Political candidates running for office, particularly as the underdog, often blast out letters begging for campaign donations. But in a letter sent to 500,000 of his constituents, scientist and Oregon GOP candidate Art Robinson is looking for urine rather than greenbacks.
Yup, that's right. The mail, sent earlier this year, was quick and to the point.
My name is Art Robinson. I am a scientist who has lived and worked in Josephine County for 34 years. My colleagues and I are developing improved methods for the measurement of human health. Please consider giving us a sample of your urine.
. . . Oh yeah, and by the way, after you send me your pee could you also vote for me? Thanks! The call was for twice-annual pee samples, too. I think I'd rather donate to his campaign than pee in a cup twice a year and mail it to a 72-year-old scientist/politician.
Donors will apparently be sent two vials that they pee in, then send back in an envelope. The samples will be studied for possible ways to fight degenerative aging conditions.
Well, it is definitely a way to grab headlines. And I guess you've got to get creative when your political career is a well-worn joke, à la Ron Paul for president. The Republican candidate for Oregon's 4th Congressional District is running against incumbent Peter DeFazio, who has held the position since 1987, for the third time. In his two previous races against the Democrat he was crushed by double-digit margins.
The mailer didn't mention his upcoming congressional race, and he assured Oregon's News-Review that the names of the donors will not be used for political contacts.
Just in case you're still considering donations in the name of science, let's take a look at the, erm, highlights, of Robinson's career as a scientist and politician. He did work closely with renowned Nobel Prize-winner Linus Pauling, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Robinson describes himself as a "skilled public speaker," and has written the newsletter Access to Energy for the past 17 years. His opponent DeFazio has taken the liberty of rounding up some of his writing and public speeches on the website, "Who is Art Robinson?" Here are some of the gems dealing in arguably his strongest field — science.
On nuclear waste: "All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean – or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases."
On carbon pollution: "Moreover, it now appears likely that the release of carbon through the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas during the past century has already increased the total mass of plants and animals on the earth and contributed positively to the lush environment that we now enjoy."
On the BP oil spill: "These
things happen. Certainly BP must use its resources to clean up as much
as possible. We must also realize that natural processes will clean this
spill effectively; within a couple of years you won't be able to tell
that anything happened."
Furthermore, Robinson includes near the top of his bio section on his personal campaign site that he gathered signatures of scientists urging the government not to take action on the "scientifically invalid" idea that human activities are warming the earth.
SO. Still want to send this guy your pee?