Ahoy, mateys. It seems the Pirate Party is seeking electoral treasure in Iowa. Candidate James Hill is the third ship sailing in the Braley-Whalen race. This isn't a joke - well, it is, but it isn't. Hill will actually appear on the ballot as the nominee of the Pirate Party.
The original Pirate Party is based in Sweden and has a serious platform of copyright reform. There's also an American Pirate Party:
The basic idea of the Pirate Party is simple - the government should encourage, rather than smother, creativity and freedom.
Copyrights are now stretching into the hundreds of years, and fair use is under constant attack by attorneys who exploit the vagueness of the law. Creativity has come to a standstill in this country for those who wish to work within, and benefit from, the confines of the law...
Patents are suppressing innovation in the digital age by making it possible to monopolize methods and practices. Hundreds of thousands of patents sit on a shelf somewhere, never to be implemented, their ideas shut out from the rest of the world. That our law not only allows this, but enables this, is a travesty and a crime against innovators everywhere.
Lastly, the routinization of privacy violations in the digital age must be halted...
Doesn't sound like a joke to me. And what better way to get on the agenda than running in the hottest House race in the nation?
Hill is certainly the first Pirate candidate in Iowa and may be the first US candidate. He has a web site at www.jameshillforcongress.com/ but he appears to be using a host even more full of bilge and barnacles that Joe Lieberman's. For the moment the Google cache will have to do.
Whose ship will this sink? My guess this loots more ballot-box booty from small-l libertarians that from progressives. The Dems are more motivated this year and have a more bitter history with third party candidates, so they'll stay on board while the GOP sinks to Davey Jones' locker.
Other statewide third party filings remain slim: the Socialist Workers are running for governor and in the 3rd CD; no word yet from the Greens and Libertarians. Still no GOP candidate for Secretary of State - will they walk the plank on this race? (BTW, the Sec of State's office isn't putting updates on the website daily like in past years.)