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There is no shortage of reasons why we need you to run for office! But the two illustrated above say it loudly.

 

No train traveling on 19th century rail technology in the US goes faster than 100 mph. Quite embarrassing for a country that prided itself on innovation and technological prowess. Modern magnetic levitation rail systems (Maglev) around the globe are approaching 400 mph.

 

This impediment is caused by the stalemate in our electoral system which produces nothing but tribal friction disguised as political differentiation. The resulting outcome: a very dysfunctional governing system.

 

The only way to innovate governing is to upend the current political tyranny, and release those inspired to serve to do so in a free and innovative manner.

 

Legislating will only improve when we can seriously diminish the outsized influence of money, and the extremist control of election outcomes most visibly noticed in the primary election process where only 10% of voters decide over 80% of the general election outcomes.

 

 Other reasons to run:

 

1) You have better policy positions that need to be advocated than those who are bought and paid for by the lobby community.

 

2) Even with the semblance of a two-party system, nearly 50% of the elected positions have no challengers and the current electoral systems are unfairly skewed against outside participants. After a very carefully crafted gerrymandered redistricting process in South Carolina, the majority party ensured their continued dominance by reducing the number of challengers. For the 2022 South Carolina State House of Representatives, 72 out of 140 seats will have NO major party opposition. That is embarrassing and something that only V. Putin should be proud of.

 

3) The primary system is wrecking our democracy.  The 10% extremists in each party have an outsized influence on the outcome of the general elections. 

 

  Act now to prepare to get on the ballot in 2024 and beyond.

 

It requires planning and carefully designing a strategy to run or even stand* for public office.

 

Our team stands ready to help you prepare - whether it is honing your personal skills, developing a fundraising operation, gathering supporters or conducting a field operation.

 

Contact Independent Green Party of Virginia Co-Founder and Former Chairman Joseph Oddo, now at (703) 338-0200

 

*Running for office is more involved, but standing for office is still a great value to our country.

 

 


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 Link coming soon. To contribute to Oddo for Congress, send check to PO Box 916, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Please include your name, address and occupation for FEC reporting.

Joe Oddo for Congress 2022.



 
Join our team of Citizen Advisers...

 
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Contact Christian LeBlanc at 703-338-0200.

About Joe Oddo

Mergers & Acquisition Advisor, Writer, Political Campaign Director

Three time ballot certified candidate for congress.

After 20 years in retail management and launching sales transitions to e-Commerce, Joe Oddo switched back to his college studies to create a writing and political/sales consulting practice in 2002. He is a three-time ballot certified candidate for congress from Virginia (2004-08), and founder of a number of political advocacy organizations. A Public Policy major from Penn State Oddo volunteers as DJ at public radio WTJU, was volunteer host on GreenTV public television, and a Friend of the Library. In SC, he teamed up with Better Ballot SC to advocate for Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice Voting. Currently he is the South Carolina Managing Director for Neumann Associates M&A Advisors.
 

"I have blessed to being able to conduct three distinctive careers over the course of the last 45 years: Writing / Business Management / Political Campaign Management.

"Having run for office on numerous occasions, I coordinated statewide ballot access drives, and directed campaign operations for at least ten candidates running for federal, state and local office.  Have served as founder, director, organizer, fund-raiser, policy writer, media relations and press coordinator, as well as candidate surrogate.

"If you even remotely consider running for office, please reach out to me. Let’s have a conversation!"

 

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Blog Posts:

February 6, 2022

Inside Mississippi’s only class on critical race theory

As Republican lawmakers push to ban critical race theory, here’s how the class changed the mind of one conservative Mississippian.

by Molly Minta February 2, 2022   

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Students Brittany Murphree (left) and Teresa Jones, outside the Khayat Law Center where they take a Critical Race Theory course at Ole Miss, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today

Brittany Murphree was born and raised in Rankin County, Mississippi, one of the most Republican counties in one of the most Republican states.

She went to Northwest Rankin High School where she was the president of the school’s chapter of Teenage Republicans of Mississippi. She interned for Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, and her parents voted for Donald Trump twice (she did too, one time). At the University of Mississippi Law School, where Murphree is now in her second year, her friends are mostly conservative white people.
Care about Mississippi issues? Stay informed daily.

In early January, Murphree shocked them all when she announced that one of the courses she was taking this semester was “Law 743: Critical Race Theory.”

“Why would you take that class?” her dad vented on the phone. “It’s the most ridiculous concept.”

“Brittany, that class is just gonna make you feel so guilty about being white,” some of her classmates warned.

“You’re gonna get canceled.”  

Their tone was teasing, but Murphree thought they sounded genuinely worried. She understood why. Critical race theory had become a flashpoint of national politics in 2021 as conservative media latched onto the term, deeming it “hostile, academic, divisive, race-obsessed, poisonous, elitist, anti-American.” In speeches, both House Speaker Philip Gunn and Gov. Tate Reeves had vowed to ban the theory from being taught in schools. Murphree didn’t know much about critical race theory, but she knew some people in Mississippi thought it was taboo.

Still, Murphree wanted to know what the “hotly debated topic” was really about. “Law 743: Critical Race Theory” is the only law class in Mississippi solely dedicated to teaching the high-level legal framework. To Murphree, the class seemed like an opportunity — one she might not get again.

“I’m either gonna completely agree with this, or I’m gonna be able to say, ‘No, this class is terrible,’” she told her friends. “The best way to have an opinion about this class is literally to take it.”

“Critical Race Theory: Law 743” is an unusual course at the University of Mississippi Law School, where most classes teach students about the law or how to argue like lawyers. What makes Law 743 unique is that it teaches a bird’s eye view of the legal system, a framework for understanding the law and its impact on racial minorities. Law 743 is also more diverse than many classes at UM’s law school. In the 13-person class, Murphree is one of four white students.

Out of all her courses this semester, Murphree was the most anxious to see what Law 743 would be like. On the first day, the professor, Yvette Butler, issued a disclaimer that Murphree took to heart. Critical race theory, Butler said, examines difficult and potentially upsetting topics, but it was important that the class remain a safe, respectful space. Students were going to disagree with the readings and with each other; when they did, Butler asked them to give each other “radical acceptance.”

When Murphree started her readings later that day, she pushed herself to keep an open mind. One of her first assignments was a 1976 article by a professor at Harvard Law School named Derrick Bell, who is often credited as the founder of critical race theory.

In the article, titled “Serving Two Masters,” Bell lays the groundwork for one of his most notable arguments: By and large, school desegregation was a failure. Brown v. Board of Education, he argues, was in many ways harmful to Black communities across the country. As Black schools closed, Black teachers, principals, bus drivers and custodians lost their jobs. Bussed to white schools, Black children were more likely to be beaten, arrested, and expelled than their white peers. As a lawyer for the NAACP, Bell had sued for desegregation; in “Serving Two Masters,” he was wondering if that was the right tactic after all.

Murphree found the article astonishing. She had thought critical race theory was focused on critiquing the actions of white people, not scrutinizing the decisions and tactics of Black civil rights attorneys. She found her other readings just as surprising. Lawmakers were wrong to call critical race theory “Marxist,” she learned, because the framework was actually a rejection of legal theories that had centered class and sidelined race.

She was excited by what she was learning, and she wanted to share it with her peers. That Wednesday night, at a law school mixer at a bar near the Square, she started chatting with her conservative classmates about how the readings weren’t like anything she’d thought.

“Am I gonna regret talking to you about this?” a classmate joked.

During the second day of class on Thursday, Butler asked students to evaluate Bell’s argument in “Serving Two Masters.” On a PowerPoint slide, Butler wrote: “How does Bell characterize the Brown decision? Do you agree with his characterization?”

Teresa Jones, a second year law student in the class, raised her hand. While she understood Bell’s argument, Jones said her life experience gave her a different perspective. She had grown up in a Black working class family in unincorporated Sharkey County in the Mississippi Delta. Her mom worked the trim table at the catfish farm, and her dad was a military veteran and an HVAC technician. When they were young, there was just one high school in Sharkey County, and it had been the school for white children.

Brown wasn’t as harmful to the Black community in rural Mississippi as segregation had been, Jones said. If anything, Brown was the only reason her family had a school to go to at all.

“There were people who weren’t going to school at all before desegregation, like literally going to school in a church,” Jones said, “and that was only part of the time because they had to go chop cotton.”

The goal of the class is not to change minds, but to introduce students to critical race theory and how to apply it to the law, current events and issues in popular discourse, Murphree said. To that end, the class has talked about racism and how to define it, the idea of color-blindness, and the difference between equity and equality. They also learned about “interest convergence,” a core tenet of critical race theory that argues communities of color only achieve progress when white communities also benefit. Interest convergence, Jones said, helped her better understand why the Mississippi Legislature voted to change the state flag in 2020 — because “they were about to lose a lot of money with the NCAA.”

The longer class was in session, the more Murphree felt like everyone was opening up and saying what they really thought. Before class ended on Thursday, one of Murphree’s white classmates asked what was the better term: “Black” or “African American”?

Murphree was initially unsure. “Are we about to disagree on this?” Murphree thought. “Are they gonna be offended that she just asked that?”

Butler, the professor, asked the Black students in the class to each say what they preferred. Jones didn’t think much of the conversation; she had already thought about why she preferred to call herself “Black” years ago in undergrad. But for Murphree, the discussion was enlightening. Another Black student in the class pointed out something she had never before considered: “We don’t call you white Americans.”

On Friday, Jan. 21, Murphree was about to start her homework when news broke that the national debate over critical race theory had finally come to Mississippi. The Senate had passed Senate Bill 2113, one of several bills this session that aimed to ban discussion of critical race theory in K-12 schools and universities.

Murphree read the bill in disbelief. “The party I associate with,” she concluded, “just doesn’t even know what the truth about this class is.”

The more Murphree thought about the bill, the angrier she got. In just two weeks of taking Law 743, she had been introduced to ideas she never before considered. She learned there were activists and academics who were critical of school integration and the way it had been enforced. She gained a new perspective on racial progress in America. And she still had a whole semester left of issues that no longer felt intimidating but urgent to learn — implicit bias in policing, affirmative action, and reparations.

“Why are they so fearful of people just theorizing and just thinking,” she thought. “We’re not going to turn into, like, communists. Y’all chill out.”

That Sunday, Murphree watched the footage of the Senate vote to pass SB 2113. As every Black senator in Mississippi walked out of the chamber in protest, Murphree decided that she, too, would take a radical step, one she knew would likely end her dream of working in local Republican politics. She opened up a Microsoft Word document and started writing.

“To date, this course has been the most impactful and enlightening course I have taken throughout my entire undergraduate career and graduate education at the State of Mississippi’s flagship university,” she began.

“The prohibition of courses and teachings such as these is taking away the opportunity for people from every background and race to come together and discuss very important topics which would otherwise go undiscussed.

I believe this bill not only undermines the values of the hospitality state but declares that Mississippians are structured in hate and rooted in a great deal of ignorance.”

She asked a friend who works in the state Capitol to read it over. Then she addressed the letter to all 27 members of the Mississippi House Education Committee, attached it to an email, and hit send.

As written, SB 2113 is vague enough that Law 743 could likely still be taught. The bill, authored by Sen. Michael McLendon, R-Hernando, would prohibit schools from compelling “students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere … that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.”

That’s not happening in Law 743, or in any public schools in Mississippi.

“Nobody is saying, ‘Dear white child, you are inherently superior to dear Black child,’” Jones said. “No one is saying that. If anything, that is something we’re trying to deconstruct.”

Murphree hasn’t heard back from any of the lawmakers she sent the letter to, but what happens next to SB 2113 is now up to the House, which has until March 1 to take up the bill. Though several more detailed and far-reaching House bills died in committee, representatives could try to make SB 2113 stricter.

If the Legislature successfully banned critical race theory, Jones said it would be a detriment to the academic environment at UM’s law school. The class has helped her understand her own opinions better and argue for them more effectively — what law school is supposed to be about.

“There are some things in critical race theory that I disagree with and (Professor Butler) said, ‘Well that’s OK, it’s a good thing actually,’” Jones said. “We should be discussing these things and saying I agree with this, I don’t agree with this. That’s OK, that’s what open discussion is about.”

Murphree said it has been frustrating to see fellow conservatives twist critical race theory into something it is not. But she also gets why they might be afraid of thinking about the issues at the heart of the theory. They don’t want to feel “white guilt,” especially not in Mississippi where many white people can easily trace their lineage to slave-owners.

“Here in the Bible Belt, people ride on the fact that they’re a good person, they go to church on Sunday, they give money to the poor, so they could never imagine being called a racist,” she said.

But the younger generation in Mississippi is more perceptive than conservatives tend to give them credit for, Murphree said. Children will always be able to see how racism organizes society, even if their teachers are banned from talking about it. Murphree grew up seeing it; critical race theory just gave her a way to talk about it.

At Northwest Rankin High, “I could just look around and see people in my class, and I could see the racial divide and how people literally said the n-word,” Murphree said. “Nobody had to teach me things. I saw it in my life.”

Molly Minta

mminta@mississippitoday.org

Molly Minta, a Florida native, covers higher education for Mississippi Today. She works in partnership with Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on higher education. Prior to joining Mississippi Today, Molly worked for The Nation, The Appeal, and Mother Jones.

 

6 feb 22 @ 9:46 am          Comments

January 8, 2022

Andrew Yang & Ranked Choice Voting

By Joe Oddo

Andrew Yang is a busy promoter these days. His book “Forward” will likely climb the bestseller charts as a result of his popularity growth during the last few election cycles.

Listen to the mainstream media and they describe him as a “failed candidate”. This is standard operating procedure for any political actor that does not fit their tightly scripted two-party narrative. Without deviating from the script, they perpetuate this inaccurate characterization and spread it all through their Big Media tentacles. 

Whether you are a fan of Andrew Yang or not, the fact that he is out there challenging the status quo is an important step that our nation needs right now. His message resonates with us who are discontented with third party spoilers. The “us” is a loose collection of activists and agitators who drum up just enough swing votes to terrify the big corporate parties. They blame losses on “spoilers,” then enact legislation to make it even harder for independent and smaller parties to get on the ballot and compete. Unless we successfully reform election procedures to allow more participation, the ugly reality of the political duopoly will self-perpetuate. A perfect example is the failure of the partisan stacked redistricting commission in Virginia to redraw lines within the time constraints assigned to it.

Despite how hard it is to make these kinds of gains, we must keep the pressure on addressing our broken electoral systems. Egged on by hyper partisan media coverage, political fissures have crept beyond electoral politics and into our daily lives with heated rhetoric and unusual shows of force.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We should be weary of the talking heads in the media by now. We should be better at tuning out, realizing that they simply refuse to call out the real struggle. Rather, they play to the core extremists that remain in each of the big two political parties. This is done while standing in the shadow of mountains of donors, lobbyists, and legislation-influencing cash. They pretend there are hard differences between the two big parties and as a result they report on political actors arguing about strictly ideological disagreements. The reality is that whoever pays the most has the loudest voice. Hence, the favorable votes are those that Big Pharma, Big Oil, and their Big Affiliates can buy in both federal and state legislatures.  

Yang recently had Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, on his podcast to highlight the electoral reform measures that are picking up rapid support around the country. Namely this includes the reform of the primary system that, Yang claims, favors extreme candidates and those that are most divisive.

The idea is that the top five are chosen in an open primary process – regardless of party. Then those five appear on the November General Election ballot with the voter given the chance to rank and select their favorites in order of 1 to 5. This voting process called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is being used in several large elections. It was most recently used in the New York mayoral race and the Republican Governor nomination in Virginia.

It is also called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). This is because if the first round of counting does not yield a majority on the first round, the number five vote-getter is dropped and those selected second are added to the first-round votes and so on, until a majority of 50% plus one is achieved.

RCV/IRV is such a logical solution because it provides a much more accurate and representative outcome than an expensive, low-turnout runoff. Most recently in Texas, a two-round runoff could have been avoided. Already a low turnout of 78,374 - less than a third of voters - decided who advanced to the runoff, among a crowd of 23 choices. Susan Wright led that first primary on May 1 with 15,052 votes, or 19.2 percent, while Jake Ellzey finished second with 10,851 votes, or 13.8 percent.

“Nearly three months later, fewer than 39,000 voters took part in the runoff, a decline of more than 50 percent. That means an even tinier and less representative pool of voters made the final decision. This precipitous plummet is predictable.

Instead of expecting voters to return to the polls a second time, everyone could have cast their ballot at once, with RCV working as an "instant runoff” with more voters to having a say in the outcome

Voter turnout in the decisive vote would have increased, and the 6th congressional district would have had a representative far faster. Plus, as Rob Ritchie of FairVote declares, “everyone who came out to vote the first time would have had the same opportunity to vote in the runoff. That's a better and more efficient election—and exactly the kind of nonpartisan election reform all voters, and all legislators, ought to get behind.”

“Runoff elections are almost always low-turnout races, even though taxpayers spend tens of millions to administer them.” Ritchie continues, “The political science on this is clear. FairVote studied every primary runoff for Congress between 1994 and 2020, and found that turnout fell in 97 percent of them. That's 240 of 248 elections over 26 years, fewer voters cast ballots in the decisive runoff.

“States and localities nationwide have adopted ranked choice voting because it's such a useful tool in getting more voters to participate and to determine the winner who best combines wide and deep support. In Utah, 23 cities chose to use RCV this November for their elections. Citizens in Maine and Alaska brought RCV to statewide races via the ballot initiative, with the Maine legislature adding presidential elections.

“It's not because it makes elections perfect. It simply makes them better. In New York's mayoral race, RCV came in for criticism because some 15 percent of voters did not back either of the final two choices among their top five rankings. Nitpickers called that an ‘exhausted ballot.’ But what's better, having five choices or merely one? Under the old system, any ballot not cast for the winner would have been ‘exhausted’ right away.”

A new analysis of ranked choice voting (RCV) in Maine by the R Street Institute provides critical insights into implementing these and similar reforms across the country. In particular, the study dispels myths that RCV is too complicated for voters and that confusion prevents voters from accurately expressing their preferences on the ballot.

The key findings show that voters seized the opportunity to rank candidates. In the 2018 Democratic primary race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, nearly 65 percent of voters ranked at least two candidates, while nearly half ranked at least three candidates and more than a quarter ranked all four candidates. In the 2020 Republican primary election for the same seat, more than half of all voters ranked at least two candidates and just under half ranked all three.

Voters were not confused by RCV. Rather, the number of blank ballots matched the totals seen in elections before RCV, and less than 1 percent of ballots were set aside due to confusion. Even in the highly competitive 2018 general election, the number of confused ballots only totaled 0.21 percent, nowhere near enough to change the outcome of the election.

Ritchie continues, “And as we see in Texas, the problem is not exhausted ballots but exhausted voters. Over half of those who took part in the first round didn't bother coming back for the second. Why not make it easier and conduct both rounds at once?”

After three years of implementation and multiple elections, the data in Maine demonstrates that voters understand how to use the power of RCV to express their preferences in elections, and that the overwhelming majority of ballots cast in an RCV election accurately reflect those preferences.

This method of voting has already proven to tone down the harsh criticism and negative campaigning that the traditional method perpetuates. Candidates look to form alliances instead of enemies.

Voters used RCV to cross party lines. Data from the 2018 general election race shows that a strong majority of Democratic and third-party voters and nearly a third of Republican voters ranked more than one candidate, often across party lines.

The challenge is that to enact this type of voting will require action by the very representatives of the existing system whose power will be weakened. And as Frederick Douglas insinuated, power never concedes power voluntarily.

However, if you listen carefully to Yang, Troiano, Ritchie and others you’ll hear the optimism. We were able to get women the right to vote. Having voting rights made into law proves that with persistence we can improve our electoral systems as well.

Which leaves this last critique of Yang’s book from Ballot Access News author Richard Winger, “It doesn’t mention ballot access problems, nor problems for minor parties being excluded in candidate debates. Yang doesn’t explain why he doesn’t support other election reforms”, referring to proportional representation or the National Popular Vote Plan.

Winger, the nation’s premier ballot access expert, declares that the top five plan would create a monopoly for the big, large candidates, essentially blocking any minor parties from being on the General Election ballot especially in US Senate and gubernatorial elections. He relayed news, “that a group of very wealthy individuals are banding together to raise $100 million to promote state initiatives to implement top-five primaries and ranked choice voting.

“Probably Yang’s real purpose in writing this book is to help that movement.”

 

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Joseph Oddo is the Managing Director of the SC / GA division of Neumann Associates Mergers & Acquisition Advisors, and a professional non-fiction, freelance writer. Correspond via the web: josephoddo.com.

8 jan 22 @ 9:35 pm          Comments

October 5, 2021

Former IGVA Chairman Joe Oddo on Green TV 5 oct 21 @ 9:45 am          Comments

January 30, 2021

The System Book Review by Joe Oddo

­­­­The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, Robert Reich, Alfred A Knopf, NY 2020

 Having come across this 2020 Robert Reich book on the library shelf after the 2020 election, I was compelled to not just read it, but give it a thorough going over. The title drew me in with a promise that I immediately doubted he could deliver. “The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It” triggered my pessimism, since so many others have declared such grand outcomes with little to no impact.

In this manuscript, Former Labor Secretary and eminent scholar Robert Reich has delivered a powerful directive on how we the people can clear the fog of fabrications. Previously unseen in clear daylight, Reich lifts the fog and exposes the details of the modern-day oligarchy (the third in our nation’s history, according to the author).

Read more here> 

 

30 jan 21 @ 7:35 pm          Comments

February 3, 2019

How the relationship between Trump and Bloomberg went into a tailspin


By Michael Kranish
January 31, 2019

NEW YORK — On an autumn day in 2013, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg traveled to the Bronx to hail the transformation of a massive garbage dump into a world-class golf course. Donald Trump stood nearby, beaming as Bloomberg said the course would be operated by “the great Trump Organization.”

“If there is anybody who has changed this city, it is Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said. “He really has done an amazing thing, and this is another part of it.”

Trump turned to Bloomberg, gushing: “You have been a great mayor. You really have. I mean, this guy is fantastic.”

For more than a decade, the two New York billionaires appeared together at charity golf events, ribbon cuttings and even on Trump’s reality television shows, a relationship of political and business convenience if not genuine friendship.

The alliance imploded the moment Trump launched his bid for the White House in 2015, exposing raw differences of policy and personality that have become only more stark as President Trump has carried out a series of measures that are politically anathema to Bloomberg, such as withdrawing from a deal to combat global warming.

Read more here>

3 feb 19 @ 2:41 pm          Comments

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Joseph Oddo delivering speech during the 2006 campaign.

 Transcript of five minute News8TV taping.

Joe Oddo, Independent Candidate, US House of Representatives

Oct 6, 2006

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country from his government.

I’m Joe Oddo, Independent Green candidate running for Congress and I encourage you to get involved. To run for office. To insist we be allowed in the debates. To fix our democracy. And stop the mudslingin

I believe in expanding civic participation by fixing election rules and instituting universal registration. Anyone that shows up at the right polling place with their official ID should be able to register and vote on the spot.

Plus we should expand the hours of Election Day, or make it a holiday so everyone can take off work to cast their vote.

Our team of Independents have spent weeks out in all weather extremes to qualify to make the ballot. We talked to over 150,000 Virginians who understand the need for Independent voices. And by listening to your concerns, we have formulated a sound platform that addresses diverse issues like lobby reform and term limits.

Together with our statewide candidate for the US Senate Gail “for Rail” Parker, we propose Rail Now solutions. More Trains Less Traffic. We need hi-speed Rail from Danville to Charlottesville, from Charlottesville to Richmond, and on to Washington. Modern high-speed rail utilizes existing right-of-ways. We can run elevated rail right along I-64 and Rt. 29 with minimal disturbance. It is the time to develop alternative energy solutions, and end our dependence on oil.

We must pay closer attention to how government spends OUR money, and to ensure that it is on realistic, long-term solutions. So one of our initiatives is to solve the fiscal crises in our federal budget. We need a balanced budget now. We can to pay off the federal debt in five years. And we can fix the tax code for real tax cuts, not credit card advances.

We are more conservative than our opponents. There is nothing compassionate or conservative in military adventurism. This administration promotes addiction to a new drug called fear. We no longer face facts. We prefer to fabricate them. We lost over 3,000 young American soldiers since Nine Eleven.

Why? For war industry profits. Everyone knows it. One of every four tax dollars are being spent at the Defense Department. From their own report, billions are being mismanaged through "improper payments". And this Congress has been complicit and needs replaced.

We can fix Pentagon waste with an auditable accounting system so we know where our money is going. We can save $2 Billion a week by withdrawing from Iraq. We can save Billions more by closing bases in Germany and Japan. And Billions more by scrapping useless weapons programs.

Now I ask you, what real liberal or conservative would ever sanction the Patriot Act, or NSA domestic spying? Why should we give away rights guaranteed by the Constitution now? They served us well for the multitude of threats we defeated during the last 230 years.

Now it’s: be afraid. Be very afraid. Don’t worry about your tax dollars going to campaign contributors through no-bid contracts. Don’t pay attention while they strip away our rights, or rob our Treasury blind.

We won’t hear them say: War as a foreign policy of the United States is wrong. Peace is the answer. Nonviolence is the answer.

We can protest all we want. We can editorialize, we can lobby, we can strike, we can boycott, we can hold endless numbers of meetings. This only gets us so far. If we are going to accomplish real change in government, then we have to resort to action. The only real action against apathy is to get on the ballot and run for office.

Now is our chance to restore the optimism and promise of a world for all to live in peace. Join us as an independent - not bought and paid for by corporate rulers.

We run on positive issues. We listen. We do not sling mud.

Because I am an optimist, I offer solutions that the two parties will not address. Please Join us. Our Web site is www.VoteJoinRun.us. Please Vote Oddo on November 7th.

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