Ex-Democrat hopes to unseat “professional politician” Tom Carper
Sussex County businessman, lawyer, and independent senatorial candidate Alex Pires intends to ruffle Sen. Thomas “Tom” Carper’s feathers, calling him the most dishonest senator in two hundred years and promising to release proof of his “corrupt” dealings.
In an explosive interview with long-time WGMD talk show host Dan Gaffney, aired live from Jimmy’s Grille in Bridgeville on May 25, Pires accused Carper of placing the interests of big banks before those of average Delawareans in exchange for campaign contributions, and went on to compare his habit of quietly sending Delawareans’ donations to Democratic politicians in other states to money laundering. Pires claimed to have hundreds of pages of specific examples of corruption, and declared that he will “clean [Carper’s] clock.”
The enthusiastic challenger is already connecting with voters on social-networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Yesterday he tweeted, “I was a member of the Democratic Party but left it this past year (as have millions of voters) because it has lost its way.” However, Pires has encouraged voters who don’t like him to vote for Republican candidate Kevin Wade.
Pires is also using social media to taunt Carper’s staffers, with tweets like:
“I am running for US Senate. [M]y opponent has his staffers ‘like’ me on FB and follow me on Twitter. Ok. Hay Guys: I’m going to bed now.” (May 25)
“Dear Sen Carper staff stalking me on Twitr & FB: day #3 of campaign: 1/2 hour on Wgmd, NPR & 4 interviews, [campaign website] is smoking..” (May 25)
And, perhaps the funniest so far,
“Senator My-Life-Is-Full-Of-Secrets Carper sent staffers to my Cork announcement, but they did not come forward and introduce themselves.” (May 26)
The domain name of Pires’s campaign site, 36yearsisenough.com, alludes to Carper’s thirty-six years in government. The site features videos of Pires talking about issues like term limits, social security, jobs, and wars.
During an interview with FOX’s Greta Van Susteren last week, Pires refused to say whether he’s more similar to Democrats or Republicans. “I think when it comes to spending money I’m conservative; when it comes to taking care of children and the elderly, I’m more liberal, but I really don’t believe in either party.” He noted that George Washington was an independent.
Based on remarks made thus far, and the videos on his website, “populist” is probably the best label for Pires’s political ideology, as well as his campaign style. By taking aim at taxpayer-funded bailouts of big banks, he is appealing to both the right-leaning Tea Party and left-leaning Occupy movements, fusing fiscal conservatism with concern for the working class. The difference between Pires and Carper is the difference between what the Democratic Party pretends to be, the party of the little guy, and what it really is, one-half of a two-party crony-capitalist system.
Following his official announcement at the Bottle & Cork bar in Dewey Beach, Pires plans to tour the First State and speak in each of its fifty-seven incorporated cities and towns while collecting the thousands of signatures required for ballot access.