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 There were no roads through the mountains to it, no phones, or any access to anywhere but by a 40-minute pounding ride in a boat the locals called a panga. The dirt path through the little fishing village was swept clean each morning by a few in huts selling local produce, brooms made from long thin sticks, candles, and a few other necessities. All led down to the half dozen fishing boats pulled up on shore next to the “The Yacht Club” a little place cooking whatever food the fishermen caught that day and with a shared shelf they called the library.

 For me, living there in a thatched palapa with swinging rope bed covered in mosquito netting was heaven. It was there that I came to terms with my brief political career. It was there that I found my life’s calling.  It was there, after weeks of pondering, that it hit me: it was simple.

 With the loss of common ground Americans were being fractured.  With trust lost in all media, there was no anchor to which both conservatives and liberals could depend upon for the truth and the facts essential to successful self-government.

 Without that, I thought, there would be no democracy.

 There was only one solution I thought, to create a source where facts were sacrosanct but never interpreted, to which any citizen could turn for the truth.

 Within the day I left my little chunk of paradise and hopped a ride to go create   Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, Barry Goldwater, Michael Dukakis, John McCain, and a few dozen others of both parties, understanding how essential it was, hopped on that ride with me to go build it.

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Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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Published inETHICSGovernmentPolitics