Robert Goofdork, unclaimed son of Aaron Russo
Expanded from the 8-23-98
Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
a picture is worth a thousand words, you may ignore the rest of this
column and just look at the accompanying photo. Therein, you will find
a campaign sign imploring you to "elect Robert Goofdork, Assembly."
It tells you all you
need to know about the public mind as we approach another queasy fall
of electoral discontent.
Life is supposed to
be good right now. Unemployment is low, isn't it? Alas, figures don't
lie, but liars figure.
I won't repeat all
the details of what I've written dozens of times. Suffice it to say
that the good life is not good for all. Statewide, many full time casino
workers don't earn enough to eat and must depend on charitable food
banks. Little kids go without proper nutrition or health care. Our beleaguered
schools don't have enough room for all of them.
Throughout the nation,
candidates spout pious pronouncements about taking care of the children.
They decry eroding test scores and worsening dropout rates while largely
ignoring the miserable state of many schools.
The byways of our High
Desert Outback of the American Dream are currently besplattered with
the blight of political signs. Encounter 40 in the same place and you
suffer the visual equivalent of listening to 40 radio stations at once.
These damned things
can cause accidents. I find them a pain, even though I've designed my
Somebody finally got
fed up and came up with the best protest of the year.
In northwest Reno,
at the southeast corner of Mae Anne and McCarran, stands a chain link
fence under serious threat of collapse because of all the campaign flotsam
thereon. It's an eyesore.
The graphic blight
plaguing this portion of the body politic first erupted with side-by-side
zits for Kenny Guinn.
The well-monied GOP gubernatorial frontrunner is apparently attempting
to post one sign for every Nevadan over 18.
The printed pimples
quickly spread so that the fence in question now provides substantial
shade for nearby sagebrush.
Some aggrieved passerby
finally took action.
Driving by a couple
of weeks ago, I noticed that one of Guinn's signs had been turned upside
down. A couple of days later, it had been re-flipped to its proper position
of predominance on the posted promenade.
The anonymous sign
inverter soon struck again. He, she, or perhaps someone else angry at
the system, apparently decided that the best defense is a good offense.
Person or persons unknown
got cardboard and crayons and drew the sign for the mysterious Robert
If this inchoate campaign
committee seeks to stimulate a write-in groundswell for Mr. Goofdork,
they will be sorely disappointed. Write-ins are prohibited by state
law and can't be counted.
Worse, daring to add
words to your ballot qualifies it as defaced and thus challengeable.
Heaven forbid that people be allowed to vote for whomever they want.
Nonetheless, I admire
the spirit of the committee to elect Robert Goofdork.
Like voters everywhere,
I share this increasingly sharpening fear of the corporately rich turning
us, the great unwashed, into plantation slaves. They limit our opportunities
and hog more than their fair share while full-time workers line up for
soup at St. Vincent's Dining Room. They raise our taxes while reducing
theirs. We work more hours just to stay even if we're lucky.
This miasma of discontent
feeds the angry atmosphere around millionaire Hollywood producer Aaron
Russo's gubernatorial campaign. At least the Republican newcomer wants
to throw a monkey wrench into the machine and is not bashful about casting
himself in the lead role of monkey.
Support Robert Goofdork
and more power to all protesters.
well. Raise hell.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Aaron Russo is a Hollywood motion
picture producer ("The Rose," Trading Places") who was
a high-profile and pugnacious GOP candidate for governor in the 1998
Nevada primary election. He was defeated by Mr. Guinn, who went on to
win the governorship. In 2004, he lost a campaign to become Libertarian
Party presidential nominee.