Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Peace and Freedom EPIC Campaign update
March 7th was the final day that any candidate for the California 2014 Open Primary in June could declare as a candidate and my campaign met that deadline.
These are the requirements for Governor of the California Constitution, which I have fulfilled:
A. Be a U.S. citizen. Cal. Const., art. V, §§ 21 & 9
B. Be a registered voter and otherwise qualified to vote for that office at the time that nomination papers are issued to the person. § 2012
C. Not have been convicted of a felony involving accepting or giving, or offering to give, any bribe, the embezzlement of public money, extortion or theft of public money, perjury, or conspiracy to commit any of those crimes. § 20
D. Not have served two terms in the office sought since November 6, 1990. Cal. Const., art. V, §§ 2 & 11
But with the passage of the so-called Top Two Primary here in California in 2010, there was an additional and very heavy burden put on candidates of all political parties, and potential candidates with no party affiliation: to qualify for any office (besides POTUS which is exempt), each candidate has to pay a filing fee of 1% of the first year’s salary of the office that he/she is seeking, or get 10,000 signatures in lieu of the filing fee.
For example, in my case, rounding up, the first year salary for the Gov. of California is an incredible and immoral (public servant, my eye) $350k per year! So, that means that I had to pay almost $3500 for the filing fee, or try to get 10k signatures. Each signature is “worth” 35 cents.
This new requirement puts a horrible onus on grassroots campaigns and effectively eliminates many otherwise qualified and good candidates from even trying to run for office here in the Golden (for the Democrats and Republicans) State.
The incumbent Jerry Brown (D apparently, but R realistically) has already raised over 17 million for his re-election campaign, so he can, without blinking an eye, walk into his County Registrar’s office and deliver a check for the entire amount for the filing fee (democracy?). Most campaigns of the establishment parties can also do that. We who challenge the corruption of the status quo don’t have that “luxury.”
The voters of California passed Proposition 14 in 2010 and we fought against it then and we struggle against it now. Instead of the hype that it would “increase participation” it is predictably killing it.
For my own race, there are 20 candidates running for Governor in the primary and only the top two vote getters will advance to November. There’s a candidate with 17 million in his campaign account right now and one of the Republican candidates Neel Kashkari is a former Goldman-Sachs executive! Jerry Brown is a multi-millionaire also and our “democracy” should not be stacked in favor of the wealthy and against candidates like me who struggle and sacrifice to truly make a difference!
Saturday, March 8th was our first day of campaigning as an official candidate and, although it was long and hot, it was very successful and invigorating.
I have to give some more background before I continue: I was a registered Democrat until 2007 when I feel that the Party used me specifically and the energy of the anti-Bush; anti-Iraq War movements to get a majority in the House of Representatives, then repeatedly stabbed us in the backs! I publicly left the Party and that’s when the concentrated attacks by Democratic Party hacks joined the concentrated attacks of Republican Party hacks against me.
I then ran for Congress in San Francisco against Nancy Pelosi (D-1%) and subsequently subjected myself to the most humiliating rudeness from the “liberals” that live there. I ended up coming in second with a respectable 50k votes, but I will never forget how mean many of the Democrats were to me.
“FRACK YOU, BROWN! I’M VOTING FOR CINDY SHEEHAN”
When my campaign heard about the California State Democratic Party holding its convention (DSC) in Los Angeles from March 7th to the 9th, even though I had a commitment to be in San Francisco in the evening on the 8th, we thought it would be very important to have a presence there at the L.A. Convention Center. We were positive that most of the 3rd party campaigns (and some Republicans) would also be out to show that there are alternatives.
However, Cindy Sheehan for California Governor was the only other campaign there and the only other protest was an anti-fracking protest. Many of the
ANOTHER DEMOCRAT AGAINST FRACKING” protesters sauntered surreptitiously over to our area to inform us that they would be voting for me instead of Brown. We probably had about 30 convention attendees tell us that, as well. The DSC wasn’t the only thing that was happening that day and we were able to do some amazing outreach with the dozen, or so, volunteers that joined us.
With all my past bad experiences with Democrats, I was leery of attending this event, but was so pleased with the positive responses to my campaign and seeing some old friends that I am very glad we took the time and expense to be there.
After the protest at the DSC, I was taken to the airport and flew to San Francisco to what I knew would be a wonderful time kicking off the Vote Socialist Campaign with two of my fellow Peace and Freedom Party candidates: Nathalie Hrizi (Insurance Commissioner) and Frank Lara (running for Congress in SF against Nancy Pelosi).