventually do hit the 73,000 needed.

Will you support candidates and representatives within the established parties?

Yes. We hope to be a force within both Democratic and Republican Parties, as well as creating a home for those who don't want to affiliate with either of them.

Are you aiming at the national level as well?

We are 100% focused on California for the foreseeable future. We are aware of national third party movements and do not take a position on any of them.

How are you different from the Libertarian or Green Parties?

Rather than focusing on a single-issue such as environmental protection or eliminating government as some minor parties do, the Common Sense Party seeks to include a variety of perspectives and ideologies by developing policy positions rooted in practicality, data-based decision making, long-term impacts, civility, and Common Sense.