Draft Pigasus!

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Back in May reason hosted a forum on libertarian politics with Libertarian Party presidential candidates Bob Barr, Wayne Root, and Mike Gravel, and Republican congressional candidate Vern McKinley. As we were setting up our cameras, a dapper middle-aged man named Carey Campbell walked in and introduced himself as the chairman of the Virginia Independent Green Party.

"Of course!" I said. "You nominated Gail Parker for Senate in 2006."

"Oh, let me tell you what we're doing this year!" Campbell said. The party was gathering signatures for a Mike Bloomberg/Ron Paul ticket, a natural fit for Campbell, who led (leads, I guess) the Committee to Draft Michael Bloomberg. I didn't know what would come of it, but lo and behold:

Late last week, "Indy Greens" Chairman Carey Campbell got word from the Virginia state Board of Elections that his minor party's petition drive to get Bloomberg on the ballot had been successful.

"Yes, it's true," an exuberant Campbell declared. "In eight months and 15 days, we collected over 70,000 signatures. Right now, we're the only state in the nation that has Michael Bloomberg on the ballot for President."

Seventy thousand signatures is a lot: Seven times what you need to get on the ballot, actually. (And you need to collect at least 500 from each congressional district.) The IGs burned a lot of gasoline doing this, but they're on a mission. (Over there on the right is a picture of Parker with Bloomberg in New York.)

I called up Paul spokesman Jesse Benton and asked what Paul thought of the scheme. "We were just talking about it," Benton said. "He thinks it's kind of neat that libertarian message has crossover appeal. Obviously there's not much Ron has in common with the mayor, so it's a bit of a publicity stunt. But they wouldn't have thought of him as a candidate if his name didn't have some pull."

Paul will not challenge his ballot status. "We're not going to take any action to get his name off," Benton said, "but at the same time we're not encouraging it." Does Paul have any common ground with the mayor who brought you the smoking ban? "As a fan of Michael Bloomberg's news network, Ron recognizes they have a lot of differences on monetary policy and the size of government."

So, yes, it's a stunt. I tend to think any minimal Bloomberg vote will hurt McCain, since the election's being framed day by day as a choice between Obama and not-Obama. And it's not like anyone who'd vote for a Bloomberg stunt candidacy will know about his issue stances, which place him a little closer to the Democrat.

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  1. Looking at that sign, I’m reminded of one of my pet peeves about the current incarnation of Microsoft Word — or maybe my beef is with too many of its users:

    The “smart quotes” function leads too many people to use a “begin single quote” instead of an apostrophe, because people are too dumb to know what an apostrophe is supposed to look like, or too lazy to correct it. Or else Word makes it too difficult to correct.*

    As a consequence, the “apostrophe” in ’08 is upside down. Or rather, it is not an apostrophe at all, but single-quote open quote. Which looks dumb, to the discerning eye of the literate.

    *The only fix I know of is to type 9’08 so the ‘ becomes an apostrophe instead of a signle open quote, and then back up and delete the 9, which is rather unwieldy.

    Not to hijack the thread into minutiae or anything.

  2. Actually I was thinking something similiar Darko. I thought the photographer was taking a picture of a mirror image.

  3. Sounds like they’re doing better with their joke ballot than Barr is. And that’s pretty pathetic really.

  4. So will all those write in Ron Paul people plug their nose and vote for him as VP or just write him in for President now? And they thought they didn’t have a choice this election!

  5. As much as there is to dislike about Bloomberg, he came out in favor* of the “slot auction” plan for the NYC airports. So he must not be a complete idiot.

    *Unless he has been browbeaten into re-thinking his position

  6. Oops, when I said the apostrophe on the sign was upside down, I meant that it was backwards. I think.

    Carry on.

    (Pet peeve.)

  7. the crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe

  8. Friends don’t let friends use Microsoft Word.

  9. Stevo,

    In Office ’07, it is initially autocorrected to an opening single quote, but if you type two digits after it then a space or punctuation, it gets autocorrected to an apostrophe.

    Now you just need an unwieldy workaround if you want to type ’99 Bottles of beer on the wall’ correctly.

  10. Also, Undo can be used to reverse the last autocorrect applied.

  11. And Autocorrect can be turned off, like a bad Roomba considering world domination.

  12. like a bad Roomba considering world domination.

    I don’t care if the Roomba considers world domination, but I’m gonna slag the thing with the quickness if it takes any action towards that goal.

  13. T,

    That’s where you’d be wrong. Stop the thing in its scheming, sucking tracks. That’s what I say.

  14. Doesn’t the choice of font matter?

    I don’t care if the Roomba considers world domination, but I’m gonna slag the thing with the quickness if it takes any action towards that goal.

    Why do you hate clean floors, T?

  15. Why do you hate clean floors, T?

    Carpet is a sin in the eyes of God, and a robotic device which cleans carpet must therefore be sinful as well. It can be tolerated as long as it serves mankind, but if it ever attempts to supplant us it must be scoured from the cosmos with fire and steel.

  16. Sure, it all starts with promises of clean floors and pure, bacteria-free shag carpets for our children and for the poor, but that’s not where it ends.

  17. Carpet is a sin in the eyes of God, and a robotic device which cleans carpet must therefore be sinful as well

    So you’re totally opposed to going down on a woman? Or just when it is robots doing the muff diving?

  18. You guys can laugh, but “Gail for Rail” nearly re-elected George Allen.

  19. Epi,

    Maybe he gets claustaphobic like I do. I always feel like an attempt to choke me is under way and I’m always ready to tap out if necessary.

  20. Woah. Ron Paul is on the VA ballot?!?! I might actually need to waste my time and go throw away my vote.

  21. Does this mean that Virginians could vote Barr for President and Paul for VP? That’s cool.

  22. Paul/Bloomberg or Bloomberg/Paul?

    In either case they would NOT get my vote. It will be a cold day an in hell that I ever vote for Bloomberg. He’s the one who ran illegal sting operations to try to entrap VA (and other states’) gun dealers. He had PI’s committing felonies to get enough dirt on dealers they later tried to shake down and sue.

    Bloomberg is anti-gun and the Paul campaign needs to reject this idea immediately or he’ll loose a lot of respect.

  23. Im with you heh2k, this is a big joke, hoax and improbably pairing of someone who is purely NEW WORLD ORDER with someone who purely ISN’T

    I would like to suggest you write to the Paul people and demand his name be taken off as well as from that horrid “ONE” campaign website where they are claiming he supports redistribution of the wealth to the UN.

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