Stephany Seay from the Buffalo Field Campaign tells Matt what it’s like to be on the front lines of the effort to save the last free roaming American buffalo. Visit www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/action-opportunities to get involved or to learn more.
Elliot Harmon, Senior Activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, joins Matt to discuss privacy and free speech in the technology age.
Nothing went wrong in this election and I can prove it!
Just a quick word of good luck to all today! It will either go down as the day America re-found its soul, the day it re-lost it, or the day everyone thought America would re-find or re-lose its soul but in fact saw very little change. On top of that, there are literally thousands of races that don’t make the national news much, such as those we covered in the first 13 episodes of “Campaign Season.”
Best of luck to all we featured, such as the initiatives for sentencing reform in Oklahoma, oil revenue in Alaska, “magic mushrooms” in Washington, DC, marijuana legalization in South Dakota, and sex education in Washington State, as well as candidates Rick Just in Idaho, Nicole Breadon in Michigan and Ronetta Francis in Arkansas. We’re pulling for all of you even if we don’t offer official endorsements because we’re so above the fray.
More than anything, here’s to a peaceful transfer of power between whoever loses and whoever wins. Here’s to peaceful demonstrating by the masses. May all those who awoke this morning healthy go to sleep peacefully this evening.
Ronetta Francis is running for Senate District 1 in northwest Arkansas, home district of Walmart, with a message of social justice and unity. In this interview with Matt, she tells her story of why she’s running.
Heather Weiner of the “Approve 90” campaign in Washington State joins Matt to discuss the statewide sex education referendum she’s working on and campaigning in general.
It’s amazing what a moderate I’ve apparently become. Twenty years ago I felt like I was the only one warning of disaster, anarchy and tyranny, and now it seems everyone is doing it. What a bore! Now, if I want to remain a good dissenter, I have to claim that all will in fact be well, and that people won’t all go into the streets and kill each other. This sucks.
Incidentally, if the polls and common sense are to be trusted, Joe Biden is about to win a landslide victory and the Dems will ride into the Senate and the short-to-medium term political universe will look okay from my closet here in Maine.
Obviously, in the long-term we’ve still got massive problems that aren’t even being seriously looked at, such as our runaway capitalist economy that ensures poverty and excessive wealth inequality along with environmental collapse. That’s not going to change anytime soon, and it seems we’re locked into an unavoidable climate disaster and the best thing to do is burrow downward and build out a 5-star bunker. Until the apocalypse it can be an Airbnb.
I don’t think we’re going to have en masse violence in the streets unless Trump wins. If Trump pulls out another shocker, or successfully appeals the election and stays in power, there will be blood in the streets. But if my prediction that Biden wins handily holds, I don’t think there will be much violence. Probably some/more than ever before in our lives, but not much.
After Trump’s defeat, the Southern District of New York will close in on him for his alleged financial crimes and he’ll flee, possibly seeking asylum in Russia. I have a recurring daydream that on the day he’s indicted on multiple criminal charges, he’s seen in the Moscow airport, and later in the day we learn that Putin has had him arrested and is sending him to the U.S. to await trial. It would be the ultimate power move by Putin and the ultimate humiliation of Trump. A guy can dream, can’t he?
So put down your weapons folks. There’s not going to be an uprising. There’s nothing worth fighting over right now. It’s just Joe Biden.
Listen to my podcast, “Campaign Season,” wherever you get yours.
Nicole Breadon, Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 43rd House District, joins Matt to talk potholes and other systemic problems in the Mitten State, and pitch why she and the Dems can do better.
Nancy Pyne, Field Director for Oceana, patriot, and Matt’s former colleague, discusses how she came to be a campaigner, and more.
Matt provides an update on the previously covered campaigns after commenting on the president’s debate performance and subsequent Covid-19 diagnosis.
MATT DUNDAS: Hello and welcome to Campaign Season. I’m Matt Dundas, I’ll keep hosting.
Dang. It is an unusual day in an unusual year in an unusual life. It’s October 3, 2020, the year that just won’t quit. And all this time I thought we were on the bumpy part of the roller coaster. I thought we were on the part that goes sideways and upside down and shakes you up and makes you feel sick. Cause I felt so sick! I thought, Why do I feel sick? I feel sick because we’re on the bumpy part of the roller coaster. But no! We were always on the part that goes click-click-click-click up the hill. Up-up-up the hill. Only now are we actually going down, are we actually going around, are we actually upside down. At least I hope so. I assume so. I mean, could it possibly get any worse? It could, actually. It could.
We are one month out from Election Day. Exactly one more month and we have no idea if either of the candidates will even be alive on Election Day, which I will remind you is always true.
You know, after the debate on Tuesday night, I made a call. I said, You know what? No interview this week. I’m going to just talk. I’m going to digest the debate. I’m going to provide an update on the previous issues we’ve focused on for the first several episodes of Campaign Season. And we’re going to have a good time. I’m going to get to know the audience a little bit, they’re going to get to know me. Then I woke up yesterday morning to the news that Donald Trump claims to have coronavirus and that is what happened. The newspapers say he has it, I say he claims that he has it, although the evidence is piling up. It’s piling up. I woke up yesterday rather skeptical and I hate to say it, my first emotion; look, I’ve made no secret, I’m on the left. I’m pretty far left. I’m not quite Antifa, but you know, I’m Bernie. I hate to admit it but it is the truth and I think it’s relevant so I’ll say it. My first emotion response when I heard was, Too good to be true. That’s too good to be true and I’ve been burned before.
We shouldn’t be rooting for anybody to get this virus. I don’t wish him a hard time. I hope he recovers fast, I hope his experimental cocktail works. It reminds me of a Jackson Browne song, as most things do: “And when you who have applied your hands in torture are unable to look up at what surrounds you / My personal revenge will be to give you these hands that once you so mistreated, but have to take away their tenderness.” These hands of ours, we must give them to Donald Trump. To Kellyanne Conway, to all of these people. They have tortured us but we must demonstrate that they have failed to take away our tenderness. I feel tender. I do.
And this week I wrote a joke. Hey, did you hear about the cop who was caught shooting wildly outside the Chinese restaurant? He was charged with wonton endangerment. Okay, look, look, I just — they come to me, sometimes in the night. And I can’t do anything about it. I have to write them down. It’s one of the best and one of the worse jokes I think I’ve ever written and I’m quite proud of it. But when I tweeted it I got nothing but shame. So I deleted it. And I’m going to delete my Twitter account. I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday after posting that I didn’t buy that Donald Trump was sick, not because of that post but because I listened to a few discussions this week about how social media is destroying the fabric of humanity and I thought, You know, I’m going to post one more post to destroy the fabric of humanity and then I’m done. And so I posted “I don’t buy it,” I created a small stir, and then I deactivated my Facebook account because that was the right time. And today I intend to deactivate my Twitter accounts, which actually is going to feel very, very good. I look forward to living in my life again, in my house, in my actual reality. I look forward to discovering what reality is. I’m not even sure what it is. I’m told I have cats.
All right, let’s get to the debate. The debate was on Tuesday night and it feels like 45 years ago. It feels like we’re celebrating the 45th anniversary of the first presidential debate of 2020 right now, but we’re not. It’s been four days and I’m just grateful that Weird Al works as fast as he does. He got his video out one day after the debate. And thank goodness that he did because another day would’ve been too late. He would’ve been up against the coronavirus diagnosis and everybody would’ve called it poor taste. So kudos, Weird Al. You work fast and thank goodness. Thank goodness for you, honestly. I’m going to write you in this year if, if the other candidates are dead.
My pre-debate thoughts, which I wrote down twenty minutes before the debate began, I wrote: “To win tonight’s debate, Joe Biden basically has to not have a heart attack and collapse on the stage. Anything short of that, and the polls should either stay where they are or go in Biden’s favor.” I also wrote, “I suppose another way Trump could win the debate is by surprising the world with some crazy new accusation against Biden that is actually a good accusation that might stick, or some otherwise unpredictable stunt akin to bringing Bill Clinton’s accusers to the debate in 2016, that then sends Biden back on his heels.” That was what happened. He tried to produce a stunt, but the stunt was Hurricane Donald. Just moving out in all directions. Taking everybody down within a 50-feet radius. Including Chris Wallace and of course Biden. It didn’t seem to work, the polls probably will be released any minute that were conducted after the debate. I anticipate that they will reveal very little movement, and that Biden will maintain his lead. Biden did not drop dead on the stage. He did not have too many incoherent senior moments. He did have a handful cause he’s Joe Biden. I’m not sure how much that has to do with age. He’s always been a gaffer. But he had a couple of those moments, but overall I think voters, viewers who were paying close attention, you know, you knew what he meant. You knew what he meant. I could see him in the Oval Office making important decisions on my behalf. I’m fine with that, I think he’d be an excellent president. After that debate I feel no different about that, and I doubt anybody else does.
Everybody’s set in their ways already, I don’t think the debate changed many minds, which is why I wouldn’t rule out that Donald is using this coronavirus — listen, he’s going to use this diagnosis to his advantage whether it’s real or not, we have to assume it’s real cause it’s just the right thing to assume, but… Anyway.
Let’s see, I also wrote before the debate: “If this debate is just Trump repeating that Biden would spell doom to American cities and force a crazy socialist agenda on the rural folks — I wrote that, “rural folk” — and Biden doesn’t have a heart attack and die, Biden will win the debate in enough people’s minds for him to retain his polling advantage. However, Biden could come out swinging with several major moments confronting the horror show of the Trump presidency. And if they’re phrased just right and nail the issues on the head he could tilt voters even more in his favor, building a lead that only a dose of Russian poison could overcome.” I don’t think that happened either. I don’t think Biden had too many brilliant moments. He had one or two moments when he was looking at the camera and speaking directly to me. I don’t know if you thought he was speaking to you, I’m pretty sure he was talking to me. And yet they weren’t Oh my god, they weren’t amazing. They were just, Okay this guy can do the job. I just don’t see them changing the polls in either direction.
Okay, and then I wrote underneath all that, I wrote, “Predictions.” Here were my official predictions. I haven’t read these since I wrote them, so this’ll be interesting. Let’s see what I said!
“Trump will make baseless and tasteless accusations,” oh, yeah, that did happen! Yea, one for one.
“Trump will come off looking desperate to me.” Hm, actually, I’ve got to say, as out there and crazy as he was, he didn’t look desperate. I give him credit. He did look large and in charge. Uh, very large. He seemed very confident and he seemed with it. He seemed very with it. Like, his crazy evil mastermind was working. It was working. He was able to get the words out that he wanted to get out, he was able to interrupt repeatedly with what I think he wanted to say. The man is on his horrible game, or he was on Tuesday. So he didn’t look desperate.
“Biden will come out strong and meet my hopes.” You know, that didn’t happen either. I’m now one for three. Biden, particularly at the beginning, he did not come out looking strong. He came out looking, particularly looking, very weak, and very frail and old. I thought he got better as the debate went on. I thought if you watched the first five minutes only, and then you turned it off, you’d probably Donald Trump really needs to win this election, Joe Biden isn’t up for the task, but if you watched ten minutes or more, I think you, you know — and you were, on the fence or already in Biden’s came, I think you’d say, “All right, all right, this guy — he could do it, he could do it.” But he certainly didn’t come out strong. He certainly didn’t meet my highest hopes for his performance, but he did meet, I think, a baseline expectation of competency, salience, with-itness.
I want to provide an update now on the campaigns that we’ve been discussing for the last several weeks. You know, I’ve talked to lots of folks from around the country, and some of this stuff has had some major developments in the weeks since we covered the issues. And it’s a good time now to go into it and to see where things stand. So here’s a little segment I like to call: “Previous on Campaign Season.”
[silly introductory segment]
Episode 1 was about redistricting in Oregon. Who’s going to draw those lines of those districts? Is it going to be you? Is it going to be me? Is it going to be some clown in a clown suit with a clown nose and clown car? Or is it going to be a commission of apolitical unelected people of great repute? Well, it’s going to continue to be the legislators themselves as it turns out because the Supreme Court of the United States jumped in and said, “Sorry, Oregon, we reject your initiative” because they didn’t collect enough signatures and the Supreme Court of Oregon said, “Eh, no big deal, you get a mulligan, it’s a virus, it’s fine!” And the Supreme Court ultimately came in and said, “[silly sounds].” And they stayed that ruling, and I think by the way that’s a word-for-word, you can look up the opinion. I’m pretty sure it was Chief Justice Roberts who wrote, “[silly sounds].” And so that one’s dead for ten years. Not going to happen this year, which means it’s not going to happen for at least ten years because we only do the redistricting every ten years. Check the Constitution, folks, it’s in there.
All right, Episode 2: this one’s my favorite so far. Of all the issues that we’ve talked about, this one’s my favorite. For several reasons. Number one, I loved the guest, Kris Steele. Former Republican Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. You know, Kris Steele stole my heart because he’s such a nice person. I really enjoyed the conversation. I loved everybody I’ve spoken with, but Kris Steele, for some reason. Steele has stuck with me and he’s stuck with Scarlett Johansson too. Did you know that? Scarlett Johansson likes this guy! Actually I don’t know that that’s true, but Scarlett Johansson really likes this issue and she has made a commercial to support the initiative. 805. Yes on 805 in Oklahoma is the ballot question and here is the audio from Scarlett Johansson’s commercial:
[Scarlett Johansson commercial.]
MATT DUNDAS: I would do almost anything Scarlett Johansson asked me to do so that one seems like it’s in good shape. Honestly, I’m surprised that there’s anybody out there saying no after Scarlett Johansson asked them very nicely and firmly to say yes. And so we’ll see what happens on November 3 but I’m optimistic.
All right, the next episode was about Alaska. Alaska’s Fair Share wanted to get more tax revenue from the biggest fields north of a certain line of latitude, I can’t remember which one, in Alaska. It’s more money in the pockets of Alaskans from the big oil companies, which frankly sounds like a great idea, but I’m seeing a lot of opinion editorials on the internet saying, “[silly sounds].” So we’ll see how that one shakes out.
Episode 4 was about the Susan Collins/Sara Gideon senate race here in my home state. My new adopted home State of Maine. The Collins/Gideon race is pretty tight, but not that tight, not as tight as Collins probably wants it to be. The latest polls, which were released a few days ago, show that Sara Gideon, whose chief argument in her favor, is that she is not Susan Collins, is up in the polls, 46-41. We have a ranked ballot here in Maine. There are four candidates so that’s going to come up. If you take out those other candidates and then run the poll again, which the polling firm conveniently did for us, the vote is actually 50-42 in favor of Sara Gideon, the challenger, which still doesn’t add up to 100. Still doesn’t really come close, it’s a very curious thing that in this particular election year with everybody talking about nothing else other than this that 8% of Mainers – that’s what, 2 out of every 25 people. That’s one out of every twelve and a half people. I saw a half person walking down the street the other day I was like How come you haven’t made up your mind?!
Okay, then Bud for Minnesota. The, far as I can tell, Bud for Minnesota campaign kind of stalled. I’m pretty sure I was their last press hit, and that was like a month ago. So I’m not sure what’s happening with the Bud for Minnesota campaign, I wish them all the best.
All right, DC Shrooms: Decriminalize Nature DC, that was the next episode. What’s that, Episode 6. Episode 6. Check it out. Great, great topic, great episode. I don’t have much of an update because I can’t find polling on that issue. I have learned that on September 21, the city council of Ann Arbor, Michigan vote unanimously in favor, and I’m quoting the Associated Press here, “ANN ARBOR, MI (AP) — The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan has decriminalized psychedelic plants and fungi including magic mushrooms and police officers will no longer make them an enforcement focus.”
The AP continues: “City council voted unanimously September 21 in favor of a resolution declaring it the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.” Okay, great, so it’s being done. It’s being done in Ann Arbor, and that’s the city council, cause it’s interesting, right? In the episode last week about South Dakota voting to legalize marijuana I was talking to somebody from the Marijuana Policy Project by the name of Jared Moffat, fun conversation, check out that episode, and he was talking about how only Illinois has voted legislatively — through the legislature, that is — to legalize marijuana, that everywhere else it’s had to be an initiative. So I’m impressed here with a city council voting to decriminalize magic mushrooms. That they’re not just going to do what I consider to be a little bit more of a cowardly move which is let the voters do it through the initiative process, which allows legislators, city councilors, to just kind of shrug their shoulders and say, Hey I didn’t think it was a great idea but I got overruled by the voters I guess we’ll just have to do it. In this case, it’s the city council leaning forward and saying, Naw this is the right thing to do. And so to me that says that we’ve got some kind of movement going on in this country to decriminalize fungus, which, when you put it that way, doesn’t that seem like a good idea?
And then I got nothing on the last two issues. Rick Just running for the state senate in Idaho. As always I wish all of our guests well. But I got nothing. I tried to find a poll, I tried to find a news article. You know, these state races, they’re sometimes not covered to the greatest extent. You know, the media has been nationalized to the point where these thousands of statehouse races go largely uncovered and that’s, I think, a drag for the voters.
Last week we talked about South Dakota weed. I already covered that. He, Jared Moffat, cited some pretty positive polls but there haven’t been any released to the public. So that’s really my whole update. The Scarlett Johansson thing was really why I did that whole thing. I just thought, Boy that’s cool.
Have a great week, folks! Can’t wait to talk to you again next week. You’re the best. You’re handsome. And I want more of you.