Two outstanding Congressmen from the House of Representatives are seeking the nomination of their parties for the Presidency of the United States in the November 2008 election.
Ron Paul, a family physician representing the Gulf Coast region of Texas around Galveston, is seeking the Republican nomination. Ron Paul was rated by Cannabis Culture Magazine as the number 1 Congressman of the last decade, far and away the number 1 Republican in the House of Representatives, and the highest score of all 435 Members of the House of Representatives in Cannabis Culture’s Survey of the 109th Congress. Ron Paul voted against The Patriot Act, the Iraq War, every aspect of the Drug War.
Ron Paul was one of only 5 Members of the House who voted against re-authorizing the budget of the Drug Czar John Walters office (ONDCP). Ron Paul co-sponsors many, many bills each year whose intent is to repeal the drug war, repeal the intrusions of Big Brother. Ron Paul is incorruptible. He votes against any and all expansion of government authority.
Ron Paul is a libertarian Republican who constantly enrages the GOP (Grand Old Party ? The Republicans) because he actually believes in a small federal government and sound fiscal policies.He’s anti-death penalty, anti-drug laws, anti-police state, anti-Patriot Act and anti-anything that’s not authorized by the Constitution. I admire him for his “principled anti-war stance,” while pro-abortion voters don’t need to worry about the obstetrician/gynecologist’s strong pro-life stance ? he knows the federal government has no right to get involved in such stuff.
Leading contenders for the 2008 Republican nomination are prohibitionist heavyweights like for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Marijuana arrests rose from under 6,000 a year in New York City in the year before Giuliani became Mayor (1993) to over 62,000 arrests in 2001, the final year in his term-limited second administration. Giuliani was America’s most rabid drug warrior and his views have not changed.
John McCain’s most recent job prior to becoming a politician in 1986 was as a brewery executive (his wife is the heir to Hensley & Co., the second largest Anhauser-Busch beer distributor in the USA). McCain has expressed the most hawkish positions on drug policy. On March 5, 2000, McCain told the Boston Globe he wants to increase penalties for selling drugs, supports the death penalty for drug kingpins, favors tightening security to stop the flow of drugs into the country, and wants to restrict availability of methadone for heroin addicts. He said he would push for more money and military assistance to drug-supplying nations such as Colombia.
McCain supports the following principles concerning illegal drugs:
*Source: Project Vote Smart, 1998, www.vote-smart.org Jul 2, 1998
* Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs
* Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs
* Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers
* Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills
* Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the US.
John McCain has not moderated his views perceptibly.
Newt Gingrich was a pot head in his college years who advocated Congress pass the death penalty for pot smugglers while he was House Speaker (1995 – 1999). The 1994 Crime Act already mandated the death penalty for the biggest of marijuana growers (over 60,000 plants or 60,000 kilos, (18 USC 3591 (b)) but Gingrich wanted more.
“Gingrich Urges Death Penalty for Illegal Drug Smugglers,” Washington Post, August 27, 1995, p. A16.
In a speech before a Republican National Committee, Gingrich said that increasing the number of offenses punishable by the death penalty would be a way to stop illegal drug smuggling. “You import commercial quantities of drugs in the United States for the purpose of destroying our children, we will kill you,” he said.
Gingrich said that those who are caught possessing drugs should be sentenced to perform two days of community service every week. If a day is missed, the person would be subject to a five-year prison term.The Speaker came back to the issue of executions for drug smugglers at a speech at a football and cheerleading camp near Atlanta in late August, 1995. He said he would introduce a bill stipulating mandatory executions for drug dealers.
Gingrich did introduce H.R. 41 in the House in early 1996, a bill that would require the death penalty for anyone smuggling one hundred dosage units of an illicit substance across the border. That’s about two ounces of marijuana and would practically cut the population of Mexico in half. On September 25, 1996, Rep. Gingrich (R-GA) re-introduces the bill which has become H.R. 4170, the “Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.” Within a few days, the bill attracts a coalition of 26 Republican cosponsors. The legislation demands either a life sentence or the death penalty for anyone caught bringing more than two ounces of marijuana into the United States.
Death penalty for pot? No thanks. Why Newt, a draft dodger during the Vietnam War and an adulterer a year as recently as 1998, should be viewed favorably by fiscal or moral conservatives, I have no idea. Newt acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, in an interview with conservative Christian group Focus on the Family in March 2007. Newt herded in the largest Congress of deficit spending Republicans the nation has ever seen. Newt’s legacy is George W Bush. Newt’s impeachment-obsessed Congress certainly paved the cynical road that Congressional Republicans have travelled in the 1994 -2006 period, before the big wake-up call for Republicans occurred on November 7, 2006. Republicans have, in the immediate past, shown a fondness for draft dodging scoundrels who become mean-spirited born-again war mongers, and Newt is the most pernicious and hypocritical of any up for the Presidential auction in 2008. What denomination of the Christian faith do Gingrich, McCain, Giuliani profess to adhere to? Perhaps the same one that came up with the Spanish Inquisition? More recently, Gingrich, on November 27, 2006, while giving a speech at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communication in Manchester, New Hampshire advocated a government effort to curb free speech. He said, “We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren’t for the scale of the (terrorist) threat,” calling for a “serious debate about the First Amendment.” And Newt campaigns on this stuff!
Are you frightened enough yet to want to act pre-emptively!?
There will be no better Republican seeking the GOP nomination than Ron Paul. And the contrast between Ron Paul and Republican front-runners Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich is very stark. Very opposite worlds. Of the other 7 Republicans who have announced “exploratory committees”, only Tom Tancredo, an iconoclast Representative from Colorado whose immigration policies have gotten him attention, supports state’s rights to medical marijuana.
Among the Republican Party candidates for President, only Ron Paul has voted against both the 2002 Iraq War Resolution and the funding of the war in the annual Appropriations Bill.
Ron Paul is a wonderful idealist, a prolific and intelligent writer and columnist, a true Man of the People who is completely devoted to the ideals of free men and women in a free society of bodily autonomy and freedom of choice. Ron Paul was rated the only Congressman with a perfect record of voting for the cannabis culture and against big government, the drug war and the war in Iraq. We must support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President. If you are so inclined, register as a Republican so you can support, campaign, and lobby other Republicans to make Ron Paul their choice for President in the primaries next year.
Dennis Kucinich was the third highest rated Congressman in our survey of the 109th Congress. Only Representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank scored higher. Dennis Kucinich wants to decriminalize marijuana, curtail the powers of the Drug Czar, end the War in Iraq immediately. He has co-sponsored many bills that seek to amend the slew of prohibitionist legislation that has come out of Congress over the last decade. Dennis Kucinich is a thoughtful and intelligent man who gives many speeches and articulates his many messages well. Not coincidentally, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul co-sponsor and co-operate on many amendments and bills to reign in the US federal government. His campaign for the Democratic Nomination for President is at www.kucinich.us
Certainly Dennis Kucinich, like Ron Paul, is a long-shot for his Party’s nomination. The two leading contenders for the Democratic Party nomination are New York Senator Hilary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Other announced Democrats in the race for their party’s nomination include New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Connecticutt Senator Chris Dodd, North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Kucinich is the only Democratic contender for President in 2008 who actually voted against the Iraq War and its funding. Senators Biden, Edwards, Clinton, Dodd, all voted YES on the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, while Senator Obama has voted to finance the war since he has been in the Senate. Among the Democratic Party candidates for President, only Dennis Kucinich has voted against both the 2002 Resolution and the funding of the war.
Barack Obama has voted to finance the Iraq War while speaking against it, which shows equivocation. As to his views on drug use, following is a passage he wrote about his own marijuana and other illicit drug use in his 1996 book:
“I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn’t make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate’s sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you’d met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl. You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection. And if the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bullshit and cheap moralism.”
*Source: Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama, p. 87 Aug 1, 1996
There’s insight in those remarks. On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Senator Obama said his youthful marijuana use was a “mistake”, but he didn’t seem negatively affected by the experience. In fairness to Senator Obama, he doesn’t appear to be a man who has a mean streak or a dominator complex, and that bodes well.
New York Senator Hilary Clinton is not on record as saying anything against prohibition. Considering she is from New York, of the infamous Rockefeller Laws, and she has almost no drug law reform mentions in 6 years in the US Senate, it’s clear drug-law reform is not on her agenda.
In the 2004 campaign, this magazine endorsed Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic Party nomination for President. A former Cleveland Mayor now representing the 10th District of Ohio, Kucinich spoke well and often about the misguided drug war. During the 2004 campaign, Loretta Nall had the opportunity to interview Rep. Kucinich over the course of that campaign and became one of his consultants on drug policy reform.
Representative Kucinich is now Chairman of a Congressional Oversight Sub-Committee with the broadest oversight authority of any subcommittee in the federal government, with jurisdiction over all Domestic Policy in the United States. In fact, Kucinich has oversight of the Drug Czar’s office, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy.
Americans in the cannabis culture must talk up and gather momentum for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. 2007 will be all about sorting the contenders from the pretenders. The internet can be very useful, please promote Dennis Kucinich For President and Ron Paul For President on your myspace, blog or other cyberspace media. Nothing beats talking to people about getting involved in perhaps the most important election ever! Ideally, our dream election would Dennis Kucinich(P) & Maxine Waters(VP) on the Democratic ticket vs. Ron Paul(P) & Dana Rohrabacher(VP) on the Republican ticket. Maxine Waters is a great Congresswoman from California who was rated in our survey among the top ten Representatives. Ohio-California, good state mix, two of the top liberals in the House with outstanding credentials for honesty and integrity. Ron Paul and Dana Rohrabacher are the number 1 and number 2 top rated Republican Representatives in the House (by CC number 63) , and both co-sponsor bills to provide state rights to medical marijuana and other drug-law reform bills. These two also have impeccable credentials and are untainted by lobbyists, greed, corruption. Texas-California is good state mix for a ticket.
Both tickets would feature highly principled seasoned legislators with very clear agendas. The citizens would really hear some ideas in that Presidential campaign!
Contribute money to the campaigns of both, money is essential in gathering any kind of momentum. $25 if you can. Buy bumper stickers, T-shirts, buttons, posters and put these promotional items to regular use. Get Ron Paul For President stickers and promotional items HERE or Dennis Kucinich for President stickers HERE . Make posters and handouts to be given out on your campus, at Peace rallies, 4/20, Global Marijuana March, summer festivals, everywhere! It’s a long grueling 20 month campaign and this may be the most important Presidential primary season ever coming up!
Appended March 13, 2007. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has been essential and instrumental in the passage of a medical marijuana bill in New Mexico’s statehouse. It passed the New Mexico Senate on March 12 by a 59-2 vote and after Richardson personally lobbied the NM House, he got the votes necessary in that elected chamber (36-31) for a state med-pot law. Richardson is a very viable candidate for the Democratic Party nomination and should be considered. Bill Richardson has extensive executive experience as a U.S. Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, and U.S. Secretary of Energy. As Ambassador, Richardson is credited with negotiating for the sucvcessful return of American hostages from Iraq, Sudan, North Korea. He was chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry for the presidency, as well as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2005 and 2006, overseeing the Democrats’ re-capturing of a majority of America’s governorships.
Even though he is actively campaigning for the Presidency, he worked even harder to ensure passage of a medical cannabis law. Now that’s leadership!
Bill Richardson may well be tapped for the Vice President in the 2008 campaign, and would be attractive.