I have to admit I wasn't following the mayoral race in Ashland this fall. It's a little out of EW's range. But like a lot of people I get some of my election news from Comedy Central these days. John Stewart and Stephen Colbert from debating Bill O'Reilly to Super Pacs (Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow) make elections worth following even for the most jaded of politics-haters. (I'm not a jaded politics hater, but I sympathize).
So it turns out that a fellow who calls himself Biome Michael Erickson is running for mayor of Ashalnd. Comedy Central has deemed him a "one of a kind candidate" (sponsored by Dr. Pepper). Democracy: It's not just for famous people. Indeed as of Oct. 10, Biome's Facebook page had only 21 likes.
According to his webpage, here's Biome Michael Erickson's info from his Voters Pamphlet statement.
Occupation: Organic Food Manufacturer, Landscaper, Farm Laborer
Occupational Background: Handyman, Mendicant
Educational Background: Penn State University
Prior Governmental Experience: Researcher, Active Pacifist
He supplies a strong endorsement:
“Over 38 years, living at 19 different locations, in 4 states, I can say that Michael is the best neighbor I've ever had.” -Wayne Perry / Next-door neighbor
Though I will admit it puzzled me a little, since he also says on his webpage that he's spent kind of a lot of time "homeless" (his quotation marks).
As Comedy Central points out, one of the best parts of Biome's campaign is the statement he provided to the Chamber of Commerce.
The requirements, as I understand them, to qualify for Mayor are these: I had to be an Ashland resident and I had to be registered to vote. This means, simply, I had to be Human to be Mayor. My skills and accomplishments are these: I have run the gauntlet of modern American culture and survived. I have reclaimed my mind from the lies and distortions propagated by the mass media. I have verified that I am not the machine the public education system wished to make of me, but that I am a living soul, with free will, choosing to align with a higher order. I have risen above the temptations that mire people in obscurity. I have accomplished what many others before me have accomplished, and I follow in their footsteps. I have become ordinary, an ordinary human being who wishes to serve his humanity and his planet to the best of his ability. These are my skills and accomplishments. Please accept them as such.
And later in answer to the question of define the role of mayor as it pertains to his position:
My position is that of an ordinary human being. What else could it be? I have the same needs as every other creature on this planet. I breathe, posture, and attitude. I have a heart, brains, guts, and a spine. I eat and drink. I work. I exercise, play and sleep. I empathize with suffering and give charity where due. I share with others what I learn along the way. From a selfish position, I'd prefer if I didn't have to seek elected office. I'd prefer to just go on living a simple life basking in a one-sided view of bliss. And from a self-LESS position, I can't help but to sacrifice my personal time, space and energy to bring relief to an imperiled world. …
As for the definition of the role of Mayor as it applies to my position: the Mayor is, hopefully, also a human being akin to myself.
Indeed, since as he points out earlier, being human and living in Ashland appear to be the only requirements, so he's good to go! For the full Indecision blog post, go here.