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August 19, 2016

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

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Friday, August 19, 2016

A number of statues depicting US presidential candidate Donald Trump without his clothes on were erected in various US cities yesterday morning.

File photo of Donald Trump, 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

The statues were unveiled in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle. Titled “The Emperor Has No Balls”, the project was devised by the anarchist collective INDECLINE, presenting present Trump in an unflattering and humiliating way.

A spokesperson for INDECLINE told The Washington Post the project was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which depicts a vain and overconfident leader. The spokesperson also said the project is meant to poke fun at the tendency for those in authoritarian positions to raise monuments of themselves.

The statues are credited to a Las Vegas-based artist called Ginger, who said he was approached by INDECLINE because of his pervious work designing monsters for horror movies and haunted houses. A video of Ginger creating these statues went up on INDECLINE’s YouTube page.

The New York City statue became a busy tourist spot until the parks and recreation department took it down. A spokeswoman for the NYC parks and recreation centre stated: “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”



Sources[]

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May 16, 2016

Wikinews interviews Augustus Sol Invictus, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate

Wikinews interviews Augustus Sol Invictus, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Augustus Sol Invictus
Image: Bryan Rapoza.

Augustus Sol Invictus, an Orlando, Florida attorney currently seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, took part in a short interview with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn to discuss his background, political views, and unorthodox campaign for the Senate.

Invictus, whose name was changed from his birth name to the Latin for “majestic unconquered sun”, has received media coverage for previously expressing fascistic views and participating in pagan rituals. While in law school, he penned an article advocating a eugenics program, and in 2013, he wrote a “departure memo” renouncing his U.S. citizenship and law license while announcing plans to go into the wilderness until a civil war. He returned after making a pilgrimage from Orlando to the Mojave Desert, where he fasted for a week. Upon his return to Florida, he sacrificed a goat and drank its blood. Former Libertarian Party of Florida chairman Adrian Wyllie resigned his chairmanship in protest of Invictus’s candidacy.

Though initially uncontested for the nomination, Invictus has recently received a challenge from information technology specialist Paul Stanton. Political operative Roger Stone opened an exploratory committee to consider running for the nomination but has not shown further interest. The primary election is to be held August 30. To qualify for the ballot, a candidate must either pay a US$10,000 fee or collect 100,000 signatures.

Interview[]

Background[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png Why did you change your name to Augustus Sol Invictus?

  • Augustus Sol Invictus: I was given my name in a religious initiation when I was twenty-one. I usually analogize it to Roman Catholics taking a new name at Confirmation. No one ever changes their name legally after such an initiation, as it is usually reserved for religious pursuits. But I changed my name legally to my religious name so that my mundane and religious lives would be one.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What is your history with electoral politics? Which political candidates have you previously supported or endorsed?

  • Invictus: I have no such history, and I have never made an endorsement. I consider myself an outsider. Truth be told, I consider myself a revolutionary more than a politician.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png How do you feel about Republican front-runner Donald Trump and his campaign for president?

  • Invictus: Donald Trump is a cultural icon, and for that I love him. As for his presidential campaign, I am forced to remain neutral, as I cannot endorse anyone for President without it being thought that I have adopted their platform as my own.

Invictus says outgoing Senator Marco Rubio (shown above), “is a horse-trader, a slimy smiler, the quintessential politician. He believes in nothing, save what his advisers tell him to believe in.”
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Marco Rubio has done as Senator and what would you have done differently than him?

  • Invictus: I think Rubio has done just as good a job as any Senator — and that is exactly the problem. Rubio is a horse-trader, a slimy smiler, the quintessential politician. He believes in nothing, save what his advisers tell him to believe in. I would have stuck to my positions and acted as a Senator, rather than simply setting myself up for a run for the presidency.

Political views[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you see political correctness as a problem in today’s society? If so, what can you do as a Senator to address it?

  • Invictus: I see political correctness as a huge problem in today’s society. But whether fortunately or unfortunately, there is nothing a Senator can do to address it. I am a firm believer in the separation of powers, and the Senate has a very limited set of responsibilities. Moreover, this PC phenomenon we are witnessing is a cultural problem that must be addressed at a cultural level, not a legal one. That is up to the American people themselves, not the legislature.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Whereas the House of Representatives is the house of the people, the Senate was originally meant to be the house of the States. What are your views on the 10th Amendment and how will you reflect the interests of Florida through your votes?

  • Invictus: I am a big believer in States rights, and my modus operandi as Senator will be to repeal as many laws as possible that hinder the ability of the States to govern their own affairs.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What specifically will you do as a Senate candidate and Senator to promote libertarianism?

  • Invictus: Simply leading by example is enough to promote libertarianism. I do not believe in shoving political ideology down people’s throat anymore than I believe in doing so with religion. Being a Pagan, I do not feel the need to evangelize and convert Christians; neither do I, as a Libertarian, feel the need to evangelize and convert Republicans and Democrats. The proof of a thing is in its fruits. Repealing laws, correcting the balance between the Federal Government and the States, reinforcing the separation of powers, destroying the Federal Reserve: these acts will in themselves promote our political philosophy.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png For you, what would constitute a successful term as Senator?

  • Invictus: The System is so corrupted that the destruction of even one Department, Bureau, or Administration could be considered a great success.

Campaign[]

Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a “Fireside Chat” in 1934. Invictus describes the chats as a “brilliant idea” he has replicated in his campaign.
Image: Public domain.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why do you call your campaign recordings “Fireside Chats,” invoking the name of the recordings [U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt] used to convince Americans to support the New Deal and [Second World] War effort?

  • Invictus: Roosevelt used the Fireside Chats to keep the public informed of his actions, and that is what I am doing, as well. It is a proactive way to address criticisms of the campaign and to update everyone about upcoming events, platform issues, and resource problems. I don’t have to agree with FDR’s ideology to admit that his Fireside Chats were [a] brilliant idea.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Are you going to be able to qualify for the ballot?

  • Invictus: I will qualify for the ballot by paying the filing fee, which is roughly $10,000.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on potential Libertarian Senate candidate Roger Stone?

  • Invictus: I don’t think Roger Stone is actually a potential candidate. He was being recruited by a certain faction of the Libertarian Party of Florida, and he flirted with the idea in order to publicize his new book; but I don’t think he ever actually intended to run. That being said, I like Roger Stone. I respect him as a political operative, and I regret that he will not run, because he would have been a worthy opponent.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on your new primary opponent Paul Stanton?

  • Invictus: Well, there isn’t much I can say to that question, as it is difficult to have thoughts on the matter when he refuses to debate me or even to speak to me. I have called him out publicly, made an issue of the fact he refuses to respond, given him my personal cell phone number — and he refuses to reply in any manner or medium whatsoever. Maybe he has a strategy behind his inaction, but from an outsider’s perspective it looks like cowardice.



Related news[]

  • “Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump’s political past#Roger Stone” — Wikinews, March 13, 2016

Sources[]

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

External links[]

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May 4, 2016

Bernie Sanders wins Indiana Democratic primary, Donald Trump, Indiana Republican

Bernie Sanders wins Indiana Democratic primary, Donald Trump, Indiana Republican

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Winners of the Indiana primary: Donald Trump (left) and Bernie Sanders (right)

On Tuesday, Indiana held its Democratic and Republican primaries, where voters could vote for the candidate of their choice and presidential candidates can earn delegates so they can move on to the general election. The results: Donald Trump obtained 51 of the 57 delegates, while on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders obtained 43 of the state’s 83 pledged delegates; super delegates are still undetermined.

Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, now needs only 200 more delegates to secure the nomination. On the Democratic side, despite Sanders’s win, Hillary Clinton still has 92% of the delegates she needs to secure the nomination. Still, Sanders expressed that “the Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong.”

Ted Cruz‘s poor performance has caused him to suspend his campaign. “Tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed,” Cruz said. On Wednesday, John Kasich also suspended his campaign. This makes Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. Additionally, conservative groups that oppose Donald Trump are considering having a third party candidate run against him in the general election.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is celebrating his Indiana win. “The world has changed. More and more people are independents and I think it makes no sense for the Democrats to say to those people, ‘You can’t help us.’ For Democrats to do well in a national election, they’re going to need a lot of independents and I would not think it’s a good idea to push those people away,” Sanders said, complementing Indiana’s open primaries. However, in order to secure the nomination, Bernie Sanders needs to earn 66% of the Democratic Party’s remaining pledged delegates.



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.

March 31, 2016

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

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De La Fuente at the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum, January 2016.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Interview[]

Background[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements in your business career?

Rocky De La Fuente: From my perspective, my greatest achievements in business are tied to the people and families I have helped. I’ve had the good fortune to create dozens of business that created thousands of jobs across the United States as well as in other countries. I always paid a fair wage, provided access to healthcare, and tried to create opportunities for advancement for those who demonstrated the desire to improve their lot in life.

Aerial view of De La Fuente’s hometown San Diego.
Image: U.S. Navy.

If you’re asking for a more traditional answer with respect to what I have personally done, at the age of twenty, I got a job selling automobiles. Less than two years later, I became the General Manager of a dealership. Two years after that, I acquired my first dealership and, over the next 16 years, I added 27 more dealerships to my portfolio. And at the age of 28, I was honored to be elected by my peers in that industry as Chairman of the National Dealer Council for the third largest Automotive Company in the world at the time.
Then, I sold 27 of my dealerships and began a new career investing in real estate. I developed the De La Fuente Business Park and began acquiring […] other properties in San Diego, San Diego County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Auburn, El Cajon, Hemet, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Stanton, and Yorba Linda, California as well as in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cohoes, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition, I purchased and own residential complexes in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia and have developed assisted living facilities in Los Angeles (San Pedro) and Lemon Grove, California, to care for seniors who are in need.
In between, in an effort to help Mexico during the financial crisis that arose there in 1982, I opened 11 currency exchanges to facilitate free-flowing trade between Mexico and the United States. The network included seven offices in California and four in Texas. Then, over the next five years, I founded three U.S. banks; one being a National Bank approved by the OCC and two State Charter Banks approved by the California Banking Commission and the FDIC.
Some of my efforts were recently recognized when I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate as an “International Corporate Ambassador” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
If you think about that list for a minute, you’ll have a pretty good perspective of how many people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and how many families I’ve been able to help over the years. And that remains my greatest business accomplishment.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the FDIC banned you from banking for “unsafe and unsound banking practices.” Why did this occur and how do you respond to the allegation?

De La Fuente: Many of the consumer and commercial loan provisions provided by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980 were reversed by the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. Then, the FDIC aggressively brought charges against thousands of small banks and Savings & Loans for practices that had previously been permissible.
The FDIC closed or otherwise resolved (i.e., punished management, etc.) 297 financial institutions. The Resolution Trust Corporation closed or otherwise resolved 747 more.
While I managed to save my bank, I was one of the causalities of the FDIC’s “resolution” of the bank’s issues. Personally accepting the FDIC’s unilateral punishment protected the depositors’ funds and allowed the bank to keep operating. You might have noticed in the article that you cited that the bank sold at a lower multiple because it hadn’t fully leveraged its assets (i.e., it hadn’t aggressively loaned its deposits as compared to other banks). In other words, it had been conservative in its investments.

De La Fuente: “I probably best fit the term ‘Kennedy Democrat’ because I am a strong advocate of social equality and freedom but I believe we must be fiscally responsible as well.”
Image: The White House.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why are you a Democrat?

De La Fuente: I have always considered myself to be a Democrat, although what that term means has shifted over the years. I probably best fit the term “Kennedy Democrat” because I am a strong advocate of social equality and freedom but I believe we must be fiscally responsible as well. While that may not fit the current narrative of modern liberalism that favors social justice and a mixed economy leaning toward an ever increasing presence of government regulation and assistance, it reflects what I truly believe.
I think, during the modern era, Democrats have been the primary political catalyst for social equality and change. President Kennedy had a unique ability to bring both sides of the aisle together to [make] progress in that regard, but he also recognized that government regulation bore a cost and could pose a threat if it was used in an unbridled fashion. We seem to have forgotten that concept.
Conservatives are relatively adverse to change. I am not. I simply think change needs to [be] achieved in a responsible manner and that federal officials should recognize their [responsibility] to serve as stewards of the taxpayers’ money.
I also think we need to figure out how to provide more opportunities for people rather than just mask the symptoms with assistance. The goal of government assistance should always be to provide it as a temporary bridge rather than a permanent foundation. When we lose sight of this, we create programs that deepen our problems rather than resolve them.
I clearly don’t fit the Republican mindset when it comes to my position on social issues. However, I’m sure I cause discomfort for some Democrats who think that the government is the solution to every problem. My real world experience in business and my exposure to the economies of other countries have given me a different perspective; one that compels me to assess government programs from a rational basis as well as an emotional one.
I think there’s room in the Democratic Party for that type of mindset.

Campaign[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?

De La Fuente: Well, imagine if I were to win. If I win, “We all Win” . . . “America Wins” . . . and the World would be a better place.
What I know I can achieve is to broaden the active Democratic base. The Hispanic community in this country has been relatively inactive from a political perspective. While it represents a sizable element of the Party’s foundation, it is somewhat underrepresented in elected office and does not participate in the electoral process to the degree it should. I can spotlight the importance of registering to vote and participating in the process within the Hispanic community because my candidacy has attracted some attention in that regard. I hope I will encourage other minorities and underrepresented groups to become more engaged as well.
Cquote1.svg I . . . have been subjected to a disappointingly unfair process by which the Party has not even remotely provided an equal chance to other candidates and me. Cquote2.svg
I also have been subjected to a disappointingly unfair process by which the Party has not even remotely provided an equal chance to other candidates and me. This isn’t unique to the Democratic Party. Both Parties dramatically favor their “politically privileged” member[s]; those individuals who have served their respective Parties for a long time and raised serious money on behalf of their Party.
If I detailed all of the “behind the scenes” inequities that I and others candidates like me have endured, you’d be shocked. Perhaps that will be another legacy of this campaign as I am inclined to bring these issues to light and have the courts decide whether the practices should be continued. That might be a greater benefit to the People than even serving as president of the United States.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Are you disappointed by the results of the primaries thus far?

De La Fuente: I am disappointed by the treatment I have received such as being denied the courtesy of automatic ballot access that’s afforded “politically privileged” candidate[s], having votes mysteriously disappear from election results, having State Parties in caucus states withhold location information, list me as “Other” and refuse to provide areas for my preference groups to form, etc. However, I am not disappointed by the results under those circumstances.

De La Fuente examines his notes during the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Despite this type of treatment, I have successfully qualified to participate in the primaries and caucuses in a combination of 48 states and territories. I have also already amassed more votes than former Senator Rick Santorum, current Senator Lindsey Graham, former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia, former New York Governor George Pataki and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal combined. After Arizona, I passed Carly Fiorina’s vote total and I’m rapidly closing in on former Governor Mike Huckabee’s, current Governor Chris Christie‘s and current Senator Rand Paul‘s vote totals.
While those candidates have suspended their campaigns, an independent NPR article recently noted my performance as somewhat of a phenomenon given that my campaign is predominantly self-funded and enjoys absolutely zero Party support or Super PAC money. Conversely, these candidates all received massive support from the Republican Party in terms of the visibility and support they were given. Most also have benefited from the monetary support of conservative Super PACs.
I’m not sharing this information to brag but rather to provide a context for how the Parties have insulated themselves with a set of rules that preclude legitimate candidates such as me from having an equal opportunity to be heard and have an impact. Why not let the People choose?
At least my candidacy is beginning to force some of these practices out in the open. Maybe that’s a better result than the one experienced by bigger name candidates who had all the advantages and still failed.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In 2012, several primary challengers to President Barack Obama including John Wolfe, Jr., Randall Terry, and Keith Russell Judd all qualified for delegates, though they ultimately were not seated at the convention due to technicalities. Given the money you are willing to spend on a campaign and your ability to adhere to the rules, do you regret not running in 2012?

De La Fuente quotes Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Image: Ferdinand Schmutzer.

De La Fuente: I found that it isn’t a good use of time to second guess a decision you can’t change. Did unconventional candidates win delegates in 2012? Yes. That should tell you that the Party changed the rules to prevent that from happening again. That’s the real story; not whether I wish I’d run in 2012.
In all honesty, I didn’t have any motivation to run in 2012. I only decided to jump into this race late last year because Donald Trump was vilifying entire classes of people and no one seemed willing to confront him. Had there been a Kennedy or even a Reagan in the race, I wouldn’t have taken this step. I ran because I didn’t see anyone in the presidential race who wasn’t also part of the problem.
Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” I would suggest that we cannot solve our nation’s problems with the same people who created them. We need someone who understands our economy, who understands international relationships and cultural differences, who values education, who has lived and competed in the real world rather than a hypothetical one funded by the taxpayers, and who has experienced the challenges that minorities face in this country and knows how to overcome those barriers. I have personal experience in each of these areas and offer a demonstrated record of success.
I’m not a polished politician; I‘m just like you. I don’t make false promises, and I pledge to honor my Oath of Office. I’m a problem solver, and I believe that is exactly what our nation needs. Think about it.

Issues[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?

De La Fuente: I think President Obama is an honorable man who has done the best he could. He took over under difficult economic circumstances, but found a way to help stabilize and reverse the recession. He made significant progress in healthcare and education even in the face of Congressional resistance. I also think his recent steps to normalize relations with Cuba are a step in the right direction.
As far as differences, I hate to second guess a sitting President. I do not have access to the facts behind his decisions and can only hope he always made his decisions in good faith.
I do think I would have taken a different regulatory approach to accelerate our recovery from the recession. I also would have tried to expand the recovery, which has not made its way down to the middle class and the poor.
I would like to have seen a stronger and better defined foreign policy. The President seems to vacillate at times, and we need more certainty in this uncertain world.
Cquote1.svg Some of the President’s rhetoric and selective interest in social issues may have actually expanded the racial divide. Cquote2.svg
I also would like to have seen a greater effort to lessen racial tension. Some of the President’s rhetoric and selective interest in social issues may have actually expanded the racial divide.
In addition, I was disappointed that the President’s position on equal rights took so long to “evolve.” The evidence suggests that he didn’t as much “evolve” as he timed his position to coincide with public opinion. I would like to have seen stronger leadership in that regard.
Perhaps the greatest difference would be on my emphasis to create more opportunities for the middle class and the poor. The rich, donor class seems to have benefited to a far greater degree than those who are struggling the most. Welfare has dramatically expanded, homelessness has expanded, and illiteracy remains high. These would all be priorities in my Administration.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing America and how will you deal with these as president?

De La Fuente: I think the five most important issues facing our country are the economy, education, the environment, immigration, national security, and social equality (in alphabetical order).
With respect to the economy: The government cannot create jobs, but it can influence the economic environment. We need to rebalance the relationship between regulation, taxation and economic expansion so that the private sector can create new jobs and attract old ones that have migrated overseas. This will expand the tax base as well as the economy and allow us to begin working down the debt that will otherwise suffocate our country in years to come. It will also provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue upward mobility, which has been “missing in action” for far too many years.
With respect to education: We need to stop masking the inequity of our K–12 system that deprives children in poor areas from enjoying an equal education and having a pathway to a better life. We need to expand trade schools to provide the skills for which jobs exist but well-trained workers do not. We need to refocus our institutions of higher learning on their core mission, which is to provide the best education possible.

De La Fuente speaks with journalist Jorge Ramos, January 2016.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

In recent times, our colleges have become enamored with competing for students on a basis of facilities rather than primarily on the basis of a quality education. As a result, costs have skyrocketed and students have become unconscionably burdened with debt. Government has contributed to the problem by providing funds with “strings attached” that further escalate costs on an ongoing basis. Making college “free” is a great concept, but we must recognize that it is only a shift in payment. Rather than tying the financial commitment to an individual for a defined period of time (the length of the loan), it spreads the commitment across the entire tax base and increases the length of the loan to “forever.” We need to develop a smart approach to solving the problem rather than a politically expedient one.
With respect to the environment: We are stewards of our planet, and we bear the responsibility to preserve the environment to the degree that we reasonably can. We cannot ignore science, but we must recognize that it is a two-edged sword. While we cannot deny Man’s contribution to climate change, we also have to acknowledge that our attempts to mitigate the damage we do is driven by technological realities that we cannot legislate away.
Cquote1.svg While we need a far more efficient and effective way of vetting potential immigrants and providing them a path toward citizenship, it is astoundingly naive to think that building a wall would solve the problem. Cquote2.svg
We cannot impose subjective standards if the science does not exist to provide the solution. What we need to do is establish a rational transition plan that moves away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy and encourages an acceleration of that transition. Today, we impose fines and fees if subjective standards are not met. This damages the economy and negatively impacts job growth. We need to reward the achievement rather than punish failure. We need to take the money we use to create and enforce unattainable regulations and use it to reward accelerated achievement of such goals.
With respect [to] immigration: We need comprehensive immigration reform. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution directs us to “provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States,” which can have countervailing impacts. We need secure borders to “provide for the common Defense.” However, we also need to embrace immigrants to “provide for . . . the general Welfare.”
As such, we need to assess immigration from a different perspective. Rather than viewing immigrants (documented or undocumented) as a liability, we need to view them as an asset. While we need a far more efficient and effective way of vetting potential immigrants and providing them a path toward citizenship, it is astoundingly naive to think that building a wall would solve the problem. People enter into the United States from two borders as well as by plane and ship. A wall has little practical value beyond […] political rhetoric. We need real solutions for this real issue, and we have to remember and honor the values upon which this great nation was built.

De La Fuente at the Veterans Museum in Washington D.C., October 2015.
Image: Claire Cousin.

It is not logical to suggest that we can deport 12 million immigrants just as it is illogical to suggest that we cannot deport the extremely small percentage who have committed felonies in our country. It is also ignorant to punish children, who entered the country illegally with their parents, for the decision of their parents. And it is appalling to deport individuals after we permit them to serve in the United States military; a practice of which most Americans are unaware.
We can also secure our borders without abandoning the values upon which our nation was built. We must first admit that our current system of immigration is broken and recognize that a wall is not the solution. Then, we must create a more intelligent, effective and efficient way of welcoming well-vetted immigrants to our borders and providing them with a clear pathway to citizenship.
With respect to national security: Again, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution directs us to “provide for the common Defense . . . of the United States.” However, it does not say that we must do it in a fiscally irresponsible way. It is not the government’s responsibility to support a military–industrial complex simply because it has allowed that structure to become unduly important in the financing of our political parties.
Our focus should be to maintain a technological superiority over every other military on earth in as cost effective way as possible. Our ability to project force in a timely manner, when necessary, should be measured against current capabilities rather than historic principles. We do not need to maintain military bases abroad to the degree that we do. We can project force far more efficiently today than we could decades ago when many of those installations first were built.
We also have to recognize that the enemy has changed as has the weaponry. Cyber-attacks on infrastructure and financial services pose new threats as do terrorist attacks (as opposed to traditional invasion tactics). We need to build an intelligence capability that can identify and anticipate such threats and a counter-cyber capability that can defend against and respond to the delivery of any such attacks.
With respect to social equality: My number one priority as President would be to refocus our country on providing an equal opportunity to all with regard to jobs, education, healthcare, etc. We have established programs that make our leaders feel good but, from a practical perspective, fail to advance the cause of delivering an equal opportunity to all. As a result, we waste a great deal of time and taxpayer money on programs that have not improved our nation or the lives of its citizens. We need to return to the concept that “all men are created equal” and have the unalienable right to pursue happiness as they choose to define it. This does not mean that we all have to choose the same path or achieve parity in income, etc. It means that we should be given the tools and choices that are necessary to be able to pursue our individual definition of happiness.
“Equality” supports the right to be different; however, it demands the opportunity to choose which path to pursue. I would do everything in my power to provide every citizen with an equal opportunity to make that choice. This alone would stimulate our economy, resolve many of our social issues, and underscore the importance of the concept of individual Liberty that separates our country from any other nation on Earth.
We spend an inordinate amount of time and money intervening in the affairs of other nations. What if we were to redirect our efforts and capital toward improving vital issues at home (i.e., our homeless, our displaced veterans, illiteracy and poverty (which continue to hover around 15%), the availability of health care for every American, etc.)? We could lead by example rather than try to convince the rest of the world why it should follow our model, and at the same time, we would be taking care of our citizens and restoring hope and dignity to their lives.

Future[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?

De La Fuente: Simplistically, if I could make meaningful progress toward achieving the goals I just listed, I would have a successful presidency.

De La Fuente: “I don’t need to serve in a political office to be happy, but I would be honored to do so if I thought I could give something back to my country.”
Image: Marc Nozell.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a De La Fuente administration?

De La Fuente: I would take a fundamentally different approach to staffing the De La Fuente administration. Currently, over 80 percent of the senior White House staff positions and approximately 50 percent of the ambassadorships have gone to individuals who bundled $500 thousand or more for the current Administration. While these people shouldn’t be banned from serving the Administration if they are qualified, the disproportionate distribution suggests that the positions are more likely to be a repayment of political debt. I will not do that.
I learned in business that I did best when I hired people who were better than me at what they did. I didn’t hire them to be subservient to me nor did I hire them because they were friends. I think that same approach is needed in Washington, D.C. During these difficult times, we need our nation’s best and brightest individuals to tackle our problems. I would select people to serve in my administration on a basis of merit.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you plan on ever running for political office again?

De La Fuente: I’m a first generation American who is extreme[ly] proud of being a citizen of this great country. To give you some perspective, I once wanted to fly a large American flag over one of my car dealerships, but the city’s governing body emphatically said, “No!” For nine years, I fought back before winning the right to honor our country with what has become a prominent landmark; a 3,000 square foot flag flying from the tallest free standing flag pole in the United States.
I don’t need to serve in a political office to be happy, but I would be honored to do so if I thought I could give something back to my country.



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Sources[]

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

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 13, 2016

Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump\’s political past

Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump’s political past

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 United States presidential election
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Donald Trump in 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Wikinews spoke with three people associated with the early political career of U.S. businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the U.S. Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Those interviewed include longtime political operative Roger Stone, a close associate of Trump and director of Trump’s 2000 presidential exploratory committee; journalist Dave Shiflett, co-writer of Trump’s 2000 campaign book The America We Deserve; and political consultant Russ Verney, who served as chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America which Trump briefly joined.

In Trump’s highly publicized 2016 campaign, he has run under the banner of Make America Great Again, advocating a Mexican-funded wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, renegotiation of trade terms with other nations, and a temporary halt on the immigration of Muslims to the United States. He holds a considerable lead in Republican National Convention delegates over his opponents, winning 15 of the first 24 primary and caucus contests. Though this is Trump’s most visible campaign, it is not his first foray into electoral politics. He flirted with Republican presidential runs: first in 1987, when he purchased newspaper advertisements on foreign policy and delivered a campaign-like speech in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire; and then in 2011, when he briefly led nationwide opinion polls for the presidential nomination after questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama. Trump’s most extensive campaign before now came during the 2000 presidential election when he opened an exploratory committee to consider seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party.

For 2000, Trump conducted various speeches and media appearances in support of his potential presidential campaign. He placed Stone in charge of his exploratory committee and hired Shiflett to work on what would become The America We Deserve. His chief opponent for the nomination was paleoconservative icon and eventual nominee Pat Buchanan who entered the race after ending his third unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Based on Buchanan’s comments against American involvement in World War II, Trump attacked Buchanan as a “Hitler lover” and anti-Semite. Trump’s campaign received support from then-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, the highest ranking elected official in the Reform Party. This placed Trump at odds with the faction of industrialist Ross Perot, the party’s founder and two time presidential candidate. Verney, a Perot confidante, was chairman of the party during Trump’s exploration. Though initially dismissive of the campaign, Verney eventually welcomed Trump into the race. However, the deep divisions within the party precipitated the exit of Ventura, and Trump did not seek the nomination. Despite leaving the race, Trump still appeared on Reform Party presidential primary ballots in California and Michigan, winning both states.

Over a five month period, Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn contacted the three previously involved in Trump’s politics to get their thoughts on his current presidential campaign, learn more about Trump’s political past including the true nature of his 2000 effort, and obtain details on his personality.

Roger Stone[]

Stone in 2014.
Image: Lizzie Ochoa.

Wikinews first contacted Roger Stone in October. In addition to his association with Trump, for whom he has worked as a lobbyist and advisor, Stone has a long history as a Republican Party operative, known for “dirty tricks“. He worked on the infamous Committee for the Re-Election of the President for President Richard Nixon in 1972, during which he performed such tasks as planting a spy in the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, and sending a donation to a potential Republican primary opponent of Nixon under the name of a socialist organization. After Nixon’s resignation, Stone served as Nixon’s “man in Washington.” He has a tattoo of Nixon’s face on his back. Among many campaigns, Stone worked on the 1980 presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan, for which he purportedly brought a suitcase, presumably filled with cash, to the office of an influential lawyer associated with the Liberal Party of New York in order to secure the party’s nomination for Independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson, effectively splitting opposition to Reagan in the state. Stone has also worked for President George H. W. Bush, Congressman Jack Kemp, Senator Bob Dole, and was employed by the George W. Bush campaign to organize against the Florida recount during the disputed 2000 presidential election. In 2004, Stone volunteered for the presidential campaign of Democrat Al Sharpton. And, ahead of the 2008 presidential election, he founded an anti-Hillary Clinton group with the acronym C.U.N.T. Recently, Stone joined the Libertarian Party, and has authored a series of political books including one accusing President Lyndon Johnson of involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Stone served on Trump’s current presidential campaign before a well-publicized split last August. He remains a supporter of the campaign and discusses his association with Trump and thoughts on the current campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png Until a few months ago you were a long-time associate of Donald Trump. When did you first meet him and how would you describe him as a person?

  • Roger Stone: I met Donald in 1979 when I was sent to New York to organize Ronald Reagan’s campaign for President. He and his father Fred Trump were members of the Reagan for President finance committee. We became good friends. I was invited to two of his weddings. He attended my wedding in Washington DC. He is very smart, very tough and can be very very funny. He is also very tall.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png I’ve been writing an article on Wikipedia about Trump’s 2000 presidential campaign. You were director of his presidential exploratory committee. Do you recall when Trump first mentioned to you that he wanted to run?

  • Stone: I have wanted Donald to run since 1988 when I arranged for him to speak to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. I wanted him to run in 2000 — probably more than he did. The leaders of the Reform Party begged him to run but the time was not right in his business. I wanted him to run in 2012 and told him Mitt Romney was a stone-cold loser. All those who said he would never run, like that turkey McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed, look like assholes now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why were you willing to join Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign after he was quoted in 2008 by The New Yorker describing you as a “stone cold loser” who “always tries taking credit for things he never did”?

  • Stone: I probably said some awful things about him too. We had a brief falling out over my outspoken opposition to [former New York governor] Eliot Spitzer who was/is a criminal. Trump was friends with Spitzer’s father from the New York real estate world. We were subsequently reconciled and remain friends.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the 2016 presidential race thus far? Can Trump pull off a victory?

  • Stone: I strongly support Donald Trump for President. I think only Trump has the financial independence to take on the special interests. Trump doesn’t need the lobbyists or the special interest money with the strings attached. He is the only one who can fix a broken system. Trump’s pro-growth tax reform plan will supercharge the economy. Trump can actually cut waste because he is not beholden to the special pleaders. Trump will get in Hillary’s face and confront her with her lies. Jeb [Bush] gave Hillary [Clinton] a medal. The Bush and Clinton families profiteer off public service together. Is it civility or shared criminality? Only Trump can make America great again! It will be #yuge!

Stone refused to answer additional questions on his recent activities including his potential run for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida and his October 2015 book The Clintons’ War on Women. Stone also did not address the conspiracy theory espoused by 1996 Reform Party vice presidential nominee Pat Choate that Trump’s 2000 presidential exploration was a “dirty trick” to sabotage the Pat Buchanan campaign and eliminate the Reform Party as an electoral threat to the Republican Party. Russ Verney addresses the theory further below.

Dave Shiflett[]

Cover of The America We Deserve
Image: Renaissance Books.

Last December, Wikinews reached out to writer Dave Shiflett to talk about his experience with Trump in co-writing The America We Deserve. According to Shiflett in The American Spectator, Shiflett was approached by Roger Stone who was on assignment from Trump to find the “most eminent hack writer in America” to write a book about a potential presidential campaign. Shiflett met with Trump for the first time in Spring 1999 to work on the book. It was released in January 2000, a month before Trump announced he would not run. Though not as well known as Trump’s first book The Art of the Deal, The America We Deserve has had more relevance to his current run. In November, Trump pointed to the book to claim he recognized the threat of terrorism before the attacks of 9/11; the book does warn of attacks by suitcase nuclear device and anthrax. Some of Trump’s political positions and policy proposals outlined in the book have led to attacks from his Republican primary opponents as being at odds with his 2016 platform including a pro-choice position on abortion (while noting his opposition to partial birth abortion), a ban on assault weapon ownership (as was the law at the time under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban), and the implementation of single-payer health care. Other positions in the book match his current platform including increased pressure on China, fair trade, and border control. Shiflett says he is not closely following Trump’s 2016 campaign and no longer has any interest in politics. Instead, he is focused on making music, which he posts on his website www.daveshiflett.com. He discusses what he remembers about working with Trump.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png Why were you specifically selected to co-write The America We Deserve?

  • Dave Shiflett: Got the job through the White House Writer’s Group. I don’t know if this organization still exists. [As of March 12, 2016, the group has a functioning website at www.whwg.com]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What was it like to work with Donald Trump?

  • Shiflett: Trump was a lot of fun. Didn’t seem to take himself too seriously. He was most passionate about his fear of a terrorist attack on New York, which he talks about in the book.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png How much input did Roger Stone have in the content of The America We Deserve?

  • Shiflett: I wrote the book without any input from Stone.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Was there any indication that Trump was not serious about the campaign or did not want to run?

  • Shiflett: I was under the impression that he was on a lark. As I recall he ended his pursuit of the White House fairly soon after the book came out.

Russ Verney[]

Verney in 2008.
Image: Bob Barr.

Wikinews reached out early this month to Russ Verney, who served as chairman of the Reform Party during Trump’s exploratory bid for the party’s presidential nomination in 2000. Verney previously worked on the 1992 presidential campaign of Ross Perot and became chairman of the Reform Party upon its founding by Perot in 1995. When Perot ran as the party’s presidential nominee in 1996, he named Verney as campaign director. Later, Verney headed the Perot faction of the party when a schism between Perot’s supporters and the supporters of Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura threatened to split the party. With Trump potentially running as a member of the Ventura faction, Verney was initially dismissive of a Trump candidacy. In a July 1999 interview with New York Daily News, he said party members were not drafting Trump for president and “never spent one second thinking about him.” Later in the year, Verney commented he had not heard a “compelling reason […] for [Trump] to seek the presidency.” After Trump invited members of the Reform Party, including Verney, to his compound outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida in January 2000, Verney praised Trump, expressing “[t]his is him reaching out to all parts of the Reform Party, and that’s good.” However, Trump continued attacks on Pat Buchanan, focusing largely on the support Buchanan garnered from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. These comments received greater attention in 2016 when Trump himself received an endorsement from Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. Trump’s seeming inability to disavow the support in an interview with CNN (despite an earlier disavowal) formed part of the basis of the March 2016 speech in which Mitt Romney urged Republicans not to vote for Trump. After Trump dropped out of the 2000 race, ceasing his attacks on Buchanan, Buchanan received 0.42% of the general election vote, far below Perot’s 1996 showing of 8.40%. After the 2000 election, Verney left the party and began working as a regional director and national adviser for the conservative foundation Judicial Watch. In 2008, he worked as campaign manager for the presidential run of Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr. Recently, he was hired as executive director for Project Veritas, a conservative group known for investigative film journalism. Verney answers questions about his meetings with Trump, responds to the accusation that Trump’s 2000 exploratory committee was a “dirty trick” to hurt the Reform Party, and analyzes Trump’s rise in the 2016 campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png You were the chairman of the Reform Party in 1999 when Donald Trump opened an exploratory committee to run for the party’s presidential nomination. He invited you and other party members to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. What do you recall about this meeting?

  • Russ Verney: I don’t believe the meeting he invited Reform Party leaders was at Mar-a-Lago. I recall it being in a function room but not at Mar-a-Lago. He was a warm gracious host who took time to listen to the people in the room.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What was your impression of Donald Trump upon meeting him?

  • Verney: I met Donald Trump once in his office, a second time at that meeting in Florida and a third time when my wife and I were his guests at Mar-a-Lago for a weekend. I think he is very personable.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Pat Choate, Ross Perot’s 1996 running mate who became Chairman of the Reform Party in 2000 accused Trump of being a GOP plant to sabotage the Pat Buchanan campaign and eliminate the Reform Party as an electoral threat. Considering that Trump often referred to Buchanan as a “Hitler-lover” and that Buchanan did worse than projected in the general election from which the Reform Party never fully recovered, is there any merit to Choate’s accusation?

  • Verney: Donald Trump never became a candidate for the Reform Party nomination. In fact it was Pat Buchanan who orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Reform Party and once he secured the public financing available to the Reform Party nominee he went underground with his campaign so he wouldn’t jeopardize George Bush in the General Election. Pat Buchanan got more votes to be the Reform Party nominee than he got on Election Day.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on Trump’s 2016 campaign?

  • Verney: I think Trump is tapping into the anti-establishment vote that is huge and just waiting for an opportunity to express itself. The more the establishment tries to stop him like Romney’s speech today, the stronger his support will grow. People are supporting him because he isn’t “one of them” and they don’t care what his issues are.

Related news[]

Sister links[]

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2000

Sources[]

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

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 13, 2015

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 United States presidential election
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Steve Burke
Image: Steve Burke.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

Interview[]

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Brookhaven, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSteve BurkeWikinews waves Right.png The only way to answer your question is by semi story okay? I was asked once to take over the fight to save the county infirmary from closure. It housed ill and hopeless cases. I felt it was the county’s obligation to keep it open. Just as I believe we have an obligation to the mentally ill who need a hospital setting instead of the street or jail. So I took on the county and organized the seniors, relatives of the patients and went to work until the county elected officials cried uncle and kept it open. In fact they built a brand new infirmary and I believe it is still open. I last stopped there in the 1990s to visit a man I became friends with at the infirmary. He was bed ridden after he was stabbed with a knife in the back and it severed his spine. The county infirmary is owned by Suffolk County but in the town of Brookhaven. When I was first elected to the Brookhaven council, I felt we could now start to help the people. What a shock I got and lessons no political course in school can teach. There [were] some minor patronage jobs available. One person who was a disabled vet wanted some part time work. I spoke with my board members and they agreed to give him a bingo inspector job. About four evenings a month minor pay. On our very first meeting I looked at the agenda and his name was not there. I asked why and they told me they decided to give it to a bartender where they ate and drank. Because he made good drinks. That did not fly with me. I called them all into a room and spoke with them and the party leader by phone. The result was that day the disabled vet got the position and held it until he passed on. So back stabbing, back biting, always looking to get even [are] the lessons I learned the hard way from my fellow elected officials. But it taught me how to get things done. Former New Hampshire U.S. Senator [Warren] Rudman said when he quit the Senate, he could not get over the hatred and back stabbing in Washington. So I guess when you deal with elected egos it is the same all over. The town had a few hundred vehicles they owned and the employees drove. Remember Brookhaven is the largest town in New York. I was assigned the public safety department. I found the town cars were unaccounted for. No one knew where they were or who had them. Some I found in back yards of employees with parts missing, invoices of repairs not done on town cars but on personal cars and charged to the town. I stopped all of that, put the repairs out to bid. Made a depot to pick up and drop off daily a car. Changed the color and bought smaller vehicles. I also started a repair yard with town mechanics. When the bid expired. I saved the local police/code enforcement department that they wanted to get rid of. They took care of our parks and buildings, etc. I think I put in a resolution to push for the five cent return bottles, cans, etc., or maybe I just brought it up. I am not sure. That was before the state did it. The town dog pound was a problem. I heard they were selling dogs and cats out the back door to labs and for guard dog companies. I got the town board to go in with me one evening and seize the records. We went through them and turned them over to the district attorney. It was not followed up. But there [were] no more rumors of dogs or cats going out the back door. I am sure there was more but that was 30 years ago. You will have to cut it down. One builds up enemies if you do anything as an elected official. Those that last a long time are generally do nothings, no waves.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Macomb, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am the only Democrat on the five person board. So the entire board has to take credit of keeping tax increases below 2% a year without going into our fund balance. In fact our fund balance is the best of the other 31 towns and the county of St. Lawrence. We have lowered the cost of health care along with our tax base. Upgraded equipment, put money aside for replacement equipment, made our buildings energy efficient. Then we started at the beginning of each meeting the Pledge of Allegiance and a short prayer to the Almighty. Best of all we have no debt.

St. Lawrence County highlighted in red.
Image: David Benbennick.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png This was a strong Republican county when I first became chair. I was able to turn the county around to Democrat, but now it has fallen back to Republican. I started the first resource guide that allowed us to raise funds, obtained a house for the first time ever headquarters. Hillary Clinton won her first Senate seat with just 10 counties out of 62 in New York. We were one of those 10 counties when I was chair. I served as chair and was called back after several years to be chair again. I left the party in both a happy, strong and good financial condition.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png According to WWNY-TV, you previously ran for president in 1992. What was the nature of that run and what did you learn from it?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am impressed that you did some investigative work. It is rare today. Good for you. You should go far in this field. The country was just starting to feel the impact of a slowdown. I wanted to speak out as to what I saw and speak to the issues of the day. I learned that it was a closed shop then and has gotten worse both in ability to be recognized and the economic situation. NAFTA and all free trade policies are detrimental to our economical health, jobs, income and general well being of the country. When NAFTA was first proposed I was chair and spoke out against it and was given heat for it. But oh well I swim upstream anyway.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Did you run in any presidential primaries in 1992?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I ran in six states total and did the best [in] Louisiana.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why are you [a] Democrat? What do you like about the party and have you ever considered joining a non-establishment party?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No I will not join any other party. I like the freedom of being a Democrat. This freedom is not found in other parties.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png So far you have filed to run in the New Hampshire primary. Do you plan on filing for any other primaries?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes we are working in other states to be known and have signed up for Louisiana. Money is always a problem in a grassroots campaign.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png That a voice be heard that is different than what is there now. The same old, same old get you the same old with no chance of bringing the county back home to where we have full employment, everyone getting along, pulling together regardless of color, race or religion. We are Americans all, living on a small rock just hanging out in space.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Barack Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I will not slam an other Democrat who is doing what he feels is correct. I would do things differently for sure.
A. I believe in making friends not enemies.
B. No sanctions, I consider them an act of war.
C. Trade with every[one] on the planet. It is good for [us] and the products we have to sell — jobs.
D. Healthcare needs to be tweaked; move it in line with the health plan the congress has and a single payer.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing America and how will you deal with these as president?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends. You see how China is doing it by helping all around the world along with Russia. War and the blood of our young and our treasury is causing us to be bled to third world status. Radical Islam — work with a coalition of nations with the United Nations and root out that nest of vipers once and for all. Rebuild those countries devastated by war as was done after World War II.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have a Dream speech.
Image: National Archives and Records Administration.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends around the world, fair trade, full employment here at home. New plants opening up. I have a plan for that. Where we finally answer Reverend Martin Luther [King, Jr.]‘s I Have a Dream.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly is the plan?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png We have a precedent set with the General Motors bailout. All the closed factory and manufacturing buildings around the country need to be used. Let’s find the people with skills to open them up and get them running. The government will have a startup fund to lend, so we can be self sufficient again. By closing some of our military bases around the world that money can be used in this country and the military brought home to help secure our borders. Remember we are bleeding money and must stop it or we are done. One of the best things I feel for all our young is to have a military draft for a two year period of their lives. It teaches them order and how to get along and live with people of all colors and religions. Add a CCC type of organization to that and give them a choice. Then add a GI type of benefits to that. As a correction officer I saw the hopelessness of prisoners who could not read or write but were smart. If the government uses its money and talent not just on early intervention but in all grades to help these kids who have trouble in school reading and writing etc. Americans right now feel a sense of no one cares and we are going nowhere. Lack of jobs, money, housing. If you are married William then you know money in marriage is the big problem not sex. We have people with ideas in this country. Let’s use them to make our country self sufficient again. Let’s show the country through leadership that we are moving forward together towards a goal. No more making scapegoats out of each other. Those in office have a hunger for more and more money because they have a need???? Well so do those working or having a business. Let’s not tax them to death. We all want to have the good life. Let’s work towards that goal. I see the problems and know there are answers by setting goals, direction and leadership. Sorry if I got off on a rant. But you asked.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a Burke administration?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png People who have a love of country, its people and the constitution. They will be movers and shakers in their field to do the right things for our country.
As a side note to you William. I was on 60 Minutes for some legislation I sponsored against Teflon coated bullets that can pass through armored police vests. The Congress then followed with their legislation later on. I believe they used my idea after the NRA and I were on 60 Minutes. I believe it was my efforts that had North Korea free the American prisoners this year. I have also been working to do the same in Iran […]
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly did you do to help free American prisoners in North Korea?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png WWNY-TV first did a story on my writing to the Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un. When that did not work, I followed up with someone I know who was the military attache for the former USSR. I asked him to speak to Putin for me. He traveled to Moscow and within two weeks all the prisoners were released. That’s what I mean by making friends. I have tried that avenue with Iran but was told no.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Last election cycle in December 2011 there was a lesser-known candidates forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Have you received any invitation to such an event?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No invitations have been received. It is different than 1992. Oh one item I forgot to mention to you. When the [National Defense] NDAA of 2012 was before Congress. I wrote a resolution against section 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA Act of 2012. The town board all voted in favor of my resolution. A copy of it was sent to the President, Supreme Court justices and the entire New York delegation to Congress. Only one congressman, Mr. [Brian Higgins] of Buffalo, had the moxie to answer and acknowledge the resolution. That legislation was a bad bill, but they passed it.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you have a campaign website?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes I am finalizing it by next week. I am using Simple Nerds to do it. Great name for a company that a presidential candidate is using? […] By the way my campaign committee has fourteen people. Two African Americans, two Hispanics, several pastors, former immigrants from other countries and me. Thank you William for the questions. I look forward to one day meeting you.



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December 9, 2015

Donald Trump maintains Muslims should face US ban

Donald Trump maintains Muslims should face US ban

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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A petition has been signed by over 200,000 people urging Donald Trump, who is the front runner to become the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States, to be banned from entering the United Kingdom. This follows Mr Trump’s comments that Muslims should be blocked from entering the US. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has also removed Trump from his role as business ambassador for Scotland.

Donald Trump defended his policy on Tuesday of banning Muslims from the US
Image: Gage Skidmore.

On Monday, Mr Trump said he wants a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US” until the country can understand “what is going on” with regard to terrorism. He said in his statement that a large number of Muslims show “great hatred towards Americans”.

On Tuesday, Trump reinforced this belief when speaking on Good Morning America, saying America has “no choice but to do this”.

Trump’s comments on Monday came three days after a shooting in San Bernardino, California by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, in which fourteen people were killed. US President Barack Obama said in an address from the Oval Office on Sunday the attack was an act of terrorism.

Donald Trump’s statement has been widely criticised, including by members of his own political party. Republican Matt Moore said the policy is a “bad idea” and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who is running against Trump to become Presdiential candidate, said “this is not Conservatism”.

Democrat candidate for President Hillary Clinton described Trump’s comments as “Shameful”. Secretary of State John Kerry argued Trump’s statement could be detrimental in the ongoing fight against Islamic State (IS), saying his remarks were “not constructive”.

Trump argued that his policy idea is “no different” to that of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policy which saw Japanese deportations from the US and the confinement of Japanese people within US camps following Japan’s attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Mr Trump also said the policy should not be implemented on Muslims currently living within the US.

Kassem Allie from the Islamic Center of America, accused Trump of evoking fear “reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Stalin“. US Secretarty of Homeland Security said Mr Trump’s comments could adversely impact on US security. The Pentagon was also concerned that Trump’s demands could be counterproductive in the fight against, arguing it “bolsters Isil’s narrative”.

Mr Trump also said on Tuesday that police in London are “afraid for their lives” in some areas because of radicalisation in the city. These comments were rebuffed by the United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron who said Trump was “simply wrong” and Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the claim was “ridiculous”.



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Petition calls for Trump UK ban

Petition calls for Trump UK ban – Wikinews, the free news source

Petition calls for Trump UK ban

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2016 United States presidential election
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A petition reached over 300,000 signatures today urging Donald Trump, considered the front runner to become the Republican Party‘s candidate for President of the United States, be banned from entering the United Kingdom. This follows Mr Trump’s comments that Muslims should be blocked from entering the US.

Donald Trump defended his policy on Tuesday of banning Muslims from the US
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Also, Scotland‘s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, removed Trump from his role as business ambassador for Scotland.

On Monday, Mr Trump said he wants a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US” until the country can understand “what the hell is going on” with regard to terrorism. He said in a statement that a large number of Muslims show “great hatred towards Americans”.

Trump’s comments on Monday came days after a shooting in San Bernardino, California by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, in which fourteen people were killed. US President Barack Obama said in an address from the Oval Office on Sunday the attack was an act of terrorism.

Donald Trump’s statement has been widely criticised, including by members of his own political party. Republican Matt Moore said the policy is a “bad idea” and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said “this is not Conservatism”.

Democrat candidate for President Hillary Clinton described Trump’s comments as “shameful”. Secretary of State John Kerry argued Trump’s statement would not help in the ongoing fight against Islamic State (IS), saying his remarks were “not constructive”.

Trump argued that his policy idea is “no different” to that of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policy which saw large-scale confinement of Japanese US citizens in internment camps following Japan’s attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Mr Trump also said the policy should not be implemented on Muslims currently living within the US.

Kassem Allie from the Islamic Center of America, accused Trump of evoking fear “reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Stalin“. The Pentagon expressed concern Trump’s demands could be counterproductive in the fight against IS, saying it “bolsters Isil’s narrative”.

Mr Trump also said on Tuesday that police in London are “afraid for their lives” in some areas because of radicalisation in the city. These comments were rebuffed by the United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron who said Trump was “simply wrong” and Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the claim was “ridiculous”.



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November 17, 2015

Rwandan Senate approves constitutional change allowing third term for Kagame

Rwandan Senate approves constitutional change allowing third term for Kagame

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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The Senate of Rwanda today voted to amend the country’s constitution to allow a third term for President Paul Kagame.

President Kagame last year.
Image: Veni Markovski.

The changes, which require a referendum before becoming law, reduce the current limit of two seven-year Presidential terms to two five-year terms. Kagame receives an exemption allowing another seven-year term before starting to count his five-year terms. If approved the amendments can keep him in power until 2034.

Following Rwanda’s genocide Kagame grew popular at home and abroad, leading to over three million petitioners demanding he be allowed to run again. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front has already gained approval from Parliament and seen off a Supreme Court challenge by the opposition Democratic Green Party.

Kagame has yet to decide if he will run again. Opposition leader Frank Habineza says his party will continue to oppose the change. Senate leader Bernard Makuza says he expects the referendum, the date of which is not yet set, to succeed.



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Rwandan Senate approves constituional change allowing third term for Kagame

Rwandan Senate approves constituional change allowing third term for Kagame

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rwanda
Related articles
Location of Rwanda
Rwanda on the globe (Africa centered).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

The Senate of Rwanda today voted to amend the Rwandan constitution to allow a third term for President Paul Kagame.

President Kagame last year.
Image: Veni Markovski.

The changes, which require a referendum before becoming law, reduce the current limit of two seven-year Presidential terms to two five-year terms. Kagame receives an exemption allowing another seven-year term before starting to count his five-year terms. If approved the amendments can keep him in power until 2034.

Following Rwanda’s genocide Kagame grew popular at home and abroad, leading to over three million petitioners demanding he be allowed to run again. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front has already gained approval from Parliament and seen off a Supreme Court challenge by the opposition Democratic Green Party.

Kagame has yet to decide if he will run again. Opposition leader Frank Habineza says his party will continue to oppose the change. Senate leader Bernard Makuza says he expects the referendum, the date of which is not yet set, to succeed.



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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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