2006 Candidate Questionnaire Responses — Kevin Zeese
1. Please provide a brief biographical sketch of yourself. What qualifies you to serve in the office you are seeking?
For more than 25 years, Kevin Zeese has been advocate for a wide array of social and economic justice issues. He has helped develop more than a dozen advocacy organizations, brought people together to work in coalitions and built movements. Zeese is Director, of DemocracyRising.US, an organization working to responsibly end the Iraq War and Occupation. He was a founding member of the Montgomery County Coalition for Alternatives to War in Maryland. He is a founder and director of TrueVoteMD – one of the nation’s leading citizen groups working to end paperless electronic voting. He serves as President of Vote Trust USA, a coalition of state and local groups working to end paperless computer voting. As President of Common Sense for Drug Policy, he is nationally recognized as a leader of the effort to end the war on drugs and put in place a public health approach to drug control. Zeese was also a founding member of the Treatment Not Incarceration Coalition in Maryland. Zeese has worked on local, state and national political campaigns including serving as Ralph Nader’s Press Secretary in 2004. He appears regularly on national television as a commentator on a variety of issues and has been published widely in newspaper and e-news media outlets.
Zeese registered with the Maryland Green Party. A founding member of the Populist Party of Maryland as well as a member of Libertarian Party of Maryland. He believes that the United States needs to return being a government ‘of, by and for the people’ but that the two major political parties have become corrupted by Big Business and wealthy donor contributions and no longer put the needs of the people first.
2. Please list the top three issues of your campaign and your rationale for running on these issues.
Peace – End of the occupation of Iraq – immediately and with the United States taking responsibility for the damage it has done. Also, prevent future wars of aggressions – especially prevent a military attack on Iran. Face up to U.S. responsibility for underwriting the occupation of Palestinian territories. We need to build an electoral bloc of anti-war voters to challenge the military industrial complex that misdirects U.S. foreign policy.
Fair economy – Face up to the rich-poor divide and put in place policies that democratize the economy so that the wealth of the nation is more equitably shared. This requires modification of the tax structure, ending corporate welfare and building on the experience of the Alaska Permanent Trust (where Alaskans all share the oil wealth of the state). There is sufficient money in the U.S. economy to provide health care for all (through a single payer system), a retirement plan that provides more than the poverty income of social security and jobs that pay a living wage to all employees. To sustain a democratized economy the U.S. must face up to the environmental threat of global warming, dependence on fossil fuels and the need for sustainable, alternative, environmentally friendly energy sources.
A More Vibrant Democracy: Easier access to the ballot for more candidates, representing more parties. Administration of elections in a non-partisan and transparent manner. This includes a voting system that includes a voter verified paper ballot. And, voters need to be freed to vote for what they want and hope for – rather than being stuck in the straitjacket of the two party system which forces many voters to vote against their interests – based on their fear of the greater evil. An instant run-off voting system is a first step in that direction.
3. Are there areas of the Baltimore Green Party platform with which you particularly agree or disagree?
I don’t disagree with anything in the platform but the platform focuses on state level issues, since my campaign is for federal office I would include national and international issues. Those issues include repeal of the so-called “free trade agreements” which really is designed to support corporate globalization, ending corporate welfare totaling several hundred billion annually, redirecting the federal budget away from the military-industrial complex to the necessities and welfare of the American people, and creating a new non-fossil fuel based energy policy – as well as other issues more appropriate for national office.