Tag Archives: Mark Wachtler

Mark Wachtler: Greens and Libertarians choose Statewide Candidates

Mark Wachtler published the following article at the Illinois Herald:

March 17, 2016. Springfield, IL (ONN) While Illinois Republicans and Democrats were voting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the state’s opposition political parties were busy themselves. Both the Illinois Green Party and the Illinois Libertarian Party held state conventions to choose their own challengers to the two establishment parties this November. Showing how popular the Greens and Libertarians are becoming in Illinois, both had contested races and each had a surprise victor.

Jill Stein won the Illinois Green Party Primary for the 2016 Presidential nomination.

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Mark Wachtler: Hoefling seeks Constitution Nomination to unite Conservatives

The following article by Mark Wachtler was published on Opposition News:

March 16, 2016. Lohrville, IA. (ONN) 2012 Presidential candidate Tom Hoefling has announced that he is actively seeking the 2016 Presidential nomination of no less than four conservative political parties. The largest of them is the Constitution Party, the fifth largest political party in America. The Constitution Party already has three official candidates. Can Hoefling reach enough state chapters and will Constitution Party leaders be receptive to a nominee that isn’t a member of their Party?

Tom Hoefling is seeking the Presidential nomination of 4 conservative political parties.

In 2012, Tom Hoefling won the nominations of the American Independent Party and his own America’s Party in his bid for US President. He surprised many by receiving 40,609 votes. That was enough for an eighth-place finish just behind former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. This time around, Hoefling hopes to be the Presidential nominee of America’s Party, the American Independent Party, the American Party, and most importantly, the Constitution Party.



Constitution Party nomination

The Constitution Party is holding its 2016 nominating convention from April 13-17. Tom Hoefling hopes to reach enough voting delegates in time to secure the Party’s nomination. State affiliates are currently holding their own statewide nominating conventions where they are naming local candidates and selecting delegates to the national convention where they will select a Presidential nominee.

The Constitution Party has three additional recognized Presidential candidates. They include JR Myers, Scott Copeland, and Patrick Ockander. For additional information, read the Opposition News article, ‘Meet the Constitution Party 2016 Presidential Candidates’.

Tom Hoefling 2016

A statement from the Hoefling campaign read, ‘As the 2016 Republican presidential nominating process moves toward a close, with the nomination of Donald Trump seeming more and more likely, American conservatives are being left unrepresented. Tom Hoefling, who, along with other Reagan conservatives founded America’s Party in 2008, thinks he knows how to provide a viable conservative alternative. Hoefling, who received the presidential nominations of America’s Party and the American Independent Party in 2012, is now trying to pull together an even larger coalition of all of the country’s biggest conservative political parties.’

When asked about his bid for the Constitution Party 2016 Presidential nomination, Tom Hoefling explained, “I’m now seeking the nomination of the Constitution Party at their April national convention. I think I can win their support on the merits, in terms of constitutional principle, vision, and consistency over the last two and half decades. But I also bring some real, immediate, practical value to the race. Not only can I muster a relatively large number of serious principled activists to their cause from every part of the country, I have a good shot at obtaining the American Independent Party of California general election ballot line, just as I did in 2012 – which would, of course, greatly strengthen the CP challenge to the corrupt political status quo come November.”

Hoefling assures Constitution Party leaders that his smaller America’s Party is no threat to their larger Party saying, “The leaders of America’s Party are willing to subsume our own interests in terms of party building and put the Constitution Party, which has more state ballot lines in hand than anyone else, completely at the head. Of course, opinions and decisions of AIP leaders are their own, although I believe them to be very open to the possibilities that would be created by a principled coalition for 2016.”

Hoefling’s first test will come in April with the Constitution Party nominating convention. Next up for grabs is the American Party nomination in May. America’s Party and the American Independent Party will choose their Presidential nominees in July.

For more information, visit TomHoefling.com. For more information on the Constitution Party, visit ConstitutionParty.com.

Mark Wachtler interviews Veterans Party U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois

The following was published on OppositionNews.org:

By Mark Wachtler

March 7, 2016. Urbana, IL (ONN) The 2016 General Election will be the young Veterans Party’s first organized election ever. The new political party was formed two years ago and has since rocketed to the top of the American opposition and third party politics based on surveys and social media statistics. But will everyday popularity translate into success on Election Day? Chris Aguayo, Veterans Party candidate for US Senate from Illinois, intends to find out.

Chris Aguayo, Veterans Party candidate for US Senate from Illinois.

Taking on the Establishment

32-year-old Chris Aguayo is an Iraq war veteran, a father of two, and the Veterans Party candidate for US Senate from Illinois. He couldn’t have picked a better seat to run for, as Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is widely considered to be the weakest incumbent Senator up for re-election this year. Their probable Democrat opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), is just as unpopular.


We sat down with Veterans Party candidate Chris Aguayo after seeing him attend one candidates forum after another. Aguayo is taking this election seriously and he’s already campaigning like a seasoned pro. Whether he’s ringing doorbells in his downstate home of Urbana, attending a motorcycle rally on the Iowa border, or meeting with the South Lakeview Neighborhood Association in Chicago, Chris Aguayo is making a name for himself, and the Veterans Party.

Meet Chris Aguayo

Below is a recap of our interview with US Senate candidate Chris Aguayo:

Mark Wachtler: I noticed you were doing a lot of campaign events like candidates forums. How has your candidacy been received by voters?

Chris Aguayo: I believe it’s been received well. I think the people in Illinois are happy to hear from a candidate that isn’t part of the establishment and actually listens to what they have to say instead of just talking to them.

Mark Wachtler: Are you getting any help or support from the national or state Veterans Party or are you basically on your own?

Chris Aguayo: We’re in a rebuilding period for the State Party. I recently stepped down as State Chair in order to give one hundred percent attention to my campaign. Former Democratic Party Secretary John Monaghan was selected to replace me as the State Chair. I’m getting enough support from National, but for the most part I’m doing it on my own with my campaign team.

Mark Wachtler: Why did you choose the Veterans Party over the other parties or running as an independent?

Chris Aguayo: I chose the Veterans Party because it aligns with my overall political views. I’m a centrist and a Constitutionalist. The VPA is a solution-based Constitution party and it’s the fastest growing third party.

Mark Wachtler: How many petition signatures will you need to collect to appear on the ballot in Illinois? How does that compare to the number the Democrat and Republican candidates need to submit?

Chris Aguayo: I need 25,000 signatures in order to appear on the ballot. Realistically, I need 50,000-60,000 signatures to ensure I have enough remaining signatures after the other parties audit my petition. Already established parties like the Democrats and Republicans only need 5,000 signatures to appear on the ballot.


Mark Wachtler: What are your most passionate or important policies or positions?

Chris Aguayo: Defending the people’s Constitutional rights, putting an end to Veteran homelessness and suicide, Veterans Affairs reform, job creation, and campaign finance reform.

Mark Wachtler: How do you intend to break the media black-out of independents and third party candidates?

Chris Aguayo: I’m going to keep up the pressure and become a common household name. I think if I can get on enough radio interviews and get a televised interview the media will have to take me seriously. I will actually be filming a few campaign ads in the next couple weeks.

Mark Wachtler: What do you think of your probable opponents like Mark Kirk, Tammy Duckworth and the Libertarian Chris Michel?

Chris Aguayo: Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth work for the same party; the Democrats. Both have claimed they protect the Constitution, but their voting records say otherwise. Both have turned their backs on Veterans and have done nothing to end the growing issues within the VA. I read Chris Michel’s interview. I think he’s a strong candidate, but the people want a true representative of what they believe. They want someone that isn’t tied to the establishment parties. The Libertarian Party is just another branch of the Republican Party much like the Tea Party.

On the issues

On his campaign website, Chris Aguayo sums up his candidacy saying, “It is an honor and truly a humbling experience to be running as a candidate to represent you on Capitol Hill. The time is now to remind both parties that the power of the government belongs back in the hands of you the people of this great state and country.”

Suggesting what Aguayo’s priorities will be if elected, the top two issues listed on the candidate’s platform page are job creation and veteran outreach. He also supports a strong national defense, which he says includes securing our nation’s borders. Those issues are quickly followed by his support of the 2nd Amendment, access to higher education, and fiscal responsibility.

The Veterans Party US Senate candidate also supports term limits, campaign finance reform, welfare reform and immigration reform. To be fair, Chris Aguayo doesn’t oppose legal immigration or social services for the poor. Instead, he says they both need to be overhauled and fixed so that the scarce resources available go to those truly in need rather than individuals who are scamming the system.

For more information on US Senate candidate Chris Aguayo, visit his campaign website atChrisAguayo2016.com or his campaign Facebook Page. For more information on the Veterans Party, visit their website at VeteransPartyOfAmerica.org.

Check out all the 2016 election candidates from all third parties on the Opposition News Candidates Page.

Mark Wachtler: Chicago Greens have contested Primary, sort of

By Mark Wachtler at the Illinois Herald:

February 27, 2016. Chicago. (ONN) North side Chicago residents, as well as many of the surrounding suburbs, will be offered a rare choice for the March 15 Primary Election. Voters will have three political party ballots to choose from instead of the typical two. That’s because the Green Party of Chicago has not only achieved major party status in the 5th Congressional District, but it has a contested Primary for its seat in Congress.

Warren Grimsley, Green Party candidate for Congress in the 5th District.


Major Party Status in CD-5

Two years ago, Green Party candidate Nancy Wade – who we endorsed at the Illinois Herald – garnered enough votes in her bid for Congress to qualify the Illinois Greens as a major party in her 5th US Congressional District. CD-5 covers much of the far north and northwest sides of Chicago, as well as many of the surrounding north, northwest, and western suburbs. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) currently represents the District in the US House.


Thanks to Wade’s success, and the accompanying major party status, Green Party candidates need only collect a few dozen petition signatures to place a candidate on the ballot. Other independents and third party candidates must still collect roughly 15,000. The best part, at least for the Greens, is that every Primary voter in the 5th Congressional District will be offered three ballots when they enter their polling place – Democrat, Republican, and Green. That kind of official recognition and state-funded promotion is worth its weight in gold.

2016 Contested Green Primary

At the beginning of the 2016 Primary season, it appeared there may be four candidates vying for the Green Party nomination for Congress in IL CD-5. But 2012 and 2014 nominee Nancy Wade declined to run again. Candidate Richard Mayers was challenged and had his name removed from the March 15 ballot. That leaves two candidates, and one of those doesn’t even live in the District and isn’t eligible to hold the office.

The last man standing, literally, is Warren Grimsley of Chicago. Rob Sherman, a local Green Party leader and the man infamously credited with kicking a host of third party Presidential candidates off the 2012 Illinois Ballot, is also still listed. But as the Chicago Sun Times pointed out in its own endorsement of Grimsley this week, Rob Sherman doesn’t live in the District.

Warren Grimsley for Congress

If Warren Grimsley’s Primary campaign is any indication, he is going to be a formidable opponent against incumbent Congressman Mike Quigley. There are currently no Republicans listed on the ballot for the office. But the Illinois GOP may insert a new candidate in time for the November General Election just as it did two years ago. Otherwise, the Green’s Grimsley may find himself in the enviable position of a one-on-one race with a fairly unpopular US Representative.

“Citizens, the time has come for an insurgency against the status quo in Washington,” Warren Grimsley says on his campaign website, “Our system is failing. Politicians today answer not to the people that elected them, but to corporations or other big money players. We must demand that our voices be heard, our protests seen and our sacred votes honored. We must rally to show solidarity. To support progress, vote Green.”



Possibly the most contemptuous issue in the campaign will be Rep. Quigley’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP trade deal, according to its opponents, will continue transferring American jobs to third world countries for cheaper labor, sometimes even slave labor. It will also transfer some of America’s sovereignty to a world body made up of corporations overseeing the rules of the TPP agreement.

Without mentioning his opponent by name, Warren Grimsley says, “As you know, fast-track authority for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) has passed the Congress, giving President Obama authority to present a complicated, previously secret agreement to Congress for its up or down vote. No amendments to the agreement will be allowed. The current puppet for the one percent who is in office in the 5th District is in favor of the poisonous TPP.”

The Illinois Herald energetically endorses Warren Grimsley over Rob Sherman in the March 15th Green Party Primary.

For more information on Warren Grimsley, the Green Party candidate for Congress in Illinois CD-5, visit his campaign website at Grizz2016.com. For information on the Illinois Green Party, visitILGP.org.

Mark Wachtler: Meet the Constitution Party 2016 Presidential Candidates

From Mark Wachtler at Opposition News (February 24th), via Jed Ziggler at IPR

In 2012, the Constitution Party experienced a series of events which led to the nomination of the semi-Republican former Congressman Virgil Goode for President. And while Goode’s establishment credentials and name recognition earned him valuable media attention, his vote totals were a clear disappointment. Can the three 2016 candidates turn that trend around?

Disappointment in 2012

In 2012, this publication endorsed a certain candidate from Arizona for the Constitution Party Presidential nomination. He was promptly removed from the race by Party leaders who appeared determined to usher a well-known, professional politician into the Constitution Party nomination. Former Virginia GOP Congressman Virgil Goode was that politician. But the nominee never quite left the Republican Party and seemed to only make a half-hearted attempt to campaign.When the final results were tallied, Goode and the Constitution Party finished 5th overall with 122,378 votes. That was one-fourth the total received by the Green Party’s Jill Stein and one-tenth the total received by Libertarian Gary Johnson. It was also a decline compared to the 199,314 votes garnered by the Constitution Party 2008 Presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin. By comparison, the Libertarian nominee received almost three-times the vote from four years earlier, while the Green candidate received four-times the number of votes as in 2008.

2016 Candidates

This election cycle, there are three serious and credible candidates seeking the Constitution Party Presidential nomination. All are respected rank and file Party members and each believes they can improve on the showing the Constitution Party candidate received four years ago. Here is a brief summary of the three candidates.

J.R. Myers – Alaska (from JRMyersForPresident.com):

“I was born in Great Falls, Montana, January 3, 1963…I am the descendant of pioneers from several Northern & Central European countries, as well as the Cree/Metis people of Canada and Montana. I graduated from Charles Marion Russell High School and while there, was a Peer Counselor, President of the Native American Club and a National Merit Semifinalist. I graduated a semester early and became the youngest Licensed Realtor in Montana. At that time, I was elected by the Great Falls Native American community to serve on the Board of Directors of the Great Falls Native American Association and Health Clinic. I was also a founding member of the Great Falls NAACP along with the late Reverend Philip Caldwell. I was a Reagan Republican and was later elected as a Republican Precinct Committeeman and Served on the Flathead County Republican Central Committee.

My political resume includes affiliation, service and leadership in the Montana Republican, Libertarian and Reform Parties, the last two which I chaired. Since returning to Alaska in 2003, I was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party for seven years, rising to become AIP Vice Chair. In 2010 I founded and continue to Chair the Alaska Constitution Party, which is a formal affiliate of the national Constitution Party.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, NationaI Certified Counselor and Chemical Dependency Counselor. I can usually be found every Sunday at the Haines Christian Center (Assembly of God) where I often teach adult Sunday School and sing in the Praise and Worship team. I have dedicated my life to the service of others, striving to provide hope and healing in the Last Frontier. I am stepping forth in faith to offer my service to the people of The United States of America as their President in 2016.”

View JR Myers’ campaign platform positions here.

Scott Copeland – Texas (from ScottCopelandUSA.com):

“Scott was born on October 7, 1963, in Jackson, Mississippi. He is an ordained and licensed minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ…He helped in the development and structure of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention and served on the Executive Board for three two year terms. Scott also served on the Credentials Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Scott has worked in several family owned businesses. Scott worked for the MSDOT in the Right of Way Division for over nine years becoming the youngest supervisor to date. He prepared the Engineering Section’s budget for personnel, computer request, and served as the Division PC Administrator & Education Coordinator for CADD Intergraph Systems. Upon departing MSDOT Scott started a CADD service business working with many clients in the Civil Engineering and Land Surveying business as well as bidding and working on projects for the MSDOT Right of Way Division as a sub-contractor.

Scott has been involved in problem solving and the implementation of new policies for most of his life. He has authored one book entitled “Your 2012 Middle Class President”. Scott is not a politician, but believes firmly God has called the United States of America to be a leader in God’s created world. Scott is committed to the Word of God as a life building guide to a personal relationship with God. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Amendments are firmly based in Judeo-Christian values and morality, and the citizens have the God given rights to demand the government remain true to these documents and America’s politicians be held accountable for their actions…Scott, praise God, has never held public office. However, he has entered the 2016 Presidential race and is seeking the nomination of the Constitution Party.”

View Scott Copeland’s campaign platform positions here.

Patrick Ockander – Texas (from PatrickOckander.com):

“Who am I? I consider myself an American Patriot, born to do this work. I see the problems We All are facing, and I have clear-cut solutions. I believe I am being called to do this work. I recognize that those who are presently running don’t have the answers, and lack real vision, plus, I don’t trust most of them. Besides, I was born for this. In an unusual way, I’ve spent my lifetime preparing for this. I have hope for our future. I will stand for truth. And, with your help, I know We can turn the tide of oppression.

I have eyes to see and ears to hear. I have hope and a vision for a brighter future, and I see the Path to Success clearly before us. Besides that, I’m not a career politician, rather, I’m a patriot who got fed up watching from the sidelines, who decided to step up and do the hard thing. And, I’m on God’s side, are you?

While in office, I am seeking: To reform and reinforce our international alliances…The return to our core Constitutional values…The preservation of LIFE…Respect of American’s right to privacy (end the Patriot Act)… Elimination of formal taxation, and the phasing out of the Federal Reserve…Truth and accountability in politics, and of our politicians…The elimination/reduction of corruption in government…It’s time to get right with our maker and the ultimate Return to One Nation Under God.”

View Patrick Ockander’s campaign platform positions here.

On February 27th, all three candidates will participate in a Presidential debate hosted by the Idaho Constitution Party. View the Constitution Party of Idaho’s website for details. For more information on the Constitution Party, visit ConstitutionParty.com.

Check out all the opposition/third party candidates running in 2016 from every state and for every office at the Opposition News Candidates Page.

Four candidates vie for Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination

Published February 6th, 2016 by Mark Wachtler at Opposition News: Continue reading