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May 6 / Elizabeth DiNovella

Joke Candidate Shakes Up House Race

Today’s New York Times front-page story about the special election for a Congressional seat in suburban Buffalo left out the most interesting candidate on the ballot: Green Party candidate Ian Murphy.

Murphy is the editor of the Buffalo Beast, and is best known as the guy who prank-called Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, posing as rightwing billionaire David Koch.

This campaign is no joke, though. Yes, his campaign video is hilarious. (Watch it here.) And his website cracks me up every time I look at it. “Laid back dude seeks votes, maybe more” is a tag line.

But when it comes to the issues, Murphy is a serious, thoughtful candidate. As he writes, “I advocate Medicare for all. I advocate taxing the rich; I advocate ending these pointless wars in which we’re engaged.”

Check out his response to the death of Bin Laden.:

The bad man is dead, but I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m pleased many Americans feel that justice has been done, but the slaying of our own monster offers me little joy. . . .

It’s been 32 years since the CIA first sold arms to Osama bin Laden and the mujahideen. Before 9/11. Before the Cole and the African embassy bombings. Before the Soviets ever set foot in Afghanistan. Our dead arch-villain was an ally. Let us never forget. . . .

He also stressed how Obama is continuing the Bush policies:

The wars go on. The ill-defined missions continue apace. Our torture chamber in Guantanamo Bay remains a terrorist recruitment tool. The Patriot Act still exists. Our own government is still spying on us. The wars go on, and bankruptcy haunts us at home.

So forgive me, my fellow Americans, for not joining you in the streets. Forgive me, for not reveling in this victory. Our soldiers are still killing and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the economic terrorists still roam free on Wall St. The wars go on.

Compare Murphy’s foreign policy positions to the other 3 candidates running: Republican Jane Corwin, Tea Party candidate (and former Democrat) Jack Davis, and Democrat Kathy Hochul. Corwin thinks the Afghanistan War is winnable, and yet she is taken seriously as a candidate. But not Murphy.

Corwin, a state assemblywoman, was expected to win the overwhelmingly conservative 26th district. Then Corwin became a vigorous defender of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.” The elimination of Medicare and other social services did not go down well in her district, where a majority of registered voters are 45 or older. A recent poll shows Corwin currently leads the race by only 5 percentage points.

One candidate exposes the Republican pro-corporate agenda while another signs on to it.

Who is the joke candidate? Who is pulling the hoax?

I called Murphy to ask him.

“Corwin in the joke candidate in the race,” he says. “She says things that make no sense, like getting serious about lowering debt while cutting taxes for billionaires. No one calls her out on her shenanigans. She might be Borat for all I know.”

Murphy adds that he’s been shut out of the only and only debate, being televised by the local NBC affiliate WGRZ. Why? In the letter disinviting him to the debate, WGRZ’s news director says Murphy is “not a serious candidate.”

“The day after I was disinvited, Corwin accepted the invitation to the debate,” says Murphy.

Meanwhile, someone has created a fake Corwin campaign website.  Satire at its best.

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