ALT-WRITE(R) FOR GOVERNOR!
In news that had our entire office laughing like hyenas, the senior staff writer and arts editor of Oregon’s Eugene Weekly are running for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, in … wait for it … KANSAS! See, Kansas law does not require a person to be a resident of the state to run for governor, reports EW. (Aside: A poorer acronym than Orlando Weekly’s has been found.)
Bob Keefer, candidate for governor/EW senior writer, writes that his decision to jump into the race was precipitated by his reading about six Kansan teens, ages 16 and 17, who filed to run for governor after learning that their state doesn’t have an age requirement for the job. The kids are displeased with the leadership of Republican Jeff Colyer, a prominent birther who became governor when his predecessor Sam Brownback bailed on Feb. 1 to join the Trump Administration as ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. Brownback is also credited with putting the state in fiscal freefall by cutting taxes to the rich.
Keefer intended to cast his “young, smart and good-looking” cat Bernstein as his running mate until he learned that Kansas’ secretary of state had actually rejected the application of 3-year-old dog “Angus P. Woolley, who was running on an anti-squirrel agenda.” [See News of the Weird, pg. 45.] So he enlisted EW arts editor Rick Levin to be his running mate. Keefer’s slogan: “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Or, apparently, ever, dudes.) Now all they need to do is convince 5,000 Kansans to sign a petition to put their names on the Nov. 6 ballot.
LOBBYING FOR EQUALITY
In Colorado, lawmakers still haven’t gotten around to making it easier to change the gender on one’s birth certificate, nor have they banned the horror of gay conversion therapy, of which the recently deceased Billy Graham was an ardent supporter. Colorado Springs Independent reports that the Birth Certificate Modernization Act made it through committee and is now heading to the state house for a vote; the conversion therapy ban has recently been introduced in committee.
To support these and other measures, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, One Colorado, hosted its annual LGBTQ Lobby Day on Feb. 26. CSI notes that citizens unable to participate in person can visit One Colorado’s website for email templates and contact information for their state representatives.
Learn more about changing gender markers on birth certificates in Florida here.
GREY GARDEN APARTMENTS
East Bay Express cites a poll, commissioned by the Bay Area News Group and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which found that roughly a third of apartment dwellers and a quarter of those in their 20s and 30s report having difficulty affording housing in the Bay Area.
The report states, “Bay Area residents under 40 were more than three times as likely to report they slashed other expenses ‘a great deal’ to cover their housing costs than those over 60, the survey found.” So Don Ameche and Wilford Brimley would be set, but Steve Guttenberg would be living in a van by the river?
It’s not news that since the Citizens United decision was handed down, political action committees, or PACs, have infiltrated our election system and impeded democracy more effectively than guys named Boris, fake news and Twitter bots combined. Though we’re still well within the era of dark money pouring into our elections from the top shelf of the highest income bracket, there may be hope in the form of frustrated citizens resorting to using homegrown dollars to create their own PACs, according to Ithaca Times.
IT reports: “Though PACs often don’t appear in smaller Congressional races until after the primaries have been finished, two groups appeared on the year-end returns filed with the [Federal Election Commission] last month. Unlike the funds to rear their heads in the past three elections, both PACs were headquartered and financed within the district. And both will benefit Democrats.”
Both PACs are targeting incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed, who has benefited bigly from dark money in earlier elections in 2016, 2014 and 2012, IT reports. See, folks, in a democracy, turnabout is fair play.