Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor Of Kentucky

from the this-is-great dept

If you read Techdirt, hopefully you're also familiar with Fark, the super popular news aggregator that was sort of Digg before Digg, Reddit before Reddit and Hackernews before Hackernews -- but still unique in its own way. It's main claim to fame is the snarky one-line summaries of the various stories that it posts, and it's all around awesome. It's run by a guy named Drew Curtis, who is also pretty awesome, and who has long been engaged on various important issues related to the future of the internet and keeping it viable. Either way, in a bit of a surprise announcement Friday afternoon, he's announced that he's running for governor of Kentucky and his campaign website is like none you've ever seen before. It's not often that a political campaign kicks off with a Douglas Adams quote:
“It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.” – Douglas Adams
But Curtis is serious -- and mainly serious about having actual human beings, rather than politicians, be elected to key positions to bring about real change:
We have a theory that we’re about to see a huge change in how elections and politics work. Across the country, we have seen regular citizens stepping up and challenging the status quo built by political parties and career politicians. They have been getting closer and closer to victory and, here in Kentucky, we believe we have a chance to win and break the political party stronghold for good.
We are not politicians. We are Citizen Candidates.
Citizen Candidates evaluate ideas on merit, not on outside influence, campaign contribution sources, or party ideology. They believe a good idea is a good idea, no matter which political party supports it. Citizen Candidates are regular people with common sense. They are capable leaders who would be fantastic elected officials - if they chose to run.

Most don’t. And we can’t blame them.
The campaign talks about others, like Tim Wu and Zephyr Teachout, who basically came out of nowhere to have a major impact on the governor's race in NY.

While it's all too easy to be cynical about politicians and lobbyists and special interests, it's encouraging to see more people pushing back against those things, and actually looking to make a real difference. Whether or not this effort succeeds, we need more efforts like this, and I'm excited to see Curtis take a shot.

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 4:08pm

    They're all citizen candidates until they get elected. Then it becomes a career, and they become politicians.

    But hooray for Fark!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:00pm

      Re:

      There was that icelandic comedian who became mayor of Reykjavik, then retired after one term.

      I imagine it's strangely liberating to be able to respond with demands or threats with "Re-election campaign? What re-election campaign?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:34pm

    I was a citizen candidate too

    ...and also garnered 1/3 of the vote with less than $1000 spent on my campaign for county school board. I love to see more ordinary people stepping up and taking on the career politicians.

    I don't agree with the cynicism @jupiterkansas; sure there is always a risk that a grassroots candidate will get sucked into the political machinery, but it's a guarantee when you vote for the other candidate.

    I also think that this is only a possibility because of the incredible equalizing power of the internet. When distribution of information is essentially free, then the message trumps the money every time.

    Best wishes to Drew. And may thousands more citizen candidates follow in his footsteps.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    George Tirebiter, 24 Jan 2015 @ 12:59am

    Citizen Legislature

    Ernest Callenbach & Michael Phillips covered this 30 years ago in the succinct & pointed A Citizen Legislature.

    Download & read courtesy Phillips' Well home: http://www.well.com/~mp/citleg.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 11:45am

    Integrity infiltrating corruption - cool idea!

    Citizen Candidates!

    Shit. I didn't see that coming.

    But you know, it just might be the straw that broke corruption's back. Or at least, gives it a back ache.

    Not that I think citizens are any better equipped to turn down the millions in graft and lobbying bribes from Organized Crime and Corporate America that regularly feed the families of criminal career politicians, cuz they're not.

    But in a world where only the assholes rise to the top of the food chain, because only assholes currently hold the high ground, it just might work to have regular citizens cutting into the gravy pot that passes for politics today.

    Certainly can't hurt any.

    Two thumbs up.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 25 Jan 2015 @ 1:36am

    I wonder if Mr. Curtis also owns the website. If he has an independent stream of income, he would be a bit more immune to lobbying efforts and/or bribery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pragmatic, 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:46am

    I'm excited to see you talking about third party candidates, Mike.

    Go, Drew! And may the Fark be with you. ;P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gorgot, 24 Feb 2015 @ 10:31pm

    Free gorgor!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    avoiceofreason (profile), 5 Apr 2015 @ 7:25pm

    Corrupt before he's even in

    Perfect. And he drags his wife in as a ride-along.
    What a piece of work.
    Anyone who thinks he will be different from the rest of the pack need to check their naivete level.
    Best was the Huff-Po fluff piece who practically have their nose so far up his backside prostate exams won't be needed for decades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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