Kaleka says he'll run for 1st District congressional seat
Amar Kaleka says “it's official” that he will run against Paul Ryan for the 1st District congressional seat next year.
Kaleka made the announcement Monday in an email to supporters from his exploratory campaign.
Kaleka had made a video about himself in which he promised to run if he could garner $5,000 by Sunday. He said that deadline was met within 24 hours of the announcement.
Kaleka ended his announcement with a pitch for donations, saying donations would show that he can raise significant money without getting it from “special interests.
“They'll be running scared because they'll know for a fact that the people are behind me. Then, when they mud sling at me about aliens and 9/11, then you will know why.”
Kaleka did not respond to messages from The Gazette seeking comment, but press accounts have raised questions about a documentary Kaleka directed called “Sirius.”
“Sirius” focuses on allegations that the U.S. government covered up visits by extra-terrestrials and accuses oil interests of suppressing the existence of alternative energy sources, The Capital Times wrote.
Asked whether he believes extra-terrestrials exist, he told the Capital Times, “I don't think that any knowledgeable human would say that extra-terrestrials don't exist.”
Mother Jones magazine took the story further, connecting Kaleka to an idea in the film that the 9/11 attacks were not what has been presented to the public.
Mother Jones reporter Patrick Caldwell talked to Kaleka after the article appeared and wrote that Kaleka questions the official accounts of the attacks.
Also in the follow-up interview, Kaleka told Caldwell that Ryan and Rob Zerban—the other Democrat running against Ryan—are behind an effort to change the public's perceptions of Kaleka.
Kaleka told interviewers that he is like the director of a fictional movie; he doesn't necessarily agree with the characters in the movie.
“My job is to make films that sometimes push the envelope, that might scare you a little,” he told The Capital Times. “But it's not our job as legislators to push bills that scare the bejeezus out of the middle class.”
Kaleka, 35, is a son of the leader of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek who was killed, along with five others, by a gunman in 2012. Kaleka has said gun control is an important issue to him.
If Zerban and Kaleka both gain ballot status, they would face a primary election Aug. 12, 2014.