Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic running for office in Washington State

h/t to BOOG CITY editor David Kirschenbaum

Krist Novoselic has played with the bands: Nirvana, Sweet 75, Eyes Adrift, and Flipper. He is also an electoral reform activist who advocates for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and initiated a political action committee called JAMPAC to support artistic freedom. Novoselic has filed to run for County Clerk of Wahkiakum County, Washington.

There are two interesting issues related to his candidacy. One, is the controversy over whether and how much Novoselic supports the “Top Two” system which will be used in this election, and which an organization he belongs to helped support in a 2004 referendum. Top Two means that all candidates for the office run in an open primary, and only the top two vote getters among ALL candidates for ANY parties get to be on the general election ballot.

The second issue is that Novoselic will be listed as “prefers Grange Party”, though the organization “The Grange” is a non-partisan, non-profit, which does not endorse any candidates.

Background and commentary:

There is a story at Ballot Access News which explains Novoselic’s relationship to the Grange and Top Two voting system: here. BAN writes, “There is no indication of what the Grange thinks about Novoselic’s ‘party preference’. Novoselic is an official of the Grange in Wahkiakum County, yet in actuality, he is a Democrat who does not fully support ‘top-two’…”

Roger Snyder, a former Green Party candidate for NY State Senate, and blogger at Greens For Greens, said in an exclusive, IPR interview, “While a top-two primary is supposed to give voters more choice, and does to some extent in primaries, it dramatically reduces the field of candidates in general elections, which is when most voters actually vote. Third-party candidates and independents would almost never appear on November ballots.”

Snyder continues, “While essentially banning third parties from participating in general elections addresses the major party concern over spoiler candidates, a better way would be to use instant runoff or ranked choice voting. That
voting method would give all voters more choice from a broader range of candidates.”

Ian Wilder is my co-blogger at onthewilderside. He has an article from January 2007 describing Novoselic’s politics, Novoselic’s book Of Grunge and Government, Let’s Fix this Broken Democracy!, and Novolselic’s opinion on Nader and the accusation of “spoiling.” Novoselic says, “…We use Ralph Nader as a scape goat, but shouldn’t we celebrate diversity in the United States? Broaden the debate? We should have the right of free association and we shouldn’t presume whose votes belong to whom…”

Finally, there is a youtube video of Novoselic describing his electoral activism: here.

13 thoughts on “Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic running for office in Washington State

  1. Third Party Revolution

    We here at Third Party Revolution endorse Kris Novoselic in his campaign for County Clerk of Wahkiakum County, Washington, along with many other third party and independent candidates seeking public office nation-wide, ranging from local to federal levels.

  2. Ross Levin

    Here are a few links Krist posted at the comments at Ballot Access News:

    As a strong believer in private association, I oppose the way The State has implemented I-872 – the Grange sponsored Top Two Primary. My problem is not really with a top two runoff election. My issue is with the way candidates can appropriate the name of a private group. ..
    I would like to see I-872 settled. Perhaps the Grange itself could remedy the ongoing lawsuit and offer a solution? Let’s keep the August Primary with the Top Two vote getters advancing to the November general. What’s different is that private groups – like the Grange – or any political party, could keep control over their name. Candidates could also choose to run independent of any association.

    With this settlement, voters will still Pick The Person And Not The Party in the primary. By passing I-872 voters only didn’t want to pick a party – there was hardly discussion regarding complex association rights as applied to constitutional law.

    It looks like he does support the top two primary. In theory, it does sound like a good idea – it’s proposed as if it would get rid of the importance of parties. But it doesn’t. The party organization is still there, but it’s just that the primary voters have more power, and not much actually changes.

  3. Rob Richie

    Krist is a big backer of ranked choice voting (aka, instant runoff voting) as enacted in Pierce County in 2008. In fact, the only partisan elections with more than two choices in the November 2008 elections in Washington were the presidential race (not covered by top two) and county offices in Pierce County.

    Of Grunge and Government is highly recommended.

  4. Catholic Trotskyist

    Any mention of Washington state makes me happy because of God’s favorite system, the top two primary, which the future leader of the Republican Party, Catholic Trotskyis tsympathizer Sam Reed, fought hard against all the haters and grungers to implement. Third parties need to either get their people out to the primaries, or quit wingeing.

  5. Morgan Brykein

    I like Washington because they have more atheists than any other state, they’re actually more liberal than California in some ways, and it’s cold. But, a girl I like lives there, and she hates me right now. *sniffles*

    Anyways, I hope that maybe his fame will get him some extra votes.

  6. Sludge Puppy

    Hey C.T. Wiccans, pagans, druids and a host of others form the west coast will be gathering at the foot of Mt Rainer this August 23 to praise the God Vulcan.

    Whanna join the gathering?

  7. whatever

    Sludgey, you should send an invite to LP-New England, a pagan/Wiccan/Vulcan/Klingon stronghold.

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