back to: home page
My Career as a Fringe Candidate for President and other Elective Offices
After turning sixty in 2001 and having never run before for any public office, I ran for elective office five times as a long-shot candidate in the remainder of the decade and once more in the following decade.
. I ran in the primary for mayor of Minneapolis in 2001 and received 143 votes.
. I ran in Minnesota’s Independence Party primary for U.S. Senate in 2002 and received 8,432 votes.
. I ran in Louisiana’s Democratic presidential primary in 2004 and received 3,161 votes.
. In 2008, I ran in the general election for U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional district as the candidate of the Independence Party and received 22,318 votes.
. In 2009, I again ran for mayor of Minneapolis and received 230 votes. This last contest was in the November election rather than a primary since the Ranked Choice Voting system was used in Minneapolis that year for the first time.
. Finally, after a lapse of seven years, I ran in New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary in 2016 and received a scant 17 votes.
The voters have spoken. I get the message. Now 75 years of age, I think I will call it quits as a candidate for high political office in the United States.
Even so, it has been quite an experience. Without much backing, I have run for elective office at the local, state, and national levels. Did I run because I thought I could get elected? Probably not. Did I run because I had political issues to raise? Yes, I did raise issues but this is not the whole reason. Let’s say that the experience of running for political office was reason in itself. If you’re interested, I will share some of that experience in narratives posted on the Internet.
With respect to political issues, three are worth mentioning.
First, as a landlord in Minneapolis who had been in trouble with the city, I ran for mayor as a defensive measure. An election campaign would give me a platform to express a landlord’s point of view with respect to city government. I ran for mayor of Minneapolis twice, in 2001 and 2009, receiving several hundred votes each time. This was disappointing but not terrible.
I had two political issues that I wished to raise as a candidate for Congress and for President of the United States. First, it’s obvious to me that the U. S. job market is in trouble. There are two principal reasons:
First, productivity has steadily risen over the years while the scheduled workweek has remained the same. An imbalance in the supply (hours worked + labor efficiency) and demand for labor has been created. Supply needs to be reduced. Therefore, I supported legislation to reduce the standard workweek under the Fair Labor Standards Act from 40 to 32 hours. This should bring the supply of labor in balance with demand, at least temporarily.
Second, an increasing share of industrial production has been outsourced to low wage countries such as Mexico. So we have the producers of consumer goods in one country and consumers in another. This is not a healthy situation. The solution, in my opinion, is to impose a tariff on the goods produced for sale cheaply in high-wage countries. But free-trade agreements such as NAFTA make this illegal. The solution is to repeal NAFTA and impose a tariff on the imported products that will make it financially competitive to produce in the United States for the U. S. market.
This makes three political issues that I raised in campaigns. But there were also some others.
In recent years, I have felt that US politics has become excessively polarized by gender and race. The Democrats represent racial minorities and women. The Republicans represent white people and men. The voters thus become captive to their demographic identities.
As a white man, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because the Republican incumbent, George W. Bush, had performed horribly. It was time for a change in party control of the White House even though Obama’s Republican opponent, John McCain, was a decent man. In 2012, however, I voted for Mitt Romney because I knew the Romney family when I was growing up.
But basically I look with alarm on the increasing polarization of the electorate by gender and race. When push comes to shove, I will vote to uphold the interests of my own type of person - white males - when that person is under political attack. Donald Trump fit the bill in 2016. He also won my support as an opponent of NAFTA and supporter of tariffs on goods imported from low-wage countries.
There is also another “issue” of a political nature - the idea of weighted voting. Under our electoral system, each voter has one vote. This will not change no matter how worthy the voter is or how much effort he or she expends to improve the community. The bottom line is that there is no incentive to do political work to improve the community. By default, donation of money becomes the mechanism by which individuals achieve greater political influence.
My brainstorm was to devise a system of weighted voting within political parties that creates an incentive for individuals to work to build up the party and change society . I imagined a process by which individuals would receive credit for doing political work. Certain types of work would gain a certain number of points. Individuals would vote on party business according to the number of points they had. With such incentives, a political party might grow in size and influence to the point that it could capture public offices and reshape society by enacting laws. I called this type of party “Gold Party. Its individual members would become “rich” (in political gold) , so to speak, by contributing work to the party which, in turn, would exert increasing political influence to improve society.
In summary, apart from personal ambition, the reason that many of us are interested in politics is because of its ability to change society in certain ways. We are interested in the issues by which such ambition is expressed. But there is also the aspect of jumping into the political process in an attempt to achieve those ends. I have tried to do that on several occasions. Here is my story.
I have published two books in paperback that tell the story of two of my political campaigns. They are:
The Independence Party and the Future of Third-Party Politics Thistlerose Publications, ISBN 0-9605630-5-9, 471 pages softcover, published in 2003, $18.95 retail price. This story is focused upon my campaign for U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 2002. Complete text is available here. www.newindependenceparty.org/IndependencePartyBook.html
On the Ballot in Louisiana: Running for President to Fight National Decay Thistlerose Publications, ISBN 0-9605630-6-7, 399 pages softcover, published in 2004, $16.95 retail price. This story is focused upon my campaign in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary in Louisiana. Complete text is available here. www.goldparty.org/ontheballot.html
I’ll bet there are copies of both books at steeply discounted prices on the Internet.
Another book-length manuscript, which was not published as a book, tells the story of my 2008 campaign for Congress in Minnesota['s 5th District. Complete text is available here. www.newindependenceparty.org/congress-summary.html
You may also want to see a complete list of my published books with links to the online (and, in somc cases, multilingual) text of many. www.books.html - 5 languages
Because you are browsing the Internet, a better source of information about my campaigns may be the web sites that I have created for the purpose of recording my political experiences and spreading the message. Here is the basic information:
http://www.newindependenceparty.org "Website of New Independence Party", first created in 2003, 77 different pages in English. Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 214 visits, 366 hitswww.newindependenceparty.org/mainpage.html
http://www.billforpresident.org"Bill McGaughey for U.S. President", first created in 2003, 31 different pages in English. Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 42 visits, 87 hits.www.billforpresident.org/NHprimary.html
http://www.neonixonian.org (replaced ProgressiveRepublicans.org), "Richard Nixon: to the left of Reagan, to the right of Carter and Johnson", first created in 2015, 59 different pages in English. Average daily traffic in May 2016: 144 visits, 212 hits.
http://www.goldparty.org"A 21st Century scheme to take back government in America", first created in 2007, 74 different pages in English and five other languages. Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 320 visits, 558 hits multilingual. www.goldparty.org/gold-5.html
http://www.newdignityparty.org "Website of New Dignity Party, first created in 2009, 46 different pages in English. Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 110 visits, 527 hits.
http://www.landlordpolitics.com"The archives of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee", first created in 2006, 215 different pages in English. Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 241 visits, 491 hits.
Disregard neonixonian.org. I think Richard Nixon was better than his historical reputation but this is an old matter and there is no use beating a dead horse. I was trying to pay tribute to this political figure of the past to try to restore balance.
Three of the websites listed above contain links to the narrative of political campaigns in which I have been involved. Follow these links to the appropriate web pages:
http://www.newindependenceparty.org/congress-summary.html This website includes a 68,642 word manuscript about my 2008 campaign for Congress in Minnesota’s 5th district Running against Democrat Keith Ellison and Republican Barb Davis White, I received 22,218 votes - the high point in my career as a political candidate.
http://www.newdignityparty.org/mayor2009-chapters.html This website includes a 47,000 word manuscript about my campaign for mayor of Minneapolis in 2009.
http://www.billforpresident.org www.billforpresident.org/NHprimary.html This website includes a lengthy manuscript about my campaign for President in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary, which was the low point in my career as a political candidate and also, prospectively, the last. (If link doesn't work, go to billforpresident.org above.)
With respect to political issues, follow these links to web pages:
http://www.landlordpolitics.com www.landlordpolitics.com/landlord.html "The archives of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee", first created in 2006, 215 different pages in English Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 241 visits, 491 hits
http://www.identityindependence.com www.identityindependence.com/identity.html"An idea whose time has come", first created in 2007, 93 different pages in English and five other languages Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 538 visits, 1,028 hits multilingual
http://www.shorterworkweek.com www.shorterworkweek.com/summary.html"Reviving an economic argument for shorter work hours in the 21st century", first created in 2007, 81 different pages in English and five other languages Average daily traffic in Nov. 2009: 205 visits, 357 hits multilingual
Landlordpolitics.com contains more than 100 links to articles about Minneapolis (or Metro) Property Rights Action Committee which was a group of landlords that fought the city of Minneapolis in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Identityindependence.com is a collection of articles about various subjects related to personal identity.
Shorterworkweek.com is a collection of 65 articles about the issue of shorter working hours and Bill McGaughey’s involvement in related activities.
This is enough reading material for now. A link to the complete list of Bill McGaughey’s Internet web sites and published books is the following: http://www.billmcgaughey.com/stable.html www.stable.html - 5 languages
Who am I? I, Bill McGaughey, am a career underachiever who has spent the past several decades publishing books, creating material for websites, and chasing political dreams, while modestly supporting myself as an inncr-city landlord in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, yes, I’m married. We have a rambunctious 3-year-old toddler we're raising and a very loyal dog.
back to: home page
back to: personal storyteller
Click for a translation into:
French - Spanish - German - Portuguese - Italian