Thanks a lot, “Deez Nuts.” Since a poll propelled the fake U.S. presidential candidate into national headlines Wednesday, 249 copycats, clowns and pranksters have inundated the Federal Election Commission with paperwork launching “official” White House campaigns. Some possess leadership bona fides, if not proper constitutional qualifications: Star Trek Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Queen Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” former Cuban President Fidel Castro, Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Crunch. And imagine a presidential debate that includes Frank Underwood from “House of Cards,” Ronald Reagan’s Ghost, a Bill Clinton imposter and three fraudulent Joe Bidens.
But these wags — including a bunch whose names crudely refer to body parts or sex acts — are also potential headaches for federal regulators, who already struggle with limited resources and massive paperwork backlogs.
No matter how outrageous or asinine, the FEC must, by law, pay some measure of attention to these White House wannabes and cannot simply ignore them or reject their filings, which may be submitted with relative ease through the agency’s website.