Deep in the bottom of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s file cabinet, the one in the basement of the board’s Centennial Building office near the Capitol, there’s a recent filing for a campaign the likes of which has never been seen before. And hopefully will never be again.
It’s for an independent expenditure campaign called Bud for Minnesota. Registered with the state on Feb. 28, it was created to promote the candidacy of Budland Q. “Bud” McKenzie, and so far it’s raised an impressive $125.
McKenzie is something of a mystery, apparently hailing from Bloomington, where he runs the Husky Husky, a mail order clothing catalog for barrel-chested dogs. The filing is not for any particular elective office, perhaps enabling the candidate to take positions on an eclectic batch of issues.
As his website says: “Take a minute to consider Bud’s position on the issues that are affecting you and your family, and you will agree that Bud is a person who has these positions,” it says.
On “Technology,” for example, McKenzie says: “We need to be ready as a society for the next phase of evolution in worker automation in the economy, which is why I advocate a comprehensive Technological Marshall Plan to round up all of the computers around town and throw them into the big pit behind my house.”
On Education: “Students are taking on more debt to obtain degrees that are increasingly mandatory to find a job in an economy which, in turn, will never provide the pay required to afford the loans that paid for the education that was necessitated by the job in the first place. This is hilarious.”
And on public transportation: “We need to focus on public transit options that work, instead of underutilized and over-budget light rail trains with doors that close on your pants and then when the train moves it tears your pants off and then leaves with your pants and then you’re naked on Hiawatha and 38th.”
Surprisingly for a politician, McKenzie is not a people person (despite his website saying he is “The People’s Person for Minnesota”). He responded to a request for an interview by handing it over to the committee’s chair and treasurer, Donavan Indovino Cawley, with a curt: “Deal with this, I’m in the shower.”
The following is a transcript of that interview, edited to remove most of the questioner’s ummms, uhhhs and ya-knows.
MinnPost: You’re the spokesperson for the Bud for Minnesota campaign?
Donavan Indovino Cawley: I’m the official human representative.
MP: We’ve all got to have one.
MP: Why Bud? Why now?
DIC: I feel that Bud is the quintessential local candidate. He represents what we all see when we look at local politics, which is enthusiasm and a poor grasp of the facts. And this is kind of like the people’s candidate who speaks to all of our collective anxieties and fears for the future but looks at that future and rejects it outright.
MP: There’s no office listed. Is he running for everything or is it that he just can’t decide?
DIC: That was never actually made clear to me so I wanted to keep our options open, in case, there was an office that, you know, really piqued his fancy. And really at this point, Bud is like, just roll with the punches and try. If he could, he would run for every office, but I feel that you should just vote for Bud for the office that you feel like he belongs in.
MP: I noticed that there are no photos of Bud.
DIC: Bud is shy. We’ve taken the artist’s pen to rendering his likeness. Of course, were he to be elected to government office, he would take an official photograph. But only then, OK.
MP: Would it be in front of the flag or in front of the Capitol or both?
DIC: I mean, ideally both. If we could get the Capitol draped in a flag that would probably be ideal.
MP: He went into some pretty controversial issues and as you might know, sometimes candidates like to avoid those types of issues. I think of trash collection as kind of the quintessential no-win issue. Wouldn’t it have been wiser to avoid those types of controversies?
DIC: Absolutely not. Bud is taking on the tough issues head on. Trash collection is a huge issue here in Bloomington after the Supreme Court ruling that forced us to go to a ballot question. And Bud is not going to demure on this. He will, can and must burn all of his trash in a giant hole in his backyard.
MP: And the Supreme court apparently will uphold that.
DIC: I’m not a legal expert here, but I have read plenty of websites. And I feel like I can say with certainty that, yes, this is Supreme Court doctrine.
MP: There are a lot of things that are Bloomington oriented and not everyone knows that Bloomington is the center of at least the United States, if not the world. How does Bloomington influence Bud’s worldview?
DIC: Bud was born in Bloomington. He presumably is going to die in Bloomington. With the world’s largest mall — as far as he knows — this makes us a center of commerce. With an airport that’s kind of next door, that makes it the center of travel. And that’s why Bud has decided to make it the center of his government.
MP: Why doesn’t he run for mayor of Bloomington?
DIC: Bud feels like we have great leadership in the mayor’s office right now. That’s not to say that Bud will not challenge Mayor Busse in the future. But for now he’s letting him bide his time.
MP: Is that a threat?
DIC: Bud doesn’t make threats, but he does observe certain dire facts about your future.
MP: The mystery surrounding Bud makes me curious as to whether or not he’s in fact, Q of QAnon. Can you confirm or deny that?
DIC: I refuse to confirm or deny whether or not Budward “Q.” McKenzie is QAnon.
MP: Can Bud win?
DIC: Bud not only can win, he already has won in that he has won a place in our hearts and the hearts of millions.
MP: You’re registered with the state Campaign Finance Board. I also noticed that the campaign has only raised $125. Does that make you a bad treasurer?
DIC: That makes me a great treasurer. And I’ll tell you why. We get the small donations. I mean, very small donations, so small that they are sometimes inobservable. And we’re working hard to raise hundreds and hundreds of inobservable donations for Bud’s grassroots campaign.
MP: I saw on the website that he has taken a firm position on Columbus Avenue in Bloomington. Is it possible that Columbus Avenue is named for the city and not for the explorer?
DIC: Well, I feel like through the transitive property of the city being named after the explorer that also means the street is named after the city then therefore named after the explorer. And we will defend Columbus Avenue, using whatever means necessary up to and including picking up Columbus Avenue and moving it somewhere else where Antifa cannot find it.
MP: Does Bud support the removal of the Columbus statue on the Capitol campus?
DIC: Absolutely not. Bud is a big fan of Columbus. He loves the Columbus day sales. And as America’s foremost boat owner, Christopher Columbus must be idolized and respected, maybe even put another Columbus statue on top of the other Columbus statue to have twice as many Columbuses.
MP: I don’t see a party listed here at all. Is Bud a member of a political party? Is he a member of all political parties?
DIC: Bud is a dyed-in-the-wool independent. He will believe anything you tell him. The reason why he doesn’t subscribe to a certain political party is all he cares about is maintaining his way of life. He wants to go to church, he wants to drink beer and if he could do both at the same time, then that would be ideal.
MP: There’s gotta be a church like that somewhere.
DIC: There has to be, but as far as I know, he has not found it yet. And if he has to, he will start his own church. But for now he’s still looking.
MP: When I saw “Bud McKenzie,” I thought of “Spuds MacKenzie,” which tells you how old I am. Is there any connection between a fictional dog pitchman, or pitch dog, and this campaign?
DIC: Spuds MacKenzie and Bud McKenzie are distantly related. But for the purposes of this campaign, we cannot have any association with the dog or that particular beer brand. And an unrelated note, the official beer of the Bud McKenzie campaign is Hamm’s. Drink Hamm’s, it’s delicious.
MP: Does Bud have a job?
DIC: Bud does have a job as a small business owner and job creator. He is the owner of the world’s foremost mail order catalog for dog sweaters. He recently became Bloomington’s richest man because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After people apparently discovered that their disgusting naked dogs have been hanging around their house this whole time and are now having to live with that, people have been ordering like crazy. He is well employed and definitely has a real job and not some kind of a fake tax evasion scheme.
MP: Certainly the campaign is not one of those, because it’s only raised $125.
DIC: Absolutely not. This campaign is definitely not funding Bud’s lifestyle in any way whatsoever and to imply otherwise would be election fraud. And we do not support that.
MP: Does he support other types of fraud?
DIC: Absolutely. Bud supports the kinds of fraud that dupes people into believing that a candidate is running for office when in fact all he is doing is making fun of other people who run for office.