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Draft former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson for President

john.halle's picture

An idea based on Rocky Anderson's recent jeremiad-linked to below.
What do folks here think?

Dear Rocky,

We write, first, to express our strong support of your recent decision to disassociate yourself from the Democratic Party. We agree entirely with your description of it as "a gutless, unprincipled party, bought and paid for by the same interests that buy and pay for the Republican Party."

We also heartily endorse your call for the development of a new political party based on serving rather than trampling on the public interest. Not only has the necessity for a progressive party based in the labor, environmental and peace movements been apparent for some time, we believe that now offers the best possible conditions for its development-which can occur both coincident with and symbiotic with direct action protests in the offing for the months ahead.

Crucial to the development of the party, in our opinion, is the establishment of a grass roots foundation for the party based in campaigns for local office across the country.

At the same time, what is needed to bootstrap this party into existence, in our opinion, is a presidential run by a nationally known progressive leader who can articulate the party platform and inspire activists to develop local networks which will remain in place in support of independent politics both at the ballot box and on the streets.

We believe that you are the ideal candidate to articulate the broad themes on which this new party will be based. We also believe that you are well positioned to weave together support from existing left third parties, including, but not limited to, Green, Labor, Peace and Freedom, Socialist, and Workers World Parties, none of which, individually, has the capacity to support a major insurgent campaign but which collectively could form a powerful coalition in the 2012 election.

With that in mind, we respectfully request that you seriously consider accepting our draft for President of a newly formed coalition party and that you file papers declaring your candidacy on its ballot line.

Should you do so, we pledge our strong support of your candidacy in whatever capacity we are able to offer it-financial, rhetorical and organizational.

It is, alas, not wild speculation that immediate action by all of us on this matter is necessary to our nation's, and indeed, our planet's continued survival.


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ralphbon's picture
Submitted by ralphbon on

I'm having trouble finding the full text of Anderson's letter to DCCC. Do you have a link?

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

All I could find was an article that purports to contain the letter. The parts of the letter that have been quoted in published articles are contained within it, but you don't have to be a literary genius to gin up a letter based on those quotes.

There is nothing at his norprofit, High Road For Human Rights, but then, I wouldn't have expected something about party politics to be there. Anderson has a Facebook page.Perhaps someone who has an account there could confirm or deny.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

But I think he would be inclined to respond favorably if he saw a large and growing constituency in support of his run. That's in contrast to Sanders (for example) who won't accept a draft since he has his re-election to the Senate in 2012 to deal with.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

From his Wiki bio and his nonprofit, I'd say that he's just the sort of person I'd want to have running for President. Certainly seems to be a cut above the Democrats' last presidential primary field, particularly the winner of that contest.

beowulf's picture
Submitted by beowulf on

The hardest part about challenging the President is raising the money to compete. But the ideal candidate in terms of being taken seriously by the press, is one who is willing to set up a campaign committee and immediately drop a personal check for, say, $100 million to the committee (make it a loan so if,lo and behold if, $10, 50 or even $100 million comes in from small donors, he can get the "covered" amount back). The Supreme Court ruled in the Buckley case say a candidate can spend unlimited amounts on his own campaign (on the theory that since he can't corrupt himself, the FEC can't restrict a candidate's free speech rights).

The trouble is there aren't too many billionaires willing to sacrifice the time or aggravation to run for President. Even civic-minded billionaires (and there are a few) would rather write a check. Which quickly runs into the legal limits on how much a donor can give a candidate. Yes the SuperPac loophole lets you spend unlimited amounts, but you're not allowed to coordinate with your favored candidate. So yes you can beat up the other guy but its tough to build up your guy if you're not operating off a single game plan. One way around is if a campaign had an open-book campaign strategy. Post online about where they want to run ads if they had the money, even put the ads online-- total transparency. Double down and release the ads into the public domain. Which means if any SuperPac, whether one set up by a progressive group or even Karl Rove's gang of plutocrats (wanting to soften Obama up for the general) wished to, they could download the ads off the web and use their own funds to run it, many many times. There's nothing the candidate can do to stop them. After all, you can't sue for copyright infringement if there's no copyright.

However, there's another way to go at it, that doesn't really on SuperPac funding. In Ronald Reagan's underdog 1976 primary campaign against President Ford, the Gipper tried to shake up the delegate hunt by selecting a Vice Presidential running mater, Sen. Richard Schweiker, BEFORE the convention. In the end Reagan couldn't catch up, but it was definitely thinking outside the box (Reagan would later appointed Schweiker to run HHS).

Its still a damn good idea because it reminds of you this: Primaries and Caucuses elect Convention delegates to nominate candidates for both President AND Vice President. So if they run together, they can both spend personal assets on the joint ticket. So Rocky Anderson announces for President with his billionaire running mate next to him, the two file a joint statement of candidacy at the Federal Election Commission, the running mate then loans the committee a king's ransom and can then choose to campaign as much or as little as they wish. No one realistically expects Anderson to win the nomination, but if lightning did strikes, the VP pick can decide at the Convention if he want to keep on keeping on or simply decline the VP nod for "health reasons".

Granted, there is a federal election regulation that says you're not supposed to file a joint statement of candidacy for a single campaign until after a Party convention has nominated the ticket. Not to worry because Federal election regulations aren't law until both the FEC (equally split between parties) AND a federal judge say it is and that wont happen: 1. The GOP members of FEC won't lift a finger to bail Obama out and 2. Even if it got past the FEC, a federal judge would take note that there already IS a joint statement of candidacy on file a full year before the Party conventions:
NOTE: Address is different than previously reported
PO Box 8102
2. Identification Number: P80003338
3. Party: Democratic Party
4. Office Sought: President