Lewiston-born Gerald Polley tried to run for president with first lady Laura Bush as veep.

As a 17-year-old with a drinking problem, Gerald Polley walked up to a fellow in Bangor who looked like a guy who’d made death threats against him, announced “You’re it,” and shot the stranger in the groin.

Cooling his heels later in the county jail, Polley had his first vision.

The visitor in his vision told the teen – a vocal atheist up to then – he had a gift for channeling. Polley says he has since been speaking for, and to, God and famous dead people.

Sometimes messages are serious, sometimes whimsical. Some deal with the future (he believes he already knows Tuesday’s election results) and some ask him to do things that might seem a little out there.

Last fall, Polley says, God told him to run for president on the Republican ticket. And not just that: First lady Laura Bush ought to be his running mate.

The 61-year-old Lewiston-born dishwasher who lives in Bismarck, N.D., has never held public office. That didn’t deter him from ordering white-and-brown pens printed up with “Polley for President 2008” and “Save America.” Or from sending Laura Bush 70-plus e-mails, cc’d to the media.

And no, he insists, this wasn’t a joke, though Polley is used to some ribbing. Over the past 15 years he’s been on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and in everything from Playboy Magazine to Harper’s. Polley and his wife, Linda, who channels songs written by John Lennon in the afterlife, are regulars on the KROQ Kevin and Bean morning show in Los Angeles.

“We get on a lot of radio shows; some of the people on them think we’re absolute freaks,” Gerald said in a phone interview this week.

Polley grew up Down East in Surry. He met Linda at a Bangor seance about a year after his three-year stint in prison for the shooting. Linda had recently lost both parents and was curious to hear if they had messages for her.

Her husband-to-be got his own message that night.

“A voice spoke to me and said, ‘This is the one you’re waiting for,’ and I was actually more interested in her friend. The Lord said, ‘Nope, she’s the one,'” Gerald said. The couple married 36 years ago.

Her psychic abilities picked up after the move to North Dakota in 1998. Shortly after, she started channeling Lennon. His music and songs, 160 so far, come to her in visions.

Lennon provided a campaign song for Gerald, available on their Web site, www.voicesfromspirit.com. Kurt Cobain’s new songs have also come through, but they’re largely unprintable. Too profane.

The Polleys spend most mornings channeling, with Linda taking notes. When he goes off to work, just down the street at an Italian restaurant called The Walrus, she e-mails supporters and followers of their Spiritist religion.

Gerald seems genuinely surprised that his campaign never caught much national attention and that Laura Bush never acknowledged his e-mails. She recently visited a school near their apartment in support of a reading program and did not drop by to see the Polleys.

That was it for Jesus, Gerald said. “He went to God and tendered his resignation.”

The campaign was over and Jesus was moving on.

“Nov. 8, when it’s sunset in Jerusalem, he will somewhere in the world board a spaceship and go off with some of his alien friends and become their messiah, their savior, and he’s ending his relationship with man.”

Before that happens, Polley says it’s his goal to get on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” one last time to allow Jesus to bid farewell.

So that prediction for next Tuesday?

“Sadly, we believe Obama will probably win by something like 65 percent.”

Remember, God had asked him to run as a Republican.

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