The Daily Ping

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September 8th, 2000

Can anyone run for President anymore?

One of the supposedly great things about America is that any person can run for President, so long as he or she is 35 years old and a native citizen. That’s the principle.

The truth and practice, though, is vastly different. If you don’t have the cash, you might not get on the ballot. Once you decide to run for President, you’ll have to garner a certain number of votes to get your name on the ballot in each state. In Illinois, for instance, the number is 25,000. But wait! If any of the parties already on the ballot wish to, they can challenge your signatures. You’ll then have to prove, in some fashion, that the signatures you’ve got are the real deal. This could stall your campaign for weeks. This law varies by state.

Once you’ve squared that away, you might want to get into the debates. However, this requires loads of money – loads of it – preferably from the same companies that sponsor the debates’ airtime. No Lincoln-Douglas stuff here; you need the bucks. If you don’t have it, you can’t participate. Unless, of course, you and your opponents agree to another debate that is not televised, but then you’re losing an audience.

And so it goes. There’s a reason we see a Republican and a Democrat every year: they’ve got truckloads of money to blow. That’s the very reason you need to seek out third party candidates; the two big parties spend money on convincing people that should they vote for a third party candidate (like you, if you were to run), it’d be a wasted vote. -pm

Posted in Politics

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 7, 2000 -- 11:06:10PM
You know, Paul, you're really offbase here. I can't say I disagree with you more.

Just kidding, of course. :)

FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 2:14:00AM
My best friend and I were planning on running for president in 96. The way we would do it would be to run as one candidate(we were both 18 at the time.) Well now hes in a place where the true king rules and there no time for bs power trips.
Anyway, no vote is a wasted vote if you listen to your heart and vote for your beliefs. I think a real wasted vote would be to vote for a shoe-in candidate. I come from the hip-hop mentality and also the American mentality that anything is possible, so maybe one day a 3rd party candidate will win, or at least scare the piss out of the mainstream.

FROM: Tony
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 5:13:15AM
The presidental race is pointless, the president does influental things, but not that much, in my eyes anyway.

DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 8:07:53AM
What a coincidence. I was playing Seaman last night and my little froggy started discussing politics with me. And now this...

But anyhow... I've never voted for anything. I think I might be registered now, but I forget. I guess I'm just too cynical. I tend to feel that it doesn't matter overly much who the president is, unless he's a complete idiot. Any president, no matter how noble their intentions and far-reaching their goals, is going to be hamstrung. They'll want to remain popular enough to be re-elected. If it's their last term, they'll want their party to stay in power. And it's not like they have supreme power, so a lot of the major changes they may want to make will most likely get crushed. I know this probably isn't true... and this isn't even what this Ping is about, quite... but oh well. I'm sleepy. :P

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 9:46:07AM
Tony and Rob -- while it may seem pointless, or that the president doesn't do much, he is the figurehead for our country. He does have quite a bit of power, no doubt ("veto power" -- geez, I wouldn't mind having that), and often is a catalyst in making things happen. IMO, a third party president (along with a good number of third party people in the house and senate) would really make things happen... a third party president has inately much more motivation -- if you're running with a third party, you know you're running against huge odds and you *really* have to want to be president and make a change to devote that much time, effort, and money.

DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 10:16:02AM
True, Ryan... the president has quite a bit of power and he CAN get things done. He is, after all, the head of his party and everything. Do you truly believe that a third party president would be able to accomplish a lot without quite a large number of other party members in Congress? I think any third party president would be fighting an uphill battle the whole way, even if their party's platform wasn't sufficiently radical from either of the major two, just by nature of being a third party. It just seems like it'd be a long while before anything got accomplished, if at all. But maybe not... maybe if they had sufficient motivation...

But I don't see it happening anyhow. Why? Most people don't care. Sure, people tend to not like what's happening in the government, but the majority seem to stick to the major parties in presidental elections. Democrat... Republican... that's all a lot of people know. And the thing is... there are so many different third parties. I think it'd be difficult for one candidate in one of the third parties to get more support than the other two shmucks.

But... eh... I don't even follow politics, so I'm sure Ryan's gonna spank me. :)

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 10:31:37AM
What's voter turnout at? Something like 14% of all registered voters actually vote. If that isn't a sure sign of apathy, I dunno what is. It's really sad that most folks are more concerned about the stripper outfit Britney Spears was wearing at the MTV VMAs last night than who's going to control the power in this country.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 1:09:57PM
Rob -- well, I think that if a third party president was elected then either 1. there would likely be other third party people elected into the house/senate or 2. at the very least, the voice of the public would be so loud against politics-as-usual that the senate and congress would be forced to change the way they do business.

Paul -- Not sure of the percentage, but the number I hear quoted by "my guy" is that there are 115 million eligible non-voters. As I've said to you in private, imagine if all of those people actually voted for someone that stood for their ideals.

Something else interesting that I mentioned to Paul in private is the fact that everyone I've talked to about politics (that's planning on voting -- ahem, Rob!) is voting for a third party candidate. Definitely a change from just 4 years ago. I'm anxious to see how many third party candidates get votes this year versus years past...

FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 3:02:52PM
I'm sure alot of those non-voters are the same type of people who are happy as long as they have jobs, and or get welfare. Those people don't deserve to have a voice if thats all they care about

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 3:14:50PM
That is why it's so important to support candidates from smaller parties!

FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 4:01:31PM
Something else interesting that I mentioned to Paul in private is the fact that everyone I've talked to about politics (that's planning on voting -- ahem, Rob!) is voting for a third party candidate. Definitely a change from just 4 years ago.

I don't think third parties are anything new this year. I have always voted for a third party (aside from local elections when there are no other choices) and I have never met anyone who has voted for the major parties in a big election.

Third parties have succeeded for years: In 1980 John Anderson got something like 10-20% of the vote, and in 1992/6 Ross Perot got a significant amount.

I can't think of a recent election where there was not a third party candidate who received a zillion votes.

Once you decide to run for President, you'll have to garner a certain number of votes to get your name on the ballot in each state. In Illinois, for instance, the number is 25,000.

Of course, if you have trouble getting 25,000 signature in a state of 20,000,000 your chances of winning the election are not so good, so why bother? If you shouldn't need 25,000 signatures what should you need to show support? What's to stop the ballot from being diluted with names, almost none of which have any appeal or ability to run a nation?

Once you've squared that away, you might want to get into the debates. However, this requires loads of money - loads of it - preferably from the same companies that sponsor the debates' airtime.

URL please?

Unless, of course, you and your opponents agree to another debate that is not televised, but then you're losing an audience.

Of course, 99.44% of America is satisfied with 3-6 candidates, and just deciding among those is considered a tough choice. If you dilute it so anybody who can sign his own name can run it will be impossible to choose who to vote for and most people will be more confused.

Note that the right to run for president is not equivalent to the right to be advertised for free [*], anymore than the freedom of speech guarantees the right that people will listen to you. Anybody can decide to run (given the birth, age, and signature requirements), but nobody has the right to be advertised/heard for nothing.

[*] Aside from "equal access" laws, which are a blatant attack on free speech, but don't seem to be enforced anyways.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 7:50:55PM

Of course, if you have trouble getting 25,000 signature in a state of 20,000,000 your chances of winning the election are not so good, so why bother?

Agreed, here, Terry, however, even after collecting those signatures and even after qualifying for federal matching funds (paid for by taxes), a candidate still isn't guaranteed a spot in the debates. This should be illegal that the American people are paying money for a candidate that the bi-partisan "election committee" won't let on TV.

I can't think of a recent election where there was not a third party candidate who received a zillion votes.

In 1992, there were 20 million votes for a third party candidate. In 1996, that number was cut in half. Third parties are certainly not new (Abraham Lincoln was a third party candidate) -- but having a third party person that actually has a shot at the presidency is. We haven't had a third party president since Lincoln, and I'd venture to say that a lot of it is due to the way they're blocked out of debates. Ross Perot proved in '92 how simply being involved in the debates makes a huge difference. Quite honestly, though, until qualified third parties are allowed into widely televised debates and treated seriously by the media, it'll be damn hard for one to get into the White House.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday September 8, 2000 -- 10:24:25PM

First off, URLs:
Link #1
Link #2

I'll agree with Ryan's statement regarding signature counts. If you do meet all the criteria, you should be allowed into the debates; the Committee on Presidential Debates shouldn't be able to just change the rules on a whim. (Or if they do, show reasoning.)

Even though Perot was allowed into the debates because the CPD thought he didn't stand a chance, people still talk about Perot. He really did give third parties a boost in the early 90s, but frankly, Clinton's camp was just too savvy (and maybe that whole Stockdale thing helped. ;)

A good portion of the problem is that third party folks just aren't taken seriously by the media. They might feel that they don't stand a chance, but it might too be because the media and the two big parties are intertwined. I can't prove or disprove this; simply theoretical. But heck, I haven't heard a thing about Nader on the TV news at all - or any other third party candidate, save Buchanan, and that was treated as "geez, these guys are clueless."

Insofar as the Ping's topic goes, I personally find it disturbing that there could very well be a person out there that knows how to fix what's wrong with this country, and has the knowledge and expertise to do it, but can't do anything because he isn't made of money. That's what bugs me.

DATE: Friday February 22, 2002 -- 7:19:24 pm
i agree with everything said here i will be running in 2008

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday February 22, 2002 -- 9:04:59 pm
I'll be sure to write in "" on the ballot!

FROM: Aaron Gregory [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday January 23, 2003 -- 10:35:30 am
That is the common beleif, and if the people of the United States are okay with that, then it would be great. I think that they are tired of that, but the issue remains - how in the world can an independent or third party person get in the race?

I'll tell you how.... with electronic overwhelming support.

Visit my site.... I am forming committes, and need volunteers like you. Yes, the President has power, influence, and with the right pitch, support of the Congress.... but ONLY if he has the support of the people. Help me reach every one of them.


DATE: Tuesday October 7, 2003 -- 1:07:37 pm

FROM: wanda
DATE: Tuesday October 7, 2003 -- 1:08:06 pm
I wonder if people still feel the president is a figurehead since 9/11 and Iraq war #2.
He sure seems to get his way since this was originally posted 3 years ago.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday October 7, 2003 -- 1:18:01 pm
I stand by my original statement.

FROM: dave
DATE: Tuesday October 7, 2003 -- 7:09:08 pm
Ryan, as an advocate for third parties (and I'm of the belief that we need at least four major parties in the US to properly represent the spectrum of American sentiments), how do you feel about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)? Basically, each voter ranks his/her choices for each office and the ranking scheme is used to break ties. I think this is in use in Australia and/or New Zealand right now.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday October 8, 2003 -- 9:13:08 am
From everything I've read, IRV sounds like an outstanding solution. As a system, it would certainly produce some interesting results (I believe the main pro-IRV site shows how different election situations would work versus the current manner).

From an implementation standpoint, though, I'm not sure though whether or not it would be well-accepted by the general population. I think if it was presented in such a way that was easy to understand, it would have a shot.

See also: this Ping.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:45:13 pm

Abby January 7, 2007, 10:10 pm

My grandpa is 91 and wants to run for president. Anyone know if anyone older has run before? I know older peeps have run for Congress, but not sure about presidency…

francisco October 3, 2007, 4:48 am

Well, I’ve decided to make a run for the 2008 office. Below are my stand on some of the issues we face. If you liked what you’ve read and wish to help or have more inquiries, please hit me up. I’d be more than happy to reply.

Greetings America!!

I was just sitting here thinking about the upcoming 2008 Presidential election and thought I would share some of my views in the hope of soliciting your help and votes to support me in a run for the big office for 2008 as an Independent candidate.

First, my name is Francisco Logan, 41, and I am a decorated retiree of the U.S. Army with over 20 years of active duty service and 3 years reserve service. I’ve been re-married for 6 years, after losing my first wife of 15 years to breast cancer in 2001 and raising four daughters ages: 12, 9, 8 and 7 in New Braunfels, TX.

Orignally, I hail from Baltimore, MD. I dropped out of high school to join the miltary, but ended up graduating anyways to enlist into the regular Army. During my military tours, I attended several colleges, to include University of Maryland, University of Massachuetts and University of Phoneix.

My military background includes leadership, logistics, analysis and training. Before leaving military service, I did some background acting in a few tv shows and two movies, performed on Showtime at the Apollo, attended the 2005 Grammys and currently manage several up-and-coming musical artists as an artist manager.

The need of the people is what our constitution was built on. This is why we have elected representation. But to me, it seems that money is getting the best of some of those we elect every 2 and 4 years.

So, we need to re-focus our attention to the needs of the Amercian people. Currently, we are fighting an unpopular war. I am in favor of Dennis Kucinich’s idea of bringing all troops, to include advisories, out of Iraq within 90 days of taking office in 2009.

Second, to reform campaign and tax expenditures. At present, to run for this office, one needs aprroximately close to $300 million. What for? There are 50 states and your name is added to the ballot once you can secure enough verifiable voter signatures and pay the election fee. Roughly, from all 50 states, I need a million signatures. To have some volunteers and some paid staffers to help with your campaign, I would need to raise $5 mil. And advertisement to all 50 states would take roughly about $70 mil to $100 mil, to effectively campaign. To get from place to place to tell the people of my vision, ever hear of “bartering” for transporation.

And why is it, that we are being triple taxed? You buy something from Target or WalMart, you pay a tax on it. But a tax have already been paid by Target / WalMart. Then your income is taxed? Do you really have enough left over from your pay to do things you really want? Will Social Security still exist for you at 70? There isn’t a middle class anymore. There are those who are doing well (managing to stay above water) and those who aren’t doing well at all.

Why are some making millions of your tax dollars to lobby congress on certain issues? Who is suppose to be representing the people? Isn’t this why we have elections? If you are like me and have an issue, you’re proactive and making calls to the appropriate elected representative to find out what’s going on and what they are doing about it. As was the case when I needed to get approval for a reassignment to handle my ailing elderly parents’ estate during their illness before they died. The Army had originally denied my request, but with a phone call to my congress person office, a representive from their office was on the case researching the facts of my claim and validated the findings for which the Army finally did approve my re-assignment. The system does work, if properly used!!

If elected President, I will make every attempt to ensure that funding for federal spending goes for that purpose and not having special projects added to it in a midnight raid. You may wonder why Gravina Island, Alaska needed a bridge, when they had been getting back and forth to the mainland by ferry just fine. Luckily, the media made light of it and that part of the bill was deleted, saving the American taxpayer $398 million.

It’s things like this that is the reason I want to run for President. To make the system work for the people and improve the lives of the people. But it does not just start with electing a president. It start with those elected to the Congress and Senate. For which, I believe in term limits and electing third party candidates. If you are a congress person in the congress for 20 years or more, what does your record really reflect? What good have they done for the people they represent? In the current two parties system, Democrat and Republican, nothing really have been done to better the lives of the American people. Sure, we’ve manage to make some headway just to keep the peace. But we could be way beyond where we are at present. They both talk a good game. But where’s the walk? As a 1980’s Wendys’ commercial once asked: “Where’s the beef?”

Every year an election comes around, the first thing I hear from a potential candidate is: “It time for change”. But what’s really changes? The lives of the American people have!! We went from being the innovators and producers of consumers goods to slackers for the most part. We allowed ourselves to purchase more from outside sources because labor is cheaper outside the U.S. and an avoidance of labor and tax laws is easier for businesses and corporations to do so. The so-called NAFTA would be on the cutting block, if I am elected. I would revamp our system to 1960’s price index. A 3 bd, 2 ba house in Southern California that cost $400,000 cost about $100,000 in rural North Carolina. I don’t know about you, but do it make sense. I lived in both states and properties are the same. You may have to deal with some weather and geological issues, but it is ridiculous in the housing price index. With the technology we have today, we do not need as much oil from foreign countries and can save another $400 billion a year easily.

On the matter of foreign policy: It is sometimes best to let foreing countries handle their own issues. We have to take care of our own house first, before issuing utimatums and threatening economic sanctions to another country just becayse we do not like the way they handle their business. However, at the same time, if we are directly threaten by a sadistic terrorist and or country and can positively identify that source, it is on! We need to reinforce our national defense as it has suffered over the last 10 years. Recruitment into the armed forces have seen its largest decline in 30 years and that is a direct result of mis-managment from those currently in office. When I enlisted, I wanted to serve my country. I had pride in wearing my uniform and representing the U.S. when I was stationed overseas. Diplomacy started when I participated with host nation local groups showing good will. But it was never a force it down your throat thing, as we are doing now. It is really up the Iraqi people to take hold of what they have. Time to start fresh. I would encourage the three sects to work together or decide on how to split into their own reigons. As we are contiuing to overvome racism, sexism, and expression of religion here in the U.S., so does the Iraqi people and others in regions where conflicts are still raging. Not one solution fit all will work in some of these regions. It will be several things to finally solve the conflicts. But it is people themselves who will have to make those decisions and chose for themselves. Burma is doing just that.

We have a set of rules to play by, but we have to re-look and debate on updating some of them to meet the condition of today’s environment. We have alot to do, but not enough time will be left if we do nothing.

If you feel in agreement with me on some of the issues and would like to know more, I encourage you to hit me up.
We can accept donations up to $2000 per person, the maximum amount an individual can give in according with federal campaign finance laws.

Thank you for your time regarding this correspondence!!

Ryan October 3, 2007, 5:07 am

“I don’t know about you, but do it make sense.”

Promise me that’s your campaign slogan and I’ll vote for you.

jesse March 11, 2008, 10:21 pm

According to the media there is some type of grant from tax payer’s . That can be filed for getting money to run for president. Do you know where & how to apply for this?

TOM ODONNELL June 6, 2010, 1:46 am


Ryan June 6, 2010, 2:36 am

LOL @ “The Other President of the USA.”

LOL @ the web site.


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