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The Druidic Candidate: Can California deal with a Druid for governor?
The Orange County Weekly ^ | March 28, 2002 | Victor D. Infante

Posted on 03/28/2002 11:30:11 AM PST by afuturegovernor

The Druidic Candidate
Can California deal with a Druid for governor?

by Victor D. Infante

In a country just now coming to grips with its millions of Muslim residents, and in a county that not long ago freaked out about the construction of a Hindu temple in Buena Park, a Druid running for governor is bound to raise eyebrows. But Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and Druid Gary Copeland doesn’t just tolerate the flak: he welcomes it, like a guy who wrote the kick-me note he stuck on his own back—even when the flak is fired by fellow Libertarians.

"It doesn’t bother me at all," says Copeland. "It’s not an issue with me. It’s their issue, not mine. When people speak, they speak for who they are. . . . It’s my path to serve, and I’m doing that. I know not everyone’s going to agree, but that’s okay."

But everything’s not entirely okay. Copeland doesn’t mask his annoyance at a Newsweek article that dismissed him as a "whacko" or with postings on a Libertarian e-mail list that chastised him for noting that he’s a Druid in the California voter’s guide, although he didn’t note that he once advocated the use of LSD for spiritual purposes.

Indeed, it seems there’s unease within the party over Copeland’s unconventional religious beliefs—a "culture of peer pressure," Copeland calls it—that one wouldn’t expect from the liberty-loving Libs. It’s as if it’s all right for Copeland to harbor unusual religious beliefs so long as he doesn’t talk much about them.

"Since Libertarians are a third party, we find it difficult to be taken seriously or to be considered by voters," says Mark Murphy, director of a group called Libertarian Activists and a former member of the Orange County Libertarian Party Central Committee. "Obviously, we want voters to see we aren’t any different from many of them. So, when Gary—who’s a friend of mine, by the way—declares himself a Druid, there’s a concern that trying to be taken seriously just went out the window."

Doug Scribner disagrees. "I’m upset that people would find his beliefs a setback to his candidacy. After all, how many Christian politicians openly proclaim their beliefs in ballot guides?" says Scribner, vice chairman of the county’s Libertarian Party.

Copeland remains philosophical about the criticism; indeed, he remains philosophical about everything. When you talk to him, he’s philosophical at a hundred miles per hour and will frequently answer questions as if he’s reading from a Celtic I Ching. Why is he running for governor, for instance? "Because the path brought me here," he says.

It can be kind of frustrating. But beneath it, there’s a refreshing sense that Copeland is deeply invested in his beliefs, both as a Druid and a Libertarian.

"It’s an asset," he says. "I love my Druidry as much as I love my Libertarianism. I describe myself as an existentialist libertarian Druid. If I can’t find an answer from one philosophy, I go to another. Anything that’s indefinable, I go to Druidry."

Copeland says Druidry is a Celtic philosophy of magic, similar to the more popular Wicca. It’s a circle of logic and spirituality based on the ideal of service to others—like The Lion King minus the cheesy soundtrack. One of the central tenets of Druidry is that no one should have authority over anyone but himself or herself—a point Copeland illustrates with a reference to The Lord of the Rings, noting that the ring Frodo carries has "so much power that, even if you did good things with it, it would pervert, subvert and seduce you."

"That is the basis of all Celtic philosophy: that absolute power corrupts absolutely."

That idea led Copeland to the steadfastly secular Libertarian Party. Around 1980, Copeland was working with Timothy Leary’s Brotherhood of Eternal Love to spread the gospel of LSD and enlightenment when he got busted. Fortunately for him, he says, he was screwing the narcotics agent. Not wanting to deal with that, he says, the cops charged him only with low-level possession.

"I was using LSD to be spiritually enlightened," he says. "I was one of those peyote people who for thousands of years had been using hallucinogens to connect to the spiritual world. Who were the cops to tell me I couldn’t?"

Soon after, he began running the Orange County branch of NORML, the marijuana-legalization folks, and soon after that, he fell in with the anti-prohibitionist Libertarians. In 1992, he ran for Congress against Dana Rohrabacher—himself a former Libertarian—and got killed, garnering just 7.7 percent of the vote. In ’96, he ran for county supervisor, beating the Democrat in the race—which tells you something about the state of the Democratic Party in Orange County. He has worked in computers and recently founded his own company, NextCure, which will distribute information on drugs under FDA review.

None of this really gives him a leg up in the gubernatorial race against überbland rivals Davis and Simon, but Copeland would rather run as he is than tailor his biography and message for the mainstream.

"The problem with most politicians is that they’re pretending to be something they’re not," he says. "They’re trying to be something outside their natures. They think people won’t like them if they’re different. But people like to go to a taco stand and try different tacos. I’m not stupid; when I put the Druid thing in, I knew it would be a hook. If I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now."


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: calgov2002
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I'll refrain from comment and let others respond :)
1 posted on 03/28/2002 11:30:11 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: afuturegovernor
The Druids? Didn't they build Stonehenge?
2 posted on 03/28/2002 11:33:13 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: afuturegovernor
Here's one small l-libertarian who would like to apologize in advance for this publicity-seeking kook.
3 posted on 03/28/2002 11:35:55 AM PST by Maceman
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To: BikerNYC
Stonehenge? What's that? Is that anything like Carhenge in North Dakota?

Come to think of it, I seem to remember hearing something about "Stonehenge" in This is Spinal Tap. It seemed to involve dancing dwarves or something.

4 posted on 03/28/2002 11:36:35 AM PST by Clemenza
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To: afuturegovernor
....pardon my ignorance, but would you define droid(sp) for me?
5 posted on 03/28/2002 11:36:35 AM PST by GrandMoM
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To: afuturegovernor

"The problem with most politicians is that they’re pretending to be something they’re not," he says. "They’re trying to be something outside their natures. They think people won’t like them if they’re different. But people like to go to a taco stand and try different tacos. I’m not stupid; when I put the Druid thing in, I knew it would be a hook. If I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now."

HA HA! And he did talk to me. Archived here:

February 14th, 2002

  Unspun with AnnaZ, Mercuria
featuring Fun 'n Frolic with The Invisible Gubernatorial Candidates ~ 3 Pubbies and 1 Libertarian
topics include Mean-spirited Lie-berals, Political Elitism

Available Formats   Megs   Est Download Time @56K
MP3   21.5   -   2 hours, 11 minutes
RealMedia   14.8   -   1 hour, 31 minutes
Windows Media Player   14.8   -   1 hour, 30 minutes
http://www.unspun.web.com

6 posted on 03/28/2002 11:38:46 AM PST by AnnaZ
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To: Maceman
Funny... you don't look Druish.
7 posted on 03/28/2002 11:38:59 AM PST by Norman Conquest
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To: afuturegovernor
"Libertarian e-mail list that chastised him for noting that he’s a Druid in the California voter’s guide, although he didn’t note that he once advocated the use of LSD for spiritual purposes."

LOL! Only the Libertarians would level such a whacky accusation against someone as to accuse them of being a "Druid." I guess if you believe in the "Illuminati" it isn't much of a stretch to believe in the Druids. I can't believe that all the Bush bashers want everyone to run to the Libertarian Party as their saviors! I wonder what else the Libertarians believe in- the Easter Bunny, perhaps? HAHAHAHA!

8 posted on 03/28/2002 11:39:41 AM PST by Destructor
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To: afuturegovernor
Copeland says Druidry is a Celtic philosophy of magic, similar to the more popular Wicca.

Pity that no one noted that, since the original Druids died out long ago, this modern version is a complete fabrication churned up by fanciful, over-imaginative individuals with little theological or historical background, much like Wicca.

You might as well elect a guy who says he's a Martian!

9 posted on 03/28/2002 11:40:15 AM PST by FormerLib
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To: afuturegovernor
Thought this was going to be about Gray Red Davis.
10 posted on 03/28/2002 11:40:56 AM PST by connectthedots
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To: afuturegovernor
This is exactly what America needs -- limited-government Druids. At least he's not a BIG-government Druid.
11 posted on 03/28/2002 11:41:54 AM PST by zoyd
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To: BikerNYC
Yeah, the Druids are the ones that claimed to have built Stonehedge.
12 posted on 03/28/2002 11:42:00 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: afuturegovernor
Didn't they practice human sacrifice?
13 posted on 03/28/2002 11:43:22 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: Clemenza
Come to think of it, I seem to remember hearing something about "Stonehenge" in This is Spinal Tap. It seemed to involve dancing dwarves or something.

Can I ask a practical question?

Are we doing "Stonehenge" tomorrow night?
14 posted on 03/28/2002 11:43:23 AM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: BikerNYC
Didn't they build Stonehenge?

Nah, Stonehenge predates the Druids by several thousand years. Some British historian back in the 16th century gave them the credit since they were the oldest people in Britain that anyone had a proper name for at the time.

Still, there are some modern "pagans" who will swear that Stonehenge is theirs. I guess its construction is sort of the only accomplishment they can lay claim to so they tend to guard it quite jealously.

15 posted on 03/28/2002 11:44:01 AM PST by FormerLib
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To: afuturegovernor
A californian that claims to be a druid........gee, why doesn't that surprise me?
16 posted on 03/28/2002 11:45:14 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: afuturegovernor
Druidism is a religion of peace.

I mean, they haven't flown any 757s into anyone else's solstice circles, have they?

17 posted on 03/28/2002 11:45:38 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Clemenza
Stonehedge is the giant standing rocks in England built hundreds or thousands of years ago.
18 posted on 03/28/2002 11:45:52 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: FormerLib
Pity that no one noted that, since the original Druids died out long ago, this modern version is a complete fabrication churned up by fanciful, over-imaginative individuals with little theological or historical background, much like Wicca.

Too true. Plus, the original Druids/Celts weren't exactly the nicest people around.

19 posted on 03/28/2002 11:47:04 AM PST by Rightwing Canuck
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To: afuturegovernor
Stonehedge is the giant standing rocks in England built hundreds or thousands of years ago.

Thanks. I knew, but was just being faceitious.

20 posted on 03/28/2002 11:47:40 AM PST by Clemenza
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To: AppyPappy
I don't believe they actually did human sacrifice. They did, however, believe in telling the future (auguries) by watching the death throes of people dying in agony. To this end, they would take prisoners or slaves, hang them upright and burn them alive. The hanging skeleton often displayed during Halloween commemorates this pracitice (although most folks have no idea about the connection). I don't believe that technically qualifies as a sacrifice.
21 posted on 03/28/2002 11:48:09 AM PST by FormerLib
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To: Destructor
I can't believe that all the Bush bashers want everyone to run to the Libertarian Party as their saviors!

All Bush bashers are Libertarians?

22 posted on 03/28/2002 11:48:59 AM PST by HalfIrish
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To: AppyPappy
Yes, nothing like bringing back human and animal sacrifes to bring honor and dignity to the governor's madison!
23 posted on 03/28/2002 11:49:09 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: afuturegovernor
I was one of those peyote people who for thousands of years had been using hallucinogens to connect to the spiritual world

He would have to be at least that old to know anything about Druidism.

24 posted on 03/28/2002 11:49:57 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: Clemenza
Sorry!....just didn't want you to be out of the loop :)
25 posted on 03/28/2002 11:50:46 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: afuturegovernor; AppyPappy
...nothing like bringing back human and animal sacrifes to bring honor and dignity to the governor's madison!

I would think such practices would do nothing to harm either aspect of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, such that it is.

26 posted on 03/28/2002 11:50:57 AM PST by FormerLib
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To: FormerLib; Appypappy
The Celtic druids did practice human sacrifice.
27 posted on 03/28/2002 11:53:01 AM PST by weikel
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To: afuturegovernor
Better a Druid then Davis...
28 posted on 03/28/2002 11:53:08 AM PST by SCalGal
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To: HalfIrish
"I can't believe that all the Bush bashers want everyone to run to the Libertarian Party as their saviors!"

"All Bush bashers are Libertarians?"

That's what I'm getting from the "I've had it with the Republicans" crowd that want everyone to leave the Republican Party in mass to "send them a message." Why? Where are you planning to go? What Party do you advocate?

29 posted on 03/28/2002 11:53:22 AM PST by Destructor
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To: afuturegovernor
Gray Davis worships himself. I have no idea why. A Druid might be an improvement. (I think Bill Simon would be even better, though.)
30 posted on 03/28/2002 11:54:11 AM PST by RichInOC
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To: Destructor
Well he is most likely a bit eccentric but he would be better than ANYOBE the rats will run.

Hell I'd take him over Gray Davis in a minute. LOL

31 posted on 03/28/2002 11:54:20 AM PST by Leto
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To: all
In ’96, he ran for county supervisor, beating the Democrat in the race—which tells you something about the state of the Democratic Party in Orange County.

LOL!

32 posted on 03/28/2002 11:56:21 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: afuturegovernor
Waiting for the Libertarian FReepers to come to his defense.
33 posted on 03/28/2002 11:58:47 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: Destructor
Why are you asking me questions when you haven't answered mine? Once again, you stated that all who bash Bush are Libertarians. Do you stand by that ridiculous assertion?
34 posted on 03/28/2002 11:58:54 AM PST by HalfIrish
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To: afuturegovernor
Did this guy once play drums for Spinal Tap?


35 posted on 03/28/2002 11:59:39 AM PST by machman
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To: afuturegovernor

Gee, what kinds of renovations of the Governor's Mansion will this entail?

36 posted on 03/28/2002 11:59:57 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Rightwing Canuck
Plus, the original Druids/Celts weren't exactly the nicest people around.

Neither were the early Christians.

I don't imagine that the "Druidic" religion that is practiced today is anywhere near what the old Druids practiced, but they seem harmless enough.

37 posted on 03/28/2002 12:01:23 PM PST by Zeroisanumber
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To: afuturegovernor

38 posted on 03/28/2002 12:02:49 PM PST by machman
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To: afuturegovernor
Funny, he doesn't look Druidish!

(Apologies to Mel Brooks in Spaceballs)

39 posted on 03/28/2002 12:04:35 PM PST by friendly
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To: AppyPappy
yes... and it is an excellent tool for forced reduction in the size of government...
40 posted on 03/28/2002 12:06:34 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian;7sonofrn
Libertarian bump :>))
41 posted on 03/28/2002 12:06:54 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: afuturegovernor
Let's take a sample of the California voters and see what they thought of their LPers:

Governor

Governor

Democrat-Gray Davis

1,593,532

Republican-Bill Simon

1,021,096

American Independent-Reihhold S. Gulke

24,172

Libertarian-Gary David Copeland

17,626


Lt. Governor

Democrat-Cruz M. Bustamante

1,758,511

Republican-Bruce Mc Pherson

1,658,148

American Independent-James D. King

23,144

Green-Donna J. Warren

32,755

Libertarian-Pat Wright

16,992


Secretary of State

Democrat-Kevin Shelley

668,661

Republican-Robert K. Olberg

1,108,243

American Independent-Edward C. Noonan

24,464

Green-Laurence H. Shoup

32,385

Libertarian-Gail K. Lightfoot

17,976


Controller

Democrats-Steve Westly

1,035,529

Republican-Tom McClintock

860,261

American Independent-Ernest F. Vance

23,518

Green-Laura Wells

26,892

Natural Law-J. Carlos Aguirre

4,212

 


Treasurer

Democrat-Philip Angelides

1,711,711

Republican-Phillip Gregory Conlon

916,262

American Independent-Nathan E. Johnson

23,682

Green-Jeanne-Marie Rosenmeier

32,245

Libertarian-Marian Smithson

17,655


Attorney General

Democrat-Bill Lockyer

1,554,880

Republican-Dick Ackerman

1,664,533

American Independent-Diane B. Templin

24,842

Green-Glen Freeman Mowrer

32,224

Libertarian-Ed Kuwatch

17,541

Insurance Commissioner

Sup. of Public Instruction

U.S. Congress

District 1     99,775 total votes

Democrat-Mike Thompson-59,788 or 60%

Republican-Lawrence R. Wiesner-39,307 or 39%

Libertarian-Kevin Bastian-680 or .7%

District 2  113,954 total votes

Democrat-Mike Johnson-23,949 or 21%

Republican-Wally Herger-65,586 or 58%

Libertarian-Charles R. Martin-657 or .6%

Natural Law-Patrice Thiessen-88 or .07%

District 3    102505 total votes

Democrat-Howard Beeman-38,730 or 38%

Republican-Doug Ose-62,268 or 61%

Libertarian-Douglas Arthur Tuma-507 or .5%

District 4     132,939 total votes

Democrat-Mark A. Norberg-41,266 or 31%

Republican-John T. Doolittle-70,386 or 53%

Libertarian-Allen M. Roberts-662 or .05%

District 5    66,730 total votes

Democrat-Robert T. Matsui-44,628 or 67%

Republican-Richard Frankhuizen-21,845 or 33%

Libertarian-Timothy E. Roloff -257 or .04%

District 6    110,441 total votes

Democrat-Lynn Woolsey-59,877   80.6 or

Republican-Paul L. Erickson-35,201 or

Libertarian-Richard Barton-613 or

Reform-Jeff Rainforth-262 or


42 posted on 03/28/2002 12:07:40 PM PST by AlGone2001
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To: afuturegovernor
The Libertarian candidate for Lt. Governor, Pat Wright, is a ferret legalization activist! That's his main issue: making it legal to own ferrets in California.

With a Druid/Ferret combo, Libertarians really have their eyes on the Big Issues in CA politics. I'm sure they'll make a clean sweep in the elections -- not!

43 posted on 03/28/2002 12:08:37 PM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: afuturegovernor
Gee, this reporter gave that much space in a paper for a person who will get <.000001% of the general vote.

I wonder how much $$ he owed the candidate.

44 posted on 03/28/2002 12:10:11 PM PST by hattend
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To: HalfIrish
"Why are you asking me questions when you haven't answered mine? Once again, you stated that all who bash Bush are Libertarians. Do you stand by that ridiculous assertion?"

I not only answered your question I tried to give a couple of examples of the crap I've been reading on FR here lately. Was my answer not acceptable, or are you trying to pick a fight again Irish?

45 posted on 03/28/2002 12:10:42 PM PST by Destructor
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To: afuturegovernor
Arbor Day! One more day off for state workers...
46 posted on 03/28/2002 12:11:51 PM PST by Mr. Thorne
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To: AlGone2001
Your numbers are from the March, 2002 primary election, which was not an open primary. Only registered Libertarians could vote in the Libertarian primary. So Copeland's vote total in November, while still relatively small, will probably be ten times what he got in March because many non-libertarians will vote for him at that time.
47 posted on 03/28/2002 12:18:03 PM PST by dpwiener
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To: afuturegovernor
Bump so I can find this thread later. Between this and the Ickes thread, I'm gonna be giggling all night.
48 posted on 03/28/2002 12:19:39 PM PST by Cable225
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To: Destructor
There are plenty of Republicans who have bashed Bush (by your definition of bash, which is simply calling attention to his lie) over CFR. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.

You can call your half-hearted, semi-admission that you were wrong to blame Libertarians for all the posts critical of Bush an answer if you'd like to. It looked like a bald-faced lie to me or at least an idiotic statement made without thinking.

In answer to your question, I am a registered Republican who thinks too many Libertarians are whacky.

49 posted on 03/28/2002 12:19:43 PM PST by HalfIrish
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To: Bernard Marx
The man supporting the legalization of ferrats and an animal sacificer running as Libertanrians for Governor and Lt. Governor of California!

Haha!

50 posted on 03/28/2002 12:20:30 PM PST by afuturegovernor
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