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May 13, 2018
Dear Gov. Ventura,
I’m an Ecotopian Sanders Democratic candidate for Congress in CA-2. I think I would be a great guest on your show for a number of reasons.
On election night 2006, I learned that 15 or 17 Congressional seats went to the Dems by 5,000 votes or less. I concluded that this was because of the Democratic bloggers like Daily Kos. Their actions took the ball into the end zone. So I thought, what if we focused in a long-term sense on winning the districts we lost by 5,000 votes or less? Then, as our numbers grew, worked on the ones we lost by 10,000 votes or less, etc. We could do the same thing in the primaries and get nominations for progressives over centrists and then in the general election get wins for the Democrats over Republicans.
I live in perhaps the most radical district in the country, CA-2. It runs along the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. It includes Marin County and all three counties of the marijuana-growing Emerald Triangle. Biggest source of income for those counties is cannabis (e.g. $2.4 billion/year in my home county of Humboldt). So we have Bioneers, pot growers and back-to-the-landers, Earth First! treesitters, the Grateful Dead, and many Green party activists. There are three registered Democrats for every registered Republican in CA-2.
Before the change to Top Two in 2012, whoever won the Democratic primary won the seat in Congress! We were CA-1 until 2012 and our Congressman was Mike Thompson. I saw that Mike had won 80,000 votes running unopposed in the Dem primary. That meant for me to win the primary and the House seat itself, in a district of 700,000 people, I would have to organize to get 40,001 votes. Extremely difficult, but in an historical sense, not an impossible thing to do here in this particular district. By 2010, Thompson was only getting 55,000 votes in the primary, so all I would have needed to win was 27,501 if I had been able to run that year!
So I ran in 2012 against 11 other candidates (redistricting meant we had no incumbent to run against). I put together my New Green America Agenda from the ideas of the Green party, Earth First!, pot growers, Bioneers, and Democracy Now progressive anti-imperialistic politics. I had helped co-found two U.S. green parties, the Citizens party in 1980 in which we ran environmentalist Barry Commoner against Jimmy Carter and Reagan, and in 1985 the current U.S. Green party. In 2008, I reregistered out of the Green party into the Democratic party to run for Congress and win via a Democratic primary victory.
However, I’m not becoming a thing called a Democrat. I’ve never asked anyone to register Democratic. My allegiance is to independent third party diversity. But Greens and progressive Democrats and independents and Libertarians rarely talk with each other. And we have much to discuss with each other. And without a parliamentary system, it is almost impossible to elect Green party candidates to the federal government. In 38 years we have never done so.
I hope to be the first Fundi Green elected to Congress, currently as a registered Dem. So I’m bringing green politics into the community of activists who think working as progressive Democrats will get us furthest. Once elected to Congress, I’ll provide leadership in electoral reform that will make it possible for people outside the two plutocratic parties to get into Congress. I’m a fan of multi-winner ranked choice voting. In 1982 I worked on Gore Vidal’s Senate campaign against Jerry Brown because Vidal was calling for a Constitutional convention to get the U.S legislative system shifted over to a parliamentary system.
I invented the tactic of sabotaging genetic engineering test sites by organizing the Strawberry Liberation Front and the Mindless Thugs Against Genetic Engineering ecotage action groups that crawled into the Frostban test site one night to pull up all the strawberry plants that were set to be sprayed the next morning with GMO bacteria.
A year of our relentless campaign ended up causing the investors in Advanced Genetic Sciences to pull out their money. They thought we would never give up going after them with our bold and obstreperous tactics so they concluded we would significantly delay them getting a return on their investments.
So AGS went bankrupt because of this and there have been no other tests of atmospheric GMO bacteria anywhere on earth since 1987. Apparently this inspired anti-GMO activists ubiquitously throughout Europe, Africa, and India and in those countries, led to GMO bans being passed in about 70 countries so far. I guess that’s why the BBC thought my campaign was a big deal.
Here is a recent talk I gave to some youth activists telling the whole Frostban story in about 20 minutes. FYI
Here is the original 2012 Caffrey for Congress New Green America flyer. I’ve tweaked it a bit to reduce the agenda to seven points, which are:
- Fight the climate crisis as national security threat number one, which means…
- A War Effort to get off Fossil Fuels in ten years globally. We must declare a climate national emergency like the national emergency call of WWII and launch a concerted ten-year infrastructure rebuilding campaign designed locally around fitting into eco-zones called bioregions, but funded from federal tax dollars (reducing military budget, ending war on drugs, and moving back towards Truman’s and Eisenhower’s 92% tax bracket for people earning more than $3 1/2 million/year).
- Retreating the America Empire.
- Ending Corporate Personhood.
- Federally legalizing cannabis and ending the war on drugs.
- Prosecuting Bush/Cheney/Kissinger and other murderers for war crimes.
- Electoral reform and going back to paper ballots.
The idea is to have a vision and set of priorities that anybody can advocate regardless of their party. Just ask any candidate which of the New Green America proposals they back. Challenge them to meet them all. We need to start organizing around what we want to make of our nation and not just focus on complaining about what we want to stop.
In the 2012 campaign I was pointing out that the Republicans are dismantling our democracy. I got the biggest laughs and most cheers when I quipped, “The largest organized crime syndicate and terrorist network in world history is the Republican party. The second largest is the Democratic party!”
I pointed out that every Republican member of Congress and a huge number of Democrats meet the Robert Hare Psychopathy Checklist diagnostic criteria for psychopaths. So they are doing all the horrible things they are doing not because of their ideologies but because they have no conscience (e.g. this explains every thing #TraitorTrump does).
I did a lot of research on this and wrote an essay about political psychopathy which has now been read by about 10,000 people, my most-read essay:
I was also the first Congressional candidate to smoke a joint as a direct action on the campaign trail. Jay Leno then said a couple of jokes about me and I got on MSNBC twice.
I made my own TV spots (the last of which had the cheerful gurgling sounds of a bong behind me as I said, “Hi! I’m Andy Caffrey and I approve this message!”). I was able to air them during Letterman, the CBS Morning Show, Futurama, Family Guy and other shows on every TV in the two most rural counties of the district for $5/airing. I’ve assembled all of them in this collection of clips. I don’t mean to burden you with tons of video, etc. Check them out if they interest you. But definitely watch this collection and my Bernie TV interview from this last Monday.
2012 Leno jokes, MSNBC appearances, and campaign TV spots:
I only got 1% of the vote in 2012 because Norman Solomon, with the help of Phil Donohue, ran against me. Ironically, it was because for years I had been calling on Norman to run! Because he lived in the neighboring district! In 2012 they put our districts together and so Caffreystein’s monster crushed Caffreystein in the 2012 election!
But in 2014 I got 10% of the vote, the highest of any Green, Libertarian, or independent running for any state or federal office in California, including Cindy Sheehan and Marianne Williamson! I got 14,245 votes. More than half of the 27,500 I would have needed in 2010 to defeat Thompson. That was more than half of what Blankenship just got in WV! LOL
Now I’m running again against the same guys who ran in 2014: Dale Mensing, a Republican creationist grocery clerk neighbor of mine who got the idea, “if Andy can run, then I can run,” and the Hillary Superdelegate and incumbent Jared Huffman. Since Dale was the only guy with an R after his name, he–another Caffreystein monster–knocked me out of the top two in 2014. He ran again in 2016, so I didn’t because he would have done the same thing again. But he only got 15.7% in 2016.
So now, in 2018, things have changed a lot and I can make the top two, especially with your help. I only need to get 16% of the vote in June to surpass the Republican and make the top two. I only need everyone who voted for me in 2014 to get one more person to vote for me in June.
And I’m not the only electoral revolutionary candidate any more. There is a herd of ’em across the country. So now I’m framing the race as: a vote for Huffman the Hillary Superdelegate is a vote that tells the party you want to follow the path of the Hillary/Pelosi/Wasserman-Schultz corporatist-militarist planet-killing establishment of the Dem party. A vote for Caffrey is a vote for Bernie’s revolution, but Greener.
A $15 minimum wage, infrastructure development, taxing the elites, taking bold action on climate destabilization, ending the war in Afghanistan, expanding Social Security and Medicare to provide high quality healthcare for everybody, ending corporate personhood and reversing Citizens United, free college tuition at public colleges and universities, and reversing globalist trade agreements!
Thanks for checking out some of these things. You’re doing a superb job, providing a tremendous deprogramming service to humanity and your shows are inspiring for me.
I just need to get that 16% in June and in November we’ll have the first Congressional battle in the country of a Green in Democrats’ clothing (me) vs. an establishment Dem, without a Republican option (so who will the Republicans vote for? Hillary Superdelegate incumbent or a Berniecrat and Green?).
The Dems in our radical district voted 53% for Bernie and 46% for Hillary. So I can win the seat if the Republicans split 50/50! First time in history a Green gets elected to Congress, but as a registered Democrat. Pretty tricky, huh?
So, as you can see, an interview with you could very likely get me above that 16%.
Thanks a lot for your show and for your consideration.
P.S. Being an Ecotopian Green Democrat means I’m a Bioregionalist. See the book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach.