Cover Story: "Get Out Of Our House"

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's not a new idea: To throw out every member of Congress and start over.  But a new process from an inventor of all people and he believes he's come up with a way to make it happen and put regular people into office.

There's a lot of frustration out there over what's going on in Washington, what makes this man think he can do it?

He understands it sounds impossible but as an inventor and with a background in computers he believes he's set up a system where Americans can change the way they select representatives to the United States House and in the words of some "throw the bums out."

Exploding deficits.  Failing education.  A tax code that's unfair.  Is America in trouble? Tim Cox thinks so.  He says, "We've got serious core issues that need to be addressed."

You've probably never heard of him, but Tim Cox who's been making the talk radio and TV circuit around the country isn't a politician or even an attorney.

He's an inventor.  A man who put credit card readers in gas pumps and created software for a spy satellite.  Now he aims to revolutionize the way we select our representatives to Congress.

And his movement is gaining momentum.  It comes at a time when Congress' own popularity is at an all-time low.

"We've voted for our Congressman not so much just because we like them.. but because we dislike the other choice," he says.

Recent protests in Washington have highlighted it:  Calls to throw all 435 members of the House out of office and start over.

But how do you do that?

Cox in a book he's written and a movement he's titled "Get Out Of Our House" (pronounced GO for short) starts  starts with getting regular citizens together, sort of like the political parties do in a caucus, have them fill out a questionnaire of 100 questions outlining their stands on various issues.

Cox says when GOOOH reaches its goal of 500-thousand members, they've got 50-thousand now, they would be divided up into small groups in the 435 congressional districts.

Citizens would go through a vetting process and a candidate would emerge from that group.

Says political scientist at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Eric Heberlig, "It's an indicator at the level of frustration that people have with Congress because usually people are either supporting their representative or totally checked out."

As Cox told the Keith Larson show on WBT Radio you can't just kick the Sue Myricks, Mel Watts and Patrick McHenrys out and the parties they represent unless you have a system in place to do it.

He says, "We need choice. Where else in America do we accept a system where the two people who control it do everything they can to prevent choice?"

Guy Smith, a businessman from Kings Mountain is on board.  He says, "Everybody says it's not going to work. And I'm not so sure that what we're doing now is working. I really don't believe how that we're electing people to Congress now works."

Organizers say what makes them different from the other third-party candidates - think Ross Perot - they were running for president.

This group is trying to go after each seat in Congress, 435 House members.

When you think each congressional district has fewer than 700,000 and 10-to-15 percent of them vote in an off-year election organizers think it's not out of the realm of possibility.

While the Democrats are in power right now, the movement actually started when George W. Bush was in power.  As one person said, "We're an equal-opportunity protest group."