WV Greens reorganize with Mountain Party

Sutton, WV. (ONN) The Mountain Party of West Virginia, the local affiliate of the national Green Party, just held its bi-annual State Convention. The party’s Executive Committee unanimously voted in new party leadership while approving a large slate of candidates for the upcoming November General Election. With West Virginia’s recent poisoning of its drinking water due to industrial contamination, watch for the Mountain Party Greens to score some surprise victories this year.

New leadership

During the party’s recent State Convention, WV Mountain Party State Chairwoman Charlotte Pritt formally announced her departure as the party’s top local leader after serving as Chair for two years. The state Executive Committee followed the announcement by unanimously voting for environmental activist Elise Keaton to replace Pritt as State Chair.

“I am excited to pass the gavel to someone with both a brilliant legal mind and courageous youthful energy,” Charlotte Pritt told party members and supporters, “West Virginia’s younger generation is hungry for leadership that reflects the beauty of our mountains and spirit of our people. Elise Keaton provides that leadership.” During her tenure in office, Pritt was a fierce spokesperson for the people of West Virginia after Freedom Industries poisoned the state’s drinking water after an industrial accident.

“At the heart of the declared National Disaster in Charleston, West Virginia, where Freedom Industries poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 people, is the industry-over-people voting record of the elected officials here in the state,” Charlotte Pritt vocally protested at the time. She’s also taken on the state’s electronic voting machines, citing at least two incidents in the past were the machines’ legitimacy has been called into question by authorities.

Elise Keaton, the Mountain Party of West Virginia’s new State Chair, is an example of what young activists can achieve with perseverance and passion. Keaton is an environmental lawyer who grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. She’s the Executive Director of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, Chairwoman of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the West Virginia Environmental Council, and Gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation.

After graduating from her local WV high school, Keaton went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech in Political Science. She continued her education by earning her law degree and focusing her legal specialty on environmental law, specifically surface mining and strip mining. Elise Keaton has since been an active and vocal champion of environmental stewardship both West Virginia and around the country.

“The Mountain Party is the party for our mountain people,” Keaton said after being chosen to lead the Green Party state affiliate, “Regardless of prior political inclinations, members of the Mountain Party come together around the values we share – health, mountains, clean waters and thriving communities. West Virginia is the crown gem of Appalachia and has much more to offer than just her mineral resources. I’m honored to lead the Party willing to fight for and protect her true bounty, the people who live here.”

Election candidates

At the same State Convention that elected Elise Keaton the party’s new State Chair two weeks ago, the Party’s convention delegates also nominated a nearly full slate of candidates for local, state-wide and national office. The Mountain Party of West Virginia’s 2014 General Election candidates include:

US Senate – Bob Henry Baber

US House – Ed Rabel

WV Senate District 17 – Jesse Johnson (Kanawha)

WV House District 11 – Dr. Mark Myers (Roane)

WV House District 23 – Danny Ray Cooke (Boone)

WV House District 27 – Karen White (Mercer)

WV House District 32 – Tighe Bullock (Fayette)

WV House District 66 – Daniel Lutz – (Jefferson)

WV House District 49 – Mike Manypenny (Taylor)

WV House District 39 – Sally Shepherd (Kanawha)

WV House District 37 – Mike Pushkin (Kanawha)

Kanawha County Commission – Dianna Strickland

In additional to the above candidate slate, the WV Green Party affiliate also unanimously approved three resolutions, all revolving around the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana and industrial hemp. One resolution calls on the state to legalize medical marijuana. The Mountain Party says West Virginia was one of the first to do so back in 1979, but the law was repealed in 1997. The remaining resolutions support the legalization of industrial hemp, the decriminalization of marijuana possession and a vote to reaffirm the party’s support of collective bargaining rights for West Virginia public employees.

Bob Henry Baber for US Senate

At the top of the WV Mountain Party’s ticket this November will be Bob Henry Baber running for the office of US Senate. Baber is no stranger to politics and elections. He previously ran WV Governor in 2011 where he was outspent by his opponents 10,000 to 1. The following year, he ran for US Senate on the Mountain Party/Green Party ballot line, capturing over 20,000 votes.

After filing the required candidate paperwork at the WV Secretary of State’s office last week, Bob Henry Baber exuberantly told supporters, “I am honored to have the opportunity to speak for people who are disenfranchised with the business-as-usual Republicrats who unconditionally promote West Virginia’s extraction industries regardless of the safety of their workers and the health of our communities. I support full disclosure of all toxic chemicals and the deadly waste by-products from the rapidly advancing and under-regulated Fracking Industry.”

The race for WV’s open US Senate seat should be especially interesting since the retirement of Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) from the position. Already, there are a half dozen candidates expected to be on the November ballot including the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, the Mountain Party’s Baber and a host of independents.

Taking on the Establishment

When asked about the numerous candidates running against him, Bob Henry Baber took aim at the race’s frontrunner, State Rep. Shelley Capito (R-2). “Capito is the wrong person at the wrong time to represent West Virginia in Congress,” Baber said, “Her campaigns have always been funded by the rich and powerful. She’s become a multimillionaire since she was first elected, and her campaign donors have been the likes of Freedom Industries and Tom De Lay’s crooked Super PAC.”

The Mountain-Green US Senate candidate went on to point out his Republican opponent’s flawed voting record explaining, “That’s why she opposes raising the minimum wage and could care less that forty million Americans are without healthcare. She voted against paycheck equality for women and has even fought against loans for college students. Her record on protecting the environment and the health of the people throughout our state is terrible.”

The Mountain Party of West Virginia has new leadership, a large slate of candidates, and a clearly energized and rejuvenated state party. With an environmental disaster to continually remind voters what they can look forward to with more Democrat and Republican elect officials, the Mountain-Greens have a rare opportunity to score a few surprise victories doing nothing more than promoting their longtime number one issue – the environment.

SEP rallies to protest Israeli assault on Gaza

Champaign-Urbana, IL. (ONN) The Socialist Equality Party’s strongholds are Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, but like many socialist political parties, they have a global presence. And the party used that wide footprint this week to protest the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza. Party members are also taking a stand in Illinois where the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana rescinded the hiring of a Palestinian-American professor because his recent statements were critical of the Jewish State.

Pro-Palestinian professor fired

‘The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana has reportedly blocked the fall appointment of Palestinian-American professor Steven Salaita for his recent comments made on Twitter criticizing Israel’s war crimes in Gaza,’ the World Socialist Web Site reported today. WSWS is the official publication of America’s Socialist Equality Party and is distributed regularly here in the US.

Salaita was hired by the U of I to teach American Indian studies. He previously taught at Virginia Tech. He’s also the author of several books on the subject, as well as titles on the Middle East and Israel. It was a Tweet he sent out in recent days regarding the slaughter in Gaza that got him in trouble with the University. While his statements are crude, harsh and full of vulgarity, Opposition News readers may be sympathetic to his overall sentiment.

Professor Salaita Tweeted, “Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just F****** own it already,” and “F*** you, #Israel. And while I’m at it, F*** you, too, PA, Sisi, Arab monarchs, Obama, UK, EU, Canada, US Senate, corporate media, and ISIS.”

The University had previously come under pressure for its hiring of a senior professor with pro-Palestinian political views. But U of I spokespeople defended Steven Salaita as recently as two weeks ago when school officials were quoted by local Illinois media saying, “Faculty have a wide range of scholarly and political views, and we recognize the freedom-of-speech rights of all of our employees.” Apparently, the above Tweets proved too much and stretched the limits of the University’s free speech policy.

SEP in Sri Lanka

Three days ago, roughly 50 members of the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party demonstrated in central Colombo against the Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip. As reported by WSWS.org today, SEP joined together for the protest with the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE). Marchers chanted slogans such as, “Hands off Gaza” and “Oppose Israeli Invasion of Gaza.” The most interesting observations came from the protesters chanting, “Oppose the Imperialist World War preparations!”

This week’s demonstration followed on the heels of another protest one week ago in the same city, and organized by fellow socialists. SEP and IYSSE leaders explained that they wanted to show the differences between the two socialist factions’ positions on Israel and Palestine. The week-ago march was led by the Nava Sama Samaja Party, United Socialist Party and Frontline Socialist Party and used the slogan, “Let Palestinians live.”

SEP organizers explain that those groups are using their resources to beg the United States and Israel to stop the killing of innocent Palestinians. By contrast, the Socialist Equality Party says it is rallying the support of working class people around the world to stand together with the Palestinians and other people persecuted by imperialists like the US and Israel. They insist there’s a big difference between the two positions and tactics.

Libertarian Mom running for US Senate in Minnesota

Minneapolis. (ONN) Heather Johnson may not have much experience as a government official. But as the mother of two daughters and the Secretary of the Minnesota Libertarian Party, she has plenty of experience battling government officials. Johnson declared her candidacy for US Senate and she’s already showing what an energized and active campaign looks like. She’ll need to work extra hard, as the odds are always against honest, sincere citizen-candidates. But don’t forget – it’s Minnesota, where anything can happen on Election Day.

If you think it’s difficult being a mother of two young girls, working, volunteering, and going back to college all at the same time, try adding a run for US Senate to the list. While that massive burden might cripple most people, the Libertarian Party’s Heather Johnson only seems to get more energized from the challenge.

About Heather Johnson – Libertarian Lady

The US Senate candidate’s campaign website details Heather Johnson’s biography by beginning with the simple yet unmistakable title, ‘Libertarian Lady’. “I grew up in Minnesota, lived in both North Minneapolis and Golden Valley for most of my life, and graduated from Cooper High School in Robbinsdale,” she explains, detailing her Minnesota roots, “Both of my daughters keep me busy as well as my family and friends. I reflect traditional Minnesota values and diversity. My unique circumstances and experiences in life has loaned me the ability to relate to so many people.”

Johnson is currently attending school to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree. But even back when she attended her local Community College for her Associate’s Degree, Heather had the politics bug and decided to get involved in student government. “I’ve held leadership positions at NHCC on the Student Senate as Legislative Coordinator and worked with MSCSA,” she details, “There are numerous committees with whom I’ve served including the Policy and Procedure Committee, Student Life Committee, and the Elections Committee at NHCC. As Secretary for the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, I am currently part of the Bylaws Committee as well as Media and Marketing.”

Heather Johnson insists, “I am truly Minnesotan to my core. I sound Minnesotan, but I am also diverse in my history, education, and development.” The US Senate candidate is currently pursuing a degree in Creative Writing, which is right up her alley considering she’s a popular journalist, author and novelist. Johnson happily confirms, “Writing is one of my life long passions and I’m currently working on three novels.”

Hard work and perseverance

While Johnson will undoubtedly get a boost from young voters and college students who empathize with her determined efforts, she may also gain the support of Minnesota’s working class and the many families struggling financially just to make it from week to week. She’s a hard working mom and like many of us, has worked in a number of industries, basically because we were fortunate enough to land a job in a struggling economy.

“I’ve held positions for quality control in post-closing mortgages, worked on suitability, and conducted quality assurance reviews for financial institutions,” she says, “I’ve also worked as safety and security personnel and for minimum wage in retail jobs.” Needless to say, Heather Johnson is no stranger to hard work.

One statement Johnson made while describing herself and her qualifications is one that always resonates with us here at Opposition News. It describes most of us, from the left, right and center and from every opposition political party. In many ways, it’s what sets us apart from the two establishment parties that exist in their own protective bubble, isolated from the real world that the rest of us live in.

The Libertarian US Senate candidate explains, “Throughout my life and in my childhood, I’ve had many trials and many joys. I’ve experienced physical and financial setbacks stemming from health situations and a few from mistakes I’ve made. These types of situations grant me first-hand experience to the struggles of my fellow citizens.”

Positions and platform

Heather Johnson repeatedly reminds voters and supporters that she is not a career politician and literally answered the call when her friends, family and fellow Libertarians asked her to consider running for US Senate. She explains, “Seeing that our nation’s founding principles of liberty and freedom from oppression are far from the reality in today’s political landscape, I answered the call.”

She echoes her fellow Libertarians when she sums up her political beliefs saying, “Every human has a natural right to their lives, liberties, and properties to do with as they choose, so long as they do not infringe upon another’s same right.” That’s basically the founding principal of the Libertarian Party, and one growing more popular across America as the federal government continues to grow and overreach its powers.

Johnson is about as blunt as can be when she describes how she feels about our government in Washington DC. It also sums up how many of us in the political opposition feel and sheds some light on why the Libertarian mom is running for the US Senate.

“The government is far from upholding and defending these rights for all individuals,” she says, “They’ve long infringed upon our natural rights. They’ve sold the American human population to the highest bidder, the richest lobbyists. They are corrupted, bought, and damaged for the specific benefits of limited groups of humans at the expense of our liberties, properties, and lives. They are criminals.”

On the issues

As far as specific issues go, Heather Johnson lists off quite a few that she is for or against. The proud and protective mother of two is a supporter of strong law and order when it comes to violent crimes against innocents, especially women and children. But she’s opposed to the existence of victimless crimes. Like many libertarians, she would legalize marijuana, drugs, prostitution, gambling, and revoke laws mandating seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and other crimes of that nature.

Johnson also touts her support for parental rights and the rights of homeschooling parents. She recognizes and supports the separation of Church and State. And garnering supportive smiles from potential voters, she adds that she also supports, “the separation of Business and State.” The Libertarian US Senate hopeful goes on to detail her intention to support legislation that severs the ties between government and special interests, brings our troops home from foreign lands, ends foreign aid, and pays down the national debt.

When Heather Johnson first wrote to us at our sister publication Whiteout Press, she grabbed our attention by her sincere, impassioned and straight forward appeal, “I am writing to you in the hopes that you’ll share my candidacy with your readers. I am not a career politician, I don’t have the money and contacts that they do. I need every bit of help I can get.” Sound familiar? It does to us. That’s why we started Opposition News in the first place. And it’s most definitely our pleasure.

Only 3 of 16 American Opposition Parties support Israel

Gaza, Palestine. (ONN) As the Palestinian civilian death toll rises in Gaza, more and more Americans are taking sides on the issue. Recent polls show the American people support Israel by a two to one margin with a full one-third undecided or with an equal condemnation of both sides. America’s political opposition has taken the opposing view, with the vast majority supporting Palestinian independence and sovereignty. Read on to see where each party stands on the issue.

Far left, far right in agreement

Of America’s 16 opposition political parties, 8 support Palestine, 3 support Israel, and 5 are either neutral, non-interventionist or have no stated position on the conflict. It’s interesting to note that the parties in the middle of the US political spectrum (moderate, center-left, center-right) are in total disagreement, representing three completely different positions. While the extreme left and extreme right are in total agreement in their support for Palestine, or at least their opposition to Israel.

It’s also worth looking at the stated reasons each party supports the side they do. In the socialists’ case, they don’t support Palestine as much as they support all people unjustly persecuted by wealthy, militaristic imperialists. And nobody falls into that category of victims more than the Palestinians in Gaza. Many of America’s nationalists also support Palestine, but only because they are already pitted against global Zionism.

Moderates in total disagreement

Of the more moderate opposition political parties in the US, they all find themselves on the side they do because of longstanding beliefs and platforms. In the cases of the 3 parties that currently support Israel, the stated reason is because they’ve always seen America as a divinely-inspired “Judeo-Christian” nation. For them, America is eternally intertwined with Israel and God’s “chosen people”.

On the other side of the issue are America’s moderate opposition parties currently backing Palestine. Almost unanimously, they stand opposed to apartheid, genocide and military conquests for empire. Ignoring each country’s political and religious beliefs, they simply support basic human rights, freedoms, equality and equal representation under the law. To them, Israel resembles Nazi Germany more than a modern democracy.

Israel vs. Palestine

Based on party announcements, press releases and official platforms, Opposition News has compiled a list showing where each of America’s 16 opposition political parties stands on the Israel-Palestine issue.

Libertarian Party – neutral (non-intervention)

‘American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current US government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.’

Green Party – Palestine

‘The Green Party of the United States is calling for an immediate ceasefire in the current exchange of missiles between Israeli and Palestinian forces, negotiation for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict, an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian Territories and human rights violations, repeal of apartheid policies in Israel, and establishment of one democratic state for all in Israel-Palestine.’

Constitution Party – Israel

‘The Constitution Party platform does not address Israel specifically. It does not support policies which would get the United States involved in the internal affairs of other nations, including Israel. That being said, we would not interfere in the efforts of private individuals and organizations to provide aid and support to Israel, without using taxpayer funds…The majority of members of the Constitution Party do recognize Israel as the homeland of God’s Chosen People, but the Constitution itself does not authorize the civil government to provide aid or support to any nation other than the United States.’

Peace & Freedom Party – Palestine

‘The Peace and Freedom Party condemns the recent attacks on the people of the Gaza Strip, the most aggressive since the massacres of 2008. We join the many voices calling for an end to sending arms to Israel. The United States is responsible for these and other violations of US and international law performed with regularity by the Israeli military. As long as the United States enables the Israeli government by providing support such as money, weapons, and diplomatic cover, the violence will continue. As Americans we must once more say “Not in our name.”’

Justice Party – Palestine

‘The Justice Party of America vehemently opposes the recent bombing and ground invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military. We support an immediate withdrawal of Israel’s ground forces from Gaza and a ceasefire by both Hamas and Israel, and we call on both governments to seek diplomatic solutions to the ongoing conflict whose primary victims have been – and will undoubtedly continue to be – unarmed citizens, mostly Palestinians. Additionally, we call on the Israeli government, along with the international community, to put in place measures that will guarantee the immediate and permanent dignity, equality and basic human rights of all Palestinians; whose right to uninhibited movement, worship, and commerce has been systematically diminished, resulting in a predictable retaliation by Hamas which, in turn, has precipitated Israel’s brutal military responses.’

America’s Party – Israel

No specific statements/announcement.

American Freedom Party – Palestine

‘This hypocrisy over race is not something new – last year it was revealed that Israel had started using DNA tests on potential immigrants to make sure that they were racially of Jewish descent before letting them enter the Jewish state. If any other nation on earth barred Jews based on DNA tests, these same Jews would be calling for war against that nation, crying “Nazism.” The Jewish Supremacists can however carry out such a policy without fear of censure – an indication of their control over the governments and media of the West.’

Reform Party – neutral (non-intervention)

‘Respect for the sovereignty of all nations means that the United States will not forcefully impose our will on other nations through economic, diplomatic, or military means except as a last resort when that nation poses a clear threat to our prosperity. Supporting our allies means, when ASKED, helping them to build and maintain the same freedoms and prosperity which we enjoy. A fiscally responsible foreign policy means accepting that not every good we wish to do is a good we can afford to do.’

Party for Socialism & Liberation – Palestine

‘The criminal US-backed Israeli assault on Gaza has caused outrage all around the world. For progressive people, the level of popular support Israel enjoys in the United States can be maddening…Support for Israel is in one way or another built into most of the institutions we interact with. The only way to counter that is through organizations of our own.’

Independent American Party – Israel

‘We believe that it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and to humbly implore His protection and favor. Furthermore, we affirm that America is fundamentally a Christian Nation with a strong Judeo-Christian heritage, tolerant of all peaceable religions; and that only by faith in and obedience to God shall we be preserved as a nation.’

Socialist Party – Palestine

‘The Socialist Party USA has long condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as the key role of the United States in financing the oppression of the Palestinian people. Our Platform specifically calls for an end to the occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, along with an end to all United States aid to the Israeli government, as preconditions for peace. With the Israeli regime pushing for the complete annexation of Palestine, coupled with US-financed missiles raining down on Gaza, this point in our Statement of Principles continues to be completely accurate.’

Socialist Equality Party – Palestine

‘The Palestinian territory of Gaza is the scene of war crimes committed by the state of Israel that defy words…The invasion of Gaza testifies to the depraved and bankrupt character of the Zionist regime in Israel. The government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu represents an isolated and demoralized ruling class that has lost its head and has no answer to the crisis it confronts except disorientated and homicidal outbursts of violence. This mass slaughter against a defenseless Palestinian population serves only to deepen the revulsion and hostility toward Zionism throughout the Middle East, around the world and among Jewish workers in Israel itself.’

Constitution Party fields 150 Candidates and counting

Cheyenne, WY. (ONN) The Constitution Party announced it had registered its 150th candidate for the upcoming November General Election. And that total comes from just 22 states so far. The party’s energy is increasing with its fired-up, nationwide, precinct level organization. Their Seven Principals show where the Constitution Party proudly stands, while its positions on the hot button issues of the day are on the popular side of popular opinion.

As regularly tracked by our friends at Ballot Access News, the Constitution Party has 2014 election candidates in at least 22 states, with ballot access criteria submitted in 16 states so far. As of the time of the publishing of last month’s BAN newsletter, there were 22 states whose ballot access window was still open. So, the number of candidates and states could still grow.

Candidates, candidates, and more candidates

In his latest announcement to Constitution Party supporters, National Chairman Frank Fluckiger reported that some of their candidates in certain races were meeting a surprisingly receptive media response.

Typically, corporate owned news outlets systematically black-out the campaigns of independents and opposition party candidates. But from national outlets like MSNBC to local news accounts in Wyoming and Pennsylvania, the press is finally paying attention.

“The hard work of recruiting candidates, putting together campaign teams, distributing literature at state fairs and gun shows, soliciting signatures to get on the ballot – all this and more – means we are making progress,” Frank Fluckiger told fellow party supporters, “Even the media has noticed that we’re in the game, despite the rules being unfair.”

One of those Constitution Party candidates this year is Jennifer Young, running for Wyoming Secretary of State. Young is a grassroots activist who has led the battle against Common Core in the state. She’s also a grandmother with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming. But that’s not what has the state’s media and two establishment parties taking notice.

A few months ago, Constitution Party of Wyoming state chair Jennifer Young criss-crossed the state to collect the required 37,000 signatures for an education ballot referendum. Young gathered only 22,000, but amassed a legion of statewide contacts and over 300 volunteers in 200 Wyoming towns and communities.

Additional Constitution Party candidates are being fielded in states including; Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Principals and Issues

Another reason the Constitution Party is seeing an increase in activism is their longstanding reputation for being true to their core beliefs. Displayed prominently on the party’s home page are both their ‘7 Principals’ and 5 ‘Key Issues’. They are (from ConstitutionParty.com):

7 Principals of the Constitution Party

Pro Life

Pro Liberty

Pro Family

Pro Private Property

Pro Constitution/Bill of Rights

Pro States’ Rights

Pro American Sovereignty

Indy Mealer, LP Hess want invite to AZ Gov Debates

Phoenix, AZ. (ONN) While six Republican candidates for Arizona Governor debated each other on television on Monday, two opposition candidates ramped up their campaign to be included in the coming General Election debates. John Mealer is the Independent Constitutionalist candidate running on the Americans Elect party line. Barry Hess is the Libertarian Party nominee and a second-time candidate for Arizona Governor. And as far as the televised debates are concerned, they want in.

Both the Constitutionalist JL Mealer and the Libertarian Barry Hess are no strangers to hard-fought election campaigns. Hess is a former Libertarian candidate for Arizona Governor and Mealer is a past Constitution Party candidate for President. That’s why they’re not surprised that they’re finding themselves the victims of one of the most common establishment election scams – shutting independents and opposition parties out of the televised debates. That’s also why they’re fiercely fighting back.

ASU, PBS, JP Morgan, Chamber of Commerce

The above four entities – Arizona State University, Public Broadcasting System, JP Morgan Chase, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – are probably four government-connected entities the voters of Arizona don’t want to trust their system of democracy to. But those are the four that will be bringing the state the first televised Gubernatorial Election debate of the 2014 General Election. Candidate JL Mealer has some harsh words for them.

In an open letter sent to PBS, Independent Constitutionalist candidate John L Mealer makes his case to be included in the make-or-break debates. He points out the co-organizers’ non-profit statuses and their dependence on millions of dollars in taxpayer funding. Mealer says he will file every civil and criminal complaint available to him if he is excluded. And if that doesn’t work, he has some even more creative ideas.

“I plan to chain myself to your building and/or your home office until you do what is right, Mr. Todd Sader, CEO/President GPCC,” Mealer wrote to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce CEO, “I expect to have over 2,000-plus people of all walks of life with me, not to mention Barry Hess’ Libertarians. I will call for all other candidates from every race in the state to stand with me. Are you beginning to comprehend the magnitude of your complicity with the party-politics shut-out?”

Debate criteria

In his official letters to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and PBS, JL Mealer sums up his complaints and explains that the sponsors’ published criteria for candidate participation in the debates is literally criminal. One of the many needed requirements to participate in the televised debates is that candidates raise at least $376,808 by August 22, 2014. Many readers feel that is nothing more than an illegal ‘poll tax’. But Mealer points out that it violates Arizona’s Clean Elections law.

“Your criteria for having such large funds on hand prior to Clean Elections being completed is in violation of the law,” Independent Constitutionalist JL Mealer told the debate organizers, “CCEC law states, ‘May not be paid until after 20 days of submission to the CCEC,’ which is due on August 26th, 2014, which incidentally would place your malicious Criteria 7 in violation of the law beginning with fraud and ending somewhere along the lines of extortion, racketeering, conspiracy, mail fraud, gross negligence and voter fraud.”

Mealer goes on to remind PBS that their debate co-organizer – JP Morgan Chase – has been convicted of defrauding millions of Americans and laundering blood money for drug cartels and human traffickers, not to mention their public-private connection to our nation’s entire monetary system. He closes by letting them know it’s not a request, it’s a demand.

“I would like to say I am writing this to appeal to your common decency, but I am not,” JL Mealer tells debate co-organizer PBS, “This is a demand to do the right thing and allow both myself, John Lewis Mealer, and Barry Hess of the Libertarian Party, to participate in this Gubernatorial event.” Extra points to John for taking a stand for his opponent and fellow freedom fighter, Libertarian Barry Hess.

For more information on JL Mealer for Governor, visit JLMealer.com.

Barry Hess for AZ Governor

While Independent Constitutionalist JL Mealer has been fighting for his right to participate in the televised debates, he hasn’t had to worry about ballot access. He’s the official candidate of the now-defunct Americans Elect party, which still has Major Party Status in Arizona. Barry Hess and the Libertarians aren’t as fortunate.

With a Libertarian and a Constitutionalist on the November ballot, Arizona Republicans know the two will take a sizable portion of what might have been votes for the GOP nominee. A three-way split on the right could cause the Democratic nominee to sail onto victory and turn the state from red to blue. If Gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess has his way however, the state will change from Republican red to Libertarian yellow.

Hess has already successfully fought off a Republican legal challenge to his candidacy. After submitting the required ballot access petitions, the state GOP filed challenges to their validity. ‘Last week, the GOP funded a challenge to 37 of Hess’s nominating signatures which would have left him 5 short of the required number needed to appear on the ballot to represent the Libertarian Party,’ his campaign website announced back in June, ‘Hess’ legal teams immediately found no less than 12 of the disputed signatures were in fact valid, and today, the County Recorders weighed in to verify 20 of the disputed signatures as valid. The suit was dismissed.’

Hess remarked, “We were never concerned about the numbers not being there. But now we’re concerned about the obvious frivolousness of the challenge, and the potential of fraud.” The Libertarian candidate went on to say, “It seems the goal is to shield GOP candidates from having to actually address the issues and defend their position on the campaign trail. Maybe the problem is my polling ahead of most of their candidates. Whatever the case, they must have wanted me off the ballot pretty badly to put up big money for a frivolous suit.”