Wiki Actu en

November 5, 2012

On the campaign trail, October 2012

On the campaign trail, October 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, October 2012

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The following is the twelfth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: a fan of Wikinews asks a critical question at the Second presidential debate; Gary Johnson discusses Syria and foreign intervention with Wikinews, and three candidates give the their final plea to voters ahead of the November 6 election.

Summary

October opened with President Barack Obama comfortably leading Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in most polls. This changed following the first presidential debate, which opinion polls and commentators declared as a Romney victory. Around 67 million Americans watched the Jim Lehrer-moderated debate, which focused on economic matters. CBS News analysis described the debate as possibly the best night of the Romney campaign, finding him in control of the discourse and appearing “reasonable, pragmatic and respectful.” On the other hand, the analysis characterized Obama as cautious, lacking energy, and exercising poor body language, particularly in his propensity to look down at his podium while Romney spoke. One memorable exchange occurred when Romney argued that he would cut federal funding to Lehrer’s network PBS, prefacing that he actually liked Lehrer, the network, and its Sesame Street character Big Bird, but argued that he would not continue “to borrow money from China to pay for it.” Afterwards, Romney experienced a bounce in the national polls, surpassing Obama for the lead in several. Shortly after the debate, September’s economic report was released, revealing a fall in unemployment to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate since the beginning of the Obama presidency. However, the Obama campaign hit a potential stumbling block as State Department officials reported details on the September 11 embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The administration had earlier claimed the attacks resulted from Innocence of Muslims protests, but it emerged the attacks were planned. The report raised questions of what the administration knew and why better protection was not provided to the consulate. The story broke just shy of the one and only Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, held in Danville, Kentucky. Though analysts drew contrasting conclusions on who won the debate with many believing Biden had won it on substance, much post-debate discussion focused on Biden’s aggression, use of the word “malarkey”, incessant smiling and laughing, and interruptions of both Ryan and the moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News.

Third party candidates Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, and Gary Johnson participate in the 2012 Free and Equal presidential debate.
Image: Connie Ma.

Shortly thereafter, the second presidential debate commenced in Hempstead, New York, moderated by CNN‘s Candy Crowley. The debate’s town hall format allowed the candidates to walk around the stage as they answered pre-selected questions from audience members. In contrast to the first debate, Obama appeared energetic and aggressive, as did Romney. CBS News described the debate as “contentious” with Obama and Romney attacking each other often and appearing to almost “come to blows” on one exchange. One such exchange occurred when Romney and Obama went back-and-forth about oil leases on federal lands. Obama claimed oil production increased during his administration; Romney agreed but countered that the increase was due only to private production, and that oil leases and production on federal lands actually decreased. The Benghazi attack presented another contentious topic at the debate with Obama claiming that he labeled the incident as a terrorist attack on the day after it happened, which Crowley confirmed, though she also noted the administration later claimed the incident was a reaction to the Innocence of Muslims. Before the next debate, the candidates appeared jointly at a less serious event, each taking part in the traditional Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner hosted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, where they joked about the election, their opponent, and themselves. The final debate held at Florida’s Lynn University and hosted by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer focused on foreign affairs, which the candidates often appeared to agree on. Notably, Romney avoided criticism of the president for his handling of the September 11 Benghazi attack. One disagreement between the candidates concerned the issue of military strength. Romney accused Obama of proposing budget cuts for the military and criticized him for maintaining a Navy with the fewest battleships since 1917. Obama countered that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets. Because the nature of the military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

The next day, four third party candidates excluded from the national debates for not meeting the Commission on Presidential Debates‘ polling threshold, but who satisfied the commission’s ballot access requirements, took part in a debate of their own sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and broadcast on C-SPAN with Larry King as the moderator. Those taking part in the debate included former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, former congressman and Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, former Salt Lake City Mayor and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, and physician Jill Stein, presidential nominee of the Green Party. The two candidates that received the highest number of votes following the event, Johnson and Stein, were then invited to a one-on-one-debate scheduled for the next week. The event was postponed due to the Superstorm Hurricane Sandy. Sandy hit the northeast coast on the final week of campaigning, causing damages largely in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The destruction and lack of electricity in certain areas raised questions of how the election could take place on November 6 amid such chaos. Furthermore, analysts questioned whether Obama’s response to the crisis would help him win the race. As Election Day neared, Obama secured critical endorsements from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Nevertheless, in the RealClearPolitics average for October 31, Romney and Obama remained in a statistical tie. Polling also indicated that the most critical swing states were Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, and North Carolina.

Wikinews fan sparks controversy at second presidential debate

Kerry Ladka, a senior sales associate at Global Telecom Supply and self-professed fan of Wikinews, was one of the individuals picked to address President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the October 16 presidential debate in Hempstead, New York. His question, which involved the September 11 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, sparked one of the debate’s most contentious and controversial moments.

According to Ladka, the Gallup organization randomly selected him to ask a question, which he devised without their assistance. In fact, prior to asking, Ladka explained to viewers that his question arose during a discussion with his friends at work.

Kerry Ladka asks President Obama a question during the second presidential debate.
Image: The New York Times.

Speaking directly to President Obama, Ladka mentioned the reports that the U.S. State Department denied additional security forces to the Libyan embassy before it was breached. He then asked, “Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?”

Obama responded that upon hearing of the breach, he gave three instructions to his national security advisers: (1) increase security at the Libyan embassy and other U.S. embassies throughout the region; (2) investigate the matter; and (3) find and prosecute the culprits of the attack. He then criticized Romney’s reaction to the event as “trying to make political points.” Romney responded that it took the administration too long to label the break-in as a terrorist act while casting blame on a YouTube trailer. Obama countered that he actually did refer to the attack as a terrorist act at the Rose Garden on the subsequent day and expressed outrage that Romney would suggest “anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own”. This remark led to a war of words between Romney, Obama, and moderator Candy Crowley.

Romney repeatedly asked Obama whether he actually said the attack was a terrorist act and not a “spontaneous demonstration.” Obama twice responded, “please proceed” before citing the transcript of his remarks from the Rose Garden. After the moderator confirmed the president’s statement, Obama asked her to do so “a little louder”. With Crowley doing so, Romney then argued that the administration instead had maintained the act was a reaction against a video, which Crowley also confirmed. Romney next attempted to question why the Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice “went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how this was a spontaneous reaction”, but Crowley decided to move on to other questions.

Ladka told The Washington Post he did not believe Obama adequately answered the question during the debate, but noted that afterwards, Obama approached him and explained that he had wanted, in the days following the attack, to ensure the intelligence he received on the matter was correct, and that to avoid endangerment he did not want to explicitly name any individual in the State Department responsible for denying security.

To the Post, Ladka remained undecided on whom he would give his vote. But now after time for further deliberation, he tells Wikinews he has come to a decision. Though he felt Romney was “very impressive” at the debate, he believes President Obama was the winner and has decided to cast his ballot for the President on Election Day.

Gary Johnson speaks to Wikinews on Syria and foreign intervention

Though the fallout from the break-in at Benghazi was the main foreign policy focus in October, there was also some discussion, especially during the final two-party debate, about the unrest in Syria and actions of the Bashar al-Assad government, which led to the killings of roughly 30,000 people and displacement of 300,000.

Gary Johnson.
Image: Gary Johnson.

During the third and final debate between Obama and Romney, both seemed to agree that the United States should help the anti-government forces in Syria. Gary Johnson, in contrast, has a completely different viewpoint on both Syria and the question of foreign intervention.

In an exclusive interview with Wikinews, Johnson asserts that assistance for the Syrian rebels for humanitarian purposes may simply lead to the rise of a faction worse than the regime in power. Broadly speaking, he finds that “we intervene in the name of humanity, and the result is…more times than not, a situation that is worse, not better.”

Nevertheless, Johnson does not hold an absolutist view against foreign intervention. When questioned about the need to intervene in the case of a genocide, he responded “I don’t think any of us want to stand by and watch that happen.” However, for any kind of military intervention, Johnson favors congressional approval.

But for what actually constitutes a genocide requiring intervention, Johnson holds, “let me borrow from a Supreme Court justice that was asked his definition of pornography. [He said] You know, I can’t give you a definition of pornography but I’d like to think that when I see it I recognize it.”

The complete interview with Governor Johnson on these and other issues can be read here.

The final pleas…

With Gary Johnson and Jill Stein making their case to voters at the final Free and Equal debate, Wikinews provided the opportunity to the three other third party presidential candidates with enough ballot access and write-in certification to theoretically win the election.

Those making their final pleas include: former congressman Virgil Goode, nominee of the Constitution Party; America’s Party nominee Tom Hoefling; and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, nominee of the Justice Party.

Ballot access maps for each of the three candidates appear below their respective statements.

Virgil Goode: Virgil Goode is the only candidate who will stop illegal immigration and block automatic citizenship for children born in the US of illegal aliens. He is also the only candidate who will protect jobs for US citizens by stopping so many green card holders from entering the United States. Lastly, he will work to stop the domination by Big Money PACs of federal elections. Save America and Vote for Virgil Goode.

Goode answers questions after the first Free and Equal debate.
Image: Connie Ma.
Ballot access (violet), write-in certification (light violet), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.


Tom Hoefling: Without faith there can be no justice. The two things are inextricably linked.

What is justice? To put it most simply, it is right-doing. In terms of the law and self-government, it is doing right to all persons equally and equitably.

But how can we possibly perfect justice in this country, as the framers of our Constitution purposed to do, if we pay no mind to the laws of nature and of nature’s God? It is not possible.

Is there a desire in your heart to help save this country and restore America’s greatness? Then trust God, seek His will, and do right. Join together with your fellow citizens who are of the same mind and heart, and retake the reins of your own self-government. If enough Americans will do this, without compromise, and do it in time, there is hope for this country and for our posterity. We can, if we choose to follow God and do right, once again be a shining city on a hill.

But if we refuse, and choose instead to be faithless and unjust by continuing to kill the babies and destroy God’s institution of marriage and the natural family, our children and grandchildren, those who survive our brutal savagery, will curse us. They will rightfully convict us of squandering their precious heritage, one that was dearly bought with blood, sweat, and tears by our just and faithful forebears.

Our generation is a link in the chain between the past and the future. Please, my fellow Americans, I beg you, don’t let it be broken. Strengthen the things that remain, before it is too late.

Tom Hoefling.
Image: Tom Hoefling.
Ballot access (cyan), write-in certification (light cyan), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.


Rocky Anderson: I propose an alternative to the corrupt two-party system that has created a militarist and corporatist government for sale to the highest bidders. My Justice Party campaign calls for people to demand a government that is genuinely of, by, and for the people.

Peace and prosperity require: (1) aggressive action on climate change; (2) creating a vibrant economy with living wage jobs through a WPA-like initiative, and returning outsourced jobs to the U.S.; (3) a significant reduction in military spending; (4) equal rights, regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation; (5) a Medicare-for-all system providing better outcomes with lower costs; (6) prosecution of financial crimes, enforcement of financial regulations, including reinstatement of Glass-Steagall; (7) a restorative criminal justice system and an end to the disastrous “war on drugs”; (8) tax fairness; (9) Social Security and Medicare not be plundered; and (10) dismantlement of the imperial presidency and restoration of the U.S. Constitution.

My foreign policy will promote peace and respect for human rights, not the empire-building wars of aggression supported by both major parties. I will promote long-term U.S. security and build better relationships with other nations by ending the immoral drone killings that have already killed hundreds of innocent civilians and created more hatred and hostility toward the U.S.

Anderson poses with a supporter after the first Free and Equal debate.
Image: Connie Ma.
Ballot access (blue), write-in certification (light blue), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.




Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 6, 2012

Sitcom star Roseanne Barr chosen as presidential nominee of Peace and Freedom Party

Sitcom star Roseanne Barr chosen as presidential nominee of Peace and Freedom Party

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 6, 2012

Roseanne Barr, star of the popular ’90s sitcom Roseanne, won the presidential nomination of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party on Saturday, guaranteeing her ballot access in California, the most populous U.S. state. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan of California was selected as her running mate.

Barr first announced her intentions to run for president during an August 2011 appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On the show, Barr told Leno she would run under the banner of the “Green Tea Party”, a political entity she created that combined elements of the Green and Tea Party movements. She named the American taxpayer as her running mate, and said her first act as president would be the legalization of marijuana. Several months later, Barr announced that she would instead seek the Green Party’s presidential nomination. After losing at the Green National Convention last month to physician Jill Stein, Barr searched for other ways to continue her campaign and settled on seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination.

Roseanne Barr
Image: Monterey Media.
Cindy Sheehan
Image: dbking.

At the convention, Socialist Party USA presidential nominee Stewart Alexander and Freedom Socialist Party presidential nominee Stephen Durham were the only opponents for Barr. Justice Party presidential nominee Rocky Anderson, who won the California Peace and Freedom Party presidential primary in June, withdrew from the race several days prior to avoid what Uncovered Politics called an “embarrassingly lopsided defeat”; Party for Socialism and Liberation presidential nominee Peta Lindsay dropped out before the convention vote to endorse Barr.

In the initial vote, Barr failed to win an outright majority. She received the support of 29 delegates, while 18 went for Durham, 12 supported Alexander, and four abstained from voting. Per party rules requiring majority support, a second vote was held in which Barr did receive a majority with 37 delegates versus 16 for Durham, six for Alexander, and five abstaining.

For the vice presidential nomination, Sheehan, who had said she would accept if Barr was nominated, won on the first ballot with 50 votes against 14 abstaining. Sheehan is best known for her active opposition to the War in Iraq after her son Casey died there in 2004. Notably, in 2005, she set up camp outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas to protest the war. In 2008, she challenged then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Congress as the nominee of the Green Party.

The Peace and Freedom Party was founded in 1967 and promotes socialism, feminism, and environmentalism. In 2008, consumer advocate Ralph Nader won the party’s presidential nomination and appeared with the party on both the California and Iowa ballots. The party will now attempt to qualify the ticket for ballot access in Florida.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Sitcom star Roseanne Barr chosen as the presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 United States Presidential Election
Wikinews Election 2012.svg
2012 U.S. Presidential Election stories

Roseanne Barr, star of the popular ’90s sitcom Roseanne, won the presidential nomination of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party on Saturday, guaranteeing her ballot access in California, the most populous U.S. state. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan of California was selected as her running mate.

Barr first announced her intentions to run for president during an August 2011 appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On the show, Barr told Leno she would run under the banner of the “Green Tea Party”, a political entity she created that combined elements of the Green and Tea Party movements. She named the American taxpayer as her running mate, and said her first act as president would be the legalization of marijuana. Several months later, Barr announced that she would instead seek the Green Party’s presidential nomination. After losing at the Green National Convention last month to physician Jill Stein, Barr searched for other ways to continue her campaign and settled on seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination.

Roseanne Barr
Image: Monterey Media.
Cindy Sheehan
Image: dbking.

At the convention, Socialist Party USA presidential nominee Stewart Alexander and Freedom Socialist Party presidential nominee Stephen Durham were the only opponents for Barr. Justice Party presidential nominee Rocky Anderson, who won the California Peace and Freedom Party presidential primary in June, withdrew from the race several days prior to avoid what Uncovered Politics called an “embarrassingly lopsided defeat”; Party for Socialism and Liberation presidential nominee Peta Lindsay dropped out before the convention vote to endorse Barr.

In the initial vote, Barr failed to win an outright majority. She received the support of 29 delegates, while 18 went for Durham, 12 supported Alexander, and four abstained from voting. Per party rules requiring majority support, a second vote was held in which Barr did receive a majority with 37 delegates versus 16 for Durham, six for Alexander, and five abstaining.

For the vice presidential nomination, Sheehan, who had said she would accept if Barr was nominated, won on the first ballot with 50 votes against 14 abstaining. Sheehan is best known for her active opposition to the War in Iraq after her son Casey died there in 2004. Notably, in 2005, she set up camp outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas to protest the war. In 2008, she challenged then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Congress as the nominee of the Green Party.

The Peace and Freedom Party was founded in 1967 and promotes socialism, feminism, and environmentalism. In 2008, consumer advocate Ralph Nader won the party’s presidential nomination and appeared with the party on both the California and Iowa ballots. The party will now attempt to qualify the ticket for ballot access in Florida.



Related news

  • Green Party of the United States nominates Jill Stein for president” — Wikinews, July 15, 2012
  • “On the campaign trail, February 2012” — Wikinews, March 3, 2012
  • On the campaign trail, November 2011” — Wikinews, December 2, 2012
  • “Sitcom star Roseanne Barr announces run for U.S. president” — Wikinews, August 6, 2011
  • “Nader chosen as the presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party” — Wikinews, August 8, 2008
  • “San Francisco’s Green Party endorses Cindy Sheehan in bid against Speaker Pelosi” — Wikinews, June 19, 2008
  • “U.S. anti-war mom calls it quits” — Wikinews, May 29, 2007

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 5, 2012

On the campaign trail, July 2012

On the campaign trail, July 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, July 2012

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Summary

Like June, July began with poor economic news as the monthly Jobs Report showed slow economic growth with unemployment remaining above eight percent, precipitating a fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and President Barack Obama’s re-election chances on Intrade. In response to the report, Obama proclaimed “It’s still tough out there”. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney responded that Obama’s “policies have not worked” and said it’s “time for Americans to choose whether they want more of the same.” Romney also reacted to June’s National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He explicitly referred to the individual mandate as a tax, mirroring the decision, despite comments from campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who deemed the individual mandate as a penalty, sharing the view of the Obama administration. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch criticized the Romney campaign, tweeting that it needed to hire political professionals and said it was doubtful Romney could win the election. After meeting with Romney early in July, Murdoch expressed dissatisfaction with the campaign’s message and its lack of attacks on the “incompetent” Obama administration.

Romney speaks at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City for which he served as Organizing Committee CEO.
Image: Uncleweed.

Additionally, speculation about Romney’s vice presidential selection intensified earlier in July as Romney’s wife Ann revealed that her husband was considering choosing a woman for the ticket. This came out before Romney appeared at a Fourth of July parade with Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who had been mentioned as a potential pick. Other women discussed as possibilities included South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, New Mexico governor Susanna Martinez, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who took herself out of contention last month. Others receiving speculation in July included Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. Also in early July, Romney spoke at an NAACP convention. Despite the fact that most African Americans supported Obama in 2008, Romney said, as president he “hope[s] to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.” During the address, after he mentioned his plan to repeal Obamacare, Romney was met with a chorus of boos. Nevertheless, he continued the speech and proclaimed that if elected, conditions would improve for African Americans. He received applause after arguing in favor of traditional marriage. The next day, vice president Joe Biden addressed the convention, and alluded to voter ID laws, asking the audience, “Did you think we’d be fighting these battles again?” President Obama was unable to attend the convention, but sent a taped message instead. Also, in mid-July, physician Jill Stein, who previously challenged Romney for governor of Massachusetts, won the presidential nomination of the left-wing Green Party. She selected homelessness activist Cheri Honkala as her running mate.

Obama meets with a victim of the 2012 Aurora shooting
Image: Pete Souza.

Throughout the month, Obama continued his attacks on Romney for allegedly outsourcing jobs while at Bain Capital, releasing a new advertisement referring to Romney as an ‘outsourcing pioneer.’ However, the Romney campaign disputed the attacks as misleading. and Romney himself said that the alleged outsourcing took place during an absence from the company while focusing on the operation of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Obama heightened attacks on Romney’s refusal to release all of his tax records, with one surrogate calling Romney’s actions possibly “felonious.” Romney described the comment as “beneath the dignity of the president” and asked Obama for an apology. Obama refused, suggesting, “Mr. Romney claims he’s Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely, legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience.” Furthermore, Obama argued that entrepreneurs like Romney should not take all the credit for their successes since others chipped in: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so then all the companies could make money off the internet.” Romney highlighted the comments to go on the offensive against Obama; he referred to them as “insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America”. Later, citing 100 Obama fundraisers versus zero meetings with his jobs council in the last six months, Romney delivered a fiery speech in the swing state of Ohio in which he suggested that Obama’s “priority is not creating jobs for you [but]…trying to keep his own job. And that’s why he’s going to lose it.”

Following the July 20 Aurora shooting, both Obama and Romney suspended campaign rhetoric out of respect to the victims. The next week, foreign policy came to the forefront as Romney embarked on an international tour to meet with foreign leaders. While in London, ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Romney suggested the city was not ready for the event, which prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to argue that London is “one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world” and that, as with Romney’s 2002 Salt Lake City games, “it is easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” After this, Romney visited Israel, where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and voiced his support for Israeli actions against Iran to prevent nuclear proliferation in that nation. Romney received some criticism after a meeting in Israel in which he argued that cultural differences impacted the economic disparity between Israel and its neighbors. He completed his trip in Poland, where he received a warm reception, and endorsed a missile defense system in the nation that President Obama scrapped in 2009. In response to the trip, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs argued that Romney “both offended our closest ally and triggered a troubling reaction in the most sensitive region of the world…He certainly didn’t prove to anyone that he passed the commander-in-chief test.” The Obama campaign announced at the end of the month that former President Bill Clinton would be given a prime-time slot at September’s Democratic National Convention, while San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was slated to deliver the keynote address. On July 31, Obama led Romney in the national RealClearPolitics average, 47.0 percent to 45.0 percent.

Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns

Third party presidential candidates are often excluded from most presidential preference polls. However, because of the criteria of the Commission on Presidential Debates, strong showings in polls are critical for third party candidates to effectively communicate their message to voters. In addition to the constitutional requirements to be president and the attainment of enough ballot access to potentially win the election, the Commission requires a 15 percent average in five nationwide polls to participate in October’s three presidential debates. Since these rules were adopted in 2000, no third party candidate has been invited to the debates due to the inability to meet the polling standard.

Gary Johnson speaks at the “Conservatives Against Unconstitutional Wars” rally in July.
Image: Gary Johnson campaign.

In early July, for the first time in this election cycle, Gallup released a national poll that included the three third party presidential nominees with the most ballot access. In addition to Romney and Obama, who registered 40 and 47 percent, respectively, the poll gauged three percent support for the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson; one percent for Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein; and less than half a percentage point for the Constitution Party presidential nominee, former Congressman Virgil Goode. According to Communication Specialist Alyssa Brown, the Gallup organization uses “editorial judgment…including assessments of news coverage of third party and independent candidates” to determine whether or not to include certain candidates. Brown says her firm also measures inclusion through the interpretation of “responses to open-ended vote preference questions…[and] name identification of third party candidates.”

Two other polling firms have included just Johnson in their nationwide polls for a three-way race: an April Public Policy Polling survey showed him with six percent support, and a July JZ Analytics poll found a five percent backing. JZ Analytics Senior Analyst John Zogby says that third party candidates are included in polls usually to see how they affect the race between the two main candidates. His firm added Johnson because “libertarianism appears to be growing in support among young people…[and] we wonder if he can be a factor.” Zogby says that additional candidates will likely be included as the election draws nearer. When asked why JZ Analytics does not simply include all ballot-qualified candidates on a state-by-state basis, he gave three reasons: expense from the time taken to read all the names; questions on how to deal with candidates that appear multiple times on the ballot; and the lack of any significant support for certain candidates, which provide no useful data when applying the view that “the value of a poll is not to predict but to create accurate results that can be interpreted.” Wikinews attempted unsuccessfully to contact other firms about their inclusion criteria for third party candidates.

Gary Johnson supporters picket outside CNN headquarters in July to protest the lack of campaign coverage.
Image: Gary Johnson campaign.

Despite his inclusion in some polls, Johnson does not believe it is enough. He feels that because “only three polling organizations out of 18 are including my name,” debate participation looks to be a nearly insurmountable task. However, he clings to the hope that if he can qualify for the debates, he can possibly win the election. Another kind of poll may assist that goal.

Statewide polls, which measure voter support in individual states, do not count toward the average for the presidential debate qualification; but polling high enough in them could significantly improve a third party candidate’s chances. Russ Verney, who worked on the 1992 presidential campaign of the last third party candidate to appear at the presidential debates, industrialist Ross Perot, and who later served as the campaign manager for 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr, says the Barr campaign’s ideal strategy was to utilize local media in western states that were already “predisposed to Libertarian viewpoints” to work to improve statewide polling above 20 percent. Though this was never implemented due to low campaign funds, Verney believes it could have created a national news story that would have boosted the campaign’s national profile and exposure, perhaps improving the showings in national polls, and like Perot, leading to debate inclusion.

Though third party inclusion in statewide polls remains infrequent, such polls often reflect broader support. For example, in his homestate of Virginia, Virgil Goode has nine percent support in a July Public Policy Polling survey, substantially more than his national average. Jill Stein tripled her national standing with three percent in her homestate of Massachusetts in a late June Public Policy Polling poll. Nevertheless, no other third party candidate is faring as well as Johnson in multiple states: a July poll from Public Policy Polling showed him with 13 percent in his homestate of New Mexico (down from 23 percent in December); he stood at nine percent in Arizona in May; and had an eight percent backing in Montana during the same month. These showings in western states are significantly better than Johnson’s national showings. Since his campaign, unlike the 2008 Barr campaign, has access to federal funding, Johnson could possibly employ the Verney strategy, and improve his chances.

Ballot access denied in Illinois

The state of Illinois, which accounts for 20 Electoral College votes, automatically grants ballot access to any presidential candidate that files a petition on time. However, if a petition is challenged and does not list 25,000 valid signatures, ballot access is denied. In 2008, an individual named John Joseph Polachek took advantage of this law and submitted a petition with no signatures. No one challenged this and so Polachek appeared on the ballot.

In this election cycle, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode; Justice Party nominee, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson; Socialist Party USA nominee Stewart Alexander; and candidate Michael W. Hawkins all submitted petitions with less than 25,000 signatures in hopes that they would not be contested. However, on July 2, Cook County Green Party chairman Rob Sherman filed a challenge to the four petitions, arguing the candidates did not put in the same amount of effort as the Green Party petitioners, who, along with the Libertarian Party, collected more than 25,000 signatures. He also reasoned that additional candidates would divert potential votes from the Green Party.

Virgil Goode collects signatures for his petition to appear on the Virginia ballot.
Image: Brian D. Hill.

Several third party activists and even some members of the Green Party condemned the actions, and asked that Sherman withdraw his challenges. He initially remained unwavering, but attempted to withdraw the challenges just ahead of the final court decision. The court would not allow Sherman to voice his change of heart, and proceeded to remove the four candidates from the ballot.

According to Sherman, Illinois Green Party counsel Andy Finko requested that he be the main objector. He further claims that before this, Finko contacted then-presumptive presidential nominee Jill Stein’s campaign chairman Ben Manski, who purportedly labeled the challenge as a “decision for the Illinois Green Party and not one for the Stein campaign.” However, Sherman says that both Manski and Stein personally contacted him a few days later, and asked that he withdraw the challenges. Sherman argued to them that he “had staked [his] national reputation on it” and that a withdrawal would hurt the Green Party ticket. He did not decide to withdraw the challenges until he felt the Stein campaign had completely deliberated over his arguments, which eventually came a couple of weeks later. Wikinews was unable to contact Manski or Stein to confirm that these conversations actually took place.

Virgil Goode offers a different perspective on the challenges. He says that Sherman, a self-identified atheist, offered to drop the Constitution Party petition challenge if Goode gave his support for the removal of “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency and “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. To this, Goode replied “no deal”, explaining that he co-sponsored “legislation in the House to put ‘In God We Trust’ back on the face of the Presidential dollars so that it could be readily seen by the public.” It is not known if the other candidates were given this same opportunity, but Rocky Anderson says that he personally was not. Sherman did not respond to inquiries concerning such a deal.

For Goode, the decision may have affected his ability to participate in the presidential debates. Without Illinois’ 20 electoral votes, he may fall short of the Commission on Presidential Debates ballot access requirements. Goode currently has access in 18 states for a total of 169 electoral votes, over 100 less than the required 270. Nevertheless, the campaign is still working to get on the ballot in additional states. Furthermore, the removal may affect Green Party ballot access elsewhere. According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, the party is currently a co-plaintiff with the Constitution Party in five states in cases where ballot access laws are being challenged. He says that “state attorneys…attack the plaintiff parties …[using] the number of states in which each of the parties is on the ballot nationwide” as evidence of strength or lack thereof.

“It’s tough enough to get on state ballots without other third parties undermining the efforts” says Anderson, whose Justice Party has thus far attained ballot access in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Jersey, Anderson does not fault the entire Green Party for Sherman’s “unfortunate behavior”, but the events do affirm one thing for him: “In my view, third parties should all hang together in promoting ballot access.”

August 1, 2012 LP, GP, CP Ballot access.png

Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee

Justice Party Vice presidential nominee Luis Rodriguez.
Image: Rocky Anderson campaign.

On July 17, Rocky Anderson announced his selection of Chicano writer and community activist Luis J. Rodriguez of California as his running mate on the Justice Party presidential ticket. Rodriguez is a published poet, columnist, and author of such books as the 1993 bestseller Always Running, which documents his youth and involvement in the street gangs of East Los Angeles.

As an advocate for urban social change, Rodriguez hosts readings and workshops, and frequently speaks at schools, prisons, churches, homeless shelters, and migrant camps. For his activism, he has received numerous awards including KCET-TV‘s “Local Hero of Community”, and the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” from the Dalai Lama.

Anderson described the vice presidential selection process as “arduous”, but held that Rodriguez exceeded his personal expectations. He proclaimed that his running mate “brings with him a wealth of knowledge and real-life experience, inspirational personal growth, and proven commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice.”

With Wikinews, Rodriguez discusses his initial reaction and reason for accepting the nomination, his responsibilities as the vice presidential nominee, and how he hopes to complement Anderson on the Justice Party ticket.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhy did you accept the Justice Party’s vice presidential nomination, and how exactly did that nomination come about?

Luis Rodriguez: I was quite surprised by the invitation to be Rocky Anderson’s running mate, and honored. I’m convinced that we need to have a strong voice in the political arena for justice in all its forms–in our social and civil relationships, in the environment, and in the economy. I see this ticket as an opportunity to express new ideas and new ways of organizing for concerns of mine such as urban peace, the arts, labor rights, and immigrant rights as well as those espoused by the Justice Party, which I agree with. As far as how my name came up, I’m sure it was from within Rocky’s team, somebody who knew my work around the country and the many talks I do to open up a new vision for America. I’m convinced the two-party system we have today has pushed out too many voices and concerns of vital importance from the conversation and from actual policies.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your responsibilities as the Justice Party vice presidential nominee?

Luis Rodriguez: Being that the election is only a few months away, I see my main role as speaking out as articulately and rationally as I can on these very issues… in the mass media, the Internet, social media, and blogs. I’m also a published writer/essayist and speaker and will try to get our views as a ticket out in as many forms as possible.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow will you complement Rocky Anderson on the ticket?

Luis Rodriguez: America is a very diverse and vibrant country. This ticket is in the direction of encompassing how this country is actually made up while finding the unity-in-diversity necessary to move everyone forward toward true justice in all areas of our civic and political life. I think Rocky Anderson is brave and insightful to select someone like myself, not for celebrity or to cater to any “winnable” ticket, but one that is real, addresses what really matters, and actively works to bring in those constituencies often forgotten. Rocky as a former mayor of Salt Lake City will be complemented by someone who has never held political office yet has spent more than forty years in grassroots organizing and community building.



Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 15, 2012

Green Party of the United States nominates Jill Stein for president

Green Party of the United States nominates Jill Stein for president

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
Image: ArdeeSN.

Jill Stein, a Massachusetts physician, won the 2012 presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States yesterday at the party’s national convention in Baltimore. Per her request, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign national coordinator Cheri Honkala of Minnesota was selected as her running mate.

Stein, who previously ran as the Green Party’s nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, when she lost to current Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, had secured the party’s presidential nomination last month with a victory in the California primary. With 193.5 votes in the final delegate tally, she edged comedienne Roseanne Barr, who finished second with 72, and air quality inspector Kent Mesplay.

Since announcing her campaign in 2011, Stein has run on a platform referred to as the Green New Deal. It consists of the institution of the right to a job, the adoption of green technologies and production for a shift to a green economy, reform of the financial sector, and the “strengthening” of democratic government. During her acceptance speech, she mentioned the Green New Deal, saying that it “ends unemployment in America.” In addition, she attacked President Barack Obama, accusing him of continuing the policies of former president George W. Bush.

The vice presidential nominee, Honkala, previously ran as the Green Party nominee for Sheriff of Philadelphia. She is a poverty and homelessness activist, who was once homeless herself. Because of that, she believes she can run as a representative of the poverty-stricken, arguing that neither Obama nor Romney have addressed the issue.

The Green Party is a left-leaning political establishment founded around 1996. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader had best showing as the party’s presidential nominee, winning 2.74 percent in the close 2000 election. Some believe Nader took enough votes from then-Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore to cost him election to Republican George W. Bush.

For 2012, the party is already on the ballot in 21 states, and hopes to ultimately attain access to 45 by Election Day. In 2008, the party appeared on 32 state ballots, and the presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, a former Representative from Georgia, received 0.12 percent of the total.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 5, 2012

On the campaign trail, June 2012

On the campaign trail, June 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, June 2012

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The following is the eighth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a Green Party presidential candidate who announced his 2012 plans to Wikinews four years ago speaks to Wikinews once again, the candidate leading the California American Independent Party presidential primary discusses his campaign, and Wikinews explores whether Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky will be selected as the Republican Party vice presidential nominee.

Summary

In June, California held presidential primary elections for both the Democratic and Republican parties. President Barack Obama was uncontested on the Democratic ballot, and easily won; as did presumptive nominee Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Other presidential primaries in California involved the American Independent, Peace and Freedom, Green, and Libertarian third parties, though not all of these were binding. In the binding Green primary, physician Jill Stein edged comedienne Roseanne Barr to secure enough delegates to become the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. As for other primaries in June, the Republican Party held its final contest in Utah late in the month with Romney easily claiming victory. Afterwards, Fred Karger, the first openly gay presidential candidate for a major party’s nomination, officially ended his campaign.

Starting off, the Obama campaign had a few difficulties in June: a jobs report for the previous month showed a spike in the unemployment rate; Democrats failed to win a recall against the Republican governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, bolstering Romney’s prospects in the state; Romney called Obama “out of touch” for his remark that “The private sector is doing just fine”; and despite Obama’s position against extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, former Democratic president Bill Clinton suggested during a CNBC interview that in current circumstances, extending the Bush tax cuts would be “probably the best thing to do right now.” Clinton’s spokesman later clarified that Clinton backed the president’s position. However, consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speculated that Clinton was “undermining Obama…to appear with Hillary as very friendly to business” in order to lay the groundwork for a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run.

Former president Bill Clinton campaigns in Wisconsin in June 2012.
Image: marctasman.

The Romney campaign faced a few challenges of its own: reports surfaced that Romney impersonated police officers in his youth; Obama attacked him for his investments’ alleged outsourcing of jobs; and vice president Joe Biden discussed his Swiss bank account, portraying him as an elitist at odds with the middle class. Nevertheless, a large amount of Romney coverage in June focused on his search for a running mate. After ABC News reported that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was not being vetted as a possible vice presidential candidate, Romney disputed the report and claimed that in fact Rubio was being vetting for the nomination. Additionally, two prospects, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both took their names out of consideration for the spot, though Rice reportedly ‘stole the show’ at a Romney retreat. At the end of June, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio received increased mention as a potential nominee after Senator John McCain jokingly told a group of Portman interns, “now you can say you interned for Vice President Portman.”

In mid-June, Obama injected the issue of immigration into the campaign when he announced by decree that illegal immigrants at most 30 years old who entered the United States before the age of 16 and remain in good standing in their communities, would no longer be deported. During the announcement, Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupted the president to ask how the move would affect American workers. A frustrated Obama acknowledged the interruption, and responded, “It’s not time for questions, sir…Not while I’m speaking.” The interruption threatened to overshadow Obama’s announcement, which analysts suggested was aimed to solidify support among Hispanics. Romney did not explicitly respond to the announcement, but said during an interview with Face the Nation that he instead would implement “a long-term solution”. About two weeks after the announcement, Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake of Chris Cillizza‘s The Fix examined polls from Quinnipiac University and reported that though many voters in the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio favored the new policy, those concerned about the issue were much more likely to oppose it. Blake concluded that the new policy would likely help Obama in the Latino-heavy swing states of Colorado and Nevada, but might possibly hurt him in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Other political events shaped the campaign as June came to a close. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a tax. Though deemed a political victory for President Obama, Romney proclaimed that the ruling brought a “greater urgency” to the election, explaining to his base that repealing the health care bill now required Obama to be voted out of office. In the first three hours after the ruling, the Romney campaign raised one million dollars, a spokesman reported. On the same day as the decision, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. President Obama claimed the documents fell under executive privilege. Many congressional Democrats walked out during the vote and accused Republicans of playing politics. Pollsters said Holder was the most unpopular member of the Obama administration but predicted groups outside the Romney campaign would focus on the issue, in order to not divert Romney from his message on the economy. The Romney campaign ran ads at the end of June that used footage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, polled as the most popular member of the Obama administration, criticizing Obama during the 2008 primaries for “perpetuating falsehoods”, concluding with “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” On June 30, Obama led Romney in the national RealClearPolitics average, 47.5 percent to 43.8 percent.

Wikinews interviews Green Party candidate

Kent Mesplay at an Earth Day event in 2008.
Image: Kent Mesplay.

In addition to Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr, Kent Mesplay, an air quality inspector from San Diego, participated in June’s California Green Party presidential primary. He finished the contest in third place with 10.8 percent behind Stein’s nomination-clinching showing of 49.3 percent and Barr’s second place 39.9 percent. In the aftermath of the primary and ahead of the July 12–15 Green National Convention, Wikinews reached out to Mesplay.

Mesplay, who serves as a delegate to the Green National Committee, had previously sought the Green presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008, falling short both times. Wikinews first interviewed Mesplay during his second presidential campaign in June 2008, when he announced his intentions to seek the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nomination. During his 2012 bid, Mesplay has campaigned on his support for sustainability, indigenous rights, campaign finance reform, and reductions in military spending. He has received the endorsements of party co-founder John Rensenbrink, 2004 Green Party vice presidential nominee Pat LaMarche, and Green activist Kat Swift.

With Wikinews, Mesplay discusses his thoughts on Stein and Barr, Green policies in general, and his future political plans.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png With the outcome of the California primary, physician Jill Stein has secured enough delegates to be the Green Party presumptive presidential nominee. What are your thoughts on Stein and her policy proposals? How do they compare to your own and have you discussed the vice presidential nomination with her?

Mesplay: The focus of Stein’s campaign has been a “Green New Deal,” which is a federal public jobs program funded by anticipated military cuts and by updated taxes. I support the stated goals of the program, although I question the practicality of relying upon such anticipated funding sources. Our campaigns agree on the severity of the crises to be responsibly addressed: climate change, economic melt-down, crumbling infrastructure, torn social safety-nets. We need to transform toward being a sustainability-driven culture, rather than one that liquidates our natural resources to our collective peril, and green jobs play a central role in this. I introduced the Green New Deal in campaign flyers in 2008; the idea has been floating around Green circles for a decade or so.
Rather than emphasize an apparently centralized, federal, “top-down” approach to improving our governance, my role in the 2012 Green Party presidential campaign season has been to emphasize a “ground-up” approach, making the case for volunteerism, local currency and scrip, and direct, immediate citizen involvement with local solutions to “fund” the transformation. More than just a complementary approach, direct citizen action is practical in that one does not need to wait for a Green President or Congress. At the federal policy level, we would see more success and less resistance by, say, gradually transforming the military to lead the fight in climate-change through re-training. However we go about it, we should be growing food wherever we can, and we should be better prepared and able to quickly meet the health and safety basic needs of masses of people. My “stamp” is an argument for sustainability as security-enhancing emergency preparation. I am also an outspoken advocate for Native Americans, having this as part of my ancestry and upbringing.
I have not directly discussed the vice presidential nomination with Jill Stein, although I have expressed such interest when Skyping in to a recent Michigan Green Party state meeting. I will support Jill Stein as the Green Party nominee in whatever way I can.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Comedienne Roseanne Barr, who finished second in California, seems to be hinting that she may continue her campaign as an Independent after the National Convention. What is your reaction to Roseanne and her campaign? Has she had a positive influence on the Green Party?

Mesplay: Roseanne is an entertainer. Jill and I privately conferred right after Roseanne entered the race, “for real,” knowing that Roseanne’s behavior could draw the party unwanted negative publicity. We were aware of Roseanne’s self-appointed title of (virtual) Prime Minister of Israel in an online parliamentary project and were concerned about her antics. In getting to know her, I now consider her a friend. She is intelligent, thoughtful, well educated and genuinely concerned about societal and environmental problems, and has been a strong advocate for Native people. When helping to shape the effect of Roseanne’s entry into the race, I said, “Roseanne needs to get serious and we [Jill and I] need to have more fun [with our deathly-serious issues].” Over-all, Roseanne has brought positive attention to the Green Party, has helped register voters and has increased our exposure to the media. She entered the race too late to be a serious threat to Jill’s campaign, and early enough to make it more interesting. And (watch out), she is making a movie about her run for president. She says it’s funny.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png When we last interviewed in June 2008, it was under similar circumstances: you were seeking the Green Party presidential nomination; the National Convention was just a few weeks away; and like Stein, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney had already secured enough delegates to be the party’s presumptive nominee. At the time, you mentioned that you were “taking the steps to begin running for the 2012 presidential race.” Now, at this point in the 2012 race, do you have similar plans to run for president in 2016?

Mesplay: I was the first declared Green candidate in 2012. My challenge is to raise enough money that I can take time off work to actually run, full-time. To date, I have not been able to actively participate in a more visible, effective, competitive manner. I am undecided as to whether I will run, again.

American Independent Party primary results

AIP primary results by county: Noonan (blue violet), Roth (red), Riekse (green), No votes (black)
Image: William S. Saturn.

The American Independent Party (AIP), a paleoconservative group formerly affiliated with the Constitution Party that has guaranteed ballot access in California, listed three presidential candidates on its ballot for June’s California primary: the party’s former chairman Edward C. Noonan; radio talk show host Laurie Roth; and former United States Army Lieutenant Colonel “Mad” Max Riekse.

In the tally last updated on June 26, Noonan led Roth 16,625 votes (38.8 percent) to 16,044 (37.4 percent) with Riekse polling 10,227 votes (23.8 percent) for third place. Wikinews tried to contact the leading two candidates, but only successfully connected with Noonan.

Noonan, who ran for both Governor of California in 2006 and U.S. Senate in 2010 as the AIP nominee, told Wikinews that the “only purpose” for his run was to “have standing” in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama. Noonan, who refers to Obama as “Mr. Soetero”, said his most recent suit questioning Obama’s citizenship was dismissed in court. He believes Obama’s birth certificate “is forged and a fraudulent document” due to “multiple layers of different typewriter font sizes”, signatures in “multi-colored [ink] and sliced into the document in different patches.” Furthermore, he says that without a legitimate birth certificate, Obama “cannot prove that he is an American citizen [because his]…birth father was a foreign national from Kenya”. Noonan says that this disqualifies Obama from being president.

As a candidate, Noonan has sent out press releases and made numerous attempts to spread his message through the internet; however, he has received very little media attention. He argues that people are indifferent to politics and that the “corrupt news media” ignores third party candidates such as himself. Additionally, he sees the two major parties as corrupt and refers to them as “two heads from the same beast.” He describes his opponent Roth as “a Republican traitor” and feels the AIP made a mistake by listing such a non-member on the primary ballot.

Roth, who says she feels God has called her to seek the presidency, unsuccessfully sought the Constitution Party presidential nomination earlier this year. On her website, she calls for the institution of a two percent consumption tax, the eventual repeal of all other taxes, and the elimination of the national debt in four to five years. Ahead of the primary, she received the endorsement of notable birther activist Orly Taitz. Wikinews has made numerous attempts to contact Roth, but has thus far received no response.

Former congressman Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee, and Tom Hoefling, the America’s Party presidential nominee, are both also reportedly seeking the AIP nomination despite not being listed on the primary ballot. The nominating convention is scheduled to take place August 11.

Might Rand Paul be the GOP VP nominee?

After Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky endorsed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in June, speculation spread that Romney might select Paul as his running mate. However, according to two political analysts, the scenario is unlikely and may not be strategically wise for Republicans.

Paul, who holds libertarian views similar to those of his father, Congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, announced his endorsement of Romney on Hannity. He cited Romney’s support for a Federal Reserve audit, a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act as rationale for the move. However, Paul did not mention his policy disagreements with Romney on such issues as the War on Drugs, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the foreign policy of the United States.

Paul speaks at a Tea Party Express event.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Some libertarians and supporters of Ron Paul reacted angrily to the decision. The Libertarian Party released a statement saying “no true libertarian, no true friend of liberty, and no true blue Tea Partier could possibly even consider, much less actually endorse or approve of, the Father of Obamacare, Big Government tax and spender, Republican Mitt Romney.”

Nevertheless, some saw it as an attempt for Paul to position himself as a potential vice presidential candidate. Paul said it would be “a great honor” for Romney to consider him as a running mate. Proponents of this idea, such as Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative, say Paul would help steer Republicans and the possible Romney administration away from statist and interventionist policies. Others do not view this as sound campaign strategy.

According to North Star Opinion Research strategist Dan Judy, the endorsement was simply Paul’s “way of supporting the Republican team and hoping to curry some favor with the Romney folks in hopes of getting his dad a speaking slot at the convention“. Though Judy held that the pick would help Romney with those concerned about Romney’s conservatism such as the “hard core Tea Party base”, he sees Paul’s political inexperience, questionable appeal to political independents and moderates, and the lack of any geographic advantage for the ticket as reasons that the scenario has “virtually no shot”.

Political analyst Kyle Kondik of Sabato’s Crystal Ball largely agrees, stating that the selection would be a “real surprise” and that though “supporters of Ron and Rand Paul are a vocal part of the Republican Party, they are but one small constituency, and their views, particularly on matters of war and peace, are too different from Romney and the Republican mainstream to imagine Rand (or Ron) in the No. 2 slot on the ticket.”



Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 8, 2012

Wikinews interviews Americans Elect presidential candidate Mike Ballantine

Wikinews interviews Americans Elect presidential candidate Mike Ballantine

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wikinews reporter Paul Budd recently interviewed Mike Ballantine, a 2012 US Presidential candidate seeking the nomination of Americans Elect.

Mike Ballantine, 2009.
Image: Mcamelyne.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’ve spent some time reading about you on your site at www.mikeballantine2012.org. Are you currently running as an independent or are you seeking a party’s formal nomination?

MB Our campaign was initiated to compete at Americans Elect. Whereas, I am a member of the Green Party and have registered as a Green Party candidate, our emphasis rests with Americans Elect (AE). The requirement for AE candidates is that the winner presents a bi-partisan team to overcome the normal party restrictions. If we tried to run a campaign that was both a Green Party campaign and an AE campaign, then both groups would feel cheated. Once we are successful, we will approach the Green Party at the convention and try to come to an agreement about moving forward but it is not a key issue at this time.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do I understand that you do not currently reside in the U.S.?

MB In 2011, I lived in Hanoi, Vietnam. Now I am living in Texas for the duration of the campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where did you grow up?

MB I grew-up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged children.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you married? Do you have children?

MB I am divorced with 5 children spread across the world. My children, like me, have a global view of life.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tell us about your education/academic background.

MB I earned my Bachelor’s in Jewish Studies and Economics. Shortly after that, I enrolled in a Business Diploma program where I learned accounting and finance. Currently, I am enrolled in a Master’s program to earn my degree in Education specializing in teaching English as a second language (TESOL) and curriculum development.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have any U.S. political leaders formally endorsed you for President?

MB I don’t have any endorsements and don’t expect any before the primaries take place. As a nontraditional candidate, people like me represent a threat to the entrenched interests.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts about the economy in the U.S. today?

MB The US economy has become markedly stratified between the well-educated/wealthy and the working class. Whereas, things are pretty good for a small minority, they continue to deteriorate for everybody else. Right now, we are in the eye of the storm and one can expect things to turn decidedly worse in the spring once the Eurozone moves back into the red and China begins to falter. Until the Federal Reserve takes appropriate action to stop housing prices from falling, America will remain mired in its economic malaise.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts about America’s military….present and future?

MB Even at the reduced figure of $660 billion, America still spends a ridiculous amount on defense to confront imaginary enemies. Certainly, there are groups that oppose America and would like to see us falter but one does not fight bearded guys on horseback with super carriers. Our military is designed to fight or confront other large militaries that no longer exist. America needs to rethink its military posture to reflect the its true requirements over the next decade and stop fighting the wars of the 19th century. To do this, we will need to end overseas projections and work through regional blocs by providing them with logistical support instead of always resorting to muscle flexing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are there any regional or state-based organizations who’ve endorsed you or are supporting you?

MB There are no organizations that are endorsing me. Once we show grassroots support, I will be asking the PERI Institute to evaluate our economic plan and endorse it. Our plan has a lot of similarities to their plan to create jobs. I will also approach leading economists who have written extensively about what needs to be done despite being ignored by Republicans and Democrats.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Regarding your personal/political ideology, who has influenced you most?

MB I have always admired Teddy Roosevelt for his willingness to go against the political animals of the day and wage a campaign to do the right thing. Certainly, he was not perfect but he stood up for the people and took on the corporations. As a child, like many of my friends, I admired JFK for his ideas and the notion that devotion to public service was the responsibility of every citizen. I have never forgotten his mantra and that is one reason why I am running for President today.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would your first 100 days in office look like?

MB I suspect my first 100 days would be tumultuous. An independent has not won in 100 years, so I imagine Congress will be flummoxed by the prospect of working outside their comfort zone. We plan on presenting a three-in-one package because all three are essential to success. First, our 20 million job creation plan, our single-payer health plan, and our debt restructuring plan. Until Congress takes action in all three areas, America will continue to move sideways or decline overall. With a mandate, we believe we will have some success with Congress but we are prepared to resort to the bully pulpit to promote this legislation.

Mr. Ballantine added:

“One final note: Since the inception of our campaign, AE has modified the rules. Our campaign has moved beyond just offering myself as a Presidential candidate. We have a co-Presidency proposal combining the experience of Jon Huntsman as a running mate. Our campaign believes that we cannot simply offer an individual with ideas but that we need to offer a package defining how we will govern the nation. The President is not Superman and I do not pretend to be the most knowledgeable person for the job. You can find our new campaign website at: www.mikeandjon2012.com”



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External Links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 3, 2012

On the campaign trail, February 2012

On the campaign trail, February 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, February 2012

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The following is the fourth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, the Libertarian Party holds a primary in Missouri, Wikinews interviews a lesser-known Republican candidate focused on the nuclear situation in Iran, and a Democratic candidate disputes a “one-dimensional” label.

Summary

In February 2012, three well-known figures announced third party runs. Comedienne Roseanne Barr announced she would seek the Green Party‘s presidential nomination. Former Congressman Virgil Goode opened a Constitution Party campaign. And former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer proclaimed he would seek the Reform Party presidential nomination in addition to Americans Elect.

Santorum bows his head to pray during a February fundraiser in Arizona.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Mitt Romney won the endorsement of businessman Donald Trump, and was victorious in the February 4 Nevada caucus. Three days later, Rick Santorum gained momentum with a sweep of three non-binding contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Though Romney gained a victory in the Maine caucus, Santorum’s momentum pushed him ahead. He led the polls in Romney’s former homestate of Michigan, shot to first place in national opinion polls, and won the endorsement of former Senator and current Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who retracted his support for Romney. Talk increased of someone else entering the GOP race if Romney lost Michigan.

Santorum’s rise and the Obama administration’s new contraceptive mandate brought social issues to the forefront of the GOP race. The role of church and state gained prominence as Santorum remarked that hearing President John F. Kennedy‘s 1960 speech on separation of two, “makes him throw up”. After a poor performance in the month’s final GOP debate, Santorum began to fall in the Michigan polls. However, members of the Democratic Party planned to vote for Santorum in the open primary, and Santorum ran robo-calls to Democrats asking for their support. In the end, Romney won in both Michigan and Arizona.

Newt Gingrich, who largely skipped Michigan and Arizona, focused early on the Super Tuesday states, which hold their primaries in the first week of March. Ron Paul continued his run as well following a close second place finish in Maine. At the end of the month, rumors spread of a Paul-Romney alliance after an analysis of previous debates showed that Paul never attacked Romney directly, and after Paul’s son Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said “it would be an honor to be considered” as Romney’s running mate. A spokesman for Ron Paul’s campaign denied the rumors.

Missouri Libertarian Party primary results

In Missouri, the Libertarian Party held its first primary of the 2012 election cycle. Parliamentary advocate James Ogle, the only candidate listed on the ballot, edged “uncommitted” 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent to win the majority of votes. This was something a Libertarian candidate could not accomplish during the 2008 primary, when “uncommitted” won a plurality.

██ James Ogle

██ Uncommitted

Image: William S. Saturn.

Ogle has operated and promoted a fantasy government project based on the Sainte-Laguë method of voting since 1993. It is known as the USA Parliament. Ogle believes his username for the project — Joogle, a combination of his surname and first and middle initials — served as a basis for the name of the search engine Google; for his campaign, he uses the slogan “Go Ogle”.

To appear on the Missouri ballot, Ogle paid a filing fee of $1000. He was the only Libertarian candidate to do so. Ogle thinks this happened because he is “accessible” in comparison to his opponents, “perhaps the other candidates couldn’t be reached, and since there was about a 48 hour deadline to file the papers, they either didn’t want to spend the $30 on overnight postage, they simply didn’t know or else they didn’t want to file.” Other candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination, who missed the ballot, include former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, former air traffic controller RJ Harris, and activist R. Lee Wrights.

Just before the primary, an article in the Missourian newspaper chronicled Ogle’s campaign. He believes this contributed to his victory. In the story, he “was able to explain about ranked choice voting, the Libertarian’s philosophy of the non initiation of force, smaller government and more liberty.” In addition, the report mentioned Ogle’s desire to be the running mate of Green Party presidential candidate Roseanne Barr.

According to Ogle: “the combination of all these events, somehow could have prompted more to ask for the Libertarian ballot when they went to the voting booth.”

The non-binding primary is the only contest the Libertarian Party will hold before its nominating convention in May. California is also to hold a primary, but it is scheduled after the nomination. Ogle is to appear on the California ballot.

Republican focuses on Iran

Republican presidential candidate Hugh Cort, a psychiatrist and President of the non-profit American Foundation for Counter-Terrorism Policy and Research, describes his campaign’s status as “wait-and-see”. In December, he participated in the Republican Party’s lesser-known candidates forum, and was included on the New Hampshire Republican primary ballot. He received a total of three votes.

Nevertheless, Cort’s main area of concern is the nuclear situation in Iran, which garnered significant press in February. Iran, which claims it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, blocked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from monitoring a site suspected of containing nuclear weapons research. Increasing western sanctions against the country have resulted in threats from the government that it will cut off oil exports to Europe and/or close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. This talk has affected the price of crude oil. Commentators have suggested that war is looming.

Republican Hugh Cort
Image: Marc Nozell.

Cort, who has written a book entitled The American Hiroshima: Iran’s Plan for a Nuclear Attack on the United States, which he gave to Mitt Romney, believes Iran already has a nuclear weapon and that an attack on the United States is “very likely to happen in the very near future.” He tells Wikinews that if “Iran does detonate some nuclear bombs in American cities, I would consider continuing my run for President, under the assumption that perhaps America would like to elect someone who knows something about counter-terrorism.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow should the president address the nuclear situation in Iran?

Hugh Cort: The President should say that America will help Israel to take out Iran’s nuclear sites. He should also prepare America for the possibility that Iran may have nuclear bombs already here, giving instructions on how to cope if a nuclear bomb should go off. Although some would say not to take out Iran’s nuclear sites for fear of retaliation from Iran, if we let Iran get nuclear weapons, they will then make much more devastating nuclear bombs, such as plutonium bombs with a 5 Megaton yield (350 times the size of a Hiroshima blast). With the bombs that Iran may already have now, they could damage America, but America would survive. If they are allowed to make the bigger bombs (for example 100 Megaton bombs) they would destroy America. Remember, Iran’s leaders have a suicide bomber’s mentality—they do not fear death. In fact, Ahmadinejad has said the role of Iran is to be a martyr, in order to bring about the destruction of America and Israel which will usher in the coming of his messiah, the “12th Imam”, or “Mahdi“. The leaders of Iran are religious fanatics who will not listen to reason.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow did Mitt Romney react when you handed him your book?

Hugh Cort: I did not personally give my book to Mitt Romney—a friend of mine in Florida did. She said he took it seriously, as have two Governors of Alabama, several Senators, and many others. When I met in the Eisenhower Office Building in the White House compound with the Senior Director for Counter-Terrorism of the National Security Council, Nick Rasmussen, he took our research very seriously.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhich of the presidential candidates is best equipped to handle the Iran situation?

Hugh Cort: I believe the Presidential candidate best able to handle the Iran situation, other than myself, is Newt Gingrich, closely followed by Rick Santorum, closely followed by Mitt Romney. All three would do a much better job than Obama. Ron Paul, unfortunately, although he is good on the economy, is a dismal failure in foreign policy and is totally naïve on the very grave threat of the Iran situation.

More than one-dimensional?

Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry is best known as an anti-abortion advocate. However, he says he is not the “one-dimensional” character portrayed in the press. He tells Wikinews that in addition to his activism, he has experience in theology, foreign policy, and music.

Randall Terry
Image: Marc Nozell.

Terry finished second in the Missouri Democratic primary in February and ranks above all primary challengers to President Barack Obama. He received some media attention this month for attempting to run Super Bowl advertisements in Chicago that showed aborted fetuses. A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling prevented him from showing the ads since he is not on the Illinois Democratic primary ballot. However, after the Super Bowl, Terry was able to target the ads in Oklahoma. He will be on that state’s March 6 primary ballot, and federal law requires stations to show paid advertisements for “legally qualified candidates”.

After this and a February 22 Daily Caller report that conservative icon Ann Coulter planned to speak at a Terry fundraiser, Wikinews caught up with Terry.

“I have obtained a one-dimensional personality in the news”, says Terry, “I have a Masters in Diplomacy and International Terrorism from Norwich University…I have a BA in Theology. A BA in Communications from the SUNY [State University of New York]. A daily TV show seen in 44 markets. [And] I have lectured at the Vatican.”

He mentions that he authored two papers on Islamic terrorism, which are accessible from his campaign website. These are titled, “How do the words and deeds of Islamic terrorists, or Muslims who call for acts of terror and violence, emulate the words and deeds of Muhammad?” and “Is Islamic Shaira [sic] Law Incompatible With International Laws of Human Rights for Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion and Expression?”

Terry adds, “I used to be an accomplished musician.” His songs “I’m Cryin for you Baby”, “I Do”, “Te Deum”, “United We Stand”, and “Let Those Cookies Burn” can be heard on his website.



Related articles

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 21, 2011

Wikinews interviews former Salt Lake City mayor and 2012 presidential candidate Rocky Anderson

Wikinews interviews former Salt Lake City mayor and 2012 presidential candidate Rocky Anderson

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rocky Anderson in 2009
Image: Don LaVange.

Former Salt Lake City mayor and human rights activist Rocky Anderson took some time to discuss his 2012 U.S. presidential campaign and the newly-created Justice Party with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Anderson served as mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years (2000–2008) as a member of the Democratic Party. During his tenure, he enacted proposals to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, reformed its criminal justice system, and positioned it as a leading sanctuary for refugees. After leaving office, Anderson grew critical of the Democratic Party’s failure to push for impeachment against President George W. Bush, and for not reversing policies on torture, taxes, and defense spending. He left the party earlier this year and announced that he would form a Third party.

Anderson officially established the Justice Party last week during a press conference in Washington D.C.. He proclaimed “We the people are powerful enough to end the perverse government-to-the-highest-bidder system sustained by the two dominant parties…We are here today for the sake of justice — social justice, environmental justice and economic justice.” The party promotes campaign finance reform and is attempting to appeal to the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is currently working on ballot access efforts, and will hold a Founding Convention in February 2012 in Salt Lake City.

Among other issues, Anderson discussed climate change, health care, education, and civil liberties. He detailed his successes as mayor of Salt Lake City, stressed the importance of executive experience, and expressed his views on President Barack Obama and some of the Republican Party presidential candidates. He spoke in depth about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with whom he worked during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and fellow Utahan, former governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr..

Background

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngCould you list some of your accomplishments as mayor of Salt Lake City?

Rocky Anderson: I served for eight years and during that time, Salt Lake City became known as the model city for providing leadership on climate change solutions. Just before the 2002 Winter Olympic games, I declared that we would meet at least the Kyoto Protocol goals, and we far exceeded those in a very short period of time with 31 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions during the course of three years.

Downtown Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympic games.
Image: debaird.

I was a vigorous advocate for mass transit and was able to resurrect a light rail system that was voted down by our city council within days after my election. I was able to turn around the public opposition and not only received a unanimous vote from the city council but also obtained federal funding.
I put in place a comprehensive restorative justice program that became a nationwide model. We were one of three finalists for the World Leadership Award by the World Leadership Forum in London for our restorative justice program, which focuses on solutions rather than simply punishment and retribution.
I worked to provide real and effective drug prevention and education programs filling the completely ineffective D.A.R.E. program and getting proven effective programs in our schools and providing much better public education on substance abuse issues. We focused not only on the abuse of illicit drugs but also the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which is an enormous problem in Utah and throughout the country.
We fought against sprawl development incorporating principles of smart urban growth development with transit orientation development projects and opposition to sprawl-inducing new highways and increased dependence on the automobile.
I started a city-wide youth afterschool and summer program called YouthCity, and always pursued public policy with the understanding that upfront investments in making things better including opportunities for young people was far better for all in our community and far less expensive than ignoring those upfront needs and having to deal with the disasters down the road. We know that if we keep our young people engaged and teach them skills including social skills, we have a lot better shot of building safer healthier and sustainable communities, and at the same time keeping these young people out of trouble.

Anderson at the 2007 Salt Lake City Marathon.
Image: Jen Wakefield-Dillier.

I helped change, well, I led for the change in the culture of our police department where there was much more community-oriented policing where police were held accountable for not only excessive force against our residents and visitors but also even for rude behavior. I instituted a crisis intervention team program where officers were trained in recognizing and dealing with people with mental illnesses. Before I was mayor, I noticed that police were getting in confrontations with people with mental illnesses and escalate situations to the point of, in some cases even shooting and killing mentally ill people. We see that happen in communities all over the country and it’s so important that our police be trained to recognize the root causes of some violent behavior and understand when to back off and resolve the situation without further violence.
Our prosecutor’s office and police department were very supportive of our restorative justice program, which took a solution based approach to a wide variety of situations including public sex, drug abuse, prostitution, dealing with both prostitutes and johns. We had a homeless court, we had a mental illness court so that if homelessness or mental illness was at the root of illegal conduct, we could deal with those issues in a constructive way rather than simply running people through the criminal justice revolving door, which is very expensive and in the end destructive to everybody’s interests.
I was a big proponent and testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee regarding the proposal to transport and store high level nuclear waste, first, on a supposedly temporary basis at the Goshute Reservation in Utah and ultimately at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow critical is it for a presidential candidate to have executive experience?

Anderson: I think it’s extremely important for someone to be able to demonstrate in an executive capacity, he or she can handle the pressure, know how to deal with differing interests, and come to the best solutions. I know some people get in an executive position and they become very dictatorial and dogmatic about what they’re doing. I’ve always held the view both as a practicing lawyer, as president of my law firm and of course as mayor and then later as executive director of High Road for Human Rights, that you’re going to do a much better job if you learn as much as you can about any topic before you form your views and then still bring in those who have opposing views to hear them out and to learn, try to learn.

Public transit with the skyline of Salt Lake City in the background.
Image: CountyLemonade.

Cquote1.svg I think in terms of executive experience, knowing how to bring those opposing forces together, solve problems, being respectful, and always having in mind that just because you’re in that position doesn’t make you any smarter or wiser than you were before. That shared wisdom can mean everything in terms of one’s success. Cquote2.svg
That’s how we were able to get the light rail project completed right in the beginning of my term. There was a group called Citizens Against Light Rail that formed and they even had their own letterhead and logo, and the leaders of that group will tell you that the first thing I did was brought the opponents all together at my home, went through what caused them to oppose light rail, and we figured out through a really constructive problem solving exercise during the course of several intense weeks, how to resolve most of those issues, and those opponents to light rail were very much in favor of it and are real champions of the community-based problem-solving process that we’ve put into place. That’s also become the national model. We put together a community team of people that was comprised of businesses and residents all along the construction route that would determine whether the contractors would receive bonus payments, and then we set very clear guidelines for those contractors in terms of dust control, noise control, hours of construction, keeping one lane of traffic open at all times so businesses could continue to have access. This system had the contractor very very sensitive to the concerns of those along the construction route and ways we certainly didn’t see during the construction of light rail down Main Street under my predecessor. And contractors ended up received either 96 or 97 percent of possible bonus payments because of that increased sensitivity, and members of the community felt like they had real power, which of course they did. That’s how it ought to be.
I think in terms of executive experience, knowing how to bring those opposing forces together, solve problems, being respectful, and always having in mind that just because you’re in that position doesn’t make you any smarter or wiser than you were before. That shared wisdom can mean everything in terms of one’s success.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngAccording to an article in The Nation publication from 2006, a supporter asked you to run for president, but you told them that a run would require money and the backing of the state machine, which would be virtually impossible in conservative Utah. You added, “If I thought I could win, I would [run].” How is the atmosphere in 2012 better for you than it was in 2008?

Anderson: Well first of all, as reflected by the Occupy Movement, people in this country across the board understand how diseased and corrupt our system is, both our electoral system and the system of governance. We know now that there have been repeated failures in public policy that are a direct result of the corrupting influence of money. We’d have a universal health care system like the rest of the industrialized world were it not for the corrupting influence of medical insurance money. We wouldn’t be wasting billions, upon billions of dollars for unnecessary weapons programs, where the stranglehold and the corrupting influence of money from the military-industrial complex; we were warned about that by President Eisenhower during his last speech.

President Dwight Eisenhower warned, “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

The deregulation of the financial institutions that led toward this nation’s and the world’s economic disaster from which we’re all still suffering, would never have come about were it not for the corrupting influence of money in the system. President Obama for instance, received more money from Wall Street than any other candidate in our nation’s history, and so they got a really good return on their investment because the Obama administration has not brought one person to justice for the massive financial fraud that took place that helped lead to this economic cataclysm.
The failure of our nation to provide international leadership on climate change and to develop a policy that would result in energy independence is a direct result of the corrupting influence of money from the coal, oil, and gas industries. I don’t think President Obama woke up one day and decided it would be a really good public policy to veto the EPA’s position of more strict limits on ozone in our communities. Ozone creates so many illnesses and even death. Rather, his decision was just another example of his kowtowing to polluting industries. Likewise, he could have put an end to any possibility of the Keystone Pipeline, yet he’s just put it off, delayed it until after the election, and by all other signs from how he’s conducted himself as president, it is pretty apparent that he will end up approving that pipeline if he is reelected.
So, the American people understand that. They want to see people in elective office that for a change are not going to be sustaining and sustained by the corrupting influence of money in our government. They want to see that the public interest is promoted for a change. So, we have that elevated awareness about what’s going on in our government, about which people are very unhappy as reflected in 9 percent approval rating for congress and a low 40s percent approval rating for our president.
And at the same time, and this is what’s different than even just a few years ago: we have the democratizing impact on communications from social media. We’ve seen revolutions now in different parts of the world, the overthrow of dictators through a combination of courageous, tenacious people working at grassroots organizing and utilizing the tools now provided through social media. That’s why we’re going to be able to run this campaign limiting campaign contributions to $100 per person for the election cycle and maximizing in every way we can, the use of social media. This will be a people’s movement that is already gaining unbelievable traction after just one week since we announced.

The Justice Party and opposition

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngLet me ask about the Justice Party. What is it? How large is it? And how can people join?

Rocky Anderson: People can join in a number of different ways. There’s a website: justicepartyusa.org. There have been hundreds, probably thousands of inquires from people from dozens of states about getting on board, helping out as they can. There’s a steering committee, and we’re building on that steering committee as we speak. These are some great passionate, engaged, brilliant people, who’ve been working on this. But to see this happen in the sense, quite organically over time starting with discussions with people who have been contemplated doing this kind of work, coming together, building coalitions; I see the possibility of alliances or coalitions being built with different organizations around the country. The head of the Libertarian Party in one state came to us and said that he was publicly going to support what we’re doing. I’ve had Republicans contact me, telling us that they’ve had it with the craziness in that party; this extreme right wing approach that that party is now taking since the Tea Party’s had such enormous impact. We’re hearing from people who have been lifetime independents, members of the Green Party. We’ve got members of the Progressive Democrats that are being threatened to have their charter jerked by the Democratic Party because of their support for what we’re doing. In fact, one gentleman from the Progressive Democrats of America out of Chicago, is now on our steering committee. So this is an amazingly, cross-partisan representation of people who agree about the fundamentals and that is we need to change, not just the candidates that are playing within the system, but we need to change the system.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou mentioned Republicans and Libertarians, what about those that believe, ideologically that the government should not be involved in regulating carbon emissions or providing health care?

Anderson discusses Global Warming during a 2008 speech.
Image: NikiSublime.

Anderson: Those who believe the government shouldn’t have any involvement in providing essential health care for our citizens are not only on the margins in our country but throughout the industrialized world. The United States is the only country that allows reliance that in fact fosters reliance on for-profit insurance companies for the provision of essential health care for our citizens. It’s simply wrong that people are dying by the tens of thousands throughout this country every year because of inadequate health care services being available to them and you know we oftentimes hear from people like former President George W. Bush that people can go to emergency rooms, well that’s just simply not true. For a lot of the early diagnoses, early diagnostic work that can save lives, there’s not an option for that if you don’t have health care coverage. A lot of people can’t afford those diagnostic tests, and as a result they’re dying because by the time they’re properly diagnosed, the opportunity for saving their lives is gone, and yet the care that then has to be provided to them until they die is going to be extremely expensive. It’s so cost ineffective what we’re doing. We pay in this country more than double per capita health care than the average among the industrialized world, and part of our so-called health care dollars is going toward the profits for the for-profit insurance companies, dividends for their shareholders, huge bonuses, all the marketing for those companies. We are the most inefficient of nations in the industrialized world in terms of how we pay for health care. Our medical results are mediocre by comparison with other health care systems. And people are paying more money for mediocre results and we still don’t cover all of our citizens. So we come out looking very very badly by comparison with the rest of the industrialized world. If we were running a corporation here, and shareholders were determining how that corporation was doing in comparison to its competitors: higher costs, far less coverage, and mediocre results? I think we’d be replacing our board of directors and the officers and demanding that we catch up with our competitors.
The same thing is happening with education in this country. Our students are not equipped to compete with students from so many other countries. Ivy League schools are now putting quotas on the number of Asian students that they can accept because if they accept all of them on the basis of their merits, there would be relatively few Caucasian Americans being admitted to those Ivy League Schools. Why is Singapore doing so much better? Why are their students doing so much better on their testing than our students? It’s an utter failure of our educational system and it’s going to have an enormous impact in terms of the future. We’re not making the investments in education and innovation and in our nation’s infrastructure, all at the same time we’re wasting trillions of dollars on wars of aggression and continuing tactics in these countries that are creating so much hatred that leads to far less security in the long term for our nation.
And at the same time, we’re creating conditions for absolute catastrophe. Hundreds of names of environmental refugees, utter devastation in so many communities, loss of water resources, drought, starvation because of our failure to do what is required to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses. If there’s any role for government, it’s to provide for, not only for the short term, but long term health, safety, and national security of our people and our approach on climate change has been absolutely counter to that. Pentagon studies discuss how oncoming the imminent consequences from climate change are going to create such major national security problems, and that’s going to be the case all over the world. It’s absolutely irresponsible to not be looking out for the future, and doing what’s necessary to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. And the science is as robust as one could ever expect from science. Every nation’s science academy, every major scientific organization in the United States feels the climate issues are all in agreement: the world is heating up, generally, at a much faster rate than previously predicted. We’re already seeing massive consequences including the melting of the tundra, the melting of the arctic ice cap, melting of glaciers from which communities for centuries have depended for their water supplies. All of these consequences are happening faster than people believed they would just a few years ago and the future consequences are going to be horrendous. And we know that it’s all because of human’s conduct, either the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions, particularly from the burning of coal, oil, and gas, and from deforestation and the failure to reforest.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIn 2008, you said that you voted for Barack Obama as the “lesser of two evils”, but Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney were also on the ballot in Utah. Looking back now as a third party leader, do you regret not voting for a third party candidate in ’08?

Anderson: In ’08…I actually…I think it was in ’08 but I…or was it ’04? Sorry. In one of those years, I swapped my vote with a Nader supporter elsewhere so that Nader would still get a net of one vote, but in a battleground state, it wouldn’t take away from the Democrat; it wouldn’t help the Republican get elected. But with the Electoral College, the sad fact is my vote doesn’t count in Utah because it’s always so overwhelmingly Republican. The Electoral College is an immensely anti-Democratic part of our electoral system, it needs to be changed, we need to get to the point where we’re all electing the president based on the principle of one person, one vote.
Cquote1.svg [Obama] has greater contempt for the rule of law…than George W. Bush Cquote2.svg

Anderson speaks at an anti-war rally in 2008.
Image: Jeremiah Roth.

And the reason that I said that I felt President Obama should be supported over McCain was that he was the lesser of two evils, but I recognized that President Obama had already shown his true colors. Then, I think in the pocket of the nuclear power industry when he was in the Illinois state house. He had never really stood up on any major issue. I asked his supporters, they fell for the whole hope and change hype during his campaign, and I was always asking people, so point to one thing that he stood for, where he’s shown any courage in standing up for principle. The entire time he was in the United States Senate, he voted for full funding for the occupation of Iraq. He never stood up against torture or the other human rights abuses that were occurring during that time. He promised us before he received the Democratic nomination that he would join the filibuster in opposition to Congress providing retroactive immunity for the telecom companies for their illegal participation in the Bush surveillance program. And by the way, not all the telecom companies participated in that, they recognized that it was illegal so it wasn’t a matter of people were fooled about whether it was legal or not. But for those telecom companies that did violate the law, they should have been held accountable. But in the classic American way, the corrupt way that has developed in our system of government, three telecom companies spend some twelve million dollars on lobbyists during the course of three months they put on the press, Congress passed legislation providing for the retroactive immunity and among those voting for the immunity, now after he received the Democratic nomination was then-Senator Obama, completely betraying those that he had promised to join the filibuster. But it was just a sign of things to come, they always talked about the rule of law, he has greater contempt for the rule of law, I think, than George W. Bush. He comes into office, says, “oh, we’re going to look forward, not backwards” in terms of holding accountable war criminals? And those were criminals not only under international law, the Geneva Convention, the Convention Against Torture, but under our own laws passed by Congress: War Crimes Act of 1996 and the federal torture statute. Clearly, an illegal act, and he says, “let’s just look forward, not backwards”. But he’s done the same thing for the people who committed such massive financial fraud on Wall Street without holding any one of them accountable.
He has reinforced this notion that there’s this narrow special aristocracy in this country, who are the most wealthy and the most powerful, and the contributors to his campaign, by the way, who aren’t going to be held accountable to the law while the rest of us oftentimes suffer just the most extreme consequences from the application of the laws, especially in the area of drugs, where tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, people have in our prisons because of violations of our drug laws.

The GOP race

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What is your take on the GOP field, particularly Jon Huntsman, Jr., and Mitt Romney, both of whom you’ve endorsed in past elections?

Rocky Anderson: They both have been good friends of mine. The Mitt Romney I knew is a very different Mitt Romney than the one who’s been running for president. The Mitt Romney I knew believed in Roe v. Wade, that it came to the right result and with that ought to be established law and that we should just move on with it. This Mitt Romney, who, the last time he ran said we shouldn’t politicize Guantanamo, he doesn’t seem to have any regard for human rights, he’s gone back and forth and back and forth…Well, he did it as governor before the time he announced that he was going to run for president. But he’s even done it while he’s been running for president, this time, in terms of climate change. Out of one side of his mouth, he’s talking about how climate change is a problem, we need to deal with it. By the way, George W. Bush even said that. And then later on, he says, well we don’t really know the causes of climate change. But, he knows very well the causes of climate change. He knows how the scientific community feels on that issue. But he’s doing whatever he can to win the election.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. Anderson referred to Huntsman as “a bright, good man.”
Image: United States Department of State.

Anderson addresses the GLBT community of Utah in 2005.
Image: Jere Keys.

I think Jon Huntsman is on the whole very different than that. He stood by his views. He was governor of the state of Utah, advocating domestic partnerships, that is equal treatment under the law for members of the GLBT community. And I say equal, wasn’t quite equal because he still hasn’t reached a point where he embraces the idea of marriage equality as I have for decades. And actually had marriage equality when I ran for Congress in 1996, it became a core part of the opposition against me and probably led to my defeat in 1996. But he’s stood up on these issues, he’s stood up on the issue of climate change when he was governor. I think it was fantastic when he stood up during a debate and talked about how the Republican Party should no longer be the anti-science party. What an amazing thing. I mean one would think the bar is set that low that it would be amazing, but in this environment right now, for him to say that to the Republican Party while he’s running for their nomination. And then of course he was one of only two people who had the moral courage and sense to say “we should never be torturing”, and that is so counter to our nation’s heritage from the very beginning George Washington prohibited torture of British soldiers, and that’s been not only the law, but the ethic of our country from the very beginning. It’s only changed during this last decade and that’s part of a very dangerous trend toward an imperial presidency and the disregard for human rights, and it’s really so undermined our standing and not only undermined our standing, but created so much hatred toward the United States in many parts of the world.
So, Jon Huntsman is a bright, good man. We differ on a lot of things: I differ with him on offshore drilling, I differ with him on the keystone pipeline, on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But I think Jon, especially having served as U.S. ambassador to China understands all the amazing progress China has made in the area of green technology. China is just beating us in every possible way when it comes to green technology. They’re producing more than half of world’s solar panels, they’re producing more than half of the world’s wind turbines. Now, they’re incorporating these green technologies in their buildings and they’re insisting every mayor find ways to cut down on the use of energy in their communities. They know how to get the job done, and in this country, I mean, we look at our country and say well that they’re totalitarian, and yeah they have people who can say this is what we have to do, this is our goal, and now you have to go get it done or you’re not going to hold your job anymore. In this country, we have the pretense of democracy, but we know that it’s with corporations that are benefiting so much from these disasters in public policy that are calling the shots. And we’re not moving toward what would serve the public’s interest, and that’s clearly shown in the area of climate change and energy policy as it is when we see the work that we’re paying a lot more for drugs than other countries because of the corrupting influence of the pharmaceutical industry and the way that we’ve been sold out by those in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats who are feeding at the same special interest trough of corrupting money.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDid you watch last night’s [December 15] GOP debate?

Anderson: No. I didn’t.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWell, one candidate that was not invited to the debate was former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, who like you, is limiting individual campaign contributions to $100. Did your idea to do this come from Roemer?

Anderson: No. No I didn’t, frankly, I didn’t realize that he was doing that. I heard Jeffrey Sachs talking about how these races could be won and the message to get across to people, and I said, absolutely that’s what we ought to do. Just set a $100 limit and let everybody know: they’re equal players, we’re all shareholders, we’re all shareholders in this, and no special interest is going to come along and have any special access or influence.

Public policy and the state of democracy

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngWhat is the single most important issue facing Americans right now and how will you address this as president?

Rocky Anderson: The single most important issue facing our country is providing jobs, education, enhanced infrastructure, and encouraging innovation because we are falling so far behind the rest of the world. And part of that innovation and investment needs to be addressing climate change because in the long run, the impacts from climate change are going to be greater than…from any other shorter term issue right now.
Fiscal policy of course relates to all of that. We need to bring in adequate revenues so that we’re not passing off on to the next generation this enormous debt and interest burden, and we also need to get our spending under control, but still with an eye toward priming the pump during this recession and providing the kind of infrastructure, education, and innovation that’s going to serve this country not only for the present but far out into the future.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngThis is my last question. What necessary freedoms are currently lacking in American society?

Anderson:There has never been a time in our nation’s history when the executive branch has claimed so much power and abused that power and that runs the gamut. Our president has asked for the legal authority to point to anybody, even citizens of this country; have them taken away, essentially kidnapped, disappeared, detained without any limit; no legal representation, no charges, no trial. It is so absolutely contrary to what our constitution is based upon and what our system of government is based upon. It’s contrary to our nation’s heritage, to our most dearly held values. The Senate just passed this incredible bill, the Federal Military Authorization Act that would allow for that detention based on who-knows-what kind of information, no standard of proof, no public hearing. It’s not like these people are infallible.
Cquote1.svg The rule of law has been denigrated to the point never before experienced in this country. Cquote2.svg
The rule of law has been denigrated to the point never before experienced in this country. People can commit war crimes and if they’re rich and powerful enough, the United States says let’s just look forward and not backwards and let them off the hook. Not even an investigation. So we the American people have lost the freedom to even know what our government is doing and to know whether or not they’re going to be held accountable under the law.
All three branches of government have been part of this deterioration of the law. Courts through the very subversive state secrets doctrine will dismiss cases, not on the merits, but on the basis of the very perpetrator, the executive branch, coming to it and saying that the case cannot move forward because to do so would mean the disclosure of state secrets that would be contrary to national security, and so the courts throw the cases out. That is perhaps the most subversive thing that’s ever happened in this country because our system of government is based on the system of separation of powers and checks and balances. The courts are there in large part to protect against abuses of power including illegal conduct by the executive branch. If that check isn’t there, that spells tyranny. That means the executive branch can do whatever it wants, regardless of the law, even domestic laws and treaty obligations that have been passed by Congress.

Anderson (right) shakes hands with a peace activist and Iraq War veteran.
Image: Jeremiah Roth.

So there have been torture victims, and by the way, these torture victims it has been established, they have zero connection to terrorism. Torture victims have come to our courts with the claims and they’re proven claims by the way that they were kidnapped by the CIA, disappeared from their families and other loved ones, whisked off, one to an Afghanistan prison and another one to a Syrian prison. They were tortured. They were held for several months: one five months, the other one a year. One was a German citizen, the other a Canadian citizen. They come to our courts to challenge that illegal conduct, and by the way, the United States has assured the United Nations Committee Against Torture that we provide these kinds of remedies for victims of torture. So they come in, seek justice, seek a means of getting the truth out, and what is the response of the both the Bush and the Obama administration? They oppose the lawsuits even moving forward on the merits because, among other reasons, the state’s secret doctrine and the courts dismiss the cases. That is absolutely un-American.
Cquote1.svg [The state secrets doctrine] is perhaps the most subversive thing that’s ever happened in this country… Cquote2.svg
The Bush administration, contrary to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act approved over the course of years, numerous dictates, we don’t know how many because the truth hasn’t come out, but likely tens if not hundreds of thousands of instances of warrantless surveillance of communications by American citizens. Not just telephone calls, but e-mail communications and otherwise. President Bush promised us the warrants were being obtained in all those cases. He was lying to us. He later admitted “yeah I ordered the national security agency to go ahead and do that.” So there hasn’t been one person prosecuted when people have come into our courts to challenge that illegal surveillance and a 2 to 1 decision by one of our circuit courts, the determination was made that they don’t have standing to pursue the cases because they can’t prove that their individual communications were subjected to that illegal surveillance, and the reason they can’t determine if their communications were subject to that surveillance was because of the state’s secrets doctrine. The government was able to block them from getting that information once again asserting the state’s secrets doctrine.
So we have lost freedoms in very fundamental ways. We’re a country where no longer can even pretend to abide by the rule of law. Where congress will pass retroactive immunity legislation, letting corporations that can pump $12 million into their lobbyists in three months, letting them off the hook for their felonious misconduct. Where torturers are not held to account. Where there aren’t even investigations. At least, in the late 70’s, when there were abuses in the intelligence community, Congress had states’ people that would come together as under the Church Committee and investigate these matters and disclose to the American people, which led to legislation that would help deter these kinds of things from happening in the future. There’s none of that. There’s nothing to deter that kind of misconduct; the kind of absolutely subversive un-American activity within our executive branch. And Congress sits by let like the biggest bunch of patsies. Not asserting their constitutional prerogatives, not exercising their constitutional responsibilities to provide a check against those kinds of abuses.



Related articles

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 6, 2011

Sitcom star Roseanne Barr announces run for U.S. president

Sitcom star Roseanne Barr announces run for U.S. president

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Roseanne Barr in 2010
Image: Leah Mark.

Roseanne Barr, best known for her role on the television sitcom Roseanne, officially announced Thursday on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that she will run for President of the United States in 2012.

Barr, 58, starred as the blue collar, wise-cracking mother Roseanne Conner on Roseanne from 1988 to 1997. She made national headlines in 1990 for a shrill performance of the national anthem at a San Diego Padres baseball game that then-President George H.W. Bush called a disgrace. After the conclusion of Roseanne, she hosted a short-lived talk show from 1998 to 2000, before returning to her roots as a stand-up comedienne in the HBO special Roseanne Barr: Blonde N Bitchin’.

Last month, Barr premiered in a new reality show on Lifetime called Roseanne’s Nuts, which follows her life as a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii. Two weeks ago, the show was watched by 1.6 million viewers, though last week only 785,000 tuned in. In an interview with The Star-Telegram, she admitted that the show serves as a launching pad for her presidential ambitions, arguing “I have to do a reality show in order to run for president of these United States”, in allusion to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s reality series Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

During her appearance on the Tonight Show, Barr insisted that she was serious and commented that Palin’s potential candidacy is “kinda what got me to thinking that I too should run for president, if she can”. Barr revealed that she had created her own political party, referred to as the “Green Tea Party”, which combines elements of the Green and Tea Party movements. She proclaimed that the taxpayers would be her running mate and that her first order of business would be the legalization of marijuana.

If not invited to the presidential debates, Barr joked that she would “photoshop” herself in.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress