Gary Johnson: The more you know him, the less you like him

Gary Johnson: The more you know him, the less you like him

by Kevin Zeese / October 11th, 2016

Personally, I like Gary Johnson. I got to know him in the 1990s when he was governor of New Mexico. I was working to end the drug war, legalize marijuana and treat hard drugs as a public health, not criminal issue. Johnson came out for marijuana legalization, so I spent some time in New Mexico helping that agenda.

But, the more I got to know him the less I liked his political views. He took money from the private prison industry and proudly supported private prisons. Making prisons into profit centers creates ongoing human rights violations. Prisons should be a function of government not a corporate profit center. Johnson opposed needle exchange to prevent HIV/AIDS, drug treatment and programs to help people with drug problems get their lives going in a positive direction.

When Johnson is on television he talks vaguely about getting government out of our lives or reducing taxes so people can keep more of their income. Vagueness works for Johnson because when you get to specific policies, his views are very unpopular. He knows if people knew what he really stood for they could not support him.

For college students, he wants to eliminate what little support the federal government currently provides. He opposes free college education at public universities and has no plan to confront the crisis of student debt. Millennials are in a debt crisis because of unfair tuition. Prior to this generation, there was affordable education at public universities. People could work and pay their own way through college. This generation has been ripped off and starts, leaves college deeply in debt and unable to participate in the economy. This hurts not just millennials but all of us because when a generation cannot participate it weakens the economy. Johnson’s solution – do nothing, the market will fix it. In reality it was the market that caused it.

A big lie of Johnson’s “free” market is his support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This should be a deal breaker because the TPP is really a global corporate coup. Johnson is having an Aleppo moment when it comes to the TPP because the TPP is not “free” trade – it is extreme crony capitalism. More than 400 of the biggest transnational corporations helped the US Trade Representative, a former executive at Citibank, write the agreement. While the TPP was kept secret from the people, the media and even Congress during negotiations big business saw it live and helped to write and edit it to ensure it served their interests. It is a tremendous giveaway to big business interests and will be damaging to the rest of us, expanding the wealth divide, lowering wages and poisoning the planet.

When it comes to the planet Johnson is especially dangerous. What is worse than a climate denier? Someone who believes in climate change but does not want to do anything about it. That is Gary Johnson’s stand. He says ‘leave it to the market’ – once again, it is the market that is bringing us to climate catastrophe. He also supports fracking, supported the KXL and every other pipeline and continuing the carbon-based economy. He is a disaster for the planet and climate change.

Speaking of disasters, while 90 percent of the public wants to reverse Citizens United and get money out of politics, Johnson believes that “Any restriction on campaign spending violates the first amendment.” He believes the wealthy and corporations should be allowed to spend as much as they want on elections.

Even when it comes to the free and open Internet, with net neutrality guaranteeing equal access to all, Johnson opposes net neutrality which will ensure favors less freedom on the Internet. Johnson wants to leave the future of freedom on the Internet to the market; that means some of the most hated corporations in the United States – corporations known for providing terrible service at expensive prices would determine our access to the Internet.

When it comes to workers, Johnson is out of step with the mood of the country. Rather than raising minimum wages, which has been shown to help grow the economy, he would end the federal minimum wage. He also opposes family and medical leave being required. So, while he pushes the TPP, which will push wages and benefits down, he also gives corporations the right to pay even lower wages. This will ensure poverty wages for workers throughout the United States.

While allowing corporations, who already have high profits, to build profits off of slave labor wages, he would also end the corporate income tax. Johnson seems like a crony capitalist who puts the profits of corporations ahead of the necessities of the people and protection of the planet. Even worse, he replaces current taxes with a sales tax which will insure most of us pay a higher percentage of taxes because unlike the wealthy, we need to spend our income on necessities.

On healthcare, Johnson would leave it to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and get the government out – no more Medicare for the elderly and chronically ill, no more Medicaid for the poor. Johnson would let the healthcare profiteers regulate themselves and rip-off people who need healthcare.

He’d even undermine Social Security, raising the retirement age to 72 and allowing privatization – even after the experience of the market collapse.

I can’t understand how a Bernie Sanders supporter would vote for Gary Johnson rather than Jill Stein. Johnson stands for the opposite of Sanders, while Stein is consistent with him.

What really turned me off to Johnson and showed he is not working for the public interest was his view on the debates. I am working to overcome the fraudulent commission on presidential debates, which is really just the Democrats and Republicans, and have four-candidates in the debates. When I reached out to the Johnson campaign from the Stein campaign, I was basically told – we want three-candidate debates without Stein. That lack of public interest for real democracy showed me that Johnson cannot be trusted as a leader.

So, now that you know Johnson better, how can you support him?

Kevin Zeese is a Senior Advisor to the Stein-Baraka campaign and is a long term political activist who co-directs Popular Resistance. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin’s website.

Liberty Viral: Evan McMullin Leads by 4 Points in Utah

(The following was originally published in Liberty Viral.)

In a new poll by Emerson University, Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is leading by 4 points at 31 percent, Trump at 27, Hillary with 25 and Johnson trailing at 5 percent.

Texas Tribune: Jill Stein, in Austin, says third-party candidates can win in November

(The following was originally published in the Texas Tribune.)

Despite the formidable odds, third-party candidates could win some offices in November, Green party presidential nominee Jill Stein told supporters at an event Monday night at Huston Tillotson’s King-Seabrook Chapel in Austin.

Criticizing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump — including referring to Trump as a “sexual and economic predator” — Stein said she won’t sleep if either candidate is elected in November. To a boisterous crowd of several hundred, Stein said that her supporters must “be that demand” to see a change in public office.

“It’s important to know that we do have the numbers,” Stein said Monday night. “We have all the people we need to create this peaceful revolution at the ballot box. … Texas is a state of courage. Together, we can create an America that works for all of us. It’s time to fight for the greater good.”

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Gary Johnson campaigns in Las Vegas

KTNV 13 Action News

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will appear in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Hosted by the Libertarian Party of Nevada, the event will be held at the Tommy Wind Theater from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Party leaders will unveil the 2016 Libertarian Voter Guide, which will offer suggestions on candidates who are most aligned with Libertarian principles. Leaders from coalitions will also provide insight on each question that will appear on the November ballot…
To read the full article, click here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Reform Party Nominee for U.S. House, New York 22nd District

Ballot Access News

For the first time in history, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a congressional candidate who is not a Democratic or Republican Party nominee. See this story. The Chamber has endorsed Martin Babinec, the Reform Party nominee in New York’s 22nd U.S. House district.

Eurasia Review: American Solidarity Party Holds Views Rooted In Catholic Social Thought

(The following was originally published in Eurasia Review.)

In a country long entrenched in a two-party political system, Mike Maturen faces an uphill battle.

He’s the 2016 presidential candidate for the little-known American Solidarity Party, which holds views rooted in Catholic social thought.

But while Maturen’s name won’t even be on the ballot in most states – he’s running a write-in campaign in several locations – he thinks this November is the time for Americans to voice their dissatisfaction with Republicans and Democrats alike, and create a better option.

Founded in 2011 as the Christian Democracy Party USA, the party later changed its name to better reflect its principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

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HJ News: Constitution Party the best option

(The following was a letter to the editor that was originally published in HJ News.)

To the editor:

This year’s Presidential election is one for the history books. A woman being the Democrat nominee and a newcomer to politics being the nominee of the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton is hands down, the most recognized female politician in the USA – she’s been on center stage for decades, and Donald Trump has never been shy of media attention!

Some cite the vast experience of Hillary Clinton as first lady of Arkansas, and the U.S., a senator and Secretary of State, as qualifications for the highest office in the land?! However, with a truthful examination, it doesn’t take a deep evaluation to realize that while she did hold these offices – she had zero mentionable accomplishments! She asks the question, “Isn’t it time for a woman to be president?” And my simple answer is, “Yes – but not YOU!”

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Update on Free and Equal CU Bolder Debate From Christina Tobin

(The following was posted to Facebook by Free and Equal Elections founder, Christina Tobin.)

“UPDATE: The People’s Presidential Debate at CU-Boulder on Oct. 25th: Darrell Castle of the The Constitution Party, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, Independent, of the Reform and American Delta Party, and Gloria La Riva of Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL are confirmed. Independent Evan McMullin and Dr. Jill Stein will confirm if Gov. Gary Johnson confirms. Gov. Gary Johnson is concerned about participating because it may create a credibility issue with the media. Donald J. Trump Campaign asked for an invitation. Please reach out to these campaigns kindly asking them to participate! #MoreVoicesMoreChoices”

Daily Camera News: Third-party, independent candidates set to attend CU Boulder debate

(The following was originally published in Daily Camera News.)

Three presidential candidates have confirmed that they will attend a debate at the University of Colorado later this month, but so far the event organizers haven’t heard back from the two major-party candidates — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The debate, which is being held in Macky Auditorium at 4 p.m. on Oct. 25, will so far feature Darrell Castle, of the Constitution Party; Gloria La Riva, of the Socialist Party, and Rocky De La Fuente, an independent candidate.

Event organizers also still hope Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson will attend.

The debate is part of the United We Stand Festival, which brings together “popular, socially-conscious musicians, speakers, authors and cultural leaders to discuss and celebrate the political process,” according to the event website.

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NPR: Evan McMullin Calls Himself ‘The Only Conservative’ In Presidential Race

(The following was originally published in NPR.)


Let’s go back to presidential politics for a minute. You’ve heard a lot about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton these past months. You may also have heard on this program and others about Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. But there’s another candidate who’s gaining ground. A recent poll in the Deseret News shows Evan McMullin in a, quote, “statistical dead heat” with Clinton and Trump in Utah. So we thought this was a good time to hear what Evan McMullin has to say. Mr. McMullin, thanks so much for speaking with us.

EVAN MCMULLIN: Thank you. Great to be with you, Michel.

MARTIN: What do you offer in this race that the other candidates do not?

MCMULLIN: Well, by way of a brief background on me – I am a 11-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. I worked in the private sector in the financial industry as well. And then most recently, I served as a senior adviser on national security issues in Congress and then ultimately was the chief policy director for the House Republicans. So I’m the only conservative, sadly, in this race now.

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