Saturday, January 18, 2014

On jumping into the deep end of the pool: I run for 22nd District State Representative

7,000 votes = 1 new voice
Steve Newton for
22nd State Rep.
I know (and you know if you read this blog regularly) that I'm nuts.  And running for this seat like I actually think I can win it as a Libertarian is--according to conventional wisdom--the epitome of crazy.

You can see my press release and campaign announcement on the blog site here that I am using as a temporary campaign website until we migrate it to a better platform in about two weeks.

You can also donate there (hint, hint) and also here in another day or so.

You can also visit my Steve Newton for 22nd District State Representative Facebook page.

Of course the conventional wisdom is that third-party candidacies are vanity campaigns, or--at best--educational/propaganda efforts in the guise of a political campaign.  "If you really wanted to win," they tell me almost daily, "you'd run as a Democrat."

Except I'm not a Democrat, and while I have hopes for convincing a lot of Democrats to support me, I don't see approaching the Delaware Democratic Party (which I have criticized on no few occasions) and saying, "Please give me money and support to run; I suddenly decided I'm a Democrat."

And the blunt answer to "Why would you run as a Libertarian?" is that I believe I can win.

I've spent better than two decades in Delaware working in public and higher education, working for special needs children, working for adopted children, working for midwives, working as a union leader--doing actual public service.  You can call me a Libertarian to try to dismiss me, but I've built a resume that makes me a legit candidate for the position of State Representative.

But Libertarians (or Greens, or whoever) can't possibly raise the money or organize a campaign, can they?  I'm betting heavily that the conventional wisdom is wrong.  I've managed campaigns and I've done my research; I know how much money it will take to run a competitive campaign, and we've set up a realistic plan to raise it.

"You're only going to be a spoiler."  No, I'm going to win.  It requires at least 7,000 votes to win this district.  And it really doesn't matter how many people are running--7,000 votes will win this district.  Even if you are a Libertarian and you get those 7,000 votes, they have to let you into the General Assembly (I checked).

[Assuming everybody over 18 in my own house votes for me, I start with five votes.  I think I can get four votes out of the house to the east--it would be five but the youngest daughter won't turn 18 till December.  Then there's the house to the west where my neighbors were finally able to get married last summer despite the fact that their own "representative" had voted to deny them the right.  OK, so I start with an eleven-vote base.  People have started with worse and won.  Only 6,989 votes to go.]

"You'd be an oddity and you couldn't make a difference if you were elected."  Tell it to US Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King.  Tell it to the Delaware LGBT community that had to sweat a razor-thin vote on marriage equality that one more secure vote wouldn't have made a difference.  There are lots of models for being an effective legislator, and one of them is to be the conscience and loud voice that talks about the issues nobody else will touch.

Political corruption is bad enough in a legislature; the political correctness that stops certain conversations from ever occurring is worse.

If we're ever going to change the conversation in Delaware from politics as usual (hello Veasey Report) and "the Delaware Way," then we're going to have to vote somebody different into office.

I think that's me.

I hope you'll seriously think about supporting me--either by your vote if you live in the district or your contribution if you don't.  [$5 is not too little and anything under $601 is not too large.]

PS--this blog will remain my primary place to talk in depth about ideas and politics.  I'll update you on the campaign, but The Delaware Libertarian remains an intellectual outlet for commenting on society, and it would frankly get boring if it only followed my campaign.  The other website, email lists, and other social media will be your best bet to keep up, and those links will be appearing here shortly.

PPS--this to delacrat, who I'm positive always reads this far down in the posts.  Despite our many differences, you always said you'd vote for me.  If you live in my district, great--I'd like your vote.  If not, think about sending me at least a token donation--I really will fight the fights we've talked about.