The Fall and Ruin of Presidential Candidate C. S. Brambach
On the road reporting by Aaron Worley
A year ago, in Lies #6, the staff at Lies proudly endorsed one of its own for President of the United States. C.S. Brambach (known to most as Steve) was our own vice-editor, and while he didn't threaten Matt's job as editor, he certainly showed potential for running the free world. He had what no other member of the Lies had: the bare minimum qualifications. He was thirty-six, born in the United States, and although he frequently spoke of picking up and moving to Belize, he had lived his life on American soil. According to the Constitution, he met the all of the requirements.
Upon receiving our endorsement, Steve went to work on getting his political team together. I accompanied him on several trips to bars around Albuquerque, usually during happy hour, where he would offer staff positions to any and all female waitresses. I thought this to be a bold and positive move for the candidate and encouraged him to put together a blue collar working class group. The media attacked this strategy as "pandering for cheap sex," and they denounced any attempt by Steve to get attractive ladies on his team. In his defense, I must say that the media misconstrued his actions and intentions. The man wanted a voice that is seldom heard during the campaigning, and that was the voice of underclass. Anyone who made over twenty-five thousand dollars was taken off his list of potential advocates, and I admire him for sticking up for this unappreciated class of people. This decision was the first of several setbacks for a proud man.
After selecting a campaign support group (mostly choosing people he owed money to), Steve came up with a few platform points. First and foremost, he knew that taxes would be a main focus. Contrary to both major candidates, he encouraged taxes to be raised and stressed the important projects that were provided by taxes such as road construction, defense, and education. Many people were turned off by his view and publicly denounced his legitimacy as a presidential candidate. I, again, feel the need to go behind the plan and explain the view. People want things done for them. They want better schools, roads, and lives, and they want it for free. Steve was a realist. He wanted all of those things, too, but he knew it cost money. Even though he didn't make enough money in 1995 to have to pay taxes, he said if he did, he would have been proud to pay more. This was a man who cared for a nation and showed his concern on several occasions. He once screamed "if people want lower taxes, they'd better grab a shovel full of asphalt and fix the damn potholes themselves!" I was the only one present during this drunken frenzy, but I knew it was a great sound bite.
I must admit his foreign policy was a little off base, but he later told me that it was a scheme to get some campaign funding from some shady characters that will remain nameless. Steve was, and is, a big cigar fanatic, and he came up with a compromise on the Cuba embargo. He said the embargo should be removed to allow cigars o' plenty to enter the U.S., but that the United States would still be allowed to call Cuba "a bunch of Commie bastards." He felt as long as long as the country publicly denounced Cuba, then it didn't matter what the actual policy was. As a side point, he stated that nicotine was addictive, but it was the best legal addiction in the world. He told me he hoped for financial backing by the tobacco companies, but the money never came.
The campaign was not without scandal either. A story was leaked to the press that Steve gave his ex-wife syphilis after they were divorced but during a period in which he was living with her again. Steve came out strongly saying the media "grossly exaggerated and manipulated half-truths." The actual truth was that he gave her chlamydia and was not living with her anymore. To my knowledge, he never saw the ex after he made the 'you might want to check yourself out' phone call. Even through these dark times, the candidate trudged on.
A high point during the campaign came in April when Steve scored a decent paying full time job as associate editor to a small weekly newspaper (which requested to remain unnamed for this article). It meant he could not campaign as much as he had been, but at least he started picking up some of the tabs at the bars we frequented. This was the finest time in his campaign for the candidate. He started sleeping and eating regularly--save his Friday night blitzes--and he was more optimistic than usual.
I can only assume that it was this optimism that led him to choose the Vice Presidential candidate he did. Her professional name was Sindy Sunrise (she requested that her real name...well, you know). She worked part time at Hooters and did other various entertainment jobs. She told me that she hoped the publicity would help boost her acting career, and I told her it might (I think I was distracted by something, though). Steve's most publicized statement came out of his running mate selection. When the newspapers asked about the choice, Steve stated "I think there's a certain portion of the public that will vote for a big titty woman." The press did not seem impressed about including that portion of society into the voting process. The selection did lead to a moderately successful T-shirt slogan which plainly stated "Vote for Steve and his Big Titty Woman."
By July, the polls clearly showed no one cared about Steve's campaign in the least. Sindy, who said she would campaign in California, took the opportunity to audition for parts in movies, and she even got in a couple. You do, however, have to be of voting age to rent them. The job Steve so dearly coveted ended abruptly with the statement "we just can't pay you anymore." He did not delve into the reasons of his release from the newspaper for fear that they might get specific. He officially dropped out July 18, which is, coincidentally, Hunter S. Thompson's birthday. Steve, if nothing else, was a poet.
Steve left New Mexico soon after, and is currently anonymously roaming around in the South. Like a true American, he is working to pay off debts and saving up enough money to start over again. We here at Lies do not regret our choice for President because we know that out of all the candidates, Steve was the only one who would have given us cushy government jobs. We know he may not of made this country greater, but it wouldn't have gotten much worse either. When we think back to the 1996 election, it won't be 'Bill and Al,' or 'Bob and Jack' that stays in our hearts. Steve and Sindy had our votes and dreams, and they will always be worthy of a beer and a song.
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