Web Mogul Has Designs on New Political Party
Entrepreneur Mike Mann has successfully grown various e-businesses and fostered thriving charity groups. He now plans to apply the lessons learned from each toward developing a viable alternative at the ballot box, tentatively dubbed the Better Government Party.
Mann’s vision for this prospective political uprising spans nearly four dozen bullet points, though he insists the main mission is fairly simple: upending our disingenuous two-party system.
“Anybody who pays attention can see that Democrats and Republicans … are exactly the same. They all have a history of lies, graft and corruption,” Mann said. “But there’s nobody else to vote for.”
Mann would like to fill that void with like-minded individuals amenable to abandoning the status quo and starting anew. He declined to identify those who he claims have already expressed interest in climbing — a roster Mann hinted will, when all is said and done, include socially conscious celebrities, Internet execs, disillusioned politicos and “rock stars” — but stressed that the recruiting process is well under way.
“The ones most likely to convert are those without strong party affinity, … mostly fresh minds applied to the problem over a long period, with specific goals,” he said of the “Founding Fathers” he’d like to have help shape the official party platform. In an ideal world, Mann would love to see a “constitutional convention” take place here in D.C. later this fall. Launching the project during a midterm election year, he admitted, is mostly symbolic; Mann has no illusions about affecting the political process in the near term.
“There’s no way we are going to be properly represented by the next presidential election,” he said of the steep learning curve facing the still evolving group.
But he relishes the opportunity to plant roots which will, hopefully, one day bear ideological fruit.
“Some of my associates and partners wants us to form a [political action committee] before we form a party,” he shared, noting, “I’m giving us decades, conceptually, to become the ruling party of Washington.
“The point is: I’ll keep going with this forever until I succeed,” Mann pledged.
A District native (“I was born on K Street in 1966,” he quipped), Mann said he’s been sticking it to Congress for quite a while now.
“I used to hand deliver letters (via motorcycle) to every single senator and congressman’s office one at a time, long before the Internet,” he said of his rambunctious youth. “One campaign I remember asked them if they would allow the starvation in Somalia if the children were white. Signed it Mike Mann, Counterlobbyist.”
Since then, Mann has dedicated himself to cyber-prospecting (he’s amassed a staggering number of URLs) and philanthropy. He lists some of his online holdings on the periphery of the BGP site , because, well, you never know.
“I have many methods of using the Internet to bolster my work, using premium contextual domains forwarded to BGP site whose keywords are frequently used in Google is likely to generate free ‘traffic’/’eyeballs,’” he said of the cross-marketing happening alongside the party launch.
Some of the politically related sites he’s looking to unload include:
“Nobody in the world has a collection remotely close to this,” Mann said of the virtual real estate in his portfolio. “Unless they bought them from me, they couldn’t even get them with millions of dollars.”
Come for the revolution. Stay for the cyber wheeling and dealing.