Earlier this morning, we invited readers to tell us about their Election Day experiences, and one commenter offered a glimpse at the ballot above. Seriously, Captain Jack Sparrow is running for Hennepin, Minnesota, County Commission today. Seriously.
Though we may have missed it in our compendious voter's guide, Gawker has learned that Jack Sparrow is ostensibly a real person who blogs as the "Occupirate" and is really running for county commission in Hennepin, the large Minneapolis county not far from the suburban environs that gave us Michele Bachmann. Here is a debate between Sparrow and his opponent, Peter McLaughlin. Guess which is which:
I am pretty sure that Jack wants you to take him seriously. He has an article on his blog about his past accomplishments; he's spent about 40 years as an activist, focused largely on housing. In recent years he's worked with Occupy Minnesota to make life hard for banks foreclosing on homeowners. Back in the late 1980s he founded an advocacy group called People United for Economic Justice, which used similar tactics (occasionally in collaboration with anarchist bowling-ball-throwers — I'm not making this up, Jack links to the wikipedia article about the other group because it mentions their collaboration with his group.)
Kritzer seems less than sold on the Cap'n:
A lot of what he accomplishes seems to boil down to attention, rather than substantive results. Which shouldn't be entirely surprising with someone who went to court and changed his legal name to Captain Jack Sparrow.
Anyway. Even setting aside the fact that he changed his name to Captain Jack Sparrow ... he strikes me as someone who'd be profoundly ineffective in this job. But in any case I see no reason to set that aside. THE GUY CHANGED HIS NAME TO CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW.
It seems Kritzer prefers McLaughlin, a consummate politician who is big on "green energy and transit." (Both candidates are officially nonpartisan, according to Minnesota election records.)
Still, if you're on the fence, take it from a commenter on Kritzer's blog who claims to have been a campaigner and activist with Sparrow back in the heady '80s and '90s. His take: "He was useful for getting things done, but not the guy you wanted talking to the press." Well, if nothing else, Sparrow seems to have picked an appropriate name.