23 April 2014 - 8:00Mr. AwesomeBar Runs for Congress
tl;dr The non-profit Mozilla changed the Internet by giving users choice and liberty. I, Ed Lee, want to build on that foundation to change how politics works in 2 ways: 1) get rid of politicians who focus on money and forget about voters and 2) change how politics is won by showing you can win without spammy advertisements that track tons of data about people. The Internet helped Mozilla take on “unbeatable” opponents, and I need your help to do the same.
I became a Mozillian 10 years ago. I found my passion helping people through Mozilla, a non-profit that promotes user choice and liberty on the Internet. These values attracted me to Mozilla in the first place, and I believe in these values even more after being employed at Mozilla for five years. I want to bring these values to politics because while the Internet can be a big part of our lives, politics tend to control the rest and can destroy the things/people we care about most.
During the SOPA protests, SopaTrack showed not only which Representatives were co-sponsors for the bill but also how often they voted with whichever side gave the most money. I was quite appalled to find out that Mark Amodei co-sponsored a bill that would take away our freedoms and earned a perfect 100% record of voting with the money [itworld.com].
The behavior of this “Representative” is the complete opposite of the values that brought me to Mozilla, and I believe the correct solution is to vote out these politicians. That’s why I’m running against him as a US Congress candidate in Nevada on a platform of “Non Profit” and “For Liberty” to directly contrast with this incumbent.
I’ve talked to various people involved in politics, and I’ve been ignored, laughed at, told to go away and stop wasting my time. The most interesting dismissal: “the Internet can’t help,” and I thought to myself, “Challenge Accepted.” I hope the rest of the Internet is as outraged as I was to hear that the best action is to do nothing and give a free pass to this incumbent who just votes with the money to destroy our liberties.
Mozilla was in a similar situation when Firefox had to take on the dominant web browser. The Internet cared about the browser that focuses on the user (e.g., would you like to see that popup?). People helped spread Firefox even without understanding the non-profit that created it because the built in values of freedom and choice resonated with users.
My ask of you is to think of aunts/uncles/friends/relatives in Reno/Sparks/Carson City and see if they’re on this anonymized list of names [edlee2014.com]. If so, please text or call that person and simply say “please look into Ed Lee,” and if you let me know, I’ll personally follow up with your contact. If you don’t find anyone on the list, please share it with others whom you think might know someone living in the northern half of Nevada. Early voting starts in a month with the primary less than 2 months away on June 10th, so let’s move fast!
I’m aiming for at least a third of the midterm primary votes in a 4-way race, and that roughly comes out to just over 9000. (Really!) The anonymized list of names are of people most likely to vote in my district’s Democratic primary, and the plan is to have the millions on the Internet find a connection to those several thousands to make a personal request. This is as opposed to traditional political advertising where large amounts of money is raised to track down and spam people where I estimate more than 95% of people won’t even be moved to vote or vote differently. With my Mozilla background, that’s not how I would want to approach campaigning.
If this technique works for the primary, it could work for the general election by focusing on non-partisan voters. We can further develop this technique to vote out all the money-seeking politicians and replace them with people who care about individuals and freedoms across the US, and dare I say, across the world.
The Internet helped Mozilla change the world with its non-profit mission and strong core values. I need your help to do the same in the world of politics.
– Ed Lee (Ed “Mr. AwesomeBar” Lee is a bit long for the ballot)
Paid for by Ed Lee for Congress
Yay for free speech, but apparently not free-as-in-beer if not correctly attributed.