Voting for a Pirate and the Right to Play Bingo

ByJake Tapper and Robyn Kendler via via logo

Nov. 5, 2006 — -- Most political candidates sport smart suits and starched collars. But there are others who are cut from a different cloth.

James Hill, an independent running for Congress in Iowa's first district, is a pirate.

"I'm running as a pirate because anytime a captain or pirate didn't treat the crew right, they could be taken out. But in politics we don't have that option," Hill explained.

"I am glad that someone is reaching back to America's roots and representing the pirate constituency that has long been neglected," remarked's Ana Marie Cox.

Alabama gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall is raising eyebrows with low-cut shirts that prominently display what some might call her best assets.

Describing Nall's platform, Cox said, "I believe there are two of them -- the right one and left one."

In Texas, musician and humorist Kinky Friedman calls himself the only Jewish cowboy running for office. Friedman is vying to be the next governor of Texas, and he's not doing half-bad in the polls.

"Look, I'm 61 years old -- too young for Medicare and too old for women to care. But I care about what's happened to Texas," Friedman says in a campaign ad.

Just as conventional candidates have outlandish counterparts, initiatives on major issues like same-sex marriage and minimum wage contrast with referendums of a more boutique nature.

People in Arizona will vote on whether pigs should get more room to breed and give birth. Apparently, when confined to a small area, pregnant porkers suffer from aching joints.

Voters in Michigan will be deciding whether or not it's illegal to shoot doves.

After Tuesday, judges in South Dakota may not have as much protection as they thought. A ballot initiative there would allow citizens to sue judges over their rulings.

And residents of Arkansas are fighting for what some might call the most fundamental of rights -- the right to play bingo. The game is forbidden in the state, making grandma's bingo cards illegal contraband.

That is, perhaps, until the voters have their say on Tuesday.

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