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Guess who’s running for president

Roseanne BarrSecretary of State Debra Bowen today released the list of generally recognized candidates she intends to place on California’s June 5 presidential primary ballot – and some of them are AWESOME.

For instance, how did I miss the fact that actress, comedienne and nut farmer Roseanne Barr is running for president? Ah, but it’s true! And according to her campaign website, she announced her candidacy way back on Aug. 4 on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, declaring she wouldn’t run as a Democrat or as a Republican “because they both suck and they’re both a bunch of criminals.” She is seeking the Green Party’s nomination instead. (Note to self: Change registration to Green immediately so I can cast a meaningful vote this year.)

The others pale beside Roseanne, of course, although not by much.

Mad Max RiekseThere’s also American Independent candidate Mad Max Riekse of Fruitport, Mich., a retired Army lieutenant colonel who says he would cut the U.S. Department of Education by 80 percent; nominate Clarence Thomas as Chief Justice; leave assisted suicide and medical marijuana to the states to decide; abolish most federal gun laws; deport all illegal immigrants; and “appoint Richard Gere and Steven Seagal as special U.S. diplomats to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, and his government-in-exile.” (“Steven Seagal: Diplomat.” Someone call A&E, quick!)

The prize for most candidates goes to (drumroll, please) … the Libertarian Party, with nine entrants including Californians James Ogle of Pacific Grove and Barbara Joy Waymire of Tulelake.

Bowen can put more names on the list until March 29, when the list of presidential candidates is officially certified, but she can’t take any names off the list once they’ve been announced unless a candidate asks to be removed by filing an affidavit with the Secretary of State’s office. The last presidential primary, in February 2008, had 51 candidates on the generally recognized candidate list; this year’s list has 24 names so far.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Truthclubber

    WTF? Really? This is what your (current, as of today) employer is willing to waste money on, by paying your salary? This is what, with all that the country is facing, you care to “burn pixels” on?

    Get ready to file your UI claim, dude — I can see it coming in ways you CAN’T.

  • Elwood

    I rather liked your somewhat tongue in cheek lighthearted post, Josh.

    One can only take so much woe and angst without a bit of levity.

  • Truthclubber

    Irregardless of what “Hellwoody” wants to pop-off on, I stand by my earlier statement:

    By posting mindless, “E! Network” drivel like this at a time when our economy is hurting like it is, when the two major parties are so far apart on how they would heal that econo-rift, and when there is so much saber-rattling going on, vis-a-vis Israel/Iran, you should be ashamed of this waste of your opportunity to “inform the electorate of what really matters right now”…

  • Josh Richman

    Truthclubber: Sounds like you need some relaxation techniques, maybe yoga or mediation – or a sense of humor, for crying out loud, lest you blow a brain gasket (if you haven’t already). You know as well as I do that we don’t often do this here. Every now and then, we’ve got to stop to smell the roses. Or the Roseannes.

  • Elwood