The ‘Charley Party Party’ is ready to run
It's great that the Big Island County Council is pushing to allow candidates for office to pay for their entire campaigns with taxpayer money. I've always wanted to run for office, but hated the idea of using my own cash to do it.
Actually, I don't really want to hold a public office because you have to go to so many really boring meetings and I've always been a high-concept guy ... you know, I come up with the ideas and let the hired gerbils do the heavy lifting. What I like about political campaigns are all the parties. There are parties to launch the campaign, parties to bribe, I mean, convince citizens to vote for you and, of course, the big parties at the end, whether you win or lose. In fact, losing candidates throw some of the best parties. Campaigning is one big pupu- and drink-fueled party. And what better way to throw a party then when someone else is paying for it?
So, as soon as this "public funding of political campaigns" bill becomes law, I'm going to form the Charley Party Party and run for every office that I can. I'll really be on the ballots and I'll really make speeches and everything, but the whole purpose will just be to have great parties with my friends and anyone else who wants to attend.
The Big Island wants to be the first place to test publicly funded campaigns, which is fine. I'll rent a house on the Big Island -- sort of a Party Party headquarters -- just to establish residency, and then break out the steak and poke!
People against publicly funded political campaigns complain that it will allow everyone to run for office, no matter how slight their chance of winning. So what? It's the American dream, running for office, and if a person doesn't have the charm of a muskrat or the persistence of a ... well, a persistent thing, then that person deserves to have his campaign funded by all of his neighbors (who actually hate his guts.)
Sure, publicly funded campaigns will bring every weirdo, crank and loser out of the woodwork, but it is the government's duty to fund all their pointless campaigns, so these head cases can spout whatever foolishness they want. Some would say the clinically insane are unfairly underrepresented in elected office but, then again, who knows for sure?
The beauty of the Charley Party Party is that people will know I have no intention of actually taking office. All I want is for the government to pick up the tab for the beer, barbecue, decorations and live band. Sure, some will say that if you don't really expect to win an election you shouldn't be able to use public election funds. Bah! Most people run for office not expecting to win. Dennis Kucinich, Fred Thompson and Michael Last come to mind. Mike Last is that guy from Puna who got only -- for real -- THREE votes when he ran for the state Legislature. You think he expected to win? At least with public funding, Last could have thrown a great shindig for him and his two buddies.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org