AUSTIN, Texas – March 5, 2016 – PRLog — My name is Rocky De La Fuente and I’m a Democratic candidate for President of the United States. The vast majority of you won’t recognize my name because my own party has chosen not to mention me in its ads, include me in the polls, or allow me to participate in debates. The party has apparently chosen its candidate and is doing everything possible to assure the outcome. It isn’t just discriminating against me; it’s discriminating against every grassroots activist in the race. I won’t pretend to speak for others, but let me list why my party has abandoned me.
· I am a Hispanic American. The party needs the Hispanic vote to support its candidate of choice. I pose a risk of splitting that vote.
· I am not a polished politician. I am prone to tell the truth and treat less fortunate people with respect rather than as a photo-op.
· I have successfully run businesses both at home and abroad, so I have a deep understanding of our economy, budgets, government regulation, the need for fair wages, the need for healthcare, and the need to provide a pathway toward upward mobility.
· I have created thousands of jobs not just promised them, and I have done this within the private sector without taxpayer dollars.
· I have actually operated banks and, at one point, started 11 monetary exchanges to help Mexico address a financial crisis in the 1980s.
· I try to build bridges rather than walls and was recently honored with an honorary doctorate degree for my work as an International Corporate Ambassador by UNESCO.
· I don’t have to pretend to know what it’s like to be a minority because I have experienced it. I’ve had hurdles placed before me, and I’ve overcome them.
Obviously, I don’t fit the Democratic mold for this election cycle: I’m a socially liberal, fiscally responsible minority candidate without 30-plus years of relatively limited political effectiveness. So what has the party done?
It has refused my requests to be included in the polls that determine who qualifies for the national debates. Thus, I had no chance of being invited to the debates that are critical to building a national reputation and fundraising base.
Until California’s Secretary of State placed me on that state’s primary ballot, no other Secretary of State or State Party had granted me ballot access. In the few cases where a reason was offered, it ironically was because I had not participated in a national debate and therefore lacked name recognition.
In states like Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, there is no recourse. I was denied ballot access and the citizens of those states were denied a choice.
Some states provide an alternate path to ballot access. However, to retain control, many State Parties establish complex rules and signature requirements so high that no one in history had achieved them… until I did.
By late December, I passed Martin O’Malley in terms of the number of states in which I was qualified. I also qualified in the critical swing state of Ohio, while O’Malley did not. Yet he continued to be featured in the massive advertising that the DNC does online and through traditional media. The same is true of state websites, which showcased his likeness while refusing to include mine.
Once it became clear that I had a viable path toward the nomination in terms of the number of states and territories in which I qualified (40 so far), new barriers were erected.
Iowa, and every caucus since has refused to list my name on their sign-in sheets even though I qualified. Instead, I have been listed as “Other.” In addition, no places were provided to form my preference groups, we were denied signage while other candidates’ signage was permitted. The State Parties refused to provide us with a list of where their caucuses were to be held while such lists were provided to the “major” candidates.
Then, we moved on to the nation’s first primary in New Hampshire. At one point, I was listed in third place with 851 votes. Twenty-six minutes later, my tally was 54 votes; a loss of 797 votes. Perhaps I should take pride in being the first candidate in history to lose 94% of his votes during the actual course of the count.
I could dismiss this as human error had it not happened again on Super Tuesday. While watching Texas results, we were delighted to have 8,080 votes in Travis County. About twenty minutes later, we had only 108 votes; a 99% decline and, interestingly enough, a loss of 7972 votes. Apparently, someone likes the numbers 7, 9 and 7 (in that sequence).
We have lost votes and petitions at an alarming rate. Two boxes of signature petitions “disappeared” in Virginia, which left us short of the filing requirement. Wisconsin also denied us ballot access after it inexplicably lost 145 of the petitions.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz offered the best explanation. CNN’s Jake Tapper recently asked her if the system was rigged (while discussing Superdelegates). Without hesitation, she said, “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists.” I am a grassroots activist.
If it sounds like I’m disappointed and frustrated, it’s because I am.
If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not.
I just thought you should know what’s going on behind the scenes so you can do something about it in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. Please consider casting a vote for me. I may not win, but you’ll be sending a strong message to a party that needs to hear it.