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Selling "shares" in a campaign

A self-proclaimed carpetbagger who brought the Web savvy from his surfside home south of San Francisco to take on a Central Valley congressman has put his campaign on the virtual auction block.

Jeffrey Vance, a carpenter by trade and political neophyte, is selling out - literally - offering shares in his fledgling campaign on eBay, the online marketplace.

The Web site boasts 20 million items for sale at a time, including scores of political memorabilia, but no campaigns that eBay is aware of, said a company spokesman.

But his platform is also grounded in the belief that special interests are to blame for some of the nation's problems.

"Congress is pretty much bought and sold," Vance said. "If you look at the funding sources you'll see why we don't have a utopia."

For believers in a future paradise, he is offering $20 certificates "of Democratic freedom" that carry the following disclaimer: "No undue rights or privileges or access or undue influence are accorded the bearer." But Vance does promise he will be "unfettered by corporate and special interest control." -- AP