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Newsletter May 2019

A Human's Ability to Know

Does a cork sink?

My stepson suffered a life crippling, double catastrophe: diagnosed with stage four cancer, he then had a paralyzing stroke resulting in the loss of 1/5th of his brain. After surgeries they worried about his I.Q. and tested him. “Does a cork float?” He said, “yes.” “Is a lemon sour or sweet?” He said, “sour.” “Does a rock float or sink?” He responded, “It sinks, unless of course it is pumice, then it may float.”

I laughed until I cried.

Intelligence and thoughtfulness are clear and exposed amongst those you personally know. But my stepson and those you know with brains to spare, will not offer themselves for public service.

The door to elected office is closing to those with honesty and integrity — or anyone who won’t capitulate and say a cork sinks or a lemon is sweet, if it helps them win. It is such people who discourage citizens and darken truth.

Running successfully requires the honing of your worst instincts, a will to direct hatred at your opponent and stoke fear in a mob you’d rather follow than lead. Fear is contagious and easily used for selfish ends. It is why we, the luckiest generation of Americans and perhaps of the whole world in all history, are constantly bombarded with reasons to be hateful.

Perhaps it is time to select leaders from those not craving leadership.

Stupidity is a hard thing. Bang against it alone and you will likely break. That is why I committed a life to Vote Smart.

A human’s ability to know, to gather facts, learn and progress has given us all we have, or will ever have.

An attack on facts and learning, has always been mankind’s biggest threat and the enemy of progress and freedom.

Please stand and join us, and if you can’t, at least use Vote Smart to defend yourself and your fellow citizens’ right to the facts.

Richard Kimball

Vote Smart President


One student's answer may give comfort that the young "get it."

The young have no recollection that opposing sides could once disagree agreeably, compromise, and inch progress forward. Their only experience comes from what they see from those our generation has elected, and they understandably mock it.

More young citizens are voting, getting involved in issues and campaigns, standing up to what they know is the absurd. As a Virginia law professor once pompously told his students, “There is no such thing as truth, only perceptions of it.” A student instantly stood up and demanded to know, “Is that true professor? Is there no such thing as truth?”


Political Bull

Let the facts reign with our new program to be released this summer in plenty of time for the coming elections.

The idea is pretty simple: Any time a user looks up a politician and that politician has been found to have

deceived voters by a reputable fact check organization (, PolitiFact, The Washington Post's Pinocchio test, etc.), we will put the BULL logo in their profile with the number of lies these independent fact checkers have identified for that politician.

Click the Bull image to read more!


Our Leader Walker McKusick

As a Vote Smart supporter this is a fellow you should know. Walker has been Vote Smart’s National Director since March 2016. He led us in the difficult transition from our research facilities in Montana to our current headquarters at Drake University in Des Moines.

Vote Smart found Walker after he attended the London School of Economics, served as a teaching fellow at the Bryanston School in the U.K. and completed his B. A. in Economics and History at the University of Virginia.

Beginning at Vote Smart as a Research Assistant in March of 2015 he rose to Research Department Director in his first 6 months and then just 6 months later was chosen to be Vote Smart’s National Director.

It is a bitter sweet moment to report to you that Vote Smart’s home of 18 years sold early this month.

We have received an offer for $2.3 million and it has been tentatively accepted. That amount is in excess of the $1.2 million we paid for the property back in 1999.

The ranch was enormously successful in attracting almost two thousand interns and member volunteers over the years.

The interns represented the top ranks of virtually every major university in the country including over 20 foreign countries.

And the members? WOW! Over 200 came, with many coming again and again, year after year.

All of them committed to Vote Smart’s goal, all of them donating their time and expertise and not a one requesting to be paid for their efforts.

The country will forever be in their debt for the tens of thousands of hours of effort they put in and for the Voter’s Self-Defense System they made possible

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