It's 2012, and this year I will be running for the office of County Clerk in Kent County. There were a bunch of factors that made me consider this office. Chiefly, I want to change the way we conduct elections around here. Secondly, I want to start throwing marriage licenses around like nobody's business. The present Clerk, Mary Hollinrake, will only issue you a license if you're a man+woman couple and you can prove your citizenship. Then she will go and whine that the county doesn't get a big enough cut of the money they take in for issuing firearms licenses. Well, if the Clerk's office needs more money, it's time we adopt the Tea Party stance and DEREGULATE marriage. Say what you want about "sanctity," at the civil level, marriage is all about property rights and I have no problem legitimizing somebody as somebody else's next-of-kin. If you're of legal age, mental bearing, and not already marries, I will sign, seal, and file a license for you, no problem!
November 3, 2010 - 1,596 thanks.
I ended up drawing 1,596 votes on Tuesday. I may have finished last, but I was still competitive with the other third party candidates. I am very happy with the result, and confident that with the experience I've gained, I can run a much better campaign for any further efforts (and there will be plenty).
I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, as well as everyone who donated, or took a flier, or put a sign in their home. Extra special thanks to Adam Kragt, Richa, Jeffrey Mills, Chris Silva, and my friends at the GPMI for their extra efforts.
With the extremely low voter turnout, the threshold to register a new party for ballot access, or a ballot proposal has fallen over 25%. Although it would be nice to take a breath and relax now that Election Day has passed, this work is never done. I will be working on drawing more attention to the Green Party in West Michigan, as well as drafting some proposals.
Once again, thank you all a thousand times over.
October 15, 2010 - That's partisanship?
Instead of actually sticking to partisan values, the two Big Money parties have now picked a few issues here and there over which to raise a fuss and make you think that they are actually two different parties. Recently, I took part in a candidate forum where members of the audience were allowed to provide questions. Rather than letting the electorate voice their concerns, several Republicans who were there for a separate forum overtook the floor asking questions that only served to try to show a difference between them and the Democrats.
The first question was regarding marriage and whether or not we favored same sex marriage. This was an absurd question for a federal race. Marriage licenses are handled by the individual states, not the federal government (as per the 10th amendment). Although it only served as a character point, I still stood proud in my support for the LGBT community and stated that I favored the legalization of same sex marriage.
The next question was regarding the ever popular topic of abortion. Once again, this is not really a legislative issue. The Supreme Court has the power to overturn Roe v. Wade, not congress, and if they did it would then be a state matter. The only matter that can be handled by congress is the matter of funding the procedure through medicaid. The standard response for those on both sides is that they oppose tax-payer funded abortions, but then they stop right there. They turn their backs on the issue entirely. I made the statement that rather than funding abortion we fund more comprehensive reproductive health education in our schools. While the Republicans and Democrats are only concerned about the supply end, I am working on reducing the demand. Of course, if the demand fell, then it wouldn't be an issue, and they wouldn't be able to pretend to have differences.
After the formal portion of the forum ended, I went back to my table and there I was asked a question by an actual voter. A lovely middle-aged woman who worked for the City of Kentwood asked me what I would do about the rising cost of utilities. With winter on its way, she's concerned about being able to heat her home and cook her food. I told her about the Green Party's work on the issue of access to water being a human right, and that the argument can definitely be made for heat as well. She then expressed a desire for the government to regulate the price of utilities. This is one of the most conservative districts in the state, and this woman is asking for further government regulations. She asked the best question I've been asked during my campaign run, but she didn't get a chance to do so publicly because a handful of Big Money candidates had to put on their act for the people.
September 30, 2010 - Debates
September 21, 2010 - This race is getting rather crowded...on the right.
September 9, 2010 - Democrats: We Suck Less!
August 25, 2010 - What's your issue?
In preparation for my first interview with the press today, I asked people to throw random questions at me so I could practice making structured responses. Here are a few examples:
What are you going to do about Social Security?
Social Security, from the reports I've seen, will remain solvent for another 20 to 30 years. In that we can shore it up by imposing a $0.01/share Federal Sales Tax on stock transactions. Using a conservative estimate of the NYSE's daily volume being 5 billion shares, we could make between 12 and 13 billion dollars a year. Invested cautiously and conservatively, a 2 or 3% return on that investment over 20 or 30 years would keep Social Security afloat easily until the Baby Boomer bubble passes.
When elected, what will you actively do to make a difference on Capitol Hill?
It will be difficult to get cooperation from the Republicans and Democrats already elected as I would be the new guy from the new party. I will have to introduce a lot of bills pushing my trade, healthcare, defense, and Wall Street policies. Then I will have to be viral and make a very public fuss to draw the attention of voters from outside my district and make them push their elected officials to work with me.
What do you plan to do about immigration?
We have a lot of people in this country illegally, and rounding them up would cost a lot of money. After pursuing my defense plan and stationing most of our military stateside we could more effectively patrol our borders like any other perimeter patrol. From there, people coming across could be picked up and transferred to a processing center. After having their identity verified and confirming that they are not a criminal or other threat, they would be granted entry to the country. Illegals already living here would receive the same treatment, and receive an amnesty after verifying their identity. I doubt my European ancestors had to go to a US consulate and receive a visa before coming over, they just paid for their passage and worked it out on Ellis Island. This is much the same.
So...go ahead, ask a question and I will gladly give an answer!
August 6, 2010 - Fundraising
August 3, 2010 - What We're Up Against
On August 3rd, Michiganders went to the polls. In the 3rd Congressional District, the results were disappointing to say the least.
For a Republican candidate, the voters chose Justin Amash. Throughout his campaign Amash has taken every chance to tell voters that he is "principled." But where do Justin Amash's principles lie? He refers to himself a "business owner" when in actuality he was merely named vice-president of his father's business, Michigan Industrial Tool. Despite the name, Michigan Industrial Tool isn't really connected to Michigan. In fact, they do nearly all their manufacturing in China and are responsible for the largest influx of Chinese tools into America over the last decade. So, apparently Amash's principles don't preclude him from using the name of this great state to sell a cheap Chinese product. I guess this also explains his continued push to open more free markets.
Democrat candidate Pat Miles isn't much better. He has pledged to run as a moderate candidate who is open to bipartisan compromise, which should lead a voter to question where his convictions and commitments lie. The answer is, "within the almighty dollar." Miles has raised over $300,000 for his campaign so far, with large contributions tied to interests like Microsoft, and Deutsche Bank AG. It's not hard to tell where Miles stands on anti-trust issues, or further banking bailouts. Miles lists 24 different boards and committees on which he has served on his Facebook page. Having spent so much time in boardrooms, it's hard to believe that Miles has any connection to the working people of West Michigan. He's just another Big Money politician trying to buy an election.
August 2, 2010 - Nomination