Press conferences involving the governor of Kentucky could soon be a lot more interesting, and sarcastic, now that Drew Curtis has announced he'll seek the state's top office. As founder and owner of the website Fark.com, Curtis is a minor celebrity whose name could soon become much more well known as the latest Internet entrepreneur to enter politics.
The hugely popular Fark website is one of the pioneers of news aggregation. Its home page is little more than a list of news stories with headlines replaced by snarky titles. Launched in 1999, it pre-dates similar popular news-sharing sites Digg and Reddit by five and six years respectively, while managing to maintain a large enough following to attract page views in the hundreds of thousands each month. Curtis is also known for waging an ongoing battle with so-called patent trolls.
But after nearly 20 years at the helm of Fark, Curtis told the Lexington Business Journal Friday that he'll launch an independent campaign to be elected governor of Kentucky. He plans to make the offocial announcement on his website Monday, while also providing some context about his platforms. He told the Lexington Business Journal the bumper sticker for his campaign would boil down to, “No experiments. Leave people alone. And don't spend money you don't have.”
He also announced his intention to avoid accepting blank checks from corporate interests who would expect him to return the favor once he's in office.
“As an unaligned executive, you're in a really good spot because, if they can't buy influence from you, who do they buy it from?” Curtus told the newspaper. “I mean, they can go ahead and spend money on the legislature all day but it does't matter if they can't reach me.”
That ideology sounds remarkably similar to the one championed by Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard law professor and activist behind the MAYDAY SuperPAC, which funds political candidates who promise to change campaign finance laws. Even if he did seek big campaign donations, Curtis admitted that his ideology all but eliminates possibility that he'll be able to rely on wealthy donors.
“I have no idea what I'm in for. But that's the kind of thing about being an entrepreneur, is you jump off a cliff and you build the plane on the way down,” he told the Journal. “Part of the deal with my wife in order to do this is that I can't spend us into bankruptcy. Seems fair.”
It probably doesn't hurt that Heather Curtis, Drew's wife, will serve as his running mate.
The Kentucky gubernatorial election is scheduled to take place this year on Nov. 3. Incumbent Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, is not eligible to run for re-election due to the state's term limits. Jack Conway, the sitting attorney general of Kentucky, and Geoff Young, a retired engineer, as well as two others have also declared their candidacy.
Below is a video of Curtis delivering the speech in which he announces he has filed the necessary paperwork to enter the campaign.