A long-shot Democratic Senate candidate hoping to unseat New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is courting the Occupy Wall Street vote, saying he embodies the movement's politics and will consult with its members daily. The problem is that if he wins, it seems unlikely that Occupy will want anything to do with him.
Politico introduces us on Thursday to Dr. Scott Noren, an oral surgeon from Ithica who wants to use the Occupy name and the movement's pet issues, such as restoring the Glass-Steagall banking reform act of 1933. He's calling his campaign Occupy the Democratic Party. Politico puts Noren's chances of actually unseating Gillibrand at "nil," but he's an interesting case anyway because he's the first politician we've heard of who's running under the Occupy banner. While many in Washington and other seats of government have expressed sympathy for Occupy, Noren is the first that's actually taken the name for his own campaign. Somehow, we expect Occupy won't be too thrilled.
Noren told Politico that if he was elected, "any day that I was in that capital I could envision spending 10 or 15 minutes, having a little crash session with them, and getting a feel, a direct pulse from the public through the Occupy movement." That sounds good and all, but it's unlikely Occupy would meet with him. Just the fact they couldn't do so in secret prevented a group of occupiers from meeting with Congress earlier this month. At the time, Occupy spokesman Patrick Bruner said, "Anyone can say that they're working with Occupy Wall Street, but from what I understand OWS is against endorsing political candidates." No wonder Politico puts Noren's chances so low. The Occupy vote is just about the only base he's courting, and it's vehemently opposed to supporting anyone.