Comedian Bill Maher is considering all options before determining which House lawmaker he’ll try to unseat later this fall.
If the torrent of #flipadistrict nominees that irate constituents have splashed across social media are any indication, Maher should have no shortage of targets to choose from.
Maher provided an update about the fledgling campaign on his show “Real Time ,” stressing that his team is still very much in the research phase.
“We are looking to find one really bad congressman out there. And, apparently, from the reaction we got last week, there are a lot of them … really gerrymandered lamos who people want to get rid of,” Maher told his HBO viewers. He urged people to nominate "someone who represents you who you think is a lemon, ... someone who is just a useless waste of space."
Per Maher, the plan is to cast as wide a net as possible and then pare down the field via a March Madness-style bracket.
“We are not close to deciding who is going to be the guy,” he warned, adding that the selection phase will probably extend until the end of April.
"We will pick one, we will spend this whole year periodically going to that district and talking about this congressman and see if we can get some change affected in America," Maher said recently on the show.
“Real Time” executive producer Scott Carter shared some additional intel about the interactive project with Lost Remote :
LR: ‘Real Time’ has always been known to push the boundaries of political discourse. Are there concerns that Flip a District might go too far? Carter: The prime directive of Flip A District will be: first, do no harm. We aim to be a balm in Gilead, not a fly in the ointment. We think that our involvement will help to counter-balance the excesses arising from the Citizens United decision. LR: Why give people the opportunity to vote on which district to flip versus Bill choosing the district himself? Carter: There are 435 districts. Most have incumbents running for re-election. We think our fans can help us narrow down the field of villains, hucksters and boobs. But, in the end, the choice will be Bill’s.Fed-up political observers have begun lobbying in earnest, tossing out names and complaints (the grievances are legion) designed to ensure that Maher trains his rat-a-tat barbs at their representative from now until November. (They also are posting on his website .)
One determined tweeter bombarded the #flipadistrict feed for nearly an hour with gripes about Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.:
He isn't the only one catching hell.
Rep Leonard Lance, R-N.J.:
@RealTimers @HBO PLEASE #flipadistrict Rep. LEONARD LANCE (R-NJ-07). He's a nasty man, who votes "NO" on EVERY Prog. piece of legislation!!! — Truthglow (@truthglow) February 13, 2014
Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis.:
#FlipADistrict Bill help get Sean Duffy out of 7th dist Wi. Scott walker, Ron Johnson, & related band of thieves -we have to many a@@holes — John Terzynski (@JohnTerzynski) February 13, 2014
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas:
@billmaher txcd27 with Blake "ducky pajama pants" Farenthold needs your help to #flipadistrict. We want #wesleyreedforcongress — Teresa Klein (@terklein) February 13, 2014
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.:
@billmaher #flipadistrict we need help in Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has got to go — Michael Fiorellino (@michaelfiorell2) February 13, 2014
Rep, Keith Rothfus, R-Pa.:
#flipadistrict Keith Rothfus, PA. Spends ALL his time impeding progress in an extremely gerrymandered district. He's hopless & idealess — Elizabeth Law (@LizLaw5) February 13, 2014
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.:
#flipadistrict California's 49th, Darrell Issa uses a subpoena to capture his opponents, then bludgeons the witness with demeaning rudeness. — Madge (@madgicalcats) February 13, 2014
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.:
#flipadistrict michigan#11 He's an idiot, called for Obama's impeachment, is a do-nothing tea partier that got elected on a fluke — Monica Wolfson (@mjwolfs) February 13, 2014
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.:
@billmaher Save Florida's 3rd district (and America) from Ted Yoho #flipadistrict — Sam Sullivan (@smstr66) February 13, 2014
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.:
@billmaher we would really like to see @LEETERRYNE featured on #flipadistrict the man is a fraud and he only cares about his own #NiceHouse — Kevin Charles (@thekevincharles) February 13, 2014
Whole House GOP leadership:
#flipadistrict heres a good start flip this crap! pic.twitter.com/SxiFkkUG35 — Laura (@justicewillwin) February 13, 2014
And the entire Alabama delegation:
Everyone in every district here. Help us. #flipadistrict @billmaher — Todd Allen (@east_alabama) February 13, 2014
Meanwhile, at least one guy seems worried Maher is only handing tea partyers a rousing new battle cry:
@billmaher @HBO Are you at all concerned that #flipadistrict will backfire? Very few things unite conservatives like their distaste for you. — Jacob Morley (@clumsyolpfan) February 13, 2014