Buddy Roemer is a former Congressman and Governor from Lousiana, serving in Congress from 1981-1988 as a Democrat, and 1988-1992. In the middle of his one term as Governor, he party-switched as a Republican.
Now, I won't pretend I'm an expert on Roemer's accomplishments as a Congressional representative or as a Governor. He's said in interviews that unemployment was high when he was elected as Governor and that the system was corrupt (I guess his predecessor was charged with theft?). And when his term ended, unemployment was low and, as he puts it, "other states send their Governors to jail, not Louisiana."
The last several years Roemer says he has managed a regional bank that, he proudly points out, took no federal bailout money and hasn't foreclosed on any mortgages that they hold.
Being a long-shot candidate, Roemer has intently focused his message on one issue. And his message is an interesting one.
Get the money out of politics.
Roemer says he's built his political career off of no money from political action committees. In this election cycle, he's taking no money from PACs, SuperPACs, no contribution over $100, and full disclosure. He proposes something similar for the first bill he pushed for if elected. PACs are allowed to exist, but they must be truly independent from candidates and not run by former staff or family members. And all candidates must fully disclose donations within 48 hours. He's also said he'd veto every other bill that came to his desk until this was done.
In an election season where a former pizza chain CEO has been included, Roemer's resume seems impressive. There are Governors, and there are Congressmen and Senators, and Roemer has been both! You'd think he'd be an obvious shoe-in at least for the early debates, where the standards typically are a bit lower to appear.
Nope. Roemer hasn't appeared in any of them.
Not only that, but he seems to have been blacklisted by most media outlets, getting the most airtime on MSNBC newscasts and their evening programs anchored by liberals like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.
In every cycle, there are candidates that run who are clearly jokes and typically only appear on 1-2 ballots. They run on issues like vampireism or Star Trek or something like that.
If the Republican Party were interested in fixing the issue, they'd allow clearly qualified candidates such as Roemer into at least the first few debates. The Republican National Committee could even host it's own debates to ensure all GOP candidates are heard from at least a few times.
He also, by far, has the best Twitter account of all the GOP candidates. After a Politico writer jokingly used the hashtag #Roementum on Twitter, noting that Roemer had gained 1% in a New Hampshire poll, Roemer himself has started using it.
To find out more about Roemer's campaign, you can visit his web site.
UPDATE: Last night, on The Rachel Maddow Show, Roemer said he'd have an important announcement at 4pm, Thursday in New Hampshire. Press corps shows up and everyone is assuming he's going to drop it. But nope. Roemer trolled the press. He announced he won't drop out, he'll soldier on, yada. And then the mysterious 501(c)(4) Americans Elect shows up in their shiny new tour bus and asks if he'll run on their ticket. Roemer said "It's an option", and he's previously said he's looking into it.