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Next political machine a computer?

Amanda Fehd
Rosen
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Stateline composer and musician Daniel Rosen has announced his intention to run for Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons’ seat in this fall’s election. Gibbons has said he will not run again.

Rosen has no platform. Instead, the Independent promises to cast votes in the House of Representatives according to how his constituents vote on legislation through his Web site at http://www.NevadaVoteDirect.org.

The idea is not to give more power to the people, but all power to the people, he said.

“Registered voters in the 2nd District of Nevada will have total control over how I vote,” he said. “I’m not running an opinion poll. It’s a binding process.”

Rosen will launch a petition drive soon to secure his filing an intent to run. He also invites supporters to make donations on the Web site.

Something must be done to reform a corrupt political system, he said, and legislation can only do so much.

“Our overwhelming problem is our representatives are voting according to how the moneybag supporters want them to vote,” Rosen said.

Lake Tahoe sociology professor Scott Lukas said a colleague pointed out Rosen’s Web site. He thought it was an interesting concept and a well-done site, but thought it might not be fraud-proof.

The idea of direct democracy is not new, Lukas said. But the Constitution set up a representative democracy.

“To reform to move toward a direct democracy, I don’t know how you would do that,” Lukas said. “If there is the technology there, maybe this is the next step.”

And with Internet advertising, special interests could continue to influence people through such sites, he said.

Rosen has many answers for skeptics. Some have pointed out that even Congressmen don’t read all the legislation they vote on. The candidate said there is apathy throughout country when it comes to participating in the political process, but that could be cured by this system.

“The apathy comes from people viewing themselves as perfectly powerless, and once people are really convinced that their opinions count, then I think that apathy will disappear.”

Rosen created the vote-tallying software himself using open-source code.

“If anyone has any qualms about whether it’s secure and reliable, they can examine all of the code,” he said.

The idea first came to him when the Internet flourished in the ’90s. He finally put it to practice when he realized how “easy” computer programming is after dabbling in programming musical metronomes.

Lifetime Republicans are increasingly dissatisfied with how the leadership in their party is voting, but they refuse to vote for Democrats, he said. This is a surefire way of holding elected officials accountable.

“My hope is that I will be elected and show people throughout the nation that this is a viable and reasonable alternative,” he said. “And then I hope that the system will be developed so that legislators are bound by law to follow the dictates of their constituents.”

Also in the running for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District are Secretary of State Dean Heller, a moderate Republican, Rep. Jim Gibbons’ wife Dawn Gibbons, a Republican, Jill Derby, a Democrat and University of Nevada regent, and Sharron Angle, a Republican and Nevada assemblymember.

The 2nd district encompasses all of Nevada except metropolitan Las Vegas area. There are three districts in Nevada.


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