The Going Rate For A Presidential Vote? $152 on eBay.

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Saturday, April 1, 2000

from the pursuit-of-happiness dept.

PERRYVILLE, MO -- It might be illegal, but that isn't stopping Doug Bruewski from auctioning off his vote for the November general election. Doug has placed his vote up for sale on eBay, the online auction site, with a minimum bid of $100 and no reserve. Even though the auction only started two days ago, Doug has already received 10 bids up to $152.

"I got the idea last week when a friend asked me who I planned to vote for," Doug explained. "I said that I hated both Bush and Gore and that I probably wouldn't vote. And then the idea hit me: If I wasn't going to use my right to vote, I could sell it to someone else and make enough money to pay off my bar tab. Heck, if lobbyists and interest groups can buy votes from Congressmen with campaign contributions, then why can't I sell my vote in exchange for beer contributions?"

If the auction is successful, Brueski hopes to sell other Constitutional rights. "I don't really need freedom of press. I wonder if anyone would want that. I'm agnostic, so I don't need that freedom of religion. My son doesn't like school, so maybe I could sell his right to a free public educashon. Oh, and I'd like to ditch my right to a trial by jury... I'm not a criminal, after all, and I never intend to be. The only right I can't part with is freedom of assembly because I, uh, like to go to bars."

Brueski might want to hold on to those rights because both the Federal and Missouri governments have launched an investigation of the auction. "This might not be as bad as that Senator who put himself up for sale on eBay last year, but it's still illegal," a Federal Election Commission bureaucrat said.

The political observers we talked to weren't sure about the legality of the auction, but they did seem to agree that Brueski's asking price was too high. One commented, "In previous Missouri elections, the average vote has only been worth maybe ten bucks. $152 seems like a rip-off to me."