Carey Campbell, chairman of the Virginia Independent Green Party, is a stand-up guy. He read yesterday's post about his effort to put Mike Bloomberg and Ron Paul on the Virginia ballot and walked up to reason world HQ (located somewhere between Mount Rushmore and the Atlantic Ocean) to chat about his plans. I've boiled our free-form talk into this Q&A.
reason: Why did you decide on these two candidates?
Campbell: Ron Paul could have had the nomination of all three of the "major minor" parties if he'd wanted them. I know that from talking to David Cobb and Pat LaMarche of the Greens, I put calls in to Bill Redpath [of the Libertarian Party], and I talked to people in the Constitution Party. He could have been the candidate. But he only had $35 million—well, $4 million now. And that wasn't enough. You'd need $500 million to make a go at this, and who has $500 million to spend? Hmmmmm. It all comes together.
reason: But you've thought of Bloomberg for a long time.
Campbell: I set up a draft organization and approached the mayor about this in 2005. We were reaching out to a number of people. We reached out to Daniel Imperato when we heard he had money. Remember, Bloomberg didn't rule out a third party run until this February.
reason: I talked to Paul's communications director yesterday, and he pointed out that, while flattering, the Bloomberg match-up was odd because Bloomberg and Paul don't agree on much.
Campbell: They agree on the most important issue: Our money. Just think of the two of them as stewards of our tax dollars.
reason: It doesn't quite make sense to me.
Campbell: It made a hell of a lot of sense to the people who signed these petitions. The reaction was nothing like anything I'd ever seen. More positive even than when I was getting signatures for Perot.
reason: What else are you doing, vis-a-vis this ticket?
Campbell: We have three weeks to get this ticket on enough ballots to access 270 electoral votes. I've talked to the Independence Party in New York. I've been talking with all three of the major minors, and what I've suggested is that they call new conventions to nominate this ticket. Bloomberg/Paul gets past the media blackout. Another way to get past that blackout, something I've suggested to Shane Cory [of the Barr campaign], is this: 50 states, 50 debates, 50 days. Stop whining about the two party debate and force the media's attention on you.
reason: I don't think that could work, logistically.
Campbell: It might be physically impossible, but it's a nice idea.
reason: But what's the end game? What do you want to be doing in November?
Campbell: On November 5, if I had my way, I'd be working on the Bloomberg/Paul transition team and being vetted for a job as national comptroller. I'm an accountant by trade, so that's what I'd be angling for. If this doesn't work, we've at least laid the groundwork for this kind of quicksilver effort to take off in four years.