Still undecided about the California recall? Thinking about voting for a fringe candidate? Me too. For your Election Day enjoyment, here are micro-profiles of five non-famous gubernatorial candidates you may find intriguing.
Many of the "other 130"—including Ask Jeeves founder Garrett Gruener and registered Libertarian Ken Hamidi—have thrown their support to a front-runner. Others, including ex-Green Democrat Audie Bock and youthful techie Brooke Adams—are certainly worth a closer look. But these are the five that caught my eye.
Website: smokersparty.com (includes campaign blog)
Bio: 43-year-old president of national discount-smokes chain Cigarettes Cheaper! Financed 2000's failed initiative Proposition 28, which would have repealed some tobacco taxes. Economics degree from the University of Chicago. Endorsed by the state Libertarian Party. Lives in Napa.
Positions: Would repeal 10,000 stupid laws. "There have been 27,825 new California laws enacted in the last 21 years. Davis said last night that he's about to sign 600 more new laws. Most stupid laws are bought and paid for by someone with a peculiar economic interest in the law. Let's roll them back." No new taxes, replace existing energy laws with Nevada's, fire 60,000 state employees.
X-Factor Pro-: Used to publish "bagatorials" on his grocery bags, pushing for pot legalization and school privatization.
X-Factor Against: Reportedly told his three children than Disneyland does not exist.
Press: League of Women Voters, Hit & Run, the Daily Republic, the Western Nevada County Union, NapaNews.com, Auburn Journal, The Desert Sun.
Bio: 42-year-old singer/songwriter of the legendary Huntington Beach punk rock band T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty). Works as a laborer between gigs, still lives in the HB, has a bad back.
Positions: "For years I was always, 'Fuck the government. Fuck the government. Fuck the government.' I was always bitching and not doing a thing about it... And the other day I said, 'Now I am.'" Affordable health care for all Californians, respect for immigrants rights, a budget cap, marijuana legalization, more cops in poor areas, "dismantling" the education bureaucracy, punishing polluters, encouraging more urban greenbelts.
X-Factor Pro-: When asked if he had ever been convicted of a felony (and therefore disqualified from office), he replied: "Well, never convicted." Also, wrote a song called "Abolish the Government."
X-Factor Against: N/A (I grew up in Long Beach, where T.S.O.L. was god.)
Press: MTV.com, Long Beach Union, L.A. Times, Surfing Magazine, MediaMan.com, OC Weekly.
John J. "Jack" Hickey
Bio: 69-year-old retired New York native, Navy vet, career in aerospace and semi-conductors, multiple patent-holder, multiple election loser, chairs the Libertarian Party of San Mateo County, is a director on the Sequoia Healthcare District (which he's trying to dissolve), lives in Redwood City.
Positions: Seeks to "govern the Agencies created by the People and by their representatives, and reduce governance of the people;" and to "seek legislation to facilitate the dissolution of 'Special Districts.'" Pro-school vouchers, anti-abortion, pro-death penalty, anti-sales tax, pro-legalization.
X-Factor Pro-: Snowy white Abe Lincoln beard.
X-Factor Against: Has been seen near gruesome abortion-mobiles.
Press: League of Women Voters, Hit & Run, San Francisco Examiner, San Mateo County Times.
D. Logan Darrow Clements
Bio: 34-year-old founder of the Silicon Valley's American Venture magazine (which he sold); host and co-executive producer of the still-in-development Free Nation TV, "a half-hour weekly show that follows brave individuals risking their freedom to confront abusive governments around the world." Lives in the Pacific Palisades.
Positions: "Atlas Shrugged, America's second most influential book, was written by an immigrant to California who predicted our current mess and offered an inspiring solution. Ayn Rand knew that big government ruins all it touches while freedom leads to incredible prosperity. I know, as did she, that the economy will roar to life if we liberate it from excessive taxation and abusive regulation." Would cut taxes by 50 percent, privatize all schools, carry out "the largest transformation of government since Poland switched from socialism to freedom."
X-Factor Pro-: Until recently, used the byline "Doug Clements"; name-change to "Logan Darrow" indicates SoCal-style personal growth.
X-Factor Against: Often looks like he's filming an Avis commercial.
Press: League of Women Voters, the Hollywood Investigator.
Website: www.georgyforgov.com (and blog)
Bio: 27-year-old software engineer and anti-death penalty activist. Raised in Oakland, educated at Berkeley, lives in Mountain View. Loves to dance.
Positions: " We need to strive for representative democracy, not settle for representative plutocracy (government by the wealthy). The notion that a typical citizen might ascend to the governorship is so ridiculously foreign to Californians, most believe it is impossible." Public financing for elections, solar power, a balanced budget (by raising taxes on the richest until the economy recovers, then cutting them again), universal health care for children, legalized marijuana and gay marriage.
X-Factor Pro-: Sunny enthusiasm.
X-Factor Against: Possible Mike Farrell endorsement.
Press: League of Women Voters, Sacramento Bee, the Berkeleyan.