8 candidates submit petitions to run in special election for open DC Council seat
According to Zuckerberg he had 2100 signatures on the 11th. Every candidate needs 3000; its a special election and even the Democrats and Republicans have to petition to get on the ballot. News reports so far are that one Republican, Patrick Mara, and 14 Democrats – including incumbent Anita Bonds, Zuckerberg, and Michael Brown, who recently lost a re-election bid – are running. Zuckerberg thinks he has met some Green Party people petitioning as well.
Zuckerberg hopes to get the 3000 before anyone else, so he can file them and get a news story out of it. You can’t file any signatures until you have the minimum number required, but can then file extras up until January 23rd. To ward off challenges most candidates aim for 4500 to 6000 signatures. Both Bonds and Brown (the son of Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Commerce) have staffs of paid petitioners.
Many DC libertarians are supporting Patrick Mara, who supports charter schools, gay marriage, and fiscal restraint, and is viewed by many as libertarian-leaning. So we went to Zuckerberg’s event to see if there we some equally good Democrats. What we found was disappointing, though Zuckerberg is running in such a corrupt city and among such a boring and cretinous crop of Democrats that he still shines a little by contrast.
We began by asking Zuckerberg what his top 5 issues were above and beyond marijuana decriminalization. He stalled at answering. He finally got out that he is interested in education, and according to his website he does support charter schools, and sends his children to them. The only other issue he ever got to was some plan for a bicycle trail from Maine to Key West that would tie together local routes like the C&O canal, allowing one to bike down the eastern seaboard. No other issues came up.
Back to marijuana, the law and regulation of which is his vocation, Zuckerberg had a lot more to say. Much of it simultaneously horrifying and also better than what we have now. Zuckerberg wants to maintain large civil fines for marijuana use but not have it be a crime with criminal charges. According to him this is best because it means DC law would not contradict federal law. In his mind if DC does not make something illegal that federal law does make illegal, that would be a state law contradicting the federal law. Contradicting it by not existing, apparently. I suppose large civil penalties mean people would still need marijuana defense lawyers too?
Additionally Zuckerberg favors having ABC style government owned stores to sell medical marijuana, because allowing private vendors to do it, as in California, makes it seem like the industry is a sham attempt to get around The Law and disobey the government.
Zuckerberg did have many anecdotes to tell about his work defending people arrested in DC, many of whom face federal charges since they are often smoking on the Mall, the GW parkway scenic rest stops, Rock Creek Park, and other federal government owned properties. His heart seems to have some libertarian impulses but they are almost completely strangled by his conventional statist DC hive political faith.