Lawmaker For Sale: One Utah State Senator, Used

It is a widely held belief that our elected representatives are bought and paid for by the highest bidder.  But what if you tried to sell yours off along with some of the other junk you might have lying around the house?  Are you confident that you'd find a buyer?  "Who in their right mind would pay for them?" you might ask yourself before you set up your political garage sale.  Indeed, you might even wonder if you'd have to pay someone else to come and take them off your hands.  Well, it seems that Randy Miller from the Utah League of Independent Voters may well find out.  He put his State Senator, Jerry Stevenson, up for sale on eBay last Friday to protest a political system that puts party before people and raise some funds for his fledgling political organization.  From this week's column at CAIVN:
Bidding opened early last Friday on an eBay auction for Utah State Sen. Jerry Stevenson.  The seller was Randy Miller, founder and president of the Utah League of Independent Voters.  Judging from the original listing, which has since been deleted by eBay, Miller was not confident that he would find a buyer.  Indeed, he even warned: “Buyer beware. This toy is broken. I wish it would be recalled. It is a representative that does not represent.”  The opening price for Sen. Stevenson was just one penny, and the seller stated that he would even consider a simple trade for a representative that represents the people of its district rather than the interests of its party. . . .

By Friday afternoon, word of the auction began spreading in local media, the Independent blogosphere and on Twitter. Before eBay deleted the listing, it had received hundreds of views, and 19 bids had been placed for State Sen. Stevenson. The highest bid was for $305.  Encouraged, Miller added a listing for his State Representative, Brad Wilson, in a parallel Dutch-style auction.  Of course, Miller had no intention of “selling” the Senator or the Representative.  As he wrote in the listing, all proceeds would be used to support and expand outreach efforts for the Utah League of Independent Voters.  In that regard, the media stunt was a great success.  Miller says he received pledges totaling almost $1000, and there is now a movement to transform ULiV into an officially recognized political action committee. . . . .
Read the whole thing.  The action caused a small stir in the local press, the Independent political blogosphere and on Twitter, and even provoked a response from the Senator himself.  The listing, however, was deleted by eBay in short order.  Yet Randy was undeterred.  He's put Sen. Stevenson back up for sale at, an eBay rival.  The current price is listed as $0.01.  The reader can decide if that's a bargain or a ripoff.  But, in either case, you might still consider making a donation to the ULiV.  Randy was kind enough to answer some questions about his media stunt and the mission of the ULiV for an e-interview with Third Party and Independent Daily.  He states:
Generally, the GOP in Utah thinks they have been given some magic mandate from the people of Utah and they have taken a number of measures for the last 3-4 years to constrict the political process and set themselves up as a 'merchant in the temple' whereby to participate in the political process, one must go through them . . . . The mission of ULiV is to open up the democratic process to the people to whom our government rightfully belongs--the people. We are not concerned about ideological differences. I am not concerned if the voice of the people goes in a direction that I think is imprudent or doesn't fit with my ideology. The mission of ULiV is to act as a voice for the nearly 800,000 strong, 51.5% plus majority of Independent voters in Utah.

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