Candidate Close-Up: Jill Stein

By: Chris McManigal

Fourth of a 4-part series spotlighting the Presidential candidate from the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

Jill Stein came to be on the political stage from experiences in her first career, medicine. As a medical doctor she became concerned about the link between her patients’ health and their environment. This concern blossomed into her becoming an environmental activist and eventually to her first run for President in 2012 as the Green Party candidate.

Originally from Chicago, Stein graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1973 and afterwards attended Harvard Medical School where she graduated in 1979. She practiced internal medicine for 25 years until retiring in 2005.

Over the course of her medical career, Stein maintained a parallel career as an environmental activist and researcher. She has protested against coal pollution and testified to the state of Massachusetts to include mercury warnings on fish. In 1998 she began serving on the board of Boston’s Physicians for Social Responsibility and later partnered with Boston University’s Superfund Research Program, which is primarily concerned with the linkage between human disease and exposure to hazardous chemicals. Also, while on this board she authored two reports, In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development in 2000 and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging in 2009.jill_stein_by_gage_skidmore

As the Green Party candidate for President, Stein favors nationalizing the Federal Reserve, increasing spending on mass transit programs, and funding infrastructure upgrades to revamp cities in order to encourage biking and walking. She wishes to overturn Obamacare in favor of a Medicare-for-all model. She also favors free high public education and cancelling all student debt. She is against fracking and the use of nuclear energy.

Stein is married with two adult sons.

Age: 66

Education: BA and MD from Harvard University

Net Worth: 2.5 million

Famous Quote: “The mythology is that political change happens only in election years. The truth is you build from election to election.”


Candidate Close-Up: Gary Johnson

By: Chris McManigal

Third of a 4-part series spotlighting the Presidential candidate from the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

Gary Johnson has been a known quantity within New Mexico for many years having served as the Republican Governor from 1995 to 2003. He made his first appearance on the national stage in 2012 when he ran for President for the first time, initially as a Republican with Libertarian leanings. Then during that race he switched his affiliation officially to the Libertarian Party and won the party’s nomination with more than 1 million votes.

Though originally from North Dakota, Johnson went to High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico and graduated from college from the University of New Mexico, also in Albuquerque. He began his career as a handyman which eventually led him to starting his first construction company, Big J Enterprises. That company became extremely successful and ultimately employed more than 1,000 people. When he sold Big J in 1999 it was widely known to be one of the biggest construction companies in the state.

Johnson has authored 2 books. Seven Principles of Good Government was published in 2012 and Common Sense for the Common Good: Libertarianism as the End of Two-Party Tyranny will be released in 2017.

As the Libertarian candidate for President, Johnson is in support of military non-interventionism, the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, preserving abortion rights, simplifying the tax code and the expansion of nuclear energy. While he is not a climate change denier, he does not feel that the government can or should play a role in controlling it. He also supports the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act known as Obamacare.gj

Johnson is currently unmarried, but has been with his partner Kate Prusack since 2009. He has 2 adult children from his previous marriage that ended in 2005.

Age: 63

Education: BS from the University of New Mexico

Net Worth: 6.5 million, estimated

Famous Quote: “Every time you pass a law it is a little bite out of freedom.”


Candidate Close-Up: Donald Trump

By: Chris McManigal

Second of a 4-part series spotlighting the Presidential candidate from the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

Donald Trump was famous for a long time before becoming the focus of the news every night. He’s been a businessman, TV star and author before first running for President in 2000 as the Reform Party candidate. That bid for the Presidency was ultimately unsuccessful, but gave the public a first glance at Trump as a politician.

Trump first began his career working for his father’s business known at the time as Elizabeth Trump and Son, which was named after his grandmother. In 1971 he took over that business and renamed it The Trump Organization. Within the first two years of him running the company The Trump Organization was investigated by the Justice Department for housing discrimination against minorities. The Organization later agreed to screen tenants based solely on income status, but never admitted wrongdoing.

Donald Trump has written numerous successful books, arguably the most famous of which was The Art of the Deal which is often regarded as the best-selling business related book of all time. Trump also starred in a reality show called The Apprentice during which hopefuls competed for a position within The Trump Organization. There was also a celebrity edition of The Apprentice during which celebrities would compete with one another in order to raise money for charity.

Donald Trump has never held elected office, but has stated that he feels his business acumen and experience makes him a logical choice for President because of the impact the office holder has on the American economy.

As the Republican candidate Trump has famously supported the overturning of the Affordable Care Act, building a wall along the US border with Mexico and vetting immigrants before granting entry into the US, which would include verification of their potential affiliation with terrorist groups.27484886630_234db35e7c_b

Donald Trump has been married 3 times. First to Ivana Trump from 1977 to 1991 during which they had 3 children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. Second to actress Marla Maples from 1993 to 1999. They had 1 child together, Tiffany. He is currently married to Melania Trump and they have 1 son together, Barron

Age: 70

Education: BS from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania

Net Worth: 3.7 billion

Famous Quote: “I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business.”


Candidate Close-Up: Hillary Clinton

By Chris McManigal

First of a 4-part series spotlighting the Presidential candidate from the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

Hillary Clinton is sometimes referred to as the most famous woman in the world. With good reason. She has been in the public eye since 1979 when she first became First Lady of Arkansas when her husband, Bill Clinton, was elected Governor.

When Bill Clinton was elected President in 1993 she became known to country and world over for her outspoken efforts to promote and pass healthcare reform and promote women’s rights.hillary_clinton_official_secretary_of_state_portrait_crop

In 2001 she was elected to office in her own right as a Senator from New York and served until 2009, becoming the only former First Lady to win an elected office. During her time in office she led an investigation into the health issues suffered by 9/11 first responders. She also voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but later openly regretted her support for the latter.

After an unsuccessful bid for the Presidency in 2008, Barack Obama appointed her to be the 67th Secretary of State, a capacity she served in until 2013. During her term she negotiated a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. She also supported military action against Libya, but has been subsequently dogged by the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi. She has also had to contend with an ongoing issue regarding classified emails during her time as Secretary.

As the Democrat party candidate for President, she has made women’s rights a cornerstone of her campaign, particularly as it relates to pay parity. She also supports LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, tax reform, universal health care, reducing the burden of student debt for college students and paid family leave for employees.

Hillary Clinton married Bill Clinton in 1975. They have one daughter, Chelsea, and 2 grandchildren.

Age: 68

Education: Juris Doctor, Yale Law School 1973

Net Worth: 31 million

Famous Quote: “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”


What is a Libertarian Anyway?

By Chris McManigal

Third of a 4-part series spotlighting the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

The Libertarian Party was founded in the 1971 and while it is not one of the main two parties, it has gained popularity among those that are disgruntled with the two-party system in the United States. Libertarians are not regarded as either right or left-wing, but rather a combination of both with socially liberal and fiscally conservative viewpoints.

The leading ideology of Libertarianism is non-interventionism and as such Libertarians lean strongly against government regulation of any kind. They instead believe in citizens governing themselves. Due to this they do not believe in most taxation and the programs that taxes often fund such as welfare or the military. They also do not believe that the government should have any say over who can and cannot marry or own guns.

Libertarians often refer to themselves as laissez-faire capitalists, which means they feel that the buying and selling of products and services should be totally free from regulation of tax of any kind and should be subject only to the rules that the buyers and sellers themselves agree to.

As such a new party, there have been no Libertarians Presidents in US history thus far. The most famous Libertarians that have held office have been former Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota and former Representative Ron Paul from Texas. Also, Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, a fellow Libertarian, is one of the current Senators of Kentucky and ran for President in the current election until suspending his campaign in February of this year.

Notable Libertarians include TV host Glenn Beck, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, renowned economist Milton Friedman, news mogul Rupert Murdoch and Hollywood alumni including magicians Penn & Teller and actors Gary Oldman and Clint Eastwood.

Libertarians as seen by supporters: pro-gay marriage, pro-business, defenders of liberty, pro-gun rights.

Libertarians as seen by opponents: Anti-government, anti-military, anti-taxation, anti-social safety net.

Key ideology: Non-interventionism

Size: 411,000


What is a Democrat Anyway?

By Chris McManigal

First of a 4-part series spotlighting the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

The Democratic party, founded in 1828, is one of the main two political parties in the US. The party has undergone many changes throughout its history, but is presently regarded as the more liberal, or left-wing, of these parties.

One of the hallmarks of the Democratic party is their favorable stance on government intervention. Democrats believe that government has an important role to play in our lives in order to bring about a fairer society. They also believe that government exists to protect citizens from economic inequality and hence tend to support labor unions, equal opportunity laws, business and environmental regulation and equal access to health care.

Because they are pro-regulation, democrats are often criticized for tying the hands of business to operate in a truly free market economy. Dems also tend to support social programs such as welfare and food stamps which critics feel are detrimental to taxpayers because they enable people to not work for a living.

donkey-1445494_1280There have been 15 Democratic Presidents in US history, starting with Andrew Jackson in 1829. The most famous among these are Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Democratic presidents have been responsible for many things we consider a given in our society today including: Social Security, anti-child labor laws, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, unemployment insurance, women’s voting rights, overtime pay, Medicare, student loans and the Voting Rights Act. Democrats also founded NATO and ushered in the Civil Rights Act.

Democrats as seen by supporters: pro-diversity, pro-gay rights, inclusive, pro-social welfare and equality.

Democrats as seen by opponents: spendthrifts, enablers, anti-tax payer, anti-traditional family, anti-free market.

Key ideology: Liberalism/progressivism

Size: Approximately 43 million members

Color: Blue

Mascot: The donkey


Ya Gotta Vote!

By Chris McManigal

As November nears people tend to divide into two camps. Not Republicans or Democrats, not Libertarians or Green Party voters, no, these two camps are not about political parties. These camps consist of people that have either become increasingly titillated about the prospect of voting that they are giddy with anticipation and those that have become so fatigued by the run-up to the election that the idea of casting a ballot makes them queasy.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 3.23.55 PMFor those falling into the latter camp, take these close elections into consideration before you decide to sit this one out.

In 1910, challenger Charles Smith beat incumbent De Alva Alexander in Buffalo New York’s congressional district by one vote in the first tally, 20,685 to 20,684.
Marcus Morton became the Governor of Massachusetts for the first time in 1939 by receiving 51,034 votes, just one vote more than what would’ve been an exact 50/50 tie subject to revote if he’d only received 51,033 votes. He lost the next election, but incredibly won again in 1942 by a single vote cast in the state legislature after the all of the candidates failed to win enough votes to declare a majority.

In the Indiana 8th Congressional District election of 1984, Frank McCloskey won his seat after a recount declared him the victor by four votes.

In the 2000 Presidential election George Bush won the presidency over Al Gore by just 537 votes, all from the state of Florida.

Christine Gregoire became the Governor of Washington state in 2004 after beating Dino Rossi by 133 votes after two recounts.

In 2008, incumbent Mike Kelly maintained his Congressional seat for Alaska’s District 7 over challenger Karl Kassel by one vote after a recount.

Regardless of who you vote for, remember that on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 your vote matters. Whether you’re running to the polls gleefully or dragging yourself begrudgingly, get to the polls and VOTE!