Alive & Unedited: Travis Irvine

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

More than 13 months from Election Day, the race for the 12th district Congressional seat is already red hot. Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks is running, so is incumbent Republican Pat Tiberi. The latest hat in the ring comes from upstart Libertarian Travis Irvine, who ran for mayor of Bexley in 2007. He shared more about starting strong.


I was born at the old St. Ann's Hospital. I was raised and grew up in Bexley. Right now I live here, but I work in New York. My family's here. I vote here. But I can't make the money that I want to make doing what I do as an independent filmmaker and videographer.

The first movie I made was about killer raccoons. It was called Coons!: Night of the Bandits of the Night. We were the first movie in history to use frozen dead animals with opposable thumbs. It's actually getting pretty good reviews.

My other job is for Matthew Lesko. Do you remember those infomercials with a guy in a question-mark suit running around, talking about free money from the government? That's him. I work for his website. He's a smart guy.

In a way, my run for mayor of Bexley was a success. I got five percent of the popular vote against seven other candidates - and I didn't get last place, either. The one thing I learned is that it's a marathon, not a sprint. That's a classic lesson.

After the mayor thing didn't work out, a friend got me an internship with Sen. Charles Schumer. He used to call me Mayor, which I thought was funny. My job was to work on press releases and get Chuck's grapefruit and cottage cheese in the morning.

That experience gave me my Capitol Hill education. It is, straight up, one side versus the other. That's it. There's no gray area. It's just Republicans versus Democrats.

When people think about third parties, they think they don't have a chance and they'd be wasting a vote. I wish that people would wake up and realize that there is an alternative to the lesser-of-two-evils mentality.

My goal is to try to bring in the young people, the twentysomethings who have been disenchanted with the Democrats and Republicans. The old guard will sit there and say, "Oh, it doesn't work like that. You'll learn." One of the best things about our generation is that we keep showing people new ways of doing things.

A point that I want at the forefront of my campaign is that globalization does not mean centralization. We're in a time where, yes, we are getting to be a globalized economy. But when we centralize these power structures, people start to get left out. People get screwed. You can have a global community of local governments.

In spare time, I enjoy stand-up comedy - watching it and doing it. It's interesting to merge the comedy act with the political race. The comedy has really helped my debate skills.

Know someone doing cool things in Columbus? E-mail John Ross at