Top Takers Sends a Message to Candidates: Reject Money from Special Interests
Croton Research has released Top Takers, a new phone app that uses social media to target politicians who rake in big money from corporations and lobbyists. It provides an answer for the majority of voters who don't like the influence of money in politics, but don't know what to do about it: Use the app to create a custom video which can be sent direct to a candidate and shared on the Internet. The message? “Reject money from special interests if you want my vote.”
Special interest groups give money to candidates hoping to influence laws in their favor, and many candidates for Congress accept large donations from Political Action Committees (PACs) funded by these interests. But in a September 2018 NBC/WSJ poll 77% of registered voters said that “reducing the influence of special interests and corruption in Washington” was either the “single most” or a “very important” factor in deciding their vote for Congress. Top Takers pressures politicians to reject PAC contributions in favor of smaller amounts from ordinary voters.
Top Takers is the label the app confers on the politicians who accept the most money from PACs. Voters can use the app to tell these candidates that by taking special interest money they risk something even more valuable: votes. To get the message across, the app helps users to create a personalized video that reveals just how much funding their local candidate accepts from special interests, and how the user feels about it. Then, using Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, users can share the video with their friends, family and the candidate themselves. The message is addressed to the candidate, but the app works best when the post is public. “By using public posts we leverage the power of social media,” says Alan Marwick, CEO of Croton Research. “When other voters see the post, they realize they can do something to combat big money – send their own message with Top Takers.”
About Croton Research: crotonresearch.com is a small software development company founded in 2008 in New York. Its mobile apps include Permits at Hand, which provides information about building permits, and Top Takers which is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. For more information about Top Takers please see https://toptakers.org.