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Dan Poppy
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Keith Goodenough, Natrona County Commissioner, Casper, WY

    Here at Comedy Central's Indecision we loooove those definitive Best-Of lists: the top 10 burger joints, the best places to Groupon your massage latte. Maybe we think we deserve the best eyebrow threading in the tri-state area. But maybe we should be satisfied with a pretty decent eyebrow threading, no? Keith Goodenough is our man.

    Casper, Wyoming's Goodenough is running as an independent for commissioner of Natrona County. He's fed up with the animosity of the two-party system that says if your party is the best, the other party has to be the worst. If Bronzed Beauties has the finest tanning beds around, then there's no room for Solar Dreamz at the table. We take these choices so seriously, when the truth is, either party will let you tan your downstairs parts as long as you shower first. Are these metaphors pretty much spot-on, or what?

    Goodenough has created a "party of one" – awww – to combine the bits he likes from Democratic, Republican and Libertarian ideas. It's an Island of Dr. Moreau for city governance: the body of gun rights with the head of a social safety net. What ghastly beasts do ye create in Wyoming? It should be noted that Goodenough is running against Republicans and a Democrat but also candidates from the Constitution Party, yet there is no mention of his political human centipede wearing a tricorne.

    But perhaps his greatest selling point is that by being on the ballot, when voters look at the Republican and Democratic candidates, they won't have to choose the lesser of two evils. Instead they can shrug their shoulders and say, "Eh, good enough. Let’s get tacos."

    Photo via www.casperwyoming.info

    Previously: Stan McEtchin, "Butte shaker"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Goodenough a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: One of a Kind Candidates, Wyoming
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Stan McEtchin, Paradise Town Council, Butte County, CA

    The perennial candidate, we all know what you are. It's newspaper code for candidates with a single-issue platform to take down Christmas lights by the end of January -– especially you, SHARON DOWN THE STREET. You're the old guy who shouts at the empty chair (topical), only you're on our ballots. And even though we see your name at the poll year after year, we know to avoid you like a deviled egg that's been passed around the picnic table a few too many times (topical).

    Stan McEtchin is no deviled egg! The 88-year-old has run for Paradise Town Council in Butte County, California for years to draw attention to issues he's interested in, like using sewage system gray water for irrigation. That's a reasonable issue for a guy we all incorrectly assumed to be a little bonkers and full of salmonella.

    Despite his sensible stick-to-itiveness, McEtchin received a call from someone in Paradise to step down from the race this year because if he did, there would be an equal number of candidates and open seats, negating the need for an election and saving the town some scratch. But McEtchin said no, because duh, this isn't his first time at the perennial candidate rodeo. McEtchin said he'd consider dropping out for $10,000 because he's a perennial goof and perennially awesome like that.

    Yes, he only received 2.8 percent of the vote last time, but to me that just sounds like 97.2 percent of voters are just friends he hasn't met yet.

    Not only is McEtchin a WWII vet, he makes salvaged metal sculptures in his front lawn. Just watch the video. How is he not the perennial mayor at this point? "I ain't an artist, I just do artwork," McEtchin said, because this guy is perennially zinging zingers and may have just coined the expression of our time. I ain't a blogger, I just do blogwork.

    And no politician is complete without a strong spouse. McEtchin's wife, Eileen "Tugboat Annie" McEtchin told the Chico News & Review, "We just play characters. We like to make life interesting."

    That's a quote in a published article about a couple in their 80s. So there you go, that's what Paradise looks like.

    Photo by Panoramic Images/Panoramic Images/Getty Images

    Previously: Kirk Caldwell, "Honolulu choo choo"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. McEtchin a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: California, One of a Kind Candidates
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Kirk Caldwell, Mayor, Honolulu, HI

    Nice try, Kirk Caldwell. The Honolulu mayoral candidate was in some hot poi (I hate me too) last week when photos surfaced on Instagram of his daughter and her friend burning his opponent's campaign yard sign, and then using the flaming sign to light a bong. Yea… I'm calling shenanigans on that one. If there's one thing TV has taught us about Hawaii, it's that Dog the Bounty Hunter might be a high-functioning coma patient. If there are two things it's taught us, it's that Honolulu probably has its share of people who aren't overcome with the vapors because of a bong-wielding girl destroying a campaign sign.

    Woops, voters, you saw my daughter with a bong. How awful for my reputation with you surfers and head shop owners and beach performers and police who wear aloha shirts.  Also, sorry my daughter destroyed a campaign yard sign, because I know everybody loves how unobtrusive and just generally aesthetically pleasing they are for all of us.

    Then you saw me being a dad who had to reprimand her, but not like one of those scream monster dads that have to sit away from the bleachers at soccer games, but like one of the calm and collected dads that's more disappointed than he is angry. Those dads. Those dads pour their beer into a glass, if you know I mean. Class.

    So really, Caldwell has just invented the new humble brag.  Mea culpa bump? By acknowledging the muck-ups and missteps we all deal with, he’s found a way to create a relatable, more endearing  public image, unlike the entirety of all campaign PR in the history of PR-ering. We look forward to the next wink-wink unfortunate news coming from Caldwell's campaign about how he apologizes for downloading season one of Game of Thrones illegally because Jesus some shows are difficult to get online.

    Oh, and he also supports an overhaul of public transportation, a shift from America's embarrassingly sub-par rail system. But, you know what they say about journalism. No, not "if it bleeds it leads." The new one: "If it gets burned up and smoked in a bong, it gets endlessly linked by online news aggregators."

    Photo via Kirk Caldwell's Facebook page

    Previously: David Rosenfeld, "Socialist (I don't bite)"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Caldwell a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: Hawaii, One of a Kind Candidates
  • One of a Kind Candidate: David Rosenfeld, 3rd Congressional District, Des Moines, IA

    David Rosenfeld is running as the Socialist Workers Party candidate in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District. I'll be honest, I didn't realize there were any actual card-carrying socialists in America. Turns out Glenn Beck's Venn diagrams were right! But the socialists aren't hiding, they're right there in the cornfields. At Rosenfeld's recent appearance at the Iowa State Fair, he really got the crowd into a lather, according to a fantastically specific account in the Des Moines Register

    An elderly man and a young boy sat down on the hay bales about halfway through the speech. Several people paused to listen Rosenfeld speak.

    Before going to print, it could not be determined whether the young boy had an ice cream cone.

    Just as we've always feared, socialists like soft-spoken factory worker Rosenfeld are bringing their sinister beliefs to our land…

    "There was a small group of individuals yesterday who attempted to disrupt (Republican vice presidential candidate Paul) Ryan's speech and shout him down," [Rosenfeld] said. "Shouting down those you disagree with is not only counter-productive; ultimately it will undermine our ability to defend our free speech rights when they come under attack."

    Chilling stuff.

    Rosenfeld is up against an incumbent Republican and an incumbent Democrat in a redrawn district. Third-party candidates are always blamed for splitting up the vote and spoiling the election for someone. But it would be sweet, ever so sweet, if the two incumbents in a new district split the vote and the third party candidate sneaks in and takes the crown. They do get crowns, right? I only watch C-SPAN for BookTV and the softcore.

    Photo by Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    Previously: Holly Seeliger, "Student choice award"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Rosenfeld a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: Iowa, One of a Kind Candidates, Socialism
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Holly Seeliger, Portland School Board, Portland, ME

    Holly SeeligerHolly Seeliger is running for school board in Portland, ME. Holly Seeliger is also a part-time burlesque dancer who goes by the name of Holly D'anger. What more do you want, people?

    Frankly, I'm surprised it took me this long to find a burlesquer candidate. Burlesque is hip these days, especially at bars where you get a tattoo with every whiskey and the bartenders wear artisanal suspenders. Going to a strip club means you're a creeper with a thin mustache, but going to a burlesque show means you're a sophisticated dandy, possibly also with a thin mustache. I can't help but think this distinction is a trap. Sooner or later, conventional wisdom will turn on us, like the way coffee was good and then it was bad and then it was good again. Just tell us what to do with these hot, dark, steamy desires! (I'm still talking about the coffee.)

    Seeliger told Indecision – chew on that one, Woodward and Bernstein – that voters haven't asked her to quit burlesque if she's elected to the Portland School Board. Mainer mamas didn't raise no fools. In fact, she says her burlesque can improve communication with voters, since it's an expression of her freedom of speech, and her performances "often reflect political and social themes." The human body is more flexible than I thought.

    In our not-really-wide-ranging interview, Seeliger stressed the importance of a "candidate's transparency and honesty with the public" to gain trust. I bet Portland's voters are interested in seeing her transparency, am I right, some percentage of fellas and some percentage of ladies??

    "I am also known locally as a broadcast journalist on Portland's CTN-5, but that doesn't get as much attention as my burlesque shows," Seeliger added. Okay. I mean… if she wants her TV work to get more attention… I almost feel embarrassed pointing out the obvious.

    If Seeliger is elected, it's pretty much guaranteed that for the first time in history middle school boys will voluntarily attend school board meetings. That's not to say Ms. Seeliger isn't a smart, professional class act who can speak eloquently about the need for honest portrayals of women to promote positive self-image among young women. Ayuh, she's got that down cold. But look, it took me 15 seconds to find video of her dancing, and 13-years-olds are the Watson and Crick of YouTube.

    Okay, okay, enough burlesque jokes. You want to know about the issues. As part of her policy platform, Ms. Seeliger/D'anger has proposed making school cafeteria lunches healthier by using local and organic produce. "The dinner at my high school prom consisted of frozen chicken fingers and Tater Tots, and I was not impressed," she told Pulitzer-snubbed Indecision. You hear that, kiddos? Macho Nacho Spicy Meat Day is now going to be grass-fed Macho Nacho Spicy Meat Day. Heirloom Tater Tot casserole. Tuscan kale dippers. I could do this all day. Free-range hot dog bar. Artisanal suspenders in vintage tassel sauce.

    Photo via Holly Seeliger's Facebook page

    Previously: Kerry Bentivolio, "Reindeer man"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Ms. Seeliger a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: Maine, One of a Kind Candidates