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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Naked Cowboy Abandoned NYC Mayor Race

This article was interesting. The "Naked Cowboy" dropped out of the race for NYC mayor. He was fined for failing to comply with the election bureaucracy. He said that the election bureaucracy paperwork was a huge deterrent to running. He was running as a publicity stunt with no real chance of winning, yet he was still forced to abandon his campaign. He probably would have been forced to pay a lot of money, to ensure he was 100% compliant with the election bureaucracy.

"Campaign ballot access laws" are designed to hinder non-approved candidates. Minor party candidates spend a large chunk of their campaign budget making sure they're compliant with the ballot access laws and election bureaucracy.

If a mainstream candidate makes an election law flub, he can usually get a waiver and get on the ballot anyway. A judge says "It's a violation of the intent of the law to deny this candidate access to the ballot." If a third party candidate makes an election law flub, he's denied access to the ballot. A judge says "The law must be strictly interpreted as written."

For example, lobbyists for the Republicans and Democrats challenge the Libertarian party and other parties when they attempt to get listed on the ballot. If the Republican or Democratic parties make an election law flub, they always get a waiver.

Political pundits and celebrities don't normally run for Congress. Why is that?

Suppose that you have a TV show on a mainstream media channel. If you declare your candidacy, "equal time" laws require you to abandon your TV show. Of course, the mainstream media has no obligation to then cover your campaign as newsworthy, because you have no chance of winning! Instead of using your TV show to promote your campaign, you're forced to abandon your show for the duration of the campaign. The political campaign lasts many months, from primary to general election. That's a long time to give up your TV show.

The campaign laws are designed to prevent celebrities from running for political office. They can't perform their normal job as a celebrity while campaigning. That's the primary reason you don't normally see celebrities leveraging their popularity into a political career. Some do succeed, but that's usually an exception.

The election laws are designed to prevent access to the ballot, rather than promote freedom.

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