Talk about publicity stunt. Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian plans to run as a candidate with no party affiliation for a congressional seat representing Detroit’s suburbs. I thought this was truly a joke when I first read it, but alas, the story is breaking all over the web. Does he really have a chance?
What makes a convicted felon and suicide advocate qualified for such a political and public role?
Well, according to the AP:
“Jack is in great spirits, and he intends to do this. He just hopes for some honesty in government,” said Ruth Holmes, Kevorkian’s longtime jury consultant.
Kevorkian plans to focus on prison reform and bringing integrity to the government, Holmes said. She said the retired pathologist was not available for an interview and would make a formal announcement next week.
Kevorkian told The Oakland Press of Pontiac, Mich., which first reported his plans on Wednesday, that his campaign was in a “formative stage” and that he was running because “we need some honesty and sincerity instead of corrupt government in Washington.”
Holmes said Kevorkian would need to collect 3,000 signatures by mid-July to be placed on the ballot. “That will be very easy for Jack,” she predicted.
Kevorkian, 79, claims to have helped at least 130 people die from 1990 until 1998 — the year he was charged in the death of Thomas Youk, a 52-year-old Oakland County man with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kevorkian has promised not to help in any other assisted suicides and could go back to prison if he did.
He was released from prison in June 2007 after serving the minimum of his 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder in Youk’s death. He spent eight years and 2 1/2 months behind bars after earning time off for good behavior.
Hmm… “prison reform and bringing integrity to the government.” Guess I could see his experience about prison, but integrity??? As for the whole convicted felon aspect, Kevorkian CAN run.
Again, from the AP:
To serve in Congress, the Constitution requires someone to be 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for seven years and to reside in the state they would represent, but it does not prevent a convicted felon from seeking office.
House ethics rules say members who have been convicted of a crime while in office that leads to at least a 2-year sentence should not vote or participate in committee work. But it says a lawmaker’s privileges are reinstated if the member is found innocent or re-elected after the conviction.
Kelly Chesney, a spokeswoman for the Michigan secretary of state’s office, said state election law only governs legislative and state offices and there is nothing that would prevent Kevorkian from running for federal office.
Michigan allows convicted felons to vote once they’ve served their sentence.
Well, all I can say is that if I were Kevorkian’s opponents, I wouldn’t try any of his special cocktails that he whips up. 😉