World's Most Honest Candidate Gets IndieGoGo Funding For Kentucky Senate Race

from the satire-for-hire dept

There's been plenty of talk about the influence of money in politics -- and we've certainly covered ambitious projects like Larry Lessig's MayDay SuperPAC a few times. However, down in Kentucky, a group called Represent.us is taking a different -- and potentially more effective -- approach to making people aware of the nefarious impact of money in politics. They've organized a satirical campaign for the Kentucky Senate by Gil Fulbright -- the most Honest Politician in Kentucky. Fulbright, of course, is played by an actor (Frank Ridley), but does a pretty good impression of a politician. To get a sense of his level of honesty, check out this campaign ad:
If you can't watch it, here's the opening transcript:
Hi! I'm Gil Fulbright. The people who run my campaign made this commercial and I'm in it. This campaign? It's not about me. It's about crafting a version of me that appeals to you. A version that visits random work sites with paid actors, pointing at things. A version of me that doesn't find old people loathsome or pointless. Has a conventionally attractive, yet curiously still, family. Listening to my constituents, legislating? These are things I don't do. What I do is spend about 70% of my time raising funds for re-election....
It goes on in that style and is pretty amusing. He's got some other commercials too, such as one for net neutrality and one for health care, both with the tagline: "I'm Gil Fulbright: for the right price, I'll approve any message."

Represent.us put together an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund their plan to insert Fulbright (satirically) into the high profile (and very expensive) Kentucky Senatorial race. He's obviously not running for real, but the idea is to piggyback on the spotlight on the Kentucky race between Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes, which is expected to cost $100 million (nearly all of it from out of state). As Represent.us explains how they'll make use of Fulbright's "campaign":
He'll crash campaign events, run “honest political ads” on TV and the radio, and do whatever it takes to get the whole country talking about money in politics corruption. We’re renting a campaign bus, slapping Gil’s beautiful face on it, and hitting the campaign trail to bring some much-needed honesty to one of the most expensive Senate campaigns in American history.
The IndieGoGo campaign quickly raised its targeted $20,000 (needed for a campaign bus), and is rapidly approaching the $30,000 for billboards. The team is hoping for even more to put some of their ads on TV as well. Obviously, this alone isn't going to move the needle on the question of money in politics, but greater attention from a variety of different angles can only help raise awareness.

Filed Under: alison lundergan grimes, gil fulbright, honest politicians, kentucky, mitch mcconnell, money in politics, politics
Companies: represent us


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  1. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 16 Jul 2014 @ 2:24pm

    Re: The sad reality

    A full spectrum of candidates is an interesting thing.

    The current president of Argentina is a lady named Cristina Kirchner. She got voted in after her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, decided not to run for re-election. I was there in 2003 when he got voted in, and it was very interesting how it happened.

    They didn't have 2 major candidates; they had 5. Unlike the US, every citizen was required by law to vote, but one of the options is votar en blanco (casting a blank vote.) When the votes were tallied, they had a situation very similar to the one the US had had not long before: a statistical tie between the top two candidates where the margin of victory was more narrow than the margin of error.

    However, because there were five major candidates, they were able to resolve things a lot more reasonably than the US had: they announced a runoff election a few weeks. Then something interesting happened: polls started showing that just about everyone who had not voted for Carlos Menem (the other major candidate) the first time was still not going to vote for him the second time, so he withdrew before the scheduled runoff, and Kirchner took the presidency.

    I still remember hearing the news and thinking, "it would sure be nice if our system was that civilized." And when US politics are less civilized than those of a third-world South American country with a history of dictatorship problems, corruption, and financial crashes far worse than anything we've seen in here, you know it's bad.

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