woensdag 7 mei 2014

Richard Grayson -- 7 mei 2004

• De Amerikaanse schrijver Richard Grayson (1951) stelde zich in 2004 kandidaat voor het Amerikaanse House of Congress. Hij hield over die periode een dagboek bij: Diary of a congressional candidate in Florida's fourth congressional district

Friday, May 7

This evening, the Florida Division of Elections website posted the names of all the qualifying candidates for Congress. I am one of three candidates in the Fourth Congressional District in the Jacksonville area.

Ander Crenshaw, the conservative Republican incumbent, faces a primary challenge from Deborah Katz Pueschel, who thinks he isn’t right-wing enough to reverse what she calls our “current course of gradual socialism.” Two years ago, Crenshaw beat her with 90 percent of the vote, and he’s sure to win the G.O.P. nomination again.

I’m the only registered Democrat in the race. But, unable to afford the nine-thousand-dollar filing fee to get the official party designation, I’m a write-in candidate. Under Florida’s bizarre election laws, write-in votes count only if they’re for “qualified” candidates like me.

If I weren’t a candidate, Congressman Crenshaw’s name wouldn’t be on the November ballot. There just wouldn’t be an election. Four of Florida’s twenty-five House members were elected this afternoon when they did not get a primary or write-in opponent.

Over 90 percent of Americans live in congressional districts that are essentially one-party monopolies. Of Florida’s twenty-five House seats, seven are safe for Democrats, and sixteen are safe for Republicans.
The Fourth is the most Republican district in the state. But I’m hoping to give anyone opposed to Crenshaw’s positions a chance to vote for someone else.

In the last Congress, Crenshaw voted for more Bush tax cuts and the war in Iraq. He supported oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, limiting the Patients’ Bill of Rights, and banning “partial-birth” abortion. Crenshaw voted against campaign-finance reform.

As of March, his campaign committee had $612,691 in cash.

Mine had bupkis.

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