Running As a Favorite Son - But Whose?
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Running as a ″favorite son″ from one’s home state is a venerable political tradition. Now Andrew P. Sundberg wants to give that tradition a new twist.
Sundberg, an American who lives in Geneva, Switzerland, will be a delegate at the Democratic national convention in July as a representative of Democrats Abroad, an organization that the party treats like a small state, giving it nine votes out of 4,160 at the convention.
Sundberg is trying to get his own name and delegates pledged to him on ballots as a favorite son candidate for the primary-election-by-mail that Democrats Abroad will hold on March 22. And like any candidate, he has a platform.
One of his big issues is citizenship rights. Sundberg is married to a Frenchwoman whom he met at Oxford and they have two daughters.
″They have three citizenships: U.S., French and Swiss,″ Sundberg said. ″But if they marry, they have to come and live here for five years if their children are to be American citizens. That’s second-class citizenship, and it ought to be changed.″
He also thinks his daughters should be able to run for president.
″The First Congress, in 1791, defined U.S. citizens born abroad as ‘natural born’ citizens,″ he says. ″This term was later dropped from the law.″
Another of his interests is U.S. taxation of American living in other countries. While many are exempt up to a certain income level, he says they should be completely exempt because they are liable for taxes in the countries where they live. He calls their liability at home ″impossibly complicated double taxation.″
Many U.S. employers compensate their American staff for the additional taxes the staff must pay on assignment abroad.
Sundberg also wants Americans overseas to have a non-voting representative in Congress, like Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Sundberg was born in Hackensack, N.J., raised in Japan, West Germany and Chicago; attended the U.S. Naval Academy and Oxford; and served as a naval officer in Vietnam. For the last 19 years, he’s been living in Geneva.
He was in Washington on Thursday politicking on behalf of Democrats Abroad and cultivating his business as an international economic consultant.
Democrats Abroad operates in 15 countries. Sundberg says he has people working for his candidacy in Britain, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland, and is organizing in Egypt.
Members like to point out that the number of potential overseas voters is much greater than in many states.
″What I want to do is focus attention on the 3 million potential voters living abroad, what they can contribute and what their needs are,″ Sundberg said.
But he had a word of caution.
″No favorite son,″ he said, ″should take himself too seriously.″