Ken W. Goewey, a car dealer known for years by his “What a guy” television ads, is running for governor in 2010.
But it won’t be your usual campaign.
For one thing, Goewey said he plans to spend little or no money on his gubernatorial run, using instead the Internet and volunteers to bring his campaign to the people.
“The trick is not to take the money,” Goewey said Friday about large campaign contributions from large corporations and special-interest groups. He is capping any campaign contributions at $200 per person.
“I’m looking to serve the silent majority, not the people who already have access,” Goewey said.
His platform is “The Plan, One-Half Government,” meaning he wants to cut state government in half and reduce taxes by half. He said state budgets would be based on this half-sized revenue stream.
He wants, for example, to privatize all governmental functions “except matters of state using productivity standards.”
If elected, Goewey said, he would be a one-term, volunteer public servant, receiving no pay, pension or health care benefits, something he calls “servant leadership.”
He says his special interest is in health-related issues. He believes, for example, that mega-doses of certain vitamins can keep people out of the hospital.
Turning to education, he wants to return to “the one-room schoolhouse model,” with more skilled students tutoring the less proficient ones.
Starting in the 1980s, Goewey, who once had car dealerships in Schenectady, Troy, and Latham, ran television ads promoting his businesses. The ads always ended with an upbeat: “Ken Goewey, what a guy!”
Goewey is now 72 and lives in Wynantskill, southeast of Troy. He sold his new car dealerships in the early 1990s. His son, Bryan, currently runs used car dealerships and service centers with the slogan “Team Goewey, what a team,” in Schenectady, Latham and Troy.
Goewey said he has talked to the office of state Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Mondello of Nassau County about running for governor.
“They didn’t discourage me,” Goewey said. “They told me what I needed to do.”
Goewey said he didn’t talk directly to Mondello but plans to have a “face to face with him” in the near future.
Goewey will be circulating petitions starting next week to appear on the 2010 election ballot for governor. He said he needs to get 10,000 signatures on his nominating petitions to make sure he has the 7,000 valid signatures needed to put his name on the ballot.
“I will run as a Republican, but I’m really a constitutionalist,” Goewey said. He said he thinks American politics should go back to the way it was with the founding fathers.
“You would serve one term and go back to the farm,” Goewey said.
Now, politicians raise huge amounts of money to remain in office, often for decades. But he said they are beholden to the special-interest groups and corporations that have given them campaign cash.
“We can cut the government right in half,” he said.
Since he announced his candidacy a week ago, he has been hearing from people saying they agree with him.
“People are telling me, ‘I want to help,’ ” he said.
Goewey, who likes to have his picture taken in an 18th century-style three-cornered hat like those worn by the patriots, said he attended the first “Tea Party” rally held in Albany that protested big state government, wasteful spending and entrenched politicians only interested in enhancing their own coffers and image.
“My big thing is the health care aspect,” Goewey said.
He has carefully studied alternative medicine, especially during the long sickness of his late wife, Jerrie-Ann, who died in April.
Goewey said health care in the United States is out of control and “consumes unreal amounts of money while maintaining chronic illness.”
He’s against a national health care system run by the government. He said good health “thrives on a highly functioning immune system using every readily available nutrient as well as self mega-dosing well beyond the national recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamins.”
He advocates a Health Savings Account, which is self-funded or paid for by a grant from an employer.
Goewey was born in Albany, attended Siena College and received an associate degree from SUNY Farmingdale. He served in the U.S. Army, and in 1960, he and his parents started Ken Goewey Dodge.
He and his late wife were volunteer family life directors in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese for 14 years. He currently owns Alternative Cars and Trucks Inc. in Wynantskill, a wholesale car business. He is the father of four grown children and has four grandchildren. His Web site is www.wellnessjourney.org.