Strangely, I find myself wishing I lived in Kansas

Because if I lived in Kansas, I could vote for Sean Tevis for State Representative, a pro-education. pro-science candidate with a sense of humor. Since I live in Minnesota, though, I'll have to settle for donating a few dollars to his campaign (you must click through to that link — you'll be missing something great if you don't.)

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Here's hoping his opponent gets pwn3d.

What are the national campaigns in which pro-science candidates are running? Congressmen/women carry a lot more weight.

That is TEH AWSUMZ!

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Sean's going to need himself some more bandwidth to handle the flood of Pharynguloid traffic. I hope we give him the bucks he's going to need to do it. Otherwise we're just crashing his site.

I liked the cartoon, but I'm a little suspicious whether he knows what he's doing. He wants to end sales tax on fooc (good), but doesn't say what he'll do to make up for that revenue (bad) and has some other ideas that will cost money without saying how those can be paid for (also bad). His immigration stance is also vaguely negative. I'd like to see a better-developed platform before I'd donate money.

He's running for State Rep in Kansas? And his bio doesn't mention which local church he attends, how long he's been attending, and when he devoted himself to serving christ?? DOOMED!

I think the site has been Pharyngulated already - it's taking forever to load.

Meanwhile, Florida continues to impress (although they're not Louisiana).

Ha! The content filter my school uses* won't let me through to his site. The reason: It thinks the site is "Pornography". I was expecting the reason to be "Humor", as I can't access XKCD from work, either.

* As a member of the IT dept., I keep pushing to have local filters that we can control, instead of this stupid filter "service" that flags sites like that one, and oddly also seems to think "typography" and "pornography" are the same thing (as it blocks some typography related sites, too).

I'm in Kansas, but not in his district. Still, it's great to see we can still breed old fashioned Populist Progressives like we did in the old days!

DailyKos has a dairy up for Sean also. If your a member there get over and rec this up!

By Mercurious (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

This may be off topic, but thought you might like to read it or use it in a future column.

A faith healer is visiting Louisville, KY. The Louisville Courier-Journal quotes Dembski, who notes that after driving 130 miles to see the faith healer for a cure for his autistic son, he was prevented from having his son seen for healing.

You can read more about it here:

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080717/NEWS…

By Edwin Hensley (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Isn't an endorsement here for a candidate in Kansas the kiss of death for their election? Seriously, does he want Myers' endorsement? Has anyone asked?

That was fucking hilarious -- well worth my small contribution.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

"I was going to mention that. Those candidates are from the Cape Canaveral area. Yoiks! Candidates differ on drilling. They're asked about evolution and give some amazing answers."

Gah... that moron Workman repeats the "China drilling of the Florida Coast" lie.

I am with Mike here. PZ, is it the best thing for you right now to endorse people? His opponents could use such to muddy the waters and make the guy out to be anti-God. Before the waters calm down and the muck settles he could have lost the race...

Man, the last time I donated to someone who appealed to my internet nerd, it was Chris Dodd after stopping that previous incarnation of FISA, and then he dropped out of the presidential race.

I'm too afraid to support anyone else now - they'll only crush my dreams again.

By Terry Small (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

:D This made my morning. Finally a politician who is sensible (or, seems to be at least) and is relevant in a non-pathetic manner. I've been kicking it too long with MC Rove.

I'm not allowed to donate from outside the US, but very good luck to him.

As for PZ's endorsement potentially being a bad idea - I see the point, but Tevis's opponents will make him out to be a baby-eating commie whatever happens. He might as well have enough publicity and campaign funding to deal with it.

I am with Mike here. PZ, is it the best thing for you right now to endorse people? His opponents could use such to muddy the waters and make the guy out to be anti-God. Before the waters calm down and the muck settles he could have lost the race...

Sentiments like this are exactly the reason why Democrats in congress and the house don't achieve anything. Too scared of their own shadows while rightwing-wackaloons sprout their insanity with impunity.

Yeah, maybe it will hurt him (though I don't think so) but once you have to stand up for your believes and stop cowering, or you'll never get anything done.

And yes, I'll think it's better to go down with a good conscience then to live on having said and done nothing.

By student_b (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Huh? His campaign website is bereft of any pro-science information. It says that Kansas schools are the best in the country and that he wants to keep it that way.

I was half-seriously considering donating the minimun amount, but then I see they don't accept donations from non-US citizens (for probably very good reasons).

Thanks for bringing him to our attention PZ. Donating to someone's campaign is a great way to extend your reach beyond your own neighborhood - ya know - like the billionaires do. Think PACs and "think" tanks are funded by fairy dust and dreams? Nope. Funded by wealthy citizens who like to throw their weight around all over to country to keep it friendly to them and their wealth accumulation and tax avoidance strategies.

The internet finally gives peons like me a chance to throw what small weight around I can. I'm on my way to donate...

Wow. Time to start the Pharyngula Party. No one would get elected, but the ruckus a la Ron Paul would be interesting.

Yeah, I am with Greg, I don't see anything specifically related to science, besides the ID cameo in the comic, which by the way I found no way to access from the home page, is it supposed to be hidden or something?

Carlie,

His immigration stance is also vaguely negative.

It's not too vague from what I can tell. He was confused for someone who fired four illegal immigrants and had them deported. He did not do that, and he does not want to be associated with causing suffering to those people. He wants a sensible reform, and I think it's implied that he won't be deporting 12 million people, but trying to help them out instead. And, have a better way for more people to come in legally. I don't think that's negative at all.

I misread that part on the immigrants. It wasn't "four", in the thread linked he says it was "44".

All I can say is...

SEMI-PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION!

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I grew up in the next district over from this one and I think some of my friends and family are still there, I'll have to check.

A few years back there was a nutball state politician from the same town (not sure same district). I believe her name was Kay O'Connor. She gained some notoriety by stating publicly that women's suffrage was a mistake. When confronted on this, she reaffirmed her position. Seriously.

My sister and some other folks I know were involved in a recall campaign over that issue. As my sister tells the story, it was surprisingly difficult to get people to sign her recall petition. Ultimately I don't think anything happened to her.

So I hope this guy is challenging her and delivers a sound defeat. Olathe truly has it's share of crazies and I'm sure there are people who would vote for the anti-women's suffrage female candidate again, but given a viable alternative, this guy may be able to unseat her and put a much more progressive rep in the house.

EDIT: OK, I used teh google and find that Kay O'Connor was in the state senate and has now retired. But this should give a sense of the electorate this guy is running in. So if his positions aren't perfectly progressive I hope you can take it in context.

Having gone to K-12 in Kansas, our school system was not great. I went out of state unprepared for the college experience, and I knew it. The schools in and around the Kansas City area are good, but in the rest of the state, not so much. The last time I was home, the Wichita area schools were in the bottom of the barrel.

Love the xkcd homage.

Huh? His campaign website is bereft of any pro-science information. It says that Kansas schools are the best in the country and that he wants to keep it that way.
Sigh. I grew up in Olathe. It's on the east side of Kansas near Kansas City. It is far more liberal than the rest of the state. Olathe schools are, in fact, really good. My teachers taught evolution and were enraged with the idea that some people wanted to outlaw it in the state. You can learn more about them by using the Google. It's really very simple.
He's running for State Rep in Kansas? And his bio doesn't mention which local church he attends, how long he's been attending, and when he devoted himself to serving christ?? DOOMED!
Please at least try to understand the area you're talking about before you blast it. I'm really sick of everyone using Kansas as the butt of a stupid joke - as if people from Manhattan can't be the most ignorant jerks ever.

"Please at least try to understand the area you're talking about before you blast it. I'm really sick of everyone using Kansas as the butt of a stupid joke - as if people from Manhattan can't be the most ignorant jerks ever."

Might want to specify which Manhattan. I definitely read Manhattan, KS first, then had to consider NYC.

Sigh, my Kansas roots are showing.

Dear Student_b

Your response makes little sense. We are not here to prove we are heroes. We are here because we desire change. If PZ public backing of this person ruins the persons chances of getting into office, then we have not done crap. It is like voting for the Green Party. How the hell does that help?

Carlie:

I'm sure that some other taxes will likely need to be introduced to cover the differnce, but there are no taxes on food (neither GST nor PST) here, and it works fine for us. We don't have the provincial tax on children's clothes either.

By Epinephrine (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

...aaaand now I see his immigration page changed since it first went up. I guess Carlie was referring to that (and the awful story quoted in the linked thread).

Nerdette:
Hah, whoops! Although I guess my point is that anyone anywhere can be ignorant.
The Little Apple does have its upsides too...

Slashdotted.

The poor fellow's site appears to have been brought to its knees by our attentions. I'll have to try back later to see what alll the fuss is about. Note to self: if this is all it's cracked up to be, remember to send some $love$ his way to help defray the cost of our interest.

By Steve in MI (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I stumbled upon this site while googling "Kay O'Connor", as I was totally dumbfounded by dcwp's mention of her views. I think you guys will enjoy it. Anyone heard of it before? Does look ridiculous enough to be a Poe.

"Please at least try to understand the area you're talking about before you blast it. I'm really sick of everyone using Kansas as the butt of a stupid joke - as if people from Manhattan can't be the most ignorant jerks ever."

Deenie, first off, it was a joke directed at a specefic group of people- not all Kansans. And, have you ever heard that there is some truth in stereotypes? The joke wouldn't have made any sense if Kansas didn't have a history of strong arming creationism/id into the classroom.
Had the link been for a Rep from Florida or Louisiana, I would have made the same joke about them. Again, because of their past history.

How cynical are people going to be when they can't even download his little cartoon?

I gave up with two rows of panels left that just stayed pixellated for 10 minutes.

I'm not reading it and leaving without doing anything (the last row came through), I'm not even reading it.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

The XKCD parody is hard to load, but if you want to donate just click on his main page. You can quickly get to a donation page that moves much faster.

This story was also on BoingBoing, so his poor server is getting a huge influx of people! I'll be interested to see how many donations that guys ends up with.

In a kind of related note, Brent Rinehart put out a comic for his candidacy here in Oklahoma. Complete with devils, angels, toga-wearing gay men. He claims there is a huge liberal "good ol' boy" network here in Oklahoma. I am very disappointed that I wasn't invited to join.

A disturbing sentence from his immigration stance:

"Illegal immigration, and even *legal* immigration, exacts an unnecessary human cost."

Amusing find in the source of his webpage...

""

Wacky ;)

(/doh, leaving in the comment-marks eats the quote... brilliant. Should say: "Hello person who cares enough to read source code.

Please donate $8.88 to my campaign. Any amount with 88 cents at the end is flagged for me to let me know that it came from someone who I guess is a lot like me. You'll also be entered into a drawing to win a prize and it will help save the world. Thank you.")

I think it's unbelievably refreshing -- and certainly a first for me -- that the candidate himself allows and responds to comments on his "issues" page. That's grassroots democracy at its best.

xkcd, #51

Yeah, that is a bit confusing, though the next two paragraphs sound more reasonable. I guess we'll have to see what happens next.

Are you THE xkcd, by the way?

I just don't know where he's going with "immigration reform". Ok, he thinks we need it, but does he mean making it easier, making it more difficult, what? Yes, the current situation is a shambles, but there's a lot of difference in ways to deal with it.
I also agree that food shouldn't be taxed, but he can't say that and say that schools should be better funded and not have a plan for how to accomplish both of those things without bankrupting the state. I'm not saying I disagree with him, I just want to see evidence that he's thought through what those campaign promises would mean.

"I just don't know where he's going with "immigration reform"."

I didn't realize Kansas had an immigration problem that needed to be reformed. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas...sure. But Kansas? Or is this an appeal to a wider base?

On a related note, is anyone running against Monique Davis?

Are you THE xkcd, by the way?

No, just didn't want to think too hard to come up with a handle.

Paul Burnett @57

Kansas may not be southern California or Texas, but there is plenty of immigration both legal and illegal. The meat packing industry as you may know is a huge draw for Latin American immigrants of all sorts of legal status and has historically been very abusive of this workforce. There is also a large Vietnamese population in many parts of the state, a result of policies to spread refugees throughout the heartland rather than allow them to form ghettos in the major coastal cities. The district this guy is running in, Olathe, has recently become home to many many Mexican immigrants and is now one of the centers of Mexican-American population in the greater KC metro area. Add to all of that the anti-immigration rhetoric that is at the center of Republican campaigning these days and immigration becomes a very important and legitimate issue for this guy.

As has been stated earlier, Kansas is far more diverse than most stereotypes would have you believe. And like most states there is more for legislators to worry about than farm policy and the second ammendment.

I know who Dirk Kempthorne is! He used to be my governor. The "number of species" factoid is perhaps a little unfair since he was appointed as a lame duck Int. Sec. with about two years left in the administration, but still, I'm completely fine with jabs at Dirk, even as complete digressions within something else.

The Metafilter thread is worth a read, too; any candidate who uses the phrase "reality-based science" is good in my book.

This guy's campaign website is AMAZING.
Forget his policies-- anyone who can do such a brilliant
XKCD homage deserves my $8.34.
I roflol when i got to the "3000" and I am now one of them.
Basically, anyone who can have this sense of humor must
be directed by a clearminded and fair sensibility. (As a counterexample,
see how humorless and stiff Bush/Cheney are.)
I've no idea what Tevis is for or against but hes definitely
one of the "good guys" and i hope hes elected. (Im in NY--
I cant even vote for him!)

By JamesMason (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hmm. Signs of intelligence in a candidate for political office. This should be good.

As an agent of a foreign country, I am foiled in my plan to interfere with this campaign.

Curses. Well, only because I am too unimaginative and lazy to disguise myself. 'Scuse me, my shoe is ringing.

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

"No candidate for state representative in Kansas has ever had more than 644 donors."

"Number of donors so far: 2,203"

It was half that a few hours ago. He just got more donations in 3 or 4 hours than any other candidate in the history of Kansas has gotten throughout their entire campaign. I love the internet.

Kansas? You'd move to Kansas? But why not Missouri? We're right next door, and we've got... er... we've got... um... we had our own creationism bill (which thankfully died)... and... we have the Katy Trail...

Damn.

Okay, just tap your heels three times....

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

"No candidate for state representative in Kansas has ever had more than 644 donors."

"Number of donors so far: 2,203"

It was half that a few hours ago. He just got more donations in 3 or 4 hours than any other candidate in the history of Kansas has gotten throughout their entire campaign. I love the internet.

Let's hope at least some of these donors are Kansans. I've been told that a good rule of thumb is 7 voters for every 1 donor, so here's hoping he's getting a good response from his district.

The incumbent, Arlen Siegfried has been endorsed by the Kansas Republican Assembly, the right-wing arm of the Kansas Republic Party. Is there any evidence out there that Siegfried is anti-science?

I can't help, sadly, I'm not even American, but crap, that guy IS something. 2326 donors so far though, so I'm positive that he'll make it.

Now could someone please clone him and send a copy to Poland?

I'm generally a lurker. Never post, never donate, but I just had to give the $8.34. That has to be the best pitch I've seen.

remember to send some $love$ his way

LOL!

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I figured the cartoon alone earned my contribution.

That being said, I suppose I ought to send something to xkcd now.

I live in KS, about one district over from this guy. Sadly (in this case anyway), I'm not a US citizen (Canadian), I suppose I might be one of the (documented) immigrants that exacts a toll on the whole US system, and I'm not legally allowed to donate to his campaign (I'd chip in otherwise). Mayhaps I'll convince my (American) wife to trhow in a few bucks. He's currently at 2741, when I checked this morning he was at only a couple of hundred donors, not bad for a single day.

Darn. I would've donated $50 but I'm British and it says only Americans can donate.

I think this proves what strange and wonderful power actually having a sense of humour conveys.

Polititians need more humour, it makes them human. Also I think it tends to communicate more information in smaller packages, but that's just me.

I sent my $10. Appeals to the newer generation ftw.

By Leigh Shryock (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I just donated and he's at 2894 now. Good for him!

PZ,

A number of us, including me, are unable to donate to this guy not being American and all. Is there any way that you could set up, for example, a Paypal account that Jonny Foreigner could pay some money to, which could then be "donated" by you, a US citizen?

I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some kind of method like this in place by which we, as a group, could band together and flex our political and financial muscle a bit more effectively.

By Louis Irving (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I know a Republican district in Illinois just had the guts (brains) to elect a Democratic scientist to fill Asstert's shoes, but still, this state needs more Sean Tevis's! Sean! SEAN! Move to Illinois!

By defectiverobot (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

For those from other countries who wish to donate, perhaps you know someone stateside who could help you do so by proxy? If you really want to, anyway. I'm stateside, but far too unmotivated at the moment to handle proxy donations.

Ach. And now I see Louis Irving's comment #80 which shows that I should always read the thread before posting.

And one last comment on that matter. If you wish to do it, it should be done individually through people you know. If anyone could make the case that his campaign (or some particular major donor) were somehow making a concerted effort to get money from people in other countries, someone might cry foul.

It's currently at 2874, so I went to donate but I'm not a US citizen so I'm not allowed.

That's unfortunate - although, on reflection, I'm sure you American's don't need we foreigners affecting your political landscape...

...oh wait.

By BlackPocket (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

...I need to be ridiculed mercilessly for Apostrophe Abuse.

My apologies - I have a headache.

By BlackPocket (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Escuerd,

I don't think in the case of my idea that anyone could suggest a "concerted effort" had been made to raise funds from foreign sources. In fact, we (foreigners) have to be basically duplicitous in order to make it happen.

That said, I can still see the situation where some people (probably republicans) would try and call foul about it. And I can to some extent see their point. However, we're not invading their country to try and enforce good governance, just giving some money to a campaign which we believe in as human beings.

By Louis Irving (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

That's the most fun I had spending $8.34 all month.

It is like voting for the Green Party. How the hell does that help?

I don't know, maybe voting for those whose political ideals align closely with your own means you'll have someone in government who will represent your views. Could be that a 2-party system actually isn't that good for actual democracy. Perhaps party funding is based on a threshold of votes or something. No idea.

By The Amazing Kim (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

I don't know, maybe voting for those whose political ideals align closely with your own means you'll have someone in government who will represent your views.

Uh, no. Because there's only a causal relationship between voting and who you'll have in government if you vote for someone who has a better chance of winning than there is that aliens will come and take over.

Could be that a 2-party system actually isn't that good for actual democracy.

Right, but voting for marginal third parties doesn't change that. You should instead be working to institute IRV.

Perhaps party funding is based on a threshold of votes or something.

Or something? Do you know what that threshold is and the likelihood of the Green Party reaching it this year?

No idea.

Right answer.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

The incumbent, Arlen Siegfried has been endorsed by the Kansas Republican Assembly, the right-wing arm of the Kansas Republic Party. Is there any evidence out there that Siegfried is anti-science?

That is evidence; strong evidence.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 17 Jul 2008 #permalink

Can you imagine all the real estate agents in KS right now, trying to figure out why their phones are ringing off the hooks with pro-science, pro-open government clients? This so makes me want to move there just to have competent representation.

I've actually talked with Sean about how he intends to cover the lost revenue from food taxes. Here was his answer - well, his answer was actually probably a lot more detailed an intelligent, but this is from memory and a brief conversation, so it may not be totally perfect, but bear with me -

The short answer is that he would raise the taxes levied against services provided. In our economy, we used to have far more goods-based transactions than service-based ones, so the tax rate on goods was higher than that on services. Over time, the economy [in Kansas] has shifted to providing far more services than goods, but the tax rate never shifted to adjust to that fact. A slight rebalance would provide the lost revenue from removing a regressive tax on vital necessities.

So there you go.

By RedStateDemocrat (not verified) on 18 Jul 2008 #permalink

I grew up in Kansas. Trust me you do not want to live there. This is very very awesome. Even cooler to see it on your blog PZ!

By Brian Kaufman (not verified) on 18 Jul 2008 #permalink

I just wanted to say to you all that I've enjoyed this thread immensely. I absolutely accept a PZ Myers endorsement and am proud of it.

Thank you to all who have donated. Thanks also to those who helped show me some flaws in my communication. For example, "Illegal immigration, and even *legal* immigration, exacts an unnecessary human cost." means to me that no matter how you're getting into the U.S. right now it's expensive, humiliating, and time consuming. Apparently, my meaning isn't coming through.

RedStateDemocrat - you did a pretty good job paraphrasing.

Sean,

At the rate you're going, we may have to draw on another internet meme.

IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!!!!

5112 as of 7/20!