Time to talk about the other candidates.
Briefly, I'd like to say that they are, for the most part,
well-intentioned and good people. That said, the following is my
critique of their campaign strategies and plans for the future.
Georgy Russell: Hailed all along as the "Thong" girl, she sold
undergarments to finance her campaign. This is really all she
got attention for, but boy did she get a lot of attention. She raised
thousands of dollars from sales of the underwear, she had cameras
following her around all the time, her website is in the top 10,000 in
the world, and she was featured in every major newspaper in
California. Despite all this, she received only two hundred more votes than
Weds. Sept. 24, 2003
It's been a while. Sorry for infrequent updates.
Let's see: last week I judged a Comedysportz competition, appeared on
the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, met 90 other candidates including Gary
Coleman and Marey Carey, got a few seconds of visibility on Access
Hollywood, bought textbooks, attended UCSD's "UnOlympics"
competition between our six colleges, passed out flyers at UCSD's
Canyon Vista dining hall, and produced the opinion section of the
Sunday I drove from San Diego to Hollywood to judge Comedysportz,
which was quite possibly the most fun I'd had so far in the course of
the election. The drive up was absolute hell on earth (god I hate Los
Angeles traffic) but it was worth it. My friends Jacel and Adnan came
along for the ride and served as "co-judges" in the 8pm show. We
didn't get there till 8:30, but luckily the rest of the audience was
caught in traffic as well so they had delayed the start time a bit.
you've never been to Comedysportz, you should go. I wasn't quite sure
what to expect, but it's a lot like "Whose Line is it, anyway?" It's
even better, since they interact with the audience a lot more.
After two shows--8:30 and 10:30, at which two other candidates showed
up--we drove back to San Diego, getting lost along the way and ending
up in Pomona for a while. Thanks to my car's recently-repaired
radio and the cold air blasting from the windows, I managed to stay
awake long enough to get home.
The next morning I woke up early to ready myself for another drive to
LA, this time to the Tonight Show taping in Burbank.
About 45 candidates met at noon in Johnny Carson park across the
street from NBC studios. We passed out literature and got to know the
candidates whom we hadn't met before. Many of us were familiar faces
from the "Candidates' Coalition" meetings held over the past couple
weeks--including one held two days prior--but there were some
significant new faces, including performance artist Trek Thunder Kelly
and Michael Jackson. The highlight was honestly when Iris Adam
showed up wearing the exact same "Next Governor of California" t-shirt
that I'd worn for the past month. She's a really great
person--one of my favorites in this campaign. Another highlight
was seeing my friend Chris
Sproul for what will probably be the last time. It's sad that I
won't get to see many of these people again after the election.
There's another meeting on Saturday in Sacramento, but I can't afford
the time or money it takes to fly up. I wish the best of luck to those
who do go.
Anyway, the Tonight Show taping went reasonably well. At one
point, fellow candidate Billy Tsangares (wearing a terminator mask)
started chanting "equal time--equal time!" while Leno was talking.
Leno initially ran with it, and the cameras swung around and taped him
for a few seconds before Leno continued reading his cue cards.
But Billy didn't stop.
Leno, realizing that this was going nowhere, stopped talking and the
cameras stopped rolling. Security walked up the bleachers to where
Billy was sitting and asked him to stop chanting. Billy, of
course, refused. Robert Downey Jr. ran out from backstage and
shouted, "Sir--PLEASE!" The police were soon summoned and Billy was
escorted from the studio to the cheers of the audience. It was unclear
whether they were cheering for him or the police.
Leno's cuecard writer quickly drew up some new lines for Leno to
spout, and he retaped the segment, barely referencing the "guy from
the PCP party" before moving on to Robert Downey Jr.'s interview.
School starts tomorrow, so I'll sign off for the moment. More to come.
Mon. Sept. 15, 2003
No way I'm driving to Cal Poly SLO tomorrow. I need to read up
on my California geography. Evidently, San Luis Obispo is 318
miles from San Diego--an estimated 11 hour roundtrip from my La Jolla
apartment. That's like driving to my grandma's house in Oregon from
San Jose. I can't do that in one day. So no Party Y debate
for me, unfortunately. You know what? Maybe Arnold doesn't dodge
debates; maybe he just didn't want to drive 600 miles up to Walnut
Creek from LA.
Hopefully the debate otherwise goes well, which would mean a likely
Southern California debate hosted by yours truly at UCSD during the
final week of the campaign.
I'm on the front page of today's San Jose Mercury news, in an article
highlighting the younger candidates. The reporters who
interviewed me for that story were really cool people. I'm
getting to meet a lot of interesting folk through this. I get 25
e-mails a day and 15 instant messages from people ranging from bored
12-year old Alabamans to a student from Cal Poly Pomona who likes
listening to videogame music. Oh, and a German named Eike. Click
on the "SiteMeter" button on the bottom of the front page to see the
different timezones from which people access my site.
Friday. Sept. 12, 2003
All right, I'm back in San Diego for school. Over the last week,
I filmed a TV commercial on KTVU Fox 2 in Oakland, visited a high
school AP U.S. History class at Santa Teresa, rode a scooter around my
street while KTVU cameras filmed me for a "profile" they're doing of
some of the lesser-known candidates, drove 500 miles to San Diego,
fielded 300 IM's from bored 12-year olds who found my screen name on
this site, and granted a few interviews to print journalists who
hadn't yet had a chance to speak to me.
Oh, and I also faxed my "470" campaign finance form to LA and San
Francisco. Evidently, the state bureaucracy doesn't share
information among its county branches; I'd already filed the form with
the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters as well as the Secretary of
State in Sacramento. LA and SF think they're hotshots though,
and candidates have to fax the forms individually to their respective
Registrars. If I wasn't a one-issue candidate, I'd take issue
with this blatant example of bureaucratic waste.
other news, the Green party plenary is tomorrow in San Diego. If
I can figure out how to gain access without having registered with my
county party, I'll go and try to talk to Camejo. He still hasn't
put anything about the fee increases on his website.
Sunday. Sept. 7, 2003
Well, I didn't make it on the Gameshow Network's TV show. Not
because of any fault of my own, but because of the United States
Postal Service, which has got to be the most inefficient service
provided by the government. I recorded my own half hour interview,
based on questions they e-mailed to me, and then paid for second-day
delivery on Sept. 4. I received an e-mail today from GSN
explaining that they have not yet received my tape, and that it's too
late now--they've already chosen the six contestants. This would
be a very sad day, campaign-wise, if not for my great quote in an
LA Times article regarding my interview
with John Hancock on the California Channel:
UC San Diego student Watts, who recently turned 21,
happily turned all of Hancock's questions back to his pet issue —
reversing fee increases at all of California's public colleges and
How would you boost the California economy? Hancock asked. Simple,
Watts replied, repay students those college fee increases. "If I got
my $1,000 back," Watts said, "I would spend it on video games and
comic books. That would be a big boost to the California economy."
God bless the LA Times.
Thurs. Sept. 5, 2003
Two reporters from the San Jose Mercury News interviewed me yesterday.
They're working on a story about the younger candidates--the LA Times
had better hurry if they want to "scoop" them. When both
articles are published, I'll link to them here. Fear not.
visited a U.S. History class at Evergreen Valley Community College
yesterday as well. That was one packed classroom; at least 70 students
filled the room, filling every seat. A lot of the students I've
talked to have complained about a "second bill" that's been sent to
them this summer. They paid their first round of tuition in the
spring, only to later discover that the fee hikes required they pay an
additional $7 per course unit before they could enroll in classes.
They're angry, as well they should be. Community colleges are
suffering from fewer classes and larger class sizes and the students
are charged a premium rate for the luxury of learning in standing-room
only classrooms. And the politicians are doing nothing about it.
visited my alma mater, Santa Teresa High School, today. Greg
Adler was kind enough to invite me to speak to his two American
Government classes. A lot of the students seemed generally
interested in my campaign, which is always a good sign. A couple
had heard about my campaign already, and one or two had seen my Wheel
of Fortune rerun a couple weeks ago. It went better than I had
expected, although I may have gotten off message a bit and delved too
deeply into details of my "Wheel of Fortune" experience.
Speaking of Wheel of Fortune, there may be an opportunity for other
candidates to score some "equal time" from NBC. My episode was
re-broadcast on August 14--after the beginning of the campaign.
If the candidates had requested equal time from NBC (one half-hour for
each of the 135 candidates), the network would've been legally
obligated to give it to them. I've let the other candidates know
about this, so hopefully we'll get some more press coverage.
Weds. Sept. 3, 2003
An LA Times reporter and photographer shadowed me today as I spoke in
front of two political science classes at West Valley Community
College in San Jose. The students were generally receptive,
although a few were more interested in hearing about how I got on
Wheel of Fortune than how I'm going to help lower their tuition. The
professor--who donated a Sacagewea, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and
two-dollar bill to my campaign-- took an informal poll of the class,
the results of which showed me beating Arnold Schwarzenegger by a
margin of 25 to 6. The other candidates garnered almost no
support at all. And yet, I've yet to be asked to debate any of
the major candidates. You'd think that with my level of support I'd
get more requests for interviews and such. ;)
Speaking of debates, I caught the tail end of the Contra Costa Times/KTVU-sponsored
debate this evening. I was pleased to see Arianna Huffington come
straight out and say that her first act as governor will be to lower
student fees. This makes two "major" candidates (Camejo and
Arianna) who have called me personally about the fee issue or made a
public announcement that it is their foremost priority to lower fees,
Also, I've gotten a few e-mails asking why I'm not taking stances on
more issues. The answer is that, to accomplish my goal, I don't
need to. Anyone who votes for me isn't voting for me
because they actually think I'll win the governorship; you should be
voting for me to show the eventual governor-elect that there is a
powerful group of Californians who want lower college fees. If
you want a comprehensive platform, check out Georgy Russell, Arianna,
McClintock, Camejo, Bustamante, and the others who think they're
actually going to be the next governor. If you want a candidate who
agrees with you on one very important issue and whose votes will serve
as thousands of voices shouting "LOWER STUDENT FEES!" at the next
governor, then vote for me.
Sunday Aug. 31, 2003
Yesterday, I met with 35 other gubernatorial candidates on the USS
Hornet aircraft carrier in Alameda, CA. The historic forum formulated
the beginnings of a plan to combat the lack of media attention given
to many smaller candidates. We'll meet again on Sept. 7 in Beverly
Hills, and then weekly until Oct. 7.
"lower student fees" platform was quoted in the Mercury News today,
and yesterday I was on KTVU Fox 2 and KRON 4 news in the SF Bay Area
and KCRA 3 in Sacramento. The word is getting out there. Thanks
to all of you who've been IM'ing me with questions or comments. It's
great to hear from people who are interested in my campaign. I always
respond to IM's and e-mails, so if you've got something to say, go
ahead: AIM is Bommerman5, e-mail is d w a t t s @ucsd.edu (remove the
Thursday Aug. 28, 2003
Gateway sent me a 5.25 Megapixel digital camera! Good stuff.
I'll be uploading photos to
Gateway's website as well as to my photo section.
My birthday was celebrated at Dave and Buster's yesterday, as well as
in downtown Palo Alto. Tuesday nights aren't the best for nighttime
I might be on the GameShow Network's competition between recall
candidates. Yesterday Mike
Powell helped me film a 2-minute commercial to be sent to Los
Angeles. Tomorrow I have an interview with a 16-year old reporter from
Illinois, on Saturday I'll be at the
USS Hornet in Alameda for a
"secret meeting" with other lesser-known recall candidates, and on
Wednesday I head to SF for a photo shoot. Ugh, I hate driving to
SF. If anyone wants to learn more about me or my campaign, IM me
at Bommerman5 on AIM, look for me on
Friendster, or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm also a writer for the
UCSD Guardian; you can
search the archives on that site for my articles. I usually write
Opinion pieces, but occasionally I've done news.
Tuesday Aug 26, 2003
Today I turn 21 years old. Had a birthday lunch at Kyoto Palace in San
Jose, where the cook chops up the food on your table.
In campaign-related news, a reporter from the LA Times is coming up to
shadow me next Tuesday as I campaign in San Jose. Later today I'm
filming a 2-minute commercial for an LA TV station and tomorrow an LA
Chinese TV station ("NTD TV") is coming to my house to tape an
interview. MTV has contacted me as well. They're looking to produce
some segments on the recall, and my message fits their target age
Friday Aug 22, 2003
This weekend was terrific! I'm featured in an article in the
Aggie, UC Davis's newspaper, as well as the
San Jose Mercury news.
8 or so other candidates and I were in downtown San Jose at Cesar
Chavez park this evening to talk to our constituents (and get on the
news!) I'll be on KTVU Fox 2 news tonight at 10pm in the SF Bay
Area. Georgy Russell, Bob Dole, and
Lingel Winterswere among the
candidates in attendance. I explained my simple platform to the
other candidates, and most, if not all, were very supportive.
May of them have complicated comprehensive platforms, but a few seemed
like they'd incorporate the fee increase issue specifically into their
I was highly disappointed in KRON 4 news, however. The reporter they
sent was unresponsive and didn't seem too interested in talking to all
the candidates. She interviewed one or two, then took off. The
Fox 2 News guy, however, was quite accommodating, allowing all
candidates the chance to have their say in front of the camera lens.
In Sacramento, I was interviewed for the California Channel, which is
broadcast occasionally on one of the C-SPAN's. It's a half-hour,
unedited interview that gave me a chance to really push my platform of
"lower student fees." The interviewer insisted on asking me
questions about issues not related to my platform, such as terrorism
and forest fires, but I did my best to relate those in some way to the
increase in student fees.
I ran into "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" correspondent Ron Cordry
outside of the capitol. He was filming a piece about the recall,
and he asked for my contact info, so hopefully I'll get spot on the
Aug. 20, 2003
The Mercury News took studio shots of me. I also received invitations
to help judge a Comedysportz
competition in Los Angeles. The representative who spoke to me
on the phone said, I quote, "I think you have a good sense of humor."
Take that, Gray Davis!
After I drive up to Sacramento (then Davis, then Chico) tomorrow
morning for my California Channel TV interview, on Friday I might have
another television interview with an independent TV station in San
Francisco. They target the 18-23 year old demographic, which is
exactly the demographic I'm aiming to help with my campaign. The catch
is that they want to interview me in the morning, which will require
driving from Chico at 5am to get to San Jose on time.
SF Bay Area residents, you can meet me (and 10 other candidates) in
person in Cesar Chavez park in San Jose on Friday at 6pm! If meeting
me isn't enough for you, I've heard Georgy Russell will be there.
You wouldn't want to miss that.
Aug. 19, 2003
Today I fielded calls and e-mails from the San Jose Mercury News, the
LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and three radio stations.
I spoke with a reporter from the LA Times who is interested in writing
a story on the 20-somethings running for governor. I'm pretty sure I'm
the youngest candidate, and I'm definitely sure I'm the only one who's
actually representing the student portion of the 18-24 year old age
other news, I've added the infamous Georgy Russell on "Friendster."
For those interested in other candidates, her website is
might know her as the 26-year old computer programmer selling "Georgy
for governor" thongs, although that's hardly unique now; Gary Coleman
has also set up shop selling "Gary, not Gray" thongs on his site.
installed the sitemeter at the bottom of the index page. You can
click on it to see how many people have accessed my site, and from
what timezones/ISPs/domains/countries. I've gotten over 150
unique hits after I put it up.
Aug. 18, 2003
I've set up an interview with the California Channel for Thursday.
It'll be a half hour unedited interview set to broadcast at least once
a week from Sept. 22 to Oct. 7. On the drive up to Sacramento
I'll stop by UC Davis and pick up a copy of the
California Aggie, where
I'll be featured in an article.
OPPOSE the fee increases imposed upon the University of California,
California State University, and California Community Colleges by
the legislature and Regents, as a direct result of Gray Davis's budget.