The election for mayor of Binghamton is finally over! We still have a month of flyers, media ads, photo ops, and shaking hands between Rich David and Teri Rennia, but even Rennia’s team must recognize by now the David landslide that will sweep her away. Breaking down statements to see how both sides view the issues, David and Rennia are both stamped from the same plastic-politician mold. It really doesn’t matter much which takes over the leather recliner with triple action massage points that Matt Ryan had installed at the office desk. Neither is worth writing a single word about.
Ed Hickey and Doug Drazen were the only interesting aspects of the election. Neither can be blamed for the impending four years of David. Tarik Abdelazim was the best choice for the office, but he let his greed get the better of him. We’re all going to suffer for it, but I still have my fingers crossed he pulls himself together for a comeback tour.
Ed said he’d be sticking it out for the long run, but called quits after losing the Republican primary in September. Ed’s signatures for the Eagle Party were challenged, so he will not be on the official ballot in November. There is no shame, but Ed had no place in this game. He is a decent guy making an honest attempt to better himself and his city.
I can tell you as personal witness that Ed Hickey worked his ass off in this campaign. He knocked on doors, he passed out lawn signs, and he held rallies. When Ed talked about cleaning up blight, he went to abandoned buildings and abused parks to show the poor conditions he wished to clean. He was fighting against a criminal gang of androgynous money-grubbers that have run this city for decades. Ranks include the Libous, Preston, and Bucci cartels from which David proudly hails. The only way Matt Ryan broke the dynastic line was to be just as sleazy.
Ed asked me to help him campaign, but I declined in order to maintain integrity to this ongoing story. I will still try to sway your vote here. When you arrive at your polling location next month, take time to read the entire ballot. Go past the Republicans and the Democrats. Go even past the Greens and Independents, past the Libertarians and the Working Families. Even further, past whatever name the Tea Party is running under this year. Go to the bottom. You’ll see a line of boxes. If you are especially perceptive, you’ll notice the blunt pencil poised in your hand. Write-In votes have never been easier. You can vote for whomever you please.
Ed would not be the first Binghamton mayor to win by write-in. According to the Binghamton University website’s history page, “In 1872, Thomas Crocker, a former slave from the Binghamton area, was elected mayor under unusual circumstances.” The familiarly named Sherman Phelps was running unopposed. The general public was against Phelps, and organized an “eleventh hour” write-in campaign. Even though African Americans could not legally hold office in Binghamton at the time, Crocker was allowed to briefly serve.
I’ll be voting for the same person I always vote for. I’m one of those “watch the world burn” types that Michael Caine described to Batman. That’s why I like Doug Drazen so much. I was a teenage anarchist punk, so I didn’t bother voting until I was 20, and I didn’t see much difference between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. I’ve voted every year since, and sometimes fought very hard to do it. Unlike women and African Americans, I was oppressed only by my own negligence to update my address until voting day. Long-time fans will remember my campaign for Ted Nugent against Obama and McCain. Nuge seems to be taking me seriously the last couple years, so I withdraw my offer to manage for him. I didn’t notice the write-in boxes until half-way through the ballot two years ago, but I still had time to run against Debbie Preston. Last year I took at least five votes for State Supreme Court, so my campaign is gaining steam.
I humbly submit to you my petition to be your protest vote. I offer the best credentials. I’ve been screwing up all my life. Most things I touch end up broken and I’m rarely successful at anything I try. If the office of mayor, or county executive, or even governor or president are to be screwed up, I’m the best damn man for the job. I promise to screw things up so badly there may not even be a return path. If there is, I promise to screw that up too. Don’t limit yourself. I’m running in every race in every town, county, and state across this great nation. If I need to relocate to hold office, I will do so. Screwing up is my second nature.
Vote for the real madman. VOTE JUSER.