Who is David Vogel, and why is he running against Cicilline and Doherty?

Sep 28, 2012

Providence lawyer David Vogel, the independent candidate in the First Congressional District, has mostly gained attention for attracting 8 percent of the vote in a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll. But who is he, and why is he running what some might consider a quixotic campaign versus David Cicilline and Brendan Doherty?

Vogel offered some answers during an appearance this week on RIPR’s Political Roundtable and Bonus Q+A. (You can hear more about his policy views by listening to the two segments linked in the preceding sentence.) Highlights:

– Vogel says he’s running because of frustration with the nature of contemporary politics, including the dominance of campaign contributions: “We have mounting evidence that suggests that our politics as we know it, which we all grew up learning is ‘of the people, by the people, for the people,’ has become anything but . . . . I’m not much of a protester, but I felt that getting involved was almost a necessity at this point in my life.”

– Vogel says he grew up as a Democrat, living in Rhode Island since he was a young child,”so I certainly do not share the ring-wing agenda.” He says he plans to vote for President Obama because of the lack of a pragmatic independent alternative, and favors Cicilline’s views over Doherty’s.

– Asked about the possibility of being a spoiler in the race between Doherty and Cicilline, Vogel says, “Tough. Look, I’m in the race. I’m constitutionally allowed to be in the race. The other people have to earn their votes just like I do. Oh well.”

– Vogel says he’s not accepting campaign contributions, to avoid being “beholden” to his contributors. He says he answers every question he receives via email (dvogel@vogelaw.com).

– The independent says he consider himself part of a movement composed mostly of disaffected independents and Democrats against the political status quo. “There are a lot of people who have come of the woodwork who nobody has heard of,” he says, ”and yes, even though I’m not in touch with them, I do see myself as part of a growing movement in that sense, and I hope that would continue.”