MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party's write-in candidate for governor of Alabama, is campaigning on her cleavage and hoping that voters' eyes will eventually refocus on her platform.
"It started out as a joke, but it blew up into something huge," Nall said.
Nall, who spoke in an interview Friday on the Capitol steps, realizes that's about as close as she is going to get to the governor's office. But her "anything goes" style of campaigning — including campaign gear showing her smiling in a low-cut dress — has helped her attract attention not normally enjoyed by write-in candidates in Alabama, including spots on conservative radio talk shows and speeches at staid civic clubs.
Nall said that once she gets voters' attention, they eventually notice her campaign platform, which calls for tax credits for sending children to private school and home schooling, opting out of the No Child Left Behind Act, legalizing marijuana, and not complying with the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act.
Nall said one issue in her platform that seems to be getting lots of positive response is trying to withdraw the Alabama National Guard from Iraq.
"When people in Alabama get tired of kicking the ass of brown people, it's time to pull out," she said in her characteristically over-the-top style.
Campaigning for Nall has been difficult.
The Libertarian Party couldn't collect the 40,000 signatures from voters that were needed to get her name on the ballot as a regular candidate, and she hasn't reached the $25,000 threshold in campaign contributions that would require her to file a campaign finance report with the state.
Despite the political handicaps, the 32-year-old with dyed blond hair knows how to get plenty of free attention.
Early in her campaign, she talked about how her misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession in 2002 caused her to start the U.S. Marijuana Party and become an advocate for decriminalizing marijuana.
Then she entertained readers of her campaign Web site with lots of information about her personal life, including a discussion of why she doesn't wear panties.
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‘More of these boobs’
Now her campaign is offering everything from T-shirts to marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo of her in a dress with a plunging neckline and the words: "More of these boobs."
Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor — including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley — along with the words: "And less of these boobs."
Nall, who designed the campaign art work, said the idea came to her after a weekly newspaper columnist wrote about her campaign one week and then wrote an apology the next week for the paper accompanying his column with a picture of Nall that showed lots of cleavage.
Nall said she was offended at first that her neckline was being discussed in the newspaper, but then realized that when a campaign budget runs lower than a neckline, "you have to be outrageous to get attention."
No matter how far back Nall finishes on Nov. 7, that won't be the last that voters will see of her. She's already making plans to run against Republican Rep. Mike Rogers in Alabama's 3rd Congressional District in 2008.
"I enjoy this," she said.
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