In 2004, I took an unpaid leave of absence from my duties as a trial court judge and ran for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian. I knew I would not win the election, but I was so upset at the direction our country was headed that I wanted to be a part of the discussion.
Frankly speaking, it was a waste of time and effort. President George W. Bush's conceding the election in California virtually from the outset resulted in the senatorial campaign of Republican Bill Jones simply never getting off the ground. So there really was no discussion, and Sen. Barbara Boxer won the election without much opposition or fuss.
After the election I decided to try to be a part of the discussion by writing a weekly newspaper column. When the editors of the Daily Pilot expressed interest, I promised them that I would write the column for at least a year. In many ways this approach has worked, and it has given me the privilege of being able to "sound off" on lots of various topics. I thank you as readers for affording me that privilege.