Campaign Diary, Chapter 3: Insurgencies, signage and conscience.


See also: 3 Goals + 7 Platform Points

Given the dysfunction of the two-party system in New Albany, running for mayor as an independent candidate is the only viable option for me, and I revel in the embrace of pragmatic ideas and simple common sense, these seemingly being precluded from the dialogue once the parties shift into gear with “politics as usual.”

If the Democrats were more democratic, perhaps there’d have been another path, but to quote Gertrude Stein, “There is no there there.”

With our local way of politicking stacked solidly against independence, it is important for an independent candidate like me to survey the landscape with realism.

I’m a maverick, an insurgent and an underdog. The political parties possess more money and foot soldiers than I can muster. Jeff Gahan has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from faraway PACs and contracting interests; meanwhile, I’ve managed roughly $300 in “outside” money, from Bloomington and Indianapolis.

In short, I’m a potentially dangerous and unconventional wildcard, underfunded and outnumbered — or, exactly where I want to be. 

We’ll be mixing old and new during the course of spreading the word, and here is an update.

Web site updates are under way this week, and video shoots begin tomorrow.

Many of you have asked for yard signs, and they’re about to be ordered. Previously I’ve expressed reservations about these, and to be honest, I haven’t entirely changed my mind about it, but … and this is a big BUT … I understand the dynamic of introducing the general public to who I am and what I stand for, and yard signs are a part of it. I also feel that if you want one, I want you to have one, and you’ll get one.

We’ll also be announcing guidelines for an upcoming art competition, also centering on yard signs of an edgier and more personalized nature. Stay tuned for details.

The formally sanctioned “debate” schedule is in place, and I’ll write separately about it.

Also, I’m looking for a home for the two durable vinyl banners pictured above. If you have any ideas, please let me know. A downtown building would be groovy; so would a yard visible from the interstate. There are many potential spots, and I’m open to suggestions.

In closing, a few words on conscience.

Previously I wrote about the petition process for ballot access, during which there were rumblings of threats and retaliation on the part of signatories otherwise identified with the Democratic Party.

It is unfortunate when “group-think” is allowed to digress into hints of intimidation, but apparently it has. Ultimately, it remains my position that petitions, ballots and basic choice are matters of personal conscience, and I’ve neither the desire, nor any solid reason, to tamper with such.

Know this: If you support my independent candidacy, I’d rather you be able to express your preference openly, but I understand perfectly well if you cannot. Happily, many voters who ordinarily find themselves occupying a “side” based on factors beyond the actual issues (family, habit, compulsion at work, etc) may choose to preserve the outward appearance of conformity, while resolving internally to opt out of politics as usual and vote differently — independently — in 2015.

If so, merely let conscience be your guide. That’s why the ballots are secret, and no one should be looking over your shoulder, anyway.

If the local Democratic Party machine wishes to be spiteful and vindictive, it’s the machine’s problem, not ours. It remains a mystery how the party’s chairman contorts reality so as to square his pious bromides about “respectful” candidates with Dan Coffey’s continued presence on the ballot as a “Democrat” — but that’s his problem, and a huge one.

As an independent, I just want to accomplish something, and you can help.