If nothing else, he's got spunk
Independent Brian Moore is running a 'no-shot' campaign, but he's still on the move.
By MICHAEL KRUSE
Published November 7, 2006
MIAMI - Hernando County's outspoken antiwar candidate for the U.S. Senate drove his little, blue Mazda down here on the last day before Election Day to Miami Dade College to talk to ... nobody.
Brian Moore's tentatively set appointment to speak to some students and professors ended up snuffed and turned into some sign-holding at a nearby intersection and a talk to an evening class at Florida International University. He threw that together with some hectic cell phone back-and-forth while driving with his black address book resting on his knees.
"Crazy, huh?" he said to the reporter in the shotgun seat.
Some call this a long shot campaign. They're wrong - it's a no-shot campaign. But in this year's dud of a Senatorial race - incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson is expected to win big over Republican Katherine Harris - Moore's cobbled-together, stick-to-your-principles run at a seat in the Senate at least has been high on energy and outrage even if he's been mostly ignored and is registering not much more than a speck in the polls.
Moore is 63 and lives in Spring Hill just off County Line Road and is a semi-retired health care executive recruiter. He calls himself a citizen activist and four years ago founded the Nature Coast Coalition for Peace and Justice.
He's been campaigning like this for the last five months.
The drive down Monday started with stops at the Compass Bank on Mariner Boulevard, then on the side of County Line Road to make sure he didn't forget anything, then for a gas and bathroom break at the Hess Express at State Road 50 and Spring Lake Highway - and then, finally, on toward the center of the state to get on Florida's Turnpike and head south.
Moore's platform: national health care, an upped minimum wage and "the war, the war, the war."
"Somebody has to say it," he said.
He was using his auditorium voice inside the small cab of the car. He was going 80 mph.
Cue the anger.
On the press coverage of his campaign: "It was a blackout! A total blackout! They have not informed the public! They have neglected their obligation!"
On Nelson and Harris: "It doesn't matter if they vote for Nelson or Harris. You'll get the same result! They don't have any guts or courage to stand up for what they believe in!"
On George Bush and the Saddam Hussein trial verdict: "The President of the United States should be just as accountable for the war crimes that have been committed! Over 6,000 Iraqi civilians are dead! Who's responsible for that, and for what reason? We are no better!
"Fairness? Equity? Democracy?
"Hypocrites!" he spat.
"Stand up for something. Don't hold your nose and vote. How long can we do this while Rome burns?"
Moore has been all over the state - from Inverness to Melbourne, from Ocala to Fort Lauderdale, to Miami and Tampa a ton of times - and he's talked mostly to audiences on street corners, in public libraries and in classrooms at community colleges.
He's gotten some play on CBS Radio News and on the ABC affiliates in Tampa and Orlando and through the Associated Press.
Perennial third-party candidate Ralph Nader endorsed him.
His volunteer press secretary is named Faith. Which can't hurt.
But everybody knows the deal, and Moore's no clueless idealist, either: It's tough to become a senator with 15,000 bucks of personal checks and PayPal donations and an overworked stick-shift sedan.
He's done this before.
He's run for Congress in Florida twice.
He ran for mayor in Washington, D.C., four times.
Never won. Never even came close.
By Monday afternoon, though, here he was, whipping through the flatness and the pines and the palms of south-central Florida, past rows and rows of same-shaped houses in roadside subdivisions built behind tall fences for the noise.
"Here comes the rain," he said.
He turned the windshield wipers on high. The rain started to let up before too long and then stopped and he set the wipers on slow. Outside, the Turnpike was getting dry again, and the sun found a spot to shine bright through the storm clouds still ahead.
It was quiet in the car.
"What a crystal clear day," Brian Moore finally said. "Sometimes the rain bursts clear things up, you know?"
Michael Kruse can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1434.
[Last modified November 7, 2006, 09:38:08]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]