William Edstrom, Psychotic for Congress
Some time back, William Edstrom, Green Party candidate for Congress in the Bronx, came to Picture the Homeless attempting to recruit people to run for New York State Assembly on the Green Party ticket. I said that I might be interested, but we didn’t stay in touch. At the Koch Party last month, William was there and gave me he e-mail address. I reregistered as a Green, following his instructions to do so at the Manhattan office because the Bronx office is so controlled by the Democrats that they shred any change of party ballot from Democrat (with which I had registered from unaffiliated only in a botched attempt to vote against Christine Quinn in last year’s mayoral primary) to Green.
Julia Willebrand, three time candidate for comptroller on the Green ticket, told me she wasn’t crazy about William Edstrom, but highly encouraged me to run anyway, even though Edstrom was involved in the process the entire way.
The original plan was to petition on July 4, but it was postponed to Saturday because of the weather. He had wanted to try earlier, but I didn’t think I could handle all that walking without a cane. He said that there were 25 registered Green Party candidates, and that we need only 5%, or 1.8, i.e. two signatures to get on the ballot. On Saturday, we were to meet at the Bronx Museum, which is in walking distance from the shelter and near the subway. I was running late, and he was running even more late. I texted him that I was inside the museum, and he found me as soon as I came down from the second floor.
He updated his list and had a few more registered Greens, but we still needed only two signatures on the petition to get me on the ballot. We managed to get the second when we had only three left, and in spite of hobbling on my cane, I figured we were close enough physically to the others that we should attempt them, without success. He couldn’t tell how badly I was limping until I picked up the cane and showed was it looked like when I walked without it. We started around 11:15, rode the bus only twice, and by the time we parted at the 167 Street D station, it was a little after 6 PM, at which point I walked back to the shelter, had dinner, and rested for the remainder of the evening.
The last steps were to complete filling out the addresses on the petition, get it, the acceptance letter, and a contributions signed and notarized in to the Board of Elections headquarters in lower Manhattan before midnight on Thursday, July 10. The plan was to do so on Monday, when it might slip in without the three days anyone has to challenge my candidacy, which may have come up because my party almost certainly had not been changed, and they are usually set to challenge on Thursday, not Monday.
The conversations he had with me on the trip showed a man driven by conspiracy theories. He summed up Picture the Homeless as an organization that makes $450,000 a year and does nothing but come up with a million different ways of asking for free real estate and getting no for an answer, opined that my homeless situation was the result of conspirators who dislike my political activism, and talked about how government agents would come into his house and move things around just to show him they were on to them.
That was a preview of the insanity that then took place via text and e-mail:
William Edstrom: Petition is good, tues at 3 is ok. what is your complete address?
Sent 2:59 AM 07/07/2014|Stored 6:12 AM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: Residence: 3339 park ave bx 10456. Mailing [street address and apartment number redacted from blog] nyc 10019. i like as little mail going to the shelter as possible, esp bc it doesn’t forward.
Sent: 07:36 AM 07/07/2014
William Edstrom: What floor do you live on?
Sent: 01:44 PM 07/07/2014|Stored 1:56 PM 07/07/14
Scott Hutchins: Rm 104.
Sent: 05:38 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: Sorry dead battery-can’t charge at shelter after 9 pm-before curfew.
Sent: 05:48 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: I’m going to the soup kitchen at all souls if you need me to sign anything.
Sent: 06:15 PM 07/07/2014
William Edstrom: I cannot haggle with you for the 2 items of information, name and complete legal address of residence. They are both short answer questions.
Sent 10:23 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: What are you still missing?
Sent: 10:25 PM 07/07/2014
William Edstrom: I also cannot listen to anymore long stories, unrelated responses, unsolicited personal information, in response to asking a relevant short answer question.
Sent 10:29 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: All i did was explain texting delay-phone wouldn’t stay on.
Sent: 10:30 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: First floor.
Sent 10:32 PM 07/07/2014
Scott Hutchins: I have an unlimited metrocard, so please tell me where and when you want to meet to get this submitted.
Sent: 07:15 AM 07/08/2014
Scott Hutchins: Full legal name is scott andrew hutchins.
Sent 11:05 AM 07/08/2014
Me When and where do you want to meet so we can finish this? Scott Andrew Hutchins
William Edstrom I assumed you could answer two simple short answer questions by now. I was wrong. My bad. Whenever you feel like answering the 2 and only 2 SHORT ANSWER questions – i.e. name & address – that you need
Scott Andrew Hutchins
Scott Hutchins: So when are we going to get docs signed and notarized?
Sent 07:52 PM 07/08/2014
Green Party Candidate Scott, I’m concerned about your ability to follow simple instructions. I’m also concerned about your ability to answer a couple of simple questions needed for the voter petition, i.e. name & address.
After leaving the public library, I called him, got his voice mail, and again supplied the information on his voice mail, saying that I didn’t appreciate him dragging a disabled person around for six hours on his cane only to pull shenanigans of this nature. In fact, after supplying him with my address for the fourth time, all he got before the machine cut off was “I don’t appreciate being dragged around.” My tone may have been slightly hostile, but the texts he sent me were certainly hostily worded.
William Edstrom: Scott, I have doubts about your suitability to be a candidate this year. Your responses are confirming my doubts. I do not feel comfortable proceeding with your
Sent 12:00 PM 07/09/2014
William Edstrom: Petition at this time. Any registered voter in the state of new York can witness a voter petition, pls feel free to seek another registered voter if you wish.
Sent 12:04 PM 07/09/2014
Scott Hutchins: Your responses to me are extremely unprofessional. I’ve supplied you with my address four times and gotten very weird responses.
Sent: 12:43 PM 07/09/2014
William Edstrom: I am not interested in helping you with your petition.
Sent: 12:47 PM 07/09/2014
Scott Hutchins: then at least give it to me.
Sent 12:28 PM 07/09/2014
William Edstrom: No.
Sent 12:29 PM 07/09/2014
Scott Hutchins: You’re a thief and a liar. I will be sharing our correspondence.
Sent: 12:51 PM 07/09/2014
After his Gul Dukat/Captain Picard treatment of me, he’s not getting my vote, and his antics belong in the purview of the public. We need an alternative to the Democratic Party, but William Edstrom certainly isn’t it. And without the addresses of the candidates, I will not be trying to re-collect the signatures with another registered voter, so District 77 will not have a Green Party candidate for State Assembly because William Edstrom cannot behave in a professional manner.