Local country-punk musician Al Perry is throwing his hat into the ring for the 2012 presidential race.
"Somebody has to run," says Perry, who is well-known to Tucsonans as the singer-songwriter who has penned tunes such as "Loserville," "Hit Over the Head" and "Dreaming."
"I don't agree with any of the candidates," Perry says. "I don't agree with them on even one thing, hardly—Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, whatever. And most of this stuff isn't that hard to figure out. I try to use logic; I try to use common sense; I try to use human decency when I make a decision."
Perry—whose full name is Allen Richard Perry—has filed to run as Al "Dick" Perry, but he says he's not, to the best of his knowledge, related to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose name will also appear on the Arizona ballot unless the stumbling GOP candidate drops out of the race before then.
But Al Perry sees an advantage in sharing a last name with another candidate, as it has saved him money on "Perry for President" T-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia. However, the coincidence is not without a downside; he does need to worry that some of his supporters might mistakenly vote for the Texas governor if they don't read the ballot carefully.
Perry, who has tapped Terry "Fish Karma" Owen as his campaign chairman, is working on a manifesto he plans to release at the start of 2012. He describes himself as "having the guts to tell the truth—but will you listen?"
Perry is just one of the freedom-loving Americans to show an interest in Project White House 2012, the Tucson Weekly's reality-journalism competition that is open to any candidate on the Arizona presidential primary ballot. In recent days, the Weekly has heard from citizens from across the nation who are interested in seeking the presidency and providing their solutions to the many problems that plague the country.
To qualify for the Arizona presidential primary ballot, all a candidate has to do is mail a notarized, two-page form to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, which must receive the paperwork by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9.
The office began accepting the forms last week, and some mainstream candidates have already nabbed spots on the ballot, including Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
Dave Maass, a writer for San Diego CityBeat and the California campaign coordinator for Project White House 2012, has recruited a number of candidates from the Golden State, including CityBeat editor David Rolland and environmental activist Tommy Hough.
If elected president of the United States next year, Hough promises to have Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer declared an illegal alien, to give Scottsdale to the Navajo Nation, and to make Meteor Crater the "official burial site of the Tea Party."
From neighboring New Mexico, Jim Terr tells the Weekly he plans on landing a spot on the GOP ballot and campaigning in Arizona, although he says he aims to have "a couple of affairs and rehabs between now and Jan. 9."
As we've explained in previous editions of the Weekly, Project White House contestants will have the opportunity to campaign online at ProjectWhiteHouse2012.com, where they can post position papers, YouTube campaign ads and the like.
They will face a variety of challenges designed by Project White House administrators, and the candidate who campaigns best between now and the Feb. 28 Arizona presidential primary will earn the Tucson Weekly endorsement.
The Arizona Democratic Party is not participating in the presidential primary, and will instead hold a caucus. The Weekly recently reported that the decision means all candidates would need to run as Republicans (although it's important to note that you do not need to be a Republican to run on the Republican ballot). But it turns out that Arizona's Green Party is also holding a primary, so you could land a spot on that ballot as well. And given how many Greens are likely to actually vote on Feb. 28, that race is likely to be wide open for Project White House contenders.