ABSOLUTELY NOBODY AND OTHE POLITICAL MAVERICKS

ABSOLUTELY NOBODY AND OTHE POLITICAL MAVERICKS

In 1993 Absolutely Nobody died. That is, David Powers died in Oakland, California. You see in 1991 Powers legally changed his name to "Absolutely Nobody" and then ran for Lieutenant Governor of Washington State. His central theme was that the position was unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. The one time manager of a Winchell’s doughnut shop was working for a U-Rent when he ran for the office. Powers said that

 "My friends and I got to talking last fall, saying "what if nobody was on the ballot? So I planned to change my name to just plain Nobody to capitalize on that voter frustration. But then a friend suggested I make it Absolutely Nobody, for emphasis Plus it gives me a first name."

He ran as an independent and his bumper stickers read "Elect Nobody, Absolutely Nobody for Lt. Governor." In fact, he drew 130,000 votes, but lost. Powers was only 37 when he died of AIDS complications.

Washington also had the OWL party and its candidates. OWL stood for "out with logic, on with lunacy" and candidates got a considerable number of votes.

In Nevada, voters had an option for voting for "None of the Above" in elections from 1975 on. The person with that name received more votes than any candidate for state treasurer one year.

My personal favorite was Vic Meyers, a Seattle jazz band leader whose band played at the old Trianon Ball Room located at 3rd and Wall in Seattle. Meyers ran for lieutenant governor in Washington after he failed in a bid for Mayor of Seattle. He ran in 1932 purely as a publicity stunt. To everyone’s surprise, including his own, he was elected and went on to serve five terms in the office. (http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=8392)

When the candidates were invited to speak at a luncheon at the  Olympic Hotel, Meyers showed up dressed like Mahatma Gandhi, but with a top hat and leading a goat on a rope. That resulted in stories about him in Variety and Time magazine. His most famous quote was:

"My opponent and I have reached an agreement. I won’t tell any lies about him and he won’t tell the truth about me."

One story about how he happened to run for the office of Lieutenant VicMeyers Governor was that when he drove to Olympia to file, he intended to run for governor, but learned the filing fee was $60 so he said "that’s too much – what do you have for $20?" The clerk said "you could file for lieutenant governor for $12." Meyers supposedly replied "I can’t spell it, but I’ll take it." He ran as a Democrat and party leaders were not amused. They tried to talk him into dropping out of the race, but he refused saying "To the victor go the spoils and I’m Victor." He was swept into office in the 1932 Roosevelt landslide that year.

He gave the governor, Clarence Martin fits. In 1938 the pressure was on Martin to call a special session of the legislature to deal with state pensions, but Martin refused. Meyers waited until Martin was in Washington D.C. on a trip and called for a special session. The frantic Governor got on an airplane to rush back, and ended up having to charter a flight from Chicago to Spokane to get back to Washington before Meyers could legally do it. When Meyers showed up at 8:00 am in the Secretary of State’s office to have his proclamation declared legal, the official refused because the governor had landed in Spokane ten minutes earlier and was back in the state.

Always a colorful politician Meyers died in 1991.

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