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Beyond Bush, Kerry & Nader 

A guide to some (very real) alternative Presidential candidates

Are you one of the "undecideds" wrestling with who to cast your vote for in the upcoming presidential election? Maybe it's not indecisiveness -- perhaps you just need to look closer at some of the other, alternative candidates for President. No, not Ralph Nader -- compared to these guys, Nader's a respected member of the Establishment. Some of the "other" presidential candidates are funny, some are obviously off their nut, and others are just plain scary. And we've tracked 'em down, from fascists and conspiracy theorists to porn stars and a homeless, pot-smoking nun. We didn't include some perennial presidential candidates like Lyndon "Am I a rightwing nut or a leftwing nut" LaRouche, nor those whose candidacy is part of an overall crusade, such as Native American candidate, and federal prisoner, Leonard Peltier.

All native-born Americans 35 years or older have the right to run for President, and sure enough, every four years, a slew of Washington wanna-bes let it be known that they could run things better than the current White House occupant. Even though there's no way any of these presidential hopefuls will win your vote, they can at least make you appreciate the many choices we have available in the good ol' US of A.

Randy Crow

Every presidential election needs at least one paranoid conspiracy theorist, and boy do we have one with Mr. Randolph W. "Randy" Crow, a small businessman and former realtor in Wilmington, NC. According his website, in 1994 Crow "started having numerous run-ins with a clandestine force which, I feel, played many dirty tricks on me." Some of these dirty tricks included testing his blood and implanting a computer chip in his body. This somehow prompted him to start running for public office, and he launched his political career with an unsuccessful run for Wilmington City Council in 1997. He followed that with a string of losing campaigns for Congress, President and the US Senate. "Thanks to the rumor mill and a rigged political system, my political success is the same as all political candidates who do not dance the Zionist jig, no wins," he writes. Undaunted, he's again running for President again in 2004. Crow explains on his website that "I am involved in politics to get rid of filthy communists and lots of others."

A self-proclaimed expert on conspiracies, Crow believes that the FBI blew up TWA Flight 800 with a laser and shot down Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan's 2000 campaign plane. He also writes on his site that "Big George's Shadow Government is up to no good and this evil organization is responsible for planning and implementing September 11, the war with Iraq, the DC sniper shootings, and many other dirty deeds."

When we asked Crow to speak to us, he replied: "Thanks but no thanks. I do not consider myself as a Creative Loafer. The reason I have spent $60,000 or so of my own money running for political office is because I am a concerned citizen who does not believe our country should spend money killing people who do not need killing. . .Sorry, but I do not need to bash myself. Rest assured Little George's clandestine forces do a nice job of bashing me all by themselves."

randycrow.com

Jack Grimes

If you're looking for a candidate to give you the warm fuzzies, look no farther than Jack Grimes, the "Leader and Director of the United Fascist Union." Grimes, who lives in Pennsylvania, explains he wants to restore a New World Order based upon the governmental style of Imperial Rome "to institute a military dictatorship form of government over the Earth." But in fairness, Grimes asks folks on his website to "leave your notions about fascism behind, because you probally (sic) have the wrong idea, fascism is much different than you think, so once again -- don't bring those notions in here."

Having set that straight, Grimes goes on to stress that, "The psychic is the next great step in the evolution of humankind on this planet. We believe that with the dawn of the New Age that will come about at the turn of the 21st century there will be a marked increase in the birth rate of natural telepaths, both senders and receivers."

As far as his specific political aims, Grimes says he plans to address "the dilemmas now facing America and the whole of Western civilization: Democracy, Christianity, International Capitalism, Earth Changes, UFO's, government cover-ups, and others."

Don't miss the "Pictures" page of Grimes' website to view a pouty-looking Grimes and his girlfriend, both posing in their homemade black dictator uniforms, in what looks like a K-mart photography studio. And don't forget the Discussion Boards section, in which Grimes talks about the problems he had getting to a campaign event in another state because his Mom's car was broken.

http://www.ufu.gq.nu

Sanderson Beck

Sanderson Beck is perhaps the most well-educated and outspoken candidate for world peace and spiritual awareness. He undoubtedly has one of the lengthiest arrest records. Beck was born March 5, 1947, in Los Angeles, has various university degrees, and was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. In 1982 he formulated World Peace Movement Principles, Purposes, and Methods, with its basic principle being "the earth is one world, and its human beings must learn to live in peace with each other or perish." In 1987 Beck traveled to 47 states and met with 600 peace groups to promote peace and disarmament. He has been arrested many times for nonviolently protesting nuclear weapons and military intervention, and in 1989 was imprisoned for six months for his involvement in a protest against nuclear weapons at a US military base. Not surprisingly, Beck is also a staunch opponent of the war on terrorism. Last year he was arrested and jailed for four months because of a non-violent protest he staged against the Iraq war. In addition to teaching philosophy at various California colleges, Beck has also written and self-published many peace-related books. His platform could be summed up in the following statement: "We need to learn how to make peace and establish justice by protecting everyone's rights, learning how to share our wealth rather than merely exploit people, and trust in democratic institutions that recognize the votes of all."

www.san.beck.org

Al Hamburg

A house painter by trade, perennial candidate Al Hamburg, 72, had lost 14 consecutive bids for President, Governor, US Senate and Congress before the 2004 race. He proudly describes himself as the "Very Independent UNPOPULAR Candidate. I make more people mad than I make want to vote for me," he says. The fact that he's wearing a Nazi helmet in one of his publicity photos probably doesn't win him many fans either. Hamburg spent nearly 20 years in the Army -- serving in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He has run for state office repeatedly as a Democrat, an Independent, and as a member of the now-defunct New Alliance Party. Hamburg also made news in the 1980s when he sued a woman for breach of contract involving a car he sold to her. In the lawsuit, he said the woman agreed to have sex with him 50 times in exchange for the car -- but that she quit living up to her end of the deal after 33 times. Claiming to be a homeless veteran, Hamburg popped up in Nebraska in 2000, and filed as a candidate there for US Senator in the Democratic primary. Hamburg has since moved back to Wyoming.

Caroline Killeen

Unlike other candidates who campaign by kissing babies, plastering posters of themselves everywhere and driving around in fancy cars, Caroline Killeen, 77, has bicycled cross-country an estimated 10 times -- often accompanied by her loyal dog -- in her indefatigable run for the Presidency. In addition, this sometimes homeless former Catholic nun's main political goal is to legalize marijuana. The self-styled "Hemp Lady" previously ran for President in the NH primary in 1992 (96 votes) and 1996 (393 votes), and most recently qualified for a spot on the 2004 New Hampshire primary ballot (19th place -- 31 votes). If elected, she promises to personally lobby the Pope to have him endorse marijuana use. She also supports converting the US to the metric system, environmental protection laws, abolishing the Electoral College, and protecting smokers' rights. Oddly enough, despite her liberal leanings, she opposes gay rights laws and women's rights laws.

Jim Prattas

Campaigning under the slogan of "Love is the Doorway In," Jim Prattas describes himself as "a poor ignorant soul who is just an artist, healer and disabled combat Vietnam veteran living on a stipend." Pratta says he's had several near death experiences (including meeting God and seeing angels), and has been threatened by the Hawaiian Mafia. He was also the victim of a plot hatched by President G.H.W. Bush's friends to have him arrested when he wanted to challenge Bush in the 1992 race. His website -- which is decorated with his original artworks throughout -- mostly hypes a book he wrote called An American Odyssey, which he explains is a "spiritual portal, and it will facilitate you to co-create a good fortunate thankful life for yourself, a good positive healthy attitude, and it will help you in your life just when you do need some good fortune just as this story has brought me good fortune in my life." Then, apropos of nothing, he writes, "Ladder 49 is a Great Movie. Thank you John Travolta!"

www.prattas.com

Vermin Supreme

Finally a candidate I can get behind! While folks like Bush and Kerry ramble on about the economy and terrorism, Mr. Supreme is the only guy willing to tackle the one issue no one else dares talk about: better dental hygiene. To make sure the American people regularly brush and floss, he promises: "Warrantless random no-knock dental inspections; Government-issued toothpaste containing addictive yet harmless substances; Video surveillance through two way bathroom mirrors; Moisture and motion sensor devices in all toothbrushes, and preventative dental maintenance detention facilities." But his most inspiring campaign proposal is one of true genius: Gene splicing to create a race of "winged monkeys to act as tooth fairies."

His other campaign promises include: "To do something about the weather; massive and arbitrary censorship of anything found offensive by an appointed truth and morality squad; making dangerous weapons available to anyone who wants them; legalization of prostitution and gambling along with the promotion of professional sports, video arcades, and crack houses together with other mindless forms of diversion to help you take your mind off what's really going on." And finally, in what may just give him the extra boost he needs to take his place in the White House, he promises "Free pizza and beer for everybody."

Before you scoff, Vermin Supreme actually qualified for a spot -- with that name -- on the January 13, 2004, primary ballot in the District of Columbia (8th place -- 144 votes). How did he pick his name? "All politicians are, in fact, vermin. I am the Vermin Supreme, therefore I am the most qualified candidate in this race."

www.zerohits.com/vermin/vermin1.html

Gene Amondson

Given our country's growing disdain for alcohol and declining sales, Prohibition Party candidate Gene Amondson may just be on to something. A professional "Temperance Lecturer" who reenacts early-1900s evangelist Billy Sunday's "Sermon Against Alcohol," Amondson, in a controversial turn of events, took over as presidential candidate from longtime Prohibition Party National Chairman Earl Dodge, who captured a whopping 208 votes in the 2000 election. Despite the fact that Amondson was elected as the new candidate, Dodge nonetheless called for a Presidential Nominating Convention in August 2003, which consisted of eight people -- most of whom were Dodge relatives -- who met in Dodge's living room and nominated him for President. The party's new leadership later voided that convention, and tried to pacify the Dodge faction by offering the VP spot to Howard Lydick -- who was Dodge's designated 2004 running mate -- but Lydick refused to run with anyone except Dodge. So now there's a continuing feud between the Amondson and Dodge parties. Maybe if they all just sat down and had a beer together they could work things out.

Charley Jay and Marilyn Chambers

Americans love sex, violence and money, so who better to run the country than a boxing and gambling enthusiast and a former porn star? Charley Jay of Indiana, publisher of the sports/gambling website "Total Action" is the Personal Choice Party candidate for president. His VP running mate is adult movie "actress" Marilyn Chambers. Jay, who is also spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Prizefighters and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame Election Committee, says he supports the "reform" of boxing by removing state government involvement in oversight and opposes any proposals to federalize boxing oversight in the US. His top issue, however, is to permit legalized gambling nationwide. "Gambling is a libertarian pursuit, not only for the vendor, but also, and more importantly, for the consumer as well," says Jay. "The issue of legalized gambling serves as a "prism' by which we can take a look at many other issues that are of great interest to those who prefer Personal Choice, and which should be of interest to all citizens." Chambers -- a former Ivory Soap model before she turned to porn in the mid-1970s -- became famous after starring in such X-rated classics as Behind the Green Door and Insatiable. During the period in which she left porn, Chambers owned and operated a gun shop. In the late 1990s, Chambers returned to the skin flick business, making her one of the oldest stars to regularly appear these days in mainstream porn. This 2004 VP run is Chambers' first foray into politics.

Contact Sam Boykin at sam.boykin@cln.com.

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