By Mark Wachtler
December 15, 2013. Sacramento. (ONN) Famed peace activist Cindy Sheehan is gearing up for a run for California Governor in 2014. Her supporters are already lining up volunteers to circulate ballot access petitions when the window to do so opens in a couple weeks. Once again, Sheehan is running under the Peace and Freedom Party banner.
For those who don’t remember, Cindy Sheehan first came to national prominence when she waged a public anti-war campaign targeted at President George W. Bush. Her heartfelt and touching story of having lost her son in the Iraq War hit home with many Americans. She has since run for Congress, Vice President and now California Governor.
It’s also worth reminding readers of her son’s final weeks on Earth. As detailed by Wikipedia, Casey Sheehan enlisted in the US Army in 2000, prior to 9/11. When the Iraq War began, he reenlisted. In 2004, his First Cavalry Division was deployed back into action. Two weeks later, Sheehan volunteered to be part of a Quick Reaction Force put together to rescue trapped American troops under heavy fire. Casey Sheehan was killed on that mission and posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.
Cindy for Governor 2014
It’s too soon to know if Cindy Sheehan will have any challengers within the Peace and Freedom Party of California in her bid for Governor. But it’s not likely considering the longtime peace activist’s political following and the fact that she’s already received the official endorsement of the Party’s state Central Committee. And if her social campaign against George W. Bush or her political campaign against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are any indication, Gov. Jerry Brown is in for a fight.
When Cindy Sheehan took on George Bush in 2005, she literally moved to his home town of Crawford, Texas. When she ran for Congress against then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sheehan moved to San Francisco. It’s safe to say, when Cindy Sheehan does something, she does it 100 percent.
“Please help with the Cindy for Governor 2014 campaign,” a recent email from Peace and Freedom organizers reads, “Our first priority right now is signature gathering to ensure Cindy gets on the ballot. We need 10,000 signatures in order to avoid paying a steep filing fee.” The window to collect petition signatures starts on December 27 and ends on February 20.
Cindy on the Issues
At the top of Gubernatorial candidate Sheehan’s platform is the environment. She opposes drilling, fracking and dependence on fossil fuels and instead supports a transition to, “sustainable, clean and renewable” energy sources. The candidate even lists two specific suggestions to support her position.
First, Sheehan proposes expanding public transportation, and most importantly, making it affordable for everyone. Second, she supports removing the laws and stigmas against industrial hemp. It’s long been known that one acre of hemp can produce as much paper as hundreds of acres of trees, if not more. The all-natural product was a staple of society until the mid-1900’s and is used to make things like clothes, paper, rope and a number of construction materials.
What Peace and Freedom candidate’s platform would be complete without a public position on world peace. And that’s second on Cindy Sheehan’s list. The campaign website explains, ‘Peace in our cities, communities and neighborhoods begins with economic and social justice. Free education and job programs will be at the forefront of our program so our young people will not have to feel that joining the US Military or California National Guard is an option. The California National Guard will only be used for state emergencies and not be sent over to foreign lands for the wars for Empire.’
Showing she’s not one to dodge the issues or play the ever-popular game of ‘smoke and mirrors’, Sheehan’s platform continues with positions on ‘Education’, ‘Prisons and the Police State’, ‘Agriculture’, ‘Healthcare’, ‘Immigration’, ‘Senior Citizens’, and in a nod to California’s Native Americans, ‘Indigenous Rights’.
The ground game
Already, the California Peace and Freedom Party has launched a voter registration drive to sign up new voters. Research shows that most new voters, if they show up at the polls, will vote for the person or party that registered them. That could prove to be a boost to the party in the coming 2014 elections.
Illustrating their strategy, the Peace and Freedom Party website explains, ‘Registering PFP is an effective way to send a message to every politician, every day, that more and more Californians reject the two parties of war and big business, and support our pro-working class program. Having your name on the voter list as "Peace and Freedom" is like signing petitions for good causes every day, even when election day is far away. Politicians may pay attention to other things now and then (especially money), but they definitely pay attention to voter lists and voter registration statistics.’
Combining Cindy Sheehan’s support network with the Peace and Freedom Party’s precinct army may prove to be a successful combination. The candidate already has a large following from last year’s Presidential campaign where she was Roseanne Barr’s running mate. She also has an existing voter base from her 2008 Congressional run against Rep. Pelosi, an election that saw her finish second in a seven-way race, capturing over 46,000 votes.
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