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September 6, 2012

On the campaign trail, August 2012

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

On the campaign trail, August 2012

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The following is the tenth 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: Wikinews interviews the Peace and Freedom Party vice presidential nominee, analysts react to the Republican choice for vice president, and Wikinews updates readers on the candidates who challenged President Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries.


August began with the Obama re-election campaign’s continued attacks on presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s decision to not release his tax records from previous years. Democratic Senator Harry Reid alleged that an unnamed investor from Romney’s former business Bain Capital advised him Romney had not paid any taxes in the undisclosed years. The Romney campaign rejected the validity of Reid’s comments, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham accused Reid of lying. Thereafter, the Obama campaign began airing a new advertisement that referred to Romney’s tax plan as “Robin Hood in reverse” or “Romney Hood”. The Romney campaign countered that it was actually Obama, and not Romney, who wished to increase taxes. Further controversy spawned from the Obama-allied Priorities USA Action Political Action Committee, which ran ads connecting Romney to the cancer death of the wife of a Union leader at GST Steel. The leader said he lost healthcare coverage after Bain, which had operated the plant for a short period, shut it down. The Romney campaign claimed the shutdown occurred while Romney was running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and asked the Obama campaign to disavow the ad; however, an Obama spokesman claimed no involvement and refused to denounce the ad. In response, Romney debuted an ad that attacked Obama as someone “who will say or do anything to stay in power”, arguing he had “squandered…one of his key attributes…[as] a different kind of politician who was going to take us to a better place.” The Obama campaign offered to end the ads attacking Romney for his tax records if he released his records from the previous five years; Romney declined. His spokesman argued, “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters”. A Huffington Post report from early August suggested Obama’s ads were negatively affecting Romney’s likability rating and his position in the polls. Nevertheless, analysis of the previous month’s receipts showed that despite the attacks, for the third straight month, the Romney campaign raised more money than Obama.

Paul Ryan prepares to deliver his acceptance speech after Mitt Romney introduces him as his running mate.
Image: Tony Atler.

On August 11 during an event in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, Romney named Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. After an introduction, Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the budget proposal The Path to Prosperity, argued the ticket “won’t duck the tough issues — we will lead.” In response to the selection, Obama staffers remarked it “makes clear that Romney would be a rubber stamp for the congressional GOP” and the choice provides the Obama campaign with “clear advantages”. Shortly thereafter, Obama’s running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, himself made headlines after commenting to a partly African American audience in Virginia, “in the first 100 days, [Romney’s] going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” Romney cited this as an example of the Obama presidency’s “angry and desperate” state and called on Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago”. Biden’s were not the only controversial remarks connected with the August campaign. Discussing conception as a result of rape, Republican Senate candidate and Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri told a local St. Louis radio program, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The comment drew condemnation from Republicans including Romney, who labeled it “inexcusable” and asked that Akin step down from the race. Obama described the remarks as “offensive” and his campaign attempted to use it to revive the “war on women” rhetoric; Democratic National Committee chairwoman Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz argued, “Akin’s choice of words isn’t the real issue here. The real issue is a Republican Party — led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — whose policies on women and their health are dangerously wrong.”

Prior to the Republican National Convention, then-Tropical Storm Isaac was projected to make landfall near the event in Tampa, Florida. Though it eventually made landfall as a Hurricane near New Orleans, the first day of the convention was largely cancelled and Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal decided not to attend. Nevertheless, the convention was held. On the first regular day: the Romney-Ryan ticket was officially nominated; though it attracted controversy as most of the Maine delegation walked out of the proceedings as ten of the state’s twenty delegates were given to Romney instead of Congressman Ron Paul. Paul had held an event before 10,000 spectators at the University of South Florida‘s Sun Dome a day prior to the scheduled start of the convention, where he proclaimed that his Revolution continued. After the nomination, nominee’s wife Ann Romney and New Jersey governor Chris Christie addressed the convention in prime time speeches. The next day, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico governor Susanna Martinez spoke to the delegates before Paul Ryan officially accepted the vice presidential nomination in a speech that notably included the line, “College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” On the final day of the convention, actor and former Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Mayor Clint Eastwood made a surprise appearance and delivered an impromptu speech, which included an interview of a chair representing Obama, emphasizing his unmet promises as president. After addressing attendees, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced Romney, who took the stage and formally accepted the Republican Party presidential nomination. In his speech, Romney discussed his family, recalled some personal anecdotes, and criticized Obama, arguing the “centerpiece of the president’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success.” Addressing Obama supporters, Romney agreed “hope and change had a powerful appeal” but asked, “If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.” In response to the convention, Obama remarked, “what they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda better suited for the last century. … We might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV.” Early polling analysis showed the convention improved Romney’s likability ratings, and in the national RealClearPolitics average for August 31, Romney edged closer with 45.9 percent support, behind Obama’s 46.4 percent.

Peace and Freedom Party VP nominee speaks to Wikinews

Cindy Sheehan in 2007.
Image: dbking.

In August, comedienne Roseanne Barr, star of the popular ’90s sitcom Roseanne, won the presidential nomination of the left-wing Peace and Freedom Party. She named peace activist Cindy Sheehan as her running mate. Wikinews reached out to Sheehan to discuss the campaign.

Sheehan is best known for her active opposition to the War in Iraq following the loss of her son Casey there in 2004. In protest of the war, she set up camp outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanding a pullout of U.S. troops and prosecution of Bush administration officials for war crimes. According to her website, Sheehan also advocates Revolutionary socialism, believing it to be key to loosening the “Imperialist/Capitalist two-party stranglehold” on U.S. and world politics.

This campaign is not Sheehan’s first foray into electoral politics. In 2008, she challenged then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Congress as the nominee of the Green Party, finishing second in a field of seven candidates. During the campaign, she championed the reduction of U.S. troops abroad, and endorsed economic democracy, bank nationalization, single-payer health care, education subsidies, marijuana decriminalization, alternative fuels, and electoral reform.

Now, as the Peace and Freedom Party vice presidential nominee, Sheehan campaigns on a similar platform that promotes socialism, feminism, and environmentalism. Thus far, the party has attained ballot access in California, Colorado, and Florida.

With Wikinews, Sheehan reveals her reason for joining Roseanne, discusses her responsibilities as the vice presidential nominee, and details what she personally contributes to the ticket.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhy did you agree to be the running mate of Roseanne Barr?

Cindy Sheehan: I have a long relationship with Roseanne Barr dating back to 2005 when we met in L.A. after my son was killed and we connected on the level of mothers. She supported me when I ran against Nancy Pelosi in 2008 by coming up and doing an event with me in SF and various other things. I think Roseanne has the ability to reach everyone with a message that I have been spreading since my campaign: that capitalism is the main problem in our country — everything for profit and nothing for the people — and the solution is socialism. I was honored to accept her invite.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your responsibilities in this position?

Cindy Sheehan: Campaign events to raise awareness to our issues and the Peace and Freedom Party and to spread the Party all over the country and increase registration here in California to keep us on the ballot. I will do interviews and represent the campaign whenever or wherever needed.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow do you complement Roseanne on the ticket?

Cindy Sheehan: I have been an avowed socialist and member of the Peace and Freedom Party for almost four years now and have written two books on socialist revolution called: Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution and Revolution, A Love Story. Except for the abstentions of the Freedom Socialist Party, my nomination was unanimous because I think I am slightly more grounded in socialist ideology and am a member in good standing of the party.
I also have experience running a pretty major campaign and being a candidate for federal office.

Analysts react to Republican VP selection

After Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, Wikinews tracked down two political analysts who had previously offered their insights on possible Republican Party vice presidential picks.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stands with his running mate, Paul Ryan
Image: monkeyz uncle.

In March, Dan Judy of North Star Opinion Research discussed the possibility that Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño would receive the vice presidential nomination, and in June, examined the prospect of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Judy did not believe either had a realistic chance of winning the nomination, and with Romney’s pick, his expectation proved correct. Though both Paul and Fortuño delivered prime time speeches at the Republican National Convention, neither did so as the vice presidential nominee; that was reserved for Ryan.

Judy sees the selection of Ryan as a positive for the Romney campaign. He feels that as “one of the few serious policy thinkers in either party”, Ryan will shift the campaign into “a more serious, solutions-oriented campaign that will make President Obama’s campaign, which has focused almost solely on personal attacks against Mitt Romney, look petty and small.” Moreover, he believes Ryan can help Romney win in the swing state of Wisconsin, which no Republican presidential candidate has won since President Ronald Reagan was re-elected in 1984.

Kyle Kondik of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, who in June also rejected the idea of a Rand Paul ticket, differs from Judy somewhat in his assessment of the Ryan pick. He agrees that the selection will raise policy issues, particularly entitlement reform, but questions whether that will help or hurt Romney. He believes the announcement itself was poorly planned since it occurred on a Saturday morning in August during the Olympics, and that it initially did not lead to a poll boost for Romney. Nevertheless, Kondik argues, “the running mates for either candidate are not vitally important; this [election] is about Obama and Romney.”

Update on 2012 Democratic candidates

With the Democratic National Convention looming, Wikinews decided to update on some of the candidates who challenged President Barack Obama during the Democratic primaries earlier this year. Of the three candidates chronicled: one is actively continuing his presidential campaign, one is backing a third party ticket, and another recently encountered a major roadblock to his goal of preventing Obama’s unanimous nomination.

Time Warner Cable Center, the venue for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Image: Blueboy96.

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry of West Virginia, who received 22,734 votes in the Democratic primaries overall and who, after a strong second-place showing in the Oklahoma primary, qualified for delegates that the state party later denied, has been waging an independent campaign in several states to appear on the November ballot. According to Terry, he has ballot access in West Virginia, and has attained official write-in status in Colorado. Currently, he is petitioning to appear on the Kentucky and Nebraska ballots, and is hoping to be certified as a write-in candidate in Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

Historian Darcy Richardson of Florida, who garnered 41,730 votes in the primaries, decided afterwards to seek the nomination of the Reform Party of the United States, but dropped his bid late in July due to the party’s lack of ballot access. Fitness model Andre Barnett ultimately won the Reform Party nomination in August. Richardson says that he is now supporting the Peace and Freedom Party presidential ticket of Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan, and is helping to organize the party’s chapter in Florida, where it recently gained ballot access.

Attorney John Wolfe, Jr. of Tennessee, who won 117,033 votes, more than any other challenger, and who qualified for delegates in Louisiana and Arkansas, which the state parties refused to recognized, has pursued lawsuits against the parties, hoping to have his delegates seated at the Democratic National Convention to prevent the unanimous renomination of President Obama. However, on August 30, a federal district court threw out his suit against the Arkansas party, arguing that the stripping of delegates, for failing to properly file for the delegates, did not violate Wolfe’s constitutional rights. Nevertheless, Wolfe argued that the refusal to grant delegates to him amounted to a disfranchisement of the 42 percent of Arkansas Democrats that voted for him in the primary.

When asked if he planned to attend the Democratic National Convention, Wolfe did not immediately respond. The convention is to be held September 4–6 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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

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 14, 2012

Reform Party of the United States nominates fitness model Andre Barnett for president

Reform Party of the United States nominates fitness model Andre Barnett for president

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Andre Barnett
Image: Andre Barnett 2012.

Fitness model Andre Barnett of Poughkeepsie, New York won the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States at its national convention in Philadelphia last weekend. Consultant Kenneth Cross was selected as his running mate.

Barnett, who founded the company WiseDome, became a fitness model after suffering an injury in a 2000 helicopter incident while serving in the U.S. Army. He participated in last January’s Wikinews Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum, along with then-candidates former Savannah State football coach Robby Wells and Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert David Steele.

Both Wells and Steele withdrew long before the convention as did others who later announced their candidacies, notably former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer and former Council of Economic Advisers Senior Economist Laurence Kotlikoff. As Wikinews reported in June, historian Darcy Richardson also sought the nomination, but he tells Wikinews that he did not attend the convention and withdrew from the race in July, “once it became clear the party wasn’t going to qualify for the ballot in Arkansas, New Jersey and a few of the other relatively easy states.”

Two other candidates — Cross, who later won the vice presidential nomination, and Dow Chemical worker Edward Chlapowski — attended the convention, where they debated Barnett before the delegate vote.

In his acceptance speech, Barnett referred to the Reform Party as “the microcosm of America”, and proclaimed that as the party’s nominee, he would not focus on social issues that “[belong] outside of politics”, but instead would center his campaign on the economy, defense, and education.

The Reform Party currently has ballot access in four states: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kansas; but in June, the disaffiliated Kansas Reform Party chose to nominate 2008 Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin.

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

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.

June 15, 2012

Darcy Richardson to seek Reform Party presidential nomination

Darcy Richardson to seek Reform Party presidential nomination

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Darcy Richardson, the historian who challenged U.S. President Barack Obama in several 2012 Democratic Party primary races, has notified Wikinews he will now “actively seek” the presidential nominations of the Reform Party of the United States of America and several third parties with single-state ballot access.

Reform Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson.
Image: Darcy Richardson.

Richardson initially ran as a progressive alternative to Obama, concerned largely with the president’s economic policies. Discussing his qualms in detail during a November 2011 Wikinews interview, Richardson cited Obama’s extension of the Bush tax cuts, his inability to include a public option in his health care bill, his failure to renew the Glass-Steagall Act and pass cap-and-trade legislation, and his seeming reluctance to defend Social Security and Medicare. He also mentioned Obama’s continued use of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and prosecution of the War in Afghanistan.

As a Democrat, Richardson qualified for primary ballots in New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. His strongest showing proportionally came in Oklahoma, where he won 6.36 percent of the vote. Overall he received a total of 41,386 votes in the five states, 25,296 of which came during the May 29 Texas primary, after he had already suspended his campaign.

Last April, Richardson ceased all campaign operations, and shifted focus to his news blog Uncovered Politics. At the time, he said he planned to support Americans Elect and Reform Party presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, in part due to his economic plans, such as the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Richardson described Roemer as a “straight-talking, anti-Wall Street former governor of Louisiana who is … head and shoulders above any other potential third-party candidate in his conception of the current economic crisis.”

After Roemer ended his presidential campaign as a whole following Americans Elect’s board decision to not nominate a 2012 ticket, Richardson was left to decide whether to support Obama’s re-election or reconsider his own campaign. He ultimately chose to relaunch his campaign, and like Roemer, run for Reform Party nomination. He concluded:

I can’t in good conscience support President Obama’s re-election. He’s a good man, but entirely out of his league in putting the country on a path to economic recovery. The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly. President Obama squandered the first two years of his presidency on a health care bill that nobody wanted while essentially ignoring the private sector in his $787 billion stimulus package in 2009 — legislation that did little other than preserve the bloated payrolls of public sector employees across the country. We need a President who understands what it will take to end this depression, somebody with extensive private sector experience. Unlike President Obama, I have spent my entire life in the business community.

Currently, six other individuals are seeking the Reform Party presidential nomination: Blake Ashby, who challenged President Bush in the 2004 Republican primaries; fitness model Andre Barnett, the only candidate remaining who participated in the January 2012 Wikinews Reform Party forum; Dow Chemical worker Edward Chlapowski; consultant Kenneth Cross; economic adviser Dick McCormick; and estimator Michael Edwin Whitley.

The Reform Party currently has ballot access in four states, but with the aim of achieving access in a dozen, Richardson will also compete for the nominations of ballot-qualified third parties with single-state access elsewhere.

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

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.

February 23, 2012

Buddy Roemer ends Republican presidential bid to seek Reform Party nomination

Buddy Roemer ends Republican presidential bid to seek Reform Party nomination

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roemer speaks to the Reform Party of New Jersey in December 2011.
Image: Greenguy89.

Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer ended his campaign for the Republican Party (GOP) presidential nomination yesterday to seek the backing of the Reform Party of the United States of America. He plans to make the official announcement at a press conference later today, and also reaffirms his quest for the Americans Elect nod.

Roemer, who limits campaign contributions to $100.00 and does not accept money from Political Action Committees, has made campaign finance reform a centerpiece of his run. He announced his candidacy last July, but was unable to make headway in presidential polls. As a result, he was not invited to any GOP debates.

Last December, Roemer announced that he would seek the nomination of Americans Elect, an independent organization hoping to field a nonpartisan presidential ticket. Later that month, he addressed the Reform Party of New Jersey, fueling speculation that he would seek the party’s nomination. However, after the meeting, campaign manager Carlos Sierra told Wikinews that Roemer “does not intend to seek their nomination”. He now says that Roemer changed his mind after “[n]ot getting into any of the GOP debates.”

Industrialist Ross Perot founded the Reform Party in 1995. As the party’s first presidential nominee in 1996, he received over eight percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage for a third party candidate since. After this, the party was plagued by infighting, and decreased in prominence. In 2008, Ted Weill was nominated for president, but appeared on the ballot in only Mississippi, receiving 481 votes. Since then, the party has revived somewhat, and has already attained ballot access in four states.

Wikinews held a forum in January for the candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination. All three then-candidates participated, including former college football coach Robby Wells, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert David Steele, and small business owner Andre Barnett.

Since then, Steele ended his campaign, and Wells dropped out to seek the Constitution Party nomination. For now, Roemer will face Barnett, as well as economist Dick McCormick, who recently announced his candidacy.

Roemer plans to make his announcement today in Santa Monica, California. His campaign manager looks forward to the next stage, explaining, “we believe we can form a powerful coalition of Americans who are tired of the status quo.”

Related articles

  • “Former Congressman Virgil Goode enters race for Constitution Party presidential nomination” — Wikinews, February 18, 2012
  • Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum” — Wikinews, January 3, 2012
  • “On the campaign trail, December 2011” — Wikinews, January 1, 2012
  • “Campaign manager: 100 percent chance Buddy Roemer will run for Americans Elect presidential nomination” — Wikinews, December 1, 2011
  • “Wikinews interviews Buddy Roemer, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate” — Wikinews, October 30, 2011
  • “Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer announces run for president” — Wikinews, July 22, 2011


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

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.

January 3, 2012

Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Logo for the Reform Party of the United States of America.
Image: Reform Party National Committee.

Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

The Reform Party is a United States third party that was founded in 1995 by industrialist Ross Perot. Perot ran as the party’s first presidential nominee in 1996, and won over eight percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage for a third party candidate since. In 1998, professional wrestler Jesse Ventura ran on the Reform Party ticket and was elected Governor of Minnesota. The party fell in prominence during the lead-up to the 2000 presidential election when it was plagued by infighting between ideological factions. In 2000, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan won the presidential nomination, and went on to receive only 0.4 percent of the popular vote in the general election. In 2004, the party opted to endorse consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but ended the year nearly bankrupt. In 2008, Ted Weill won the party’s presidential nomination, but appeared on the ballot in only one state and won a total of 481 votes.

The party is currently trying to rebuild and has opened several new state chapters. They will attempt to appear on the ballot in more states for the 2012 presidential election. The party is expected to nominate its presidential ticket during the National Convention this summer.

The candidates

Candidates for the Reform Party USA presidential nomination
Image: Andre Barnett. Andre Barnett of Poughkeepsie, New York served in the U.S. Army until he was injured in a helicopter incident in 2000. Since that time, he has worked as a fitness model, has assisted several federal agencies and corporations in information technology services, and founded the company WiseDome, Inc. He considers himself a conservative.
Image: Reform Party National Committee. Robert Steele of Oakton, Virginia is CEO of the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network, which promotes “public intelligence in the public interest”. He previously served as a Marine Corps infantry officer, national intelligence officer, and in Marine Corps intelligence. For his presidential campaign, he focuses on his plans for electoral reform, the creation of a coalition cabinet, and the creation of an open forum for participatory democracy.
Image: Robby Wells. Robby Wells of Charlotte, North Carolina is the former head football coach for Savannah State University and former assistant coach for Benedict College, South Carolina State University, and the University of South Carolina. He joined the Army National Guard in 2006, and has worked as a motivational speaker. He bases his campaign on a platform called the “gameplan”.


Question 1

Wikinews waves Left.pngWIKINEWSWikinews waves Right.png Why did you decide to run for president?

Andre Barnett: Though it may seem a bit selfish, my decision was more of a conviction of heart, mind and spirit after seeing what my own family and friends were enduring during this economic downturn. As I began speaking with my fellow veterans and hearing about the lost jobs, homes, and families many issues came into focus. The time I spent living overseas in different countries allowed me to studying their economies, governments, military capabilities, and learn what other countries really think about the US.
We can no longer accept the notion we are on a path of no return. Our government has an obligation to the people of this nation to address the needs and concerns they are facing.
Robert Steele: Multiple reasons. The economy killed my business, so I’ve been working on Electoral Reform. The Occupy movement raised my hopes that America was ready to wake up. I had also been sickened by the Republican clown show. The time seemed right for something better. While there are politicians I admire, none of them were offering the public a coherent, complete approach to restoring the Republic and the integrity of our government. That’s what I’m looking for, and that’s why I decided to run. Some will say I am a long shot but I actually believe that We the People can come together and win this in unconventional ways, and of course I believe very strongly that someone has to say what needs to be said: we live in a two-party tyranny, all three branches of the government have been captured by banks and corporations–hence the US Government no longer represents We the People. And – this is the big one – we have ONE SHOT, between now and 4 July 2012, to force the issue of Electoral Reform and take our government back.
Robby Wells: There are several reasons why I chose to run for President. I chose to run after observing the path our elected officials have been taking. It is obvious that the policies of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are not effective anymore. The 14 million that are unemployed, the 25 million that are underemployed, the 49 million that live in poverty, and the 149 million that are considered low income is proof that our two party system has failed. It is time for America to have strong leadership from someone that has the best interest of the citizens of this country. It is time for our country to move in a different direction. It is time for our country to make a “Real Change”. I believe that I am that candidate because I understand the pressures that 99% of our citizens face. Most of the top candidates for the GOP and President Obama are wealthy, and are out of touch with the vast majority of this country. I am just like most Americans. I consider myself middle class, have been unemployed, have been underemployed, and woke up every morning concerned about how I was going to provide for my family. Just like millions of Americans, I felt like the American Dream had been replaced with an Economic Nightmare. Someone had to take a stand. I love my country, and I know that my plan, “The Gameplan,” will bring our country back to economic greatness. You can view “The Gameplan” on my campaign web site :

Question 2

Wikinews waves Left.pngWIKINEWSWikinews waves Right.png Why did you choose the Reform Party?

Andre Barnett: The Reform Party the party of solutions. This party is ready to propose to America a more excellent debate on the issues, a united and all-encompassing solution to address the issues of this great nation.
Robert Steele: Of the three excluded parties that are credible in America–Libertarian, Green, and Reform–only the Reform Party leadership was interested in a “complete” approach to reform. The others focus on important issues but don’t go far enough — Libertarians focus on civil liberties and the Constitution, and really do not think in strategic holistic terms; Greens have a lot of promise, and I am watching Jill Stein with interest, but they don’t have a coherent approach to governance either. The Reform Party is aptly named by its founder, Ross Perot, and after overcoming years of internal legal battles is now ready to come out and represent ALL of us, or as they put it, everyone between the two extremes. The USA needs the Reform Party now.
Robby Wells: I chose the Reform Party for several reasons. In 1992, Ross Perot ran for President, and he recieved almost 20% of the vote as an Independent Candidate. In 1996, Mr. Perot had formed the Reform Party, and he once again ran on that ticket. I supported Ross Perot, and I believe that he was about 15 years ahead of his time. I truly believe that America is sick and tired of being sick and tired of our elected Republicans and Democrats actions in Washington. We have too many politicians that go to Washington trying to keep their job in lieu of doing their job. The Reform Party believes in balancing the Federal Budget, spending only what we have, creating jobs in America for Americans, government reform (term limits), and tax reform. Their philosophies are in line with my philosophies, and it seemed like a great fit when the leadership of the Reform Party contacted me and asked me to be a part of their party.

Question 3

Wikinews waves Left.pngWIKINEWSWikinews waves Right.png Why would you be a better candidate than your two opponents for the nomination?

Andre Barnett: I do not intend to engage in “1 upper” politics. I am about the movement this party is moving towards. I am interested in redirecting this conversation towards the solutions we have to offer and working with the other candidates to show a stability this country is longing for.
Robert Steele: The other two candidates for the Reform Party nomination are good-hearted individuals who share my commitment to reform. I have the experience to back it up. I have a deep understanding of how government corruption works and what can be done about it; an understanding of why Occupy matters and how to work with them; and I know how to address patterns of failure, how to recover the substance of governance, how respond to legitimate grievances, and how to begin to roll back much more that is hurting this country. This is all discussed in my book, ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Earth Intelligence Network, 2008), on sale at Amazon and also free online.
I have a fully articulated strategy that we need now: Electoral Reform, a Coalition Cabinet and a Balanced Budget announced by 4 July 2011, and a commitment to True Cost Economics–this is an approach that seeks to create a We the People Reform Coalition that is attractive to moderates from both parties, to Independents, and to all the parties excluded from US politics today, Libertarians and Greens included. I am running less as a Reform Party candidate and more as a team-building candidate. I have already named my preferred Cabinet members—subject of course to changes as the coalition evolves—and I am well on my way to crowd-sourcing a balanced budget that connects the true needs and priorities of the public with their money – the two-party tyranny has been using the public’s money to enrich themselves and their cronies across America (not just Wall Street); the two-party tyranny is out of touch with ethics, the public, and reality. I have the capacity to engage Independents and all others with a new direction not offered elsewhere – not from any party including the Democratic Party.
Robby Wells: Coaching is a complex job involving strategic thinking, leadership ability, obtaining and keeping respect, and judging the abilities of the people you have at your disposal. My career in coaching has well prepared me for a leadership position in government. A good coach knows that his players have skills he doesn’t have, but he understands what abilities they DO have. He uses good judgement in choosing the right people for the task at hand, and knows how to use them effectively. He knows when to let them do their job while he watches, and when to step in and take a hands-on approach.
As president, I will bring the same mentality to the White House. I will look across the political spectrum and choose the best partisan and nonpartisan people; people with knowledge, expertise, and credibility who have already earned your trust, for all cabinet positions. And I will use my long years of leadership to know when to let them do their job, and when to step in and take a more direct role to get the most out of that team for the American people. Because we all deserve a White House that can go up against America’s problems and WIN – not fumble at 4th and ten.

Question 4

Wikinews waves Left.pngWIKINEWSWikinews waves Right.png If nominated, what will you do to gain ballot access?

Andre Barnett: I will be working to unify this party during the course of this campaign. With unification we will better be able to utilize the ground game for petitioning. I also believe I will be able to acquire other ballot access lines.
Robert Steele: BEFORE anyone is elected, I am working hard to present every single politician up for reelection with an Electoral Reform Pledge. I am the one who presented the original Statement of Demand and Electoral Reform Act to Occupy in NYC. It has since been crowd-sourced and attracted a range of very serious proponents from across the country. Tomorrow there is an Inter-Occupy telephone conference call to discuss Occupy’s morphing toward political activism. Our goal is simple: to get an Occupy political liaison in each of the 50 states, and to then recruit citizen delegations in each of the Congressional districts. BEFORE Congress returns to Washington in January, I want a simple table showing where every one of the Representatives and Senators stands on Electoral Reform: red, yellow, or green. The rest is up to the public.
Ideally, Congress would be forced to pass the Electoral Reform Act in January 2012, in time for the first half of the provisions to apply to November 2012. I think Americans Elect–a good idea corrupted in its implementation–will be litigated into oblivion by the two-party tyranny. We have to force Congress to be honest. The documents can be seen online.
AT A MINIMUM and in time for November 2012 I want Congress to mandate that all states be required to put the presidential candidates on the state ballot for each and every party that has achieved national party status. In addition, Electoral College votes should be apportioned across the party spectrum, not in a winner takes all manner, but that’s going to be harder. Both of these corrections are Constitutional and within the power of Congress to enact.
The corruption of the electoral process at both the state and federal levels has made a mockery of our Founding Fathers, the concept of a Republic, and all because our elected politicians and their appointees are completely lacking in integrity. They have sold out their public for a bit of gold. If I am nominated, I will work with Occupy and others (veterans, young people who should have the vote) to SHUT DOWN any Presidential debate that does not have me and other third party candidates fully integrated into anything televised over public air waves. Litigation has not worked in the past because the courts–including the Supreme Court—just go along… What will work is Occupy. Organized people will defeat organized money every time. Now is that time.
Robby Wells: I have friends and business colleagues all over the country. I am relying on them, and volunteers to help us gain access on the ballaots in each state. Every state has different guidelines, and I am relying on the people of our country to take a stand for our future by helping us get on every state’s ballot. We will be holding a petition drive to make this a reality. The Reform Party is already on the ballot in five states, and has easy access in another 25 states. That leaves us some hard work to gain access on all 50 states, but I believe the people of America are ready to be heard.

Question 5

Wikinews waves Left.pngWIKINEWSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your policy proposals, and how will you implement them as President?

Andre Barnett: My policy is based around all-encompassing solutions. It is impossible for us to pick out one portion of the larger overshadowing issue and try to fix just that part. The economy is connected to healthcare which is connected to entitlements, which is connected to jobs, which is connected to education, etc… I will provide you with an excerpt of what is on my site.
Enhancing Health Care
Healthcare in the US is so overpriced in comparison to other modern developed nations. Our healthcare system, though we claim it to be the best in the world, is out reach for too many that will never experience its benefits. Insurance companies have been able to drive up cost as well as double dipping billers (doctors and doctor’s groups) have taken advantage of the general public. With this in mind many who cannot afford healthcare have no choice but to take advantage of whatever treatment they can get and the bill is passed to the rest of the tax payers.
The medical industry justifies the cost by flashing new technology costs and pharmaceutical development cost. Truth be told, that cost is recouped many times over as physicians receive kickbacks from prescribing various drugs in their infancy stages that have not been fully tested. I am aware of this from firsthand experience. Here is what I support:
  • Healthcare insurance premiums need to be regulated and driven down to affordable levels. This need not be the battle of the federal government as it is one of the major factors in the exploding cost. Intra-business sector checks and balances is one of the best ways to manage any flocculation in cost. Allowing business to bear the burden of the premium cost (not pass it onto the employee) would allow for much lower premiums and also elimination of the government’s role in these negotiation processes. This in turn would allow for the only foreseeable tax deduction for corporations lowering the tax rate to below the 12% threshold.
This is capitalism in its truest form and the only way to dramatically reduce the size of government. This also permits all family members to be covered and fewer uninsured greatly increasing the pool size driving down cost. To allow small businesses to take part in these savings, they would be placed in the same pools with larger companies to drive down cost even further. What better way to negotiate lower premiums than to have business sectors performing the negotiations of prices they are willing to pay.
  • Healthcare funded by the government should be subject to the same rules as the GSA, in that the lowest price offered to any customer must be the price made available to the government for provisioning to those not working (for a finite period of time). This would be in the cases where an employee has been laid off and cannot afford healthcare insurance on their own and would last for the duration of unemployment.
Though this is only a portion of the plan, I am sure you can see where I am going. Reducing the government’s role in this entire process and letting the economy perform as it was meant to, that is what I support. This process should be adapted to all sectors to eliminate the government’s role as a micromanaging resource hog.
Robert Steele: I am the only candidate–including the incumbent—who has a concept of operations for modern governance. I have presented much of this in my chapters in ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig, and point to The Substance of Governance as well as Candidates on the Issues, where my populist and centrist views are clearly outlined in the summary section for each issue area. However, for the purposes of your excellent question, I will summarize my policy proposals at four levels.
At the highest strategic level, America must restore integrity to its electoral process, its government, and its commercial community. This integrity demands that we apply True Cost Economics–calculating the cost of all externalities and of now devalued precious elements such as drinkable water–in every transaction. A Balanced Budget is what sane responsible people do–for the two-party tyranny and its banking and media partners to have sanctioned by omission the FACT that we have been borrowing a third of our federal budget each year for over thirty years shames me for my prolonged ignorance, and angers me as a responsible citizen. That stops immediately. Governance with integrity is not possible under a winner take all “do as I say” system. A Coalition Cabinet that can achieve responsible informed consensus is essential. I have already selected my Cabinet, and I believe you will find the specifics very revealing about both my competence and my ethics. The Federal Reserve will be turned over to someone like Ron Paul, and as soon as he has done what needs to be done, he will be my nominee for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court–I anticipate at least four justices finding compelling reasons to resign from the court in my first two years in office. For one third of what we spend on war we can achieve a prosperous world at peace–I am fed up with the corruption in the military, prison, health, and energy complexes. Our coalition administration will be one that makes decisions based on public intelligence in the public interest.
At the operational level, we need to eliminate substantial portions of the existing government including the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Agency, half or more of the Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and etcetera. All of it needs to be scrubbed. The US Government is not a “government,” but rather a series of Cabinet Departments and agency stove-pipes that exist to protect “budget share” for their stakeholders–their stakeholders are NOT the public as one might expect, but rather those that receive public funds via a Congress that discounts the Treasury by 95%, earmarking treasure for things we do not need and cannot afford, solely to “earn” their 5% “cut” (bribe). I have written extensively on how to restructure the government and reallocate our precious funds. I would start by appointing two Deputies. The first–and Michael Bloomberg gets this job if he wants it–will be Deputy for Education, Intelligence, and Research, responsible for stripping two thirds of the money from the ineffective corrupt secret intelligence world, and applying that toward holistic integrative education and research such that we become a Smart Nation, a concept I developed in 1994. The second will be Deputy for Global Engagement, with oversight of commerce, diplomacy, and the military. Two thirds of the military budget will be stripped down and away from corporate vapor-ware, with half being pure savings that lower the debt, and the other half funding what we need to be credible and competitive world-wide. Our infantry, 4% of the force, takes 80% of the casualties and receives 1% of the Pentagon budget. I will redirect 20% of the surviving military budget to the infantry, sponsor a 450-ship Navy that is truly expeditionary, closes down all of our overseas bases without exception, create a long-haul Air Force, and end our dependence on very vulnerable and costly satellites for all communications. If should mention that in ending personal and business taxes—in fact most taxes—we will be substituting the Automatic Payment Transaction (APT) Tax, that yields a much higher revenue stream across a broader base, while drastically reducing the contributions of individuals and small businesses.
At the tactical level–the grassroots level where America is nearly comatose, I want to work with the Governors, whom I will elevate to be co-equal to the Senate as an advisory chamber–there is a great deal to be done. 46 million Americans are on food stamps today, we have destroyed not just the middle class but also the once proud and vital senior blue collar class, and we have lost an entire generation if not too to an educational system that is mediocre at best, pathologically inept at worst. I have been developing a plan with a former Deputy Secretary of Labor to fund a full year of employment and training for every unemployed American, using a mix of academic, private sector, and military induction centers to get every citizen off the streets, on a payroll, and learning what they need to know to make their own way in the 21st Century. We need to kill most of the regulations that prevent state-based businesses from flourishing–butchers, for example–we need to push back hard on absentee and mega farming, and we need to work very very hard toward resilience across every state. Larger cities need to be broken up into smaller cities, suburbs need to be restored to farming, I could go on–we need to redesign our Republic for people–for the good of the many–rather than what we have now, a pig farm that profits only a few.
Technically I am very enthusiastic about Open Everything. I have a book coming out from Random House / Evolver Editions, the same group that published Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. My title is THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust. The book will come out in June 2012, and it is a manifesto for all of us–it is a book that along with others marks the beginning of Epoch B, the restoration of bottom-up multi-cultural consensus, of decisions made by people of good will acting on all available information and thinking long-term. I will turn the US Government into the world’s first open source software, open source hardware, and open spectrum engine of prosperity, migrating all of this out to the other intelligence tribes (academia, commerce, local and state government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government / non-profit). My primary instrument for doing this will be the Open Source Agency that I have advocated since the early 1990’s. We will create the World Brain Institute and the Global Game–I have Medard Gabel, co-creator of the analog World Game with Buckminster Fuller ready to go–and we will harness the distributed intelligence of every human mind in every language all of the time. This will eradicate corruption and be the technical foundation for creating a prosperous world at peace.
I know how to do all of this. What I do not know how to do is raise money. All I can do at this point in time is show myself to be engaged, and hope that kindred spirits find me.
I will do what I can. The rest is in the hands of the public.
Learn more at
Robby Wells: Please go to my campaign web site: and click on “The Gameplan”. This is my step by step, common sense approach to bringing the United States of America back to economic greatness. I cover job creation / Getting Americans Back to Work, becoming and Energy Independent Nation, Foreclosure Credit Forgiveness, Securing our border with Mexico, National Defense, Tax Reform, and Government Reform. These are the main issues that concern most Americans, and my plan is very effective, and moves our country in a positive direction.

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

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.

January 1, 2012

On the campaign trail, December 2011

On the campaign trail, December 2011 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, December 2011

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The following is the second 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 campaign manager for a candidate already seeking two presidential nominations discusses the likelihood his candidate will run for the Reform Party’s nomination; a lesser known candidates forum reveals an alternative fuel possibility and concludes in a dramatic fashion; and the newly nominated candidate for the Boston Tea Party talks with Wikinews.


Ron Paul speaks at an Iowa campaign event, December 28.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

In December 2011, businessman Herman Cain ended his campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination amid allegations of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair. Hoping to appeal to social conservatives, Texas governor Rick Perry released a commercial in Iowa entitled “Strong”, in which he states, “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” While the video received 24,407 likes by the end of the month, it received 725,698 dislikes.

Frontrunner Newt Gingrich had trouble of his own after he suggested during an interview with The Jewish Channel that Palestinians were an “invented people”. He refused to retract the comments at the final GOP debate before the January 3 Iowa Caucus. Gingrich’s lead in the polls disappeared as Mitt Romney won big endorsements from South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, former Senator Bob Dole, and former president George H.W. Bush.

Meanwhile, Congressman Ron Paul rose in the polls as well, trailing Romney by two points in the final NBC/Marist poll of the year with Rick Santorum surging and Rick Perry close behind. However, Paul encountered his own troubles as the media reported on articles published in his newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s that included incendiary comments about blacks, gays, and Israel. Paul says he did not write the articles and has publicly disavowed them in the past. Additionally, Paul won the backing of Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson, who previously served as the state chairman for Michele Bachmann, who continued to sag in the polls since winning the Ames Straw Poll in August.

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, another candidate who had been low in the Republican polls, announced a switch to the Libertarian Party to run for that party’s presidential nomination. Analysts have suggested that if Johnson wins the Libertarian nomination, he could possibly take votes away from the Republican nominee and help President Barack Obama win re-election.

Possible Reform Party candidate?

Roemer speaks to the Reform Party of New Jersey on December 10.
Image: Greenguy89.

Presidential candidate Buddy Roemer addressed members of the Reform Party of New Jersey on December 10 at a joint Reform Party-Tea Party event. The meeting raised speculation that Roemer, who is currently running for the presidential nominations of both the Republican Party and Americans Elect, would also seek the nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America.

Dennis Mikolay, a member of the New Jersey party’s leadership, wrote on his blog that “there are efforts within the Reform Party to draft him [Roemer] as their candidate”. However, Roemer, who served as Governor of Louisiana as a Republican, does not seem interested in the nomination. According to campaign manager Carlos Sierra, the Reform Party has “reached out to us…but the Governor does not intend to seek their nomination. He is focused primarily on the GOP nomination. We think once his message gets a stage and an audience, that it will resonate with the Republican Party and Independents. The problem is he keeps getting shut out of the debates.”

Industrialist Ross Perot founded the Reform Party in 1995. He won the party’s presidential nomination the next year and received over eight percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage for a third party candidate since. After this, the party was plagued by infighting, and decreased in prominence. In 2008, Ted Weill was nominated for president, but appeared only on the ballot in Mississippi and received 481 votes.

For 2012, three candidates have announced their intentions to seek the party’s nomination: former college football coach Robby Wells, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert David Steele, and small business owner Andre Barnett.

Lesser-known candidates forum

On December 19, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics hosted a forum at St. Anselm College to present lesser-known candidates for the Republican and Democratic Party presidential nominations. Wikinews covered the Democratic Party forum that showcased candidates challenging President Barack Obama for that party’s presidential nomination, including anti-abortion activist Randall Terry and performance artist Vermin Supreme.

Vermin Supreme glitter bombs Randall Terry during the Democratic Party presidential candidates forum as John Wolfe looks on.
Image: Marc Nozell.

A high point of the forum occurred after Vermin Supreme delivered his final statement. He exclaimed, “Jesus told me to make Randall Terry gay” and proceeded to glitter bomb Terry while shouting, “he’s turning gay.” Terry had earlier affirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage, comparing it to slavery and abortion. Supreme later told Wikinews that Terry “took his glittering like a man, a gay man. I don’t know if the fairy dust turned him gay right away, but he took his medicine, and he seemed to enjoy it on some level.” Though Terry could not be reached for comment, he wrote on his blog that the glitter bombing “appeared to have no impact on me becoming homosexual.” Supreme claims he was threatened by a Terry supporter after the forum and is now “seeking Secret Service protection.” He has no plans to glitter bomb anyone else.

Supreme says that he had previously met Terry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and “was given the distinct impression that he (Terry) wanted to perform fellatio on me.” He says that prior to the forum, he offered “to have ‘homosexual gay sex’ in the lavatory stall”, but Terry declined. During the forum, Supreme said that he planned to write-in Terry, but said afterwards that his support “depends how gay he [Terry] gets.”

Dr. Bob Greene, a physicist who also participated in the forum, commented that the glitter bombing “was inappropriate for the circumstances.” During the forum, Greene differentiated himself from his opponents by discussing the use of thorium as an alternative fuel, saying “we have enough thorium for all of our energy needs for well over a thousand years.” He elaborated further after the forum, explaining that thorium could be used by bombarding it with neutrons, after which it fissions. “The fuel”, he explained, “is a molten salt, really Thorium Fluoride with a couple of stable-izers.” Greene says that it is safer and produces less waste than conventional methods, but “the military favored the uranium cycle because you could get lots of plutonium out of it, which they wanted for bombs. Thorium – not so.”

Others that participated in the Democratic forum include writer Ed Cowan, lawyer John Haywood, activist Edward O’Donnell Jr., and lawyer John Wolfe.

Boston Tea Party presidential nomination

On December 23, the Boston Tea Party (BTP) nominated Howard Community College trustee Tiffany Briscoe of Maryland as its second presidential nominee. The BTP was formed in 2006 and “supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” In 2008, the party nominated boxing manager Charles Jay, who appeared on three state ballots and won a total of 2,422 votes.

Briscoe’s platform calls for the legalization of drugs, a repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act, and an end to subsidies and foreign aid. Former radio host Kimberly Johnson was selected as her running mate.

Briscoe took some time to speak with Wikinews about her campaign and the BTP.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow do you plan to gain ballot access for the BTP?

Briscoe: The BTP is a fairly new political party. Yet, it has great potential. Its message of individual freedom and free markets resonates with a great majority of the American people that do not seem to be content with the current Establishment. We need to campaign massively, which we are already doing, to collect enough petition signatures and get on as many ballots as possible. I will myself contribute financially to help get the party on the ballot in such states as Colorado and Louisiana. At the end of the day, we will probably be able to appear on 14 to 15 states throughout the country, and stay as a write-in candidate in virtually all the others.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIdeologically, how are you different from Ron Paul or Gary Johnson?

Briscoe: Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are two great men that have helped the cause of liberty by working from the inside of the government. But they do not reflect the true nature of libertarianism. Paul has become a typical politician, taking pork barrel to his district to get reelected, wants to restrict immigration, and wants to plague the economy with an entire new series of tax credits and corporate loopholes for energy and health care reform. Gary Johnson, while he did veto more laws than any other governor in the 1990s, also encounters the same problem: he wants to keep Guantanamo Bay open with the so-called “enemy combatant” inside, he opposes the end of the Federal Reserve that is creating so much troubles with our economy, and even wants to establish a FairTax that would increase consumer prices in a way that will slow economic development. So while I do consider myself as an ideological ally of these two men, I don’t believe they’re doing the best they can when it comes to promoting the philosophy of freedom.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat do you hope to accomplish with this campaign, and what would constitute a success?

Briscoe: Of course, I am not running just to get my name or the party’s name out there, even though the latter is also a goal. I am running to show that there are actually some people outside of Washington that still care about the future of our country, to show that all these independent-minded folks are not alone in their daily fight against the federal government. But with 60% of the people wishing to see a third party play a more important role and with an even greater portion saying they would consider voting for a third party in 2012, we might have more chances to reach success than we may think. Of course, the ultimate success would be paving the way to the White House but at this point, I believe only taking away votes from the true “spoilers” that the Establishment represents in a way that would change the ultimate course of the election would already make us proud.

Related articles

  • “U.S. presidential candidate Gary Johnson leaves GOP to vie for the LP nom” — Wikinews, December 29, 2011
  • “South Carolina governor Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney for U.S. president” — Wikinews, December 17, 2011
  • “Republican hopeful Gingrich fuels controversy over Palestinian ‘invented people’ remarks” — Wikinews, December 11, 2011
  • Campaign manager: 100 percent chance Buddy Roemer will run for Americans Elect presidential nomination” — Wikinews, December 1, 2011
  • “U.S. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann narrowly edges Ron Paul in Ames Straw Poll‎” — Wikinews, August 15, 2011


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

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.

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