Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President is now on the ballot in all fifty states. He is reaching about ten percent in many polls and appears to be drawing support from young voters who see their vote as a “protest”. There is deep concern that these voters may not know or understand Johnson’s goals and programs. The Libertarian party has always stood for less or no federal government control of citizen’s lives. Johnson’s 2016 platform favors the following changes and programs:
Abolish the Internal Revenue Service. No personal income taxes for individuals or corporations. Establish a national sales tax of 23 percent on all consumer goods and services. This “flat tax” would hit the middle and lower classes much harder than the upper class. (Original graduated income tax began in 1913.)
Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . Repeal Safe Water and Safe Air legislation that enables the federal government to set standards to protect citizens’ health. These laws control levels of dangerous gases from industrial plants that pollute our air and water and cause diseases.
Abolish the Department of Education. Public education and public schools through high school would no longer exist. Parents would be responsible for deciding how, where and who would educate their children.
Oppose all Gun regulations by states or federal government. Abolish state laws that are now in effect for background checks and banning assault weapons.
Health Care should not be overseen by the federal or state governments. Repeal Obama Care. Repeal Medicare.
In a recent Quinnipac poll of millennial voters, 18 to 34, 29 percent said they would vote for Gary Johnson if the election took place now. When they were presented with only the two main candidates, most of the young voters said they would support Hillary Clinton. Democrats worry that those voters may not know what Johnson’s Libertarian goals are and how their lives would be affected now and in the future.
In 2,000 Democrat Al Gore ran against the Republican incumbent, George W. Bush while Ralph Nader ran as a third party candidate. The election was deadlocked when the Florida votes were delayed by “hanging chads”, missing ballots and other serious problems. The Florida vote count was never completed when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the election over — and George Bush became president. Ralph Nader had polled about 8,000 votes in Florida that would have gone to Al Gore if Nader had not run. Nader became known as “The Spoiler” by Democrats and other liberals.
Political observers today see a similar outcome in November when Gary Johnson could draw from Hillary Clinton’s potential voters and carry Donald Trump to becoming President of the United States.
Terror Attacks. On Saturday, September 17, bombings in New York and New Jersey occurred. Twenty nine people were hospitalized in Manhattan. No casualties occurred in New Jersey. By Monday morning, the intense New York police manhunt found the perpetrator, Ahmad Rahami, sleeping in a doorway. He had been described as “armed and dangerous” in a cell phone message to millions of people. A gun battle ensued and Rahami, a 28 year old naturalized citizen from Pakistan was wounded, captured and hospitalized. The bombings were described by Mayor Di Blasio as a “terrorist attack.”
Reactions from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were very different. Trump immediately tweeted “I called it!” Then he attended a rally where he sarcastically described how Rahami would be treated in the hospital with the best medical treatment and “room service” for his meals. Next he launched a full scale attack on our criminal justice system which would put Rahami on trial with the best lawyers. Supporters in the audience yelled, “Hang him!” as Trump spoke.
Clinton spoke to the press at an airport on her way to Philadelphia for a rally. She was measured and clear that this was not a time for stoking fear. She criticized harsh rhetoric about how “weak” our vetting system was to prevent entry of immigrants who would become terrorists. She was firm on the need for vigilance and praised the New York police for their superb work in finding Rahami as quickly as they did. Analysis by bomb experts pointed to Rahami being the “lone wolf” carrying out both the New Jersey and New York bombings.
Foundations. Both candidates are connected to Foundations. They are very different in size, purpose and operations. The Donald J. Trump Foundation began in 1988. He remains as its president. Most of its funds come from other people and groups. At the end of 2014, it reported having $1.3 million in the bank. As a private foundation, it gives money to others; it runs no programs of its own. Some beneficiaries are clients or businesses rather than charities. It is headquartered in Trump’s New York business offices with no paid staff.
On September 13, Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General, who is leading a lawsuit against Trump University, stated that his office is now investigating the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Schneiderman said, “ We have been concerned that the Trump Foundation may have engaged in some impropriety.” Under Internal Revenue Rules, the Trump Foundation, despite its name, is technically not a Foundation, but a public charity. The IRS made this distinction because public charities are funded by many donors, and therefore “self-policing”. If they do things that undermine public confidence, they either raise less money or shut down. On the same day, 15 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking that the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation of Trump in connection with his foundation’s $25,000 donation to Pam Bondi, Florida attorney general who was reviewing Trump’s for-profit education programs. She later dropped the investigation. The letter specifically cited anti-bribery laws.
The Clinton Foundation was established by former President William J. Clinton in 1997. It is a non profit corporation with the stated mission to “strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.” The offices are located in New York City and Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2013, the name became the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The family members have served in different capacities without receiving any financial salary. It should be noted that Donald Trump’s charge that Hillary created a “ pay to play” connection with foreign countries during her service as Secretary of State has no basis in fact.
Through 2016, the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, political donors, foreign donors and corporations, and other groups and individuals. Programs and Health Initiatives include: Anti- malarial drugs for 12 million men, women and children in Africa. HV/Aids Initiative for millions in Africa and Asia. Disaster relief included: Indian Ocean Earthquake, 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, 2005. Staff members are hired to carry out the humanitarian programs across the globe. Charity Watch, a monitor gave the Clinton Foundation an A rating for 2016, saying 88% of its money goes toward its mission. The foundation has won accolades from philanthropy experts and drawn bipartisan support.
Donna Shalala is president of the Clinton Foundation. She served as HUD secretary in Bill Clinton’s cabinet from 1993-2001. Before that, she had been Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin’s higher education system from 1988 -1993. Shalala has announced that plans are being made to completely separate the Clinton family connection with the foundation if/when Hillary is elected president.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Part III will be posted after the first Debate on September 26.