Goal for Long-Shot Candidates, 50,000 Votes

Goal for Long-Shot Candidates, 50,000 Votes
Posted by CN Staff on October 20, 2002 at 11:42:30 PT
By Seanna Adcox, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Albany, N.Y. Four extremely long-shot candidates for governor don't mind shocking New Yorkers with unorthodox ideas, from raising taxes by billions of dollars to legalizing marijuana. Not expecting to get elected anyway, the novice campaigners of the Green, Libertarian, Marijuana Reform and Right to Life parties speak freely while seeking to attract enough votes to keep their parties alive and influence political agendas. 
''I hope our ideas, which are unconventional and scorned by the mainstream political establishment, begin to be heard and make sense,'' said Green Party candidate Stanley Aronowitz. Aronowitz, who proudly calls himself the ''tax-and-spend'' candidate in the governor's race, believes the state must raise up to $15 billion in new taxes to close revenue shortfalls in next year's state and New York City budgets. His plan includes a 2 percent Social Security tax on incomes over $80,600 and a 0.0001 percent asset tax on all companies listed on New York and American stock exchanges and the Nasdaq Stock Market. ''I don't think either (the Republican or Democratic) party has the guts to raise taxes,'' said Aronowitz, a Manhattan resident. ''People may cringe, but it's about time we face the music. I hope the business community cringes.'' The parties share an odd mix of issues, from all ends of the political spectrum. The Libertarian, Green and Marijuana Reform candidates all want to legalize marijuana. The latter two also want to repeal the Rockefeller drug laws, which set mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. The state imprisons 19,000 drug offenders at a cost of more than $600 million yearly, said Marijuana Reform party founder Thomas Leighton, who first ran for governor in 1998. His initial goal is to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, an issue adopted last week by Independence Party candidate B. Thomas Golisano, who began running TV ads supporting it. Democratic candidate H. Carl McCall also favors medicinal marijuana. ''In this age where terrorism is at our doorstep, and we need every ounce of our resources to fight it'' the government should not spend money arresting marijuana users, Leighton said. Aronowitz goes a step further by calling for decriminalizing all drugs and rerouting some of the ''war on drugs'' funding to drug treatment programs. Leighton's third issue is allowing New York farmers to grow hemp for commercial uses, which he claims can save family farms and help the environment. ''We have a party single-mindedly focused on marijuana,'' Leighton said, explaining the need for his party. ''The Libertarians and Greens stand for a number of things.'' The Libertarian and Right to Life candidates both want to give parents more choice in where their children go to school, though by different means. Libertarian Scott Jeffrey wants more public schools to take students from other districts, while Right to Life candidate Gerard Cronin advocates letting state taxes pay for private-school education. ''The voucher system could save money,'' said Cronin, a Catholic school teacher for 16 years. Federal records show New York spends about $10,000 per student. Cronin said Catholic schools do a better job educating students while spending 60 percent less. His main issue, however, is ending state-paid abortions, and eventually banning abortions altogether. Poor pregnant women can get abortions in New York through Medicaid. Cronin said more than 48,000 abortions each year are taxpayer-funded, or 36 percent of all abortions performed statewide. ''I firmly believe that a child in the womb is innocent and should live,'' Cronin said. Aronowitz, meantime, wants to require all health insurance plans to cover abortions. While raising taxes, he would increase the minimum wage to $8 an hour up from $5.15 per hour and cut the work week to 30 hours. ''If we don't have lower hours, kids aren't going to have any parents,'' Aronowitz said. The idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds, he said: ''France has a 35-hour week.'' Aronowitz and Jeffrey a tax opponent both support same-sex marriages. But Jeffrey also advocates dropping the drinking age from 21 to 18, and repealing gun laws, cigarette taxes and New York City's anti-cabaret laws. ''There's nothing much more offensive than being told by the government when you're out how to conduct yourself,'' said Jeffrey, a software developer who refuses to undergo drug tests to get a job. ''There's no sense in tough economic times to hurt an industry the city is so known for.'' The four parties, as well as the Working Families, Liberal and Conservative parties, need 50,000 votes each on Nov. 5 to maintain, or secure, automatic spots on the ballot statewide for the next four years. The Liberal Party faces the unique problem of not having a campaigning candidate, though that candidate has a famous name. Its nominee, Andrew Cuomo, dropped out of the governor's race one week before he was to face state Comptroller H. Carl McCall in the Democratic primary. He's urging people to vote for McCall. McCall is also the Working Families' candidate. Incumbent George Pataki is running as a Republican and Conservative. Unlike most states, New York allows major-party candidates to also count votes won on minor-party ballot lines in general elections. Complete Title: Limited Goal for Long-Shot Gubernatorial Candidates: 50,000 Votes On the Net: Source: Associated Press Author: Seanna Adcox, Associated PressPublished: Sunday, October 20, 2002Copyright: 2002 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Sites:Election '02: Party Seeks Pot Reform Leaves Little Room For Debate Fires Up Campaign for Pot Use
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Comment #5 posted by karkulus on October 21, 2002 at 02:23:10 PT
for all you LIBERTARIANS 
If you want to be posted daily on election activities, go to and sign up for "libertarian clips",the daily e-mail up-date ;they always have alot of good info around election time( kind of like "MAP" drug index for Libertarian News) .
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Comment #4 posted by Patrick on October 20, 2002 at 17:20:49 PT
Thanks for the pointing out an additional candidate and improving my voting choices! My conscience won't let me vote for any incumbents, democrats, or republicans. Voting for a member of the current status quo two-party system is no different than the YES or NO choice the Iraqi people had to make with regards to Saddam. Either way, u r screwed so vote 3rd party and make history people. VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE 
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Comment #3 posted by DdC on October 20, 2002 at 15:11:37 PT
Wo, a Realist...
According to our Health Department, California subsidizes tobacco by 10 billion dollars a year, an addictive drug that kills 450,000 Americans a year, while we criminalize Marijuana, a non-addictive drug that kills no one. 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year 10 billion dollars a year!
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Comment #2 posted by CorvallisEric on October 20, 2002 at 15:08:04 PT
Patrick: another hint for California
If your choice in California is Libertarian, the Party wants you to write in Art Olivier rather than vote for the candidate on the ballot. It's been 2 years since I left CA but I'll always love and hate it greatly. Olivier's website:I would like to bring up this issue along with many others in a debate with my fellow gubernatorial candidates, but they won't debate me. Their only argument is how much more money we should spend fighting this unwinnable war.Your vote for Art Olivier this November will send a message to the politicians that it is time to end this nightmare that they call "The War on Drugs".
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Comment #1 posted by Patrick on October 20, 2002 at 13:29:18 PT
I just took some time this morning to review all my voting options for this upcomming election. If everyone takes a moment to read what the candidates in your district stand for you too can decide who will best represent your values in office. Living in California, I used the following site to assist me with learning about the candidates and their positions and discovered to my surprise a candidate for Governor that stands for ending the war on drugs (HINT: He is not a Republicrat)
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