Last week, Killer Mike revealed the unfortunate news that he cannot run for the Georgia House of Representatives as a write-in candidate in 2014 because he didn’t register for the position. He still has his sights set on the 2016 race, which got us thinking: Which other musicians would make good politicians? 2016 is a pivotal year, so we need all the help we can get. Here are our top picks for musicians who could make a significant difference in this crucial time.
Sean Bonnette — Arizona
As much as I’d love to see local activist Kimber Lanning announce her candidacy, Andrew Jackson Jihad’s Sean Bonnette would make one hell of an impression on local politics. Sheriff Joe Arpaio made noise when he considered running for governor in 2016, instead announcing he would seek another term as sheriff, and we need someone like Bonnette to stand up to a chump who’s never heard of the Bill of Rights.
Campaign slogan: “Joe Arpaio is a Punk.”
Jello Biafra — California
Our neighbor to the west presents limitless opportunities for musicians turned politicians, but the top choice is a no-brainer. The Dead Kennedys' frontman ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1979, campaigning for businessmen to wear clown suits, a citywide ban on cars, and for the homeless to panhandle in wealthy neighborhoods. Refusing to be defeated, Jello once again tried his hand at politics, running for president as a Green Party candidate in 2000 (with Mumia Abu-Jamal as a running mate), ultimately losing the nomination to Ralph Nader.
Campaign slogan: “There’s always room for Jello.”
Carrie Brownstein and Kathleen Hanna — Oregon
Continuing north along the West Coast, we need a hearty dose of grrl power. Ever since Sleater-Kinney's Brownstein helped save the mayor from peril in Portlandia, we’ve been curious to see how she would perform on the other side of the desk. There would be pickles, feminist books, and Battlestar Galactica reruns for all.
Running the Beaver State is no easy task, so riot grrl frontrunner Kathleen Hanna would make the perfect adviser to Brownstein, and the patriarchy would be destroyed in no time flat.
Campaign slogan: “There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world.”
Laura Jane Grace — Florida
Punk heroine Laura Jane Grace is exactly what the Sunshine State needs. She came out as trans in 2012, and has been taking the world by storm ever since. Between Against Me!’s magnificent Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Laura’s new Vice column, “Mandatory Happiness,” she is the voice of a generation and would bring positive attention to Florida.
Campaign slogan: “And you know it’s obvious, but we can’t choose how we’re made.”
Andrew W.K. — New York
Andrew W.K. should run for the presidency, but New York office is a good place to start. No one parties harder than Andrew W.K., and he’s brought joy to thousands of people. Who has time for war when you’re busy partying and making the world a better place?
Campaign slogan: “Party hard.”
Wayne Coyne — Oklahoma
While Andrew W.K. is teaching the Big Apple to party, we need the Flaming Lips frontman to keep things weird in Oklahoma. We have the utmost confidence that Coyne will get a little help from his friends and may team up with Miley Cyrus for a veritable party in the USA.
Campaign slogan: “Without art, without communication, we would not live beyond 30 because we’d be so sad and depressed.”
Ian MacKaye — Washington, D.C.
MacKaye’s voting record is chalked up to “the person who is electable and is least likely to engage in war.” His pivotal role in the D.C. hardcore scene and his promoting a healthy lifestyle and nonviolent attitude make him the perfect new voice for the nation’s capital.
Campaign slogan: “I don’t want to hear it, know you’re full of shit.”
Bruce Springsteen — New Jersey
There are talks of Chris Christie running for president, which is wholly terrifying. We need a voice like the Boss’ to help the Garden State prosper after Bridgegate and the public relations fiasco that was the cast of Jersey Shore. Springsteen would support the arts community by helping the already vibrant New Jersey music community thrive. Plus, there’s no greater friend to blue-collar workers than the Boss.
Campaign slogan: “Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed.”
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Jeff Tweedy — Illinois
The Wilco frontman first spoke to the American dream in 2002, when he promised a diet Coca-Cola and unlit cigarettes for the low price of $3.63. He teamed up with legendary British folk musician Billy Bragg to make Mermaid Avenue, a three-part collection of Woody Guthrie’s unreleased material. Bragg is more than welcome to stick around Chicago as an adviser, but we have the utmost confidence that Tweedy will triumph over the ashes of American flags with his masterful rhetoric.
Campaign slogan: “Wilco will love you, baby.”
Bob Mould — Minnesota
Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and Prince helped shape the Minneapolis sound and are all fantastic in their own right, but Mould’s work as an outspoken gay rights activist makes him the perfect choice to represent Minnesota. Mould would be the ideal person to fight for justice in the Gopher State — just listen to his appearance on WTF With Marc Maron if you have any doubts.
Campaign slogan: “The only freedom worth fighting for is what you think.”