Personal Profiles of Selected Fringe Candidates
An intensive effort was made to record on both audio and video tape interviews with as many of the fringe candidates as could be contacted, either at the time of filing or later for those who filed by mail. Their correspondence, campaign promotional material and newsclips were also collected and may be found at the state archives. There follows a personal profile on selected members of the fringe group.
Buffalo, New York
|"I have always believed since I was four years old
I was going to be President of the United States."
A former seaman, poet, author of the analogical Book ov Lev, Michael Levinson traded in the red-and-black hunter jacket and coonskin cap he wore in the 1992 New Hampshire, primary campaign for a brown straw hat, flowered scarf, shirt and tie in 1996. "Anytime you do a good deed, you put a nickel in God’s bank. The president has the chance to create millions, and this guy Bill Clinton is a dud," said Levinson. As a write-in candidate in other states, his slogan was: "If you can’t be bothered writing my name on the ballot, then you donât deserve to have me."
Platform: He claimed that America’s sagging economy could be revived by building 10,000 clipper ships to haul our exports all over the world and "we should let college students work on the ships for tuition." Powered by solar panels and wind, the vessels would save fossil fuels. Staffed by a few merchant marine professionals directing the crew of students, the clipper ships would be escorted by non-nuclear subs to prevent "old-fashioned piracy’"
This was Levinson’s fourth campaign for president and he had a carefully-planned strategy, pumping gas for customers at gas stations to make friends and distribute his position papers. Much of his energy in recent years was devoted to attacking television stations that denied him substantial chunks of free air time in 1992 to promote his candidacy. After the Federal Communications Commission refused to act on his complaints, he filed a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court asking for the FCC to be declared unconstitutional.
In November of 1995 he wrote to the CEO of every major network in the U.S. and to New Hampshire’s only statewide commercial television station requesting that he may deliver "a series of major substantive mass-media speeches on behalf of my campaign for party nomination and candidacy for the office of president of United States, 1996." His objective was to win the election by securing free air time then, via the "live unblinking camera, go one-on-one with the citizenry," offering his short and long-term solutions to the country’s problems.
He was featured on a CNN news spot in 1996 and mentioned in Time as one of the more colorful fringe candidates. Levinson considered himself "an attractive candidate with meaningful non-partisan solutions to our prob limbs." "Politishinz" and "pallah tics" were his favorite avocations, when he was not promoting the poetic, "prophetic" synopsis of human civilization he presented in his 1971 publication. Once a creative writing instructor 8t the University of Buffalo, he still regarded inspiring young minds to be a major priority.
When Levinson appeared on Kevin Miller’s radio talk show on Nashua’s, he met an activist who had recently run for local office. Corning off a tough election fight of her own, she knew how it felt to be a political underdog. When Levinson said he needed a home base primary campaign, the former aldermanic candidate offered him her living room couch. Levinson received 43 votes in 1988, 44 in 1992, and 35 in 1996.
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Caroline P. Killeen
|"The Hemp Lady"
"Killeen up the earth"
A former Roman Catholic nun from Arizona, Caroline ran against U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini in 1982 and for Governor in 1994. An acre of hemp produces oxygen equivalent to four acres of most other plants which, she said, is good for the environment, and marijuana which has medicinal benefits. It’s time, she believed, to "bring hemp out of the closet’"
Unmatched as a true grass roots campaigner, traveling always by bicycle, she pedaled across the United States at least ten times over the last @ years. This taught her so much about America’s demographics, being out there with Americana, that it became her lifestyle. She slept in fields, in churches, in college dormitories and homeless shelters, while "@g to look presidential."
"They used to call me a Bohemian years ago, a happy camper. But now, when you’re out there in sleeping bag and traveling, they call me homeless."
She had a hemp plant adorning her bumper sticker to tout the "re-legalization of marijuana." Though she pushed mainly environmental themes since her first presidential bid in 1976, the controversial candidate said she was anti-gay rights, calling her own lesbian tendencies "a curse" that one must sublimate "until there is a religious pronouncement on it."
Touting marijuana’s medicinal and recreational benefits, she aimed her message at New Hampshire high school and college students. She would lower the drinking age and promote smokers' rights. "Let Clinton inhale, legalize marijuana," was the bumper sticker she peddled statewide at $2 apiece, to finance her fifth bid for the Democratic presidential nod. She also used her Social Security check to help raise the $1,000 filing fee. "Willie’s a wash and Perot’s a horses you-know-what," she said. "How could I not try again?"
In late January of 1996, during a record-breaking snowfall winter, our pro-cannabis candidate wore out her welcome at Phi Psi Panarchy, an undergraduate society residence at Dartmouth College in Hanover. House members were forced to call the police after several days of unsuccessful efforts to get Killeen to leave. One night of hospitality turned into two, then three. By then she had acquired a dog and became very upset when house members insisted she depart. Panarchy’s experience is "not untypical of Caroline," said a person who knew her. "She does that quite a lot. She settles in and moves her stuff in and then doesn’t want to move on." She did move on finally, to a homeless shelter in Manchester, which became the centerpoint of her final weeks campaign.
Killeen received 96 votes in 1992; 393 votes in 1996.
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Billy Joe Clegg
Hometown: Biloxi, Mississippi
Party: "born-again Republican"
Born: Oklahoma in 1929
|"Clegg will not pull your leg."
Billie claimed he was ordained a minister on the streets of Exeter in 1976 and always carried a large-print Holy Bible tucked under his left arm when seeking votes. Making his seventh try for the White House, having dedicated twenty years to quadrennial campaigning and accepting no donations, he guessed he had spent $10,000 of his own money. He saw the moral decline in our country back in 1972, and he had been running ever since. Though the national media completely ignored him, he said he was regarded as the most "colorful" candidate, sought after and interviewed by several radio stations across the country. 1996 was a great year for Billie Joe, as "only one out of every fifty people refused to take my pamphlet."
Platform: In order to boost the job base in northern New England, Clegg would establish a "state of the art" anti-missile defense base in New Hampshire. His plan called for balancing the federal budget within twenty years without hurting veterans, elderly, Medicare and Medicaid.
Billie Joe took credit for having advocated a flat tax and preaching family values for twenty years. "Now, everybody’s on the bandwagon." He’d replace the United Nations with a two hundred man SWAT team in each country.
Clegg wanted to "call out the National Guard and close down all the abortion clinics." He was opposed to the Federal Reserve, the IRS, United Nations, affirmative action, homosexuality, and he would place a four-year moratorium on foreign aid and federal regulations.
He was "for what God is for and against what God is against.... By the way, what is all this I hear about our poor grandchildren’s future?" he asked, reading from a written speech. "Let them stop getting pregnant, get rid of their sound boxes and earn a living like we did and our forefathers did. I read in the news the other day that the federal government spends $37 billion on teenage pregnancy. Maybe the parents should go back to medieval times and provide chastity belts for their daughters."
"It’ll be a miracle if I become president, but miracles do happen. The reason I don’t get elected is that I’m politically incorrect. I say things like ’queers’ and ’homos’ and ’pornos’ and ’pinkos.’ I’m pretty blunt," he added.
He was a veteran of World War 11, the Korean action and Vietnam. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after serving twenty years, eight years in the military overseas. He graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1978 at age 50, attaining a B average.
A switch hitter, Reverend Clegg, received 174 votes as a Democrat in 1976; and as a Republican, 110 votes in 1992 and 118 votes in 1996.
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Three Favorite Quadrennial Candidates
Mike Levinson - Billy Joe Clegg - Caroline Killeen
Though Mike Levinson had traveled all night from Buffalo in a blinding snowstorm to be the first in line at the 8:00 am opening hour for filing in 1991 for the 1992 primary, he was outpaced by Billy Joe Clegg who had spent the night on the statehouse steps.
Vowing not to let it happen in 1996, Levinson secretly camped out at a back door of the State House figuring he’d get in before Clegg. But maintenance opened the front door first and Clegg beat him again in the race to the Secretary’s office.
Unknown to either of them a State House reporter for the Manchester Union Leader had earlier admitted a stand-in to sign up for Pat Buchanan. He was already waiting outside the Office when Clegg and Levinson came rushing up the stairs, as numbers two and three to file. Caroline Killeen, who couldn’t ride her bicycle into the building, was right behind them as filer number four.
After the office opened and the three quadrennials, Levinson, Killeen and Clegg, started registering with the Secretary, their traditional competition was reactivated with an amusing turn.
As Levinson eagerly detailed to the press his grand scheme for building clipper ships, Killeen had had enough and interrupted. "C’mon, Michael, don’t ruin it for the rest of us fringe Candidates’" She then confided to the press, "He's a little flaky."
Killeen took over by expounding on her idea of legalizing marijuana, whereupon Clegg interrupted, asking her if she’d talked to Jesus about the plan. "Yes," she replied, "I’ve talked to him. Hemp is a creation of nature."
The answer led Clegg to remind her and the press that Jesus Christ was his campaign secretary and would never approve the use of pot.
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Nashua, New Hampshire
Born: New York City 1930
|"You don’t need a politician for president.
You need a lover."
"As for my reasons for running for President,
I explained I needed a job."
Desktop publisher Georgiana Doerschuck, a former candidate for New York assemblywoman in the 1960s, ran here for president in 1992 while still living in New York. She fared poorly in the endeavor, so she took out a temporary New Hampshire residence for her 1996 bid on the theory she’d do better as a "native."
Her experiences in her first New Hampshire primary are detailed in her $14.95 paperback, Project Valiant, which she intended to distribute to every public library in the state. In a recorded message "to the troops and citizens overseas" in January of 1992, she introduced herself and spoke on the national debt. Quoting Mark Twain, "The only criminal class we have in America is Congress," she said. "Since the presidents and Congress mounted this debt together, I am urging everyone to vote all incumbents out of office, irrespective of their parties.... I am not taking the time to tell you about myself except to say please vote for me, I am a fringe candidate, but my voice is heard."
She was very fortunate in the 1992 foray to have been invited to participate with six other fringe candidates in the "The Dark Horse Campaign Headquarters." It consisted of an office complete with secretary and telephones, well situated in Manchester. Reporters came from everywhere to interview them. "The general good will by the Dark Horse people in wishing each other well was morale lifting," she said. Later she learned they all had a secret dislike of her, a woman, and showed it the last few days of the primary: "I must have been better than I thought to generate such hostility. Gosh, what a compliment!"
Her book describes many interesting episodes: "While the best known candidates were in town, our motel was all booked up. Every time I opened my door, every other door would open to see who was coming into my room, or whatever. This became a game called ’Doors.’ Spies were all over the place.... I found candidate’s aides sneaking in drunk early in the morning...... Georgiana always seemed to draw a lot of attention: "On Valentine’s Day, one of Bush’s team was making eyes at me in the morning and blushing. I reminded him to send a greeting to his wife. He told me the staff would do it and my response was: "Mere are certain things the staff cannot do for you. There are certain things that only you can do."’
Platform: One of her first acts as president would be to shut off all of the nation’s computers because their screens are "leaking electronic-magnetic radiation into our bodies." Yet she used a home computer to publish six issues annually of her $4.95 per copy newsletter, in which she detailed her ecological concerns. She vowed to cast away her home computer if she won the presidency. She would shut down the nation’s nuclear power plants and replace them with a network of windmills, solar panels and hydroelectric plants. She deplored "communistic-inspired kinds of nurseries" where families send their children when both parents must work. "Women should not work until their children graduate high school."
The thrust of her candidacy would be to solve problems "by doing things according to Constitutional law’ " She prepared her "Outrageous Platform" which outlined in detail what she planned to do upon reaching the White House. The program would include building no new malls and ordering all existing malls to be closed on Sundays, addressing the hole in the ozone layer which she says is the size of Europe, building a new super railroad, ordering the Supreme Court to review all past decisions to see if they have violated the Constitution, requiring members of Congress to relinquish use of government cars, and there would be a Wives Fund financed by 10% of the husband’s salary to protect wives in their jobs as wives and mothers.
The New Hampshire primary offers the opportunity "to get my views out to the public. As a matter of fact, I wrote a twenty-page platform and it was picked up by the other parties." Doerschuck received 58 votes in 1992, 140 in 1996.
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Heather Anne Harder
Crown Point, Indiana
|"A New Vision In A Changing World"
Dr. Harder, author of numerous books and tapes on education and cosmic counseling, had been a lecturer for over twenty years to a wide variety of audiences from church to business groups. She had prepared and distributed many position papers on critical campaign issues. A former professor of education at Governors State University in Illinois, Harder was the founder of the Association of Universal Light Volunteers, an organization "for people who choose to openly serve on behalf of universal love and light."
Throughout the campaign she operated out of a headquarters in Concord and had one full time staff assistant, Susan Bush, to keep track of her busy schedule addressing school groups everywhere in the state. "At home I have 250 employees who work for me, they run the business, they make decisions ... without me there," Harder explained.
She had no political experience, yet she introduced an innovative chain letter approach for raising political funds. As a further campaign strategy she devised the Club of 10s: membership occurred when a voter made a personal commitment to fulfill ten of fifteen choices, such as sending a $10 contribution, writing ten endorsement letters, enlisting ten supporters or "include Heather in your prayers at least 10 times (or forever, if you choose)." About the New Hampshire primary: "I think New Hampshire has the power to really put the litmus test to the candidates ... by helping the rest of the world strip off the plastic veneer."
Platform: Harder was probably the only candidate to start the fall leg of her campaign with three days of silence at a Trappist monastery. "There is a very strong spiritual foundation to our whole approach to this thing," she explained. "We need to get the power back in the hands of the people."
She centered her campaign platform on the notion of scaling back the Federal Government and "empowering" average folks. "So many people have bought out of the Government, either out of alienation or apathy," Harder said. She proposed national referenda and wanted to require Congressional bills to be written "in standard English." Her campaign focused on recruiting the disaffected and people with little political experience: "Patriot groups, groups that are very spiritual, churches, teachers, women’s groups."
Harder hoped to get her name on every primary ballot, but preferred not to discuss how much money she had raised: "It’s not what the campaign’s about." She mentioned that a Professional fundraising group had offered to raise $130 million for her campaign, at a 30% commission.
In an interview that appeared in a new-age magazine, she revealed an unusual penchant: -Me strangest part of my life, I guess, would be about my communication with other dimensions, which I fondly refer to as ’talking to the dead people."’
Harder received 376 votes.
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|Michael Eric Dass
Washington’s Crossing, Pennsylvania
|"What I’m trying to do has never been tried
before. If It works, I’ll win big."
Michael Dass appeared in the Secretary of State’s office dressed in blue jeans. After executing the filing papers he pulled a $1,000 check from an empty Mueller’s spaghetti box. He said "I’m just an everyday guy, a working stiff. I don’t have a college diploma, and I’ve never run for political office before. I’m single." Dass was unemployed.
He was the only one of 45 candidates who refused to be interviewed by the press about his campaign strategy. "If you want to talk to the people in the other 49 states, you have to talk to the media," he said. "But here in New Hampshire, I want to talk directly to the people, unfiltered by the media’ " He promised to return to be interviewed the day after primary, and submit to any type of questioning. Then he left, returning a few hours later to assure a Time reporter, "I'll guarantee to be here on the day after the primary to answer any questions you may ask." "if you win the primary," replied Time’s Richard Stengel, "I’ll guarantee to be here."
Platform: Direct Democracy. A few weeks later, Michael Dass had changed his mind, allowing himself to be privately interviewed, though not by the press. He was energized and enthusiastic from the grass roots campaigning he had been doing in New Hampshire, talking to people on the streets about the issues. Friendly Granite Staters questioned him about his "vision for America’ " What about this vision thing? He wondered. He started looking for answers from the people, and came to realize that all these Americans he met were looking for something very dramatic. Reforms currently being proposed by Washington were not sufficient.
He came up with the idea of "direct democracy," where people would vote directly on the issues, on all major legislation. Then, he wondered, how to make it workable, this new idea he had uncovered. He went back to the people - Republicans, Democrats, it didn’t matter. They didn’t want him to be partisan, which was good, because he had never favored Democrats. He had only registered as a Democrat because he felt somebody had to challenge Clinton.
His new New Hampshire friends all contributed ideas, and the whole plan developed into a composite vision for America wherein all citizens would vote directly on all major issues, to change government and how it works, by telephone. The reason he wouldn’t talk to the press early on was that he really did not have the plan, the "jigsaw puzzle," put together. It was the people he met from all over the state who gave him all the pieces, which he eventually framed into a policy.
Dass had been to Bucknell College, where he was a physics major. He excelled in math, high calculus, advanced calculus, but was a slow reader. He went as far as the middle of his junior year, then dropped out of college and started working odd jobs. Never married. "Wish I had. Would have liked to:’ he said. "To be brutally honest, I’ve never been in a financial position where I felt I could support a wife and kids. That’s one of the reasons I have the assets to come up here. Definitely couldn’t do it if I were married."
Dass received 57 votes.
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|Richard P. Bosa
|"Made In New Hampshire"
Richard Bosa, a native son and newly-elected mayor of Berlin, was the only elected New Hampshire official on the ballot. The same sense of duty that once led him to volunteer for military service and combat duty in Vietnam drove him to register for the primaries. His perennial message about the need for legal and government reform, against unfunded federal mandates and, most importantly, about jobs, the economy and the demise of our manufacturing base was reiterated in his campaign trips around the state.
Bosa was always a prolific writer of letters to the editor, especially to the Manchester Union Leader. ’Me themes varied, though he was primarily a legal reform activist. He wrote and spoke of the need to enforce anti-trust laws, about returning to the Republic form of government, about checks on the judiciary.
The other candidates were not discussing the important issues, he said. They didn’t know the answers: "They’re not addressing economic freedom.... They’re not talking rationally, they’re talking in hyperbole. They’re all politicians and lawyers. This is a government by the lawyers, for the lawyers." Bosa requested that the Secretary of State have the names of all members of the legal profession removed from the ballot "on the grounds that the presence of any such candidate constitutes a violation of my constitutional rights to a government in which the principle of separation of powers is adhered to."
He had little use for the state’s Republican Party structure and the bigger radio/television outlets which wouldn’t allow him and many of the lesser knowns to have a seat at the table. He was rejected by the Speaker of the House to address the General Court’s joint sessions because he "did not qualify for matching funds," he said. Access to Republican and other events was non-existent. "No invitations from the environmentalist, the gun owner, the senior citizen." "Selected invitations only" kept him out of the public eye.
His prolificity included a letter written to the Secretary of State three days after the primary: "If you are going to continue to advertise an ’Open Primary’ and invite fringe candidates who pay their $1,000.00, you should consider helping them a little.... It wouldn’t cost much to provide an area where telephones and desks are available so that the press would have a place to meet candidates. You might consider pushing a community like Exeter to do a ’Meet the Candidates Night.......
"My campaign was not a waste of time or money because it was another experience on what is wrong with our government today that can only be known by experiencing the good and bad of the campaign process firsthand. Our New Hampshire media, party officials and organizations that normally provided an accessible arena for political candidates no longer do so for the fringe candidates."
Bosa received 349 votes in 1992, 216 in 1996.
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|Bruce C. Daniels
Originally from Landaff, NH
|"I’m tired of politicians talking about the Federal
Government as if it were the enemy of the people."
Professor Daniels holds dual citizenship, registered to vote in Mansfield, Connecticut, while teaching American history at the University of Winnipeg in Canada for over twenty five years. His mother still resides in Lisbon, New Hampshire. This ultra-liberal Democrat paid for newspaper ads that carried the message, "Encourage Democrats and President Clinton to run a liberal campaign." He promoted the belief that the Democratic Party and the Clinton Administration should commit themselves to the principle that an active, strong government is necessary to ensure fairness in our society and to promote the well-being of all Americans.
Platform: Strengthen environmental protection laws; draft new labor codes to reinvigorate unions; exercise the moral authority of the presidency to support pro-choice for, and racial justice; increase student aid and government support for education; accelerate the pace of military base closings; guarantee health insurance for all; raise corporate taxes and make income taxes more progressive. He believed that the President should denounce the Republican Contract with America as a fraud and moral outrage. He supported affirmative action, opposed a middle-class tax cut, and defended the National Endowment for the Arts and the Public Broadcasting System as "national jewels."
Adopting a new strategy for low-budget campaigns, Daniels spent $400 for a home page on the World Wide Web, which he said brought him considerable response and reaction.
He wrote several books about American history. He tried to rehabilitate the somber connotations of the word "puritan" in a 1995 work entitled Puritans at Play. He espoused "the social programs created by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the honesty of Harry Truman’s Fair Deal, the idealism of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier, the justice of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, and the morality of Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy."
Daniels expressed his pride in the New Hampshire primary, which "gives opportunity for someone like me to enter the process." He liked the small scale because the best part of democracy is where citizens and candidates can eyeball each other. In summary, "If you have something to say and are willing to spend a little energy, people will listen - for better and for worse. A lot of foolish and nasty things are said in campaigns but they are all part of the process. Politics is a sport, a circus, a media event in most western nations and nowhere is this more true than in the United States. But all of this is what makes it work, makes it a democracy, and makes it a true delight."
One of his recent public speeches was appropriately entitled, "The Delights of Democracy: Anybody can Run for The Presidency - Everyone Should." Daniels did not expect to win; rather his mission was to send a message to Clinton that Clinton was not liberal enough.
Daniels received 312 votes.
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|"Vision 2000 - A New Model For Government"
An attorney for twenty years he had never previously run for public office and was "sick and tired of the mess in Washington." He designed Vision 2000 "premised on the belief that the nation would be much better off if all of its citizens assumed personal responsibility for their lives." He wished for a government based on individual responsibility and empowerment.
Casamassima offered a four-point platform. One: "Create a fair, simple tax system that encourages savings, investment, and retirement planning." He would replace all income taxes, including Social Security, with a flat 20% income tax and a 5% national sales tax. Two: "Privatize the welfare/social services system." He would establish a network of non-profit agencies. Three: "Create ’fresh’ government (Fair, Responsive, Strong, and Honest)." He would make government accountable to taxpayers as if they were shareholders in a private company. Four: "Change government policies in the area of education, law enforcement, and immigration’ " He would restore discipline in schools, law in communities, stop illegal immigration and require legal immigrants to demonstrate what they could do for the nation.
He was particularly disturbed that neither the Republican nor Democratic parties would take Social Security "off the table." He saw it as a "scam" and "political plutonium" which no politician dared touch. If it is not fixed "the whole pyramid will implode of its own weight taking the rest of the federal budget with it."
He was one of four fringe candidates who had a page on the Internet. He identified his readers as educated, motivated people who want to go beyond the conventional media to learn about a candidate. "It is for individuals like you to whom this home page is dedicated."
Casamassima was very disappointed with his experience in the New Hampshire primary where he found it was more difficult to get media attention for the "lesser known" candidates than it was in Texas. After preparing extensive position papers and a campaign brochure, he had written to most of the state’s newspapers and TV stations requesting interviews and received no replies, yet he had TV appearances on Texas TV stations and the Donahue show.
He did note, however, that New Hampshire papers gave considerable publicity to "the Hemp lady, Pat Paulson and the fellow who wanted to build a fleet of clipper ships. Truly responsible journalism."
Casamassima received 45 votes.
Bruce C Daniels and Sal Casamassima were among five fringe candidates selected to appear February 12, 1996, on Phil Donahue’s national talk show The third was Stephen Michael, a member of ACT UP who lived with his lover, Wayne Turner Michael said he had tried unsuccessfully to procure their marriage license in Arkansas, which in his view demonstrated that President Clinton did not support the gay movement. The others were Harry Browne, a Libertarian, who qualified for federal matching funds but would not accept them because he did not believe in "welfare for politicians" and Susan Ducey, a registered nurse and political novice, who asked "How can you learn to be president except to be president?"
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|John Safran "The Peace Candidate"
|"I support the policy of sending no American
soldier beyond the limits of our own shores."
This Methodist minister, once a retired liberal labor lawyer who represented strikers in the early 30s, came from Michigan to the State House in Concord to file as a candidate challenging Clinton, offering himself as the only ’honest man’ in the presidential race. He told the two newspaper reporters and a photographer who watched his filing that he was disappointed no television covered his announcement. With Jeannette, his wife of 59 years at his side, he walked the streets and talked to people whose response he described as "truly amazing’ " He sensed a positive reaction to his proposals of cutting the military budget by two-thirds, to create jobs, and to his pacifist resolution of not sending any more military personnel beyond our own shores for war purposes.
"Not one person asked my age," he marveled. A father of four and grandfather of nine, he espoused the teaching of morals and religion, not secularism, in our schools. He opposed abortion except to save the life of the mother, homosexuality, pornography and capital punishment.
His parents were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, of German and Hungarian descent. Though American-born, John had lived in Europe with his family until 1914, when they relocated to Detroit. He "suffered the pains and agony of having a German ancestry during World War I." Relatives there were very much involved in the fighting. He always detested war, which he believed is the greatest enemy of society. "We have decayed morally, ethically and spiritually because of all the wars we’ve had, which never solved anything,’ he said. We must no longer serve as policeman of the world, and not add one cent to the five trillion dollars which the wars of this century and the "Cold War" have cost us for military endeavors, he added.
John Safran believed he was "called" to become a candidate, the same as he was "called" into the ministry, to raise issues that were not being raised by other candidates. He would accept contributions only from individuals, not any other source, up to a maximum of $50.00.
In life, as in politics, Safran seemed from another time. His hope was to have "a $200 billion works program like the ones Roosevelt created to get the country out of the Great Depresion." He represented automobile strikers in 1933, ran unsuccessfully for the Michigan state legislature in 1938, and came in last of seven in the 1982 Democratic primary for governor of Michigan.
Safran received 42 votes.
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|Charles R Collins
|"Within ten years we had a quarter of a million
laws passed. How many of these ever gave you a right?
Not one. They all dilute your rights."
After filing in New Hampshire as a Republican, he bolted the party because the hierarchy would not provide the recognition or assistance to which he felt entitled. Though he had also filed in twelve other states as a Republican, he continued his campaign as an Independent. This was his first run for national office, having previously served for sixteen years on the Panama City, Florida, School Board.
Early in 1995 he had written to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and to the Republican National Committee, calling upon both to insure he would be afforded the "due and equal recognition afforded to other candidates." He felt strongly that speaking opportunities and access to Republican events and meetings in several states had not been given to him. Actually, the RNC list of 1996 GOP presidential candidates who had declared their candidacy as of May 1, 1995, did include Collins, but he continued to insist that he was being denied access and that "big media" had tried to shield the public from his campaign.
A Phi Beta Kappa class valedictorian from the University of Georgia, Collins had "twenty businesses going at one time in the great state of Florida." Predominantly a real estate developer given responsibility for building up Panama City, Collins also owned and operated a cattle ranch in Georgia. With his wife, Denise, they helped start Christian Coalition chapters and were also noted for sponsoring religious missionary work in Estonia.
He supported U.S. political dissident Michael New, the soldier dishonorably discharged for refusing to wear the United Nations patch on his uniform. He urged our withdrawal from the United Nations, mandating that no more American troops be placed under foreign command. "The United Nations is supposed to be a peacekeeping organization," he said. "It is a move to one world government, one world order." Accusing the UN of "subverting" the Constitution, Collins charged that the diplomatic organization was a scheme leading toward "no countries, no borders and one international currency."
Collins had turned down a Rhodes Scholarship in his youth. "Oxford is a hotbed of socialism. Clinton used it as a jumping off platform to denigrate this country during the Vietnam War," he said. Collins’ economic plans included eliminating the Internal Revenue Service and repealing income taxes so mothers could stay home and teach traditional family values to their children. He would institute a national 5% consumption tax with a 2% cap on food and medicine.
His platform urged the repeal of the NAFTA and Gatt agreements, and the Agency for International Development. He would buy back the Federal Reserve banking system and return its assets and activities to U.S. Treasury control. He would do away with inheritance and estate taxes, with the War Powers Act, Trading With the Enemy Act, the F.E.M.A. Act, Emergency Powers Act, to restore the Constitution and rescind all old executive orders. Collins would repeal all gun laws, do away with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and push for tougher sentencing for criminals who use guns.
"I am the one candidate who can unify America." He was not worried about Ross Perot and his Reform Party taking votes away from him because the more Independent candidates who ran, the better his chances. "I know that many millions of people are already behind us.... We’re telling the truth to the churches and their members. We talk about the separation of church and state; that’s not so. We have state churches. The state, the federal government use these churches under 501(c)(3) and dictate what the churches can do. We want to free the ministers, the churches and the congregations to stand up for what’s right."
Though Charles Collins had tried to have his name taken off the ballot as a Republican candidate, it was too late. He received 42 votes.
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