By Mark Wachtler
February 6, 2016. Oakland, CA (ONN) The Peace and Freedom Party may be a regional party, found mainly in California. But their large following in that one state has made them impossible to ignore on the national stage. In 2012, the Peace and Freedom Presidential nominee garnered enough votes to make the Party the sixth largest political party in America. That makes their 2016 Presidential endorsement a hot commodity within the opposition-left. Four candidates are currently vying for the Party’s nod.
Lynn Kahn, independent running for the Peace & Freedom Presidential nomination.
In 2008, the Peace and Freedom Party nomination went to Ralph Nader. In California where he was running on the Party’s ballot line, the popular consumer advocate garnered 108,381 votes. In 2012, actress Roseanne Barr was the Peace and Freedom Presidential nominee. She received 67,359 votes. That put the Party in sixth place nationally, just behind the Constitution Party, but ahead of other opposition-left parties like the Justice Party, PSL, SPUSA and Working Families.
2016 Presidential candidates
This election cycle, four candidates are seeking the Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination for President. In the tradition of ‘fusion politics’, three are actually Presidential candidates from other political parties while one is a self-described independent. Meet the 2016 Peace and Freedom Presidential candidates.
Dr. Jill Stein was the Green Party’s 2012 Presidential nominee, where she finished 4th nationally behind Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson. She is again seeking the Green nomination for President this year. Showing why a Green candidate would want the Peace and Freedom endorsement, if the two Parties’ 2012 vote totals were combined, a unified candidate would have almost doubled their votes in the largest state in the nation.
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On her campaign website, Jill Stein says, “We are being battered by unemployment, inequality, poverty, injustice, endless war, impending climate catastrophe, and a broken, corrupt political system. There are solutions for all these problems, but they're being blocked by political parties that serve the corporate elite, not the people. We need a new way forward that puts people, planet and peace over profit. My campaign is dedicated to empowering the American people to make real the promise of democracy, and set our own course toward a brighter future.”
Gloria La Riva
Gloria La Riva is a well known socialist activist who is also slated to be the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s Presidential candidate in 2016. She was previously the PSL Presidential nominee in 2008. In 1994 and 1998, La Riva was the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for California Governor. The candidate is a longtime Peace and Freedom activist, and to her advantage, she is from San Francisco where the Peace and Freedom Party national headquarters is located.
On her campaign website, Gloria La Riva states, “Capitalism is a corrupt, bankrupt system that is destroying the environment while the super-rich accrue obscene wealth. The capitalist bankers torched the economy and the federal government bailed them out with our money. What an outrage! Today the criminal bankers are richer than ever while millions of working people have been plunged into poverty. A socialist system shatters this destructive model.”
Dr. Lynn Kahn is an independent candidate for President seeking the Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination. She is a non-politician and a doctor of clinical psychology. When it comes to government corruption, Kahn has seen more than her fair share first-hand. She has spent the past 32 years working as a psychologist inside a number of federal agencies. That stint includes a six-year position with the White House Partnership to Reinvent Government.
Lynn Kahn’s campaign website touts, “I am Dr. Lynn Sandra Kahn – independent candidate for President of the United States. I have a very clear platform – Fix Government, Build Peace – fix our broken government and build peace here at home and around the world. When we add up all the fixes we must make to federal agencies, I am talking about Transforming America by Transforming Government! My vision is an America that works for everyone with no one left out. And I have a seven-track plan to do jus that.”
The 2016 Presidential nominee of the Workers World Party, Monica Moorehead, is also seeking the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party. The candidate has an extensive history as an activist and leader of Workers World and her past political campaigns have overlapped with one of her current opponents. In 1996 and 2000, Moorehead was the WWP Presidential nominee while Gloria La Riva was her running mate each time.
On her campaign Facebook Page, Moorehead’s Presidential campaign is described saying, “The Workers World Moorehead-Lilly campaign declares: Elections will matter when Black Lives matter. Will the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton or Bernie Sanders mean that racist police terror against the Black community will finally stop? Of course not. The only time there is change in this country is when the people rise up and fight for it. That's why we're running: to help organize the fight.”
The Peace and Freedom Party is holding a two-day Presidential candidates forum where voters can hear from either the candidates themselves or a representative from the campaign. Yesterday’s forum was held in Oakland, while today’s event will take place in San Francisco.
The Party’s website describes itself saying, ‘The Peace and Freedom Party is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent the working class, those without capital in a capitalist society. We organize toward a world where cooperation replaces competition, a world where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony.’
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