I am a New York State voter and I'd like to tell you why I created this website. First, I have to give you a little background on myself. I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, which is in the central part of New York State. While studying for my two year degree full time, I was also working full time hours, even though essentially I was classified as a part time employee. Later, after I obtained a full time job during the day, I studied full time at night for my four year degree. After that, I took an accelerated Master's Degree program at night while mostly working full time days.
I say "mostly" because during this time period, I was "downsized" twice. Of course, this happened before that term was coined. What it really was, was just a good old fashioned layoff, although in reality, there really wasn't anything good about it. I always liked to follow current events and by that time in my life, I was a regular follower of what was happening in Albany. Frankly, I didn't like what I was seeing. If you're reading this and live in New York, you know that our State government is completely and utterly dysfunctional. The last straw was when I read that while the Big Three (the Governor and the heads of both Chambers of the Legislature) were negotiating the budget behind closed doors, the Assembly and the Senate were in their chambers debating the size of the State fishing licenses. I promised myself that when I obtained my next full time job, I would make a run for State Assembly. (I figured I had to wait until I was employed as people wouldn't take an unemployed candidate seriously. And of, course, it's tough to finance a campaign when you have no money.) Of course, I knew the tremendous odds against winning, but at least I could say that I tried to change the system, rather than sit there and read about how the present fishing license wouldn't fit into resident's wallets.
So, at the tender age of 32, I threw myself to the lions and entered the special election being held for the 120th Assembly District, as the incumbent was retiring due to a stroke he had suffered. Now, I thought I'd be ready for all of the political dirty tricks that you read about, but nothing compares to actually seeing it. Failing to pick up the Republican nomination, I took the nomination of the Conservative Party and went with it. (Boy, were those Republicans mad!) I had to learn how to do many things that didn't come natural to me, including public speaking, debates and learning how to make a radio commercial. I also had to learn to deal with special interest groups. I can't tell you how many letters I received asking me what I would do for them, if elected. They didn't care about the many problems affecting the State. They were ready to endorse me or reject me to their membership based on this: how I felt about their cause and would I give them money. My soon to be wife became my campaign manager and had to learn how to schedule and coordinate. With a small party of friends and limited campaign resources, I like to think we did a very good job. We had a couple of brilliant ideas, and we had some moments that remind me of a Bloom County/Bill the Cat for President cartoon. When it was over, I received slightly more than 5% of the vote, which is actually pretty good for a third party candidate.
After getting married and moving to another district, I became, and still am, active on my town party committee. Over this time period, I have continued my employment in the health care field (working my way up once to Division Controller before yet again, getting laid off due to grant funding cuts), wrote a book on the social-economic direction the economy is headed in (it remains unpublished) and spent a year as a freelance finance columnist for a local newspaper. However, in looking back, I find that in the fifteen years since I ran, things have only gotten worse. The two major parties have become more bitter towards each other resulting in nothing getting done. And no matter which party is in charge, spending is skyrocketing and the debt is getting deeper. This is happening on both the State and Federal level. While it doesn't happen in all of the races, there are other choices out there besides the Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, you'd never know it because the mainstream media chooses to only follow the two mainstream candidates. And that's when I had the idea for this website. Simply put, it's a place where you can go to find information about third party candidates who are running on both the Federal and State level. There are no fancy graphics to slow download time or advertisements to ruin your stay. It's also a place where I can sound off about issues that I feel are important. If you agree with me, great. If you don't, that's okay too. Drop me a line with your viewpoint. If you make a good case, and you're civil about it, I'll post some of them. Remember that politics is the art of compromise. Unfortunately, we seem to be losing that art. Enjoy!
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