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Opinion

Former Tom Coburn aide promises 'Opportunity Lives' site will deliver news about solutions, not conflict

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Tom Coburn,Media

More proof that the Internet is bringing forth an explosion of new media entrepreneurs determined to do news differently.

John Hart, former longtime communications director for retiring Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, pushed the button Friday to go live with Opportunity Lives.

As the title instantly suggests, this is not your father's news website. Hart does the best job of explaining what it is and what he hopes it will become:

"We are a news platform dedicated to discovering real-life success stories and solutions across America. We want to highlight America’s doers, reformers, innovators and problem-solvers, wherever they may live.

"We hope what will make our platform unique is a focus on solutions rather than conflict. We’re most interested in reporting on what works, and why.

"We believe Americans are eager for this type of coverage. One clue is Washington’s unpopularity. In a recent poll, Congress’ approval rating was at 7 percent.

"Now, there are real reformers in Washington. I had the privilege of working for one — U.S. Senator Tom Coburn — for many years. But those leaders are the exception.

"On the whole, Washington is not only failing to solve problems, it refuses to even debate them, particularly the Senate. And, even worse, too many Washington politicians treat politics like a game and an eternal horse race.

"But for the rest of America, politics is not a game. It’s not a game to spouses and children who have lost service members overseas, and it’s not a game to millions of Americans who are struggling to survive in an economy that isn’t creating opportunities like it should.

"Thankfully, America is full of problem-solvers who are doing exciting and innovative work in their homes, businesses and local communities.

"Many of America’s most effective doers and reformers are outside of Washington, and they aren’t waiting on federal direction.

"At Opportunity Lives we’re committed to finding and telling those stories. But we need your help. The very people most worthy of coverage tend to be focused on doing rather than talking.

"So, if you know of stories that deserve to be told, go to our site and send in your success stories."

This is no "we just want to cover happy news" effort. Hart was with Coburn during the Contract With America era in the mid-1990s and again throughout Coburn's Senate tenure.

As a result, Hart has seen it all from the inside and knows how things work — and more often these days, don't work.

He also knows most Americans couldn't care less about political ideologies Left or Right, they just want government to work the way it is supposed to by doing the things only government can do.

The genius of the American people is their endless capacity to turn freedom and opportunity into prosperity and progress.

Hart's determination to cover the news about how that happens just might be a stroke of genius. Keep an eye on this one.

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