In keeping with the full transparency I promised, here's an update on my campaign activities.
The mainstream media blackout on my campaign for governor continues, even as regular people from around the state reach out to ask how they can help. Folks are finding me through friends of friends and in online forums. The Indy Week article by Bob Geary is still a major source in inquiries.
When I ask people what interests them about my candidacy, their answers are pretty similar. They like the fact that I’m an independent Democrat, and they like that I am more than willing to call a spade a spade. Those two things alone may be enough to doom my campaign.
Many people want to know why I’m not accepting contributions, and whether I eventually will. That’s a tough question to answer. Having contributed tens of thousands of dollars to other candidates in recent years, I know that it takes money to run effective campaigns. Yet at the same time, I can’t ignore the corrosive effects of “democracy for sale” everywhere I look. Money is a malignant cancer in our political system. That’s why I returned contributions of more than $5000 this week to well-intentioned donors.
On occasions when I’ve been able to connect with people who don’t live and breathe politics, the experience this week has been mostly discouraging. People don't seem to think things will get better. They understand that we have auctions instead of elections, but they don’t believe there’s anything that can be done. They are resigned to a system where the rich get richer and everyone else gets run over. They resent celebrity politics, but see no practical alternative.
Even good friends of mine smirk behind my back at my unconventional ideas and my outsider campaign. Well-connected and well-heeled, they relish their insider status. “It is what it is,” they say, as they write big checks to corporate Democrats. “If you don’t play the game, you don’t count.”
I say screw the game. There has to be a better way.