On Wednesday, I filed the papers to become a candidate for State Representative from the Fourth District in Providence, RI. I’m running against House Speaker Gordon Fox.
Today, I’m blogging about it. Welcome to the third turn of the 2012 political race.
This blog will follow my campaign. I’ll be writing about the challenges, triumphs and breakdowns as they happen.
Disclosure: Yes, I’m running for office, so everything I write will probably be self-serving and “designed” to get me elected. Take it all with a grain of salt. (Or sodium substitute.)
Asking For Votes – “Mark Your Ballot for Mark Binder”
The worst part of the job, aside from fundraising (see below), is asking for votes. I have to ask you—and all your friends— to vote for me. It’s the job. If I don’t ask, chances are, you won’t vote for me.
This morning, as I was meditating down by the river in my favorite part of my district, two lovely ladies sat in the chair behind me. When I was done, we chatted for a while, I asked for their votes. Turns out, neither was in my district. Oh well.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, in the last Presidential Election, my opponent received 4,899 votes to the 1,271 of his challenger. I’ll need about 3,500 votes to win. There are roughly 10,000 registered voters in District Four. That’s one out of three.
Mark your calendar, November 6, 2012. Mark your ballot for Mark Binder.
To get on the ballot in Rhode Island is a two-part process.
- You need to file a “Declaration of Candidacy” in a 3 day period.
- On July 3, I have to pick up nomination papers and begin to collect signatures. For the office I’m running (Representative in General Assembly), I need to collect a whopping 50 signatures of registered voters in my district. (When I ran for US House of Representatives it was 500 signatures. US Senator takes 1,000.) These signatures need to be returned to City Hall by the end of business, July 19.
That’s it. Seems easy, doesn’t it. So why am I the only person running against Gordon Fox?
Why am I running?
I watched a TV news interview of Gordon Fox being asked about the 38 Studios disaster. Yes, Mr. Fox was put on the spot. No, he doesn’t know how a video game company run by an ex-ball player blew through millions of dollars in such a short period of time.
But it was my money and your money and his money that was gambled away.
One thing I know is that I never would have voted for the 38 Studios guarantee. I have been working with and around computers my whole life. I have watched the dot-com bubble burst. Plus I’m sick of corporations extracting tax benefits and giving back squat.
Well, how would I boost the RI Economy?
I don’t know. Not yet. Over the next few months, I’m going to be talking with a lot of people, and listening. And thinking.
There are so many issues that become more challenging when you think about actually doing the job.
For instance, a recent article in the Providence Journal challenged that the State of Rhode Island wasn’t promoting tourism enough. Is that government’s job? If “The State” had created an ad campaign that failed, whose fault would it be? And so on.
Email me your ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My first flip-flop
I’m a liberal-progressive-leaning Chafee-style independent. I reserve the right to change my mind. So…
Since the first political piece I published for RI Future was called, “Why I’m (not) Running for Congress,” I thought I should at least address the “I don’t really want the job” component.
1) One of the more distasteful aspects of politics is the fundraising and the web of IOUs it creates. While I am not swearing off fundraising, I don’t plan on making that my job.
The area of my district is small. I live here. I will be walking the district, door to door, introducing myself, asking questions, answering questions, and listening.
Currently, I am not accepting contributions, but I would like help, support and encouragement.
2) My ego hasn’t changed significantly. It’s big, but I’m neither politically hungry nor ambitious. I would like to serve my country, my state and my community and help change the political climate here in Rhode Island. Perhaps there are better qualified candidates, but I don’t see them stepping up.
Maybe it’s an impossible task — to take the entrenched system, work with in it to fix it, and leave our state in a better place to cope with the 21st Century.
Maybe. But I know it’s not going to happen unless we begin to stop complaining and start rising to the challenges.
More to come.