Some random guy in Pennsylvania decided to get rid of every single incumbent in the Pennsylvania House and Senate and actually managed to evict a total of 47 legislators through primary losses and retirements forced by voter outrage.
How did Russ Diamond pull this off? He spent less than $200 to start a web-based political action committee called PA CleanSweep and recruited 97 oddballs to run on a simple anti-incumbent platform, all because the Pennsylvania politicians had given themselves a huge pay raise atop an already huge pile of benefits.
Learn how four divorces, public drunkenness and your girlfriend’s abortion equal Political Success, after the jump.
It also helps to chase around incumbent candidates with a giant inflatable pig.
Diamond was running for governor, too. He lost, because he’s a weirdo who didn’t even campaign in the traditional sense. But his “Clean House” campaign won big. Not bad for a guy who makes Bill Clinton look like Husband of the Century:
As a politician, Diamond is not exactly smooth and polished. In his 2004 campaigns, he laid out his “Experiences, Lessons and Motivations” on his blog — a 5,700-word manifesto detailing his four divorces, an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, a ticket for public drunkenness, and his experience with financial bankruptcy. This year he took the entry down because, he says, he revamped the site’s content when he decided to run for governor. All the original entries were removed, along with the Libertarian platform and position papers.
Of the 47 departing incumbents, 17 lost their primaries in May and 30 are retiring. In a regular election cycle, no more than five incumbents lose in Pennsylvania.
Another seven were washed out November 6, meaning that 53 of the state’s 132 lawmakers are finished. That just doesn’t happen in this nation of entrenched incumbents — 40% of the bums, gone.
Only two incumbents lost Congressional primaries this year, and November’s national bloodbath in the House only switched control of 29 seats.
While Diamond’s a libertarian and his slate of candidates were whatever they felt like calling themselves, the wipeout also caused the GOP to lose control of the state House to Democrats. (The state Senate is 29-21, still in the Republicans’ hands.)
This Russ Diamond guy clearly needs to go national. Can you imagine the hilarious chaos if 40% of the House was washed out in 2008? This town might actually become fun.
Throwing the Bums Out [Reason]
Voters made them pay for raises [Patriot News]