Roque De La Fuente
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San Diego real estate baron, car dealer, and banker Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente, who is running for president of the United States, has become the first person in modern history to submit enough signatures to get on the Michigan primary ballot.

Normally, Michigan's secretary of state chooses candidates who are "generally advocated by the national news media to be potential presidential candidates," according to the Detroit Free Press.

"No candidate under the modern presidential primary system, which dates to 1972, has submitted signatures to attempt to get on the primary ballot," a spokesman for the state Bureau of Elections told the Detroit News. But De La Fuente, using volunteers and paid petition circulators, got 20,166 signatures. De La Fuente's feat "is a first," said the spokesman. The Board of Canvassers has to give the final go-ahead January 29.

I reached De La Fuente while he was campaigning today (December 20) in New Hampshire.

"I was the first person in history to qualify in Michigan" through signatures, he said. Officials of the Democratic Party "are playing a chess game they believe I don't know how to play, but I can play good," he said.

De La Fuente is now qualified in 17 states plus American Samoa, he said. As a result of a ping-pong ball lottery, he will be listed first among Democrats in Arizona, according to Historically, those listed first on a ballot "have a 10 percent advantage," he said.

He expects former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley to drop out and throw his support to Hillary Clinton, and possibly become her vice presidential candidate.

De La Fuente expects to be named to the ballot in Massachusetts tomorrow (December 21) and says "I am working my ass off" to get on the North Carolina ballot. He proudly points out that he now has a Wikipedia listing.

"It took me 64 days," he said. "I don't want [Hillary Clinton] to attempt to run the country for the next eight years and I won't let Donald Trump become a dictator and get us into World War III."

De La Fuente is running as a conservative Democrat. He believes he could drain important votes from the Democratic candidate if he ran as an independent, but he said he is not contemplating that.

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Ponzi Dec. 20, 2015 @ 9:56 p.m.

Don, how did he acquire his wealth?


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:06 p.m.

Ponzi: First, his father was rich and he inherited a bundle. Then, he had a veritable mare's nest of companies in San Diego and Mexico, and some offshore, supposedly owned by various members of his family.

The federal government called him dishonest when he was a banker. At one time he had a big string of auto dealerships in San Diego but he is now down to one. He owns much real estate in South County and has taken in a lot of money by suing government entities. He also owns restaurants, movie theaters and the like in Latin American countries. Best, Don Bauder


petezanko Dec. 21, 2015 @ 1:53 p.m.

Can you really still call him a "banker" if he's been banned from banking?

How come that wasn't mentioned in this piece? Why is this flake being given any attention? I'm not sure the writer realizes this is a humor piece.


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:16 p.m.

petezanko: When I broke the story about him running for president, I wrote up his experience with bank regulators and the U.S. calling him personally dishonest. That story ran Oct. 3 with the headline "Rocky for president in 2016?"

The government tried to ban him from banking but it is not clear it succeeded.

I have written extensively on De La Fuente both for the Union-Tribune and for the Reader. I am sure I have written more than anybody else. Most of what I have written has been negative. Rocky has mentioned that in the times I have talked with him since he launched his bid for the presidency. Best, Don Bauder


petezanko Dec. 22, 2015 @ 5:32 a.m.

This doesn't answer why you and the Reader gave him the publicity he craves, and what value it provides to readers or the public at large (except as a humor piece). Also, wouldn't a phone call to a regulator or two be enough to find out if the banking ban's in effect?


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2015 @ 7:05 a.m.

petezanko: "A phone call or two to a regulator." It's obvious you haven't experienced the bureaucratic shuffle, particularly at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Best, Don Bauder


Founder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 2:59 p.m.

Very interesting that Bernie Sanders is not mentioned by Rocky, since even HRC is concerned that Bernie might win the DNC nomination.

I wonder if Rocky will feel the Bern?


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:19 p.m.

Founder: De La Fuente never mentioned Sanders when last I talked with him, which was Sunday. Rocky says he is running as a conservative Democrat. Sanders, obviously, is not. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel Dec. 22, 2015 @ 7:05 a.m.

founder/captd The latest national polls I have seen all show Hillary just about doubling up on Sanders, Quinnipiac at 61-30 and Monmouth at 59-26, for example. So at this point, I don't think anyone is seriously "concerned" that Sanders might win the Democratic nomination, but rather cautiously vigilant.

BTW, it's not the DNC (Democratic National Committee) nomination, it is the Democratic Party nomination. Just a little bit different


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2015 @ 7:08 a.m.

danfogel: Yes, but there seems to be wider-than-normal deviation in Hillary/Sanders polls. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:20 p.m.

Shimizu Randall: He lacks Hillary's name recognition. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:22 p.m.

Mike Murphy: At one time he had a number of dealerships, but now only has one in El Cajon. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 22, 2015 @ 7:35 a.m.

I know, my parents ( long ago) got ripped off by his dealership


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2015 @ 2:20 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Name me one person who hasn't been ripped off by an auto dealership. I honestly don't know if Rocky's were any more of less corrupt than others' in town. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 21, 2015 @ 9:24 p.m.

Jean-Paul Cousin: If you are a Uruguay resident, you won't be able to vote for him. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Dec. 22, 2015 @ 5:34 a.m.

There is nothing like an old fool and Rocky qualifies as one. He is a legend in his own mind. I do have a slogan he could use "Trump to the Dump".


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2015 @ 7:09 a.m.

AlexClarke: Or "Pillory Hiiiary" Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 22, 2015 @ 9:48 a.m.

I must register a protest at the use of the wildly oxymoronic term "conservative Democrat".


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2015 @ 2:24 p.m.

Visduh: Conservative Democrat probably means that he is more sympathetic to Wall Street and big business than other Democrats, particularly those of the left, such as Bernie Sanders. Best, Don Bauder


eastlaker Dec. 23, 2015 @ 8:03 a.m.

As if we needed another cartoon character running.


Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2015 @ 9:37 a.m.

eastlaker: Yes, but one just dropped out -- Graham -- so there is room for one more. Best, Don Bauder


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