Get to Know a Candidate (9 of 25): Gary Johnson–Libertarian Party
- by Brian Lanham
DISCLAIMER: This is not a post about “Romney” or “Obama”. This is not a post for whom I am voting. Information sourced for Wikipedia. Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, as a member of the Republican Party, and is known for his low-tax libertarian views and his strong emphasis on personal health and fitness. While a student at the University of New Mexico in 1974, Johnson sustained himself financially by working as a door-to-door handyman. In 1976 he founded Big J Enterprises, which grew from this one-person venture to become one of New Mexico's largest construction companies. He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax, anti-crime platform. Johnson won the Republican Party of New Mexico's gubernatorial nomination, and defeated incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office, which gained him the nickname "Governor Veto". Johnson sought re-election in 1998, winning by 55% to 45%. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and opposition to the War on Drugs. During his tenure as governor, Johnson adhered to a stringent anti-tax and anti-bureaucracy policy driven by a cost–benefit analysis rationale, setting state and national records for his use of veto powers: more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together. Term-limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. As a fitness enthusiast, Johnson has taken part in several Ironman Triathlons, and he climbed Mount Everest in May 2003. After leaving office, Johnson founded the non-profit Our America Initiative in 2009, a political advocacy committee seeking to promote policies such as free enterprise, foreign non-interventionism, limited government and privatization. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States. It is also identified by many as the fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects the ideas of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated markets, a less powerful state, strong civil liberties (including support for Same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights), cannabis legalization and regulation, separation of church and state, open immigration, non-interventionism and neutrality in diplomatic relations (i.e., avoiding foreign military or economic entanglements with other nations), freedom of trade and travel to all foreign countries, and a more responsive and direct democracy. Members of the Libertarian Party have also supported the repeal of NAFTA, CAFTA, and similar trade agreements, as well as the United States' exit from the United Nations, WTO, and NATO. Although there is not an officially labeled political position of the party, it is considered by many to be more right-wing than the Democratic Party but more left-wing than the Republican Party when comparing the parties' positions to each other, placing it at or above the center. In the 30 states where voters can register by party, there are over 282,000 voters registered as Libertarians. Hundreds of Libertarian candidates have been elected or appointed to public office, and thousands have run for office under the Libertarian banner. The Libertarian Party has many firsts in its credit, such as being the first party to get an electoral vote for a woman in a United States presidential election. Learn more about Gary Johnson and Libertarian Party on Wikipedia.