Toto, I Think We're in Northern California

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Toto, I Think We're in Northern California

The latest issue of Roll Call newspaper (subscription only) notes that Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos is facing primary challengers in the state's "very liberal" 12th C.D. -- on the southern edge of San Francisco. One of these challengers, the newspaper reports, is Kevin Hearle, "a poet who doesn't even want to serve in Congress ..."

Hearle decided to enter the Democratic primary only after Lantos' office failed to respond in a timely fashion to an e-mail he'd sent the congressman.

And he's the more normal of the two challengers.

The other challenger? He's a public relations/advertising executive named Robert Barrows. I'll let Roll Call take it from there:
Barrows decided to write the rap song "Run for Office," which is available through Barrows on a self-issued two-song CD along with "Big Bucks," a song about "pulling down big money."

... Barrows is the inventor of "The Video Enhanced Gravemarker."

The video tombstone, which recently received a "notice of allowance" and is expected to be patented in the next few months, would allow people to visit a cemetery, press a button on a tombstone and see a message from beyond the grave.

"It'll make a fascinating place to visit," Barrows said.

And because cemeteries can reject a tombstone based on what it says, "it will create some fascinating free speech issues," he said, especially if a controversial tombstone message is denied.

"How can you control what somebody is going to say from beyond the grave?" he said.

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