2012 Presidential Candidates from left to right: Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode, Jill Stein, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama
Reading or listening to the news this year, one would think there are but two candidates running for President of United States in 2012. That is not the case. In fact, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), 175 candidates have filed the correct paperwork to run for President of the United States. Five of these candidates have qualified to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot this November. In alphabetical order they are Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Barrack Obama of the Democrat Party, Mitt Romney of the Republican Party, and Jill Stein for the Green Party.
All five parties submitted the required number of signatures to be officially placed on the November ballot and as of this date three, the Republican Party, Democrat Party, and Green Party will definitely appear. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania has funded an effort challenging the petitions of both the Constitution Party and Libertarian Party in an effort to insure they do not appear on the ballot in Pennsylvania.
All candidates for office in Pennsylvania must file nominating papers, or petitions, with aminimum number of voter signatures in order to qualify for the ballot. Democrats and Republicans need 2000 signatures from members of their respective parties. For an independent party or individual to appear on the Pennsylvania statewide ballot the criteria is different. Those parties or candidates must achieve a number of signatures equal to 2% of the highest vote in the previous election. To simplify, this year third party and independent candidates needed a minimum of 20,601 signatures, or ten times the established parties amount. The Green Party submitted approximately 35,000 and the Libertarians filed over 50,000.
Unlike the Republican and Democratic parties where only party members can challenge their petitions, anyone is allowed to challenge third party petitions. Such is the case this year with the Republican Party contesting the Constitution and Libertarian Party. In the past the Democrat Party has challenged the Green Party, but this year that is not the case insuring a third choice on the Pennsylvania ballot. Depending on court outcomes, the Libertarian and Constitution candidates may also appear. The Libertarian party to date has qualified in over forty states.
Here is a brief summary on the five candidates running for US President, not just the two most readers are accustomed to seeing.
Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate—born in 1946 he served in the Virginia Senate from 1973 to 1997. He served in United States Congress from 1997 to 2009. “Emphasizing and following the Constitution will mean a smaller less costly government, which is vital for the future prosperity and progress of the United States.” Illegal immigration must stop. Our borders must be secure. I continue to support English as the official language of the United States of America. I believe that marriage should be a union between a man and a woman. I am opposed to gay marriages and so-called gay civil unions. I support the federal Marriage Protection Amendment. I support ending ObamaCare. As President I would continue to oppose abortion and would submit a budget to Congress with zero funding for planned parenthood and any other similar entities. Term limits for members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate are just some of his issues and more can be found at www.goodeforpresident2012.com
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate—59 years old. Governor Johnson has been referred to as the ‘most fiscally conservative, socially rational leader in the country.’ He was elected as the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003 in a state that is two-thirds Democrat. Governor Johnson brings a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, believing that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit analysis rather than strict ideology. His accomplishments as Governor of New Mexico included leaving New Mexico as one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. Left New Mexico with a budget surplus. Cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone.
Created more than 20,000 newjobs and was the first New Mexico Governor to challenge educationstatus quo and proposed a statewide voucher program. Cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. He is ranked highest of all presidential candidates by the ACLU when it comes to civil liberties. An Ironman, triathlete, cyclist, and self-made businessman he climbed Mt. Everest in 2003. You can learn more on Governor Johnson at www.garyjohnson2012.com
Barack Obama, the Democrat Party candidate—born 1961 he is the 44th and the current president of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. As president, Obama signed the economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. His major domestic policy accomplishment was the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act better known as ObamaCare. He is the first president to support legalizing same sex marriage. In foreign policy, he oversaw the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden and has increased troop involvement in Afghanistan. The presidents official website is www.barackobama.com
Mitt Romney, the Republican Party candidate—born in Detroit in 1947 Mitt Romney was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts. As president, Mitt Romney will cut federal spending and regulation, and bring much-needed reforms to Medicare and Social Security. He will work toward balancing the budget, reducing the size and reach of the federal government, and returning power to the states and the people according to his campaign website.
As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. He is Pro-Life.As Governor of Massachusetts he championed what is better known as RomneyCare, blueprint for ObamaCare. In a televised debate while running for Governor he stated “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and I am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.” More information can be found at www.mittromney.com
Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate—born in Chicago in 1950 Jill Stein is a physician and former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. As many as forty states or more will see the Green party candidate on the ballot this fall. The Green New Deal is a four part program for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future. Inspired by the New Deal programs that helped us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Green New Deal will provide similar relief and create an economy that makes our communities sustainable, healthy and just according to her campaign website.
Some of her platform issues include quality health care which will be achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-All program and the right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, local controlled public education system from pre-school through college. We will also forgive student loan debt from the current era of unaffordable college education. Invest in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives. Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks. Protect our personal liberty and freedoms by repealing the Patriot Act and those parts of the National Defense Authorization Act that violate our civil liberties. For more information on Jill Stein and the Green party can be found at www.jillstein.org