If you were like me, when you first saw the ballot for this week’s election you were probably surprised to see 12 candidates listed for the office of president.


 



CHIPLEY  — If you were like me, when you first saw the ballot for this week’s election you were probably surprised to see 12 candidates listed for the office of president.



Who were all these people? Some names were vaguely familiar, one was very familiar, and the rest were anyone's guess. I seem to remember only two people showing up at all those debates, and I mainly have just seen ads for two presidential candidates.



Most of us didn’t read any further down the ballot than either Mitt Romney (No. 1 on the list) or Barack Obama (No. 2). So I thought it might be fun to see just who were all those people running for president and what party did they represent?



So here, thanks to Wikipedia and various candidate campagin websites, are the other 10 candidates, in brief — the 10 candidates you probably didn’t vote for. They are listed in the order they appeared on the ballot in Washington and Holmes County, right after Barack Obama...



 



Dr. THOMAS ROBERT STEVENS — Objectivist Party



Dr. Tom Stevens is an educator, attorney and political activist, according to the website, objectivistparty.us.



He has appeared as an expert or to discuss current events and/or topics on over 200 national talk shows and for two and a half years he produced and hosted “In Focus,” his own cable television show.



Stevens is a graduate of New York University, where he served as Freshman Representative, Sophomore Representative and as President of the Student Council and Hofstra University School of Law, for which he twice served as President of the Hofstra University School of Law Alumni Association.



According to the website, Stevens lives his life in accordance with the philosophy of Ayn Rand. In her words, “the question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me!”



FYI — The Objectivist Party is a political party that seeks to promote Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, in the political realm. The party was founded by Stevens on Feb. 2, 2008, to coincide with Rand’s birthday.



 



GARY JOHNSON — Libertarian Party



Just off the bat, Gov. Gary Johnson has the fanciest website of the also-rans — but then I am just on No. 2 in the Back Pack (get it? they’re all behind Romney and Obama, and they’re a group, so… )



According to his website, garyjohnson2012.com, Johnson has been referred to as the ‘most fiscally conservative governor’ in the country. Johnson was the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003.



A successful businessman before running for office in 1994, Johnson started a door-to-door handyman business to help pay his way through college. Twenty years later, he had grown the firm into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico with over 1,000 employees.



Johnson is best known for his veto record, which includes over 750 vetoes during his time in office, more than all other governors combined and his use of the veto pen has since earned him the nickname “Governor Veto.” He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. When he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget.



Term-limited, Johnson retired from public office in 2003. An avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peak on four of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.



FYI — The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the U.S., and according to Wikipedia, it is also identified by many as the fastest growing political party in the United States.”



The Libertarian Party favors minimally regulated markets, a less powerful state, strong civil liberties, the legalization of cannabis,separation of church and state, open immigration, non-interventionism and neutrality in diplomatic relations, freedom of trade and travel to all foreign countries, and a more responsive and direct democracy.



 



VIRGIL H. GOODE, JR — Constitution Party of Florida



Here’s the entirety of Virgil H. Goode’s information from the website, goodeforpresident2012.com. Goode, a Baptist, was born in 1946 and is married to Lucy Goode. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond ( Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. University of Virginia School of Law. He served in the Army National Guard 1969-75 and in the Virginia State Senate from December 1973 to January 1997. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1997 to January 2009.



FYI — The Constitution Party is a conservative political party, founded as the U.S. Taxpayer’s Party in 1991 by Howard Phillips, according to Wikipedia.



The party's official name was changed to The Constitution Party in 1999; however, some state affiliate parties are known under different names — here it is the Constitution Party of Florida. The party's platform defines itself as predicated on the principles of the nation's founding documents.



 The party puts a large focus on immigration, calling for stricter penalties towards illegal immigrants and a moratorium on legal immigration until all federal subsidies to immigrants are discontinued.



 



DR. JILL STEIN — Green Party



Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate, according to jillstein.org. She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports,  “In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development,” published in 2000, and “Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging,” published in 2009.  The first of these has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide. The reports promote green local economies, sustainable agriculture, clean power, and freedom from toxic threats.



Stein represented the Green-Rainbow Party in two additional races — one for State Representative in 2004 and one for Secretary of State in 2006. In 2006 she won the votes of over 350,000 Massachusetts citizens — which represented the greatest vote total ever for a Green-Rainbow candidate.



FYI — The Green Party is a national political party founded in 1991 as a voluntary association of state green parties, according to Wikipedia.



With its founding, the Green Party of the United States became the primary national Green organization in the country, eclipsing the Greens/Green Party USA, which emphasized non-electoral movement building, a forerunner organization, first gained widespread public attention during Ralph Nader's 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns.



 



ANDRE BARNETT — Reform Party



Andre Barnett of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., announced his candidacy for the Reform Party presidential nomination on May 6, 2011.  He considers himself a conservative and has stated that he intends to considerably downsize the federal government if elected, according to Wikipedia.  His campaign website is andrebarnett2012.com, and so far he’s the only candidate this year with beefcake photos prominent on google. I’m not sure if that is a campaign strategy.



He has been described as a "conservative with a conscience,” and his candidacy is endorsed by the Frederick Douglass Foundation. According to Wikipedia.



At the Reform Party of New Jersey's state convention on April 14, Barnett defeated former Governor of Louisiana Buddy Roemer in the party's presidential straw poll by a 50 percent margin. Barnett was nominated for President of the United States by the Reform Party on Aug. 12 at the party's National Convention in Philadelphia.



FYI — The Reform Party of the United States, also known as RPUSA, was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot, who said Americans were disillusioned with the state of politics, as being corrupt and unable to deal with vital issues, and desired a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The party has nominated different candidates over the years, such as founder Ross Perot,Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader. The party's most significant victory came when Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998.



 



STEWART ALEXANDER — Socialist Party USA



Stewart Alexander of Los Angeles is a car dealer who went looking at other political groups outside of the Democratic and Republican Parties, according to stewartalexanderforpresident2012.org.  At an event in Orange County where Ross Perot spoke to 5,000 people, it was clear that the people wanted more than the American two-party system.  Alexander joined the Peace and Freedom party, realizing that socialism could offer the social solutions for America’s working class people. He declared his candidacy for president on July 16, 2010, with the Socialist Party. He received the presidential nomination from the Socialist Party USA on Oct. 15, 2011 at the Party's national convention in Los Angeles. 



FYI — The Socialist Party USA is a multi-tendency democratic-socialist party in the United States, according to Wikipedia. The party claims to be the successor to the tradition of the Socialist Party of America, which had lasted from 1901 to 1972.



The party is officially committed to left-wing democratic socialism. The Socialist Party USA, along with its predecessors, has received varying degrees of support, when its candidates have competed against those from the Republican and Democractic parties.



The party supports third-party candidates, particularly socialists, and opposes the candidates of the two major parties. The Socialist Party is against both capitalism and "authoritarian Communism," and the party advocates bringing big business under public ownership and democratic workers' self-management, according to the website. The party opposes unaccountable bureaucratic control of Soviet communism. 



 



PETA LINDSAY — Party for Socialism and Liberation



Peta Lindsay is the 2012 presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, according to pslweb.org. She is a founding member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and a member of the PSL’s Central Committee.



Lindsay was born in Virginia and grew up in Philadelphia. She became an activist as a middle school student with the Philadelphia Student Union,  a non-profit organization of students demanding a high quality education. She was a high school senior in Washington D.C. when the September 11 attacks occured in 2001.



While an undergraduate organizer at Howard University, she chaired and spoke at every national anti-war rally organized by the ANSWER Coalition, including the historic anti-war rally on Jan. 18, 2003, which drew over 500,000 people into the streets to stop the Iraq war before it started.



FYI — Party for Socialism and Liberation is a Marxist-Leninist political party.  It was created as the result of a split within the ranks of  Workers World Party. The San Francisco branch and several other members left WWP in 2004, according to Wikipedia. The PSL has since established two national offices in Washington D.C. and in San Francisco alongside 23 local branches across the country.



 



ROSEANNE BARR  — Peace and Freedom Party



TV personality Roseanne Barr announced her intention to run for president on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Aug. 5, 2011, according to the web. She had intended to run for the Green Party, but got beat out for the nomination by Jill Stein. Barr is running on the Peace and Freedom ticket with Cindy Sheehan, a strong anti-war advocate known for leading a protest outside of George W. Bush‘s Texas ranch, according to roseanneforpresident2012.us. Barr said she is using her candidacy to tap into the frustrations voters have with both parties.



FYI — Peace and Freedom Party



The Peace and Freedom Party is a nationally organized political party with affiliates in more than a dozen states, including California, Florida, Colorado and Hawaii, according to Wikipedia. Its first candidates appeared on the ballot in 1966, but the Peace and Freedom Party of California was founded on June 23, 1967, after the riot in the wealthy Century City section of Los Angeles, and qualified for the ballot in January 1968. The Peace and Freedom Party went national in 1968 as a left-wing organization opposed to the Vietnam War.



 



TOM HOEFLING — American Independent Party



Tom Hoefling was raised in Ralston, Neb., and attended public schools there. According to tomhoefling.com, Hoefling is a long-time conservative political activist, organizer, and consultant. He has worked on campaigns at all levels of American politics, in most parts of the country, during the past 20 years.
He is known primarily for his pro-life work and his defense of the natural family and traditional marriage. He has also been a long-time advocate for the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms, private property rights, fundamental tax reform, secure borders, and the maintenance of American sovereignty and security through a Reaganite Peace Through Strength foreign policy.



FYI — American Independent Party



The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. It is most notable for its nomination for president of George Wallace, former governor of Alabama. Wallace carried five states in the 1968 election running on a segregationist platform, according to Wikipedia.



The party split in 1976 into the modern American Independent Party and the American Party. From 1992 until 2008 the party was the California affiliate of the national Constitution Party, with its exit from the Constitution Party leading to a leadership dispute during the 2008 election.



 



ROSS C. “ROCKY” ANDERSON — Justice Party USA



Former mayor of Salt Lake City Ross “Rocky” Anderson founded High Road for Human Rights, a non-profit organization devoted to achieving major reform of US human rights policies and practices through unique, coordinated, and sustained grassroots activism, complementing the work of other human rights organizations, according to the website voterocky.org.



For his work on human rights matters during his tenure as Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights, Rocky received the Morehouse University Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee's Patriot Award. On Jan. 13, Anderson accepted the presidential nomination of the Justice Party, a new national political party.



According to Wikipedia, Utah State Senator Chris Buttars of West Jordan, Utah,  publicly denounced Anderson for having "attracted the entire gay community to come and live in Salt Lake County" after a Dan Jones poll indicated strong support for allowing domestic partnerships. In the 2004 election, 63 percent of the city population voted against banning same-sex marriage, in agreement with Anderson.



FYI — Justice Party USA



The Justice Party USA was first organized in November 2011 to place Anderson  on the ballot as a presidential candidate.



In December 2011, it became a qualified party in Mississippi, the first state to recognize the party.  From a small beginning, 30 persons at the launching event with no TV crew covering it, the party has been able to put its founder, Anderson, on the ballot in 15 states and secure official write-in status in 15 additional states. It is now the fifth largest party in terms of presidential ballot access in the 2012 presidential election, according to Wikipedia. The party is working for campaign finance reforms and does not accept corporate funding. It wants to abolish corporate personhood. The party and its founder are in favor of a financial transaction tax and want to end the Bush tax cuts.