Saturday, May 10, 2008

Interview with Kat Swift on her presidential campaign (San Antonio Current)

Finally old enough for the Oval Office, Swift
throws a lasso in the ring

Greg Harman
San Antonio Current, May 7, 2008

Three candidates get all the air time. Ralph’s
defected for an Independent run. “Green” has
become the Holy Grail of marketing kitsch. And
San Antonio’s newest perennial candidate (and
former Current staffer), Kat Swift, is using her
Minervan powers to shake down the last few
uncommitted primary voters to save the world from
anti-human, corporo-fascist domination.

Greg Harman

Green presidential candidate Kat Swift works the King William Fair crowd

[Q] I was thinking about that Kinky Friedman
saying, “How hard could it be?” What have you
found? How hard is it to run for president?

[A] The FEC filing is insane. I mean, I’ve run
for [San Antonio] City Council … you go online,
it’s straightforward, it makes sense, it matches
the paper forms. You go and use the FEC free
software, you gotta find special characters that
only special programs create and it doesn’t match
the paper. You can see how they sort of made it
where companies can make money off of the
government’s inability to be simplistic and

Then, of course, you have ballot-access issues,
where every state is different. And this is a
federal election, you know, this should be a
uniform ballot-access requirement nationwide. It
just makes it next to impossible. Texas is the
hardest state to get on the ballot.

[Q] Why is that?

[A] Well, we have primary screen-out. We’re the
only state that has primary screen-out. It’s been
ruled unconstitutional in several places, but it
basically is that if you vote in the primary you
can’t petition your government to get another
party on the ballot, or an independent candidate.
So in years like this, when people actually vote,
which is not common, it makes it even more
difficult because you have 75 days to get 45,000
signatures from people who registered but didn’t
vote [in the primaries]. And finding those people
has been next to impossible.

[Q] How vital is it for the Green Party or any
other third party to get established in the

[A] When your only choice is a
corporate-dominated party, I mean you’ve got a
left wing and a right wing of the same corporate
party that’s leading us to a totalitarian-fascist
government, then it’s absolutely essential in
order to keep democracy, in order to have
choices. The people in power want to keep it.
They don’t want people to have a choice. They
don’t even follow the Constitution, which says
you’re supposed to proportionally represent
delegates … In that case, you disenfranchise
entire demographics in the South.

I think if we’re going to have political parties,
we need to have a multi-party system or we should
just do away with political parties.

[Q] Tell me that the Green Party does not operate
in this way like the Democratic Party, where we
see these proportional splits in delegates and
then you see the super delegates and then you
have the super-duper delegates.

[A] [Laughter.] No, we have, like, normal
delegates. Every state is different. The way they
choose their delegates is different, but what
happens is they do proportionally distribute
their delegates. If you get 33 percent of the
votes, you get 33 percent of the delegates to the
national [convention].

[Q] And they’re still not bound, or are they?

[A] Almost every state binds the first round,
because we do instant run-off voting. Whoever has
the lowest votes after the first round will get
dropped. Some states bind every round, but most
don’t. Most just bind the first round and then
delegates are free to do what they want … But
there are no super delegates and all that

[Q] When you’re out on the street, do people ever
bring up, say, “Oh, Ralph Nader, he was a
spoiler. A third party or Green Party is just a
spoiler for Democratic Party chances?”

[A] It didn’t help that the media made it seem
like it was Nader’s fault or the Green Party’s
fault. The only people who still really say that
are people who are still really angry, but who
also don’t know the facts. It’s hard to deal with
it. A lot of times, it’s best to just walk away
and let them be ignorant. But the facts are there
were more people on the ballot in Florida than
Ralph Nader. There were more Democrats that voted
for Bush than voted for Nader. The Democratic
Party itself did not stand up for voter fraud. In
2004 in Ohio there were numerous egregious
violations of people’s rights and the Democratic
Party. The Green Party and Libertarian Party did
but it was thrown out because there was no way we
could have won with a recount and so it was
considered frivolous.

As long as the wealthy have the power, they’re
going to do whatever it takes to limit your
choices and limit your vote.

[Q] And maintain their own.

[A] Right. As soon as people go, “Oh, wait a
minute. I don’t have to vote for the lesser of
two evils because I’m afraid of the alternative.
What if we all went and voted third party?”

It’s not some foregone conclusion that these are
the only people who can win.

[Q] But do you think the ideals of the Green
Party represent enough Americans to bring that
about, to even get established?

[A] Well, whenever you talk to people on the
street who aren’t involved in politics and they
find out what you’re talking about and what we
stand for, they agree every time. The only
disagreements I find are for people who are very
key-issue orientated. Because they’re
anti-abortion. They don’t want to talk about why
abortions are so high. Or why unwanted
pregnancies are so high, which is what we talk
about, on addressing the cause of it instead of
just making it illegal. When you’re dealing with
people like that it doesn’t matter what you say.

[Q] What is your campaign strategy and where does
the Wonder Woman suit fit into that?

[A] [Laughter.] My Wonder Woman suit, [she] was
one of my heroes. I was rewatching the series
actually recently and was like, “Wow. I got a lot
of my beliefs from that.” Female empowerment. Not
fighting with guns. Stopping the bad guys, stuff
like that.

[Q] And the truth lasso?

[A] Yeah. The truth lasso. Making people tell the
truth and stopping people from killing people,
you know? That kind of belief system. So I
thought it would be fun to go outside the box and
not be the politicians, be the dressed up-super
hero — especially for King William … I’ll
probably start carrying it with me just in case
the opportunity arises.

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