Returning From My Foray Into Politics

It’s almost a fist to the head kind of moment to realize I haven’t put a personal blog post up on this site since February last year.

Those that have regular contact with me know the story, but I suspect there are others on my distribution that weren’t aware of how my 2016 evaporated with my entire focus for the year spent pursuing a bid for U.S. Congress in New York’s 22nd District.

Adding to the improbability of the story was my choice to run as a third party candidate – seeking to buck the odds since no one has successfully done that in the last 5,000+ congressional elections since Bernie Sanders in 1990.

But then, entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to pursue the improbable and the entire effort was centered around my message of spurring job creation through the very things I’ve learned in my journey of starting and growing non profit Upstate Venture Connect these last seven years. Our mission there is to build scalable pathways connecting first time entrepreneurs to the resources needed to grow companies in new, fast growth industries. We are pushing Upstate NY’s economy in the direction that not only leverages our assets, but can actually succeed through private sector rather than government driven programs.

While I did not win the election, I’ve absolutely no regret for having run the gauntlet of a difficult, and sometimes vicious campaign fight that was an immersive and total learning experience from beginning to end.

Even though there is a most interesting backstory on how major parties and related special interests rig the system to stymie independents from advancing, I won’t be blogging much with retrospective campaign reflections or commenting on the dismal state of our political affairs.

Those people interested are welcome to browse through the Babinec For Congress site and if suffering insomnia, might watch one or more of our short documentary videos on Running Independent.

But I will share that the big motivator for me to run as an independent was realizing how the quirk in NY State’s election law permitting fusion voting actually gives minor parties a terrific opportunity to influence the political discourse by attracting major party candidates to co-list on the minor party lines.

So my personal quest in advancing the Upstate Jobs Party will continue and I do expect to put some posts up that share some of what I learned from my foray into the political world – including how entrepreneurs and others who care about job creation can make a difference at influencing a broader community without resorting to the quagmire of seeking change through public policy.

And since I’ve now re-engaged in growing Upstate Venture Connect and resumed investing and mentoring more startup entrepreneurs, you can expect to see more posts on these topics as well.

Looking forward to diving back in and hope to see comments and feedback as we re-energize building community.

It’s good to be back.

2 Responses to “Returning From My Foray Into Politics”

  1. Hello Martin – We share a common history, having both starting Payroll/HR related software companies in the 1990’s and then returning to NYS to face the challenges of the public/private economic model here! I decided to pursue local politics as a means to influence change and was successful at helping our community modernize public safety, but not so much on the economic front…I am now considering an Independent run for Mayor, but have just recently started a new venture called Self Employ Networks, LLC. NY State is a tough place to do business, but it is good to see private sector leaders like yourself trying to make a difference. Hope to connect again in the near term.

    Reply
    • Hi Rick – No doubt we have some public policy challenges in NYS but my Silicon Valley experience brings an appreciation for me on how entrepreneurs and innovation can thrive notwithstanding a high tax and regulatory environment. Helping draw more experienced entrepreneurs into the mix to help the next gen is what will make the difference. I’ll hope you continue the public office pursuit and perhaps we can link up on the Upstate Venture Connect side.

      Reply

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