Our America Initiative and its Honorary Chairman, Libertarian Party 2012 Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson, are offering an update today, July 22, 2014 on current issues and what libertarians are doing about them. Johnson begins an email out today with the IRS scandal plaguing the Obama administration. “Imagine life without having to deal with the IRS,” Johnson told New Mexico Watchdog in an interview just two days after a new development in the IRS story, in which former IRS official Lois Lerner warned colleagues to be careful about what they write in emails amid congressional inquiries. “None of it surprises me. To a higher degree or a lesser degree this is what happens when you have bureaucrats in charge that can manipulate the system any way they so choose. Come on, loss of emails? Give me a break. If that doesn’t outrage anybody who looks at this, then you’re out to lunch.” Johnson is a proponent of the FairTax that would eliminate the IRS and place a consumption tax on new items purchased in the U.S.
Moving on to the Commission on Presidential Debates, where he is hoping to end the “fraud on the American voter” by having the commission be inclusive rather than exclusive. Today, Our America Initiative has raised $30,124 of an expected $200,000 to effectively take the Commission on Presidential Debates to court. Johnson’s email today stating:
“In the 1980’s, after the Republican and Democrat Parties took control of presidential debates with the formation of their Commission on Presidential Debates, the League of Women Voters, who had traditionally organized and moderated the debates, withdrew their participation, saying ‘the demands of the two campaign organizations (Republican and Democrat Parties) would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.’
And, in 1987, when the two “major” parties announced the formation of their Commission on Presidential Debates, both the Chairman of the Republican Party and his Democrat counterpart stated publicly that it was likely that ‘third party’ candidates would be excluded from the nationally-televised debates.”
Johnson also stated in today’s email about efforts going forward to reduce the prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. In a decision that is in line with positions long advocated by Gov. Gary Johnson and Our America Honorary Board Member Jim Gray, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has voted to retroactively reduce prison sentences for thousands of nonviolent drug offenders. Even with the decision, it will still need to be approved by Congress, unless they take no action by November 1, 2014, then the decision will stand. Should that happen, then prisoners can expect to be released beginning November 1, 2015.
With a majority of Americans now favoring legalization of marijuana and a growing recognition that the “War on Drugs” is a failure, it is not only fair, but good public policy to scale back the sentences for minor drug offenses. Overcrowded prisons, courts with unmanageable backlogs and wasted law enforcement resources are just a few of the consequences of the government’s stubborn criminalization of personal choices.