Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Which Foreign Leader do you admire?

Gary Johnson Struggles To Name A Foreign Leader He Admires The Libertarian presidential nominee said he was having an “Aleppo moment.”  09/28/2016 08:38 pm ET Mollie Reilly   Deputy Politics Editor, The Huffington Post Bloomberg via Getty Images C’mon, Gary. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson on Wednesday again stumbled over a straightforward question on foreign policy, this time struggling to name a single foreign leader he admires. During an MSNBC town hall, moderator Chris Matthews asked the former New Mexico governor: “Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to. Anybody.” Johnson appeared stumped by the question, but running mate Bill Weld jumped in with an answer of his own. “Mine was Shimon Peres,” said Weld. Peres, the former president of Israel, died Tuesday. “I’m talking about living,” replied Matthews. “You gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa, name a foreign leader that you respect.” “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” Johnson said, a reference to his failure to recognize the name of the northern Syrian city earlier this month. Johnson finally did land on a leader he admires ― but couldn’t remember his name. “The former president of Mexico,” he said. “I’m having a brain freeze.” With a little help from Weld, Johnson eventually got the name he was looking for ― Vicente Fox. “Fox, he was terrific,” Johnson said. After his Aleppo mishap, Johnson predicted he would flub up again before the campaign ends, but argued such mistakes don’t reflect his leadership abilities. “I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign,” he said in a statement. “As Governor, there were many things I didn’t know off the top of my head. But I succeeded by surrounding myself with the right people, getting to the bottom of important issues, and making principled decisions. It worked.” Kenneth Stepp can't think of any foreign leader that I admire. I guess I'm in the same boat ae Gary Johnson. Who should we admire in the overseas territory? Maybe the readers should email in some names of foreign leaders that we should admire. Kenneth Stepp.

UN Panel: U.S. Should Pay Black People Reparations Due To History Of 'Racial Terrorism'

UN Panel: U.S. Should Pay Black People Reparations Due To History Of 'Racial Terrorism' Matt Vespa United Nations UN Panel: U.S. Should Pay Black People Reparations Due To History Of 'Racial Terrorism' Matt Vespa Matt Vespa | Posted: Sep 28, 2016 1:30 PM  UN Panel: U.S. Should Pay Black People Reparations Due To History Of 'Racial Terrorism' "A United Nations-affiliated panel has said that the United States owes reparations to its black population for a history of “racial terrorism.” As Ishaan Tharoor wrote for The Washington Post, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent came to these nonbinding conclusions in their report released from Geneva, with reparations coming in the form of financial payments, debt cancellation, increased opportunities in education, health initiatives, and a formal apology. Oh, and they also touched upon the string of police-involved shooting deaths as well: "The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history. "In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report stated. "Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching." "Citing the past year's spate of police officers killing unarmed African American men, the panel warned against "impunity for state violence," which has created, in its words, a "human rights crisis" that "must be addressed as a matter of urgency." "Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today," it said in a statement. "The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population." "Are these experts or a bunch of overly educated urban-based elites with doctorates in social justice warrior studies? White supremacy is the glue that keeps our nation together? That’s unadulterated crap. Our values, our Constitution, our belief in the defined system of rights that we felt so deeply as to rebel against to British rule is what keeps us together and makes us Americans—or at least that’s what I thought. Our country was founded on these unalienable rights, not around kings or ethnic groups as other nations in the past. Second, and most importantly, if this is some ridiculous way to foster a racial healing, it’s not going to work. In fact, most likely it will exacerbate the already abysmal race relations we have now. We’re blaming a racial group who had zero stakes in slavery. No white person today is to blame for slavery or racial terrorism. No white person today is responsible for the past actions of their racial group; people they didn’t event know. And have we forgotten that the abolitionist movement was comprised of…religious, church-going white folk? Who soaked the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and other battlefield of the American Civil War with blood to end slavery? Oh, that was mostly white people too. It remains our bloodiest war our country has ever fought, with over 600,000 dead, but it was one where the heart and soul of our country was on the line. In the end, slavery was forever abolished. "Yes, more works needs to be done. Yes, Jim Crow, the lynchings, and other forms of discrimination today are not pleasant, but we, ourselves, are destined to fix these problems, not some UN board in Geneva. This is just a mass exercise of guilt by association that will not mend any fences or heal wounds. It will merely reopen them, with both groups being even further apart. Blessedly, these recommendations, like most UN actions, lack teeth. They’re non-binding—and they should be ignored. At the same time, I’m sure more than a few social justice warriors will cite this report in various articles and blog posts. "What is it with the UN and their inability to realistically execute the function of conflict resolution? They’re utter failures at it. Kenneth Stepp has patiently followed the antics of the United Nations. Sure, my great great grandfather Fadilla McRuel Stepp in the Civil War wore the Gray uniform as he was a member of a North Carolina regiment and North Carolina considered itself to be a Southern State, but I don't feel that I owe anyone any money for that. Sure, my great great granduncle Silas Stepp wore the Gray Uniform in America's Civil War, was imprisoned as a prisoner of war with his brother Fadilla McRuel Stepp in the Federal Prisoner of War Camp in Elmira, New York and he died there, but I don't believe that I owe anyone any money for that. The United Nations and the advocates of political correctness are trying the patience of ordinary Americans. Why should we vote to fund the United Nations? What has the United Nations accomplished in the past seventy years? How has the United Nations benefited the ordinary Americans? I'm not advocating a particular policy toward the United Nations, but I am merely requesting answers to these questions. Kenneth Stepp

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bad ideas just get stored for decades.

In the early morning hours of January 26, 1987, federal agents across Los Angeles charged into the homes of seven men and one woman and led them away in handcuffs. More than 100 law enforcement officers—city, state and federal—were involved. “War on Terrorism Hits LA,” read the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. The defendants were all pro-Palestinian activists, but it wasn’t clear what they’d been arrested for. Soon the government conceded it would not introduce criminal charges, instead seeking to deport the group by alleging material support to a communist organization—an ancient Red Scare statute that would soon be declared unconstitutional. The case quickly became a mess, and in the end, 20 years of legal wrangling would pass before a judge would call the case “an embarrassment to the rule of law.” But in the first days of the defense, the lawyers for the men who would become known as the LA Eight were turning over a greater puzzle: why their clients had been targeted in the first place. And then the document arrived. It was a small manila envelope. No return address. No note. Inside, a typewritten government memo, barely legible. The package had been sent to one of the attorneys for the LA Eight, who rushed it to Marc Van Der Hout, his co-counsel. Van Der Hout was bewildered as he skimmed through it. The 40-page memo described a government contingency plan for rounding up thousands of legal alien residents of eight specified nationalities: Libya, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan and Morocco. Emergency legal measures would be deployed—rescinding the right to bond, claiming the privilege of confidential evidence, excluding the public from deportation hearings, among others. In its final pages, buried in a glaze of bureaucratese, the memo struck its darkest note: A procedure to detain and intern thousands of aliens while they awaited what would presumably become a mass deportation. Van Der Hout read the final pages carefully. The details conjured a vivid image of a massive detainment facility: 100 outdoor acres in the backwoods of Louisiana, replete with specifications for tents and fencing materials, cot measurements and plumbing requirements. Four decades had passed since the U.S. closed its World War II-era internment camps, a disgraceful chapter when, without cause, the federal government forcibly relocated 120,000 Japanese Americans, imprisoning them across an archipelago of camps pocking the American South and West. Now, a working group in the Reagan administration was grasping for a similar-sounding measure. In 1987, the targets would not be Japanese Americans, but Middle Eastern aliens, lawful U.S. residents without the protection of green cards. Four decades had passed since the U.S. closed its internment camps. Now, a working group in the Reagan administration was grasping for a similar-sounding measure. This time, the targets would not be Japanese Americans, but Middle Eastern aliens. This wasn’t the far-fetched fever dream of an INS hothead; it was the product of careful deliberation, a process that had begun months earlier in the White House. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan, jarred by images of Americans killed on foreign soil at the hands of terrorists, sought a more aggressive tack to an emerging threat. It was the beginning of a shift from the twilight calm of the Cold War to a hotter, all-encompassing federal fixation on terrorism. Large swaths of the federal government would be retrofitted with a counterterrorism agenda—from the Office of Management and Budget to the Department of Transportation. High on the list was the country’s immigration apparatus—or, as a phalanx of federal reformers began soon to call it, the first line of terrorism defense. The document received by the attorneys for the LA Eight had originated from within the Immigration and Naturalization Service, then a division of the Department of Justice. The memo was hatched by Group IV of the INS’ Alien Border Control Committee. Van Der Hout had been in immigration law for years, but had never heard of it. In interviews 30 years later, the members of the ABC Committee insist that the document was not seriously considered—a bureaucratic fantasy with few meaningful ramifications—even as they defended the rationale that produced it. In 1987, after the memo’s existence was briefly exposed, the ABC Committee was promptly terminated, the subgroup and the plan abandoned. But the ideas borne of the anxieties of the ’80s have gained new currency in the years since. In the wake of 9/11, America began detaining foreign nationals deemed threats to American safety—problematic though the legal grounds might be—in Guantanamo Bay. And with every fresh attack, at home or abroad, our demand for aggressive prosecution mounts. It is this fear that has underpinned the platform of Donald Trump—his promises of banning Muslims, blocking travel from countries compromised by terrorism and removing millions in a Herculean deportation scheme. Trump, however unwittingly, has drawn from much the same playbook as the plan once advanced by the ABC committee. “ Old ideas never really die; they lie dormant in a frigid file cabinet, or buried in the Congressional Record. The existence of the committee and its long-forgotten work illustrates a truism of all government policy: old ideas never really die; they lie dormant in a frigid file cabinet, or buried in the Congressional Record, ready to bloom in a moment of political exigency. One day recently, over lunch at a Virginia mega-mall, I placed the memo beside the plate of one former member of Group IV of the ABC Committee. How did it come to be? I asked him. He was pleasant, but indignant. The government is loaded with contingency plans like you wouldn’t believe, he told me. Best to stop worrying. “You said the department had to scrap this after it was leaked?” he asked. “If they withdrew this in 1986, they probably had something operational by 1992,” he continued. “They’d be foolish not to.” *** In the late spring of 1986, Tom Walters sat in his office at the INS, scrawling out the details of a plan he barely understood. Days earlier, he had received an unusual directive from his superior Executive Commissioner, handed down to the Border Patrol: We need you to draw up a plan. Since Walters had arrived at the INS headquarters in 1984 to oversee the formation of a Border Patrol tactical unit, he had already been asked to draw up a number of contingency plans. As far as he knew, none had come to fruition; INS had a habit of devising plans and shoving them into storage, rarely informing the agencies whose cooperation would be needed to execute them. But as he bulleted the details of this plan, Walters couldn’t recall a scenario as grandiose as the one he was tasked with writing. “This is an emergency response for dedicating border patrol resources,” Walters recalls being told by an Executive Commissioner who handed down the assignment. He pulled an old military plan, literally, off the shelf, outlining the use of an INS Detention and Deportation facility in Oakdale, Louisiana. Walters wrote out his adjustments in longhand, and handed them to a secretary to type up. The ABC Committee had been authorized in June 1986, by the Department of Justice, but it was founded in spirit a year earlier, in June 1985 in the Oval Office. Underneath a patina of calm and domestic stability, Americans in the 1980s began to witness a creeping trend of political terrorism: 17 Americans killed by Hezbollah in Lebanon, a suicide truck bomber killed 241 at a U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, more bombings in Kuwait, Athens and Madrid. Then, in June 1985, two gun-wielding Lebanese men affiliated with Hezbollah hijacked a San Diego-bound TWA 847, bearing 147 passengers and crew. The hostage crisis lasted 17 days; by its end, hijackers had murdered a U.S. Navy Petty Officer, Robert Dean Stethem, and tossed his body onto the tarmac. A terrorist holds a gun on TWA pilot John Testrake during an interview from the hijacked plane in Beirut in June 1985. A terrorist holds a gun on TWA pilot John Testrake during an interview from the hijacked plane in Beirut in June 1985. | AP/ABC News “It was the first time the U.S. felt itself being actually targeted, even though most of the attacks occurred overseas,” says Buck Revell, then an Assistant Director of Investigations at the FBI. President Reagan was especially troubled by the murder of Stethem, and felt pressure to respond. In July, he signed a security directive to convene a cabinet-level task force on combating terrorism. The Task Force devolved into a working group of senior agency officials, charged with drawing up recommendations. Almost immediately, they seized on immigration law as an untapped weapon against terrorism. “INS didn’t view themselves as part of the national security establishment,” says Revell, who served on the working group. During weekly meetings in a spacious conference room inside the Old Executive Office building, members of the working group became convinced that INS could be retooled to closely track incoming and outgoing aliens, receive intelligence shared by law enforcement, and speed up deportation proceedings. Frustration with the glacial pace of deportations was informed by the Iranian Hostage Crisis, an event that haunted everyone in the working group. In 1979, after Iranian revolutionaries overtook the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the Carter administration had mobilized INS to register the 75,000 Iranian college students in the United States—an undertaking mentioned throughout the memo that the ABC committee would later produce. In November and December of ’79, according to agency accounts, INS agents piled into cars and rolled into college towns. They met lines of Iranian students that stretched out cafeteria doors, waiting to register their names with INS officials seated behind fold-out tables. Students who evaded Carter’s order to register were detained and, overwhelmingly, released on bond, a setback that infuriated INS officials. Of the 60,000 Iranian students registered, 430 were deported. The revelation that INS lacked a method to track non-immigrant aliens other than road trips and registries that relied on the aliens showing up to be counted earned the agency the scorn of Congress. If another mass registration were at hand, the working group would avoid the Iranian debacle. On January 20, 1986, President Reagan adopted the Task Force’s 44 recommendations in full, half of which still remain classified. In November, six months after he wrote the plan for the Border Patrol, Tom Walters was summoned to the INS Commissioner’s windowless conference room, the nicest in the department, on the seventh floor of the Chester Arthur building in Washington. Around the dimly-lit conference table sat 13 low-level representatives from four federal agencies: The Justice Department, Customs, the U.S. Marshals and the FBI. At the head of the table sat the chair of committee, a young Walter “Dan” Cadman. Cadman had been tapped to lead Group IV of the Alien and Border Control Committee, the ABC subgroup that dealt with contingency plans. “Being a young and fairly new guy in the Central Office with little seniority, I got tagged because no one else wanted to sit around on what seemed to them to be a bureaucratic exercise,” Cadman told Politico Magazine via email. Days in advance of the first meeting, the ABC committee’s members separately received the memo, titled “Alien Terrorists and Undesirables: A Contingency Plan,” the same document that would later leak to Weinglass and Van Der Hout. As the discussion began, Walters found himself in disbelief—not at the moral content of the meeting, but its technocratic scale. “I’d best characterize my reaction as shock,” he told me. Walters, like everyone else at the table, had never thought of INS as a terrorist-fighting organization; it was a domestic agency with a domestic charge. In its doling out of visas, perennial underfunding and quotidian attempts to weed out fraud at the border, INS shared more in common with the Social Security Administration than the Navy’s SEAL Team Six. Page 1 of 41 . » . For the first hour, the men discussed the mission their superiors had given them: How to make INS a high-functioning weapon in the Reagan administration’s new war on terror. At the conference table in the Chester Arthur building, much of the fortnightly meetings were spent explaining definitions and concepts. Little time was devoted to discussing the merits of internment. The memo begins with its summary recommendation: Banning incoming aliens from countries compromised by terrorism; deporting non-immigrant aliens through a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act relating to destruction of government property; rushing through new changes to the Code of Federal Regulations, and circumventing the typical rulemaking procedure to do so; expanding the legal definitions of international terrorism; and calling for intelligence-sharing to facilitate the deportations. The INS’ multi-pronged proposals left little to the imagination, offering two options: a “general registry” and “limited targeting.” In its general registry scenario, the State Department would “invalidate the visas of all nonimmigrants” of the targeted nationalities, “using that as the first step to initiate a wholesale registry and processing procedure.” In its limited targeting scenario, the Investigations Division imagined a series of eight steps to expedite the deportation of the targeted nationalities. One was an executive order, requiring the FBI and CIA to share data with INS to locate alien undesirables and suspected terrorists. Another expanded the legal definition of international terrorism as a deportable offense; to speed the process, the measure would circumvent “proposed rule-making procedures, as a matter of national security.” The INS recommended holding aliens without bond, excluding the public from the deportation proceedings and convincing immigration judges to agree to those terms by referencing classified evidence. A final note detailed “other program recommendations.” They included “summary exclusion” in the form of an executive order, imagining a president who suspended entry to “any class of aliens whose presence ... was deemed detrimental to the public safety.” And it recommended a holding facility in Oakdale, Louisiana, a camp that could “house and isolate” up to 5,000 aliens. It requested $2 million to develop the 100 grassy acres adjacent to the Oakdale facility with tents and fence materials, which would allow the site to be active on four weeks’ notice. “Community is receptive and has agreed to the location,” the section notes. Toward the end of the document, an enigmatic military plan makes an appearance, punctuating the clipped prose and smeared typeface with a conspicuous ellipse: “Upon identification and activation of a military location,” it reads, “most of the various components of the South Florida Plan would then be operative.” “ It’s easier to introduce these things if they’re targeted at foreign nationals than when they’re targeted at Americans. The government can say, ‘we’re talking away their liberties for your security.’” The South Florida Plan, according to intelligence officials and sources interviewed by Politico Magazine, was a little-known contingency plan for an emergency scenario inspired the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, when 125,000 Cubans fled the island in a months-long flotilla. From April through October, Cuban refugees, many of them felons and mentally ill prisoners, poured onto the beaches of southern Florida and the Gulf states. The immigration system groaned under the weight of a mass migration crisis, as prisons swelled and the INS was plunged into chaos. The chaos in South Florida gave officials at the Department of Justice pause. Mariel had jettisoned a sliver of Cuban society. What would happen if the Castro regime collapsed? According to officials at the Justice and Defense Departments, to handle that exodus would require converting some of the largest military installations in the South into mass alien detainment centers, at least until the influx could be stemmed. Willingly or not, Group IV of the ABC was now contemplating triggering the South Florida Plan. The ABC memo is never clear on the exact number of people targeted for internment and deportation: A Border Patrol preface identifies a target number “considerably less” than 10,000, while the Oakdale facility’s upper limit is proposed at 5,000. But buried in the memo, without preface or explanation, is a page that tallies 230,000 alien U.S. residents from eight targeted countries in the Middle East and North Africa. If internment and deportation proceedings were going to approach anything on that scale, the South Florida Plan was a viable option. Dan Cadman remembers groaning at the sight of Walters’ memo in November 1986, when the ABC Committee first met. In Walters’ retelling, he simply delivered the memo he was instructed to. Through the group’s four meetings during November, December and January, little disagreement was aired. “Our thought in [Investigations] was that once the other members had a chance to read the whole thing and come back together, collectively the group could kick that appendix to the curb in going forward with a final document,” Cadman told Politico Magazine in an email. “That didn’t happen because someone in the group—probably equally dismayed at the appendix—leaked the document.” None of the men would discover the source of the leak—who at the table had sent the manila envelope to Weinglass. Usually, at the end of each meeting, the men would discuss the date they would reconvene. But at the last meeting, days before the leak, Cadman said the meeting time was TBD. “Nobody called back,” says Walters. *** As he looked over the leaked document in Los Angeles, Marc Van Der Hout was stunned. The memo’s language lacks the circumspection of policy, barreling through one legal recommendation after another in a blaze of technocratic procedure. Yet at times, a glint of recognition shines through, moments in which the memo seems possessed of an awareness of its own transgressions. The memo notes that an attempt to register en masse lawful aliens of mostly Arab countries is “replete with problems in that it indiscriminately lumps together individuals of widely differing political opinions solely on the basis of nationality.” It quickly corrects: “There are, however, some advantages to the initiation of a registry”—one of which was the “benefit of being tested in administrative tribunals.” Van Der Hout and a co-counsel, David Cole, now a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, became convinced that the memo was an uncanny outline of the government’s position and plan to deport the LA Eight—the “test case” which the document seemed to imply. “They picked for arrest and deportation eight people who were essentially alien activists,” remembers Cole. “They sought to use classified evidence to detain them. [The memo] felt like a kind of blueprint for the case against our clients.” The attorneys for the LA Eight were not the only ones to receive the leaked document. So did Stephen Engelberg, a reporter for the New York Times. His story on February 1, 1987, brought intense pressure on the INS. Beset by reporters at a news conference, William Odencrantz, a regional counsel for INS, was asked about the similarities between the case and the strategies described in the memo, and the seemingly political nature of the charges. “To use a football analogy,” Odencrantz told them, “we don't care how we score our touchdown, by pass or run. We just want to get them out of the country.” It was an astonishing confession. Cole, Weinglass and Van Der Hout launched a legal counterattack with the help of the ACLU. If they could prove the government had targeted their clients for their political beliefs and not due to ostensible unlawful behavior, they might get the case dismissed. Bringing their case to a district court, they won—though the decision would be overturned by the Supreme Court in 1998. But the battle over the document roared on in the court of public opinion. And in Los Angeles, the leak of a federal plan to target legal U.S. residents based on their nationality caught the attention of another group: The Japanese American Citizens League. The organization, whose members carried the memory of the internment camps, came to the public aid of the LA Eight, attending press conferences and distributing flyers in their defense. That is likely how the ABC memo passed into the possession of Norman Mineta, a California Democrat who represented the San Jose/Silicon Valley region in the U.S. House. Mineta, now 84, can’t remember who first handed him the document. But he remembers the shock of reading it, a somber recognition. In 1942, as a 6-year-old, Mineta and his family joined the roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans who were detained and forced from their homes and behind the barbed wire of internment camps hundreds of miles away. Mineta’s family was held at the Heart Mountain internment camp in Cody, Wyoming. Nationally, roughly two-thirds of those interned were citizens. The rest were aliens legally residing in the U.S. In this photo from Oct. 1987, Rep. Norman Mineta sits on the spot where, in 1942, he had to abandon his home and board a train that carried his family to an internment camp. In this photo from Oct. 1987, Rep. Norman Mineta sits on the spot where, in 1942, he had to abandon his home and board a train that carried his family to an internment camp. | Getty Images At the time he received a copy of the ABC memo early in 1987, Congressman Mineta had been leading a charge for the Civil Liberties Act of 1987. The proposal would grant federal reparations to the survivors and families of those Japanese Americans interned during the 1940s. Speaking before a House subcommittee in April of that year, Mineta introduced the ABC memo into the Congressional Record, where Politico Magazine first found it. Speaking from his living room in Annapolis, Mineta described reading the memo for the first time. He skimmed past the disembodied tone and reams of raw figures. His eyes then stopped on a single detail: the plan’s specification for the number of cots. “All I could think of was in 1942, having been forcibly evacuated and interned, we had to make our own mattresses,” Mineta says. “When we got off the train, the first thing we had to do was get this mattress ticking with hay and straw. And I’m reading this report, thousands of mattresses, cots, to be able to accommodate the people they had apprehended.” Mineta’s testimony drove the final stake into the heart of the ABC. “I believe it is vital to bring to the subcommittee’s attention that in recent months, a Department of Justice task force has proposed as legal and appropriate the mass round-up and incarceration of certain nationalities for vague national security reasons,” Mineta told the House subcommittee in his prepared statement. He quoted Solicitor General Charles Fried, who had told the Supreme Court earlier that year that the Japanese internment camps represented a “racial caste which was our shame.” “So this bill is not just about the past,” Mineta continued, referring to the reparations legislation. “It is about today and the future as well.” “ Mineta skimmed past the memo’s disembodied tone and reams of raw figures. His eyes stopped on a single detail: the number of cots. Between 1987, when he entered the plan into the Congressional Record and preserved it for history, and when we spoke last month, Mineta says he hadn’t thought about the ABC memo—with one exception. During the September 11th attacks, Mineta, then the Secretary of Transportation, ordered the FAA to ground every air carrier in the country. As a cabinet member in the line of presidential succession, he spent much of the next two days in a bunker. On the morning of September 13, the air in New York, Arlington, and Shanksville, Penn., still thick with smoke and ash, Mineta joined President Bush for a summit with the leadership of the House and Senate. Toward the end of the meeting, Mineta recalls, House Democratic Whip David Bonior of Michigan expressed a fear to Bush: Our Muslim population in metro Detroit, Bonior told the president, is worried about rumors of targeting and round-ups. “David, you’re absolutely correct,” Bush replied. “We’re equally concerned about all that rhetoric.” The president extended a plaintive hand toward Mineta. “We don’t want to have happen today what happened to Norm in 1942.” *** Fifteen years after President Bush implored the country not to relent to vengeful rhetoric, the country finds itself in familiar waters. The public debate is rife with talk of immigration bans, loyalty tests, intensified surveillance, deportations. Such ancillary ideas revive the one that never really disappears; it returns, it seems, every 30 or 40 years—from the Palmer Raids of 1919 to the camps of World War II, from the anxiety of the mid-1980s to the fear inherent in the 2016 race. But the pernicious resilience of mass internment became more clear when speaking to the men whose meetings and memos kept it alive. In interviews over the past several months with Politico Magazine, former members of the ABC Committee struck a note of indignant stoicism about the 1986 memo—a brittle shell, earned from years toiling in the most political branch of federal policy. Didn’t I know anything about immigration, the men asked me. Didn’t I know how complex a time this was? Walters, for his part, exuded an equanimity and glow in his post-retirement, despite the scrutiny he sensed a story about the document would bring him. I asked whether he thought the emotion from immigrant activist groups was warranted. “I understand the view of the civil libertarian types on this, and they had some legitimate concerns,” Walters told me. But, he seemed to suggest, the group that was under siege was the INS. “The immigration service at the time, especially at the Border Patrol side, was feeling pretty overwhelmed and under-supported,” Walters said. A fantastical government agenda, handed down from on-high, was the last thing the Border Patrol wanted. But the the government gets the contingency plans it asks for. One retired ABC member, who spoke to Politico Magazine on the condition of anonymity, came close to insisting the document wasn’t far off base. We met over lunch at an Italian chain restaurant in Virginia, where I propped the document astride his veal parmesan. “Let’s be realistic,” he said. “If I’ve been told to watch out for bad Iranians or whatever—I do some work and quickly determine there’s 3,000 of these people in my county. So I’m going to go out and I’m going to follow 3,000 people? Oh, so I’ll start alphabetically?” “Believe it or not, everything is not roses,” he said. “And ultimately, it takes force in order to enforce the laws.” When I asked him about Mineta’s comments about the internment camps, he cocked his head and shot me a plaintive smirk. “Don’t you think that’s a bit hyperbolic?” he said. “If you really want to see genocide in the United States, go back and look to see what happened to the American Indian in California. That’s 1849.” He blinked, considering this for a moment. “Now, the Japanese were rounded up on the entire West coast. You don’t know. You’ve just been attacked—Hawaii! If the Japanese had sent troops, they would have had Hawaii.” He shakes his head, trailing off in a murmur. “We were wiped out. Very few ships got out.” “ When I asked him about Mineta’s comments about the internment camps, he cocked his head and shot me a plaintive smirk. “Don’t you think that’s a bit hyperbolic?” he said. Most former ABC Committee members made some gesture toward disavowal, an important recognition that the document was not good policy. At the heart of this angst was the I-word: “It smacks of the dark period of U.S. history involving internment of Japanese Americans,” Cadman, the ABC chairman, wrote in an email. “What I regret is that because the project was killed and the group was disbanded, we didn’t get the chance to see the appendix officially disavowed as the work of the group progressed, however slowly that work was going.” Still, the men of ABC retain a sense of common cause. They agree, for instance, that other branches of government—and civilians—simply don’t understand the tribulations of enforcing immigration law. In most of our conversations, there was a palpable nostalgia for some of the more benign proposals that the document laid out—a registration system, for instance; a way to track outgoing alien departures, not just entries; and, especially, a deportation process unmolested by the maneuverings of finicky defense counselors. The LA Eight have been free for nine years, but Cole, their lawyer, takes little comfort. “This pattern repeats itself every time we face a crisis that creates fear,” he admonishes. “It’s easier to introduce these things if they’re targeted at foreign nationals than when they’re targeted at Americans. The government can say, ‘we’re talking away their liberties for your security.’” As for the members of the ABC Committee, some would not rule out voting for Trump; they widely viewed his statements on immigration as flamboyant rhetoric, easy to be misinterpreted by a public that doesn’t understand hard truths, like their memo. Read more: Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook It seems the committee thought of a way to do indirectly what Trump attempts to do directly and unconstitutionally. The Japanese Americans were never proven to be traitors, and the people targeted by Trump have not been proven to be traitors either. They should bear strict scrutiny, but mass deportations are not warranted. The Spanish King and Queen deported the Muslims from their Kingdom of Spain in 1492, but that does not make it good policy.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Thursday, 11 August 2016 American Fascism: Government Trying to Control Church Sermons Written by Selwyn Duke American Fascism: Government Trying to Control Church Sermons When you hear about government controlling church sermons, you might assume that China or Cuba would be the scene of such tyranny. But now the United States is also, with Iowa state officials not only claiming the power to determine what is and isn’t a “religious purpose,” but also, shockingly, to control church sermons. At issue is the Iowa Civil Rights Act and a state bureaucracy’s position that churches are, to use the tendentious designation conjured up by judges decades ago, “public accommodations.” This makes them subject to the same rules as businesses; meaning, they don’t get to determine who uses their own facilities, paid for with their own money. This also could have a bearing on sermons. As wrote Tuesday, “The Iowa Civil Rights Act bans places of ‘public accommodation’ from expressing their views on human sexuality if they would ‘directly or indirectly’ make ‘persons of any particular … gender identity’ feel ‘unwelcome.’” But this blatantly unconstitutional law has made Christians feel more than unwelcome, and, consequently, some have filed a lawsuit. The Des Moines Register provided some background July 6: Two conservative Iowa churches contend the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is violating their rights to free speech and religious liberty by censoring their views on human sexuality and forcing them to open restrooms to members of the opposite sex. The Fort Des Moines Church of Christ filed a federal lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines claiming the commission's interpretation of state civil rights law prohibits church members from making any public comments — including from the pulpit — that could be viewed as unwelcome to people who do not identify with their biological sex. The other religious entity suing the government is “Cornerstone World Outreach, a nondenominational, Bible-based church in Sioux City,” reports the Register. The city of Des Moines is also named in the suit because it enacted an ordinance nearly identical to the state law. As for more recent developments, WND tells us that lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing the plaintiffs, “have filed a reply in support of their motion for a preliminary injunction that would protect the church members’ constitutional rights while the case plays out.” But what’s playing out in America is alarmingly un-American. For example, the Register informs that Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, said "The governor has confidence in the commission to enforce the laws we currently have that protect religious institutions' right to exercise a religious exemption while protecting personal rights." The problem? “Institutions,” religious or otherwise, don’t have constitutional rights. People have constitutional rights. Thus, the only rights to protect are “personal rights” — and using someone else’s privately funded facilities isn’t among them. The free exercise of religion is, however. Note also that both our national Constitution and the Iowa Constitution state that the legislature “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And they don’t say that this free exercise is only guaranteed in church. In other words, if the First Amendment guarantees a right to something — let’s say, to criticize homosexual behavior — then people must be free from government compulsion in that area in church, outside of church, anywhere. For, again, these are rights for people, not places. The Register also reports that Kristin Johnson, director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, defended her state lawmakers’ tyranny by noting “that state code provides some exemptions for bona fide religious institutions engaged in activities with a bona fide religious purpose” (Emphasis added.) My, how magnanimous of them. So now not only are constitutional religious freedoms supposedly limited to “religious institutions,” but to only those with “religious purposes” — and “bona fide” ones at that — as defined (narrowly) by government. But “purposes” don’t have constitutional rights, either. Of course, “religious” practices such as human sacrifice are prohibited everywhere. But if a religious practice is constitutionally protected, then, again, government has no legitimate power to prevent people from engaging in it — anywhere. And consistency is the very soul of religious practice. After all, one thing any serious person of faith learns early is that he’s obligated to live his principles at all times; it would be ridiculous to say, for instance, that it’s wrong to lie in church — but lying to make money is different because “that’s business” (no, that’s hypocrisy). Likewise, if a doctor knows that “abortion” is actually pre-natal infanticide, it’s not reasonable to say, “Well, okay, then you don’t have to perform abortions in church. But we expect you to do it at your hospital job.” Or, would the militant secularists compel a pious Muslim to serve pork and alcohol in his restaurant, contenting themselves with the idea that “hey, it’s not like we’re forcing him to do it in his mosque!” Principles don’t cease to be principles beyond the church house door. (In fact, secularists have defended the “right” of Muslim women to wear “religious” garb, the hijab, while working in someone else’s business.) But truly shocking is the belief that government has the legitimate power to control even sermons. As the Register writes, citing Drake University law professor Maura Strassberg, “Strassberg said sermons that stick to human sexuality matters pertaining to theology would be constitutionally protected. But she suggested situations could arise where a preacher's remarks could cross over the line into harassment. ‘There is a line: You can go from, 'This is what God believes' … to 'You are bad, so we don't want you here,' Strassberg said.” Really? What if a pastor is addressing a group of Satanists, who are in his church merely to subtly disrupt? Sure, it may not be the best approach to evangelization, but to claim he has no right to do it is plainly unconstitutional. First Amendment aside, while it’s bad enough that government has long told private entities whom they must serve, now the state is going a most ridiculous bridge too far in telling private entities how they must serve them. The absurdity can be illustrated by taking this “don’t offend the public” principle closer to its logical conclusion. Should a business be allowed to serve alcohol or pork since that may offend Muslims? Should an atheist group open to the public be allowed to criticize religion since this might offend believers? Whether you serve up a sermon, a seminar, a service, or something else, most everything offends someone and most everyone is offended by something. Will most everything be made illegal? Of course not — only things offending “protected classes,” as the government discriminates among feelings, sensitivities, and groups. As to this, a 2007 amendment to the Iowa Civil Rights Act added "gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the qualities that afford someone special protections. And isn’t that special? As America becomes Amerika, we’ve traded protected speech for protected classes. KEEP THE GOVERNMENT'S HANDS OFF CHURCH SERMONS!


Friday, 12 August 2016 Obama Releases Details of Mass-murder by Drone Program Written by Alex Newman font size decrease font size increase font size Print Email Obama Releases Details of Mass-murder by Drone Program The Obama administration quietly released more information on its illegal mass-murder-via-drone program, in which the White House unilaterally creates a list of people around the world to assassinate without charges, trial, or even a semblance of due process. Thousands of victims have already been executed by Obama under the program. The latest disclosure was in response to a court order. Among other points, the newly released documents give some insight into the illegal policy behind the murders. Essentially, according to the documents, any suspect Obama wants to eliminate can be executed if there is “near certainty” that he or she is present, that civilians will not be killed, and that the murder is supposedly needed to “achieve U.S. policy objectives.” It appears that even those minimal “standards” have been waived, as Obama has rained death and destruction down on thousands of people worldwide from unmanned drones. In short, if Obama does not like you, watch out — and there are a lot of people Obama does not like, though jihadists are apparently not among them. Incredibly, the White House touted the disclosures as evidence of how supposedly careful and reasonable Obama is when deciding who to murder, and how and when to murder them. According to the administration, some 2,500 suspected “militants” have been murdered, along with more than 100 acknowledged civilians (aka “collateral damage”). Murder is, of course, the only appropriate term to describe the illegal executions, because the victims were never even charged with a crime — much less convicted in a court of law — before receiving the death penalty. None of the assassinations took place on a battlefield pursuant to a lawful declaration of war by Congress. The release of the new information comes after years of leaks, news reports, comments from top officials, and other sources exposed Obama's lawless reign of drone terror. Basically, with no checks or balances, and no semblance of constitutionally required due process, Obama has been massacring thousands of people, many of them children and some of them American citizens, using missiles raining down from the sky. People across Africa, Arabia, and Central Asia have been murdered in the program so far. Obama's victims are often selected based on “metadata,” according to former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden, or other flimsy evidence that would never hold up in court. Even Americans are subject to being extra-judicially assassinated by Obama and the CIA system, which one official described as “one hell of a killing machine.” Perhaps most infamously, Obama murdered a 16-year-old American boy in Yemen who was searching for his father. His father was also murdered by an Obama drone for allegedly abusing his free speech rights by making propaganda videos. Essentially, Obama has been serving as judge, jury, and executioner. Casting aside centuries of tradition holding that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the establishment media has dutifully parroted the Obama administration's line that the murder victims are mostly “terrorists” and “militants,” with innocent civilians occasionally stuck in the crossfire. Even weddings have not been spared. Unsurprisingly, other governments and dictatorships are watching closely — and getting dangerous ideas about executing people they dislike. Indeed, the ruthless Communist Chinese regime, which has murdered more human beings than any government in world history, has already cited lawless Obama policies as justification for launching similar schemes. How long until foreign dictators start murdering their political enemies with drones, citing Obama and Bush, remains unclear. But that time will come. If nothing changes, Americans in America are likely to be subjected to death-by-drone in the not-too-distant future. The heavily redacted disclosures last week include “presidential policy guidance,” darkly dubbed the “Playbook,” on murdering people “suspected” of terrorism without trial or charges. Also released were a series of Department of Defense documents related to the program. The documents outline the “rules” Obama imposed on his own assassination program in 2013 — illegal rules for an illegal program that can apparently be “waived” whenever Obama feels like he really wants to murder a particular person. The newly unveiled information was released in response to a court order stemming from a lawsuit by the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one of the few organizations, unfortunately, that have taken a serious interest in Obama's murder spree. The ACLU's response to the disclosures, though, was pitiful. “We welcome the release of these documents, and particularly the release of the Presidential Policy Guidance [PPG] that has supplied the policy framework for the drone campaign since May 2013,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement. “The PPG provides crucial information about policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of non-combatants, and about the bureaucracy that the Obama administration has constructed to oversee and implement those policies.” Instead of calling for an immediate end to officially sanctioned mass-murder, the ACLU barely dared to suggest that killing people without charges or trial might be immoral, illegal, and insane. “The PPG should have been released three years ago, but its release now will inform an ongoing debate about the lawfulness and wisdom of the government’s counterterrorism policies,” Jaffer continued, as if there could be an argument for the “lawfulness” or the “wisdom” of murdering people on Obama's say so without charges, trial, or conviction. “The release of the PPG and related documents is also a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president.” According to the ACLU, the document provides a “window” into the Obama administration's process for deciding who will be executed. The files also describe the administration's process for conducting “after action reports” examining the consequences of its missile launches — how many were killed, who were they, and so on. As The New American has reported previously, the administration has a bad habit of calling almost everybody blown to bits by Obama a “militant,” just because they happened to be bombed by Obama. The ACLU also noted that there are “questions” on how the supposed “standards” described in the documents “can be reconciled with the accounts of eye witnesses, journalists, and human rights researches who have documented large numbers of bystander casualties.” By contrast, Obama's propagandists in the media and on his staff vigorously defended the mass-murder program. “The president has emphasized that the U.S. Government should be as transparent as possible with the American people about our counter-terrorism operations, the manner in which they are conducted, and their results,” said Obama National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, apparently with a straight face. “Our counter-terrorism actions are effective and legal, and their legitimacy is best demonstrated by making public more information about these actions as well as setting clear standards for other nations to follow.” Of course, as established firmly at Nuremberg after World War II, “just following orders” is not a valid justification for war crimes and other atrocities such as summarily executing people simply suspected of a crime. Almost incredibly, the entire mass-murder program is justified under the guise of executing “al Qaeda” and “associated forces.” In the real world, though, official U.S. government documents and top U.S. officials have already exposed the fact that the Obama administration knowingly supported self-declared al-Qaeda forces in both Libya and Syria. Former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, apparently in an effort to distance himself from the policy, told the world in a TV interview that Obama's support for al-Qaeda was “willful.” More than a few former generals and intelligence officials have even concluded that Obama “switched sides” in the terror war. Instead of actually pursuing jihadists and al-Qaeda, who have received crucial support from the Obama administration, numerous Obama bureaucracies have spent their time demonizing hundreds of millions of everyday Americans as potential terrorists. Among those described as possible terrorists and extremists by the administration are returning veterans, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, pro-life activists, Ron Paul supporters, constitutionalists, environmentalists, animal rights activists, opponents of illegal immigration, and dozens of other categories of mainstream Americans. Unless Congress or the courts act to stop it, the usurped unconstitutional power to murder people will soon be handed to either Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton. After that, it might go to somebody even more dangerous. The American people need to wake up. Even Hitler and Stalin never openly claimed to have the lawful power to execute people without so much as a hearing. This is Brave New World stuff, and if it does not stop, all of humanity is facing massive danger from psychopaths with drones and missiles. These grotesque crimes should be immediately stopped and severely punished. Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. Related articles: Leaks on “Drone Wars” Expose Obama's Reign of Terror “We Kill People Based on Metadata,” Admits Former CIA/NSA Boss British Kill U.K. Citizen in Syria in Drone Strike CIA Has Become “One Hell of a Killing Machine,” Official Says Dozens of U.S. Citizens May Be on Obama Assassination List UN “Peacekeeping” Military Using Drones, With Obama’s Support Beijing Launches Global “Terror” War Aimed at Internet, Critics Christians Are Extremists Like al-Qaeda, U.S. Army Taught Troops UN and Obama Launch Global War on “Ideologies” Homeland Security: Everyone's a Threat New Disturbing Details of Yemeni Wedding Hit by U.S. Drone U.S. Defense Intel Chief: Obama Gave “Willful” Aid to Al-Qaeda U.S. Intel: Obama Coalition Supported Islamic State in Syria ISIS: The Best Terror Threat U.S. Tax Money Can Buy Globalists Using Muslim Terrorists as Pawns END THE DRONE STRIKE PROGRAM NOW!

The gameplan is to overthrow our civilization.

SHOCKER: UN Admits Migrant Crisis Plan to Overthrow West Share this Tweet this Google + Email this August 14, 2016 10:06 am Global Insecurity The gameplan to overthrow our civilization (Breitbart) – A highly regarded researcher and academic has warned that Muslims in Europe view migration as the start of the Islamisation of the continent. Prof. Abdessamad Belhaj also detailed how globalists are using Muslim migrants to turn Western countries into socially divided societies of easily-controlled consumers. The scholar of Islam and social sciences warned that large numbers of migrants are “calamitous” for the European people, and that neoliberal elites see Islamic terrorism, and state bankruptcy and collapse as collateral damage in their pursuit of endless wealth. In an interview with Hungary’s Institute for Migration Research, Professor Belhaj discussed what he calls the Islamic moral economy. Here’s how Goldman Sachs and the UN are using a wave of Islamic migrants to destroy the sovereignty of Western nations SPECIAL: Fight back against the Establishment Elites! Blast all 535 members of Congress with a red hot “Citizen Declaration of Independence” letter today! Together we can stop the globalist agenda and preserve American values! He summarised this economy as based around the belief that “if there is money, it is because of Islam, and if there is Islam it will bring money”. The Moroccan academic, who works in countries across Europe, stated that Muslim migrants view “all property as ‘given’ and not ‘acquired’ by work”. Professor Belhaj revealed that Muslims, therefore, believe that by taking Europe’s land, Muslims will be granted wealth. He contended: “In Islamic discourses, migration is seen as a beginning of the Islamisation of Europe, the rich land that will change the fate of Islam, from a religion of the poor to a religion of the rich. “This is of course a paradox since the poor can only make Europe poorer. Furthermore, immigration is justified as victory to the community”, Professor Belhaj added, and labeled the Islamic moral economy “disastrous”. The professor disclosed that “state law has no weight compared to the law of God”, for Muslims, and so they establish parallel societies in Europe. This state of affairs is perfect for neoliberalism, Professor Belhaj argued, as Muslim zones in European states “disrupt social cohesion and peripheralise societies”. Professor Belhaj said elites in Europe “encourage migration and accommodate Islam”, and described the harmony between Muslim migrants and neoliberalism as “structural, and not accidental”. The academic commented: “Migration is useful for the neo-liberal model of the borderless, minimal, global society, but is calamitous for the European citizens as a whole.” Professor Belhaj asserted that dignity, freedom of expression and the middle classes are “outdated” for neoliberalism. Neoliberals’ desire, he said, is for society to have “minimal cohesion”, no middle class, and a state which doles out a “minimal income that should be used for consumption”. Belhaj, who has authored four books and had more than fifty studies published in international publications, cautioned that as a result of the globalist system, “sustained poverty … is going to be the fate of a considerable portion of people in the West” The professor noted: “European citizens see every day how immigrants evolve in a parallel economy and who display ethics that do not meet European ethical standards and do not serve local interests.” Calling European “panic” over the migrant wave “justified and legitimate”, Professor Belhaj said: “It is a moral panic of resistance to the neo-liberal order, and rejection of the peripheralisation of Europe”. Sources:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Candidate for President

Gary Johnson From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Changes must be reviewed before being displayed on this details Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the 2012 and 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former Governor of New Mexico. For other uses, see Gary Johnson (disambiguation). Gary Johnson LOOK 1 118 6x4 (2) (26230487521).jpg 29th Governor of New Mexico In office January 1, 1995 – January 1, 2003 Lieutenant Walter Bradley Preceded by Bruce King Succeeded by Bill Richardson Personal details Born Gary Earl Johnson January 1, 1953 (age 63) Minot, North Dakota, U.S. Political party Republican (Before 2011) Libertarian (2011–present) Spouse(s) Dee Simms (1977–2005) Domestic partner Kate Prusack (Engaged 2009) Alma mater University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Gary Johnson by Gage Skidmore 7 (cropped).jpg This article is part of a series about Gary Johnson Political positions Governor of New Mexico 1994 election · 1998 re-election Campaign for the Presidency (2012) 2012 Libertarian Convention Campaign for the Presidency (2016) 2016 Libertarian Convention · Primaries Our America Initiative NewMexico-StateSeal.svg v · t · e Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American businessman, politician and the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a member of the Republican Party. He was the Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.[1] Johnson announced his candidacy for president on April 21, 2011, as a Republican,[2] on a libertarian platform emphasizing the United States public debt and a balanced budget through a 43% reduction of all federal government spending, protection of civil liberties, an immediate end to the War in Afghanistan and his advocacy of the FairTax. On December 28, 2011, after being excluded from the majority of the Republican Party's presidential debates and failing to gain traction while campaigning for the New Hampshire primary, he withdrew his candidacy for the Republican nomination and announced that he would continue his presidential campaign as a candidate for the nomination of the Libertarian Party.[3] He won the Libertarian Party nomination on May 5, 2012. His chosen running mate Judge James P. Gray of California won the vice-presidential nomination. The Johnson/Gray ticket received 0.99% of the popular vote, amounting to 1.27 million votes, more than all other minor candidates combined. It was the best showing in the Libertarian Party's history by vote count.[4] On January 6, 2016, Johnson announced his candidacy for the Libertarian nomination once again in 2016,[5] and in May he selected former Republican Governor of Massachusetts William Weld as his running mate. On May 29, 2016, Johnson won the Libertarian nomination on the second ballot with 55.8% of the delegates.[6] Contents [hide] 1 Early life and career 2 Governor of New Mexico 2.1 First term 2.2 Second term 2.3 Reception 2.4 Post governorship 3 2012 presidential campaign 3.1 Early history 3.2 Republican presidential candidacy 3.3 Libertarian presidential nomination and campaign 4 Post-2012 elections 4.1 Our America Initiative PAC 4.2 CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc. 5 2016 presidential campaign 6 Political positions 7 Personal life 8 Electoral history 9 Books 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links Early life and career[edit] Johnson was born on January 1, 1953, in Minot, North Dakota, the son of Lorraine B. (née Bostow), who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Earl W. Johnson, a public school teacher.[7] Johnson graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque in 1971, where he was on the school track team.[8] He attended the University of New Mexico from 1971 to 1975 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in political science. While at UNM, he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.[9][10] It was there that he met his future wife, Denise "Dee" Simms. While in college, Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman.[11] His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. When he started the business, which focused on mechanical contracting, Johnson was its only employee.[12] His major break with the firm was receiving a large contract from Intel's expansion in Rio Rancho, which increased Big J's revenue to $38 million.[13] Over-burdened by his success, Johnson enrolled in a time management course at night school, which he credits with making him heavily goal-driven.[13] He eventually grew Big J into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees.[14] By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico's leading construction companies.[15] He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax and anti-crime platform.[16] Johnson won the Republican Party of New Mexico's gubernatorial nomination, and defeated incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King. During his tenure as governor, Johnson became known for his low-tax libertarian views, adhering to policies of tax and bureaucracy reduction supported by a cost–benefit analysis rationale. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office.[17] Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers:[17] estimated to have been more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined,[18][19] which gained him the nicknames "Veto Johnson" and "Governor Veto".[20][21] Johnson successfully sought re-election in 1998. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms,[22] as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and legalization, and opposition to the War on Drugs. Term limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. After leaving office, Johnson founded the non-profit Our America Initiative in 2009, a political advocacy committee seeking to promote policies such as free enterprise, foreign non-interventionism, limited government and privatization. He endorsed the Republican presidential candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 election.[21] Governor of New Mexico[edit] First term[edit] See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1994 Johnson entered politics in 1994, with the intention of running for governor and was advised by "Republican Elders"[13] to run for the State Legislature instead.[13] Despite their advice, Johnson spent $500,000 of his own money and entered the race with the intent of bringing a "common sense business approach" to the office.[23] Johnson's campaign slogan was "People before Politics".[24] His platform emphasized tax cuts, job creation, state government spending growth restraint, and law and order.[16] He won the Republican nomination, defeating state legislator Richard P. Cheney by 34% to 33%, with John Dendahl and former governor David F. Cargo in third and fourth. Johnson subsequently won the general election, defeating the incumbent Democratic Governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. Johnson was elected in a nationally Republican year, although party registration in the state of New Mexico at the time was 2-to-1 Democratic.[25] As governor, Johnson followed a strict small government approach. According to former New Mexico Republican National Committee member Mickey D. Barnett, "Any time someone approached him about legislation for some purpose, his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with."[26] He vetoed 200 of 424 bills in his first six months in office—a national record of 47% of all legislation—and used the line-item veto on most remaining bills.[17] In office, Johnson fulfilled his campaign promise to reduce the 10% annual growth of the state budget.[17] In his first budget, Johnson proposed a wide range of tax cuts, including a repeal of the prescription drug tax, a $47 million income tax cut, and a 6 cents per gallon gasoline tax cut. However, of these, only the gasoline tax cut was passed.[27] During the November 1995 federal government shutdown, he joined 20 other Republican governors who called on the Republican leadership in Congress to stand firm in negotiations against the Clinton administration in budget negotiations; in the article reporting on the letter and concomitant news conference he was quoted as calling for eliminating the budget deficit through proportional cuts across the budget.[28] Although Johnson worked to reduce overall state spending, in his first term, he raised education spending by nearly a third.[29] When drop-out rates and test scores showed little improvement, Johnson changed his tactics and began advocating for school vouchers—a key issue in budget battles of his second term as governor.[29] Second term[edit] See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1998 In 1998, Johnson ran for re-election as governor against Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez. In his campaign, Johnson promised to continue the policies of his first term: improving schools; cutting state spending, taxes, and bureaucracy; and frequent use of his veto and line-item veto power.[30] Fielding a strong Hispanic candidate in a 40% Hispanic state, the Democrats were expected to oust Johnson,[29] but Johnson won by a 55%-to-45% margin:[31] making him the first Governor of New Mexico to serve two successive four-year terms after term limits were expanded to two terms in 1991.[23] Johnson made the promotion of a school voucher system a "hallmark issue" of his second term.[32] In 1999, he proposed the first statewide voucher system in America, which would have enrolled 100,000 students in its first year.[29] That year, he vetoed two budgets that failed to include a voucher program and a government shutdown was threatened,[29] but ultimately yielded to Democratic majorities in both houses of the New Mexico Legislature, who opposed the plan. Johnson signed the budget, but line-item vetoed a further $21m, or 0.5%, from the legislative plan.[33] In 1999, Johnson became one of the highest-ranking elected officials in the US to advocate the legalization of marijuana.[34] Saying the War on Drugs was "an expensive bust", he advocated the decriminalization of marijuana use and concentration on harm-reduction measures for all other illegal drugs. "He compared attempts to enforce the nation's drug laws with the failed attempt at alcohol prohibition. Half of what government spends on police, courts and prisons is to deal with drug offenders."[12] He suggested that drug abuse be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. His approach to the issue garnered supportive notice from conservative icon William F. Buckley,[35] as well as the Cato Institute and Rolling Stone.[13] In 2000, Johnson proposed a more ambitious voucher program than he had proposed the year before, under which each parent would receive $3,500 per child for education at any private or parochial school.[32] The Democrats sought $90m extra school funding without school vouchers, and questioned Johnson's request for more funding for state-run prisons, having opposed his opening of two private prisons.[36] Negotiations between the governor and the legislature were contentious, again nearly leading to a government shutdown. In 2000, New Mexico was devastated by the Cerro Grande Fire. Johnson's handling of the disaster earned him accolades from The Denver Post, which observed that: Johnson.....was all over the Cerro Grande Fire last week. He helped reporters understand where the fire was headed when low-level Forest Service officials couldn't, ran herd over the bureaucratic process of getting state and federal agencies and the National Guard involved, and even helped put out some of the fire with his feet. On a tour of Los Alamos last Wednesday, when he saw small flames spreading across a lawn, he had his driver stop his car. He jumped out and stomped on the flames, as did his wife and some of his staffers.[37] Johnson's leadership during the fire was praised by Democratic Congressman Tom Udall, who said: "I think the real test of leadership is when you have circumstances like this. He's called on his reserves of energy and has just been a really excellent leader under very difficult circumstances here."[37] Johnson rebuffed efforts by the Libertarian Party to draft him in the 2000 presidential election, stating himself to be a Republican with no interest in running for president.[38] Reception[edit] Johnson in 2009 Commentator Andrew Sullivan quoted a claim that Johnson "is highly regarded in the state for his outstanding leadership during two terms as governor. He slashed the size of state government during his term and left the state with a large budget surplus."[39] In an interview in Reason magazine in January 2001, Johnson's accomplishments in office were described as follows: "no tax increases in six years, a major road building program, shifting Medicaid to managed care, constructing two new private prisons, canning 1,200 state employees, and vetoing a record number of bills".[23] According to one New Mexico paper, "Johnson left the state fiscally solid", and was "arguably the most popular governor of the decade… leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus."[40] The Washington Times reported that when Johnson left office, "the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large budget surplus."[26] According to a profile of Johnson in the National Review, "During his tenure, he vetoed more bills than the other 49 governors combined—750 in total, one third of which had been introduced by Republican legislators. Johnson also used his line-item-veto power thousands of times. He credits his heavy veto pen for eliminating New Mexico's budget deficit and cutting the growth rate of New Mexico's government in half."[41] According to the Myrtle Beach Sun News, Johnson "said his numerous vetoes, only two of which were overridden, stemmed from his philosophy of looking at all things for their cost–benefit ratio and his axe fell on Republicans as well as Democrats".[12] Johnson at Ron Paul's "Rally for the Republic" While in office, Johnson was criticized for opposing funding for an independent study of private prisons after a series of riots and killings at the facilities.[42] Martin Chavez, his opponent in the 1998 New Mexico gubernatorial race, criticized Johnson for his frequent vetoing of programs, suggesting that it resulted in New Mexico's low economic and social standing nationally.[43] Journalist Mark Ames described Johnson as "a hard-core conservative" who "ruled the state like a right-wing authoritarian" and only embraced marijuana legalization in his second term for populist gain.[44] This was mainly in reference to a commercial from Johnson's reelection campaign, featuring Johnson saying that a felon in New Mexico would serve "every lousy second" of their prison sentence. Johnson insisted however that the commercial was directed at "the guy who's got his gun out" rather than non-violent drug offenders.[44] Post governorship[edit] Johnson was term limited and could not run for a third consecutive term as governor in 2002.[45] In the 2008 presidential election campaign, Johnson endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican nomination, "because of his commitment to less government, greater liberty, and lasting prosperity for America."[21][46] Johnson spoke at Paul's "Rally for the Republic" on September 2, 2008.[47] Johnson serves on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy,[48] a student nonprofit organization which advocates for drug policy reform. As of April 2011, he serves on the board of directors of Students For Liberty, a nonprofit libertarian organization.[49] His first book, Seven Principles of Good Government, was published on August 1, 2012.[50] 2012 presidential campaign[edit] Main article: Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2012 In the 2012 United States presidential election, Johnson received 0.99% of the popular vote, a total of 1,275,971 votes.[51] This was the best result in the Libertarian Party's history by raw vote number, though under the 1.1 percentage of the vote won by Ed Clark in 1980.[4][52] Early history[edit] Logo of the Our America Initiative, which Johnson founded in 2009 Gary Johnson 2012.jpeg In 2009, Johnson began indicating interest in running for president in the 2012 election.[53][54] In the April 20, 2009 edition of The American Conservative magazine, Bill Kauffman told readers to "keep an eye out" for a Johnson presidential campaign in 2012, reporting that Johnson had told him that "he was keeping his options open for 2012" and that "he may take a shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 as an antiwar, anti-Fed, pro-personal liberties, slash-government-spending candidate—in other words, a Ron Paul libertarian".[53] During a June 24, 2009 appearance on Fox News's Freedom Watch, host Judge Andrew Napolitano asked Johnson if he would run for president in 2012, to which Johnson responded that he thought it would be inappropriate to openly express his desires before President Obama is given the opportunity to prove himself, but he followed up that statement by saying "it appears personal freedoms are being shoveled out the window more and more."[55] In an October 26, 2009 interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican's Steve Terrell, Johnson announced his decision to form an advocacy committee called the Our America Initiative to help him raise funds and promote small government ideas. In December 2009, Johnson asked strategist Ron Nielson of NSON Opinion Strategy, who has worked with Johnson since 1993 when he ran his successful gubernatorial campaign, to organize the Our American Initiative as a 501(c)(4) committee. Nielson serves as a senior advisor to Our America Initiative. The stated focus of the organization is to "speak out on issues regarding topics such as government efficiency, lowering taxes, ending the war on drugs, protecting civil liberties, revitalizing the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization".[56] The move prompted speculation among media pundits and Johnson's supporters that he might be laying the groundwork for a 2012 presidential run.[57][58] Throughout 2010, Johnson repeatedly deflected questions about a 2012 presidential bid by saying his 501(c)(4) status prevented him from expressing a desire to run for federal office on politics.[59][60] However, he was outspoken about the issues affecting the country, particularly "the size and cost of government" and the "deficits and debt that truly threaten to consume the U.S. economy, and which represent the single greatest threat to our national security."[61] Johnson speaking at CPAC 2011 In February 2011, Johnson was a featured speaker at both the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the Republican Liberty Caucus.[62] At CPAC, "the crowd liked him—even as he pushed some of his more controversial points."[63] Johnson tied with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for third in the CPAC Straw Poll, trailing only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney (and ahead of such notables as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin).[64] David Weigel of Slate called Johnson the second-biggest winner of the conference, writing that his "third-place showing in the straw poll gave Johnson his first real media hook … He met tons of reporters, commanded a small scrum after the vote, and is a slightly lighter shade of dark horse now."[65] Republican presidential candidacy[edit] On April 21, 2011 Johnson announced via Twitter, "I am running for president."[66] He followed this announcement with a speech at the New Hampshire State House in Concord, New Hampshire.[2] He was the first of an eventually large field to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.[67] Johnson again chose Ron Nielson of NSON Opinion Strategy a director for both of his New Mexico gubernatorial campaigns, as his presidential campaign manager and senior advisor.[67] The campaign was headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah where Nielson's offices are located.[67] Johnson's economics advisor was Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Miron.[68] Initially, Johnson hoped Ron Paul would not run for president so that Johnson could galvanize Paul's network of libertarian-minded voters, and he even traveled to Houston to tell Paul of his decision to run in person,[67] but Paul announced his candidacy on May 13, 2011. Johnson participated in the first of the Republican presidential debates, hosted by Fox News in South Carolina on May 5, 2011, appearing on stage with Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann both declined to debate. Johnson was excluded from the next three debates on June 13 (hosted by CNN in New Hampshire), August 11 (hosted by Fox News in Iowa), and September 7 (hosted by CNN in California).[67] After the first exclusion, Johnson made a 43-minute video responding to each of the debate questions, which he posted on YouTube.[67][69] The first exclusion, which was widely publicized, gave Johnson "a little bump" in name recognition and produced "a small uptick" in donations.[67] But "the long term consequences were dismal."[67] For the financial quarter ending June 30, Johnson raised a mere $180,000.[67] Fox News decided that because Johnson polled at least 2% in five recent polls, he could participate in a September 22 debate in Florida, which it co-hosted with the Florida Republican Party (the party objected to Johnson's inclusion).[67] Johnson participated, appearing on stage with Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. During the debate, Johnson delivered what many media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, and Time, called the best line of the night: "My next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration."[70][71] Entertainment Weekly opined that Johnson had won the debate.[72] Libertarian presidential nomination and campaign[edit] Although Johnson had focused the majority of his campaign activities on the New Hampshire primary, he announced on November 29, 2011 that he would no longer campaign there due to his inability to gain traction with less than a month until the primary.[73] There was speculation in the media that he might run as a Libertarian Party candidate instead. Johnson acknowledged that he was considering such a move.[74][75][76] In December, Politico reported that Johnson would quit the Republican primaries and announce his intention to seek the Libertarian Party nomination at a December 28 press conference.[77] He also encouraged his supporters to vote for Ron Paul in 2012 Republican presidential primaries.[78] Gary Johnson at 2012 Libertarian National Convention On December 28, 2011, Johnson formally withdrew his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, and declared his candidacy for the 2012 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[3] On May 5, 2012, at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, Johnson received the Libertarian Party's official nomination for president in the 2012 election, by a vote of 419 votes to 152 votes for second-place candidate R. Lee Wrights.[1][79] In his acceptance speech, Johnson asked the convention's delegates to nominate as his running mate Judge Jim Gray of California.[80] Gray subsequently received the party's vice-presidential nomination on the first ballot.[79] Johnson spent the early months of his campaign making media appearances on television programs such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart[81] and Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld.[82] Starting in September 2012, Johnson embarked on a three-week tour of college campuses throughout the US.[83][84] On October 23, 2012, Gary Johnson participated in a third party debate that was aired on C-SPAN, RT America, and Al Jazeera English.[85][86] A post-debate online election allowed people to choose two candidates from the debate they thought had won to face each other head to head in a run-off debate. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein won the poll.[87] They debated in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2012.[88] Johnson stated that his goal was to win at least 5 percent of the vote, as winning 5 percent would allow Libertarian Party candidates equal ballot access and federal funding during the next election cycle.[89][90] In a national Gallup poll of likely registered voters conducted June 7 through June 10, 2012, Johnson took 3% of the vote,[91] while a Gallup poll conducted September 6 through September 9, 2012, showed Johnson taking 1% of likely voters.[92] A Zogby poll released July 13, 2012, revealed Johnson took 5.3% of likely voters,[93] while a Zogby poll released September 23, 2012, showed Johnson taking 2% of likely voters.[94] The final results showed Johnson polling nearly 1.3 million votes and 1.0% of the popular vote.[95][96] This established a Libertarian Party record for total votes won in a presidential election and the second-highest Libertarian percentage ever, behind Ed Clark's 1.1% in 1980.[97] Despite falling short of his stated goal of 5%, Johnson stated, "Ours is a mission accomplished".[98] In regards to a future presidential bid, he said "it is too soon to be talking about 2016".[98] Post-2012 elections[edit] Since the 2012 elections, Johnson has continued to criticize the Obama administration on various issues. In an article for The Guardian, Johnson called on United States Attorney General Eric Holder to let individual states legalize marijuana.[99] In a Google Hangout hosted by Johnson in June 2013, he criticized the US government's lack of transparency and due process in regards to the NSA's domestic surveillance programs. He also said that he would not rule out running as a Republican again in the future.[100] Our America Initiative PAC[edit] In December 2013, Johnson announced the founding of his own Super PAC, Our America Initiative PAC. The Super PAC is intended to support libertarian-minded causes. “From the realities of government-run healthcare setting in to the continuing disclosures of the breadth of NSA’s domestic spying, more Americans than ever are ready to take a serious look at candidates who offer real alternatives to business-as-usual,” the release announcing the PAC said.[101] CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc.[edit] In July 2014, Johnson was named president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., a Nevada-based company that aims primarily to sell medical cannabis products in states where medicinal and/or recreational cannabis is legal.[102][103] 2016 presidential campaign[edit] Main article: Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2016 Gary Johnson speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. In an April 2014, Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Johnson stated that he hoped to run for president again in 2016.[104] On whether he would run as a Libertarian or a Republican, he stated that "I would love running as a Libertarian because I would have the least amount of explaining to do."[104] In November 2014, Johnson affirmed his intention to run for the 2016 Libertarian nomination.[105] In July 2015, Johnson reiterated his intentions for a presidential campaign but stated he was not announcing anything imminently: "I just think there are more downsides than upsides to announcing at this point, and, look, I don’t have any delusions about the process. In retrospect, 90 percent of the time I spent [trying to become president] ended up to be wasted time."[106] In January 2016, Johnson resigned from his post as CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., to pursue political opportunities, hinting to a 2016 presidential run.[107] On January 6, 2016, Johnson declared that he would seek the Libertarian nomination for the presidency.[5] On May 18, Johnson named former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate.[108] On May 29, 2016, Johnson received the Libertarian nomination on the second ballot.[6] Political positions[edit] Main article: Political positions of Gary Johnson Johnson's views have been described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal[109] with a philosophy of limited government[110] and military non-interventionism.[111][112] He has identified as a classical liberal.[113] Johnson has said he favors simplifying and reducing taxes.[114] During his governorship, Johnson cut taxes fourteen times and never increased them.[115] Due to his stance on taxes, political pundit David Weigel described him as "the original Tea Party candidate."[116] Johnson has advocated for the FairTax, a proposal which would abolish all federal income, corporate and capital gains taxes, and replace them with a 23% tax on consumption of all non-essential goods, while providing a regressive rebate to households according to income level. He has argued that this would assure transparency in the tax system and incentivize the private sector to create "tens of millions of jobs."[117] In June 2016, Johnson said that he supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[118] Johnson has said that he supports balancing the federal budget immediately.[119] He has stated he supports "slashing government spending", including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security,[114] which would involve cutting Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent and turning them into block grant programs, with control of spending in the hands of the states to create, in his words, "fifty laboratories of innovation."[119] He has advocated passing a law allowing for state bankruptcy and expressly ruling out a federal bailout of any states.[110] Johnson has expressed opposition to the Federal Reserve System, which he has cited as massively devaluing the strength of the U.S. dollar, and would sign legislation to eliminate it. He has also supported an audit of the central bank, and urged Members of Congress in July 2012 to vote in favor of Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act.[120] In his campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination, he stated he opposed foreign wars and pledged to cut the military budget by 43 percent in his first term as president.[112] He would cut the military's overseas bases, uniformed and civilian personnel, research and development, intelligence, and nuclear weapons programs.[121][122] He has stated his opposition to US involvement in the War in Afghanistan and opposed the US involvement in the Libyan Civil War.[123] He has stated that he does not believe Iran is a military threat, would use his presidential power to prevent Israel from attacking Iran, and would not follow Israel, or any other ally, into a war that it had initiated.[124] Johnson is a strong supporter of civil liberties and received the highest score of any candidate from the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting drug decriminalization while opposing censorship and regulation of the Internet, the Patriot Act, enhanced airport screenings, and the indefinite detention of prisoners.[125] He has spoken in favor of the separation of church and state, and has said that he does not "seek the counsel of God" when determining his political agenda.[126] Johnson endorsed same-sex marriage in 2011;[127] he has since called for a constitutional amendment protecting equal marriage rights,[127] and criticized Obama's position on the issue as having "thrown this question back to the states."[128] On the other hand, Johnson opposes Roe v. Wade, believing states should decide the matter. He has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana and has said that if he were president, he would remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as well as issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders.[129] Johnson has stated his opposition to gun control and has said, "I'm a firm believer in the Second Amendment and so I would not have signed legislation banning assault weapons or automatic weapons."[130] Personal life[edit] Johnson running the 38th Annual Stratham Fair Road Race Johnson was married to Dee Johnson (née Simms; 1952–2006) from 1977 to 2005.[131] As First Lady of New Mexico, she engaged in campaigns against smoking and breast cancer,[132] and oversaw the expansion of the Governor's Mansion. He initiated a separation in May 2005 and four months later he announced that they would divorce.[133] At the age of 54, Dee Johnson died unexpectedly on December 22, 2006,[134] her cause of death later attributed to hypertensive heart disease.[135] Johnson became engaged to Santa Fe real estate agent Kate Prusack in 2009 a year after meeting her at a bike race in Sante Fe.[136] Prusack has stated that the reason they have not yet married is because "My fiance’s always on the road."[137] Johnson lives in Taos, New Mexico,[138][139] in a home that he built himself.[63] He is an avid triathlete who bikes extensively. During his term in office, he competed in several triathlons, marathons and bike races. He competed three times (1993, 1997, 1999) as a celebrity invitee at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, registering his best time for the 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, 112-mile (180 km) bike ride, and 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon run in 1999 with 10 hours, 39 minutes, and 16 seconds.[140][141] He once ran 100 miles (160 km) in 30 consecutive hours in the Rocky Mountains.[13] On May 30, 2003, he reached the summit of Mount Everest[142] "despite toes blackened with frostbite."[26] He has climbed all seven of the Seven Summits: Mount Everest, Mount Elbrus, Denali, Mount Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Mount Vinson, and Carstensz Pyramid—the tallest peaks in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania respectively.[143] He completed the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, in which participants traverse a 26.2 mile course through the desert, many of them in combat boots and wearing 35-pound packs.[144] On October 12, 2005, Johnson was involved in a near-fatal paragliding accident when his wing caught in a tree and he fell approximately 50 feet to the ground. Johnson suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to his twelfth thoracic vertebra, a broken rib, and a broken knee; this accident left him 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) shorter.[145][146][147] He used medicinal marijuana for pain control from 2005-08.[148] Johnson is a Lutheran and has stated that his belief in God has given him "a very fundamental belief that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us."[149] Electoral history[edit] New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1994[150] Party Candidate Votes % ± Republican Gary Johnson 232,945 49.81% +4.66% Democratic Bruce King (inc.) 186,686 39.92% -14.68% Green Roberto Mondragón 47,990 10.26% Majority 46,259 9.89% +0.44% Turnout 467,621 Republican gain from Democratic Swing New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1998[151] Party Candidate Votes % ± Republican Gary Johnson (inc.) 271,948 54.53% +4.72% Democratic Martin Chávez 226,755 45.47% +5.55% Majority 45,193 9.06% -0.83% Turnout 498,703 Republican hold Swing United States presidential election, 2012[96] Election on November 6, 2012 Party Candidate Votes % ± Democratic Barack Obama (inc.) 65,899,583 51.03% -1.84% Republican Mitt Romney 60,931,966 47.19% +1.59% Libertarian Gary Johnson 1,275,821 0.99% +0.59% Green Jill Stein 468,907 0.36% +0.24% Constitution Virgil Goode 121,616 0.09% -0.06% Others Others 434,247 0.34% -0.52% Majority (1,333,513) (1.03%) Turnout 129,132,140 57.5% Democratic hold Swing Books[edit] Seven Principles of Good Government: Gary Johnson on liberty, people and politics. 2012. 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"Gary Johnson Nominated by Libertarian Party on First Ballot". Ballot Access News. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 80.Jump up ^ Moxley, R. Scott (May 5, 2012). "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: Give Me Orange County's Jim Gray as VP". OC Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 81.Jump up ^ Puditty (Jun 5, 2012). "Gary Johnson visits 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'". Retrieved January 10, 2013. 82.Jump up ^ Crugnale, James (June 6, 2012). "Penn Jillette & Gary Johnson Lament NY’s Marijuana Decriminalization Doesn’t Go Far Enough". Mediaite. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 83.Jump up ^ Walsh, Kenneth (September 11, 2012). "Gary Johnson Could Spoil Romney's Chances". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 84.Jump up ^ Rose, Joel (September 26, 2012). "Libertarian Candidate Could Be Election Spoiler". NPR. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 85.Jump up ^ "Presidential Hopefuls Meet in Third Party Debate". PBS NewsHour. October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 86.Jump up ^ Derek Rosenfeld (October 25, 2012). "Larry King Hosts Third Party Debate: Presidential Candidates Slam the Drug War". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 87.Jump up ^ Josh Hicks (October 26, 2012). "Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will debate one-on-one". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 88.Jump up ^ Jack Kenny (November 5, 2012). "Johnson, Stein in Election Eve Debate". Mashable. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 89.Jump up ^ Karoun Demirjian (October 5, 2012). "Libertarian candidate makes push for Nevada’s Ron Paul supporters". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 90.Jump up ^ Lucas Eaves (November 1, 2012). "Why 5% matters to Gary Johnson". Independent Voter Network. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 91.Jump up ^ Jones, Jeffrey (July 6, 2012). "Little Support for Third-Party Candidates in 2012 Election". Gallup. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 92.Jump up ^ Newport, Frank (September 12, 2012). "Gary Johnson scores at 5.3% nationally against Obama and Romney". Retrieved January 10, 2012. 93.Jump up ^ Nikolewski, Rob (July 14, 2012). "Gary Johnson scores at 5.3% nationally against Obama and Romney". Retrieved January 10, 2012. 94.Jump up ^ Newport, Frank (September 23, 2012). "A New Zogby Poll Romney Loses Ground, Now Down By 8 Points; Wrong Track Voters At 52%". JZ Analytics. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 95.Jump up ^ "US President – Popular Vote". Our Campaigns. 96.^ Jump up to: a b Dave Leip. "2012 Presidential General Election Results". Retrieved December 10, 2012. 97.Jump up ^ Blake, Aaron; Sullivan, Sean (November 20, 2012). "The GOP’s growing Libertarian problem". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 98.^ Jump up to: a b Weber, Joseph (November 7, 2012). "Johnson satisfied with presidential run, mum on future bid for office". Fox News Channel. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 99.Jump up ^ Johnson, Gary (March 9, 2013). "Let states legalise marijuana, Eric Holder: you know it makes sense". The Guardian. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 100.Jump up ^ Evans, Zenon (June 12, 2013). "Gary Johnson Weighs in on NSA, Says He's Open to Running As a Republican Again". Reason. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 101.Jump up ^ Reichbach, Matthew (December 11, 2013). "Gary Johnson launches Super PAC". New Mexico Telegram. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 102.Jump up ^ Goldsmith, Alex (July 1, 2014). "Gary Johnson to head marijuana company". Retrieved July 2, 2014. 103.Jump up ^ Roller, Emma (July 2, 2014). "Gary Johnson Is Now CEO of a Marijuana Company. And He Wants to Run for President.". National Journal. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 104.^ Jump up to: a b Roller, Emma (April 23, 2014). "Remember Gary Johnson? He Wants to Run for President Again.". National Journal. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. 105.Jump up ^ Gillespie, Nick (November 4, 2014). "Gary Johnson: "I'll Run in 2016 to Provide Libertarian Option" That Rand Paul Doesn't Offer". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 106.Jump up ^ Gillespie, Nick; Bragg, Meredith (July 16, 2015). "Gary Johnson on Trump, the Presidential Election, and Life as a Pot Company CEO: Johnson says he wants nothing to do with the GOP". Reason Foundation. 107.Jump up ^ "Gary Johnson resigns his position as CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc.", Independent Political Report. January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 108.Jump up ^ DeCosta-Klipa, Nick (May 18, 2016). "Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld confirmed as Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s VP". Retrieved May 19, 2016. 109.Jump up ^ Haq, Husna (April 21, 2011). "Election 101: Who is Gary Johnson?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 110.^ Jump up to: a b Bolduc, Brian (January 3, 2011). "2012: Year of the Libertarian?". National Review. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 111.Jump up ^ "Don’t Forget Gary Johnson! How the Libertarian Could Shake Up 2012". The Daily Beast. May 6, 2012. 112.^ Jump up to: a b Brian Doherty (April 11, 2012). "Gary Johnson's Foreign Policy: Libertarian or "Strange"?". Reason. 113.Jump up ^ Toole, John (September 25, 2011). "Johnson campaign tests GOP support for 'classical liberal'". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 114.^ Jump up to: a b Glover, Mike (September 8, 2010). "Former NM gov is little known but has big ideas". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 115.Jump up ^ Quigley, Bernie (February 10, 2011). "Prelude to a nervous breakdown; New Mexico's Gary Johnson rises". The Hill. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 116.Jump up ^ Weigel, David (September 8, 2010). "America's Next Top Libertarian". Slate. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 117.Jump up ^ Quinn, Garrett (August 22, 2012). "Fair Tax Gives Gary Johnson Some Hiccups On The Trail". Reason. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 118.Jump up ^ "Think You’ve Got It Locked, Hillary? Meet Jill Stein.". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 119.^ Jump up to: a b Klein, Rick (April 22, 2011). "Gary Johnson: 'From Obscurity to Prominence' in New Hampshire". ABC News. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 120.Jump up ^ "Gov. Gary Johnson Sends Letter To House Of Representatives". July 23, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 121.Jump up ^ Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, LP presidential candidate, on Foreign Policy. YouTube. April 2011. Event occurs at 6:00. 122.Jump up ^ John Vaught LaBeaume (September 1, 2011). "Gov. Gary: Cut defense, quit subsidizing Eurocare". Washington Examiner. 123.Jump up ^ Friedersdorf, Conor (April 22, 2011). "The Zen of Gary Johnson". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 124.Jump up ^ Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, LP presidential candidate, on Foreign Policy. YouTube. April 2011. Event occurs at 4:30. 125.Jump up ^ "Gary Johnson Braves the ACLU; The Libertarian presidential candidate charms a gathering of civil libertarians". Reason. January 31, 2012. 126.Jump up ^ Landsberg, Mitchell (October 17, 2012). "Atheist group gives Obama an unenthusiastic nod over Romney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 127.^ Jump up to: a b Riggs, Mike (May 10, 2012). "Gary Johnson on Obama's Gay Marriage Remarks: "I guess the President is still more worried about losing Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia than he is in doing the right thing"". Reason. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 128.Jump up ^ Scarboro, Aaron. "Why America Needs Gary Johnson". The Guardian Express. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 129.Jump up ^ Riggs, Mike. "Gary Johnson on "Defanging" the DEA, Pardoning Marijuana Offenders, and Standing With Occupy Wall Street". Reason. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 130.Jump up ^ Downs, Ray (November 6, 2012). "Presidential candidate Gary Johnson talks guns, for-profit prisons". WAFB. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 131.Jump up ^ Haq, Husna. "Election 101: Who is Gary Johnson?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 132.Jump up ^ Olson, Sean (December 24, 2006). "Ex-N.M. First Lady Dies; Dee Johnson Fought for Women's and Children's Issues". Retrieved July 2, 2012. 133.Jump up ^ Linthicum, Leslie (September 29, 2005). "Ex-Gov. Johnson, Wife Are Divorcing". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required) 134.Jump up ^ Olson, Sean (December 24, 2006). "Ex-N.M. First Lady Dies; Dee Johnson Fought for Women's and Children's Issues". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required) 135.Jump up ^ Linthicum, Leslie (February 10, 2007). "Former First Lady Died of Heart Disease". Albuquerque Journal.(subscription required) 136.Jump up ^ Pappas, Alex (May 23, 2011). "Meet Kate Prusack, Gary Johnson's fiancé". The Daily Caller. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 137.Jump up ^ Pappas, Alex (May 23, 2011). "Meet Kate Prusack, Gary Johnson’s fiancé". The Daily Caller. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 138.Jump up ^ Klein, Rick; Simmons, Gregory (February 10, 2011). "You Say You Want a Revolution?". ABC News. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 139.Jump up ^ Linthicum, Leslie (January 3, 2010). "You Say You Want a Revolution?". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 140.Jump up ^ Mallozzi, Vincent M. (October 12, 1997). "Famous Just Doesn't Make It". The New York Times. 141.Jump up ^ "New Mexico Governor to Compete in Ironman Utah". World Triathlon Corporation. June 3, 2002. 142.Jump up ^ "Former governor scales Mount Everest". Lawrence Journal-World Online Edition (Lawrence, Kansas). Associated Press. June 8, 2003. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 143.Jump up ^ "Gary Johnson summits Mount Vinson". Independent Political Report. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 144.Jump up ^ Corjulo, Michael (August 9, 2011). "GOP Presidential Hopefuls Go To Ames, Gary Johnson Rides a Bike". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 145.Jump up ^ Navrot, Miguel (October 24, 2005). "Ex-Governor Johnson Injured While Paragliding". Albuquerque Journal. (subscription required) 146.Jump up ^ Toole, John (September 9, 2011). "Johnson campaign tests GOP support for 'classical liberal'". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 147.Jump up ^ Moody, Chris (2011-09-21). "Unorthodox GOP candidate Gary Johnson gets his chance in Orlando debate". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 148.Jump up ^ McCormack, John (December 6, 2010). "Gov. Gary Johnson: I Smoked Marijuana from 2005 to 2008". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 149.Jump up ^ "Gary Johnson Candidate Profile". Reason. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 150.Jump up ^ "Canvass of Returns of General Election Held on November 8, 1994 – State of New Mexico" (PDF). 151.Jump up ^ "State of New Mexico Official 1998 General Election Results for Governor Of New Mexico". Archived from the original on November 30, 2008. Further reading[edit] 2001 and 2002 State of the State speeches from Failure-to-Launch, Nick Heil, Outside, September 12, 2011 Republican Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson On Technology, Benjamin Kuo,, November 2011 External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gary Johnson. 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