morgan4tx250 karma2012-03-30 16:03:42 UTC
1) I knew someone would call me out on that. I just haven't had the time to switch them over. Even before entering this race, I was working 80+ hours a week between my job and volunteer political stuff. My newer sites are on name.com (anti-SOPA).
2) I don't see it so much as splitting the anti-Smith vote, rather I see it as giving the anti-Smith voters two alternatives. There are people who will prefer Mack, and there are people who will prefer me. By giving people two options, there is a better chance that they will vote for one of us, rather than reluctantly voting for Smith if they disagreed with either of us on important issues to them. Incumbents are more likely to die in office than to lose a Primary. The best way to beat Smith is in a runoff, not in the Primary. To force a runoff, we need to get a combined 50% + 1 vote. If that happens, whichever two candidates received the most votes will go into a runoff.
Lots of donors will avoid donating against an incumbent because they don't want a backlash. Lots of people will hold off endorsements for the same reason. In a runoff, they would be much more likely to give and endorse, because Smith has already shown that he's very vulnerable. It also gives the challenger two extra months to raise money.
There will also be much lower turnout in a runoff. Romney cannot secure enough delegates before our May 29th Primary to ensure that he's the nominee, which means that Texas will still be in play. Lamar Smith has endorsed Romney and has a home in MA, where rumor has it he spends more time than here in Texas. Romney appears to be the front-runner down here, and people who would vote for Romney are probably more likely to vote for Smith than for either Mack or myself. In a runoff, however, there will be much lower turnout, and no one will be voting for the President anymore, making it much more likely that our guys will turnout, not Smith's. Also, our voters are motivated and will turnout twice, while Smith's voters will vote for him largely due to his universal name ID and the fact that they've voted for him for decades. Something else is with two of us, we can cover twice as much ground. Our district is quite large. It includes San Antonio, Austin, and a whole lot of countryside. Mack lives in the countryside, and I'm hoping he can lock up those votes. Meanwhile, I'm in Austin, and I'm focusing here. I haven't seen Mack at a single event, so if he's working as hard as I am, that means we're covering twice as much ground together as either of us would alone. I'm more worried about my supporters getting confused when they see two Richard's than I am about us splitting the anti-Lamar Smith vote.
3) I have some things in common with Smith and some things in common with Mack. Again, it gives voters two choices, and I believe I'm a safer choice. Mack has a following here, but he also has lots of people who will never vote for him. Ever. If things have appeared a little disorganized or rushed, it's because I was the last to enter the race, and both of my opponents have been preparing a lot longer. The first several weeks were hectic, but now that I have a framework and some volunteers in place, things are settling down.
3b) I'll be expanding on those very soon on my website, and I'm happy to answer those questions here, too.
Edit: I'm going to add answers to a couple more questions to keep them together.
4) It seems like you filed for your candidacy at the last possible minute. You also had to pay $3,125 to file. Did you pay for this yourself?
I did pay for it myself. I had been active fighting SOPA behind the scenes in political circles for several months when I went online to donate to Smith's opponent and found out he did not have one. I later found out Mack had been exploring a run, but I did not realize that when I started looking into it.
The problem was due to the redistricting nightmare, I had no idea where the final map was going to be, and I felt that was something I needed to know before quitting my job to go for this. Tuesday night we finally got maps, and Wednesday I quit my job. Thursday, I had a small flood in my house that took up most of my day, leaving me from Friday, March 2nd - Friday, March 9th to collect and validate 500 signatures from registered voters in the district. I got 500 signatures in one week, but I was not able to validate them all, and many of them were right outside the district. I had gotten a few in advance which had been in the old district but were drawn out of the new one.
Given that I was able to get 500 signatures in a week, I decided it was worth going for, so I put up the $3,125, and I'm glad I did. This has already been a great campaign, and it's just getting started.
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morgan4tx181 karma2012-03-30 16:55:19 UTC
It's my personal belief, so I'm not sure what impact it would have on policy-making at the federal level, but I don't.
Rather than get into a debate about why or why not, I would just leave it at this. As an engineer, the universe seems more like the result of a brilliant creator / designer than the result of chance.
I knew it wouldn't be a popular answer here, but I find it somewhat disappointing that a simple, honest answer regarding my personal beliefs on one issue would cause so many people to write off everything else. This is why politicians pander.
I'd also like to point out that I believe all three of us (Smith, Mack, and myself) running in the Primary share the same view on this question. There are many other areas where we disagree.
morgan4tx121 karma2012-03-30 16:40:09 UTC
In my opinion, I think it's bad policy, and I believe history will judge us for it. We should have learned from Prohibition. My opponent has a record of refusing to hear bills he disagrees with, and I disagree with him for that. Rather than block Ron Paul's bill for consideration, he should have let it come up for a much-overdue debate. Let all the facts come out, and then let our Representatives vote. And to those who support the War on Drugs, I think it's important to point out that ending the federal prohibition is not the same as ending all regulation. It's simply returning that authority to the states so that they can each regulate it as they see fit.
morgan4tx76 karma2012-03-30 15:03:42 UTC
Congress as a whole is taking us in the direction of China / Iran / Egypt, what with censorship, tracking of online activity, a recent internet killswitch proposal, prior proposals to ban encryption, etc. These two bills were terrible, but they're part of a bigger trend that undermines our freedom. IMO, it's not enough just to push back on these bills. We need to reverse the trend and write bills (with extensive feedback from the tech community) to limit the government's reach and require them to get a warrant before reading our emails, tracking us through our cell phones, etc. I'll verify in just a minute.
morgan4tx61 karma2012-03-30 19:13:22 UTC
a) Pretty much.
b) I think we should decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
c) It's a matter of rights. It's not the federal government's role.
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