Dennis Kucinich + Ron Paul -- together at last

Gadfly and former legislator Rod Driver is doing his best to land presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on the Rhode Island ballot, distributing a flyer he made with picture of both men and the following headline: "You can't vote for both End-the-War candidates for President." The text continues, "But you can help put both of them on the ballot for RI's Presidential Preference Primary by signing their nomination papers."

Let's go to Driver's flyer:

If terms have any real meaning, some would say Kucinich is 'liberal' and Paul is 'conservative.' But they are both passionate and unrelenting in their support for a sensible and human foreign policy, for human rights and for the civil liberties defined in the US Constitution.

After describing the candidates' votes against the war, and against a war with Iran, Driver adds:

But many Americans haven't heard of Kucinich or Paul, because the media is trying to ignore them.

Is this acceptable?

Although the flyer contains a disclaimer indicating that it "was neither approved nor authorized by any candidate," it has caused a bit of concern for the Kucinich camp. Driver writes to me via e-mail:

When I first contacted Dennis Kucinich's national campaign no one seemed aware of Rhode Island's ballot-access requirements. I pointed out that Dennis needed to file a "Declaration of Candidacy" during a 3-day window (Dec. 5-7) and then collect 1,000 signatures of registered voters in accordance with Rhode Island laws.  I said, make that 2,000 signatures (or at least 1,500) to be safe. And don't wait until Dec. 26 to turn the notarized nomination papers in to 39 different cities and towns.

But when I said I was also supporting Ron Paul, they became very uncomfortable.  They stopped returning my calls or answering my emails. The Kucinich people apparently feared I would use their information to help Ron Paul. I had to find volunteers myself and explain the procedure to them for gathering signatures for Kucinich.


Nevertheless Kucinich's Declaration of Candidacy was filed with the RI Sec. of State on Dec. 5 and we got the blank nomination papers Dec. 6. 


Then few seemed to understand that getting 1,500 signatures in two weeks in December would require serious work -- and there was no guarantee of good weather.  (They may not realize it yet.)


Meanwhile I had also attended a couple of meetings of Ron Paul supporters in RI. Ron Paul's campaign is much more locally-autonomous than Kucinich's. They already had a couple of people who understood the R.I. ballot-access procedure. 


Some Ron Paul supporters may have been uncomfortable when I said I was also supporting Dennis Kucinich. But I think they got over it rather quickly.


Gathering signatures for both campaigns means carrying two sets of nomination papers.  I produced the little dual-candidate flyer (with the disclaimer) so as not to also have to juggle two sets of literature. 


Many people (in a Stop and Shop parking lot) are bewildered when I give them the flyer and ask for their signatures.  Perhaps never before was there a flyer promoting two different candidates for the same office. 


But, unfortunately, even more people are not bewildered! They simply don't want to think about government. And they don't want to hear anything other than what the pundits tell them on TV.


On Wednesday evening I should get an idea how we're doing for Kucinich. I asked each of about 20 volunteers to gather just 100 signatures. I'll be lucky if 4 or 5 volunteers reach that quota.

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