New London man running for president of the United States

New London — His name is not as well known as presidential candidates Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but David Morascini of New London says he has more to offer: common sense and a driving desire to end war worldwide. 

Morascini, 60, has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to become a presidential candidate and is making a push to get on the presidential ballot.

His message to voters: “World peace now. If not now, when?”

The Columbia native and former nightclub owner, who wears a handlebar mustache and has his salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a pony tail, admits his campaign platform is something of a throwback to the 1960s era of peace and love.

He embraces the hippie comparisons and thinks baby boomers and millennials alike will share his views.

“My first day as president I will declare the U.S. a peaceful country," he said. "I think some people might think, ‘This guy’s crazy, but he’s right.’ I speak from my heart and soul. How long have people been begging for world peace?”

“If not now, when?” was a recurring theme during a recent interview in the cabin of his docked boat, a 40-foot Silverton, where he lives.

Morascini moved to New London while his wife was being treated for breast cancer. He ended up staying after she died.

Between puffs of his Maverick cigarette, Morascini talked about legalization of drugs and prostitution, his dreams of global disarmament and the pressing problem of climate change.

Morascini is among 1,494 presidential candidates listed on the Federal Election Commission website from all flavors of parties, from communists and socialists to Right to Life and Independence Party.

A few of the candidates listed include Yoda, Buddy the Elf, Zorro the Cockroach and Mickey Mouse.

Along with signing forms, a candidate under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 must receive "contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000 or give consent to his campaign to receive contributions."

Morascini has yet to garner that amount.

Morascini shunned the two major party system in his previous campaigns. He filed paperwork to run for president in 1992 and 1996 as a member of the Human Being Party.

He registered as a Democrat for this election in hopes of garnering more support.

Morascini said he doesn’t believe in foreign policy, only “world policy,” and said the country should relinquish its role as the “world’s policeman.” He said the U.S. is in a strong position to lead the world by example.

“The rest of the world sees us as bullies, and we are,” he said. “That needs to end. As far as countries like North Korea or Iran — I’ll sit down, look them in the eye and say, ‘Stop the bull****. We’re not your enemies.’”

On immigration, Morascini said he’s not a big believer in building walls or fences, but in light of recent terrorist attacks worldwide, he thinks appropriate measures should be taken to screen foreigners before they enter the country.

“Everyone has a right to be here, but there are a lot of angry people out there,” he said.

He said the government needs to be slimmed down, the inequality in incomes needs to be addressed and climate change needs to become a top priority.

“Our oceans are dying, and if they die we die,” he said.

If elected he does not plan to interfere with people’s right to bear arms.

“I hate (guns), but I understand where our forefathers came from. I’m not going to take them away,” Morascini said. “It’s not the guns killing people. It’s a mentality in our society where someone thinks it's O.K. to use a gun and kill another person.”

Morascini’s campaign is strictly grassroots. He said he hasn’t done much in the way of campaigning at all aside from the establishment of a Facebook page and an effort to sell T-shirts with his campaign slogan on the website www.Booster.com.

“I’m really not asking anybody for anything,” Morascini said. “I don’t ask people for money, but I’ll certainly take it. People need to hear what I have to say. I think if people heard what I had to say they’d support me.”

Morascini grew up in Columbia and studied for two years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute before heading out on travels across the globe, including five years in Brussels, where he started an advertising company.

He is the previous owner of the Palace Cafe and Restaurant in Stafford Springs.

In 1990, he made headlines when he filed suit against the commissioner of the state police after they sent him a $1,991 bill for security at a concert for the controversial group 2 Live Crew.

He refused to pay the bill and won a Superior Court ruling related to the constitutionality of state police security in relation to music and other protected speech.

The state Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling in a 4-3 decision.

He said he now works as a life coach, a self-employed counselor.

He was recently listed as the potential tavern manager in an idea pitched by his brother, Anthony Morascini, for redevelopment of the Lighthouse Inn in New London.

Whether Morascini will appear on Connecticut’s or any other state’s Democratic primary ballot is another question.

The criteria on how to get on to a ballot differ from state to state.

In Connecticut, the secretary of the state can make a judgment call and determine that someone’s candidacy is “generally and seriously advocated or recognized according to reports in the national or state news media.”

Otherwise, a candidate can petition his or her way on to a ballot by gathering signatures from 1 percent of the active registered voters from their party in Connecticut.

With 700,099 registered and active Democrats in Connecticut as of Nov. 3, Morascini would need 7,001 signatures to appear on the primary ballot.

He has no immediate plans to gather those signatures but said a little bit of press could go a long way. He recently appeared on the local public access show The Renshaw Report.

He said he’ll head to New Hampshire for the primaries where he will “visit diners, stand on street corners and talk to the press.”

“That could get you on TV on a slow news day. People will either say, 'He’s crazy or, whoa, where has he been?'” he said.

g.smith@theday.com

Twitter: @SmittyDay

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