I believe in the power of people and the power of ideas. Because when people come together and make their voices heard and demand needed change, then anything is possible.

So I'm running a completely different type of campaign and building a movement of the people, by the people, for the people. Together, we are speaking up for all citizens whose voices and rights our leaders ignore, we’re exposing corruption and standing up for what’s right, and we are taking our government back. Keep reading to learn what makes my campaign unique, and why, as the People's Candidate for Congress, I’ll be able to beat the incumbent Republican, “Corrupt Ken” Calvert.

 

INTEGRITY

Integrity in politics? It’s almost as rare as a chupacabra, but it does exist. Integrity in politics is a choice. And making the right choice for America is what our democracy is all about.

It begins with truth. Pursuing truth and speaking truth. It’s knowing right from wrong, and acting on it 100% of the time.

Integrity is not about what you can get away with, it’s avoiding even the appearance of impropriety or of being compromised. Quite simply, it means holding yourself to a higher standard.

Integrity is the foundation of this campaign. Period.

 

GOOD GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Most of our elected leaders answer only to the moneyed elite, not the people. Why? Because the politicians have learned how to get away with it and get re-elected over and over – by withholding the truth from the people! It’s terrible, but the incumbents understand they get the benefit of the doubt from most voters, and they’ve calculated a strategy: What you don’t know won’t hurt them.

How did they vote on this issue or that one? And why? Well, they don’t want you to know, because then they’d have to answer more questions and maybe even actually vote for policies that benefit their constituents over Washington insiders and Big Business!

Just like integrity, being accountable, accessible and transparent is a choice our leaders can make, for the good of the country.

The corrupt politicians currently in office set the bar embarrassingly low, but I’m aiming much, much higher by making these three promises to the people.

  • All votes explained: I will post online my reasoning for every single vote I cast as your representative. It may seem like a no-brainer to be open and transparent this way – but remember, corrupt politicians don't want to answer to the people. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan is the first and only member of Congress who has explained all of his or her votes, and I will be the second.
  • Frequent town halls: Face-to-face discussions are crucial to representing the interests of the people. All the worst politicians avoid town hall forums out of fear they will face tough questioning. What a joke! As the People’s Candidate for Congress, I am pledging to hold no fewer than 10 town halls each year, at locations all over the 42nd District. The people will have access to their representative – that’s how democracy is supposed to work!
  • Citizens Advisory Council: I’m taking accessibility one step further by having a special group of 42 citizens who will have direct contact with me throughout the year. They will be regular working people, like you and me, who will act as extra eyes and ears in the district so I can remain absolutely in tune with the people! Those who serve on the Citizens Advisory Council will come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. The only requirements are that they must be residents of the 42nd District and must not be elected officials or so-called community leaders – no City Council members or Chamber of Commerce types allowed!

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

All politicians and candidates talk about serving the public. Well, talk is cheap – you shouldn’t believe them, and you shouldn’t believe me either! What you should do is judge me and others by our actions. And that’s where our campaign is different. We believe that the way you lead is by serving.

So over the next year and a half, we will practice what we preach through Serve 42, our community service initiative, by helping the community in the 42nd District and beyond. I and my campaign team will be volunteering to help worthy causes, raising money for charity, and recruiting residents across the district to join our efforts so we can have an even bigger impact. We will have real accomplishments that make a difference and help people! Support us and be a part of it!

 

NON-PARTISAN

Our political system is a total disaster, and the No. 1 reason is because the two major parties only care about their own interests, their own power, not the people of the United States. It’s more important for the Republicans and Democrats to show they’ll fight tooth and nail against the other side, rather than do what's right and try to solve the problems facing our country!

Well, I refuse to be part of a corrupt system. And together, we will demand a better way and get rid of the rotten politicians!

That’s why I am running for Congress as an independent. I’ll be independent of the do-nothing parties, as well as their corporate masters. My only loyalties will be to the Constitution and to the people of California's 42nd District.

 

FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS

Career politicians pay lip service to voters, but their actions say differently.

Most of them spend very little time in their districts, and even less time meeting their constituents. Many members of Congress don’t even hold public campaign events when they seek re-election – just private, big-money fund-raisers with fat-cat donors! So when it comes time for them to vote in Washington, just whose interests are they looking out for?

No one will be surprised to learn it’s all about money. And the fact is that my opponent, Republican “Corrupt Ken” Calvert, is totally in bed with lobbyists and special interests! During his 2016 campaign, he raised almost $1.5 million, but only a mere $4,770 came from small donations from regular people. That shows where Calvert’s priorities are.

Once again, this campaign is about integrity and breaking the control that the corrupt Washington elite have over our county! So my campaign will be guided by our For The People Pledge:

  • I will not accept corporate contributions.
  • I will not accept contributions from lobbying firms or the lobbyists who work for them.
  • Going one step further, once I’m elected, lobbyists will not be welcome in my congressional office. I will not hold any official meetings or phone calls with lobbyists, nor will my staff. If the lobbyists try, they will be told to have their clients contact us themselves. Regular Americans don’t hire lobbyists to represent them, so this way everyone will be on a level playing field.

Doing the right thing for the people is a choice. I’ve made it, and it was the easiest thing I’ve had to do.

 

ABOUT “CORRUPT KEN”

It takes an utter lack of integrity to do what Ken Calvert has done over the last two decades. Without integrity, you’re corrupt.

My campaign is investigating Ken Calvert, and we very well may file a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics. In the meantime, take a look at the undisputed parts of his long, lousy track record.

  • During his first term in Congress years ago, Ken Calvert couldn’t keep it in his pants – local police caught him having sex with a prostitute in a car. While no one should be judged by their worst moment, this episode “exposed” a lot about the character of our area’s career politician.
  • For years, Calvert has invested heavily in real estate. The problem is that his real estate investments have repeatedly depended on local officials in our district approving his projects. Calvert could’ve invested his money anywhere, but clearly he thinks there’s no point of being a Congressman if he can’t profit off that status.
  • Calvert also has raised eyebrows by flipping commercial property in his district after directing federal tax dollars to pay for infrastructure in the vicinity. He claims he did nothing wrong!
  • As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he’s resorted to backroom, unaccountable “earmarks” to sneak funding into bills. Calvert is widely regarded as one of the worst offenders in this area – in a three-year period, he cost taxpayers $100 million, and who knows how much over his career.
  • In 2015, Calvert authored a provision to allow the Confederate flag to be displayed at national cemeteries. After the fact, he claimed he was suckered into it by Republican leaders. But the Confederate flag is a racist symbol, and one that glorifies people who fought against our United States. If Calvert doesn’t know better about something so obvious, there's no helping him.
  • Given all his shady and questionable actions, Calvert earned the “honor” of being named four years in a row as one of the Most Corrupt Members of the House by a watchdog group, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

I believe Ken Calvert’s actions over the years show he is politically corrupt, ethically corrupt and morally corrupt. He may not be legally corrupt – yet – but unfortunately for California's 42nd District, he still has a year and a half left in office.

 

MEET MATT

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, the youngest of three kids. I could say that means I was raised with Midwestern values, but I learned my values from my parents, and they weren’t from the Midwest – that’s just where they settled. My mom and dad lived their values, and we kids saw it every day: integrity, love, idealism, a nonstop work ethic.

We had a comfortable middle-class life, yet my parents knew we needed to learn the value of hard work and of challenging ourselves. My sister, my brother and I all got jobs during high school. I hit the legal working age of 16 as my senior year began and started working at a grocery store. I still remember struggling to push more than four or five carts in from the parking lot at once!

For me, work ethic translated into expecting more of myself and driving relentlessly toward whatever goal was at hand. Or maybe it was just my competitive nature.

In my late teens, I was certain I absolutely knew everything and needed to share my wisdom with everyone else. But how? I’d been a political junkie since a young age – I even made my dad take me to a Jesse Jackson rally when I was 13 – so I gave journalism a try.

It turned out to be the right career to put to use my insatiable curiosity, my perfectionism and my willingness to outwork everyone else.

During my time in journalism, I spent a decade in major media markets, and an important part of what we did was expose corrupt politicians and shine a light on wasteful, inefficient government. It was no surprise to me that multiple reporters I worked with went on to (very deservedly) win the Pulitzer Prize.

Needing a new challenge, I eventually left journalism behind to work in “the real world.” I dedicated myself to learning a new industry from the ground up, and that culminated in operating a small business with dozens of employees.

Now I’m taking the skills I learned along the way in both careers, as well as the values my parents taught me so many years ago – integrity, love, idealism, work ethic – to the campaign trail. If anything can fix our broken and corrupt political system, it’s that!

I’ve been blessed to have had my wife Tonja with me along so much of this journey. We were college sweethearts, and just recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. She has made me a better person in more ways than I can count and is my biggest source of inspiration, particularly for this campaign. We are grateful for all our blessings over the years, even for the struggles and pain that come with the human condition and that sometimes impart true wisdom.

We never expected to make our lives in California, but this is our 15th year living in Corona, and it’s definitely home. 


Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Mark Stevens endorsed

    “I know Matt. I’ve communicated with him. Matt’s got the passion and skills for effective governance of the 42nd District. We need his fresh independent leadership. – Mark Stevens, U.S. Naval Officer, Retired”

  • Marlin Reeson endorsed

    “Matt is the kind of leader we need in Washington. Go Matt!”

November 1, 2017

I've been challenged, to karaoke! (aka "Fun/raising")

My campaign is moving into November with good momentum! I've averaged at least one event or appearance a day recently, and I don't see that letting up anytime soon.

Up till now, this CrowdPAC campaign has been a secondary fund-raising source for my grass-roots effort. But we really want to push it through the end of the month.

To that end, a friend of the campaign challenged me to double my total. Fund-raising is never easy, especially when you have #integrity and won't promise favors that donors can cash in after you're elected. But a suggestion was made to avoid that trap, and add a fun element to my campaign along the way. I was challenged to sing karaoke for my financial supporters!

So if my CrowdPAC total gets over $1,000 by the end of November (about $500 away), I'll post a half-minute clip of me singing karaoke. You won't get influence from your donation, but you'll almost definitely get a smile out of it!

As a bonus, if my total hits $1,500, then I'll upload an entire song! I'm breaking all the rules of politics (but hopefully no windows!) with this "fun-raising" effort!

Thank you to all my supporters! Please don't make me regret this. Or, actually, please do!

September 8, 2017

Gaining Momentum

Thank you to all citizens with conscience who donated to my campaign! My messsage has been getting out and volunteers are stepping forward, offering their time and money.

I'm so grateful for your support. We will keep building day by day. Onward!

July 21, 2017

Off to a Great Start!

Thank you so much to my early donors! I know my message is resonating with voters in District 42 -- The People are hungry for change, for a chance to vote out Ken Calvert and replace him with someone who actually cares about their needs. Particularly on the #healthcare issue, our communities are widely against the #BCRA and #AHCA, and agree with my desire to fix #Obamacare and make health care affordable!

Thank you again for your support -- tell your friends and help me keep building momentum!

July 17, 2017

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Frances Kresge endorsed

  • Mark Stevens endorsed

    “I know Matt. I’ve communicated with him. Matt’s got the passion and skills for effective governance of the 42nd District. We need his fresh independent leadership. – Mark Stevens, U.S. Naval Officer, Retired”

  • Marlin Reeson endorsed

    “Matt is the kind of leader we need in Washington. Go Matt!”

  • Chris Mason endorsed