Jay Schorr is using a standard ballpoint pen to write a new chapter in U.S. presidential politics, asking presidential hopefuls to sign a legally binding contract with American voters that they’ll deliver on their campaign promises if elected, Schorr told atombash.com in a telephone interview on Thursday, June 18.
Schorr, a South Florida communications executive, said he’s going to use his beloved Bic Cristal pen – a popular and ubiquitous writing implement – to memorialize the John Hancocks of GOP and Democratic presidential candidates in an effort to legally hold all presidential candidates to their promises.
“I’m going to use the simplicity and transparency of the Bic Cristal pen – its see-through barrel offers a clear view of its contents – to make candidates transparent as well,” said Schorr. “I want voters to see in black and white exactly what candidates have contractually obligated themselves to do.”
Schorr says that he’s bought multiple packs of Bic pens and labeled each pen with an announced candidate’s name. He said he will ask each candidate to sign a legally binding contract with the personalized pen, a document which Schorr said was drafted by prominent contract lawyers, containing every promise made by each candidate.
“There is no wiggle room in these contracts,” Schorr says. “There are no puffery clauses or poetic license exemptions. The candidates who sign the contacts will have to perform as promised.”
Historians agree that in campaigns past, presidential aspirants have tended to promise everything under the sun to get votes. But the problem is that no candidate is legally bound by the campaign promises he or she makes. This time around, Schorr says, things will be different.
“The 2016 Presidential Election will be the first to hold candidates legally responsible for any broken campaign promises,” he said. “If they don’t sign the contracts, candidates are saying to the voters they’re not sincere in their promises.”
Campaign promises also can take the form of fanciful statements which can tend to be harder to enforce. On Wednesday, June 17 Jeb Bush said he could grow Gross Domestic Product at four percent, a growth rate not realized since the early 1980s. But with Schorr’s Bic pen contract campaign, such promises can be enforceable, Schorr says. “We’ll hold them to it if they promise it.”
So what if a candidate has to change his or her mind about previously stated campaign promises to adjust to political and or real world circumstances?
“That will have to be decided on a case by case basis,” Schorr said.
Schorr sees his Bic pen campaign as symbolic of voters’ desires to “see the writing on the wall” regarding would-be commanders in chief. He thinks voters will support his Bic pen campaign and encourage the candidates to take part in it.
Schorr said he will send the personalized Bic pens to each candidate, along with a contract containing a candidate’s campaign platforms and planks. The contracts will be dated and have signature lines for the candidates and witnesses.
“This is an historic moment in American politics,” said Schorr of his Bic pen campaign. “The pen is mightier than the sword. It’s also mightier than the tongue, and more easily documented.”
Given the multitude of promises made during the course of any presidential campaign, one can only hope there’s enough ink in the world to capture them all in writing.