My old buddy Jake Wilburn beat me to the punch. I have no interest in holding a public office, but I’ve often thought it would be a lot of fun to run a campaign. Who doesn’t want to wear a dictator’s cap and pound their fists on a podium as throngs of supporters gobble up the the crap you make up on the spot, working themselves into frothing messes? Ah, politics.
Jake is running for Lt. Governor of Missouri as a write-in candidate. Recently, using what appears to be a paper coozie as bait, my former late night donut-shop co-worker and friend asked followers to manufacture the scandal his campaign deserves.
This was too good to pass up.
Below is the nonsense I wrote in response to his query (still waiting to find out if I won) followed by an actual Q&A. For context, you should know he ran for state house seat in 2012 as a Libertarian, garnering roughly 18 percent of the vote in his southwest Missouri district. Now, he’s just having fun, promising to play Tetris if elected to what he sees as an unnecessary public post.
My buddy and would-be bureaucrat Lazy Jake Wilburn is seeking eternal glory and life on easy street as the next Lt. Governor of Missouri. A tireless advocate for toddler gun rights, this write-in candidate supports consensual corruption, regulating nonviolent video games, subsidies for dictators, Triple H (attitude era) and cushy government gigs.
With the story lines coming out of this year’s presidential campaign, Crooked Jake fits right in the mix. His resume skills include surprise groping of the inferior gender, losing work emails from home, and denying he said what you just heard him say. I know Jake says his run for office is all about the money (and drugs from ISIS) but I can see through his little game. I can smell a hidden snarky budget lesson. And we don’t need no education! What’s next booklover? Mandatory lesbian abortion awareness?
Lying Jake, a suspected North Korea national who won’t rule out burning political enemies alive when he loses, is distinguishing himself from the other candidates. In fact, I believe he is guilty of the greatest-possible sin in modern politics: he won’t pretend he can change anything. Ever since the founding fathers launched their guerrila campaign against the imperialists who rightly stole this land first, politicians of every stripe have promised, and largely failed, to deliver to constituents more freedom, prosperity, safety or services. Not Naked Jake Wilburn. This emperor wears no clothes and has the audacity to tell you he just likes being naked. No naive altruism free-riding on a working man’s dime; no hardened self-serving guardian of privilege. Just Bedwetter Jake and his ties to the Irish mafia. And the very worst part: this puppy mill owner wants working patriots to WRITE IN his name on the coming rigged ballot. No R or D to pencil in. How evil is that?
Pick stolen from candidate Jake Wilburn’s Facebook page.
An actual Q&A
Here’s Jake answering a few real questions by email about his campaign.
Q: Why this position?
A: In 2012 I ran a serious campaign for state representative. I was really jaded after those experiences realizing that 90% of people don’t vote based on substance and are very uniformed. The race for this useless position of Lieutenant Governor perfectly encompasses the game of pandering to willful ignorance that is politics. I could almost describe this campaign as a reaction of light hearted disgust.
Q: What are some of the media outlets you have talked to?
A: When I launched the campaign I sent snail mail letters and materials to every major print and radio news organization in the state. I made sure they knew I was an actual candidate and requested to be given the same consideration for interviews or voter guide surveys as any other person running for office. I also reached out to some political podcasts and other outlets that interview interesting local people. Most of them told me that since I was running for office, even as a joke, they didn’t want to interview a candidate. I even tried to make sure sites like Ballotpedia and BallotAccess news knew about me. In the end I was interviewed by the Columbia Missourian newspaper, the Springfield News-leader, and a morning news talk station out of Columbia. I believe that if my name was printed on the ballot I would have done slightly better with the media…or maybe they are just biased and this whole thing is rigged…
Q: What kind of feeback have you been getting? Has anyone challenged the notion of the do-nothing job?
A: There have been some people that really “get it.” They seem into what I am doing and reward me with high fives. Facebook marketing tells me it’s the same type of people who like South Park and/or marijuana. Regardless, it’s a small group. I think the humor I use doesn’t have mass appeal to people who are deeply involved in Missouri politics like religiously conservative old white people and millennial communists. Most people I have talked to in person don’t really understand what I am doing or don’t care (see previous answer on being uniformed and willfully ignorant). A few people have been offended by the campaign because they are strongly backing another candidate. Others have been put off by my “unprofessionalism” so they obviously don’t get the joke.
Q: Worth it? How many votes do you expect?
A: Political satire is right up my alley and having an interesting and nonconventional avenue to express my opinions has given me personal satisfaction if nothing else. I’m also pretty much guaranteed to win “two truths and a lie” every time I play from now on. The only thing that worries me slightly is that this may hamper future opportunities in life since it might imply that I should not be taken seriously in other ventures. I don’t let fear decide my fate so I went with it anyway.
It remains to be seen how many of those high fives turn into votes. A highway patrolman named Charles R. Jackson ran for Lt. Governor as a write in during the 2012 election and received 346 votes. I don’t even have that many likes on facebook. There was a write in candidate for a legislative seat in 2012 that had zero votes. He didn’t even vote for himself. With only a few exceptions in US history, write in candidates get abysmal numbers in elections so I am keeping my expectations low. If I buy a dozen donuts on Election Day and give one away to everyone who promises to write me in, I might come away with about nine votes and one with sprinkles left over for me to enjoy.