Press Packet for Anderson Rodriguez 2012

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Overview


New Party, New Candidate

The stars are aligning for a powerful new third party and candidate to help end the current plutocracy, restore the rule of law, and reverse the degradation of our democracy.

    1. Recent polls reflect:
      • Third party or independent candidates have tremendous support across the political spectrum.
      • The American people are dissatisfied with the direction of our country.
      • An extremely low approval rating of Congress.
    2. People are leaving the Republican and Democratic parties by the millions.
    3. Highly respected people of all political stripes are calling for a third party or independent candidate for President.

Media’s Vital Role

The media could play a pivotal role in restoring the grandness of our democracy by providing their audiences with reasonable coverage of the Justice Party and Rocky Anderson, rational alternatives to the Republican and Democratic parties and their candidates.

  1. Vastly Different Approach. The coverage of Rocky Anderson’s campaign thus far by the media, albeit relatively limited, has reflected a vastly different approach to articulating and resolving our country’s problems than offered by the Democrats or Republicans.
  2. Similarities and Stark Contrasts. Rocky Anderson’s and the Justice Party’s position on many major issues are in stark contrast to those of President Obama, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and their parties, offering voters a clear, rational alternative.
  3. Representing the American People. Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party represent the views of a majority of Americans on many issues, while President Obama and Romney simply represent the views of their financial supporters, i.e., corporate lobbyists, Wall Street, and other sources of concentrated wealth.
    • Rocky and the Justice Party desire to reinstate a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people.
  4. Clamoring for an Alternative. The American people both want and need the media to cover third party or independent candidates as alternatives to the candidates of the two dominant parties.
  5. Expanded Marketplace of Ideas. Coverage of Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party would strengthen our democracy by providing the media’s audience – the American citizenry – with a very different, vital point of view on many issues.

Conclusion

Our democracy depends on meaningful media coverage of rational alternatives to the dominant party candidates.

The Justice Party and Rocky Anderson best represent the public interest and the views of the majority of Americans. The American public is entitled to the inclusion of Anderson and the Justice Party in the public dialogue through reasonable media coverage. Our democracy depends on an informed electorate, with varying points of view presented through the media.

Rocky Anderson: the Person, Platform, and Party

Introduction

For good reason, people throughout our nation are expressing disillusionment, discontent, and disgust with a political system that favors candidates and incumbents who put their own interests ahead of their the public interest, who are unwilling to make rational compromises with the other major party on critical issues, and who sell themselves to the highest bidders. Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party are striving to break through that broken and corrupt system, and to replace it with a system that reforms our government so that it is as it should be: of the people, by the people, and for the people. Their message is resonating with those who hear it – but Rocky and the Justice Party must obtain access to the public through the media to enable them to communicate with a much larger cross-section of our country.

Who is Rocky Anderson?

Rocky Anderson is the Justice Party’s candidate for President of the United States. He is also the nominee of the Independent Party of New Mexico, the Oregon Progressive Party, and the Natural Law Party of Michigan. He is a passionate leader and advocate for democracy and human rights. He works tirelessly for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Rocky was a trial lawyer for 21 years (having graduated from George Washington University Law School in 1978), two-term Mayor of Salt Lake City (2000 to 2008), and founder and Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights (2008 through 2012). Having relinquished his membership in the Democratic Party, Rocky co-founded the Justice Party and is running for President to change the political landscape in our country. The corrupting influence of money has resulted in a full-fledged assault against our democracy, has created a wealth disparity in our country that is unsustainable, and has permitted our planet to be ravaged for short term benefits at the expense of our future and the future of our posterity. Rocky wants to change our political system, and he has the experience, intelligence, and passion to do so.

As a trial lawyer, Rocky successfully challenged corporate and governmental abuses, including strip searches of women, life threatening abuses by our prison system of both men and women (including mentally ill inmates), excessive sentences, antitrust violations, harm inflicted by financial institutions, first amendment violations, and excessive use of force by police. He challenged U.S. violence in Central America (organizing truth-finding trips to Nicaragua and opposing the Reagan Administration’s efforts to overthrow the government of Nicaragua), and has consistently advocated for equal rights of the LGBT community, including marriage equality. He spearheaded the reform of Utah’s child custody laws, and has been a strong proponent of legislation relating to ethical conduct by elected officials and campaign finance reform.

As the Mayor of Salt Lake City, he instituted policy changes that reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 31% in city operations, provided protections against discrimination and equal benefits

for gay and lesbian city employees, implemented a city-wide restorative justice program, and challenged the “war on drugs” by demonstrating a better, far more cost-effective means of addressing substance abuse. He opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, staged protests against George W. Bush for his assaults on our democracy, and advocated for business and governmental leaders across the world to immediately address our global climate crisis. Coincidentally, Rocky worked very closely with Mitt Romney to prepare for and hold the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

As the founder and Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights, Rocky educated and called to action both the citizenry and politicians regarding the prevention of many of the most egregious human rights abuses, including genocide, torture, sex slavery, the death penalty, violations of the rule of law, and the disastrous implications of the climate crisis.

Rocky has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, Citizens for Penal Reform, Common Cause of Utah, Guadalupe Schools, and Planned Parenthood; he served on Newsweek’s Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Board; and has been very active in the Utah State Bar Association. In every sense of the word, Rocky is and, for his entire career has been, an activist and leader seeking to protect our human and civil rights, to promote fairness and equality, and to make the business and government sectors accountable to the people.

Rocky is a bold and strategic thinker, and a leader who acts with courage and compassion. Our country needs a man with such principles, intellect, and experience to lead us back to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

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Rocky and The Nation

Consider what The Nation had to say about all of this – and about why someone like Rocky Anderson ought to be President, but probably won’t be:

“You should run for President,” people keep telling him . . . Mindful that this is his last year in [the Salt Lake City Mayor’s] office, Anderson doesn’t pooh-pooh the sentiment or issue exaggerated disclaimers. Instead he answers, carefully, that you need money to run, that you need a state machine backing you – which, in a place as virulently conservative as Utah . . . is not going to happen for Anderson – that you need to know when to shut up and not speak your mind. Successful national politicians listen to handlers and spin doctors, and that’s something he won’t do.

Clearly, the 55-year-old mayor, a lapsed Mormon with more than a hint of the charismatic preacher about him, has given serious thought to the possibility of trying to become President Ross “Rocky” Anderson. But he’s realized that despite the current unpopularity of Republican machine politicians, given the contours of the contemporary electoral system and primary process, a man such as himself can’t win. “I’d be torn to pieces,” he replies to one of his supporters. “If I thought I could win, I would. This country certainly needs leadership.”

. . . [C]ould a man like Anderson, who plans to work on environmental and human rights issues once he leaves City Hall, ever make his way to Washington today?

. . . Clearly, there are leaders of tremendous moral and intellectual caliber out there—Anderson’s example shows this . . . But can the same system that catapulted Bush into the White House raise those people to national prominence at an executive level? Is today’s system flexible enough to allow the emergence of national leaders and Cabinet secretaries who are thinkers as well as politicians, men and women of principle as well as ambition? Perhaps, but Anderson and others like him face an uphill path. After all, we have grown used to seeing candidates who appeal to the lowest common denominators in our politics win.

Rocky Anderson will likely never attain national office; but perhaps his most important legacywill be showing the country that voters, in some places, do make lofty choices when presented with truly inspiring candidates.[1]

Who is Luis Rodriguez?

Luis Rodriguez, a leading Chicano writer, speaker, gang expert and interventionist, and activist for justice in urban peace, the arts, labor, and human rights, has joined Rocky Anderson’s 2012 presidential campaign as Rocky’s vice presidential running mate. He is a co-founder of the Network for Revolutionary Change, trying to fill the gap of strategic and unified leadership among the poor, the pushed-out, the dismissed, and forgotten. He’s also co-founder of the non-profit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore and its publishing wing, Tia Chucha Press, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He has published fifteen books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, including the bestselling 1993 memoir Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and its 2011 sequel, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicano Tribune, The Progressive, Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, The Nation, L.A. Weekly, U.S. News & World Report, Fox News Latino, and the Huffington Post, among others. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Bernardino, and Chicago. He currently resides in San Fernando, CA.

For over thirty years, Luis has conducted workshops, readings, and talks in prisons, juvenile facilities, homeless shelters, migrant camps, universities, public and private schools, conferences, churches, Native American reservations, and men’s conferences.

Luis has received the Inner City Struggle of East L.A.’s Spirit of Struggle/Ruben Salazar Award; the Local Hero of Community Award from KCET-TV of L.A. and Union Bank of California; the Hero of Nonviolence Award from Rev. Michael Beckwith and the Agape Christian Center in Culver City, CA; and an Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award, presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

According to Rocky, “Unlike most candidates for high public office, Luis brings with him a wealth of knowledge and real-life experience, inspirational personal growth, and a proven commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice. Such justice is an essential element of a nation committed to equal opportunity, peace, and genuine freedom for all.”

Rodriguez stated, “It’s important to find a politically independent means to voice the real issues of justice in this country. The Justice Party comes at a crucial time, when the truth about who holds power and wealth in this country is more evident each day and the failures of the two-party system become increasingly irreparable. This is a vision for a new America, new ideas, new forms of struggle – of true justice in our time and for generations to come.”

According to Rodriguez, “The Justice Party is part of a growing movement in the United States for true peace, justice, equity, and dignity. People are understanding more and more that to have a healthy and full development for each person, we need to have the healthy and full development of all.”

“My goal in being on the ticket with Rocky Anderson is to help spread the conversation in this country about how we need to incorporate more voices, more stories, more ideas, and more people into how we govern and take care of everyone. Two directions for true justice are to have meaningful, respectful and healthy relations with the environment, the earth, and its bountiful resources—and to have meaningful, respectful, and healthy relations with each other.”

New Party, New Candidate.

The stars are aligning for a powerful new third party and candidate to help end the current plutocracy, restore the rule of law, and reverse the degradation of our democracy.
Polling Data

Recent Polls Reflect Third Party or Independent Candidates have tremendous support across the political spectrum. “Americans’ desires for a third political party are as high as they have been in seven years. Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic Parties do a poor job of representing the American people. . . . The desire for a third party is fairly similar across ideological groups, with 61% of liberals, 60% of moderates, and 54% of conservatives believing a third major party is needed. . . . Americans are frustrated with the job the two major parties have been doing. . . . Given the lack of alternatives, it perhaps is no surprise that Americans’ desires for a third party are as high as they’ve been in at least the last seven years.”[2]

“An increasing number of Americans are now searching beyond the two parties for bold and effective leadership. . . . [A] poll of 1,000 Americans conducted by Douglas E. Schoen LLC in April [2011] found that a solid majority of Americans are now looking for alternatives to the two-party system. Overall a majority (57% of all respondents) said there is a need for a third party. . . . In line with these findings, 52% of all respondents in a May Gallup poll said there is a need for a third party, and for the first time in Gallup’s history, a majority of Republicans embraced the idea.”[3]

“Fifty-two percent of Americans believe the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job of representing the people that a third party is needed. . . . Gallup currently finds essentially no differences in support for a third party by political ideology, with 51% of conservatives, 52% of moderates, and 52% of liberals in favor. Given that a majority of Americans see a need for a third party, and that their level of satisfaction with the way things are going in the country is fairly low, it would not be surprising if a third-party candidate emerged.”[4]

Recent polls reflect that the American people are dissatisfied with the direction of our country. Compared with a high of 71% satisfaction in February 1999, only 20% of poll respondents are satisfied (and 77% are dissatisfied) with the way things are going in the United States as of June 7- 10, 2012.[5]

Recent polls reflect an extremely low approval rating of Congress. The U.S. electorate – across the political spectrum – are disgusted with Congress. In October 2011, approval ratings for Congress hit an all-time low at 9%, with 84% disapproving. (That approval rating was lower than the approval rating for polygamy, pornography, the U.S. going communist, and the BP oil spill.[6]) In June 2012, a Gallup poll reflected an approval rating of 17%, with 79% disapproving.[7]

Mass Exodus from the Status Quo Parties

People are leaving the Republican and Democratic parties by the millions. “More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow. . . . [R]egistered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states. The trend is acute in states that are key to next year’s presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000. . . . [8]

“The proportion of independents now equals its highest level in 70 years. . . . Taking an average of surveys conducted this year [2009], 36% say they are independents, 35% are Democrats, while 23% are Republicans. On an annual basis, the only previous year when independent identification has been this high was in 1992 when Ross Perot ran a popular independent candidacy.”[9]

It’s Time for a Third

Highly respected people of all political stripes are calling for a third party or independent candidate for President.

Jon M. Hunstman, Jr.: “We need something to compete with the duopoly . . . I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas. Someone’s going to step up at some point and they’re going to say ‘We’ve had enough of this. The real issues are not being addressed, and it’s time that we put forward an alternative vision, a bold thinking. We might not win, but we can certainly influence the debate’. . . . All I can say is I’m looking at the political marketplace and I’m saying the duopoly is tired and we’re stuck in a rut.”[10]

Matt Miller: “Given the abdication of both parties, and the pinched boundaries of debate we’re thus left with, the only way to learn if a constituency can be built for a bold agenda to renew the country is for independent candidates to try to do just that in 2012.”[11] Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum: “The problem for modern America is not that it has the wrong political system but rather that the eminently serviceable political system it does have is not functioning properly. And to get it to function properly is going to require a shock. . . .
We hope it will come from within—from a combination of grassroots and high politics. We mean by this a serious independent presidential candidate. . . . Our political system is stuck. It is under the sway of powerful special interests that work for policies that are at best irrelevant to and at worst counterproductive for the urgent present and future needs of the United States. . . The only way around all these ideological and structural obstacles is a third party or independent candidate, who can not only articulate a hybrid politics that addresses our major challenges and restores our formula for success but . . . does this in a way that enough Americans find so compelling that they are willing to leave their respective Democratic and Republican camps and join hands in the radical center. Only that could change a political system that rewards our politicians for postponing hard decisions and blaming the other party rather than making those decisions.”[12]

Lawrence Davidson: “However, there is yet another group of eligible voters whose actions in November are in doubt. These are people who are regular voters, but are now so put off by their usual party candidate that they find it difficult to support him. They may either not vote at all or cast a vote for a minor third party….”[13]

Media’s Vital Role

The media could play a pivotal role in restoring the grandness of our democracy by informing Americans about a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties by providing their audiences with coverage of Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party.

Vastly Different Approach

The coverage of Rocky Anderson’s campaign thus far by the media, albeit relatively limited, has reported a vastly different approach to articulating and resolving our country’s problems than offered by the Democrats or Republicans.

Sample of Media Appearances

The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur
Current TV – December 22, 2011

Rocky and Cenk discuss telecomm immunity, “Democratic collusion,” the American plutocracy, our new Gilded Age, Rocky’s potential spoiler effect, the huge odds third party candidates face, and electoral reform.

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Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman
Democracy Now! – December 13, 2011

Rocky and Amy discuss why he helped launch the Justice Party, President Obama’s broken promises, the State Secrets Doctrine, Wall Street criminals, the public interest vs. private sector corruption, the Justice Party platform, tax breaks for the wealthy, the grassroots approach to campaigning, Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping, and the Green Party vs. the Justice Party, and fiscal responsibility.

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The Dylan Ratigan Show
MSNBC – January 17, 2012

Rocky and Dylan discuss the corrupting influence of money in our government, the Citizens United case, the “difference” between the Democrats and Republicans, why we need a third party, healthcare reform, fiscal irresponsibility, and climate change. Then, Dylan’s Mega Panel contributors discuss the history of and need for third party candidates.

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The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann
RT Television – December 15, 2011

Rocky and Thom discuss how to change the current political landscape, the democratization of communication, the Supreme Court’s activism, pharmaceutical lobbyists’ impact on the cost of care, why the Democratic Party can’t be changed, and Americans’ desire for better choices in politicians.

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Inside Story: US 2012
Al-Jazeera – December 29, 2011

Guests Rocky Anderson, Amy Goodman, and Eleanor Clift discuss media bias in election coverage, Ron Paul, following the money in public policy, the Occupy movement, the paradox of embedded journalists’ purpose, economic disparity, the prison- industrial complex, the gatekeepers of information, and voter suppression.

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The Rachel Maddow Show
MSNBC – November 30, 2011

Rocky and Rachel discuss why Rocky’s running for president, the Justice Party difference, the dearth of international leadership in DC, the two-class system of the US, illegal wiretapping, and the start of Rocky’s campaign. Financial deregulation, the role of the Justice Party in American politics, lobbyists and bribery, the socialism misnomer, the National Defense Authorization Act, and the degradation of the legal system.

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The Alyona Show
RT Television – December 14, 2011

Financial deregulation, the role of the Justice Party in American politics, lobbyists and bribery, the socialism misnomer, the National Defense Authorization Act, and the degradation of the legal system.

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CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello
CNN – December 13, 2011

Rocky and Carol discuss the broad appeal of the Justice Party, abysmal approval ratings for Congress and President Obama, campaign messaging, and the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on the White House and Congress.

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The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd
MSNBC – December 12, 2011

Rocky and Chuck discuss campaign finance reform, investing in our future, Rocky’s $100 limit on contributions, and building a long-term movement through the Justice Party.

Other television interviews, as well as an interview with Ralph Nader, who expresses support for Rocky Anderson, can be viewed here.

Radio

Rocky has been interviewed on various national, regional, and local radio stations. Links to many of the interviews can be found here.

Newspapers and Blogs

Following are links to some newspaper and blog articles, demonstrating Rocky Anderson’s uniqueness as a significant, accomplished third-party candidate:

The Guardian, Gary Younge[23]
Grist[24]
The Washington Times
Rocky Anderson is rocking the vote
Rocky Anderson on the issues that matter most
Rocky Anderson vs. the establishment
Rocky Anderson: A man in his own words

Other newspaper and blog articles can be found here.

Stark Contrasts

Rocky Anderson’s (and the Justice Party’s) positions on many major issues are in stark contrast to those of President Obama, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and their parties, offering voters a clear, rational alternative.

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Representing the American People

Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party represent the views of a majority of Americans on many issues, while President Obama and Romney simply represent the views of their financial supporters, i.e., corporate lobbyists, Wall Street, and other sources of concentrated wealth. Rocky and the Justice Party desire to reinstate a government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. Healthcare Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party strongly support a single-payer Medicare-for-all healthcare system (similar to Taiwan’s and Canada’s systems). President Obama never let such a proposal see the light of day during the healthcare debate and Mitt Romney adamantly opposes such a system. In 2009, while the healthcare debate was raging, 73% of Americans supported a single-payer Medicare-for-all healthcare system.[25]

Immigration

Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party support immigration reform that will allow those now in the country who have led law-abiding lives to gain permanent residency status, with a path toward citizenship. “Most Americans have a respectful view of immigrants, and would support long-term measures to make legal residence possible.”[26] Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson is unabashed in advocating for a resolution to our present immigration dilemma (in which our nation’s laws do not reflect its long-time de facto policies) by (1) providing work permits that allow new immigrant workers to come to the U.S. to work at jobs according to employment needs; and (2) allowing those already in the U.S. who have not committed serious offenses to apply for permanent residence status, leading to eventual citizenship.

Regulation of Banks

Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party would impose much stricter regulations on financial institutions and break up the too-big-to-fail banks. “In an August [2011] CNN/Gallup poll, 61 percent were for more bank regulation. . . . “27 . Neither President Obama nor Romney advocate those measures.

Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson has called for legislation that, like the Glass-Steagall Act (repealed in an act signed by Clinton), would prohibit the common ownership of commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson advocates for strict regulation of financial institutions, including the reserve requirements for credit default swaps, which were eliminated by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (again, signed by Clinton).

Clamoring for an Alternative

The American people both want and need the media to cover third party or independent candidates as alternatives to the candidates of the two dominant parties.

Expanded Marketplace of Ideas

Coverage of Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party would strengthen our democracy by providing the media’s audience – the American citizenry – with a very different, vital point of view on many issues.
Jobs

Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson has called for a jobs initiative like the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which would put millions of people to workrepairing and improving the nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson advocates for renegotiating free trade agreements like NAFTA to provide for “fair trade,” so that employers who employ people in the U.S. will be on a more equal footing with those who employ people in foreign nations, and so that workers in foreign nations will not be subjected to abusive working conditions.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson would implement large-scale jobs training programs to equip American workers (and present students) to work in the new technical and green economies, regaining our global competitive edge.

Campaign reform

As they have both been furiously raising hundreds of millions of dollars from people and corporations who seek their quid pro quo, neither Obama nor Romney have said anything at all during their campaigns about the corrupting influence of money in government. (Four years ago, Obama promised he wouldn’t take “a nickel” from Washington lobbyists or special interests; now he gladly accepts the help of Super PACs.) Rocky Anderson has made campaign finance reform a core element of his campaign, demonstrating that one need only “follow the money” to determine why the President and Congress have utterly failed to serve the public interest in so many ways.

Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson advocates that the public airwaves be utilized so that all qualified candidates can have free and equal access to them to communicate their messages.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson advocates public financing of campaigns.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson vigorously supports the inclusion ofall major candidates, including diverse third party and independent candidates, in presidential debates.
Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson advocates a complete ban on gifts to elected officials by lobbyists or their clients.

Marriage equality

Unlike President Obama, who only recently (after saying for years that his “thinking was evolving” on the issue) uttered support for gays and lesbians to marry, Rocky Anderson has supported marriage equality since his congressional race in 1996. Also, unlike President Obama, who would leave the matter to the states, Anderson supports federal equal rights protections for gays and lesbians.35 Of course, Romney does not support marriage equality.

Drone killings

Leaks to the media suggest that President Obama has personal involvement in deciding who is to be killed in several nations by unmanned drones. Romney, of course, supports the drone killings. Rocky Anderson, who actually practiced law (including constitutional and civil rights law), vigorously opposes such acts of war without express authorization by Congress, consistent with the War Power Clause of the Constitution and without full compliance with the United Nations Charter, which, along with the Kellogg-Briand Pact, prohibits wars of aggression. Anderson also opposes the drone killings because they have resulted in the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians in Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan and have created greater hatred and hostility toward the U.S., undermining the long-term security of our nation.

Climate crisis

In contrast to President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson consistently recognizes that climate chaos, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests, poses the greatest long- term risk to global peace and security, to fundamental human rights, and to the survival of many of the inhabitants of Earth (including entire species). President Obama and Romney are certain to continue the U.S.’s neglect of essential international leadership in relation to the climate crisis, while Anderson would aggressively work to set greenhouse gas emission limits necessary to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate chaos. (Anderson has been recognized as an international leader on climate change, presenting in several nations, including at three U.N. climate change conference side meetings, and organized and co-hosted Sundance Summit: A Mayors Gathering on Climate Protection. He received the EPA’s Climate Protection Award and the World Leadership Award for his climate protection programs.)

Nuclear power

While President Obama has been an advocate of nuclear power since he was a cheerleader for the nuclear power industry in the Illinois legislature, Rocky Anderson has fought against reckless nuclear power projects. For instance, he testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee against the proposal to “permanently” store high-level nuclear materials in Yucca Mountain. Anderson has been a long-time, consistent advocate of developing and utilizing clean, renewable sources of energy.

Indefinite detention

President Obama advocated the need to indefinitely detain people without due process in 2009 (see here). On New Year’s Eve 2011-12 (apparently so few people would notice), he signed into law a bill that allowed indefinite detention, even of U.S. citizens, without charges, trial, legal representation, or right of habeas corpus. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, since he has also personally approved the targeting of U.S. citizens for assassination. Unlike President Obama and Romney, Rocky Anderson is committed to fundamental constitutional values such as due process and has been a vocal opponent of indefinite detention – as well as other measures that have signaled unprecedented steps toward an imperial presidency.

Iran

President Obama has been much too sycophantic toward lobby groups like AIPAC, before whom he recently repeated the mischaracterization that Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad, has threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Romney showed his own sycophantic excesses during a debate when he said that he would call his old friend Bibi Netanyahu and ask him, “What should I do?” Rocky Anderson, acting independently for the interests of the United States and peace in the Middle East, would not threaten to attack, or support an attack, against Iran, recognizing that the people of Iran and the people of the United States should be unified and that an attack on Iran would drive the Iranian population against the U.S. and in support of Iranian leadership, which would be more determined than ever to develop a nuclear arms capability.

Conclusion

Rocky Anderson is a person of immense accomplishments, with a passionate commitment to our nation’s constitutional principles and the rule of law. He has substantially more executive and managerial experience than Barack Obama did when he became president. Instead of spending his adult years amassing a huge financial fortune, Anderson has worked hard as a trial lawyer, community activist, two-term mayor, and founder and executive director of a non-profit human rights organization to breathe life into our Constitution, to help vulnerable – often unpopular – people, and to fight against those in government and the business community who have abused their power and harmed others.

Our nation is at tremendous risk when a qualified, accomplished, and dedicated person like Rocky Anderson is unable to gain consistent access to mainstream media, leaving the American public with extremely limited choices between the far right candidate and the not-quite-so-far right candidate. Anderson is not part of the political duopoly, does not have plutocratic money behind him, and offers different (and very rational and popular) solutions than the Democratic and Republican candidates. For those reasons, Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party need and deserve mainstream media coverage.

The major-party candidates, lacking any real competition beyond one another, both represent the same forces of avarice and irresponsibility, while our nation continues to suffer during a new Gilded Age, a politician-inflicted economic disaster, and avoidable environmental catastrophe.

The lack of mainstream media access by alternatives like Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party is a significant factor contributing to the perpetuation of a self-serving, empire-building state, which is feared, disrespected, and even despised throughout much of the world.

The media’s audiences would be fascinated to learn about an authentic new political alternative, an aggressive challenge to the corrupted status quo, and the possibility of a more high- minded approach to governance, in sharp contrast to more tax cuts for the wealthy, wholesale disregard for human and civil rights, and rule of our lives and our nation by lap-dogs to the rich and powerful. Rocky Anderson will inspire and gain the attention of media audiences – but he must be granted reasonable opportunities to convey his message to the public.

Imagine a political dialogue that includes someone who will speak the truth to the American people, without regard to whether campaign donors might be offended. Imagine getting beyond the insipidity of what have passed for presidential “debates” ever since the debates were hijacked by the political duopoly (which created the Presidential Debate Commission) from the League of Women Voters. Imagine a highly competent, passionate lifetime advocate for the American populace challenging the duopoly’s two candidates who have proven themselves to be war-mongers and subversives to our Constitution and our nation’s values of freedom, equal opportunity, compassion, and sustained security.

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