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What the Frank Moore for President campaign did …

One of the significant achievements of the Frank Moore for President campaign was to research and catalog the requirements for qualifying as a write-in candidate for President in each of the 50 states.  See http://writein2008.blogspot.com/  This proved to be a long and sometimes challenging task, and in the process the campaign not only forced several states’ elections divisions to clarify and refine their procedures, but in some cases, challenged the legality of elections procedures, and in other cases both challenged and changed those procedures both before and after the election.  In states such as Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Nebraska and others, the campaign had the effect of familiarizing elections officers with their own procedures, which they did not know before the campaign contacted them. 

In Arkansas, the campaign challenged the Elections Department’s stand that “Write-in candidates are not allowed in presidential, municipal, or primary elections.”  With the invaluable help of Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, the campaign talked with Tim Humphries, the legal counsel for the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, pointing out that there is no basis in Arkansas election code for a prohibition of write-in candidates for President, and that in fact the state of Arkansas had allowed write-in candidates for President in 1972 and 1976.  In the end, this served only as a challenge … Humphries would not admit that there were significant inconsistencies, and did not even realize that Arkansas was in a very small minority of states that do not allow write-in candidates for President.  An article about this challenge is located here: http://writein2008.blogspot.com/search/label/Arkansas

In Pennsylvania, the campaign got an elections official to admit that Pennsylvania’s system is “archaic and not good”.  He said that there should be some kind of pre-certification of write-in candidates like those that operate in other states, so that the county and state elections boards are all on the same page as to who the write-in candidates are, who to count votes for, etc.  He said that if PA were to actually follow their own elections code which states that in order for a write-in vote for president to count, the candidate’s 21 presidential electors must be written in (and not the candidate’s name), it could be legally challenged, and the challenger would easily win the case. 

In Wyoming, the campaign began correspondence with Kelly Dagostino from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Elections office to find out what a write-in candidate needed to do in Wyoming.  As we talked back and forth, she began to realize that what she thought we were asking about was not really it, and that she actually did not know what the procedure was for a write-in candidate for President in Wyoming, a candidate outside of the major parties, without the money it would take to get enough signatures in the state to get on the ballot … to simply be a write-in candidate and have his/her votes counted.  She said, “What does this say about our country, and this democracy” that she didn’t know how this can work in Wyoming, that they were not set up for a candidate outside of the political machines … she should be the person to know, if anyone knew.  She said, “But I am going to find out!  And I’m going to call you!”  In the end, the elections office in Wyoming refined and clarified their procedure through this correspondence, and it is noted here: http://writein2008.blogspot.com/search/label/Wyoming

With regard to Utah, it was Richard Winger who alerted us that the information we were receiving from the Utah Elections Dept. might be incorrect.  We had ruled out trying to qualify in Utah because we were told by the Elections Dept., several times over the course of months, that a write-in candidate for President had to come to Utah in person and pay $500 in order to qualify.  With persistence, we were able to get to Mark Thomas in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, who was surprised to learn of the information we had been getting from their Elections Office.  He would have to make sure that they knew the correct process.  Filing for write-in candidacy for President was a much simpler process, only requiring a form and a follow-up questionnaire by phone.

As the election approached, on October 24th Frank received a rejection letter from the Elections Division of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.  His filing for write-in candidacy had been received in early July, but they were only now writing to let him know that they had rejected it.  The letter said: “Your document has been rejected because, for the office of President and Vice President, the candidates must be residents of different states.”  Again, with the help of Richard Winger, the campaign challenged this rejection, and won!  The Minnesota Elections Division consulted their legal counsel, and had to admit that the rejection was in error, and that Frank would be officially qualified as a write-in candidate for President in Minnesota.  See: http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/25/minnesota-secretary-of-state-rejects-presidential-write-in-filing-for-frank-moore/

And http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/27/minnesota-now-accepts-frank-moore-write-in-filing/

Several days after the election, Frank received a call from a woman in Santa Cruz informing the campaign of a vote-counting practice by the Santa Cruz County Clerk which would exclude write-in votes cast for President where the vice-president’s name was not also written in.  This was not only a change in the way Santa Cruz county counted write-in votes for President, but went against the “voter’s intent” legal precedent already set in California and in most other states.  The campaign consulted Richard Winger, and again challenged this procedure both with the Santa Cruz County Clerk and with the California Secretary of State.  Due to this challenge, and the pressure put on the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office by other interested parties, including supporters of Ron Paul (who was also one of the four certified write-in candidates for President in CA) the Secretary of State’s office confirmed that they would continue to count write-in votes for President where only the name of the presidential candidate was written in!  See: http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/11/10/california-will-as-usual-count-write-ins-for-declared-presidential-candidates-even-if-voter-didnt-vote-for-vice-president/


Presidential Campaign Speech & Poem – Enough! Tour – Il Corral
Recorded Saturday, September 15, 2007
at Il Corral, Los Angeles, California
With an introduction by Stephen Emanuel.
For more about the tour visit: http://eroplay.com/Cave/LA2007-september/index.html
Frank Moore For President 2008: http://frankmooreforpresident08.com/

Finally, A Real Candidate For President

Commissioned by and published in NYFA Current, Vol. 16, No. 13, 8/1/2007.


In Their Own Words

Frank Moore, the iconic performance artist who was once persecuted by US Senator Jesse Helms for making “obscene” art is running for president. NYFA Current gave him a platform for an early campaign address.

Frank Moore signs off his emails with the phrase “In Freedom.” Coming from another artist the gesture might be interpreted as ironic commentary on the American government’s abuse of the word since 2001; coming from Moore, it’s completely sincere. Freedom and the power of free speech has become the signpost of his work from the 1960s to today. Best known for his performance art (he faced Jesse Helms’ ire in the early ‘90s as part of the culture wars debates), Moore’s work truly spans disciplines. Born with cerebral palsy and unable to walk or talk, his career’s work has been to burst through the barriers of social isolation that separate people.

Given these qualities, it wasn’t so shocking when Moore declared himself a 2008 presidential candidate. Moore’s campaign slogan is “Finally a Real Candidate for President!” For this essay, NYFA Current offered the Bay Area-based Moore a platform for an early campaign address.


I have been running for president for about a year now. I started running basically because none of the prominent candidates are talking honestly and directly about the state of things, are committed to fundamental change, and have a clear plan to create a humane, sustainable, and just plain enjoyable society. So I took on that role. When everyday people in the “real world” hear about my candidacy, they become extremely excited. They don’t see a performance artist in a wheelchair. They don’t check the odds of my winning. Instead they see someone who they could excitedly vote for…somebody who shares their dreams, talks deeply about what really affects their lives. And then they read my platform. Then they get more excited at how possible it is to bring our dreams for our society into reality…to remove fear and isolation; to get the boot of big corporations off our neck; to provide everyone health care, life-long education, a minimum income, and a livable wage; to restore our rights and freedoms; and to bring our troops home now! We everyday people know the real state of the union! But more importantly, we have the sense of what is possible! We need leaders who share our dreams and who do not sell us short. Or sell us out!

So for most of the year, I have been running way below their radar. A performance artist in a wheelchair “pretending” to run for president is no threat…just a weird piece of conceptual art. But now I’m beginning to be a blip on the radar. Just a blip, mind you. But it is amazing that we have gotten to the blip stage this early…or at all! A blip who talks about the issues seriously and who gives real alternatives is dangerous. So the gatekeepers are beginning to say that I am not a “real” or “serious” candidate. What they are really saying is that I’m not a part of the political system that has been corrupted by big bucks; that I’m not playing by the unwritten rules, etc. And of course this is true. It is one of the reasons why everyday people are excited about my running. That big bucks political system has been divorced from the everyday reality, hijacked by the addicts of obscenely huge profits. I am a real, serious candidate. I’m just working outside of their boxes. Outside of boxes is where the new possibilities are. Inside the limiting boxes is where political power is created. This is why the normal politicians stay in the boxes. This is why fundamental, humane change rarely—if ever—has come from power politics. I hope they keep saying that I’m not a real and serious candidate because each time they say that our blip gets brighter and more intense. I also hope they keep saying I am the candidate of the fringe, of the margins. Consider who they have marginalized…the poor, the working poor. In fact, most of the labor force: the disabled, gays, seniors, the uninsured, women, the middle class, artists, family farmers, racial minorities, immigrants, etc. Hey, I may win by a wide margin!

True, I do have my problems. As one “art expert” once wrote, I, “seem to have a compulsion not to take no for an answer under any circumstances.” I do have this disability of not knowing what is “impossible”. So, I just figure out how to do it. When I was born, the doctors told my parents I had no IQ. Obviously the doctors were wrong. So I don’t pay any attention to the supposed limitations. I just do what is needed. When I was growing up, I struggled to get educated, struggled against discrimination and prejudices. I really enjoy the righteous struggle. This enjoyment of struggle gives me an advantage when struggle is needed. When Senator Jesse Helms tried to blacklist me, when the Berkeley City Council tried to ban my public access cable show… there have been so many struggles! My enjoying righteous struggle has been a winning element. I also enjoy when struggle is successful. I’m looking forward to the huge struggle of taking away controlling power from the big corporations, of reclaiming the rights and freedoms that have been stolen from the people of this country, of creating a new post-oil social order in which we will eliminate fear of getting sick, of getting old, of the future, of the Other.

In reality, as president, I will be able to do a lot to start the process of change. And I will! I get results! I deliver! But realistically, I will be working with a Congress full of people heavily invested in the old power system. I will need you! Writing me in on election day will be just the first step. I will need you to get involved in your local community. I will probably need you to put pressure on Congress—and on the press—to enact our dreams. It may take you coming to Washington D.C. a few times as you did for civil rights and to stop the Vietnam War. But together we will get this done! If it takes me throwing a giant party on The Mall every three months, then that’s what I’ll do!

It will be an exciting, fun four years! Just imagine a world in which somebody like you or me could really become president. Now keep imagining it and we just may win! Do not throw your vote away on a candidate who does not share your dreams, who is not committed to bring your dreams into reality! Go for it! It is the only practical thing to do because if we don’t go for it, we will never get what we need, what we want, what we are dreaming. Hey, it just makes sense…right? So write Frank Moore in on election day!

Frank Moore (born Frank James Moore, June 25, 1946) is an American performance artist, shaman, poet, essayist, painter, musician, and internet/television personality who has experimented in art, performance, ritual, and shamanistic teaching since the late 1960s.

For more information on Frank Moore visit:
www.frankmooreforpresident08.com
www.eroplay.com