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These days Mickey Kaus has eight other things he should be doing at any given moment, like mobilizing volunteers and finding large e-mail lists he could use to hit up people up for money.

He's expected to have positions on issues like partial-birth abortion and the Chinese yuan.

And potential voters who critique the website for his candidacy aren't kind.

""They're not friendly about it," Kaus said. "They say, 'You call yourself a candidate? You don't even have PayPal on your site. That's pathetic.' "

Kaus, the political blogger running as a primary challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, doesn't even have a particular beef against her. When he crashed an L.A. press conference she held on health care, he thought she was pretty good.

If she beats him, he'll support her in the general election. But Kaus sees Boxer as a "down-the-line liberal, not a creative liberal."

"You'll look in vain for any hint of original thought ... or quirkiness," he said. "She's for comprehensive immigration reform, card check, down the line for labor. She's wrong on these issues, and somebody needs to say it and make her answer. Something has to change or else the party's going to go over a cliff, especially on the union issue."

Those two topics -- Democrats' interest in legalizing illegal immigrants and their inability to say no to public employee unions -- are what Kaus says he's in the campaign to discuss.

"The time (the party) doesn't spend doing the union's bidding it spends chasing after the Latino vote," he said.

Kaus, 58, doesn't want talk about "amnesty" or "a path to legalization" or anything else until the borders are closed, and he thinks most Californians would agree with him.

"Nobody has a problem with the illegals who are here. They are good people, hard-working people," he said. "But no one wants to reward them with amnesty until we are sure that they are the last 12 million."

He's also fed up with teachers unions who fight charter schools.

Why then, is he not a Republican?

Kaus says he believes in government. He was for the health care bill. He supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights. He's big on environmental protection and vigorous regulation of business.

And despite the headaches, running against Boxer is easier than his first idea -- setting up a nonprofit to talk about immigration. All he had to do was get 65 signatures and pay about $3,000 -- no problem compared with drawing up a charter, establishing a board of directors and going through the legal hoops that setting up a nonprofit requires.

"It's amazingly easy," Kaus said. "It was a completely doable week's work. I don't understand why a whole lot more people don't run for office."



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