I got an e-mail yesterday from Brent G. Maupin, a former Hayward-area resident (1980-93, with both his kids born in Castro Valley) who is now an independent candidate for Congress in Arizona’s First Congressional District — where incumbent Rep. Rick Renzi has just been indicted by a federal grand jury on 35 counts of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and extortion related to his involvement in a land-swap deal. Renzi already had said last year that this would be his final term, but even after being indicted this week, he said he won’t resign.
“Enough is enough! Now is the time for America to vote out every elected official who does not call for reforms that overthrow the political system as we now know it!,” Maupin says in a release he attached to his brief e-mail.
In the race since last fall, Maupin says neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party serves the needs of the American people: “The system is broken and only the citizens of America can fix it. I have no party affiliation and only the best interests of Arizona and America at heart.”
Maupin has lived in Sedona, Ariz., since leaving the Bay Area 15 years ago, and describes himself as “a respected businessman, a licensed Civil Engineer, a licensed Architect and a licensed contractor” not to mention a musician and a cancer survivor. “I balance my checkbook every month and there is no reason why Congress can not do the same. As an engineer I am trained to find solutions, not ‘litigate to legislate’ as we see in Washington D.C.”
Among the reforms Maupin seeks are full public disclosure of the Congressional committee selection process; reducing special-interest groups’ influence; replacing paid television ads with televised forums and debates; and forced resignation, loss of pension and healthcare benefits and mandatory prison time for any member of Congress “that has not lived up to his or her oath of office or has otherwise been proven to have been gravely unethical in the administration of his or her duties,” as his release puts it. He also wants all Congressional earmarks voted upon line-by-line before they’re sent to the President.
That’s all he sent me, but I did some snooping. His campaign Web site includes his latest song, “Stand Up America:”
And his music Web site says:
The motivation behind my music is driven by the fact that I believe it is my destiny, and that of several other millions of Americans, to implement what I call The Second American Revolution. In doing so, I intend to “overthrow the legal and illegal corruption” within the current political structure of the government of the United States of America. For a more detailed explanation on my political stand see my web site at www.winwithmaupin.com. This political revolution will be achieved, of course, without advocating force or violence of any kind. I intend to achieve this by continuing to transform my own life, and more importantly to live my life based on the absolute highest levels of my own personal integrity. Also, as can be seen in my web site www.winwithmaupin.com, I am running for office for the United States House of Representatives and when elected I will bring this level of integrity into the governing system. I believe this will in turn have a domino effect of bringing the same for all who run for office. In short, I intend to co-create with God, or this omnipotent-omnipresent force that exists within the universe, a government whereby those who desire to run for office will be those who will live to the absolute highest levels of their own personal integrity and run their campaigns and political responsibilities accordingly. It is through the personal transformational process that such intentions are manifested into reality.
His campaign Web site also notes his vow to spend 70 percent less on his campaign than the $2.2 million Renzi spent to get re-elected in 2006. Sticking to that limit shouldn’t be a problem; FEC reports show that as of Dec. 31, Maupin had raised $739 and spent $669, leaving his campaign $70 cash on hand. (And of that $739, he put up $669 and one other person gave him $70.)
That’s gonna be quite a race down there, whether or not Maupin’s call for revolution catches on. Among the possible Democratic contenders are a state representative; the mayor of Winslow; an Apache magazine publisher; a former U.S. House staffer; a prominent attorney; and a part-time cabbie who was a GLBT coordinator for Dennis Kucinich’s campaign. The GOP contenders include the Arizona Mining Corporation’s president and a computer programmer, and a state representative who dropped out of the race but might be considering jumping back in.