tampabay.com

The outspoken long-shot candidate

Whatever happened to . . .

By Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer
Published December 9, 2007


THE STORY: Brian Moore is a retired health care executive recruiter from Spring Hill, a self-described "citizen activist" and the founder of the Nature Coast Coalition for Peace and Justice. Last year, he ran a long-shot campaign for U.S. Senate as an outspoken independent candidate, calling the war illegal and immoral and calling Bush a tyrant, a criminal and "a danger to the nation."

FROM THE STORY: Moore has been brick-headed in his perseverance in the pursuit of political office.

He has run for Congress in Florida. Twice.

He has run for mayor in Washington. Four times.

Now this.

"I haven't achieved my cause," he said.

There is pretty much no way he gets elected. No way.

And yet there is something universal and archetypal about a man straining for something that's not within his realistic reach, and fighting battles most folks would call impossible, and knowing that. And still going forward.

THE REST OF THE STORY: He was hoping to get 5 percent of the vote last year. He got 0.4 percent. Maybe he was running for the wrong office.

So now he's shooting for a new one.

President.

Of the United States.

He won the nomination to be the Socialist Party's '08 presidential candidate at the party's national convention in October in St. Louis. He matches up with the platform, supporting affirmative action, a woman's right to choose, a national health care system and equal rights for noncitizens, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.

Had it with the war, the mortgage crisis, the sagging real estate market, high gas prices, outrageous CEO salaries, Bush, Congress, the administration?

Maybe Moore's your man.

"People want a change," he said recently. "I'm pleasantly surprised by the reaction I've gotten from people.

"It's not so difficult to be the Socialist candidate."

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Let's be real: Moore knows he's not going to be the 44th president. But he wants to be more than a token protest vote. In November, he went to Washington for FairVote's Claim Democracy Conference. He has done war protests in Brooksville, Spring Hill, St. Petersburg and Orlando, and he's raising money, working toward getting ballot access in as many states as possible and just plain spreading the word about the Socialist Party's priorities.

"It's an alternative economic system that gives citizens and workers more rights to control their destiny," he said. "It's a philosophy based on egalitarianism instead of exploitation. It's about thinking differently not only about your fellow American but the human race.

"You can effect change," he said. "There's power in that."