[Campaign Diaries is a new series at The American Commons. James Hanink is a candidate running for Governor of California on the American Solidarity Party ticket. Every other week, James will publish a “campaign diary” entry here at The American Commons magazine.]


We made the list! OK, it’s not the A-List of (fairly) big name Republicans who gobble up media coverage. But we did make the Secretary of State’s list of 46 approved candidates in California’s gubernatorial recall election. It’s scheduled for September 14th.

Making the list was a lot tougher than in the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recall victory over Governor Gray Davis. In that election 135 hopefuls made the list. But those folks weren’t required to submit their last five years of IRS filings.  

Prominent talk show host Larry Elder did cough up his tax returns. Nonetheless, the Secretary of State rejected his application on the basis that Elder improperly redacted his returns. Elder promptly sued. A judge found in his favor and even contended that the IRS returns need not have been filed at all. For the well-heeled libertarian, justice was neither delayed nor denied.

On another front, one of our ASP Chesterton – Kuyper Fellows recently suggested that the campaign should have a good video that would introduce the party and mention the campaign. Ah, if only! We don’t yet have the money for this project. Gentle readers, might you be willing to chip in? I cannot thank enough the generous donors who have sustained us so far, but I encourage everyone who can to make that donor list.

Now that the Secretary of State has identified the approved candidates, the debate process is intensifying. The questions in the next debate will come from a pair of newspaper editors. Good prepping is a sine qua non if Jack (or Jim) is to be nimble and quick. When the question of whether or not I support school vouchers comes up, I’ll need nimbly to say “yes” and quickly add “so long as they don’t require support of gender ideology.”

On the newspaper scene, the Sacramento Bee is putting together its own Voter Guide for the recall. I’ll have a few days, fortunately, to answer several specific questions. One of the paper’s questions, though familiar, is harder than it looks. Blimey! It’s philosophical. The question asks me to identify myself. I told the Secretary of State that I’m an educator. But the Secretary of State told me that I’m a “Retired Educator.” After all, the clerk explained, I’m no longer paid as an educator. It seems that you can’t teach philosophy unless you make money doing so. Too bad, Socrates.

The comedy club to which I belong has a riddler who specializes in the “what am I” genre.  Here’s an example: “I have a little house in which I live all alone. It has no doors or windows and if I want to go out I must break through the wall. What am I?” Answer: a chicken.

Well, what am I? In the academy, where I’m quite alive, I’m an “Independent Scholar.” In my family, I’m a husband and father. Sub specie aeternitatis, I’m a child of God. But who am I for the Sacramento Bee? Not, not ever, a chicken. On this delicate matter I will consult my long suffering spouse, la reina de la casa.

You can follow the campaign at:

Dr. James G. Hanink for Governor of California | Facebook
Dr. James G. Hanink for Governor 2021 (https://jameshanink.com)


Jim Hanink is an independent scholar, albeit more independent than scholarly.