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March 27, 2015

Utah reinstates firing squad for death penalty

Utah reinstates firing squad for death penalty

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Crime and law
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The US state of Utah has reinstated the use of the firing squad as the method of execution for prisoners on death row, eleven years after it was abolished. On Monday Gary Herbert, the state’s governor, signed into law legislation approving the firing squad as an alternative means of capital punishment if lethal injections are unavailable.

The new law follows the refusal of European manufacturers of drugs used in lethal injections to sell their products to US prisons, in opposition to capital punishment. It states the decision to use the firing squad could be made thirty days before the scheduled date if lethal injections were not available.

Human rights activists have called the move “backward” and “brutalizing”. Karen McCreary, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah said, “We believe all current methods of capital punishment violate the eighth amendment to the US constitution that outlaws cruel and unusual punishment, but this particular method, firing squad, seems very barbaric and something more associated with war”.

Last July, U.S Court of Appeals judge, Alex Kozinski, wrote, “The firing squad strikes me as the most promising. Eight or ten large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflict massive damage, causing instant death every time.” Jay Chapman, the man who developed the protocol for lethal injections still used today, said in 2007 remarks to CNN that lethal injection “works if it’s administered competently”, but added it does require skill to perform.

The passing of the law on Monday does not grant prisoners a choice on the method of execution they will face, and lethal injections are to remain the primary method of execution.



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February 14, 2015

University of Utah study finds suicide may be linked to air pollution

University of Utah study finds suicide may be linked to air pollution

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Science and technology
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A University of Utah study published on Tuesday in The American Journal of Epidemiology suggests air pollution may increase suicide rates.

A bottle of nitrogen dioxide, from file.
Image: “Greenhorn1”.

The team analysed suicide records for over 1,500 people from Salt Lake County, Utah from 2000 through 2010. Comparing to air pollution exposure in the three days prior to death the scientists noticed an increase of 20% for deaths amongst those exposed to high nitrogen dioxide.

High exposure to fine particulates in the three days prior to death led to a 5% increase. For men, the rates when exposed to nitrogen dioxide were 25% higher than average. Middle-aged men were particularly affected.

The scientists believe air pollution combines with other factors to increase suicides, rather than triggering them itself. Doctor Amanda Bakian, one of the researchers, said “As suicide risk was found to differ by age and gender, this suggests that vulnerability to suicide following air pollution exposure is not uniform across Salt Lake County residents and that some Salt Lake County residents are more vulnerable than others.”

Bakian said research to identify what made individuals susceptible to increased suicide risk after air pollution exposure is planned.



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March 30, 2013

Utah Governor Gary Herbert criticises Chevron oil spill

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Environment
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scenic view of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge located in Brigham City, Utah
Image: Billings Brett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lagoon at Red Butte Creek
Image: Scott Catron.

Thursday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert criticised the recent Chevron oil spill near Willard Bay, when he said “[i]f anything has been disappointing in these past couple of weeks, it has been this Chevron oil spill. This is just not acceptable.” Governor Herbert also indicated that the state of Utah would take a more proactive stance in pipeline inspections, when he stated “We need to take a more proactive stance as a state.” This comes after the recent history of pipeline failures in the state.

On Monday, March 18, a Chevron oil pipeline, running from Utah to Spokane, Washington, ruptured near the Willard Bay State Park. Early estimates, by Chevron, said that 8,000 gallons (190 barrels) of diesel fuel were released. Authorities from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality revised the estimate of the magnitude of the spill to 25,000 gallons (600 barrels), two days after the spill. A number of media organizations used Chevron’s lower estimates in their reporting, including MSN Now and the Standard-Examiner.

In response to the spill, the U.S. Department of Transportation stated Chevron must “protect the public, property and the environment from potential hazards associated with the recent failure”. Chevron acknowledged the request. After nearly a week of cleanup efforts, the emergency response team, a coalition of several governmental agencies and the Chevron Pipe Line Company, estimated that as much as 15,000 gallons had been cleaned up.

This Tuesday, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality stated: “response actions have been mostly successful in preventing the spilled diesel from contaminating Willard Bay”; this based on 27 sampling events on multiple days, and at multiple locations, between last Tuesday, the day after the spill, and this last Monday. Their report on that date further stated, “available analyses demonstrate that the response actions have been mostly successful in preventing the spilled diesel from contaminating Willard Bay.”

A beaver dam initially kept contaminated water from reaching Willard Bay and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Corrective Action Order. Several beavers were reportedly taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden for treatment.

This is the third such spill in the state of Utah in the past three years, including two other spills at Red Butte Creek. The Red Butte Creek spills, together, released over 50,000 gallons of petroleum.



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February 20, 2013

Slovak Henrieta Farkašová wins downhill event at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

Slovak Henrieta Farkašová wins downhill event at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This morning in La Molina, Spain, Slovak B3 classified skier Henrieta Farkašová and guide Natália Šubrtová won the IPC Alpine World Championships’s women’s visually impaired downhill event.

The field in the women’s event was not as deep as the men’s vision impaired, with only four visually impaired skiers competing. Russian B2 classified skier Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotini finished in second. B3 classified British skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans finished in third place. United States B2 classified skier Danelle Umstead and guide Robert Umstead finished just off the podium in fourth place.

The women’s visually impaired skiers are next scheduled to compete on Friday in the Super-G event, with a start time of approximately 9:30 local time, 8:30 UTC. Farkašová then tries to get her second gold, out of the five she targets at these Championships.

Skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans . Kelly Gallagher is B3 from Great Britain.
Image: Raystorm.

Skier Henrieta Farkašová and guide Natália Šubrtová. Henrieta Farkašová is B3 from Slovakia.
Image: Raystorm.

Farkašová and guide crossing the finish line
Image: Raystorm.

Farkašová and Šubrtová hugging after the race
Image: Raystorm.

Downhill final. Skier Alexandra Franseva and guide Pavel Zabotini. Alexandra Franseva is B2 from Russia.
Image: Raystorm.

Franseva prepares for a stop at the bottom of the hill
Image: Raystorm.

Utah-based Skier Danelle Umstead and guide Robert Umstead. Danelle Umstead is B2 from the United States.
Image: Raystorm.

Umstead and Umstead cross the finish line in the downhill
Image: Raystorm.

Umstead and Umstead discuss their run following their race
Image: Raystorm.



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Slovak Henrieta Farkasova wins downhill event at the IPC Alpine World Championships

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This morning in La Molina, Spain, Slovak B3 classified skier Henrieta Farkašová and guide Natália Šubrtová won the IPC Alpine World Championships‘s women’s visually impaired downhill event.

The field in the women’s event was not as deep as the men’s vision impaired, with only four visually impaired skiers competing. Russian B2 classified skier Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotini finished in second. B3 classified British skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans finished in third place. United States B2 classified skier Danelle Umstead and guide Robert Umstead finished just off the podium in fourth place.

The women’s visually impaired skiers are next scheduled to compete on Friday in the Super-G event, with a start time of approximately 9:30 local time, 8:30 UTC. Farkašová will then try to get her second gold, out of the five she targets at these Championships.

Skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans . Kelly Gallagher is B3 from Great Britain.
Image: Raystorm.

Skier Henrieta Farkašová and guide Natália Šubrtová. Henrieta Farkašová is B3 from Slovakia.
Image: Raystorm.

Farkašová and guide crossing the finish line
Image: Raystorm.

Farkašová and Šubrtová hugging after the race
Image: Raystorm.

Downhill final. Skier Alexandra Franseva and guide Pavel Zabotini. Alexandra Franseva is B2 from Russia.
Image: Raystorm.

Franseva prepares for a stop at the bottom of the hill
Image: Raystorm.

Utah-based Skier Danelle Umstead and guide Robert Umstead. Danelle Umstead is B2 from the United States.
Image: Raystorm.

Umstead and Umstead cross the finish line in the downhill
Image: Raystorm.

Umstead and Umstead discuss their run following their race
Image: Raystorm.



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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.

February 16, 2013

2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships preparations underway

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ramon Moliner, Ivan Tibau, Mariona Masdemont and Enric Ticó at Tuesday’s flag exchange
Image: IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships La Molina 2013.

Preparations are underway ahead of the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championship, with a flag exchange taking place Tuesday, volunteer recruitment ongoing, USParalympics unveiling a new uniform for their team, skiers like the United States’s Jon Lujan actively training for the event and other skiers competing in preparation for the Championships in a World Cup event Wednesday.

Tuesday in La Molina, Spain, the president of Governmental Railways of Catalonia, Enric Ticó, and the mayor of Alp, Ramon Moliner, were gifted with flags by representatives of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Catalan Government at a ceremony in Colet Museum of Barcelona at one of the first official events ahead of the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championship, which starts next week. As of Wednesday, event organisers were still seeking volunteers to assist with running the Championship. The opening ceremonies are scheduled for next Tuesday.

Entering the event, skiers had the opportunity to qualify through eight World Cup events held with only two disciplines on the program, Giant Slalom and Slalom. The first four were held in Sestriere, Italy, with the most recent four all being held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Standing female French skier Marie Bochet has won six World Cups ahead of the World Championships and is considered by event organizers as a favorite in the standing group. Russian standing skier Alexey Bugaev is also considered a favorite by organisers as he won two Slalom and one Giant Slalom World Cup competition. In the women’s sit-ski, German Anna Schaffelhuber is considered the favorite having prepared for the Championships by winning five of the eight World Cup events. On the men’s sit-ski side, Japanese Takeshi Suzuki and Swiss Christoph Kunz both earned three World Cup victories in the lead up to this competition. In the women’s visually impaired group, Slovak Henrieta Farkasova will enter the competition with five World Cup victories. On the men’s side, Spanish Jon Santacana is favored to win with three Giant Slalom and one Slalom victory during this year’s World Cup events in the lead up to the World Championships.

British Combined Services Disabled Ski Team coach Mark Scorgie has noted that this year’s European ski season has been problematic with weather interfering with most competitions. Poor weather conditions continued Wednesday Rogla IPC Alpine World Cup, with the first Giant Slalom run canceled because of high winds.

The World Championships includes over 270 skiers, guides, coaches and support personnel from 28 countries including Spain, France, Australia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Croatia, Finland, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Belgium, Norway, Russia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Slovakia, Czech Republic, United States, Austria, New Zealand, Sweden, Hungary, and South Africa..

The Spanish team includes blind skier Jon Santacana and his guide Miguel Galindo, and blind skier Gabriel Gorce and his guide Arnau Ferrer. Both vision-impaired skiers are scheduled to compete in the Downhill, Super G, Super Combined, Giant Slalom, and Slalom competitions. Also on the Spanish team are LW2 classified standing skier Úrsula Pueyo, LW12-1 classified sit skier Óscar Espallargas, and LW10-1 classified sit skier Nathalie Carpanedo who qualified as a wildcard entry. Pueyo, Espallargas, and Carpanedo are all scheduled to compete in the Slalom and Giant Slalom competitions. Accompanying the team are to be coaches Javier Gutierrez, Jordi Carbonell, and Andres Gomez, medical staff including Pablo Marquez and Josep Barrachina, and technical staffer Josep Bort.

Jones competing in the Super G at the last year’s IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

The United States team consists of Seattle, Washington-based vision-impaired skier Mark Bathum and his Colorado Springs-based guide Jessica Smith; Park City, Utah-based vision-impaired skier Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead; retired Army and Clarksville, Tennessee-based Heath Calhoun; Brooklyn, New York-based Ralph Green; Colorado Springs-based Allison Jones; Palmer, Alaska-based Andrew Kurka; Burlington, Vermont-based Stephen Lawler; retired Marine and Littleton, Colorado-based Jon Lujan; Farmington, New Mexico-based Alana Nichols; Wenham, Massachusetts-based Laurie Stephens; Park City, Utah-based Stephani Victor; Franconia, New Hampshire-based Tyler Walker; and retired Coast Guard and Campton, New Hampshire-based Chris Devlin-Young.



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August 5, 2012

On the campaign trail, July 2012

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

On the campaign trail, July 2012

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ballot access denied in Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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June 30, 2012

Fred Karger officially ends 2012 presidential campaign

Fred Karger officially ends 2012 presidential campaign

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Karger in August 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Proclaiming that the fat lady had sung, political consultant Fred Karger of California officially ended his campaign for Presidency of the United States on Friday, three days after a last place finish in the Utah Republican primary. Karger was the first openly gay individual to seek the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, and accumulated a total of 12,609 votes in six primary elections.

Karger, who served as a political adviser for several Republican presidents before actively campaigning for LGBT causes, had started his presidential campaign in 2010, but did not officially announce until last year. Throughout 2011, he attempted to appear in GOP presidential debates, but was unable to meet the polling threshold for any; he believed he had qualified for an August debate, but was denied entry after organizers deemed his cited polls as inadequate.

In 2012, Karger appeared on the primary ballots in New Hampshire, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Maryland, California, and Utah. He had his strongest showing in Puerto Rico, edging Congressman Ron Paul in votes and claiming over one percent of the total. He received his largest vote total in his home state of California, winning 8,268. In the June 26 Utah primary, the final contest before the 2012 National convention, Karger finished in fifth place with 0.25 percent, behind former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rick Santorum, Paul, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee who won with 93 percent of the vote.

In his withdrawal announcement, Karger thanked his supporters and reflected on the campaign as “the experience of a lifetime.” He expressed hope that his effort had positively influenced political discourse on the economy, education, LGBT rights, and other issues. He now plans to “rest up for awhile” before getting “back at it to help in the fight for LGBT equality.”

Karger did not endorse another candidate for the presidency, and had previously told Wikinews that he had no plans to endorse anyone at the conclusion of his campaign.



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June 23, 2012

One Australian male and female archer qualify for Olympics after Ogden event

One Australian male and female archer qualify for Olympics after Ogden event

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alice Ingley and Odette Snazelle at the Australian Championships earlier this year
Image: LauraHale.

Snazelle practicing at the Australian Championships earlier this year
Image: LauraHale.

Following the Olympic Team Qualifying Tournament in Ogden, Utah this week, Australia earned spots for only one male and female archer to represent the country at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

At the 2012 Oceania Championships, Australia qualified a male and female archer to represent Australia at the Olympics. The Ogden-based qualifying competition was an opportunity for Australia to qualify additional archers and both a men’s and a women’s team with three available spots for each.

On the men’s team side, with Taylor Worth, Sky Kim, and Ryan Tyack representing the country, Australia beat Turkey 214–204 in the 1/8th round, then beat Romania 216–203 to qualify for the semi-finals. Australia’s men lost to India 209–221 to go into the bronze medal match, where they lost to Chinese Taipei 214–216. With only the top three national teams qualifying, Australia did not qualify for the last available Olympic spot for the men’s team event.

On the women’s side, the Australian team of Elisa Barnard, Alice Ingley, and Deonne Bridger was eliminated early on and did not advance to the knockout round.

In the men’s individual elimination competition, Tyack beat Peart of Great Britain 6–4 and lost to Duenas of Canada 3–7. Worth beat Hristov of Bulgaria 6–0, fellow Australian Kim 6–2, and the United States’s Ellison 6–4 and Wukie 6–4, before losing to Luis of Mexico 3–7. Kim beat Gankin of Kazakhstan 6–4 before losing to his teammate Worth. Matthew Masonwells beat Curchod of Switzerland 6–2 before losing to Tilmaz of Turkey 3–7.

In the women’s individual elimination competition, Alice Ingley went out in the first round following a 2–6 loss to Lee of Canada. Deonne Bridger also went out in the first round following a loss to Oyunsuren of Mongolia. Elisa Barnard had more success, beating Gonzalez of Mexico 7–3 and Jager of Denmark 6–4 before being eliminated 4–6 in a match against Oliver of Great Britain.

Australia will likely be sending Western Australian Taylor Worth and New South Walesman Elisa Barnard to the Games, continuing a tradition of Australian archers competing at the Olympics since the sport was re-introduced to the programme in 1972.



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April 28, 2012

Wikinews interviews Fred Karger, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Fred Karger, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fred Karger in 2010.
Image: IowaPolitics.com.

United States political consultant and gay rights (LGBT) activist Fred Karger of California took some time to discuss his Republican Party presidential campaign with Wikinews reporter William Saturn. Karger holds the distinction as the first openly gay person to seek the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party.

Before entering electoral politics, Karger worked as an adviser for such prominent Republicans and former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Since retiring as an adviser in 2004, he has been involved in LGBT issues: opposing California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state; and leading investigations of such same-sex marriage opponents as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormon Church).

In 2010, Karger first announced his intentions to seek the Republican presidential nomination, but did not officially announce until March 2011. One of his early campaign goals was to participate in a GOP presidential debate, but was never invited due to polling thresholds. However, Karger argued that he did meet the requirement for an August debate, but was still excluded after the organizers deemed polls he cited as inadequate.

So far, Karger has appeared on four Republican primary ballots including Puerto Rico, where he was able to top Congressman Ron Paul, who, at the time was one of the four major candidates in the race. Karger will next appear on the ballots in California on June 5, and in Utah on June 26.

Karger brands himself as “a different kind of Republican” that wants to open the party to outsiders. He backs gay marriage, is pro-choice on abortion, and wants to lower the voting age. However, he also holds some traditional Republican views: he favors a strengthening of the private sector and believes the U.S. should be steadfast in its support for the nation of Israel.

In talking to Wikinews, Karger discusses his personal political background and activism, the 2012 presidential election and his GOP campaign, as well as his political views on both domestic and foreign affairs.

Background

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngI’m going to start with the background. What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

Karger with former President George H. W. Bush in 2006.
Image: Fred Karger.

Fred Karger: Well, I have been involved in politics for 55 years. I am very proud that I first began working on campaigns, and then evolved into a profession. I got to work with some of the great leaders in the country: George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan. I got to involve myself in a lot of the issues of the time; involved in initiatives, elections all over the country; and then, most recently was a direct activist in discovering a lot of illicit activities by the Mormon Church, involving itself in many of the anti-Gay marriage campaigns from 1995 in Hawaii to our current election going on now; and then also taking on the National Organization for Marriage, and then investigated in Maine, which resulted in a treasure trove of documents disclosing their illicit activities. So I would think those are certainly some of my highlights in my 62 years, but I got all the fight left in me.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat did you learn from Ronald Reagan?

Fred Karger: Well, I learned about his great optimism and his ability to get along with Democrats and Republicans, conservatives [and] liberals. He had an innate ability to work with people of all stripes and get along with them. Good with speaking the language of the time, building alliances to get a lot of things done in the best interest of the country, unlike President Obama and the Congress today. Ronald Reagan never took himself too seriously…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngI read on your Facebook profile that you supported Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primaries. Why did you support her?

Fred Karger: The Republican Party has moved too far to the right for my liking. And that was not the Republican Party that I grew up with. I think there’s room in the party for a broad coalition of thought…
I was very disenchanted with the Republicans running four years ago, and I liked Hillary Clinton. I liked her husband. I thought he was a good centrist and a good president. And I wanted to help out and support her. I didn’t work for her, but I did max out. I gave $2300 over a period of time in 2008 to her. And I just thought she would have been a very good president.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWho did you support during the general election?

Fred Karger: During the general in 2008, I didn’t support either candidate. I had helped George W. Bush in 2000. We were working an independent expenditure committee that I helped with a gentleman named Charles Francis that was a Gay-Straight alliance that supported George W. Bush, but then he let us down with his vocal support for a federal Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and other anti-gay activities that campaign and he were involved with in 2004. So I did not help him. I did not vote for him in 2004. I voted for a third party candidate because then I was not too convinced that Barack Obama was the right man for the job. So I was a Ralph Nader voter. I didn’t do anything with his campaign or more, but I did end up voting for him.
Cquote1.svg The public doesn’t know enough about the Mormon Church, so I wanted to help make them aware because there are some very interesting parts of that religion that I think it’s certainly open for discussion with Mitt Romney as the likely Republican nominee Cquote2.svg

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou have been very critical of the Mormon Church for its support of Proposition 8, and you created a website titled, “the Top Ten Craziest Mormon beliefs”. Some of your followers on Facebook wrote comments that this went too far. What is your response to them?

Fred Karger: Well, the Mormon Church as I discovered by documents that were given to me, official Mormon Chuch documents going back to 1995, has led the way on all the anti-Gay initiatives, constitutional amendments in the country. All thirty one that have been successful, the Mormon Church was instrumental in efforts. So I have announced. I don’t do things secretly like they do. I’ve been very up front about it. I signed my name to everything.
And I am determined to try and get them to reconsider their vehement opposition, not just to gay marriage, but the way they treat gay and lesbian members of the Mormon faith. And there’s a wonderful new video out with a dozen students from BYU talking about that and how difficult it is to be gay and Mormon. And this church, which is on the cusp of having a President of the United States, is cruel [through] activities that have been done to LGBT members and followers and as well as all of us non-members, who have been critical of their activism.
I think it is the wrong direction and I will continue to shadow that and keep them honest in politics, which they have not been as we found in California. And I think as their public affairs director had invited, which is why I put that website up, the public doesn’t know enough about the Mormon Church, so I wanted to help make them aware because there are some very interesting parts of that religion that I think it’s certainly open for discussion with Mitt Romney as the likely Republican nominee.

2012 presidential campaign

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngLet’s talk about the campaign. I’ve seen from your photos that while campaigning, you’ve encountered such candidates as Jon Huntsman, Jr. and Michele Bachmann. Do they recognize you and/or acknowledge the historical significance of your campaign?

Fred Karger: I’ve met every single candidate running and have general pictures with all. The only one [exception] I think is Ron Paul, who I did meet with in his office in Washington. He was the one, who actually set up a formal meeting with me in January of 2011. We had a wonderful meeting. He had not made up his mind yet.

Karger with Jon Huntsman, Jr. in 2011.
Image: Fred Karger.

But yes, Rick Santorum knew me well. We would run in to each other all the time. Everyone was very courteous to me. Some I became more friendly with: Gary Johnson or Jon Huntsman, very, very cordial to me. I would actually say that Gary Johnson and me became friends. We would see each other all the time, went to meals together.
So I had asked all the Republican candidates running to have lunch, dinner, coffee with me. I thought it would be a good opportunity for the other Republicans running, and in a friendly manner to meet, to get to know an openly gay candidate for president, which no one has done before. But I think it was just my olive branch. As I was saying earlier, what Ronald Reagan did and what he taught me, which was to reach out to everybody. And certainly there’s some Republicans, who have said some very bad things about my community and I want to help them based on that and come up with the areas we have in common as opposed to the areas where we disagree.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou previously said that one of your goals in your campaign was to participate in a GOP presidential debate, now that no more debates have been scheduled, what are you hoping to achieve by continuing your campaign?

Fred Karger: Well that had been my primary goal to get in a presidential debate. A big feat for someone who has never run for office before and doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars to spend on his campaign. I came very close. I did qualify. I met the criteria for the Fox News debate last August in Ames, Iowa, but they changed the rules and prohibited me from participating. So I am holding out hope that there still may be another debate. There’s talk of a Texas debate. Governor Romney might not do anymore but there may be a situation where there’s just a handful of candidates. There’s only four of us now that are still actively running that are on state ballots like California and Utah. So I still have hope that there might be a debate. But short of that I will be campaigning vigorously in California. That’s the next ballot I am on.
Cquote1.svg The numbers obviously don’t add up for me to be the nominee, but I can certainly be a factor and that is one of my goals. Cquote2.svg
We are shooting our first California commercial on Saturday. It’s an elaborate production, and I’m hoping we’ll be running it on television in California. Hopefully it will catch on in a viral manner like some of our commercials have and maybe be kind of an introduction to California about my campaign years. So I’m going to be spending the next almost eight weeks all up and down my home state. I’m the only Californian on the ballot. And on our California ballot, it doesn’t list occupation. It just lists hometown and state. So I will have Laguna Beach, California as my ballot designation, which none of the other three remaining candidates, of course, are from here. So that’s an advantage. And we’ve got a lot of volunteers. A lot up and down the state. And I hope to register here. I’m going to be targeting three congressional districts, because the delegates are awarded by congressional district here. So I’m hopeful that I can pull out some delegates and be more of a factor in this race. The numbers obviously don’t add up for me to be the nominee, but I can certainly be a factor and that is one of my goals.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngAs you’ve said, it seems very likely that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. Might you support him in the general election?

Fred Karger: Well, I said that I’m very uncomfortable with anyone who signed this marriage pledge of the National Organization for Marriage. I asked him specifically to disavow that pledge. They just endorsed his candidacy yesterday. This is a very shady organization that is under investigation for money laundering in Maine. It has just been revealed by four unsealed documents by a federal judge that were subpoenaed from NOM of their devious and illegal activities. We now know that there have been illegal activities that have taken place by them. And I am uncomfortable with Mitt Romney as long as he is willing to connect with this very very questionable organization. And so I’m going to weigh the field. I am not going to make any decisions if he were to be our nominee as the Republican Party. I liked his dad a lot. I’m not quite there with Mitt Romney, but I’ll have to wait and see how things develop.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYour best showing in the Republican primaries so far came in Puerto Rico last month. In terms of campaigning, what did you learn from that experience?

Fred Karger: Well, Puerto Rico has an open primary as did Michigan. I tend to do better in states with an open primary because Republicans that are voting in a primary tend to be far more conservative. So if they have heard of me and know that I’m an openly gay candidate that of course could eliminate a potential vote. So I like that. I like the fact that I got an enormous amount of attention down there.

Karger campaigning in Puerto Rico in March.
Image: Fred Karger.

Cquote1.svg The [Puerto Rican] media was very interested. I was endorsed by the number one radio talk show host in San Juan, Carmen Jovet, who had interviewed me on her show. Cquote2.svg

Puerto Rico is way behind the states in its support for gay civil rights. There’s a gay and lesbian center that’s only been open for one year, as opposed to the states where gay centers have been open for 25 or 30 years or more. So they are very much behind the times. But they are coming around. They are very grateful for my presence there. I got a lot of speaking engagements. The media was very interested. I was endorsed by the number one radio talk show host in San Juan, Carmen Jovet, who had interviewed me on her show. And she’s a very prominent media personality. And when there was a hurricane there, they got her to chair the foundation. We just spoke, having fun with it. I didn’t know that after that she would endorse me and that had a lot to do with it.

And we did things in Puerto Rico well: we campaigned in the big towns that were competitive right before the election; did a lot of speaking; a lot of meeting the voters; colleges that we’d go to all over. So we did a blitz there in six days that was successful and I was proud to beat Ron Paul. And of course, what Romney did, and what Santorum didn’t do was to listen to the voters and listen to the citizens of Puerto Rico, which you have to have respect for their heritage. And to come in and say this whole territory must learn English in order to be eligible for statehood is just not smart, spin politics. So I listened. I do. And I respect their heritage especially years of Spanish speaking that can’t expect to transform that as a bargain, a negotiating bargain for statehood. So I just had regard for the culture and the people, and responded to what I think was a good fit for Puerto Rico. But I also, along with statehood, which is still a mixed issue down there, a lot of the younger people want independence than even want statehood, but I’m open to whatever that would be and to whatever the Puerto Ricans really would like to be for themselves.

Political views

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngLet’s get into policy. You proposed that the voting age be reduced. How might you convince Republicans to support this when polls suggest that the youth generally support Democrats?

Fred Karger: Well, it’s something that I’ve not advocated as a particular constitutional amendment. I suggested that we should hold a discussion for lowering the voting age to 16 or 17. And that’s one of the things I’ve been doing for our campaign. And in regards to your question, the Republican Party is doing everything it can to drive away this younger generation. Candidates like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney are doing and saying things that are so anathema to younger voters. Ron Paul is doing the opposite. That’s why he gets 6400 people at UCLA. He gets thousands of students coming out. And I applaud him because he’s the only one who has the foresight to realize there’s a future to this Republican Party beyond November.

Karger speaking with youth in Puerto Rico.
Image: Fred Karger.

So one of the things I’ve tried to do, I’ve tried to reach out to students in high school and college. I’ve spoken at a lot of high schools. There are 18 year old voters there. And I’m looking to the future of the Republican Party. And I think we need to do and say things and put the policies that will appeal to young voters. Currently jobs is the number one issue and I talk about that. That’s a concern of younger voters in high school, college, wherever they are. So we just need to be a little more aware of that generation, so if there are 16 or 17 year old voters someday, they will be split, and that we will have welcomed them as Ronald Reagan did. There’s a 70 year old man that just completely brought back a younger generation to the Republican Party that they had been driven away by Watergate. I know because I was a younger voter then who was working with then-Republicans to bring younger voters into the Republican Party. And if they think it’s tough now, it was ten times tougher then.
We need to be much more aware. Think out all of the ways to do it: to speak the language; to offer them the opportunity to participate; to teach them voting at a younger age in high school so that they get in more of a habit once out of high school and off to college or in workforce, and are less likely to become advantageous voters. I think we need to teach voting in high school. Bring candidates like myself, Congressional candidates, their own candidates from city race, into the high school and I think that’ll help people become better voters. And I also think it’ll also help a certain percentage stay in high school that may not ordinarily, cause we’re of course, losing a million high school students a year dropping out, and the 2 or 3 percent love politics and they’re learning from politicians. They may be less likely to drop out. It’s helping to then lessen that crisis.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngConsidering the Tenth amendment, should same sex marriage be a state issue?

Fred Karger: I am a strong advocate of states’ rights, but not on a civil rights issue like gay marriage. And had we left interracial marriage to the states, we know that would have been a long time and coming, and the Supreme Court interceded and made that the law of the land. And I think on this issue that the court will ultimately decide that this issue should not be left to the voters. That is a gigantic mistake. A legislature are better. Some have more courage. But it’s too hot a political issue. It should be a legal issue. And I’m looking forward to the Nevada case for that to work its way up to federal courts and then for the California Perry case. I think those two will be very important in making all the different people equal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow can high energy costs be reduced?

Karger during the 2012 presidential election.
Image: Gage Skidmore.
Theodore Roosevelt during the 1912 presidential election.
Fred Karger: Well, that’s a very complex issue. Talking about certainly making America energy independent is number one. Conservation, which no one else is talking about, and that I am beating my chest about is so important. There’s so much energy that is wasted in this country. Not just driving, but in our public buildings and homes, where you go into a movie theater in the summer and it’s freezing or the airports. There’s so many public places where we should not have government mandates, but certainly building owners and managers to take responsibility to really make it comfortable, and to set thermostats at a comfortable temperature. And personal responsibility, there’s so many light-timers that go all night. I grew up with parents who were children of the depression and World War II. So I couldn’t leave my room without turning the light off. And I think we need to instill those values. We got to stop releasing so much energy. That will be a big contribution toward keeping costs down.
Cquote1.svg I’m more like a Theodore Roosevelt, who took on a lot of corporations and was controversial at those acts he did Cquote2.svg
But the oil companies need, and I know there’s many factors in the high gas prices, but it’s no coincidence that ExxonMobil makes record profits when gas prices at the pump go up. You can parallel those two. I’ve taking on ExxonMobil. I’m not afraid to do that. I’m more like a Theodore Roosevelt, who took on a lot of corporations and was controversial at those acts he did, very different of course a hundred years ago, monopolies and things like that. But I have no problems with going after big oil, and fine companies that have made a trillion dollars of profit off of the consumers, who are struggling right now with of course the trickle effect of high gasoline prices [which] affects the entire economy, not just at the pump. So there’s a lot of ways. I’ve got some on my website, the issues tab. I talk about ways to bring this down. But those are two areas certainly where we need to pick it up: conservation and making America energy independent.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngThis is my last question. On your website you say that “Israel must be defended at all costs.” Does this apply to other nations as well, and if not, why should one nation be given preferential treatment over others?

Fred Karger: Well, Israel is our number one ally. Israel’s enemies are our enemies. We have Syria and Iran, and Palestinians for now, Hezbollah. We have a common way of government. We should defend them. They’re a smaller country that’s in a very unstable part of the world. Our mutual interests are at stake. But all of our great allies, most of which are stronger because they’ve been around longer, but when we have friends, just as we do in life, you look out for your friends and you defend your friends and help your friends out. And we have members all over the world and I think we need to always look out for those allies. Israel just happens to be in a more dangerous spot than Australia or Great Britain, or the other allies we have of like minded democracies around the world.



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